Using Logos in Seminary and Ministry

using logos in seminary

When one of the Logos Pros traveled to Desiring God to train John Piper on how to use Logos Bible Software, we offered additional training to Bethlehem College and Seminary Faculty. In this post, BCS adjunct professor Dieudonné Tamfu writes of his own experience with Logos. 

My journey with Logos Bible Software began in 2005. At the time, I was a pastor in Cameroon and had limited resources to study the Scriptures. I cannot put into words the significant shift that the software brought to my studies. I spent much more time studying, not because of any weakness in the software, but because I now had resources to pursue almost endless in-depth studies of every passage of Scripture.

Using Logos in seminary

In 2007 I moved to Minneapolis to study at the Bethlehem College & Seminary and Bethel Seminary. Bethlehem College & Seminary puts great emphasis on the study of the biblical languages as tools for careful exegesis. With a greater need for electronic resources for language studies,  I added several Greek and Hebrew grammars to my library.  I remember the simple joy of searching a Bible reference and watching Logos comb through my library and pull up every reference in my grammar books. This made studies a delight. I also had a large collection of theological journals—resources that I cannot recommend highly enough for students, teachers, and pastors. The availability of sophisticated software and valuable resources empowered me to study diligently. I was enrolled full-time in two schools (Bethlehem College & Seminary and Bethel Seminary), but, by God’s grace, I could keep up with the workload because of the ease of having most of the resources I needed right on my computer. The journals, Greek and Hebrew grammars, and commentaries I needed were always with me.

Logos in ministry as a teacher and pastor

As a teacher and a pastor, I use Logos for class and sermon preparations. With Logos it’s easy to survey allusions and quotations. I’m teaching a class on Revelation and have found Logos valuable for my preparation. When I do a Greek word study in the New Testament, Logos does not limit my study to the New Testament. It also searches through the Septuagint and my Hebrew Bible, giving me all the occurrences of the term in the LXX and the corresponding Hebrew—I know no other software that does this. With just a click of a mouse, I can read all the passages in Greek, Hebrew, or my favorite translation. In addition, the “clause participant” feature makes it easy to determine the grammatical and semantic functions of words, answering technical questions like: who is the patient, the stimulus, or the experiencer of the action of the verb?

As I prepare to teach a Greek exegesis class on the Gospel of Mark, I am examining each instance in Mark where Jesus quotes the Old Testament. I want to emphasize in the class how Mark uses the Old Testament. I enter the following into my Bible search box:

{Speaker <Person Jesus>} WITHIN {Section <LiteraryType Quotation, Old Testament>}

I then limit my search to the Gospel of Mark and hit enter. Within seconds I have the passages before me to examine. If I want allusions to the Old Testament by Jesus, I change the search from quotation to allusion:

{Speaker <Person Jesus>} WITHIN {Section <LiteraryType allusion, Old Testament>}

Using Logos Now

I recently subscribed to Logos Now, a decision I have not regretted. One of my favorite features is Multiview Resources. With this feature, I save space on my screen, enabling me to have several resources open. The “grammatical construction” dataset has been beneficial as well for my teaching. A few days ago in my Greek class, we were discussing conditional sentences in the Greek New Testament. With a few clicks, I searched every occurrence of these sentences in the New Testament.  

In my sermon preparation, one of my main concerns is getting the grammar and syntax of the text right, as a way of seeking authorial intention. With Logos Now, this process is faster, easier, and more enjoyable.

I love Logos, not primarily because I love software and academic resources, but because of how it helps me love my savior and his Word more. I love it because of how it has helped me to serve God’s people in the seminary & college where I teach and the church where I pastor. If you plan to use Logos to love and glorify the incarnate logos more, then it is well worth the investment.

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Comments

  1. The correct name of the school that received training is Bethel College and Bethel Theological Seminary in St. Paul. Bethlehem is the name of the church Piper serves or served.

  2. Hi Marilee, Prof. Tamfu studied at and now is an adjunct professor at Bethlehem College and Seminary, the school that John Piper founded at Bethlehem Baptist.

  3. I certain can identify with this professor’s experience of living overseas with limited, printed resources. Having served in East Africa for 18 years, I was able to complete a DMin program at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, largely because I purchased my resources through Logos. The Logos platform is one of the few electronic platforms that are allowed to be cited in research papers and dissertations.

    I was forced to convert to electronic Bible studies years ago in the mission field. After this transition, my Bible study notes increased great until I was able to publish Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures on several platforms, such as Logos, e-Sword, Amazon Kindle, etc.

    I continue to use Logos every day for Bible studies.

  4. John Doty says:

    Is there a place to learn more about these kinds of searches?
    Thanks,
    JHD