Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
Studying, reading, researching are critical aspects to the preaching and teaching ministry of the pastor and the scholar. Although pastors and scholars engage in similar disciplines, they do so in varying degrees, consisting of breadth and depth, and for different goals/purposes and to different people. In this post I focus on the pastor/minister.
Books and libraries are a staple in pastor’s studies (I intentionally refer to this as a study, not an office, which evidences my bias about this important aspect of the pastor’s ministry). Because we are people of the Book, the Bible, we are also people of books, those writings that enable us to better understand the Bible. Most pastors still have hard-copies of books on their shelves. With the increasing number of books made available electronically, that is changing, and it is not just along generational lines. Some have gone completely electronic, building their library electronically. Many are a hybrid, including both. I place myself in the latter category.
Logos used to be known for the incredible number of resources made available, and secondarily it was a used for language study. Logos 6 continues to grow and expand such that it continues to increase the numbers of books available but also consists of a top-notch tool for language study, including the original languages. Although I still like hard-copy books, the accessibility and searchability of these works is invaluable to me when I research.
Kent Sanner, specialist at Faithlife, identifies some new features of Logos 6. In the “Everything Search” is the default search. When used it calls up every possible result from the library. It provides an incredible amount of material, and is an excellent place to begin one’s search. The “Factbook” does similar things but adds other data like “Cultural Concepts,” “Notable People,” and “Books of the Bible. As noted by one, with this tool one “can enter a subject, name, place, idea, or event and Logos will pull up all the information on the subject in an organized way.” With the “Word Sense” tool you determine the semantic range of all Hebrew and Greek lemmas and where the meaning occurs. It is both a lexicon and a concordance. The “Ancient Literature” tool enables you to study the Bible along with its cultural and linguistic background, thus allowing the Bible to be compared with ancient sources. With the “Timeline” tool, one can place biblical and historical events beside one another so that one can get a better and broader historical perspective. These are a few of the (new) many tools Logos 6 provides.
One of the other uses of Logos is on the mobile app. Although one cannot do everything on one’s phone or tablet, many key functions work such as “Passage Guide, Exegetical Guide, Topic Guide, Bible Word Study, and Text Comparison.” Any work that you would do in this form will then sync with the desktop. It is also true that the work you do on your desktop will sync with your phone or tablet.
Logos updates regularly ensuring that users have the most recent additions and updates to their program. Upon release of one version, they are already working on the next version. Logos is committed to providing an invaluable tool and resource for users. They have accomplished this.
One writes that contained in Logos is a “treasure trove of linguistic, exegetical, historical, and theological resources that enables you to do hundreds of hours of research in minutes.” I heartily concur. It is why Logos is always open on my computer.
If you are seriously considering Bible software, I recommend you seriously consider Logos 6!
For those who want to study this further before purchasing, here are a number of videos that will explain various aspects of Logos 6.