Sunday, February 12, 2012

Finally, My New Bible Software. And the Winner Is...


Some of those who have been following me on Facebook, as well as my personal friends, know that I have been looking at investing in some Bible software for sometime, now. There were four major software packages I had considered buying (Logos, Accordance, Bibleworks, Olivetree) and had spent several weeks looking on their sites, calling and asking questions, and watching hours of video tutorials. I wanted to make sure I had as much information before making a decision. Of course, when considering and software, you want to make sure your software does what you intend for it to. I had come up with my own list, as well:

  1. A decent interface. I wanted something that wasn’t too ugly but also functional. 
  2. Image rich. I’m a very visual learner and so I love maps and pictures. They can help you see exactly what place is being talked about and the relative distances between two places mentioned in a passage. I also wanted to be able to copy or export these images to a Power Point since I do a lot of Power Points in my teaching. 
  3.  Diverse resources. This was also important as I consider the historical/cultural context to be a very important step in the hermeneutic and exegesis process. 
  4. Original languages. I’m certainly no expert with Hebrew and Greek but I do understand the basics. I wanted a program that would allow me to go a bit deeper without having to spend too much extra on language helps. 
  5. Mobile capabilities. This was probably one of the biggest ones for me. I am always on the go and enjoy being able to open a Bible program on my iPad without getting some kind of an error message telling me the file can’t be viewed. If I need information on a book I certainly don’t want to have to wait until hours later when I return home to my laptop to get that information. Being able to view an entire library on my mobile device would be a great advantage.
Keeping all those things I mind, and spending lots of time researching, I had finally narrowed it down to two: Bibleworks, and Logos. And the winner is…

LOGOS!!

It really was a close race between the two, but the fact that Bibleworks didn’t have a mobile app, and probably won’t be creating one in the near future, I finally decided on Logos. It met or exceeded all the criteria I had set for myself. The 15% instant discount I received for being a pastor wasn’t too shabby either! Not to mention that they allowed the payment to be spread out over twelve months; that alone, along with the mobile capabilities, were the two biggest reasons that factored into my purchase. Accordance also offers the same payment plan but they didn’t have all the tools I was quite looking for.

With all that said and done, I would now like to take the rest of this blog post to talk about some of my favorite features in Logos.

Homepage
It may seem a bit strange that this would be a favorite, but the homepage is where everything really happens. On this page you find the daily Bible passages, any deals going on at the Logos site, and articles that may interest you based on your collection and purchases. Below, you can see a shot of my homepage. 


Layouts
This is one of the very useful features in Logos. You may find yourself studying multiple passages for one reason or another and may need to adjust your resources and window tiles, accordingly. The Layouts feature is great for this job! For example, we are studying through the Minor Prophets in Sunday school, but I am also doing a study of God’s grace and election in salvation from Romans 9, as well as my own personal enrichment study through the book of 1Peter. I certainly don’t want to waste time opening and closing resources and adjusting my windows every time I need to switch from one study to another. The Layouts feature allows me to name and save each layout as I work with them. Then, I simply hit the ‘Layouts’ drop-down arrow, choose the Layout I’d like to work with and click. The program automatically loads that layout! Got some resources you need to add or take away? No problem. Just adjust what you need, right click on the named Layout, and choose ‘update to current snapshot.’ The program adjusts itself so the next time you open that particular Layout your added or minused resources also adjust. Check out my own layout below!