I love using Logos 4 Bible Software and wish it had been available when I first began vocational ministry. However, back then we didn’t even have personal computers. I have the Scholar’s Library Platinum package, plus many other titles I’ve purchased along the way. With 3400 titles and growing, I carry an entire library on a Dell Vostro laptop! And I can access it from anywhere on tablet or smartphone.
Many hesitate to invest in Bible software, not at all sure they want to study the Scriptures on computers, tablets and smartphones. And even those who would like to do so are reluctant to lay out the cash to get a package for fear of wasting their money if they decide against continuing.
I have two options for the undecided.
My introduction to digital Bible study was via e-Sword, a very fine, powerful study package available for free. You can donate to the developer of e-Sword, and I would urge you to do so if you decide to download the program, but it is not required. I used e-Sword for several years, and for many, it may be the only software they ever need or care to have.
However, as I used e-Sword, I continued to look at what Logos 4 had to offer, and finally made the switch. Comparing e-Sword with Logos 4 is like matching a basic Toyota Yaris with a loaded Lexus – both provide reliable transportation, but the comparison ends there.
Another way to experience digital Bible study, and one that will demonstrate the potential of the Logos way is by test driving the Faithlife Study Bible - available free until March, 2014. I have not been able to find information on what the cost will be once the free period has ended. But since the resource is continually being upgraded, I suspect the cost will be in the form of a yearly subscription.
The Faithlife Study Bible works on your PC or Mac, on both Android and Apple phones and tablets, and on the Kindle Fire. It also functions offline. It comes with the Lexham English Bible Version, but you can add up to six other versions at the nominal cost of $10 per version. Those versions include:
- English Standard Version (ESV)
- King James Version (KJV)
- New King James Version (NKJV)
- New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
- New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)
- New International Version (NIV 2011)
Other resources include:
- Lexham Bible Dictionary (2700 articles & growing – 1,500,000 words)
- Hundreds of photos, videos and infographics
- Bible Reading Plans
- Three layers of note taking
- Ability to share notes, documents and insights with other in the Faithlife community
Because of its digital format, scholars contributing to the Lexham Bible Dictionary have no word limit on their articles, and as new information and insight becomes available, can regularly update their contributions. The Faithlife Study Bible is the most extensive study Bible ever developed. For a thorough list of all the resources in this tool, look here.
While the Faithlife Study Bible cannot really be compared to a full-fledged Logos 4 package, it will give you a taste of the sort of sophisticated, powerful resources available from the Logos group. My bet is that, once you’ve given the Faithlife Study Bible a test drive, you will likely subscribe when the free period is over.
You may even be convinced to take the plunge and purchase a full Logos 4 study package that fits your needs.