I am grateful for the embarrassment of riches I have available to me when it comes to Bible study tools. These are resources I rely on whenever I write Bible studies, sermons, blog posts, and books. Simply put, if I didn’t have these tools, I couldn’t do my job (or fulfill my ministry) nearly as effectively.
But what I don’t have is a lot of physical resources. As an apartment dweller, I have very limited space, so a large personal library isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Instead, I have very robust library of study tools thanks to a couple of software packages, one of which is Logos Bible Software. I’ve been a regular user of Logos since 2011, and have experienced (and reviewed) a number of updates along the way. Logos 6 was a strong update from Logos 5 (the first version I used), especially with the addition of the Ancient Literature and Factbook functions. Logos 7‘s addition of new features like the New Testament use of the Old Testament, a cleaner dashboard layout, and the Sermon Editor tool made it a winner for me.
And now, Logos 8 is here!
What’s new in Logos 8?
The new version of Logos is packed with new and improved features, among them:
- An updated notes tool to help you stay organized and find pretty much anything you’ve ever highlighted or made a comment about.
- An all-new theology guide with brief summaries of some of the essential truths of the Christian faith accessible right from the passage you’re studying.
- New built-in customizable workflows for different kinds of study, including personal study, devotional reading, word study, and sermon prep.
What do I like about it?
I’ve been working on two Bible studies for The Gospel Project, and that gave me a great opportunity to give the new version a test-drive. So here are a few thoughts.
It’s faster. Like, way faster. An issue with every edition of Logos is speed. Previous versions of the application took a looooooong time to load, and an even longer time to actually start digging into the material. One thing I doubt any user will be able to say is that Logos 8 is slow.[1. And if they do, it may be because their computer too outdated to work properly.]
I’m running the software on a Macbook Air, which is not exactly a powerhouse machine, and the entire start up sequence took, maybe 30 seconds between clicking the app icon and being able to start searching, reading, and researching. Resources themselves open almost instantly, as do all of the study tools like info cards about different words in the Canvas tool (but more on that in a minute), and even the text comparison tool (which you can easily customize with your text of choice).
The Canvas tool is the bee’s knees. This is a tool I’ve not spent enough time in yet, but already I love it. This tool allows you to highlight, underline, make connections and even (functionally) diagram your passage to help you explore the big ideas within it.
Because Obadiah is a book of judgment and hope, it was helpful to me to visually connect the dots in verses 15 and 18, where Edom was told that they would reap what they had sown, and be destroyed. While it’s not a cheery subject, what it helps illustrate is the consequence of sin. It always has a cost, and never goes unpunished.
It is very user-friendly. One of my critiques of past editions of Logos has been its struggle with user-friendliness. Once you figured out where everything was, a user could make Logos work, but it wasn’t terribly intuitive. Thankfully, I don’t have to continue harping on that as Logos 8 arguably offers the best user experience of any version to date. The placement of tools makes sense. The icon sets used throughout communicate well. I didn’t even have to use any of the tutorial videos
It just works
With greater speed, excellent new tools, and a much more user-friendly interface, Logos 8 is hands down the best version of this software suite yet. It just works, which is what you need with your Bible study tools, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to existing users considering an upgrade and those considering it for the first time.