Thursday, March 06, 2014

What's good about Logos, and how I use it

Back in late 2012 I wrote a post complaining about Logos, particularly about some of their marketing and purchasing options. It is the third most read post on my blog. You can take a guess at what the 2nd most read post is if you like. Anyway, I promised that I would write a positive post about what I do like about Logos, and here, 16 months later, it is.

I live and work as an ex-patriate, in a land-locked country, and so essentially my laptop is my office and its my library. I did bring a lot of books with me, but compared to the books I left behind it is but a fraction. So as I look across at my copy of Logos 5 now, this is how it's set up: I have 6 different versions of the Bible open across 4 languages. Having ready access to standard editions of original language texts is crucial for me. Particularly my Hebrew is not strong, so I rely further on the integration of BDB and other look ups.

I also have a number of commentaries open. Buying commentaries in sets/series has been one of the big advantages of Logos over other software. I have 5 separate commentaries setting in windows across 4 different Biblical books, all of which I am teaching from regularly.

In addition to commentaries, I tend to purchase significant volumes on other topics. For example, I have been teaching a course on New Testament Theology, and so Schreiner's 1.5kg "New Testament Theology" is sitting open, because who wants to pack on of those in their suitcase.

Having usable versions of the ANF/NPNF fathers and other ancient texts is also invaluable

Other resources I leave sitting open include the electronic version of Liddell-Scott-Jones, the premiere Greek-English lexicon. I use this most days. Runge's "Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament" which I find invaluable for its analysis and style. A copy of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, which I compare with when reading a Gaelic version of the same.

For me, the great strengths of Logos are:
* Convenience and 'weight' of a vast electronic library
* Bundling of commentaries into relatively affordable sets
* Integration of original language texts and tools to analyse them
* A fairly good interface that lets me work with all these at once.

No, Logos don't pay me anything for writing about them. Especially after the 2012 post! I still find their marketing and purchasing frustrating, but I love [most of] their products.

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