April 5th, 2009
I have a confession to make. One year ago, I hated the concept of digital print media and swore I would never “cave-in” to the latest “trend” in books; i.e., Logos. My how times have changed! Over the course of this past year, I have come to see the upside and the stewardship that is Logos Bible Software. I have moved up from the Logos Scholars Library to the Logos Scholar’s Library: Gold and continue to be blown away by what an excellent resource I have at my fingertips.
The installation is very easy. However, remaining true to form, I found a way to make it difficult! Actually, the problem was not me or the software as much as it was the age of my computer. I tried to download the Gold edition from a DVD only to get stuck at about the 10 minute mark. I literally spent 2 hours on the phone with customer service going through every trouble shooting method they could think of only to be told that we I probably need the CD’s instead of the DVD.
Nevertheless, this is to your advantage for a couple of reasons. First, if your computer or laptop is more than a couple of years old, purchase the CD’s. They are the same cost as the DVD’s but will load much faster on an older computer than the DVD because of its multiple layers.
Second, customer service at Logos is truly second to none. In both instances, they were patient and kind and extremely helpful. We got to joking around about the problem and was even able to share testimonies with one another while waiting for the program to run its checks.
I do not get into the technical jargon when it comes to the interfaces and what-not of a computer software program. I only want to know one thing. Can I simply download and begin using or do I need, as we called it in the military, a block of instruction?
I have found Logos to be one of the easiest Bible software programs to use without first sitting through a bunch of training videos. As soon as the software was downloaded to my computer, I was able to begin checking everything out with no problems. That is very important to me since I truly do not have the time to meticulously learn all of the features.
Now, I realize that a block of instruction will only help the user to become familiar with all the various components and features of Logos, but not everyone has time to sit through tutorial videos let alone attend a class on how to use a particular Bible software program. However, because I am writing a review, I “researched” the tutorials and found them to be extremely beneficial. You do not have to sit for hours on end to learn how to use this software. There are a ton of videos you can watch on an as needed basis in order to increase your information and decrease the time it takes to get that information.
Perhaps one of the greatest features is the ability to search your entire library for one subject, hit return, and see which of your books mention that subject. Imagine the time saved from going to your library or the Internet and looking up all the books!
Ok, the main thrust of the Logos Scholar’s Library: Gold is that it is truly the most cost efficient way to build a quality library quickly. The Gold edition contains more than 700 titles—which includes sets of books so that a commentary set may contain 12 of those titles. Allow me to share the importance of this. I currently own about 2,000 books in my personal library. I have moved four times in the past four years. Obviously, my library was not always at 2,000—it has grown considerably in these past four years. Every time my family has moved, the first thing that had to be done was to pack up the books because they take up the most boxes and space. At one point, I had over 100 boxes of various sizes of books moving into a third floor apartment!
With that picture in your mind, imagine being able to carry 700 books in something as small as a compact disc but no bigger than a CPU. Next, think of how many bookshelves 700 books take up. I will give you a hint–think one decent sized wall. It is obvious to see how having digitized books can only help. This is not too mention how much your back will thank you let alone how much your spouse will thank you for giving her part of the house back!
Another nice feature is the ability to study the original languages and do some solid exegetical work before looking through all of those commentaries and other resources. For many, this is the most important function when it comes to making a choice regarding Bible software. Logos can easily stand toe-to-toe with any other software when it comes to diagramming and studying the original languages.
If you are going to work on a sermon, simply type in a passage and you bring up commentaries (turned to the exact pages you need), parallel passages, key words found in the passage, sermons from SermonCentral.com and even power point presentations (if any exist). You can also get a list of hymns and worship music that are based from the passage as well as a list of all of the topics that can be discussed. In other words, this could be your one-stop shop for your sermon preparation.
Counting the Cost
At a price of $1,379.95, this product will clearly set you back a nice chunk of money. But, before you freak out over the sticker price, you need to keep in mind a few things. First, Logos offers payment plans for their more expensive products. They are able to work with everyone to make their product as affordable as possible. Perhaps, you can’t afford to start with Gold, but you really want to work with the original languages. You can purchase their original languages library and begin to build your very own library from there.
Second, Logos offers generous discounts to any degree seeking student, faculty or staff member as well as various other discounts throughout the year. Also, Logos is offering Going to Seminary readers a generous 25% discount on any of the base packages by using the coupon code GOINGTOSEMINARY. This, in addition to the payment plan, brings the total for Gold, their absolute largest package, to just under $1,035.00—that is only $36.00 more than their silver library!
Third, the inclusion of just two commentary series, the New American Commentary and the New International Greek New Testament Commentary, practically pays for itself. What is more, you still have over 650 other resources! The bottom line is you are receiving over $11,700 worth of print books for about 90% of the price!
Finally, I have found that because I now have duplicated copies (in print and Logos), I am able to sell (or give away) my print editions. This also helps to offset the cost of software. Some books I want to keep in print and therefore I do. However, my resource books, like commentaries, sell nicely and have would have already made a couple of the monthly payments for me.