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Logos Bible Software


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When it comes to bible software Logos is considered by many to be the choice. For two decades their software only ran on Windows and that was enough to keep many people from switching to a Mac. Last year they released a Mac version of their popular software and this week we review it. The fun with Logos doesn't stop there. Rob talks about speaking and attending the BibleTech09 conference, put on by Logos, and we have an interview with Logos founder and President Bob Pritchett.

Turning Off the Opening Sound


Go to Preferences > Appearance > and uncheck Play sounds under Interface Options. :)


Just so you know, I'll talk about some of the updates learned here the next time we record. Those will come out in Episode 118.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host

No works on Luther on Logos?!?

I listened to your pod cast on the way back on a flight from London and was stunned when you said there were no works for Martin Luther on Logos. I was certain I had seen quite a few (my wife is from a Lutheran background) and so when I was able to go to the Logos website, sure enough there are lots of books for Luther. Here's one for a start:


I meant in the package I received

When I was talking about the works of luther I was looking in the bundle of books I received. It was one of their standard packages. There is a big difference between books you can additionally purchase and the ones that come out of the box.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host

Where do I find Preferences

When attempting to turn off the opening sound you stated to go to Preferences... Where is that located? Thanks

Turn off Sound

Tools > Options > General > Interface > Uncheck 'Play Sounds'

Tons of Lutheran Resources

We have tons of Lutheran resources, including the 55-volume Works of Luther. Check out our Lutheran Product Guide.


Thanks for the updates. Good to know. There is just so much to the Logos products.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host

Out of Site, Out of Mind

I think the point was they weren't included with the version Matt had and lack of inclusion was clearly a barrier for someone steeped in technology.

It also brings an interesting point that tools like this create a circle of influence that someone could easily limit themselves to because it's work to go out and find more than the pre-packaged resources. Plus, the pre-packaged stuff is so broad that you'd hardly "need" to find something else in most cases. Any barrier, no matter how small or thin is still a barrier that some won't cross until they are pushed. This creates an environment in which Logos could influence the users through the lack of material or presence of material. Say I'm studying a certain topic and all the commentators in the collection I have agree on the side of X. There is a whole body of other commentators who stand firmly and with good reason on point Y, but I don't have them in my collection. If I only study my collection, have I really come to an understanding of the issue? Seems unlikely. This sort of division of collections is a very natural thing to do. We do it to ourselves and is probably a portion of what has created the massive Christian echo chamber. I've been shocked when I've taken the time to step out of the echo chamber on a few occasions and it has been a blessing. I'd like to Logos trying to avoid such theological echo chambers being built by their technology.

Perhaps a valid argument, but

Perhaps a valid argument, but I have found the resources from the base package to cover a pretty wide range of views. I have the Gold. To that I have been able to add the Theological Journals 1-10, IVP 3.0 collection, MacArthur, David Jeremiah, And Lucado Lifeworks (each for 19.99, I think) and various other resources as the need arose. To the best of my knowledge these options would not have been available to me if I had gone with many other companies. I would rather go with a company that provides other resources that I can add to my collection when I find the base package deficient in a particular area then to purchase a base package from another company with no possibility of complementing it with other viewpoints.

Liberate the Knowledge

I'm not arguing that it is the case that they skew things, just that it is a danger of the medium as a whole. I think a similar danger exists in Seminaries.

Now you bring up a bigger issue to me. Basically, Logos and most of the other paid programs like this are handling books with proprietary DRM gloves and it comes with the same arguments against DRM'd books as with DRM'd music. How do you loan IVP to a friend? How do you share this knowledge except by handing over the entire collection and your computer? Todays world is breaking down barriers between Biblical knowledge and the general population not dissimilar to the barriers that the printing press broke down. I'd like to see directions being taken that try to take advantage of the lack of barriers instead of artificially putting them back in place. I know our culture is far from ready to be able to figure out how to do this whole thing and I don't claim to know how it would be accomplished either, but we see DRM has not worked for the music industry. All signs are moving away from it.

I'd like to see a standard format for materials emerge that would allow all the programs to put them to use so that I can choose the program that works best for me not based on the resources it makes available, but based on the features it provides. This would have made the Logos materials available on the Mac long ago because anyone could have built the viewer. The materials should be liberated from the software used to read it.

Transfering Licenses

You have a very good point with having some kind of "loan" program. I know you can give resources to another person by calling up Logos and having them transfer the license but that would be a very inconvenient way to loan resources. I'm not sure that problem will ever be resolved with electronic resources but perhaps someone will come up with a business model that works.

Bibleworks has two articles posted on their site regarding a means of developers working from a particular format standard. You can find links to them at http://store.bibleworks.com/modules.html. The articles, on from Christian Computing and one from Popular Mechanics describe the difficulties with a standard format and the disadvantages of electronic vs. printed resources.

I think a loan becomes

I think a loan becomes possible when we stop trying to enforce restrictions and re-invent our idea of what these resources are.

On That we probably disagree

Just because we are in a digital age and new abilities are easier and desired does not make it beneficial or right. The reason no one ever fought for the right to photocopy an entire book, give a copy to a friend and hold on to the original is because it was too difficult to do. I suggest it would also be wrong to do and detrimental to the dissemination of information. Authors producing Knowledgeable and well researched books would not be able to afford the time it would take to produce a work that would be 25% purchased and 75% copied. The person who should be able to determine what these resources are is the Author, they are not the product of society's work and diligence so the author should be be able to determine how one can manage it.

Right and wrong is not determined by one's ability or by advancements in technology but through the Word, integrity of Character, and laws which comply with both. I can't look in Scripture and find the command of copyright laws, but when I see the principle taught that the labourer is worthy of his wages." I think that means the labourer should have the right to name the price, and the purchaser should have the right not to buy it if it is too high.

Liberate Truth

That digs into something deeper. I think the definition of labor is also changing. I'm not promoting socialism or that someone not get paid for what they do. I'm just simply saying the the distribution models have room to change and I think this could happen through changes in funding and otherwise. One of the advantages to digital distribution is the lack of overhead. Removing the middle men from distribution is an exciting opportunity to step in the right direction in my opinion and it is happening outside the Christian world. I'm seeing our culture become collaborative in funding individual projects to accomplish a certain goal that is then released to the community. The Geeks and God community has even been involved in some things like that related to adjustments to Drupal modules for any church site.

Also, no disrespect to Luther, but the guy isn't making any money off the sale of his books anymore. He's moved on to better things. Why is it that his 95 Theses have a value of $4.95 for the right to read it in Logos? True you get $4 off, but you're still paying 95 cents for it. (BTW, get it for free here in Latin and English http://www.ctsfw.edu/etext/luther/theses/) Many other authors of great Christian works have left this world and do not benefit in the least from the materials they labored over. The argument of them getting paid for their labor falls apart when the one who worked is no longer able to receive payment.

In other words, I disagree that this discussion is rooted in ease or desire. Rather, I say the truth of scripture should be spread broadly and we need to constantly be looking for chances to do that in whatever means possible. Well educated and highly skillful missionary translators funded by people outside the community they served have labored their entire lives to get the New Testament in the language of certain people and given it away. That sort of thing has been happening for generations. This model is foreign to the world, but effective to God's Glory. We have pictures of a translator in our mission who did just that. Upon delivery they were so excited the carried him around on their hands and celebrated the accomplishment for their people as he held the Bible above his head. It is a powerful picture.

I think it is also interesting and informational that God saw fit to distribute the Bible among his people through ways that avoided copyright or restrictions. The NT is primarily passed on verbally and the OT primarily as letters. Neither subject to copyright laws or restrictions. No one sat down and made sure these things were locked down in DRM or between a certain set of covers. Attempts to restrict access to this material have followed it around all its history, but God in his wisdom originally distributed it in such a way that it has resisted these things. Praise God!

Let's figure out how to continue giving people who study deeply and desire to share what God has given them what they are worth without forcing them to restrict access to their knowledge. God clearly has examples throughout history of men of faith in service to others receiving gifts from those who are served. Couldn't we accomplish this outside the traditional publisher model now that we have such an efficient publishing system as the Internet? Christianity has often been on the edge of publishing technology before. Logos is such an example, why shouldn't we keep up with that?

What A Mess

This thread of thought points out quite a mess we have going on. Let me try to illustrate.

Take the Luther part. Luther's original works are public domain. Luther is long dead and not making money on them. But, the translations are not public domain. They are copyrighted by the person or organization that did the translation. You can see this with bibles as well. The ASV is public domain but the ESV isn't.

But, should these translations be entirely open is a larger issue than this. People need to earn a fair wage for their work to support their families. Free and open is great but taking care of people is of a really high importance for God. People are why he died on the cross.

So, the english translations need to make money for the people putting in the load of work to make them understandable for us who can't read German (think Luther), Greek, Hebrew, and the other languages. It's not a simple task to do well. Especially with the cultural changes over time.

The church, on average, takes in 1% - 3% of a giving from people. It depends where you're at and other details like that. For most church bodies it's closer to the 1% amount. If the church got a tithe having people who make this information open and available wouldn't be an issue. They could have what they need to live and do the work of the church.

When we talk about the models not working we need to think outside the typical secular copyright discussion. For us it's different. We have sinful issues where our sin as a group stops the good work and message sharing from happening. So, people resort to other means and try to live in the ecosystem we have.

If we want to solve this we have other issues to work out in this whole cause-effect relationship. I applaud Logos for what they do. It's not that easy to share with a neighbor but they are making things more accessible. They come out with services like http://books.logos.com/ and really try to make this stuff more accessible while still putting food on the table and living in the sinful world with the ecosystem we have.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host

I agree that Logos is a

I agree that Logos is a solution in the given environment that works. I hope I don't come across as degrading Logos so much as the foundations it is forced to build itself upon. They are making the best of a bad situation and someone must. I have the luxury of being ideological. They do not have that luxury since their goals would not be attainable without accepting that and working in the system.

It is dealing with many problems and I really appreciate your pointing out that it comes down to sin in the body of Christ. I think that's very poignant and at the heart of the issue. It is true that people aren't giving, but also the church mostly lacks vision. "Where there is no vision, the people perish..." The church has often become so focused on learning or tasks that we've lost any idea of what the end goal is. Our vision is cast aside for the immediate tasks.

Where the vision is lost the money does not follow. I like to talk about these sorts of things because casting the vision of a more open and united future gives hope (to me at least in a small way) and I hope plants that hope and desire in others. This direction is very motivational to some. It seems to me if we were better united around a vision, we could mobilize a more powerful force to meet our objectives and fund it more effectively. Unity is a power we've lost.

I yearn for the unity of diversity that comes with imagining people from every tribe, tongue and nation gathering around the throne of God and praising him together with one purpose in their own unique style. If only we could be more like that here on earth!

Best of a bad situation

I think this sin filled life that Christ came back to save us from is making the best of this bad situation. Vision will always get lost in this world and environment. It's the very nature of it.

You're point about vision is interesting. Even the best vision from the best leader still has to deal with this sinful world. Just look at Jesus and Judas Iscariot.

The western churches where people give the most don't get near tithing (10%). Numbers have been released by the mega of the mega churches and their bulk is what brings in their numbers. Churches in the western world don't have IT figured out.

If it simply were vision churches with great visionaries would approach the numbers. But, they don't. It seems to be a larger and more complex problem. One that we (the church at large) don't have the answer to right now.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host

Not simply vision, but proper

Not simply vision, but proper vision. Not visionaries, but people sensitive to the vision that God cast for us in the Bible and reflecting and calling us to that. Or put another way, "God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply." -- Hudson Taylor

I think that comes back to the problem of sin. We (I certainly included) are so easily distracted from following the directions God has given. Sometimes we see all the need and loose focus by trying to do everything rather than what God has set us up to do. Sometimes we lose the focus and service becomes a drudgery that we don't invest any more than we have to in. Sometimes we simply get discouraged because things are taking more effort or time or other resources than we thought they should. Sometimes, God is teaching us through failure and it isn't a sin issue as much a learning opportunity. Of course, in practice all these combine in various levels. Someone with the ability to consistently call people back to a central vision and encourage or exhort them toward the completion of the groups mission is, in my opinion, extremely valuable, and often lacking.

You beat me to it Phil

I was just getting ready to post the same thing Phil. :-)

I'll just add the search link: http://www.logos.com/search?q=Luther

I posted a rundown here:

Truth is Still Truth Even if You Don't Believe it

A few corrections

Hey guys.

Great work - I really appreciate your podcasts, especially as a relatively recent start in website admin.

The kinds of translations you refer to as transliterations are dynamic equivalents. Transliterating is putting replacing letters from one language with the closest equivalents from another language (eg 'logos' instead of the Greek characters for logos). Dynamic equivalents are translations that focus on translating the meaning more than the individual words.

In the Windows version, you can do some of the things you couldn't find how to do - perhaps these are just items missing in the port to Mac: Default Bible translations can be set in Tools|Options|Bible Tools and you can print passages under Windows.
You can also switch quickly between Bible versions using the "Parallel Passages" button on the tool bar. There are also some great tools in Tools menu. You can get a report showing a passage in all translations, for example. The "Passage Guide", "Exegetical Guide" and "Bible Word Study" are also great reports. The last one is accessed by right clicking on a word in a Bible window - it's near the end of the menu.

This doesn't mean I'm a Windows lacky though :) I'm running it under VMware and keenly awaiting the day when Libronix release the Linux version!



Hey guys,
Great podcast. Good change to the usual format - good to start hearing some interviews.
Haven't looked into Logos much, but why do you think they sell their product in the 4 or so packages instead of on a 'book-by-book' basis?

Paul Vaartjes

It can be done!

While buying one of there base packages has great benefits, you can buy the resources book-by-book as well.In fact you can use Libronix without purchasing any resources because you can download the program with no resources for free. Sure its somewhat useless to do that, but why should that stop someone?

Logos' business model is to charge for resources, not the program. this means that when you purchase a book, you can be sure that it will work with all future versions of the program. If updates to the resource need to be made, they will upgrade it for you at no additional cost. Most other Bible software companies I am aware of in essence have you repurchase a book to take advantage of new features. So if you want to compare the costs of programs you have to take into account how long you will use the program for. If Logos puts out three versions of Libronix in 20 years, and you originally bought $1000 in resources, your final cost after 20 years and upgrades is $1000. If another Bible software company put out three versions as well and you paid $400, with a $200 upgrade price, you end up paying $800.

Upgrade fee

Just for comparison’s sake, I found the upgrade price for Accordance. This software would compete with Logos on Mac OS X. Accordance’s single-version upgrade price is currently $39. The “any version to current” upgrade price is $49.

Therefore, for three versions, your upgrade price would either be $117 or $147 (worst case), depending on how frequently you upgraded or how far you had to jump.

As far as I can tell, there is no upgrade fee for the resources. Accordance also has its own library of resources and its own bundles, and a lower starting price.

Note that it does cost money to get the Mac version of Logos; they currently charge $59.95 for the “engine only” version with no library titles. This sounds different than what they do on Windows. At least initially, it looks as if they are subsidizing the cost of their Mac development separate from their library. This is reasonable, but it is worth realizing as a buyer that the terms are apparently different than on Windows.

I haven’t looked it up, so I don’t know what BibleWorks’ upgrade fees might be, if any. I hear that software discussed as competition to Logos on Windows.

Bibleworks upgrade price

I'm fairly certain the upgrade price from BW 7.0 to 8.0 is $149. I am fortunate enough to have both Logos and BW 8.0 and believe both programs excel in their particular area of specialty, Logos as a library manager and BW as an exegetical tool.

Great interview. I felt that

Great interview. I felt that Matt gave it a fair and honest review. The logos for mac interface is sluggish right now. Not nearly at the quality of the windows side. As Matt stated, its the first version and I am pretty confident that improvements will come. I find myself using Accordance software more these days. The two are different types of software. Logos being more a library of books. Having both seem to compliment each other.

Error reading library

I had the same problem you had with the program erroring out while importing the library. I had this problem on both a PowerPC MacMini and a Macbook. I just copied the resources to the disk too. The MacBook was running the latest 10.5, but the MacMini was using 10.4.11.


I used logos for years on Windows, but when I switched to mac I started using Accordance. Accordance has much more flexibility and allows you to get to stuff much faster. I much prefer Accordance. It might be worthwhile for you guys to take a look at it and compare. I especially like the search strings that you can use. Once you learn how to use this, you can move really fast
I am a pastor and spend hours in Accordance each week. I would highly recommend it.


I would also like to hear a comparison between this version of Logos for Mac and Accordance 8.

One big difference that I see between these products is that Accordance 8 comes from developers that appear to have stuck with the Mac platform through thick and thin. I recall them having a booth at at least one Macworld Expo NY. It seems to be a well-regarded product by its users, based on what I see in OakTree’s forums.

Logos only came to the Mac recently because of its uptick in popularity and computer sales — along with many requests — as was admitted in the interview. This is great, I appreciate even new-found enthusiasm — but it seems that Logos is getting a lot of press on its release, overshadowing an option that has existed for a longer time.

I’ve seen this kind of cycle before with lots of other hardware and software on the Mac platform. If I’m going to pick software like this, I’d like a little more assurance that the company behind it will be behind it for the long term. What’s to prevent Logos from discontinuing their software if the market softens? What does that do to your expensive digital library? It seems that OakTree Software has a lot more at stake, since they are Mac-only.

I have neither of these packages, but I am interested in these kinds of answers in a comparison between the two. And I don’t think these particular concerns are as important on Windows for a number of reasons.


If a review of Accordance happens, I think an important question to ask the developers is: what is the future of the program, with Apple de-emphasizing the Carbon APIs, especially for 64-bit systems? This transition has been widely reported, and certainly even large companies with large, long-lived codebases like Adobe and Microsoft have had to face it.

Since OakTree is a long-time Mac development house and has been through a number of transitions, I’d personally like to get their take on this, and understand where they are going. If they aren’t planning on some sort of transition or at least investigating the options (perhaps by attending Apple’s WWDCs), then I’d have concerns.

accordance and gramcord

While BibleWorks and Logos are well-known, it would appear that the most accurate (and the most respected among scholars) Bible concordance data base in existence is that of Gramcord (www.gramcord.org). Yet Gramcord has a very low price.

I bring up Gramcord because (if I recall correctly) Gramcord has been moving toward Accordance. Regrettably, the Gramcord staff appears to be lacking a Linux guru. If Gramcord ever publishes a version which runs natively under Linux, I would be delighted. Meanwhile, Linux has both a DO$/Window$ emulator, and a Macinto$h emulator, but running under an emulator is far from ideal.

Long ago I switched from Logos to BibleWorks. But apparently Logos has made significant strides since I switched, so perhaps I should see if Logos still has a record of my purchase, and check out the terms of an upgrade.

BibleWorks is insanely expensive; I find it difficult to afford the upgrade from 5.0 to release 8. And I have discovered a great many errors in the BibleWorks data base. BibleWorks botched even the simple matter of digitizing the English transcription of the Brenton translation of the Septuagint. The standard technique of double-keying (the cycle of independent manual data entry, followed by computerized comparison until a perfect match is achieved) apparently was not followed. I conclude that BibleWorks places little value on the Septuagint, even though it was from the Greek of the Septuagint (and not from the Hebrew of the Masoretic Text) that Christ Jesus and the apostles cited Scripture.


Record of purchase

>perhaps I should see if Logos still has a record of my purchase...

If you registered the serial number (which is required to activate the software), Logos will still have a record of that, and can help you get those books back even if you don't have your original discs. If you owned a base collection like the Scholar's Library, you can also upgrade (get more books) for a reduced cost. Might be worth checking out.


They are dedicated to developing for the Mac

I am an Accordance user, almost 5 years now, and like how they have continued to develop the program for the Mac. They have a discussion forum and this came up last year. From things that they write here and elsewhere they remain aware of changes and I'm sure they will do whatever it takes to continue to provide a great product.

Cheamweb Your window into the Fraser Valley
Dave's Journey | The Macfoto Life


How about putting a review up on this site. I'm sure others could chime in and review it. I'm not sure about getting anything with the Accordance folks but I'm totally open to it.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host

Accordance Review

I would love it if you guys would do a podcast on Accordance. I have been researching all three programs (Logos, Bibleworks, Accordance) and it seems Accordance is pretty committed to being intuitive to Mac users. Logos definitely has more resources available, but Accordance seems more intuitive in how to use those resources, which may make all the difference in how likely you are to use a product regularly. I'm sure if you contact Accordance they would be more than happy to discuss the possibility with you guys.

I definitely need to give

I definitely need to give this software a try...

Accordance Review

I posted a product review at http://geeksandgod.com/reviews/resources/accordance if you all want to chime in


Something else that Logos has that I think is worth mentioning is their RefTagger service for displaying Bible verses on a web site. Anybody using it?

Cheamweb Your window into the Fraser Valley
Dave's Journey | The Macfoto Life

I use it...

I use it on my devotional blog... there's a drupal plug in to use it on any drupal site by turning on a module and setting some settings.


drupal module

There's even a drupal module for refTagger at http://drupal.org/project/reftagger.

I like refTagger. There's a drupal module for doing this within text fields but it doesn't cover everything on the page.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host

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