Category Archives: Logos 4 Bible software

Perseus Classics Collection (Logos 4)

On Friday I downloaded a pre-release of the Perseus Classics Collection into my Logos 4 library. The new collection is the largest single batch of books I’ve downloaded since I began using Logos nearly two years ago. The collection is a library in itself of over 1,100 ancient Greek and Latin titles and includes many corresponding English translations and helpful commentaries. Authors include Aristotle, Cicero, Homer, Plato, Plutarch, Sophocles, Demosthenes, and many others.

The release of this massive collection is significant step for New Testament studies since many of the Greek titles are referenced in technical Greek reference works and lexicons like TDNT, BDAG, and EDNT. The folks at Logos have announced on their website that over time they plan to add lemma tags to all the Greek books and add hyperlinks to the lexical reference to correspond to the original books in the Perseus Classics Collection. So when you see a reference in TDNT to, say, Aristotle’s Metaphysics, the reference will be hyperlinked and a click will land you in Aristotle’s work to read the context for yourself.

Skilled Greek exegetes will benefit from the collection because of the tags and hyperlinks, but what about those who want to engage the classic Greek works on a less technical level? Most of the books are available as English translations. With these English translations the collection is quite accessible to all readers and offers many key books that can help sharpen your communication skills.

Last month I read Clear and Simple as the Truth: Writing Classic Prose by Francis-Noel Thomas and Mark Turner (Princeton, 2011). This book was an inspiring and helpful guide to understanding the persuasive power of writing in the classic style, a style that seeks to persuade by presenting truth as clearly as possible by a writer whose style builds symmetry with his reader. Write Thomas and Turner:

[The] sense of shared competence is characteristic of the relationship between writer and reader in classic style. There is always a tacit appeal to a standard of perception and judgment that is assumed to be general, rather than special. There is no need for the writer to make appeals to his sincerity, for example, or to some special insight or competence, to arcane or technical knowledge, or to a lifetime of experience obviously not available to anyone else. …

The classic symmetry between writer and reader is broken whenever the writer presents distinctions as if they are the product of her exceptional insight or temper, distinctions the reader could not have been trusted to see on his own in the right circumstances. (50–51)

If you have read the nonfiction works of C.S. Lewis you have been exposed to the classic style. Of all styles, the classic style is powerful one, but it’s also a subtle one that requires interested writers to do a lot of reading in the classics. Thomas and Turner motivated me to read more classic Greek literature and introduced me to many of the best-written ancient models of classic style. The classics that come highly recommended by Thomas and Turner are here available in readable English translations in the Logos collection. These include titles like:

  • Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War
  • Euclid, The Elements of Geometry
  • Aristotle, Poetics
  • Aristotle, Rhetoric
  • Plato, Apology
  • Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, books 1-3
  • Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, books 4-6
  • Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, books 7-9
  • Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, books 10-12

A wide range of readers will equally benefit from this collection, from skilled technicians of ancient Greek and to readers who engage the classics only in English translations.

So what is the cost of this library of classics?

Nothing.

The Perseus Classics Collection is free for Logos 4 users who simply need to place a pre-order. When it’s ready to download, the entire collection (over 600 MB of text!) will be added to your Logos library.

Pre-order the Perseus Classics Collection and find a full list of titles here.

Many thanks to our friends at Logos!

Unofficial Logos 4 Tutorial Videos

Logos Bible Software 4 users may want to bookmark Mark Barnes’ helpful new series of tutorial videos. The 14 videos cover the following topics:

  1. Installation and Indexing (6:28)
  2. First Steps (23:05)
  3. Bible Facts (15:53)
  4. Searching (35:13)
  5. Reverse Interlinears (38:42)
  6. Favorites (22:28)
  7. Clippings (13:31)
  8. Passage Lists (19:20)
  9. Highlighting (19:59)
  10. Notes (21:32)
  11. Managing Your Content (11:24)
  12. Printing (20:48)
  13. Exporting (27:09)
  14. Layouts (24:36)

Watch the videos on Vimeo here.

Review: Martin Luther’s Works

Reformer Martin Luther was prolific in his output so I’m not surprised that it required 30 years of labor to translate the 55-volume collection of his works into English. Those works are currently available in a variety of formats: as printed hardcovers ($1,600), on the Kindle ($830), and integrated into Logos Bible software ($230). I use the Logos version of the works on a regular basis.

In 1958, in the inaugural volume, the editors admitted 55-volumes could not contain all of Luther’s works—not even close. But that’s okay because, “As he was first to insist, much of what he wrote and said was not that important.” Ouch.

The editors go on to explain the structure of the series:

The first thirty volumes contain Luther’s expositions of various Biblical books, while the remaining volumes include what are usually called his ‘Reformation writings’ and other occasional pieces [e.g. The 95 Theses]. … Obviously Luther cannot be forced into any neat set of rubrics. He can provide his reader with bits of autobiography or with political observations as he expounds a psalm, and he can speak tenderly about the meaning of faith in the midst of polemics against his opponents. It is the hope of publishers, editors, and translators that throughout this edition the message of Luther’s faith will speak more clearly to the modern church.

The 55 titles break down like this:

vol 1: Lectures on Genesis, Chapters 1–5 (1958)

vol 2: Lectures on Genesis, Chapters 6–14 (1960)

vol 3: Lectures on Genesis, Chapters 15-20 (1961)

vol 4: Lectures on Genesis, Chapters 21-25 (1964)

vol 5: Lectures on Genesis, Chapters 26-30 (1965)

vol 6: Lectures on Genesis, Chapters 31-37 (1970)

vol 7: Lectures on Genesis, Chapters 38-44 (1965)

vol 8: Lectures on Genesis, Chapters 45–50 (1966)

vol 9: Lectures on Deuteronomy (1960)

vol 10: First Lectures on the Psalms, Psalms 1–75 (1974)

vol 11: First Lectures on the Psalms, Psalms 76–126 (1976)

vol 12: Selected Psalms, i (1955)

vol 13: Selected Psalms, ii (1956)

vol 14: Selected Psalms, iii (1958)

vol 15: Notes on Ecclesiastes; Lectures on the Song of Solomon; Treatise on the Last Words of David (1972)

vol 16: Lectures on Isaiah, Chapters 1–39 (1969)

vol 17: Lectures on Isaiah, Chapters 40–66 (1972)

vol 18: Lectures on the Minor Prophets, i (1975)

vol 19: Lectures on the Minor Prophets, ii (1974)

vol 20: Lectures on the Minor Prophets, iii (1973)

vol 21: The Sermon on the Mount (Sermons); The Magnificat (1956)

vol 22: Sermons on the Gospel of St. John, Chapters 1–4 (1957)

vol 23: Sermons on the Gospel of St. John, Chapters 6–8 (1959)

vol 24: Sermons on the Gospel of St. John, Chapters 14–16 (1961)

vol 25: Lectures on Romans (1972)

vol 26: Lectures on Galatians [1535], Chapters 1–4 (1963)

vol 27: Lectures on Galatians [1535], Chapters 5–6; Lectures on Galatians [1519], Chapters 1–6 (1964, 1992)

vol 28: Commentaries on 1 Corinthians 7 and 1 Corinthians 15; Lectures on 1 Timothy (1973)

vol 29: Lectures on Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews (1968)

vol 30: The Catholic Epistles (1967)

vol 31: Career of the Reformer, i (1957)

vol 32: Career of the Reformer, ii (1958)

vol 33: Career of the Reformer, iii (1972)

vol 34: Career of the Reformer, iv (1960)

vol 35: Word and Sacrament, i (1960)

vol 36: Word and Sacrament, ii (1959)

vol 37: Word and Sacrament, iii (1961)

vol 38: Word and Sacrament, iv (1971)

vol 39: Church and Ministry, i (1970)

vol 40: Church and Ministry, ii (1958)

vol 41: Church and Ministry, iii (1966)

vol 42: Devotional Writings, i (1969)

vol 43: Devotional Writings, ii (1968)

vol 44: The Christian in Society, i (1966)

vol 45: The Christian in Society, ii (1962)

vol 46: The Christian in Society, iii (1967)

vol 47: The Christian in Society, iv (1971)

vol 48: Letters, i (1963)

vol 49: Letters, ii (1972)

vol 50: Letters, iii (1975)

vol 51: Sermons, i (1959)

vol 52: Sermons, ii (1974)

vol 53: Liturgy and Hymns (1965)

vol 54: Table Talk (1967)

vol 55: Index (1986)

The Logos collection also includes The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Tappert edition (1959).

As with any works on the Logos platform, the series has been transformed into an incredibly handy reference work. Searches are brisk and I can easy parachute into a forest of text and find what I’m looking for. One of my advisers/editors recently encouraged me to study Luther on the exercise of faith and the invisible promises of God. Luther was, as I expected, quite helpful on this theme. Here are a few excerpts I found in about five minutes of searching:

From vol. 3:

Faith alone lays hold of the promise, believes God when He gives the promise, stretches out its hand when God offers something, and accepts what He offers. This is the characteristic function of faith alone. Love, hope, and patience are concerned with other matters; they have other bounds, and they stay within these bounds. For they do not lay hold of the promise; they carry out the commands. They hear God commanding and giving orders, but they do not hear God giving a promise; this is what faith does. … Faith is the mother, so to speak, from whom that crop of virtues springs. If faith is not there first, you would look in vain for those virtues. If faith has not embraced the promises concerning Christ, no love and no other virtues will be there, even if for a time hypocrites were to paint what seem to be likenesses of them.

From vol. 5:

This is the constant course of the church at all times, namely, that promises are made and that then those who believe the promises are treated in such a way that they are compelled to wait for things that are invisible, to believe what they do not see, and to hope for what does not appear. … God does this in order to test our hearts, whether we are willing to do without the promised blessings for a time. We shall not do without them forever. This is certain. And if God did not test us and postpone His promises, we would not be able to love Him wholeheartedly. For if He immediately gave everything He promises, we would not believe but would immerse ourselves in the blessings that are at hand and forget God. Accordingly, He allows the church to be afflicted and to suffer want in order that it may learn that it must live not only by bread but also by the Word (cf. Matt. 4:4), and in order that faith, hope, and the expectation of God’s help may be increased in the godly.

From vol. 8:

…the flesh neglects God when He threatens and when He promises liberation. For because He delays and defers His help, He is despised. No one wants to become accustomed to the exercises of faith, but men want to live without faith and to enjoy the things that are at hand. They want the belly to be full. But they reject the sure promise. Even though this promise concerns invisible things, yet these things will surely come to pass.

My next step will be to return to these excerpts and study their context carefully.

To have Luther’s works in a searchable platform like Logos is a blessing. The electronic version of Luther’s works will ensure that the message of Luther’s faith will remain affordable; it will ensure that Luther’s voice will be clearly heard by the modern church; and it will help ensure that that Luther’s voice retains its appropriate prominence. For all his flaws, we need him yet.

PS: Here is a final word from Luther: “I make the friendly request of anyone who wishes to have my books at this time, not to let them, on any account, hinder him from studying the Scriptures themselves.”

e-Interlinear

The features of Logos Bible Software 4 for Mac continue to roll out. With the latest pre-release (Alpha 22.1) the ESV reverse interlinear text is now functional. Users can choose to display the following along with their ESV Bible text and cross-references:

• Manuscript (Hebrew/Greek)
• Manuscript transliteration
• Lemma
• Lemma transliteration
• Morphology
• Strongs number (hyperlinked)
• Louw-Nida number (hyperlinked)

Each feature can be turned on/off to the user’s liking.

The beauty of the electronic version is in its cleanliness. The tradition printed interlinears spread the English text out and make it difficult to read. This problem is handled well in Logos. See for yourself. Here’s John 3:16–17 with all the features engaged (click for larger image):

Beautiful.

Review of Spurgeon’s Works (Logos)

I doubt a living preacher quotes more often from the works of Charles Haddon Spurgeon than my boss. And that means I need to find ways to navigate Spurgeon’s massive works with ease and with speed (and even on the road). Logos Bible software makes my job a bit easier with two of their products:

Charles Spurgeon Collection, 86 volumes ($700) includes:
• The Treasury of David (6 vols)
• Lectures to My Students (4 vols)
• The Sword and the Trowel (the source of the letter I recently posted)
• Autobiography (4 vols)
• An All-Around Ministry
• Plus 70 other volumes

The Complete Spurgeon Sermon Collection, 63 volumes ($100) includes:
• The Park Street Pulpit Sermons (3 vols)
• The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons (3 vols)
• The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons (57 vols)

Added up the two Logos collections include 149 volumes (over 500 MB in text!), the total corpus of books and sermons by Spurgeon, and significantly cheaper than the printed volumes.

But best of all, the Logos version of Spurgeon’s works are very easy to navigate and specific references are very easy to find. Today I’ll highlight just a few examples of searches that illustrate the power of Spurgeon’s works in Logos. For this review I’ll narrow my attention to the 63 volumes of sermons that contain an estimated 25 million words! I’ll run a few searches. Let’s call it finding a needle in a 100-acre hay field.

Search 1: Sermon text

To find every sermon Spurgeon delivered on, say, Galatians 6:14, is very simple [string: <bible ~Gal 6:14>]. In seconds I find that Spurgeon preached five sermons on this text and that those sermons can be located in volumes 21, 24, 31, 49, and 61. I can pull these sermons up in a click. This is impressive. But what if I want to get more specific?

Search 2: Biblical reference and keyword

I can also search for phrases within those sermons. So for example, within the sermons on Galatians 6:14 I can locate every reference to “worldliness” [string: <bible ~Gal 6:14> AND worldliness]. Within seconds I find the lone reference from sermon #1447 in volume 24:

You can use the wealth of this world in the service of the Master. To gain is not wrong. It is only wrong when grasping becomes the main object of life, and grudging grows into covetousness which is idolatry. To every Christian that and every other form of worldliness ought to be crucified, so that we can say, “For me to live is not myself, but it is Christ; I live that I may honor and glorify him.”

Search 3: Keyword phrase near keyword

We can get even more specific. Let’s say I want to find every reference where Spurgeon uses the phrase “union with Christ” close to a reference to personal holiness [string: “union with Christ” NEAR holiness]. I find several references including this one from volume 37 of the sermons:

The outcome of our union with Christ must be holiness. “What concord hath Christ with Belial?” What union can he have with men that love sin? How can they that are of the world, who love the world, be said to be members of the Head who is in heaven, in the perfection of his glory? Brothers, we must, in the power of the text, and especially in the power of our union to Christ, seek to make daily advances in good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them; for walking means not only persevering but advancing.

Search 4: Keyword phrase near keyword phrase

Here’s another example. Let’s search Spurgeon’s sermons for every reference to Jonathan Edward’s sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” When does Spurgeon reference the sermon? Why does he reference the sermon?

A simple search [string: “Jonathan Edwards” WITHIN 30 WORDS “sinners in”] leads us to two references.

In volume 35 Spurgeon used it to encourage corporate prayer for the lost in London:

Might we not expect to see a great change in London, if the districts wherein we dwell were oftener on our hearts in prayer? You have heard of the great revival which followed Jonathan Edwards’ marvellous sermon upon “Sinners in the hand of an angry God.” That sermon was marvellous in its effects. The power of that sermon may be traced to this fact, that a number of Christian people had met together some days before, and prayed, that God would send a blessing with the minister who was to preach on that occasion.

Secondly, Spurgeon warned preachers not to emulate Edwards. This is from volume 55:

There is a temptation which assails all of us who preach to want to do some great thing. We fancy that, if we could preach such a famous sermon as Jonathan Edwards delivered when, he spoke of sinners in the hand of an angry God, when the people felt as though the very seats whereon they sat moved under them, and some of them even stood up, and grasped the pillars of the building in their terror—we fancy that, if we could but preach in such a style as that, then we should have lived to some purpose.

To find these two references within the 25 million words of sermon text—and to find them in under 2 seconds!—is a real testimony to the power and speed of Logos software.

Conclusion

I have owned print versions and PDF versions of Spurgeon’s works in the past but the potential for making use of Spurgeon’s works has accelerated greatly in Logos due to the wide variety of search options. The power to find a needle in a hay field is a true gift to the researcher.

If you can afford it, the Charles Spurgeon Collection (86 volumes) is a nice. If you can’t, stick to the over 3,500 sermons in the Complete Spurgeon Sermon Collection (63 volumes). In either case, enjoy feasting on the cross-centered legacy of the Prince of Preachers.

Review: Logos Bible Software 4

In the past decade electronic Bible software has advanced radically. From the day in 2002 when I first installed BibleWorks 5.0 on my PC, I’ve watched Bible software develop at an impressive rate.

For nearly a year I’ve been running Logos/Libronix software and about two weeks ago I made the upgrade to Logos 4 Platinum on my MacBook Pro (currently in Alpha stage development). As a researcher I need a software program that is quick, intuitive, flexible, and well stocked with top-quality resources. And the new Logos 4 delivers on all these fronts.

I have logged over 30 hours so far on Logos 4, and I see four benefits that make it stand out: (1) the stock of high quality resources, (2) the flexible guides and searches, (3) resource ranking and clustering, and (4) improved access to my print library. Let me unpack each of these four benefits.

Benefit 1: Stock of high quality resources

Logos is unique when it comes to the breadth of resources available. You can see the full list of resources that come with the Platinum software package here. For me, these are just a few of the most helpful resources:

English Bibles
• English Standard Version
• Holman Christian Standard Bible
• New International Version

Interlinear Bibles
• ESV English–Greek Reverse Interlinear of the New Testament
• ESV English–Hebrew Reverse Interlinear of the Old Testament

Bible Commentaries
• Pillar New Testament Commentary (10 Vols.)
• The New International Greek Testament Commentary (13 Vols.)
• Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (8 Vols.)
• Baker New Testament Commentary (12 Vols.)
• New American Commentary (37 Vols.)
• Bible Exposition Commentary (23 Vols.)
• Bible Knowledge Commentary
• Charles Simeon’s Horae Homileticae Commentary (21 Vols.)
• Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament (14 Vols.)
• Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament (10 Vols.)
• The United Bible Societies’ New Testament Handbook Series (20 Vols.)
• The United Bible Societies’ Old Testament Handbook Series (21 Vols.)

Bible Reference
• Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (4 Vols.)
• Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
• Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
• Encyclopedia of Christianity (Vols. 1–4)
• The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, rev. ed.
• Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Theology
• Studies in Dogmatics by Berkouwer (14 Vols.)
• God, Revelation and Authority by Carl F. H. Henry (6 Vols.)
• Great Doctrines of the Bible by Martyn Lloyd-Jones (3 Vols.)
• Oxford Movement Historical Theology Collection (10 Vols.)
• Systematic Theology by Charles Hodge
• Systematic Theology by Augustus Strong (3 Vols.)

Church History
• Early Church Fathers (37 Vols.)

Original Language Lexicons
• Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon
• Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (3 Vols.)
• A Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed.
• Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (10 Vols.)

And 25 ancient texts and morphology resources are built-in (including NA27, LSGNT, and BHS). The amount of works, and the quality of those works, in the Platinum edition of Logos 4 is very impressive. In regards to NT commentaries, Logos 4 Platinum is unrivaled.

The list of available resources grows daily, allowing users to tailor Logos 4 to their specific needs and interests. Logos offers books they’re considering digitizing on their pre-publication program to gauge user interest. It’s one of the many ways in which user preferences are pulled into development.

Benefit 2: Flexible guides and searches

The search power of Logos 4 is impressive due to the creative use of eight distinct guides and search formats. The user can choose a specific mechanism based upon what will work best in a particular search.

The guides arrange the library’s data into four categories:

1. Passage Guide (great for accessing commentaries)
2. Exegetical Guide (great for digging deeper into a single passage and original language work)
3. Bible Word Study Guide (great for digging into lexicons on a particular word)
4. Custom Guides (great for mixing features from 1–3)

The searches are similar to the guides, the difference being that they don’t organize data in groups. The search options include:

1. Basic Search (library-wide searching or searching of particular portions of your library)
2. Bible Search (searching one, or more, or all, of your Bibles)
3. Morph Search (searching for particular Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek words or morphological categories)
4. Syntax Search (searching for particular syntactical patterns in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Bibles)

The different guide and search mechanisms allow the Logos software to reconfigure based upon wide variety of user intent.

To illustrate I’ll show you how I access my collection of commentaries through the “passage guide” (click the following image for a larger view). I’ve typed “John 3:16” in the search bar and all the available commentaries are listed in the top left box (A). My favored commentaries will rank highest, a feature I’ll explain later. I’ve selected three commentaries which all open to the exact spot I need. They include the Baker Exegetical Commentary by Andreas Köstenberger (B), the New American Commentary by Gerald Borchert (C), and of course Don Carson’s commentary in the Pillar series (D). Notice on Carson’s commentary I have opened up the drop-down outline of the book, making it easy to see where I’m at in the overall book. For this photo-op I’ve opened two other handy utility windows, an ESV Bible (F) and a handy little information window that automatically looks up whatever my cursor hovers over (D). In this case my cursor was hovering over a reference to Ex 34:6–7. Click on the picture for a larger view:

And by using this 6-window format, and due to the well-designed tab system, I can comfortably keep 20–40 books open on my desktop at the same time.

So that was in the “passage guide” function. Studying and comparing commentaries could not be easier. In the “basic search” I was surprised at how easy it was to re-find particular paragraphs within my library. Imagine walking into a library, removing a book off the shelf and reading a paragraph, placing the book back on the shelf, leaving and returning to the library in a week and attempting to find that same paragraph again. How easy would it be to find that page? Nearly impossible. Yet I’ve been constantly surprised how easily I can search the entire library to re-find paragraphs (even footnotes!) that I only remotely remember seeing previously. The access to information and the speed at which that information is available is very impressive.

This leads me to the third benefit.

Benefit 3: Resource ranking and clustering

Hosting over 2,000 books on my MacBook Pro is really handy (1,200+ in Logos). But it can also become a befuddled mess. The sheer quantity of information returned in search results can be overwhelmingly unhelpful. Let’s face it, not all books are equally useful on every topic.

To counter this problem, Logos 4 allows users to rank Bibles, commentaries, reference materials—really all the books—based upon user preference. Users can assign a star rating from between 0–5 on each resource. And search queries can be restricted to certain star levels. And this factor is why certain commentaries ranked higher than others in the screenshot I showed you earlier.

Also, users can also create customized collections of texts through tags. For example, all of my resources authored by D.A. Carson are tagged “DAC.” In the search query I can very quickly select this tag and limit my results only to the books in this collection.

These two options—ranking and clustering—bring a great deal of speed and focus to custom, library-wide, searches.

Benefit 4: Improved access to my print library

Still about half of my total library is comprised of printed books lined on shelves and I don’t intend to get rid of these books any time soon. One of the surprising benefits of Logos 4 was the amount of footnotes and references I noticed in my electronic research that pointed me back into my print library. Because of this, and because of the amount of relatively new reference works in Logos 4, I benefit more from my print library than ever before. Like I said, this was a surprising fruit of Logos 4.

Conclusion

This review on Logos 4 Platinum could continue on for a few more pages but I’ll stop now. There are dozens of other little features and functions that make Logos 4 a breeze to use. DV, I will take a closer look at these features and functions when work on the Mac version of Logos 4 is completed in the fall.

The bottom line: Logos 4 has taken a big stride forward in making premium Bible scholarship accessible to students of the Bible. And in the hands of discerning readers and wise pastors it will bless the Church in a big way.

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