Logos Version 8
A Denver Seminary Book Review by Denver Seminary Professor of New Testament William W. Klein
Logos Version 8. Logos Bible Software. Faithlife Corporation. 1313 Commercial St., Bellingham WA 98225-4307. Released in August 2018. Interim updates of resources occur frequently when connected online.
I have previously reviewed versions of the Logos software package in the “Denver Journal”—very favorably. Software companies continue to improve and enhance their products to appeal to current owners and to potential new ones. I believe Logos to be one of the better products for biblical research: it amounts to having an entire library on your computer—and it has the capacity to run on tablets and smartphones. Logos 8 is the most significant change in an upgrade since Logos 4. It not only adds many new features, but it also changes existing features and user interfaces in ways that will take some time to adjust to. There are also a handful of previous features that didn’t make it into 8 that they promise to bring back in the near future. As expected, some veteran users will approve of some of the tweaks; others will lament the absence of features they liked. I won’t repeat the features that I described in prior reviews in the “Denver Journal.” You can find them here:
- Logos 5: https://denverseminary.edu/resources/news-and-articles/logos-version-5/
- Logos 7: https://denverseminary.edu/resources/news-and-articles/logos-version-7/.
So, let’s start with what is new in Logos 8.
- The Logos Home Pageprovides quick access to many tools, resources, and training tips, as well as news about Logos and special deals on resources. The Home Page is composed of two areas: the Dashboard, which displays cards that open features like Layouts, Reading Plans, and Workflows that allow you to jump right into your study; and the Explore section, which displays cards linking to a wealth of content, like verse of the day art, articles, and interviews.
- The Canvas tool allows you to visually interact with selected text by capturing, organizing, and sharing your thoughts on any passage of any resource in your library.
- The Docs menu has received a major update in Logos 8. The Docs menu has a navigation menu button in the upper left. This expands or collapses the Filter menu on the left of the menu. Next to the navigation menu button, you’ll find the search box. Use this to search particular docs by name.
- Guide Editor. The six primary guides in Logos have a number of sections included by default, but these can be modified to meet your needs. You can add, remove, or move sections so the guide provides just the information you want. The Important Passages guide uses aggregated data from lexicons and commentaries to list, map, and categorize cross-references across the biblical text. While traditional cross-referencing tools provide a list of related verses and passages, with the Important Passages guide you’ll be able to determine what connects related verses and passages as well as where the strongest connections exist. The Important Words guide section gathers data from all commentary resources (not just those in your Library) to reveal words that are frequently referenced. This guide analyzes the number of references collected from commentary resources and ranks the results with the most frequently referenced words displayed first. References include both English and original language terms.
- The new Notes system is a powerful tool for documenting observations and highlights while you research and read. Paired with the new Logos notebooks, you can keep your notes and highlights organized and easily share them with others.
- The Resource toolbar displays at the top of any open resource panel and offers quick access to commonly used Logos features.
- Logos 8 has a multitude of various search functions: basic, Bible, clause, the ability to graph search results, media search, morphological constructions search, and syntax search.
- The Theology Guide collects and displays key information related to all the major topics in systematic theology. It provides a brief introduction to each topic, and links directly to systematic theologies that you own in Logos.
- Workflows guide you through your investigation of biblical passages, words, or topics step by step. They help you to study the context of a passage, compare translations, discover key terms, read excerpts from top resources, and capture your thoughts in one place. You can quickly and easily create a custom workflow to fit your study and research needs.
If you are a veteran user of Logos or are thinking of upgrading to version 8, here are the major changes you will find. There are some changes in the User Interface, particularly how the Tabs operate, the panel menu, and the sidebar menu.
As to the Home Page:
- Go box:The Go box has been consolidated with the Command box in the main toolbar.
- Preferred Bible:The new Home Page no longer provides a way to set a preferred Bible. For now, you’ll need to do that in the Prioritize sidebar of the Library, which you can find in the Panel menu (â‹®). We’ll be bringing similar functionality back in the near future.
- Preferred lectionary:You can no longer set your preferred lectionary from the Home Page. That is a loss; perhaps they will bring it back.
- Update notifications:There are no longer notifications on the Home Page for application and resource updates. I lament the loss of these and hope there are plans to bring these back. You can see resource updates in the Library with the new Added facet, which you’ll find at the bottom of the new Sidebar
- Reading Plan card:(a) The Reading Plan card loads the predefined (or your customized) Reading Plan layout in place of your current layout. In Logos 7 (and earlier) your resource opened into your existing layout if you had panels open, but loaded the Reading Plan layout only if there was nothing open. (b) The new Home Page no longer allows you to jump to various readings. (c) You can no longer mark a reading session as complete from the card. (d) You can no longer make modifications to your reading plan from the Home Page (i.e., catching up or adjusting to today).
- Lectionary card: The Lectionary card no longer has the ability to choose an arbitrary date. Here’s hoping this functionality will be added.
- Prayer List card:The Prayer List card no longer allows you to mark individual prayers as prayed for.
- Saints card:There’s no longer an option to choose an arbitrary date. It’s always set to the current date.
- Resource excerpts:There are no longer resource excerpts on the Home Page.
- Reading lists:Logos no longer shows recently modified reading lists.
- Faithlife brand links:The links to various Faithlife products are no longer present.
Logos continues to be a great tool. Though I typically prefer to have print copy books in my hands to read and mark, when it comes to books for research, nothing matches the search capacity in Logos to quickly and exhaustively find what I’m looking for. Or to double-click on a Greek word and immediately have Logos open BDAG lexicon (ditto for Hebrew). Or enter a passage into a search box and immediately have a list of dozens of commentaries and other sources to investigate. And the functions go on and on.
William W. Klein, PhD
Professor of New Testament