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An author speaks out

Sometimes we take for granted the goodness of electronic publishing. But some people still wonder why an author or a publisher would choose to put out an electronic edition of their work.

Dr. Robert Lowery, seminary professor, dean, and author of Revelation’s Rhapsody, was recently asked why he chose to publish his first book both electronically (with Logos)and in print (with College Press).

Dr. Lowery shared his answer to this question on his blog…which he has generously allowedus to reprint as a case study on Logos.com.

My favorite quotes:

Simply put, Logos is the world’s biggest developer of Bible software, and if I believe that my book will behelpful to people, I want to reach as many as possible.

And:

How many of the readers of my book will actually look up all of the Scripture references? If they choose not to do so, my book will not be as helpful as I desire. How many will actually turn to the back of the book and read the footnotes, notes that I believe are as helpful as the text itself?! In the electronic edition, notes and Scripture referencesare quickly available, just a mouse hover away.

I find it interesting to read an author’s perspective on electronic publishing and see how his priorities align with ours: get the book into the most hands possible and help readers get more out of the book.

But it only makes sense: labor-intensive details such as footnotes and Scripture references represent hours of wastedeffort…unless readers actually use them! And making these features easy to use is one of the great strengths of Logos Bible Software.

Read more from Dr. Lowery...

Winner Announced in the Logos-SBL Technology Paper Awards

The winner of the Logos-SBL syntax paper awardwas announced in Vienna at the Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting this week. Here’sthe announcement as posted at the SBL Forum:

In September 2006, Logos Bible Software and the Society of Biblical Literature announced the establishment of a Technology Paper Awards program. The goal of the initiative is to foster creative biblical scholarship in the use of technology and to expand our understanding of the grammar and syntax of the biblical Hebrew and Greek texts.

A total of twelve awards were made possible, with the first-place awards consisting of $1,000 cash, a $1,000 Logos software credit, and a $200 SBL book credit.

Fifteen papers were received. After review of the papers by a three-member panel of SBL scholars, it was determined that a first-place student award would be given. In addition, all who submitted papers will be given a $500 Logos software credit and a $100 SBL book credit.

The criteria used to evaluate the papers were: (1) utilization of the relevant databases; (2) originality in framing a significant question for investigation; (3) creativity in using technology to address the question posed; (4) clarity of expression in presenting the study’s process and results; and (5) significance of the process and results for biblical scholarship.

The winning paper was written by Andrew David Naselli, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Theological Studies with a concentration in New Testament Exegesis and Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. The paper was entitled “A Test Case for Aktionsart VS Verbal Aspect Theory in New Testament Greek: Aorist and Imperfect Indicative Verbs Joined by Kai and Sharing the Same Subject.” Congratulations to Andrew for his fine work. Logos and the SBL wish him success in his ongoing studies. Thanks to all who took the time to submit their work.

The awards will be continued in 2008 so look for the announcement!

Lange’s Lost Volume

I love a good story, and this one illustrates a couple of qualitiesLogos strives for and that we have touched on in previous posts: obsessive attention to detail and listening to customers.

A couple of weeks ago, Logos user Jerry Peterson wrote to suggest@logos.com to let us know about an oversight in our description of Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures (24 volumes)on the prepub page:

Dear Logos,I was elated to see that the Lange’s Commentary set has moved into the developing stage. I am one of the pre-publication purchasers of Lange’s 24-volume commentary. As I was reviewing the list of books today, I realized that the commentary on the Apocrypha is not included with this sale. I have the printed set. It contains 25 volumes with the Apocrypha as Volume XV of the Old Testament.

In the Preface, Philip Schaff wrote, “It has been deemed timely to issue, as a supplementary volume to Lange’s Bible-work (which is confined to the canonical books), a revised version of the Apocrypha, with critical and historical introductions and explanations. Homiletical hints would, of course, be superfluous for Protestant ministers and students.” The Preface was written on June 14, 1880.

Although I am a Lutheran pastor, I have appreciated having this additional commentary with my set. Please give serious consideration to adding this book to Lange’s Commentaries.

Thank you for the consideration.Jerry Peterson

Now this was news to us. A 25th volume…how could we have missed it? Clearly it was not arecent addition to the set, since it was published in 1880! This question hit particularly close to home since I wrote most of the original marketing copy for the product back when it was offered via Community Pricing.

It turns out that the publishers who reprint Lange’s commentary today have dropped the volume on the Apocrypha. I can only guess the reasons, but I suppose it was considered of little use to a largely Protestant readership and would have expanded the series beyond the tidy dozen double volumes used to contain the whole.

Once Lange’s “Lost Volume” surfaced, we had to decide what to do about it. The cost to order a copy of this rarebook and digitize the additional 680 pages was not part of our initial cost estimate.

Fortunately, the decision was not too difficult. It would be lame to publish an incomplete set, if we could possibly do the whole thing. We found a first edition copy, printed in 1880, which I’m now holding in my hands and which will soon join its 24 brethren to betyped and tagged.

The price of the collection will not be changed by the addition of this volume but we’ll feel better knowing it’s complete…and trust that you will appreciate the additional material. I know Pastor Peterson will!

Dear Daniel,

A big THANK YOU for including the 25th volume! I SO appreciate the work that Logos is doing. I NEVER expected to have a library to this extent! And I have literally run out of book space in my regular library. (And then, needless to say, the ability to have so much research at your finger tips is wonderful!)

Yes, please feel free to use my email… Glad to be of help.

Pr Jerry Peterson

Logos and Latin-American Missions

Today’s guest blogger is Rob Haskell, who works in the Spanish department at Logos.

It’s been fun to find out through my work with Logos that missions is a growing theme in Latin-American Christianity. This is so much so that we have been able to create a collection of 40 books on missions from a Hispanic perspective called Biblioteca Digital de la Misión (Digital Library for the Mission).

According to COMIBAM, an umbrella organization for missions from Latin America, there are almost 10,000 Latin missionaries around the globe – many of them in the US! Andthat figure does not take into account the number of “non-professional” missionaries who emigrate every day from Latin-American countries to all parts of the globe, taking with them the good news about Jesus.

Last month an elderly woman approached our booth ata pastor’s conference in Monterrey, Mexico. She was dark skinned and dressed in a sari so my initial thought was that she was East Indian. As it turned out she was a Mexican woman who was headed to India as a missionary in a month. She was outgoing, energetic and particularly excited because the Lord had just given her a laptop. Of course, the Logos booth was her next stop. Another person had also given her a crisp $100.00 billand after applying all possible discounts she was off with her very own Biblioteca Pastoral – our largest collection of books in Spanish. Now she can take a theological library of 144 books in her own language to the ends of the earth.

This committed missionary woman from Monterrey is probably the most striking image I have of the growing Latin-American passion for world missions, but there are many other amazing stories and surprising statistics which all point to a growing movement. It will be interesting to watch it develop and see how Logos can continue to play a role in the Lord’s work around the globe.

On the Links with Logos

Here’s a quick round-up of some Logos-related posts from the blogosphere…

Logos user and seminarianPatrick McCullough is Looking for more Anabaptists on Libronix Software.

He writes, “If you’re a fan and owner of Logos Bible Software (aka Libronix Digital Library), and I am, there’s a good chance that your particular theological tradition is represented in their available collections of historical works.”

Patrick includes a great list of links to theological titles from the Lutheran tradition already available for Logos, then goes on to offer a big list of Anabaptist titles and author she’d like to see in his digital library. As I’ve mentioned before, we’re always eager to receive customer suggestions so keep them coming!


New Logos user Heavy Dluxe tells the story of his 11-month search for the right Bible software and how he chose Logos Bible Software. It looks like he’ll be writing a series of posts that would be helpful to anyone doing their pre-purchase homework.


One of the fun things about the world of blogs is getting to “eavesdrop” on conversations people are having with their family and friends (and random readers who drop by).

One blogger recently described her first experience using Logos at a relative’s house and wrote, “Seriously, even if I couldn’t get excited about Bible research, I could still get quite giddy with the thought of using a program where I just have to click a link and I can see every commentary in the digital library on any specific topic or passage I require.”

Could this be our new tagline?

Logos Bible Software: Making Bible students giddy since 1991.

Another blogger who is a self-described Bible study geek says she cried (tears of mourning, not joy) when Libronix DLS replaced the old Logos Library System back in 2001. But Logos 3, released in May 2006, has made her a happy Bible study geek again.

We always appreciate comments and links; we’ve said it before and will say it again: our customers are the best and we’re privileged to serve you.

Converting the Pastor

I received the following story from Rob Suggs, a reviewer and enthusiastic user of Logos. I share it with Rob’s permissionbecause of how well itillustrates the “aha” momentwe love to provide for new users.

If you want an easy way to help your friends and family discover Logos Bible Software, check out the Refer a Friend program. –Daniel Foster

I’m attending a Saturday morning meeting of Bible study leaders. Since the topic is biblical interpretation, I’m planning on taking my laptop and doing a Libronix System X demonstration. I had lunch today with my pastor and told him my plans, asking, “By the way, are you a Logos user? What do you use to prepare a sermon?”

He gave me rather a blank look and said, “[Major Bible study site]on the Web.”

I said, “No kidding. How is that working out for you.”

He looked a little embarrassed and said, “Well, I click the passage, then wait for it to load. Then, if I want to compare another translation, it takes about six more clicks and waits to get to that screen . . .”

I said, “No kidding.” This pastor is not a remnant of the old days—he’s younger than I am.

I began to tell him about Logos. He asked, “Is it a Web site?”

I said, “No, it’s right on my hard drive.”

“Wow!” I’m seriously trying not to laugh here. This is my pastor.

I spent about ten minutes describing the things that take place within ten or fifteen seconds on my Libronix desktop; the quick reports and passage studies; the quick links to original language research. I happened to know that he studied at Trinity and his mentor was D. A. Carson. “Logos has a whole disk of D. A. Carson resources,” I said casually. “Most of his major writings, all of them searchable and fully integrating with the rest of your 25 or 30 Bible translations, commentaries, dictionaries, and other resources.”

By this time there was a serious line of drool extending from the lip of his mouth almost to the surface of the table. Other diners were beginning to stare at us.

As we left, he said, “Bring your computer. Show it all to me. I’ll bring my credit card.”

Cool Post from a Logos User

A Logos user living in Siberia recently posted his solution to an interesting problem: how to locate discussions of a doctrinal concept (“Preservation of Scripture”) in his electronic library when that concept goes by many different names.

His solution was to create a search using the free Graphical Query Editor Addin which has been included in Logos base products since 2003. (If you don’t have the Addin installed, open Libronix DLS, click Tools | Libronix Update, and select it from the list.)

His query includes a word list so that the search picks up variations on the name of the doctrine, such as “preservation of the text,” “divine preservation,” etc. This is a great example of how versatile the Graphical Query tool is…it’s not just for biblical language searching!

I encourage you to check out the user’s post. If you want to run his search against your own books, it’s pretty easy to re-create from looking at his screenshot.

Or you can right-click on this link, choose to “Save Target As…”, save the file to “My Documents\Libronix DLS\GraphicalQueries,” then open and run it from within Libronix.

(Have I mentioned before that a cool benefit of the Libronix architecture is that most user-created files can be exchanged with other users via email attachments, just like any other computer file?)

I ran the search against my collection of journals and got dozens of excellent and relevant hits in 22 different articles.

We’re always on the lookout for posts like this from Logos users. Let the world know about the interesting things you’re doing with Logos Bible Software and we might blog you next!

Further reading:
Graphical Query Editor Tutorial

The Logos User Wiki

Chances are you have seen or heard about Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. The idea behind the Wikipedia is to allow creation and editing of articles by just about anyone. The underlying technology is something called a wiki, which is a simplified content management system that allows anyone to provide or edit articles.

For awhile now, Logos has hosted a wiki for its users. Ours is a bit more simplified than the Wikipedia, but it does the trick. The Logos User Wiki is a place you can go to for tips and even some detailed processes on reinstalling the software, compose feature ideas that others can contribute to or flesh out, or just browse around for ideas on different ways to use Logos Bible Software.

Check it out, and feel free to add articles or tips that you think might help the Logos Bible Software user community! We even have a newsgroup dedicated to questions about the wiki. So give it a shot!

UPDATE: The Logos Wiki has moved to a new location as of 11/12/09.

Preaching Through the Bible in a Year

Sometimes you hear a story that just sticks in your mind. Like the one about the pastor who preached through the entire Bible in a year, with his congregation reading along at a rate of 20+ chapters per week.

If you haven’t already heard this yarn, check it out. With National Bible Week coming up later this month, it’s a good time to think about what would happen if more churches followed this pastor’s lead. And without spoiling the story, I should mention that Logos Bible Software plays a central role in assisting Pastor Bolender with his massive undertaking.

Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite…the full story is in the Leadership Journal archive.

In 2002, our church began an ambitious project: If the congregation would take up daily Bible reading again, I would teach scriptural surveys that covered the passages they were reading. By year’s end, the congregation had read Genesis to Revelation, and I had taught 250 messages on all 66 books. I had to preach five times a week to keep up with the church (they were devouring 20-30 chapters a week), but a simple plan and some well-organized software enabled us to do it.

See also:

Later Learners

I have the utmost respect for anyone who takes on the challenge of learning to use a computer at an advanced age. I am of the sandwich generation (Gen X); growing up in rural Michigan, most of my peers did not have a computer at home and so were not exposed to computers until high school. When we got to high school, the “computer lab” still had a mix of typewriters and 286 IBM clones.

My family, however, owned a Commodore 64/128 (we later upgraded to an Amiga 500). The C64 was a great platform for games, but I can remember doing some word processing on it as well, using GEOS. Happily, I avoided ever having to type a paper of any significant length on a typewriter.

Having a computer at home meant that I was exposed to the technology sooner than most of my friends and so learned to use it without much effort. Just having the time to “play around with” computers meant that I could build confidence and mess around with stuff without worrying that I would break anything. That’s a skill I use to this day, “What does this do? Click it and find out!”
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