There are a lot of things I would do differently if I could see the future. I have a collection of cassette tapes that are useless. Had I known that cassettes would only be in vogue for just a few years, I would have waited. We want to invest in things that are going to last.
What does this have to do with Logos Bible Study Software? In short, you will never have buyers remorse. Your investment will never go bad.
I have been a Logos user (and fan) since the nineties. In fact, I have used just about every Bible study software out there. Some are like the cassette. Useful. Around for a while. But now gone. Logos is the real deal. It has not only been around since the beginning (relatively speaking). Its not going anywhere. No, not because they are marketing and business sharks. I know the guys at Logos and their heart is for the Lord. It is going to be around because they know what they are doing. They are making Bible study more accessible. Its that simple.
I recently upgraded to Logos 4. There were a lot of things I “put up with” in the prior versions simply because, even with all the hangups, Logos was the best way to build an digital library. However, the programmers of Logos 4 must have been reading my mind. Version 4 is absolutely incredible. Why?
Faster: I can search my library of thousands of books for a word or phase in seconds. For example, I just searched for the phase “semper reformanda” (meaning “always reforming”). In .20 sec I got 89 results in 51 resources. Amazing.
Cleaner: This comes with efficiency. With every release, Logos become immensely more powerful, yet they are able to make the experience cleaner and more efficient.
Study area: This is my favorite (okay, second favorite—the “faster” is my favorite). The environment for study is hard to critique in any negative way. They have done a tremendous job with the tabbing system, personalization, and memories of my studies. I can have ten Bibles, six commentaries, three lexicons, cross references, as well as sermons available online about the passage open all at once (and that is not even the limit). The key thing is that I never lose my focus in the study. Everything just builds efficiently around the passage.
Here is a picture of my study on Eph.
(Yeah, hard to see, I know)
Resources: There is simply no one who comes close or will ever come close. Logos has more resources than you will know what to do with. They can come with the bundle you purchase or you can get the them “on-demand”—yes, that is right, on-demand books. Get rid of the Kindle. At least don’t get books on Kindle that you can get on Logos. Kindle is a reader. Logos is so much more. Wait a minute…can you get Logos for Kindle?
Most importantly, last year they made a deal with Zondervan and most of this mega publishers works are now available. (Oh, how I want the Zondervan Bundle. “Dear God, please get me the Zondervan bundle for Christmas.” Did I just pray that out loud?)
In every way Logos for deserves commendation. Truly. As always, they are pioneering the effort at making the Bible accessible and are to be commended. They show how Christians can do things with great excellence.
Should I get Logos or Bibleworks?
Don’t make me choose for you! It is like asking should I get a Phillips or a flathead screwdriver. You need them both. They both are the best of their kind for the purpose for which they were created.
But Logos is too expensive.
Be careful here: it can get expensive, but this is only due to the amount of books you are getting! The great thing about Logos is that you can get the platform for very cheap and then build your library one book at a time or by buying whole collections. Don’t think you have to do everything at once. But remember, your library is an investment. It is much more valuable then that new car you are willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars for. It’s about perspective.
But can’t I get E-Sword for free?
Now you have hit my pet-peeve. If at all possible, don’t get the free versions of Bible software that are out there. They may have some great features, but you need to get Logos. The free versions are free for a reason. You get what you pay for. They don’t have good high quality titles available and they never will. Matthew Henry’s Commentary is nice, but very out of date. It does not compare to NICNT. John Gill’s tome is interesting and has lots to say, but you need to engage in modern works and commentaries. Free Bible study software is only going to have a few out-of-date titles that have outlived copyright laws. In my opinion, it is misleading (bordering on irresponsible) to hand people books on theology that are outdated, cumbersome, and hard to understand. They will judge all theological studies upon such regard. In short, you will be sorry down the road when you realize how much time you have wasted without Logos.
My message to you is to invest in this product. I know it can be expensive, but collect a few at a time. Think of the cassettes, CDs, DVDs, MP3s. You did not buy them all at once did you?