Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Dictionaries

Like any specialized field, theology and biblical studies have developed their own unique vocabularies. That terminology has been refined over thousands of years—and often familiar terms are used in unique ways. For instance, although the terms “dichotomy” and “trichotomy” can be used in a variety of contexts, in theology they have a very distinct meaning—namely, they identify two major views regarding the makeup of human beings. Trichotomists say human beings are comprised of body, soul, and spirit, while dichotomists argue for a two-fold distinction: soul/spirit and body.

If you were to run across those terms in a theological work, then turn to a standard dictionary for a definition, you wouldn’t get much help. This is just one example of the surprising importance of dictionaries for your Bible study. Specialized vocabulary requires specialized dictionaries. Logos makes using both standard and specialized dictionaries a seamless part of your workflow. In this video, one of our Logos Pros demonstrates the unique power of dictionaries in Logos.

Find the right dictionaries

If you own a Logos base package, you already have quite a few dictionaries in your library. But there are plenty other dictionaries out there, each fulfilling a unique need and focusing on specific aspects of theology, biblical studies, and church history.

  • Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church – Covering everything from theology, to Patristic scholarship and the church calendar, this indispensable resource gives you instant access to the unique terminology, customs, traditions, and denominations across the 2,000 year history of the church.
  • Zondervan Bible Reference Bundle – This bundles gives you six dictionaries, and a lot more. It’s a great way to infuse your library with high-quality reference works. And starting September 1, it will be on sale and Dynamically Priced. With Dynamic Pricing, you’ll only pay for resources that are new to you. Sign up for a reminder when this sale goes live.
  • The IVP Bible Dictionary Series – The editors of these unique reference works managed to pull together a broad range of articles helpful for everyone from scholars, to pastors and lay people. Distinctly evangelical, this dictionary is fully conversant with contemporary challenges both inside and outside the church.


If you’ve enjoyed the free training on the blog, visit the Logos Pro training page to get the most comprehensive Logos video tutorials available. Become a Logos Pro. Start your free training now!

Written by
Tyler Smith
View all articles
  • All these bundles are so expensive, not for the simple user. Not sure sometimes if you are here to really help me study the Bible better or simply to sell products. Mostly every time a suggestion is made to improve our study I need to purchase a new product to follow what you are suggesting. I do appreciate you free books and other helps but sometimes the pressure I feel to continually spend money for more books is too much. There are many good improvements you have made in Logos 6 that I will never be able to use and appreciate because a limited budget. Oh well

    • Totally agree.

      It’s almost as if they assume we have tons of disposable cash and oodles of hours to plod through multi-volume collections of serious scholarship.

      Sorry, but I have neither, and I suspect many others are in the same position.
      But I’m sure there are enough “high minded” out of touch with reality rich kids and comfortably well off people willing to part with good money to keep them going.

      I’m thankful for the BA and MA in Theology that I earned many years ago, and for the professors I had that gave me the chance to develop a sound biblical world view and some tools to help keep me tied to the biblical text and context of those days.

      I’m also thankful for software like eSword with tons of free bibles and reasonably priced add-ons. It’s much easier to use that this bloated needlessly complex Logos 5,6,… package.

      The only reason I use it was because Logos acquired the rights to an old bible software package I once bought and I’d like to keep using the books that came with it.

  • It's good to know what a word might mean, not in the words of man, but of God. So many things in the bible seem unclear and unclassified, but if we use the right tools, we can know what God wants us to learn. Since getting one, my daily studies have been lots more productive, and I can feel a deeper connection with my savior.

Written by Tyler Smith