A Simple Trick for the Observation Stage of Your Bible Study

This post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris, who has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos seminars, provides many training materials.
Traditionally, Bible study consists of three primary phases:

  • Observation: Ask questions.
  • Interpretation: Answer questions.
  • Application: Apply answers.

In observation, we’re instructed to read the text numerous times from various Bibles while asking the journalistic questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?

During this initial reading, we’re not supposed to know all the answers to the questions which hopefully come as we roll up our sleeves for interpretation.

To help with easily reading the text from a lot of Bibles, try making use of the Text Comparison tool.

First, we need to make a Collection of our Bibles:

  • Choose Tools | Collections
  • Name the Collection something like All Bibles or English Bibles (A)
  • Place the following text in the Rule box
    • For all Bibles use: type:Bible (B)
    • For English Bibles use: type: Bible AND lang:English (C)


  • Close the Collections panel

Now let’s access Text Comparison

  • Chose the Tools menu
  • Drag Text Comparison to the Logos desktop which opens it in a larger panel (clicking it opens it in a narrow panel on the right)
  • Choose the panel menu on Text Comparison (D)
  • Select Vertical layout (E)


  • Type in the Reference box the passage you want to read such as Ps 23 or Jn 15:1–5 (F)
  • Select from the version drop-down list the Collection of Bibles you want to use (G)
  • Use the icons on the toolbar if you want Logos to individually compare all the Bibles in the list to the first one which is the Base Text (H)

Now in one list, in one panel, you can read the passage you’re studying from as many Bibles as you like! I encourage you to read through the text numerous times for effective observation. Take your time in this initial phase of study. You’ll be amazed at what you learn just by a careful reading of the passage. Remember, good observation makes for better interpretation!


For additional training on Bible Word Study and Logos’ many other features, consider attending Camp Logos in 2016. See our current 2016 schedule.

How to Study the Bible: 9 Tips to Get More Out of Your Study

Written by
Morris Proctor

Morris Proctor is a certified trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris, who has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos seminars, provides many training materials.

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  • Is there any way to change the Base Text or are you stuck with the first one in the collection?

    I would prefer to use the ESV as my base text but there is no apparent way to do that other than to delete all of the Bibles in my collection that come before the ESV or to enter a list of Bibles (which defeats the purpose of using a Collection).

    • I am posting on behalf of Morris Proctor:

      To use the ESV as your Base Text you would simply select a collection of Bibles and then type ESV before that separated by a comma.

  • I’m having difficulty with this because my library does not seem to have a “type” category. I cannot get a listing of just Bibles. What am I missing?

  • Hi, I know this isn't related to this post but I wasn't sure where to post at: Is there a way to import all of my data into one file for a particular book study (diagrams, notes, clippings, passage lists, word studies, etc.)?

    I'd like to have it all in one file, eventually, instead of having to click open each one when I want to reveiw a particual thing. Thanks in advance :)

Written by Morris Proctor