The Logos Feature That Makes Using BDAG a Breeze

bdag print digital logos

I have a long-standing, friendly argument going with an old professor of mine. It started when, as a budding young Greek student in seminary, I asked, “Should I get the paper version of BDAG or the digital version?”

“Paper,” he said, “because you can see the whole layout of each entry instead of only a tiny portion of that entry, which is what you get on your computer screen.”

I think he made an excellent point. I bought the paper edition.

But I rarely used it. It was so heavy, and like the sluggard who won’t bring his hand from the dish to his mouth, I just didn’t find myself actually going to the trouble of looking up things very often. Bible software was so much quicker for such mundane reference tasks.

I sold my paper edition and bought a digital copy. And I used it.

That was in 2003. My laptop monitor had a resolution of 1024×768. Now even my phone has a higher resolution than that. And my computer dwarfs it. I’m looking right now at a 2560×1440 screen, with a 1920×1080 screen next to it. In other words, I’ve gone from 786,432 pixels of screen space to 5,760,000, a 732% increase.

I’ve got the digital real estate to make good use of a reference work like BDAG. In fact, I keep it open permanently in multiview on my secondary monitor (along with another multiview tab dedicated to Bible translations):


Digital is the only way to go with reference works, even if I do still read some books in print.

BDAG in Digital Format

So why is BDAG itself still laid out for print, even within Bible software? All of the points and subpoints are sort of wadded together into massive, imposing, visually impenetrable paragraphs, like lexicographical colossi daring you to scale them:


This kind of layout made sense in a print era in which you had limited “paper space”—1024×768, as it were. But typographers and layout artists over the centuries have realized that there are more helpful ways to organize information like this visually. We call them hard returns and indented bullet points:


Years ago on my personal blog I called for a digital-friendly layout which made it easier to process the reams of information in each BDAG entry. And, thankfully, both my readers heard that call! My mom and my mother-in-law must have called Logos Bible Software, for lo and behold, Faithlife came out with a visual filter which did just what I asked. Here’s a video showing you how to do it, too:


The most economical way to get BDAG is to buy a Logos base package. I typically tell people that if they have ever studied Greek, they should not consider getting any package lower than Platinum, in part because that’s the package BDAG comes in. It’s an utterly standard resource for NT studies, and nowhere is it easier to use than in Logos. Learn more about Logos 6 Platinum.

Written by
Mark Ward

Christian, husband, father, writer, ultimate frisbee player when possible.

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  • Interestingly, Mark, BDAG was referred to a couple of days ago in Your Daily Dose of Greek, when the verse under scrutiny was Mark 7 v4 – the word translated in the English as ‘tables’ in the KJV. In fact, the BDAG specifically refers to this verse and defines the Greek as ‘dining couches’. It went to show (apart from other things) how the Jews had really laid hold on the traditions of men – they even washed the dining couches on which they were to recline! I have the paper copy of the BDAG, it’s on the floor by my bed, and I look at 2 or 3 entries at bedtime before switching off the light. I’m at that age (65) when I can appreciate digital stuff, but also love paper stuff.
    Also, I’ve got the Gold package, and don’t see myself being in a position to afford the Platinum.
    I wrote a lengthy reply earlier to your blog on Jephthah, and am just going to see if you have responded. Great to have Scriptural discussion.
    With all good wishes

    • I’m just about to get to your other comment! Thanks for taking the time.

      Interesting point about BDAG, and more power to people who actually read it every day. That’s dedication! =)

  • Is anyone else not seeing “Links to open panels” in their visual filters? I can’t seem to find how to turn it on like at 1:37 in the video.

  • LOVE the “outline formatting” feature. Super helpful.
    Don’t have “link to open panels”. Is that in an older version?

  • Is “Links to open panels” only in certain Bibles? I do not see it in BDAG either. Is it contained in an update? I have 6.9 SR-1

  • Hello,
    The Links menu in my version of Logos 6 (6.9 SR-1 is different from that displayed in the above video. Mine looks like this:
    [ ] RESOURCE
    [ ] Community tags
    [ ] Emphasize active references
    [ ] Outline formatting
    [ ] Popular highlights
    [ ] Show pages numbers

    And “Emphasize active references” does NOT highlight the relevant refs in the BADG entry.

    Am I missing something?

  • I have BDAG but it is the old version. It does not have the outline feature. Mine is the second edition. I just cannot see buying the new version since I have this version. Is the version number why outlining is not appearing in my visual filters?

    • I’m told that that’s right. The outline filter is custom made for the BDAG (3rd ed.), and will not work for the BAGD (2nd ed.). These are separate resources due to differing content. We no longer distribute the old version, at the publisher’s request. For more discussion, see the forum thread.

  • Can I use the outline feature without Platinum? Customer Support said I should be able to use BDAG without Platinum, but I’m not seeing the outline filter.

    • I checked with one of the other Logos Pros, and this is what he said:

      This feature requires two things:

      1. The Lexicon Reformatting Dataset, included in Bronze v6 and above, and…
      2. a compatible lexicon, such as BDB, HALOT, DBL, BDAG, (and perhaps a few more—don’t have that info handy at the moment).

      Platinum is the lowest base package that currently includes BDAG; but if you own it from a previous base package, or purchased it separately AND have Bronze v6 or higher, it should work.

Written by Mark Ward