One “wow, that’s cool!” moment for me was when I first saw the power of the collections tool. Specifically, I was blown away by the ability to enter some simple rules and that Logos 4 would automatically include any new resources I add to my library that meet the criteria. In fact, I think one of the first things I did when I finally got a pre-release version of Logos 4 was to set up a collection that included my favorite authors. Now, not only is it quick and easy for me to search through all my resources written by my favorite authors, but whenever I add a new title (like the upcoming Calvin 500 collection) these resources are automatically added to my collection. I don’t have to do anything!
To see the power of dynamic, rule-based collections in action, watch this video:
See more videos at https://www.logos.com/videos.
To have a grasp on the biblical languages once required years of study. For those who wanted to dabble in understanding some Greek and Hebrew works they might add a Vine’s Expository Dictionary or many of the other print helps available to give one a rudimentary understanding of key Greek and Hebrew words.
Maybe you have studied Greek and Hebrew in seminary but your skills are just not what they used to be. With the Exegetical Guide in Logos 4, your passage of Scripture is analyzed for you, word by word, in its original language, and definitions are displayed from dictionaries. You can also get insight from leading grammarians, see where biblical manuscripts differ, and observe the structure of the text.
The Bible Word Study gathers extensive information on any word in the Bible, whether Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic, and shows you how the word is translated and how it functions. It also shows you where else it is used in ancient literature.
Reverse interlinears are built right into many of Logos 4’s English Bibles which allows you to see the Greek or Hebrew behind your text. Simply highlight a portion of text in one interlinear, and Logos 4 will highlight the corresponding text in other open Bibles. You can see immediately how the Greek and Hebrew was translated in other translations.
Logos Bible Software 4 is not just powerful for language studies. Search your resources with its lightning fast search engine which can scan your whole library in a second. Print brand new, high-resolution infographics that are PowerPoint ready to illustrate some of your major points in sermons, essays or Bible studies. This can all be done in an interface that is completely intuitive and adaptable to your study needs.
The 3.0 version of Logos Bible Software has been out in the marketplace for several years, and it works pretty well. Still, it was built on an underlying technology that was better suited to 1999 than 2009, and has been starting to show its age. That, and I’ve always thought it could use a little more design.
So, four years ago, we embarked on a ground-up rewrite of the software and a ground-up redesign of the user interface. Yes, we re-used some of the code that shows a book on screen, some of the searching internals, and so on. But the user interface, the part that users see and interact with, is completely new.
My role in the Logos 4 rewrite was “designer”, which means I spent a lot of time making pages like this:
I like to think of it this way:
- If a software project is like a construction site, then I’m like the architect. I drew the plans. I didn’t build anything, and the core ideas weren’t mine. Still, I made a thousand tiny decisions every day, pondering such imponderables as: Link or button or link button? What happens when you click it? Where best to put it?
- Bob (the President of Logos) was like the owner/client. It’s really his baby. He has ideas, lots of them. Sometimes he scribbles them on my whiteboard. My job as designer is to translate his ideas, along with customer feedback, marketing input, and a thousand other streams of information and opinion into workable designs.
- The lead developers are like engineers. If an architect says, “We’re going to build a 10,000 square foot room with no support columns” the engineer is there to tell him that it can’t be done. Or that it can, but not with the budget we’ve been allocated. When it comes right down to it, the designs are just suggestions of what could be; once you get out to the job site and start sinking knee deep in the mud, your pretty blueprints may not count for much.
- The other devs are like the tradesmen and craftsmen who actually do the work. Like carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and painters, they are all highly skilled at making wonderful things. The Logos team is the best. I’m sure Google and Microsoft have great teams, but the Logos dev team is a highly motivated, highly intelligent, highly worthy group of men and women.
In the process, I tried to adhere to three design principles that I shamelessly stole from the Shakers:
(1) Is it necessary? This is all about prioritizing the design goals, and not getting carried away with the client’s/user’s/marketeer’s exuberance. You try not to build the bad ideas, but given that you’ve only got so much time and effort, sometimes you can’t even build all the great ones, either. So the first question boils down to: Can we ship without this? We were relentlessly minimal about the design of Logos 4; it’s fully featured, but nothing on screen is wasted. At every turn, we asked ourselves: What’s the simplest thing that could possibly work? One of the mottos we used was: “What you need, when you need it.”
(2) Does it suit its purpose? This is really the hard one, because you have to know what goals a given feature is trying to accomplish, and then you have to figure out how to measure whether or not they were, in fact, accomplished. You can fail at either end: Identifying the right goals won’t help much if you build something that doesn’t accomplish them. Testing a product to death won’t help much if you’ve identified the wrong goals. “Yes, it does the wrong thing entirely, but it does it really well!“
(3) Can it be beautiful? I don’t do final art, and I don’t make pixel-perfect specifications, but I do try to make sure my mockup screens and specification documents look as good as possible. Why? Because I find it’s not that much harder for me to do, and it gives everyone, from client to developer to art designer a better vision of what we’re trying to accomplish.
If those three goals can be achieved, then you’ve hit that sweet spot we designers like to call “elegance.” With Logos 4, I think we did. (I may be biased, of course.)>
The design work doesn’t stop there: Parallel to Logos 4, we designed an iPhone app for Logos library resources, and we’re working on several other projects that I can’t tell you about. Yet.
The new Logos Bible Software iPhone app has totally revolutionized “Bible study on the go.” There have already been more than 10,000 downloads within the first few days of release—all from a simple Twitter announcement that it was available. Seconds later, a flood of “re-tweets” and social networking word-of-mouth lit up the Internet, and that’s just the beginning. So what is this incredible app that has taken off like a rocket? A whole new way to access Bible study on the go.
At its most basic level, this free download from the App Store will give you immediate access to more than 30 Bibles* from http://bible.logos.com—Bibles including great translations like the ESV, NLT, NASB, and the Holman Christian Standard Bible.
…but wait, there’s more!
…but wait, there’s more!
When you register your account with Logos.com you will be able to access any free books from publishers that want to showcase new titles, or random books that we offer from time to time on free preview. You never know what might show up in your Logos Bible Software iPhone library some day. Imagine picking up your iPhone and seeing the hottest new title available in your library for free preview! One book per month, week, day? Who knows!
…but wait, there’s more!
Add any Logos 4 base package and watch your resources grow as much of your library is synced with your iPhone or iPod Touch; the resources are available and your favorites, bookmarks and settings are transferred from one platform to another. Walk away from your desktop or laptop and your location is saved in the books you are using so that you can pick up where you left off on your iPhone.
The Logos iPhone app is so much more than a simple Bible reader. Mobile Bible study is transformed with multiple versions of the Bible that can be read, searched, cross referenced and compared. You can set-up reading plans that are synced from your desktop or laptop so your Bible reading is always on schedule. In addition, finding a passage is as easy as typing in the reference, using the book navigator, or dragging the scrollbar to the right location.
This application was created with the desire to bring the functionality of Logos Bible Software 4 to your iPhone. In particular, the ability to dig deeper into Scripture with the Passage Guide. Enter a verse and click “Go” to receive a report linking directly to commentaries referencing your verse. The Passage Guide also provides cross references, media resources, topics, and interesting words—all linked to resources in your library.
Do an in-depth Bible Word Study from anywhere by a simple “tap and hold” on any word, in a Bible with a reverse interlinear, and a pop-up will display the English word along with all the original language information. From this pop-up, click Bible Word Study to see the definition, pronunciation, translations, and example uses of the various translations.
Right about now you should be getting the idea that you need this app, you need it now, and you need to register it right away. There is simply no other Bible app that is this intuitive, intelligent and easy to use.
If for no other reason than to fully integrate your Bible study with your iPhone, you need to get a Logos 4 base package today. If you are a new user, check out the detailed information we have just posted about the most advanced Bible software in the world at our Logos 4 mini-site and if you are an existing Logos customer check out the limited time upgrade discounts available for you today.
* The list of e-books that can be read through Logos Bible Software is changing constantly as we secure rights and convert resources. Not all Bibles are linked word-for-word to the Greek and Hebrew yet.
Thomas, married father of four, is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute with a BA in Pastoral Ministry. He has pastored Fame Evangelical Church in Moweaqua, IL for eleven years. For the last five years Pastor Black has travelled to Haiti to teach a two week seminary module on Spiritual Warfare at the Emmaus Biblical Seminary (carrying his Logos Bible Software with him.)
We touched base this morning via Windows Messenger about his experience.
Logos: When did you start using Logos Bible Software?
Thomas Black: I picked up my first copy of Logos 2 just after starting ministry. It came with just a few resources—I don’t recall the level. I don’t recall being wowed by the interface but I used it a bit.
Logos: Were you with us for the switch to 3.0?
Thomas Black: Around that time I went into the local bookstore to pick up some Sunday school materials, and the bookshelf had one book which included a copy of Libronix on it. That’s when I first heard there was a version 3. I couldn’t resist it. I picked it up, and ran home. I’m a bit of a computer geek and couldn’t resist a new bit of software. It was the newness that caught me—rather than the resource itself. Once I installed it, I thought, “This is what Bible software should be like!” I snapped up a few more resources after that and it wasn’t long before I bought the Scholar’s Library package and then moved up to Scholar’s Library: Silver, then to Gold.
Logos: Was it difficult to keep Logos 4 a secret during the beta testing?
Thomas Black: Keeping Logos 4 a secret almost killed me. I host a blog and occasionally someone would ask me and I just had to keep quiet. Several times I or one of the other beta testers would accidentally post something in the wrong forum—thanks to sharp eyes we managed against the odds to keep the secret.
Logos: What were your initial feelings about Logos 4 as you began to interact with it?
Thomas Black: At first, I was one of the detractors to the interface. I hated the home page. That’s not an overstatement. After a few days, and listening to responses from Bob, I started settling in. I saw the logic of introducing all kinds of new information to us. It was like the “book of the day” section on the Libronix 3 home page had grown to many books of the day, and I saw that as a good thing. I started to understand that the newspaper-like layout was meant to pull me in to areas I might not look at otherwise—and it worked. I’ve rediscovered many resources I forgot I had.
Logos: Did you find that Logos was responsive during the beta-testing?
Thomas Black: I thought the whole crew at Logos was amazing. I was really impressed with the attitudes of Bob, and all the programmers and others as they kept responding not only to bug reports but sometimes to some pretty strong criticism. Occasionally plans were changed midstream in response. The whole experience was quite positive. I know that you were all listening to us as beta-testers. We didn’t always get our way but we all knew that our voices were heard.
Logos: How did the Logos 4 experience change as updates started to come?
Thomas Black: There are two answers to that one: first, it was partially frustrating especially as multi-gigabyte updates came down the pipe. Those were tough. Second, the experience continually improved. Every update of the program was better, smoother, faster and always there was an impressive batch of bug fixes. My hat is off to the programmers at Logos. They were working long hard hours at a feverish pace for two months. The evidence of their labor is on my desktop right now waiting for me to continue my studies.
Logos: Did you feel that camaraderie was created with you and the other beta-testers through the experience?
Thomas Black: I had a blast with those guys! Several of us already knew of each other from the former newsgroups, but I really felt like during the beta, due to our frequent interactions, that our relationships grew quite a bit. There was quite a bit of good natured ribbing going on, and despite that, no one, that I can recall, got their feelings hurt. They were a great group of people to work with.
Logos: If you were showing Logos 4 to someone unfamiliar with using Bible software for study and devotion what items would you highlight for them and why?
Thomas Black: Great question . . . first, I’d begin with pointing out the obvious things. Enter your passage and click go still applies. It’s simple and yet quite powerful due to the built-in (and customizable) Passage Guide. After that, I’d work them through the library, just learning how to find out what you have in there is powerful. If they don’t learn how to use the library, they’re not going to get everything out of the software. Beyond that, I think the software can take even the novice where they want to go almost naturally.
Logos: Thanks so much for giving me some of your time this morning and I appreciate your candor.
Thomas Black: You’re welcome. Thanks to you and the whole Logos crew. This has been a great experience.
We are merely hours into the release of Logos Bible Software 4, and while many of you have already waited for your massive libraries to index, you may have caught yourself thinking, “I thought Logos 4 was supposed to be fast. What happened to ‘What You Need, When You Need It’?”
Logos 4 takes searching to a whole new realm with faster, smarter searching. And unlike most search engines, Logos 4 provides matches for synonyms! For those missing the significance of this, if you are searching for articles on communion, no search engine is going to bring results back for synonyms like the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist. Nor will the other search engines ask you if you wanted a closely related topic like fellowship. This is the difference with Logos 4. We have gone through hundreds of topics and manually connected them to relative terms.
In order to do such searches, however, every word and every term in the thousands of books available for Logos needs to be indexed during installation. This allows Logos 4 to search a library of 10–10,000 books and return thousands of results in under one second—less time than it takes to pull one print book off your shelf! Nearly 63,000 hits for communion in 35,951 articles in less than 1 second means more time studying and less time searching.
It’s true, this functionality takes a significant amount of time to install—an investment of your time in the beginning—but what you get in return later on is a fulfillment to what we promised from the start, "What You Need, When You Need It." Indexing your entire library allows the time consuming hindrances to be removed so you can get right to the task of serious Bible study.
Indexing. Think of it as if you were waiting for UPS to deliver your Amazon order. A little patience and investment of time up front—during installation—means that later on, whether you’re preparing for next Sunday’s sermon, working on your dissertation, or having your daily devotional time, Logos 4 will deliver thousands of relevant results —fast!
In the history of our company, Base Package Upgrades have generally been the best way to get a tremendous amount of new content for minimal cost. The release of Logos Bible Software 4 is no exception.
Upgrading your base package gives you all the benefits of Logos 4—a revolutionary tool for Bible study. Logos 4 has a brand new Home Page to get you started, powerful (and fast!) new search tools, an intuitive and easy-to-use design, plus lots of other new features.
When you upgrade, you get a tremendous amount of new content for minimal cost. You could potentially get hundreds of books for up to 95% off. We’ve added lots of new content to every base package—new Bible translations, reverse interlinears, commentary sets, reference material, preaching and ministry resources, and a whole lot more. Depending on your situation, you could easily double or triple your current library at minimal cost to you. Take a look at the comparison chart on logos.com/upgrade to see the sheer number of new books we’ve added to our collections.
With an upgrade to Logos 4, you can take advantage of today’s most advanced tools designed specifically with Logos Bible Software 4 in mind. Visualize the Bible with new people, places, and things databases. Zoom into the Holy Land with interactive, topographical maps linked with coordinates to Google Maps. Get an additional perspective on the place you’re exploring with thousands of images and photographs—all viewable with the new media resource functionality of Logos 4. You can also interact with the stories of Scripture with high resolution Infographics commissioned specifically for the release of Logos 4. Logos 4 also comes with new one-of-a-kind databases, stunning graphics, and a whole lot more.
You have nothing to lose. Literally. You will retain all of your current resources when you upgrade. When you buy an electronic book from Logos, you will never lose your book. And we’ll never make you buy the same book twice. That means if you’ve recently purchased new books, and now decided to upgrade, you won’t lose the resources you’ve purchased. You’ll simply add a significant amount of new content at a fraction of the cost. You keep everything you’ve purchased in the past—and you’ll gain dozens, hundreds, or maybe over a thousand new books at a significant discount, depending on your situation.
For the initial release period, we’re offering discounts on all upgrades. Visit the custom upgrade discount calculator to see what discounts you qualify for on an upgrade to a new Logos 4 base package. If you’ve been thinking of expanding your library, the release of Logos 4 presents you with the perfect opportunity. Upgrade today!
Today we are announcing the all-new Logos Bible Software 4, designed from scratch to accomplish our goal of helping more people do more and better Bible study.
The leading Bible software products available today (including our own Libronix DLS 3.0) are powerful tools designed 10-20 years ago. Most Bible software companies were started in a day when users owned screwdrivers for opening their computer case and knew what a DIP switch was. Our software was designed for people who liked technology and were comfortable with it.
Today everybody has a computer, and everybody isn’t a computer-geek. A computer is just one more tool in your life for doing whatever it is you want to do, from Bible study to photography to water skiing. While technology has moved into the mainstream, it hasn’t stopped improving. We re-invented Logos Bible Software repeatedly to stay on the cutting edge of technology and user interface. But the edge keeps moving.
Our last product couldn’t anticipate the incredible inter-connectedness of today’s users, with widespread broadband, wireless, and mobile-phone Internet. Today’s leading programming language didn’t even exist when we designed the Libronix DLS. Apple and Microsoft have changed processors, operating systems, and more. And, most importantly, the customer base has changed: today’s Bible student with a computer isn’t a computer hobbyist. We are appliance users who expect power, elegance, and simplicity. We want computers to be like our toasters, TV’s, and cars. Turn them on and they just work.
This generation needed yet another back-to-the-drawing-board approach to Bible software. And we were glad to do it. Because only by starting with a clean slate can you leave behind mistakes and poor choices. Only facing an empty whiteboard can you design an architecture that isn’t constrained by the limitations of long-gone hardware and operating systems. Only by abandoning your existing product can you truly hear what your users want in a world unconstrained by yesterday’s designs.
Throwing it all away and starting over is incredibly rare in the software world. It is considered a dangerous business decision. It puts years between major releases and increases development costs. And the better your existing product is, the more your new product upsets existing users, many of whom just wanted a few small improvements.
But it is the only way to take advantage of the latest technology. It is the only way to design for today’s users, and their expectations about elegant design, powerful features, and Internet integration. It is the only way to keep some of the world’s finest software developers interested and engaged. (It’s no fun maintaining a decades-old codebase.)
Starting over takes courage, but it is the only way to do something extraordinary.
Logos Bible Software 4 is not an upgrade. Logos 4is Bible software re-imagined. To help you do more and better Bible study.
To celebrate the November-December issue of Bible Study Magazine, featuring John MacAthur, we have partnered with Thomas Nelson to give away a free download of MacArthur Bible Studies: Romans. Visit our John MacArthur on Bible Study page for all the details on how you can get your free download.
Along with giving away the free download, we’re excited to announce a new John MacArthur pre-order opportunity. The John MacArthur Essential Bible Study Library assembles MacArthur’s best-selling Bible study books into a singular collection, with two dozen resources, including Bible studies, study Bibles, and more. Place your pre-order today!
If you’re looking for even more John MacArthur material, be sure to visit our John MacArthur resource page.
This offer ends December 31, 2009.