Today’s post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos training seminars.
Congratulations on securing Logos Bible Software 4! This is beyond a shadow of a doubt the world’s most powerful AND easy to use software. If you’re not already, you will soon be studying the Bible in ways you never thought possible.
Many of the features are obvious and self explanatory. For example, to launch a Bible study from the Home Page just enter a biblical reference in the passage box and click Go. In mere moments your computer screen transforms into a desk or kitchen table with numerous reports and resources open ready for your investigation!
To insure that you have an enjoyable and profitable experience with Logos Bible Software 4, we’ve prepared various means for you to get help when you need it.
First, click the question mark (?) icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen to access quick reference Help files. The search feature allows you to jump just to the article you need.
Also, in your software sleeve you’ll see a disk labeled PC Videos containing instructional videos prepared by my company, mp|seminars. You can watch and listen as you learn to execute numerous Logos features.
In addition, these same videos as well as numerous other tutorials are located at Logos.com.
For more in-depth training materials and seminars you can visit mpseminars.com for additional information.
With the launch of our most significant product ever—Logos Bible Software 4—there are bound to be some questions. As you can imagine, our phone lines are busier than ever with excited callers trying to either order the brand new collections, upgrade to the new packages, or get answers to some very common questions on this completely “new to everyone” product.
We’ve tried to answer some of the most common questions on our product pages, in our Technical FAQ, and in our General FAQ. As always, we are happy to try to answer any other questions you may have over the phone, but our lines are so busy right now (even with extended hours until 9:00 PM Pacific, additional staffing, and lots of overtime) that wait times are much longer than normal.
You might want to stop reading right now and close this web page—this is probably not for you.
Almost everyone choosing to continue reading this post after such a stern warning, still won’t be in the market for this collection. It is so massive and out of reach for the average consumer that we almost didn’t tell people about it at all. Think of it like the super-secret Centurion Card. Only a handful of people will ever own this package—and that’s okay—it is not for everyone.
We realize we are taking a big risk even telling people about this package at all. It is sure to be misunderstood and criticized for stereotypical American extravagance, excess, greed, pride, or .
The reason we are taking the risk to even discuss it, is because we tried to hide it from the beginning and when people heard about it later, they complained that we never let them know to begin with. As you will see in the following description, the Portfolio Edition is the best way to get the largest library of quality content at the lowest possible price. You’ll read more later, but to give you a preview, it contains over $31,000.00 worth of print titles (more than 1,550 resources) all for pennies on the dollar. Don’t let the price-tag fool you—it is actually the most economical way to build the largest library we have ever offered.
Base packages always offer the best chance to get the most content at the lowest price, and bigger base packages are better deals. Since the biggest base package is always the best deal, some customers just want the biggest and best. It affords them the chance to save the most on their books and resources.
Until recently, our largest base package had always been Scholar’s Library: Gold. It’s a great deal, packed with hundreds of Bibles, commentaries, reference material, and lots of other resources. But with the release of Logos Bible Software 4, the time was right to introduce a bigger base package—much bigger.
Portfolio is by far the largest library we’ve ever offered. It represents a major milestone in the publication of biblical and theological reference books, with more than 1,550 resources. Here are some highlights:
450+ Volumes of Bible Commentaries. The Pillar New Testament Commentary, the New International Greek Testament Commentary, the New American Commentary, the Baker New Testament Commentary, the UBS Handbook Series, the JPS Tanakh Commentaries, Keil & Delitzsch, Charles Simeon’s Horae Homileticae, the Holman New Testament Commentary, and several more sets are included in Portfolio.
Greek and Hebrew Helps.100+ volumes of grammars, lexicons, and more for Greek and Hebrew study. You’ll also find dozens of original language texts, including the major Greek and Hebrew texts.
Preaching and Ministry. Portfolio comes with over 100 resources on preaching, teaching, and ministry, including 10,000+ sermon illustrations, quotations, and other helps. It also includes an 80-volume ministry resource library, with resources on everything from youth ministry to small groups.
Theological Study. Nearly 300 resources from the church’s most influential theologians, such as Wolfhart Pannenberg, Lewis Sperry Chafer, A. W. Pink, Carl F. H. Henry, Charles Hodge, John Piper, R. A. Torrey, and dozens more. You’ll also find volumes on topics such as baptism, creation, election, ecclesiology, sin, and more.
To put this in perspective, if you were building a print library this big, you would need to buy a book every week for the next 29 years, and you would spend more than $31,000 for the print editions (not adjusted for inflation). To store all your books, you would need over 160 feet of new shelf space—that’s a dozen new bookcases. With print, however, you wouldn’t have any of the high speed search functionality, Passage Guides and Exegetical Guides, media resources, Word Studies, customization, or any of the other new features in Logos Bible Software 4.
The price of Portfolio is similar to what you would pay for only a few of the print commentary sets, except with Portfolio, you’ll get the commentaries you want, plus over a thousand additional books, all for the same price. Better yet, spread out the cost over the next year with a payment plan. You can apply your monthly book budget to each payment to begin using your entire library right away.
We want to make sure it is crystal clear once more—this is probably not for you.If you are happy with your existing library and never plan on buying a book again, just move along, there’s nothing to see here. However, if you are like a lot of book lovers, and you realize that you are already spending your book budget, your travel budget, your kids education fund, your entertainment budget, and your milk money on more and more books—and have already spent thousands of dollars on books in the past few years—you would be crazy not to get this.
Take this “kitchen sink” now to end your book purchasing habit once and for all, then start saving your money, give your money away, be more hospitable, care for the poor, bless your church, family and friends, take your wife/husband/kids on a trip, buy Logos for someone that can’t afford it at all… “Love God, and do as you please.”
If you already have a Logos base package, we have some limited time introductory offers available for upgrades to the Portfolio Edition. Visit our custom upgrade discount calculator to see what discounts you qualify for.
Not ready for the Portfolio Edition, but looking for something smaller?
New customers should visit http://www.logos.com/4 to learn more and see what discounts are currently available on all of our base packages.
Visit our custom upgrade discount calculator to see what discounts you qualify for on an upgrade to the brand new Logos 4 base packages.
Prior to Logos 4 launching, I had the opportunity to sit in a number of meetings where Bob would show us many of the new features and functionality being built into the program. I remember in those meetings hearing people in the room say “wow” over and over again as Bob described all that Logos 4 would do.
One “wow, that’s cool!” moment for me was when I first saw the power of the collections tool. Specifically, I was blown away by the ability to enter some simple rules and that Logos 4 would automatically include any new resources I add to my library that meet the criteria. In fact, I think one of the first things I did when I finally got a pre-release version of Logos 4 was to set up a collection that included my favorite authors. Now, not only is it quick and easy for me to search through all my resources written by my favorite authors, but whenever I add a new title (like the upcoming Calvin 500 collection) these resources are automatically added to my collection. I don’t have to do anything!
To see the power of dynamic, rule-based collections in action, watch this video:
To have a grasp on the biblical languages once required years of study. For those who wanted to dabble in understanding some Greek and Hebrew works they might add a Vine’s Expository Dictionary or many of the other print helps available to give one a rudimentary understanding of key Greek and Hebrew words.
Maybe you have studied Greek and Hebrew in seminary but your skills are just not what they used to be. With the Exegetical Guide in Logos 4, your passage of Scripture is analyzed for you, word by word, in its original language, and definitions are displayed from dictionaries. You can also get insight from leading grammarians, see where biblical manuscripts differ, and observe the structure of the text.
The Bible Word Study gathers extensive information on any word in the Bible, whether Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic, and shows you how the word is translated and how it functions. It also shows you where else it is used in ancient literature.
Reverse interlinears are built right into many of Logos 4′s English Bibles which allows you to see the Greek or Hebrew behind your text. Simply highlight a portion of text in one interlinear, and Logos 4 will highlight the corresponding text in other open Bibles. You can see immediately how the Greek and Hebrew was translated in other translations.
Logos Bible Software 4 is not just powerful for language studies. Search your resources with its lightning fast search engine which can scan your whole library in a second. Print brand new, high-resolution infographics that are PowerPoint ready to illustrate some of your major points in sermons, essays or Bible studies. This can all be done in an interface that is completely intuitive and adaptable to your study needs.
If you haven’t upgraded to Logos 4 yet, what are you waiting for? Now is the time to streamline your study and work smarter, not harder.
The 3.0 version of Logos Bible Software has been out in the marketplace for several years, and it works pretty well. Still, it was built on an underlying technology that was better suited to 1999 than 2009, and has been starting to show its age. That, and I’ve always thought it could use a little more design.
So, four years ago, we embarked on a ground-up rewrite of the software and a ground-up redesign of the user interface. Yes, we re-used some of the code that shows a book on screen, some of the searching internals, and so on. But the user interface, the part that users see and interact with, is completely new.
My role in the Logos 4 rewrite was “designer”, which means I spent a lot of time making pages like this:
Some typical pages from the Logos 4 specification.
There are upwards of 1,000 (?) such pages.
I like to think of it this way:
If a software project is like a construction site, then I’m like the architect. I drew the plans. I didn’t build anything, and the core ideas weren’t mine. Still, I made a thousand tiny decisions every day, pondering such imponderables as: Link or button or link button? What happens when you click it? Where best to put it?
Bob (the President of Logos) was like the owner/client. It’s really his baby. He has ideas, lots of them. Sometimes he scribbles them on my whiteboard. My job as designer is to translate his ideas, along with customer feedback, marketing input, and a thousand other streams of information and opinion into workable designs.
The lead developers are like engineers. If an architect says, “We’re going to build a 10,000 square foot room with no support columns” the engineer is there to tell him that it can’t be done. Or that it can, but not with the budget we’ve been allocated. When it comes right down to it, the designs are just suggestions of what could be; once you get out to the job site and start sinking knee deep in the mud, your pretty blueprints may not count for much.
The other devs are like the tradesmen and craftsmen who actually do the work. Like carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and painters, they are all highly skilled at making wonderful things. The Logos team is the best. I’m sure Google and Microsoft have great teams, but the Logos dev team is a highly motivated, highly intelligent, highly worthy group of men and women.
In the process, I tried to adhere to three design principles that I shamelessly stole from the Shakers:
(1) Is it necessary? This is all about prioritizing the design goals, and not getting carried away with the client’s/user’s/marketeer’s exuberance. You try not to build the bad ideas, but given that you’ve only got so much time and effort, sometimes you can’t even build all the great ones, either. So the first question boils down to: Can we ship without this? We were relentlessly minimal about the design of Logos 4; it’s fully featured, but nothing on screen is wasted. At every turn, we asked ourselves: What’s the simplest thing that could possibly work? One of the mottos we used was: “What you need, when you need it.”
(2) Does it suit its purpose? This is really the hard one, because you have to know what goals a given feature is trying to accomplish, and then you have to figure out how to measure whether or not they were, in fact, accomplished. You can fail at either end: Identifying the right goals won’t help much if you build something that doesn’t accomplish them. Testing a product to death won’t help much if you’ve identified the wrong goals. “Yes, it does the wrong thing entirely, but it does it really well!“
(3) Can it be beautiful? I don’t do final art, and I don’t make pixel-perfect specifications, but I do try to make sure my mockup screens and specification documents look as good as possible. Why? Because I find it’s not that much harder for me to do, and it gives everyone, from client to developer to art designer a better vision of what we’re trying to accomplish.
If those three goals can be achieved, then you’ve hit that sweet spot we designers like to call “elegance.” With Logos 4, I think we did. (I may be biased, of course.)>
The design work doesn’t stop there: Parallel to Logos 4, we designed an iPhone app for Logos library resources, and we’re working on several other projects that I can’t tell you about. Yet.
The new Logos Bible Software iPhone app has totally revolutionized “Bible study on the go.” There have already been more than 10,000 downloads within the first few days of release—all from a simple Twitter announcement that it was available. Seconds later, a flood of “re-tweets” and social networking word-of-mouth lit up the Internet, and that’s just the beginning. So what is this incredible app that has taken off like a rocket? A whole new way to access Bible study on the go.
When you register your account with Logos.com you will be able to access any free books from publishers that want to showcase new titles, or random books that we offer from time to time on free preview. You never know what might show up in your Logos Bible Software iPhone library some day. Imagine picking up your iPhone and seeing the hottest new title available in your library for free preview! One book per month, week, day? Who knows!
…but wait, there’s more!
Add any Logos 4 base package and watch your resources grow as much of your library is synced with your iPhone or iPod Touch; the resources are available and your favorites, bookmarks and settings are transferred from one platform to another. Walk away from your desktop or laptop and your location is saved in the books you are using so that you can pick up where you left off on your iPhone.
The Logos iPhone app is so much more than a simple Bible reader. Mobile Bible study is transformed with multiple versions of the Bible that can be read, searched, cross referenced and compared. You can set-up reading plans that are synced from your desktop or laptop so your Bible reading is always on schedule. In addition, finding a passage is as easy as typing in the reference, using the book navigator, or dragging the scrollbar to the right location.
This application was created with the desire to bring the functionality of Logos Bible Software 4 to your iPhone. In particular, the ability to dig deeper into Scripture with the Passage Guide. Enter a verse and click “Go” to receive a report linking directly to commentaries referencing your verse. The Passage Guide also provides cross references, media resources, topics, and interesting words—all linked to resources in your library.
Do an in-depth Bible Word Study from anywhere by a simple “tap and hold” on any word, in a Bible with a reverse interlinear, and a pop-up will display the English word along with all the original language information. From this pop-up, click Bible Word Study to see the definition, pronunciation, translations, and example uses of the various translations.
Right about now you should be getting the idea that you need this app, you need it now, and you need to register it right away. There is simply no other Bible app that is this intuitive, intelligent and easy to use.
If for no other reason than to fully integrate your Bible study with your iPhone, you need to get a Logos 4 base package today. If you are a new user, check out the detailed information we have just posted about the most advanced Bible software in the world at our Logos 4 mini-site and if you are an existing Logos customer check out the limited time upgrade discounts available for you today.
* The list of e-books that can be read through Logos Bible Software is changing constantly as we secure rights and convert resources. Not all Bibles are linked word-for-word to the Greek and Hebrew yet.
Thomas, married father of four, is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute with a BA in Pastoral Ministry. He has pastored Fame Evangelical Church in Moweaqua, IL for eleven years. For the last five years Pastor Black has travelled to Haiti to teach a two week seminary module on Spiritual Warfare at the Emmaus Biblical Seminary (carrying his Logos Bible Software with him.)
We touched base this morning via Windows Messenger about his experience.
Logos: When did you start using Logos Bible Software?
Thomas Black: I picked up my first copy of Logos 2 just after starting ministry. It came with just a few resources—I don’t recall the level. I don’t recall being wowed by the interface but I used it a bit.
Logos: Were you with us for the switch to 3.0?
Thomas Black: Around that time I went into the local bookstore to pick up some Sunday school materials, and the bookshelf had one book which included a copy of Libronix on it. That’s when I first heard there was a version 3. I couldn’t resist it. I picked it up, and ran home. I’m a bit of a computer geek and couldn’t resist a new bit of software. It was the newness that caught me—rather than the resource itself. Once I installed it, I thought, “This is what Bible software should be like!” I snapped up a few more resources after that and it wasn’t long before I bought the Scholar’s Library package and then moved up to Scholar’s Library: Silver, then to Gold.
Logos: Was it difficult to keep Logos 4 a secret during the beta testing?
Thomas Black: Keeping Logos 4 a secret almost killed me. I host a blog and occasionally someone would ask me and I just had to keep quiet. Several times I or one of the other beta testers would accidentally post something in the wrong forum—thanks to sharp eyes we managed against the odds to keep the secret.
Logos: What were your initial feelings about Logos 4 as you began to interact with it?
Thomas Black: At first, I was one of the detractors to the interface. I hated the home page. That’s not an overstatement. After a few days, and listening to responses from Bob, I started settling in. I saw the logic of introducing all kinds of new information to us. It was like the “book of the day” section on the Libronix 3 home page had grown to many books of the day, and I saw that as a good thing. I started to understand that the newspaper-like layout was meant to pull me in to areas I might not look at otherwise—and it worked. I’ve rediscovered many resources I forgot I had.
Logos: Did you find that Logos was responsive during the beta-testing?
Thomas Black: I thought the whole crew at Logos was amazing. I was really impressed with the attitudes of Bob, and all the programmers and others as they kept responding not only to bug reports but sometimes to some pretty strong criticism. Occasionally plans were changed midstream in response. The whole experience was quite positive. I know that you were all listening to us as beta-testers. We didn’t always get our way but we all knew that our voices were heard.
Logos: How did the Logos 4 experience change as updates started to come?
Thomas Black: There are two answers to that one: first, it was partially frustrating especially as multi-gigabyte updates came down the pipe. Those were tough. Second, the experience continually improved. Every update of the program was better, smoother, faster and always there was an impressive batch of bug fixes. My hat is off to the programmers at Logos. They were working long hard hours at a feverish pace for two months. The evidence of their labor is on my desktop right now waiting for me to continue my studies.
Logos: Did you feel that camaraderie was created with you and the other beta-testers through the experience?
Thomas Black: I had a blast with those guys! Several of us already knew of each other from the former newsgroups, but I really felt like during the beta, due to our frequent interactions, that our relationships grew quite a bit. There was quite a bit of good natured ribbing going on, and despite that, no one, that I can recall, got their feelings hurt. They were a great group of people to work with.
Logos: If you were showing Logos 4 to someone unfamiliar with using Bible software for study and devotion what items would you highlight for them and why?
Thomas Black: Great question . . . first, I’d begin with pointing out the obvious things. Enter your passage and click go still applies. It’s simple and yet quite powerful due to the built-in (and customizable) Passage Guide. After that, I’d work them through the library, just learning how to find out what you have in there is powerful. If they don’t learn how to use the library, they’re not going to get everything out of the software. Beyond that, I think the software can take even the novice where they want to go almost naturally.
Logos: Thanks so much for giving me some of your time this morning and I appreciate your candor.
Thomas Black: You’re welcome. Thanks to you and the whole Logos crew. This has been a great experience.
We are merely hours into the release of Logos Bible Software 4, and while many of you have already waited for your massive libraries to index, you may have caught yourself thinking, “I thought Logos 4 was supposed to be fast. What happened to ‘What You Need, When You Need It’?”
Logos 4 takes searching to a whole new realm with faster, smarter searching. And unlike most search engines, Logos 4 provides matches for synonyms! For those missing the significance of this, if you are searching for articles on communion, no search engine is going to bring results back for synonyms like the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist. Nor will the other search engines ask you if you wanted a closely related topic like fellowship. This is the difference with Logos 4. We have gone through hundreds of topics and manually connected them to relative terms.
In order to do such searches, however, every word and every term in the thousands of books available for Logos needs to be indexed during installation. This allows Logos 4 to search a library of 10–10,000 books and return thousands of results in under one second—less time than it takes to pull one print book off your shelf! Nearly 63,000 hits for communion in 35,951 articles in less than 1 second means more time studying and less time searching.
It’s true, this functionality takes a significant amount of time to install—an investment of your time in the beginning—but what you get in return later on is a fulfillment to what we promised from the start, "What You Need, When You Need It." Indexing your entire library allows the time consuming hindrances to be removed so you can get right to the task of serious Bible study.
Indexing. Think of it as if you were waiting for UPS to deliver your Amazon order. A little patience and investment of time up front—during installation—means that later on, whether you’re preparing for next Sunday’s sermon, working on your dissertation, or having your daily devotional time, Logos 4 will deliver thousands of relevant results —fast!
Upgrading your base package gives you all the benefits of Logos 4—a revolutionary tool for Bible study. Logos 4 has a brand new Home Page to get you started, powerful (and fast!) new search tools, an intuitive and easy-to-use design, plus lots of other new features.
When you upgrade, you get a tremendous amount of new content for minimal cost. You could potentially get hundreds of books for up to 95% off. We’ve added lots of new content to every base package—new Bible translations, reverse interlinears, commentary sets, reference material, preaching and ministry resources, and a whole lot more. Depending on your situation, you could easily double or triple your current library at minimal cost to you. Take a look at the comparison chart on logos.com/upgrade to see the sheer number of new books we’ve added to our collections.
With an upgrade to Logos 4, you can take advantage of today’s most advanced tools designed specifically with Logos Bible Software 4 in mind. Visualize the Bible with new people, places, and things databases. Zoom into the Holy Land with interactive, topographical maps linked with coordinates to Google Maps. Get an additional perspective on the place you’re exploring with thousands of images and photographs—all viewable with the new media resource functionality of Logos 4. You can also interact with the stories of Scripture with high resolution Infographics commissioned specifically for the release of Logos 4. Logos 4 also comes with new one-of-a-kind databases, stunning graphics, and a whole lot more.
You have nothing to lose. Literally. You will retain all of your current resources when you upgrade. When you buy an electronic book from Logos, you will never lose your book. And we’ll never make you buy the same book twice. That means if you’ve recently purchased new books, and now decided to upgrade, you won’t lose the resources you’ve purchased. You’ll simply add a significant amount of new content at a fraction of the cost. You keep everything you’ve purchased in the past—and you’ll gain dozens, hundreds, or maybe over a thousand new books at a significant discount, depending on your situation.
For the initial release period, we’re offering discounts on all upgrades. Visit the custom upgrade discount calculator to see what discounts you qualify for on an upgrade to a new Logos 4 base package. If you’ve been thinking of expanding your library, the release of Logos 4 presents you with the perfect opportunity. Upgrade today!