Does Logos Really Save You Time?

It depends on the meaning of “save.”

Time is very important to us in our busy world. Most of us feel like we never have enough of it. There are so many good and important things vying for our time. That’s why we in the marketing department like to stress how much time Logos can save you. Pastors can greatly reduce the amount of time they spend preparing sermons by not having to (1) pull print books off shelves, (2) look up references in hard-to-read indexes, (3) turn pages by hand, and (4) type out things they want to quote. By running the Passage Guide and the Exegetical Guide, they have instant access to a wealth of information at the click of a mouse.

But I wonder how it really works in the real world. Do pastors who used to spend 15 hours a week doing sermon prep with paper books now spend only 7 or 8 hours with Logos? Do they “save” time in the sense of spending less than they used to?

I was talking with a pastor recently who just got Scholar’s Library: Gold, our biggest collection of resources. After he finished installing it and started exploring all the features and books, his wife began to wonder what to think of his new toy—I mean, tool. Would she now have even less time to spend with her husband? I tried to reassure her that Logos would in theory give her husband more time to spend with her, not less.

The pastor replied to me later in an email—half joking, I think—that instead of taking half the time, his sermons might actually take him twice as long to prepare, considering how much fun he was having digging into such a huge library of resources!

While it’s true that Logos greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to perform certain Bible study tasks, it’s possible that you may find yourself, like this pastor, enjoying your sermon prep so much that instead of spending less time, you’re actually spending as much time or more—and turning out a better product. Now, to be sure, Logos is still helping you “save” time, even if you do end up spending more of it than you used it. How so? With Logos you can be far more productive. Your time is better spent because less of it is wasted. And less wasted time means more time saved.

Whether you’re spending more or less time than you used to spend, the biggest benefit of Logos is how it dramatically improves your efficiency and quality of study. So in either sense, Logos does really save you time by enabling you to get more done—in whatever length of time you choose to spend—than you could with your print library.

I’m curious to hear from our pastors. Which category do you generally fall into? Do you find yourself spending less time now that you use Logos? Or do you just prepare a better sermon in the same block of time?

Libronix for Lutherans

We strive to provide a broad spectrum of digital Christian resources and not just books that will be of interest to a certain group of people. Average Christians, pastors, and scholars from a wide range of denominations will all find a large number of relevant and useful titles.

There are certainly categories where we can improve, so we’re always glad to hear from our users and find out what you’d like to see more of. When it’s clear that there is sufficient interest and publishers are willing to work with us, we do our best to make those titles available. Send your emails to suggest@logos.com, and let us know what we’re missing. We’re listening.

Works of Martin Luther

One particular group that we have a very nice collection of resources for is Lutherans. For starters there’s the massive 55 volume Luther’s Works on CD-ROM, an essential for not only Lutherans but for everyone who wants to study the history and theology of the Reformation. If 55 volumes is too overwhelming, you could begin with Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, his Commentary on Galatians, and Martin Luther’s Basic Theological Writings (which is part of the Augsburg Fortress Collection (18 titles))—and, if you know German, the Luther Bibel (1545) and the Luther Bibel (1912).

Concordia Electronic Theological Library

Another tremendous resource is the Concordia Electronic Theological Library—Complete Collection (also available in nine individual collections), which is packed with important literature like Melanchthon’s Loci Communes, Martin Chemnitz’ Examination of the Council of Trent, Pieper’s Christian Dogmatics, and many others. It also contains the Tappert edition of the Book of Concord, but the new edition of the Book of Concord, which is edited by Robert Kolb and Timothy Wengert, is also available as a separate product.

Northwestern Publishing House Electronic Library

There’s also a great new collection of resources from Northwestern Publishing House. The Northwestern Publishing House Electronic Library (CD-ROM) contains the 41 volumes of the popular The People’s Bible series; the Bente edition of the Lutheran confessions with the complete Latin, German, and English texts and their historical introductions; 40 volumes of Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly (1950-89); 11 volumes of sermon studies; and the Franzmann Bible History Commentary on the Old and New Testaments.

Lenski’s Commentary on the New Testament

And last but not least is Lenski’s Commentary on the New Testament (12 volumes), which is now on Pre-Pub. Users of a variety of denominational backgrounds have been asking for Lenski for years. It’s great to finally make it available. Interest in Lenski was clear by how quickly it reached 100% of the pre-orders needed to send it into production. It’s been up for only a few days, and it’s already hit the mark!

If we are weak in an area of particular interest to you, keep sending in those suggestions and show your support for the kinds of resources you’d like to see more of by helping them make it through the Pre-Pub process.

Merge Your Libronix Accounts

I regularly come across people in our database who have two or more Libronix accounts. There are several reasons this could happen. Some pastors have two accounts: (1) a personal Libronix account that belongs to them and (2) a church Libronix account that belongs to the church and will stay with the church when they leave. In situations like these, the two accounts have to stay separate since they belong to two different parties.

But often a single owner will have two or more accounts. Most of the time this happens when an existing user installs a new collection for Libronix on a new computer and creates a new account instead of entering his old one. Perhaps he can’t remember what his Libronix Customer ID is and doesn’t know how to locate it, or maybe he doesn’t know that products created by third party publishers, like the Theological Journal Library, can be seamlessly integrated with all of his Logos Bible Software. As a result, his Libronix digital library is spread across two licenses and two computers.

One of the benefits to the Libronix Digital Library System is that you can add books and collections from a number of different publishers right into a single, integrated platform. Unintentionally setting up multiple accounts defeats the purpose of a unified library. If you have accidentally created multiple accounts and don’t have access to all of your books on the same license, please contact our customer service department by phone (800-875-6467) or by email (customerservice@logos.com). They would be happy to merge your accounts into a single one so you can take advantage of the benefits of having everything searchable and accessible in one place.

Update: Please don’t contact customer service unless you (1) know that you have more than one Libronix account (and shouldn’t) or (2) are pretty sure you might have more than one account because not all of your books are showing up as unlocked even after synchronizing your licenses several times. I realize it would be nice to find out that you have two licenses and didn’t even know it, but that is probably not the case. :)

The Works of Jonathan Edwards on Pre-Pub!

Jonathan Edwards’ (1703–1758) massive importance as a theologian, pastor, and philosopher is hard to overstate. More than 250 years after his death (he died of smallpox on March 22, 1758) he is still the subject of an enormous amount of theological literature. The bibliography of resources below speaks volumes about his ongoing—and even growing—influence.

Soon you will be able to have access to Edwards’ most important writings in your Libronix Digital Library System. The Logos edition is based on the standard 1834 edition that was reprinted by Banner of Truth and Hendrickson, both of which are still in print.

When we put Edwards up on Pre-Pub a few days ago, someone in our newsgroups asked if we’d be including Henry Rogers’ "Essay on the Genius and Writings of Jonathan Edwards," which was added to the beginning of the Hendrickson edition to set it apart from the Banner of Truth edition.

I’ve been waiting for this one for a while too! Just a few days ago I was lamenting the fact Logos hasn’t offered it yet, so this is a pleasant surprise!

. . .

One thing I’d like to point out, I have the Hendrickson edition and there’s an essay called "Essay on the Genius and Writings of Jonathan Edwards" that takes up about 60 pages that doesn’t seem to be included in the forthcoming Logos edition. Will that be included?

Regardless, thanks for finally offering this one!!!

—Greg

Since we always like to provide you with the biggest and best editions possible, adding this essay was an easy decision. So make sure to thank Greg for suggesting it and helping us hunt down a copy of the essay. And remember, it pays to give us suggestions like these.

Head over to the product page to put in your pre-order for The Works of Jonathan Edwards (2 volumes).

Continue Reading…

Waiting for the Next Shoe to Drop, Part 2

Today’s guest post is from Dr. Steve Runge, a scholar-in-residence at Logos Bible Software, whose work focuses on the discourse grammar of Hebrew and Greek.

Logos has just posted a Pre-Pub for a whole new kind of Bible study tool—the Lexham High Definition New Testament and the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament. Over the last few weeks I have described a few of the concepts that are included in these resources:

This post is a follow up to tell you about another strategy that the New Testament writers used to create point-counterpoint sets. This device allows the writer to highlight important connections that they did not want us to miss. In the first post, I talked about how words like ‘while’ can be used to create anticipation that ‘another shoe’ is going to drop. Here is the example again, just to refresh your memory. Notice the difference that adding the italicized word makes regarding your expectations about what might follow:

  1. “I have really appreciated your work over the last few months . . .”

    versus . . .

  2. While I have really appreciated your work over the last few months . . .”

    or . . .

  3. “I have appreciated most of your work over the last few months . . .”

In this post, I am going to tell you how negative statements can be used to create the same kind of effect that something more is coming, ‘another shoe’ so to speak. When I was growing up, I remember being told not just what I was supposed to do, but also what I was not supposed to do. Think about the following sentences.

  1. Get up and help.
  2. Don’t sit there. Get up and help.
  3. Don’t just sit there; instead, get up and help.

When I read these words, I hear my mom’s voice in my head. I could tell how frustrated she was by which option she used. Option 1 communicates what she wanted me to do, but without much force. Option 2 has a bit more oomph (read ‘frustration’), a bit more zing. Telling me what not to do does two things. First, it makes me wonder what I am supposed to do, if I am not supposed to ‘sit there’. Second, the negative statement provides a backdrop against which to contrast the positive statement. Option 2 sounds sharper because the contrast between the negative and the positive is sharper. Finally there is option 3, which adds some extra words (‘just’ and ‘instead’) that really forces me to link these two statements together in ways that option 2 just implied.

We make decisions like this all the time when we are speaking, but not by stopping and thinking “Hmm, should I create a counterpoint?” We just do what ‘fits best’ in the context, based on whatever it is that we want to communicate. My mom made decisions about whether to use option 1, 2, or 3, depending upon how much force she wanted to use (Believe me, I made option 3 look pretty attractive far too often).

The negative statement is called a ‘counterpoint’ ‹›, and serves as a contrast and a set-up for the ‘point’ ‹› that follows. In most cases, the ‘point is the more important of the two. In the Lexham High Definition New Testament and the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, every point-counterpoint set that is explicitly signaled in the New Testament is marked right in the text, making sure you don’t miss any important connections in your Bible study or sermon preparation. It will look something like this:

‘Don’t just stand there ›,‹ DO something’.

The pairing of negative and positive statements is used all over the New Testament to create special connections called ‘counter points and points’. Let’s take a look at some NT examples.

In Matthew 4, Jesus is being tempted by Satan after having fasted for 40 days. Satan tempts Jesus to turn stones into bread to relieve his hunger. Jesus responds in v. 4:

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Γέγραπται ‹ Οὐκ ἐπ ̓ ἄρτῳ μόνῳ ζήσεται ὁ ἄνθρωπος › ἀλλ ̓ ‹ ἐπὶ παντὶ ῥήματι ἐκπορευομένῳ διὰ στόματος θεοῦ But he answered, • “It is written, ‹ “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, › but ‹ by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

This is a quote from Deuteronomy 8:3. Notice that is says what you shall not live on before telling you what you shall live on. Stating ‘what not to do’ is a powerful way of both creating an expectation that more is coming, as well as setting up a contrast with what follows. Not every negative statement creates a counterpoint, but the Lexham High Definition New Testament and the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament shows you where they do. Going back to Matt 4:4, Jesus not only rejects what Satan had tempted him to live upon, but he also sets the stage for what he (and we) should live upon—the Word of God.

In Romans 1:32, Paul creates a powerful point-counterpoint set using a ‘not only . . . but also’ framework.

οἵτινες τὸ δικαίωμα τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπιγνόντες ὅτι οἱ τὰ τοιαῦτα πράσσοντες ἄξιοι θανάτου εἰσίν, ‹ οὐ μόνον αὐτὰ ποιοῦσιν › ἀλλὰ ‹ καὶ συνευδοκοῦσιν τοῖς πράσσουσιν. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, ‹ they not only do them › but ‹• give approval to those who practice them.

It is bad enough that those who know God’s decrees are not obeying them, but it is actually far worse. Not only do they do them, but they also/even give approval to others who do them. The bullet (•) at the beginning of the ‘point’ in English is the ‘also/even’ that I added in my translation. This Greek word makes the contrast even sharper than just the negative/positive order. It would have been much easier for Paul to just state that ‘they give approval to those who . . . .’ Providing the negative first followed by the positive really adds some zing to the force of the statement, which is strengthened even more by the ‘not only . . . but also’ structure. The ESV did not maintain the ‘also’ connection that is there in Greek. The use of ‘also/even’ to strengthen connections of one of the special devices that is annotated in the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament (called ‘thematic addition’), but is not included in the HDNT.

There is a whole series of point-counterpoint sets in Ephesians 5:15-18 that create the same kind of contrasting connections as in the other examples we have looked at.

Βλέπετε οὖν ἀκριβῶς πῶς περιπατεῖτε ‹ μὴ ὡς ἄσοφοι › ἀλλʼ ‹ ὡς σοφοί, 16 ἐξαγοραζόμενοι τὸν καιρόν, ὅτι αἱ ἡμέραι πονηραί εἰσιν. 17 διὰ τοῦτο ‹ μὴ γίνεσθε ἄφρονες, › ἀλλὰ ‹ συνίετε τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ κυρίου. 18 καὶ ‹ μὴ μεθύσκεσθε οἴνῳ, ἐν ᾧ ἐστιν ἀσωτία, › ἀλλὰ ‹ πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι, Look carefully then how you walk, ‹ not as unwise › but ‹ as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore ‹ do not be foolish, › but ‹ understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And ‹ do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, › but ‹ be filled with the Spirit,

Paul gives us a series of commands, and uses the counterpoints to sharpen the contrast between what we are not supposed to do and what we are supposed to do. Sharpening the contrast also helps to tighten the connection between these commands. Remember, he could have just as easily said, “walk wisely . . . understand the will of the Lord . . . be filled with the Spirit.” Leaving out the counterpoints would have been easier, but would also have removed much of the zing and punch that these commands have in their current form.

Point-counterpoint sets are just one of more than 15 different devices included in the HDNT, and of more than 35 that are found in the LDGNT. Every place a point-counterpoint set is clearly marked in Greek, it is annotated in the resources using the ‹ counterpoint › ‹point › symbols. If you are interested in learning about other devices that are included in these resources, check out my previous blog posts.

If you haven’t yet placed your order, don’t miss out while it’s still available at the discounted Pre-Pub pricing.

Morris Proctor’s Tips & Tricks Blog Is Back

Morris Proctor is well known as an authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. For more than a decade, he has been traveling around the country holding Camp Logos events where he trains people how to take advantage of the power of the Libronix Digital Library System.

In May of 2006, we decided to start a blog for Morris to share some of his helpful training tips. Twice a week—every Wednesday and Saturday—there was something new to help users learn how to use Logos better. Here are some example posts:

The Tips & Tricks blog somehow managed to fall off the radar several months ago. Users have expressed how much they miss it, so we’re finally starting to add new content on a regular basis.

Starting today, you’ll again see regular tips from Morris. If you don’t already have it bookmarked, head on over to http://tips.logos.com/ and add it to your favorites. If you’d rather see it in your RSS reader, the feed to subscribe to is http://feeds.feedburner.com/MorrisProctorsTipsTricks. For your convenience, we’ve also built it right into the blog section of your Logos home page.

Today’s post is entitled "Seeing Multiple Devotions on the Home Page." Check it out.

It Pays to Pre-Order Early—Literally

Everyone loves to get a good deal. And two Logos users just recently got an amazing deal: $17.95 for the entire Sheffield/T & T Clark Bible Guides Collection (44 volumes). That’s just over $.40 per volume and almost 99% off the retail price! We posted this Pre-Pub last week with the wrong price. A $17.95 price tag is about what one of these individual volumes would have. Oops! We quickly corrected it to $279.95, but in that short time that it was up at the wrong price—only a few minutes—two people jumped on it and locked in the ridiculously low $17.95.

Most online sellers wouldn’t honor a price mistake like this. I’ve purchased what I thought were really good deals from Amazon and Dell only to be notified that my order had been canceled because the item had been improperly priced. But in this situation we’ve decided to honor the price and reward these two individuals for placing their Pre-Pub orders early.

It’s not often that we post something at the wrong price, but this situation gives me a perfect opportunity to emphasize an important point about our Pre-Pub program: it pays to pre-order early—literally.

The initial Pre-Pub price is almost* always the lowest Pre-Pub price you’ll see. Sometimes that price stays the same until it ships, at which time it jumps up to our normal sale price. But often the Pre-Pub price will increase for a number of reasons, and those who order earliest get the best deal.

Sometimes we run a special promotion to offer you an extra discounted price like we’re doing with the Works of John Owen (17 volumes). For another week and a half, the Pre-Pub price is only $174.95. Then it will jump up to $224.95.

Another reason to place your pre-order early is that we may add additional material to a set after we’ve already put it up on Pre-Pub, as was the case with Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures (63 volumes). A user pointed out that our set didn’t include the hard-to-obtain volume on the Apocrypha. We tracked it down and added it to the set, increasing our production cost. The Pre-Pub price eventually went up, but everyone who had already pre-ordered it essentially got the additional volume for free.

It’s also possible that our publisher relations department could negotiate permission to do a newer, more expensive edition after a collection is already on Pre-Pub. This is exactly what happened with Barth’s Church Dogmatics. We had initially obtained permission to publish the current edition of CD, but we ended up getting permission to do the new, forthcoming edition that won’t be available in print for several more months.

The bottom line is that it is in your best interest to place your pre-order sooner rather than later. The most efficient way to do that is to subscribe to our Pre-Pub RSS feed.

* In the rare event that a Pre-Pub price goes down, we notify the customers so they can order it at the lower price. No one is ever punished for pre-ordering early.

Barth’s Church Dogmatics Coming Soon!

On 03/15/06 we put Karl Barth’s magnum opus, the 14-volume Church Dogmatics, on Pre-Pub. As we expected, it quickly reached 100% of the pre-orders needed to move it into production, but you may have noticed that its status never changed to “Under Development.” This appeared on the product page for nearly a year and a half:

Note: This title has gathered 100% of pre-orders needed; it will move into production pending final approval from the publisher.”

We are happy to inform you that we have received the final approval from the publisher. Production is almost complete, and we are on track to begin shipping very soon. But that’s not all. Behind this delay is some very exciting news! The issue that was holding up production was whether we’d be producing the current edition or the forthcoming new edition. We are thrilled to let you know that the Logos edition will be the new edition!

What’s new with the new edition? It offers the classic translation of T. F. Torrance, G. Bromiley and others, prepared by a team of leading experts from the Center for Barth Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary. The text is presented in a new, user friendly format. Greek and Latin passages are now given in English translation alongside the original to make the work more accessible for students without a working knowledge of the ancient languages. Simply hover over or click the asterisk after any untranslated text to see its translation.

The publisher has set the retail price of the new edition at $840 for the entire set. Individual volumes are going for $90 or more and aren’t scheduled to be available until this September. If you were to buy all 14 volumes in print, you’d be spending between $840 and $1,300 and waiting months to get them! For just another week or so you can get this new edition for only $499.99—an incredible savings!

The Logos edition of Barth’s CD will be seamlessly integrated with the rest of your Libronix resources giving you access to all the great features you have come to love, like (1) instant lookups of words or phrases, (2) jumping to other resources in your Libronix library like Calvin’s Institutes, which Barth references scores of times, (3) Scripture references and footnotes as pop-ups, (4) the ability to mark up the text and take notes, and (5) our advanced searching, which enables you to find all the places that Barth mentions any word, phrase, Scripture reference, and more. Barth has never been so convenient to read and study!

Visit the Church Dogmatics product page to place your order!

About Barth

“Undoubtedly is one of the giants in the history of theology.” —Christianity Today

“He may well have been the most influential Protestant theologian of the twentieth century.” —Millard J. Erickson

“The great Church father of Protestant Christendom, the one genuine Doctor of the Protestant Church the modern era has known.” —Thomas F. Torrance

“One of the most important Protestant theologians of the 20th century.” —Eberhard Busch

“The most significant theologian of the twentieth century.” —T. A. Noble

“One of the leading thinkers of 20th-century Protestantism.” —The Columbia Encyclopedia

“One of the most influential Protestant leaders of the twentieth century.” —H. Jacobsen

“Perhaps the most influential German-speaking theologian of his century.” —R. V. Schnucker

“There never was a full missions theology until Karl Barth wrote one, and no one should undertake to prepare a better one (or conceive that he might prepare a better one) until he has mastered Barth.” —Hendrik Kraemer

“Even his severest critics have had to establish their positions with respect to his.” —David L. Mueller

The most important theologian since Thomas Aquinas. —Pope Pius XII

About Barth’s Church Dogmatics

“One of the most notable theological publications of our time.” —Expository Times

“It is in the Church Dogmatics above all that we must look for the grandeur of this humble servant of Jesus Christ, for the work he was given to accomplish in it will endure to bless the world for many centuries to come.” —Thomas F. Torrance

“Only Athanasius, Augustine, Aquinas and Calvin have performed comparable service in the past, in the search for a unified and comprehensive basis for all theology in the grace of God.” —Thomas F. Torrance

“Among Barth’s many books, sermons and essays, the multivolume Church Dogmatics—a closely reasoned, eloquently stated argument in nearly ten thousand pages—stands out as the crown of his achievement.” —Clifford Blake Anderson

“His multi-volume Church Dogmatics (CD) constitutes the weightiest contribution to Protestant theology since Schleiermacher.” —T. A. Noble

“Barth’s Church Dogmatics is by far the most detailed Protestant exposition of Christian doctrine to have appeared since the Reformation.” —The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church

To learn more about Karl Barth in your Libronix library, see the following articles and books:

For even more, check out these journal articles:

If you like Karl Barth, you might also be interested in our Studies in Karl Barth Collection (2 volumes).

Learn Logos Bible Software

Logos Bible Software is an incredibly powerful tool. I’ve been using it almost daily for the last three-and-a-half years and would consider myself a fairly advanced user, but I still regularly discover new things that Logos can do.

While Logos is very easy to use and anyone can get benefit from it without training, really taking full advantage of what Logos has to offer takes time and effort. And that can be a daunting task for the average person.

It’s our desire that every Logos user would be able to make full use of what Logos can do to help them study the Bible more efficiently and profitably. We have an entire section of our website dedicated to training. It provides you with scores of free training articles and videos. We also frequently share helpful tips on the blog. But all that information can be a bit overwhelming for the new user. Where do you start?

To help users manage all of that information more easily, we’ve created a free online course called Learn Logos Bible Software. It was designed for Bible colleges and seminaries to offer to their students as a one credit course. But since most of our users aren’t in Bible college or seminary and might never have the chance to take this course, we decided to share it publicly with anyone who would like to use it.

The course is comprised of 16 lessons that walk you through our most important training material, which is grouped together in helpful categories.

Most lessons include videos to watch, questions to answer, exercises to do, and articles and blog posts to read.

We hope you enjoy it and find it helpful!

New Video on the Lexham HDNT

Reuben Evans, from our ministry relations team, put together a PowerPoint Keynote presentation to show the new Lexham HDNT at a recent pastors conference. He got really good feedback on it, so we wanted to share it with you as a video.


Flash, 59.7 MB, with sound, 15:22

To learn more about the HDNT, visit the product page and check out Steve’s blog posts: