Logos 4 may be the answer to your prayers
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Logos 4 may be the answer to your prayers

As a shepherd at Northside Church in Nashville, Tennessee, I'm always on the lookout for good Bible software. I think I've found the ultimate in Logos for Mac (http://www.macbiblesoftware.com). The company brought its nearly 10,000 titles to the Mac platform in January, and I've been test driving the Scholar's Library, version 4, for a while.

The package is for the serious scholar only, as it costs US$629. But if you are serious about Bible study, it's certainly worth it. Logos also offers solutions ranging from a $259.95 Bible Study Library to the $1,379.99 Scholar's Library: Gold. (As I was writing this, however, Logos was offering 20% off its base packages.)

Not being satisfied to simply port their windows version over to Mac using an emulator, Logos Bible Software spent 3.5 years rebuilding their software from the ground up for the Mac. And it shows. The Mac version is easy to set-up (with one snafu I encountered; more on that later) and very Mac-like in its interface.

Scholar's Library is a collection of texts and tools for Bible study using Greek, Hebrew, and English resources. While the $600-plus price tag may sound steep, it's probably the best value in Bible software today with more than 330 Bibles and Bible Reference titles. If you bought all that in the equivalent print editions, the folks at Logos say it would cost approximately $6,100. Based on my research, that's about right. Plus, it's a whole lot easier carrying all those titles around on, say, a MacBook than lugging around 300-plus books!

The Scholar's Library software speeds up the process of studying by providing a plethora of resources at your finger tips (or mouse clicks, as it were). You can do everything from looking up relevant articles and automatically collecting material to generating tailored reports and organizing content around your specific target passage. You can compare Bible versions in dozens of different translations, including the New International Version, New Living Translation, New American Standard Bible, English Standard Version, NET Bible w/ Translators' Notes, Holman Christian Standard Bible, The Message, American Standard Version, New Revised Standard Version, Revised Standard Version, Darby Bible 1890, various King James versions and many more.

There's also: a syntactically tagged Hebrew Bible produced from the files of a lifetime project undertaken by Francis I. Andersen and Dean Forbes; a syntactically tagged Greek New Testament being developed by Dr. Albert L. Lukaszewski; and a second syntactically tagged Greek New Testament from data furnished by the OpenText.org project. Also included in Logos Bible Software 3 are three reverse interlinear Bibles, an unusual format that retains the English translation on the top line and ties each word (or word group) of the underlying Greek or Hebrew text to an English word (or word group). This enables English readers to view and research the corresponding word in the biblical language.

All you have to know how to do is type in a Bible reference, or a topic and click the “Go” button. Logos Bible Software gives you everything you need for in-depth and comprehensive Bible Study.

So what's new in Logos 4? New features include:

° An advanced search system that can return library-wide searches in less than one second;

° Smart searching that suggests synonyms and alternate terms;

° Synchronization "to the cloud" for backup and to keep preferences, notes, reading plans, and your library in sync across all your computers, including Macs, PCs and iPhones;

° A smart tab and window management system for workspace customization and multi-monitor support;

° The Cited By tool, which returns the books from your library that cite the material in your active window;

° 60 new high-resolution maps of the biblical world;

° A custom-built index of all the places mentioned in the Bible;

° A one-of-a-kind family tree diagram for every person mentioned in the Bible;

° A database of every thing in the Bible (like altars, fig trees, or Goliath’s sword), with cross references, pictures, and links to dictionary articles.

The only gripe I have with the software -- besides its extensive learning curve -- is that it was a bit tricky to install. There was a conflict with a ScanSnap Utility I had running in the background, though the latest version of the software seems to resolve that. You also have to activate your account, synchronize and load the resource materials. To perhaps save you some time, here's how it works.

To verify your registration:

° Open Libronix DLS and/or click on the Logos Bible Software homepage.

° In the top left, click the Libronix DLS menu.

° Select About Libronix DLS.

° Your Customer ID and Confirmation Codes should appear; if not, then delete your licenses and relaunch the application and enter the codes.

To delete a license:

° Close Libronix.

° Open a Finder Window.

° Go to Macintosh HD>Library>Application Support>Libronix DLS>Licenses.

° Delete the contents of this folder.

° Reopen Libronix.

° Enter the correct information

(Note that the Customer ID and confirmation code are case sensitive). To synchronize your licenses (and the price tag is for placing the software and resources on two Macs, such as desktop and laptop):

° Open Libronix DLS and/or click on the Logos Bible Software homepage.

° Go to Tools > Library Management > Synchronize Licenses.

° Follow the prompts to complete

Synchronizing licenses uses the Internet to connect to the Logos servers. It will download of your licenses to your computer.

If you weren't prompted to install your books to your Mac without engaging the serial prompt (that is if you have already activate the product to your account):

° Open Libronix DLS and/or click on the Logos Bible Software Homepage (Libronix DLS -- or Digital Library System -- is the engine that powers the software);

° Insert your resources disk;

° Go to Tools > Library Management > Resource Installer;

° Wait until it's finished generating the list;

° De-select any titles you don't wish to install;

° Click Install Resources.

Once you've got everything up and running, you'll be amazed at the resources at your disposal. In fact, with all the resources, there is a bit of a learning curve. But if you're really interested in knowing more about the Bible, Logos for the Mac is the answer to your prayers.

Macsimum rating: 8 out of 10

-- Dennis Sellers

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