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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Logos Bible Software Version 4: Further Comments

Well, after extensive haggling with Vincent, one of the technical guys at Logos, I had to concede that the parsing for qara' in Genesis 24:57 is probably a qal imperfect and cohortative. So the Westminster Morphological parsing is correct but imprecise. (See the comments section under Logos 4: Is It Worth It?)

Vincent says that the database for version two Westminister morphological tagging of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia is not as precise as the newer databases for the same BHS. Thus the results will not be as accurate or precise. According to Vincent the newer databases for the Westminster morphology for the BHS reflect that the qal imperfect plural form is cohortative in Genesis 24:57.

Vincent also says that the newer releases do a better job of linking the Hebrew text, morphology, and lexicons. But I suppose the only way to decide if the newer versions do any better is to invest nearly $500. That's a big piece of change for the average pastor who is working in a church plant or a small to medium sized congregation.

Another issue is the ongoing investment value. Will the library I purchase be accessible and usable in four to five years? And what about the value of the books included in the base packages? How useful are they in actual practice? Most of the commentaries in the Logos Scholar's Edition are completely useless except for perhaps devotional reading. For the serious pastor doing exegesis critical commentaries are essential. The Logos Scholar's Edition is supposed to be a good medium range investment targeted for the busy pastor. But does it deliver?

On the Logos website we are promised that there are extensive commentaries. If you go to the Scholar's Edition link, you'll see another link for a complete listing of LinkBible commentaries included with the base package. In that list, for example, you see the standard Matthew Henry commentary in both the concise and full version. Devotional commentaries are fine but not of much help otherwise. The other concise commentaries are equally useless, mainly the Bible Knowledge Commentary, Holman Concise Commentary, etc. These are acceptable for devotional use but not for sermon preparation.

The only two commentaries listed which might be of use to the busy pastor would be the Bible Exposition Commentary, 23 Volumes, and the Opening Up Commentary Collection, 30 Volumes. I searched the Logos site and found that the Opening Up Commentary Collection looks like a decent pulpit commentary, though I have not actually used or examined the contents. The commentators are mostly evangelical Baptists or Presbyterians and it is recommended by John MacArthur so no problem there.

But what about the Bible Exposition Commentary, 23 Vols.? Well, there seems to be an ambiguity here or else an error on the website. In the listing of the commentaries included the Bible Exposition Commentary is supposed to have 23 volumes. But when I searched the site I found that there are two possibilities. Either they meant Boice's Expositional Commentary, 27 Vols, or they meant Warren Wiersby's Expository Oulines of the OT and NT. The short of it is there is no Bible Exposition Commentary showing up in the search of products matching that description on the Logos website. Either this is an error on the advertisement posting or there is a deliberate misleading of potential customers. I will give the benefit of the doubt to Logos but needless to say this sort of ambiguity needs to be cleared up.

The short answer is do not jump too quickly into buying Logos base packages before you know what you are in reality getting for your investment. Commentaries on a more critical level are going to cost you much more in the Logos 4 system and that is a significant investment for most small time pastors and laymen. While Bible Works 8.0 does not have many commentaries either, the apparent technical advantages just from the biblical texts and tools provided seems to be much more extensive for the investment of $349.00 over against the $472.46 of Logos 4. After January 31st the price for Logos 4 Scholar's Edition goes to $629.95.

In defense of Logos, I have to say that Logos 4 does work well in the new look and appearance and the RAM hogging I observed at first was probably due to the synchronization of the books on intial installation. That process can take a couple of hours or longer depending on the speed of you computer. Logos 4 will work well on new computers with Windows 7 and 64 bit processing but I'm not sure about computers 3-4 years old or older.

The learning curve with Logos 4 is not that bad after I got the hang of it. But I still think the helps file is terrible. I had to have a Logos technician comment on the blog before I figured out how to toggle between the BHS and the LXX in the exegetical guide.

I still have to review Bible Works 8.0 but Logos 4 is still a viable option if you have lots of money to spend with moderate to medium return for your investment. Don't get me wrong, Logos is a great software package if you have a reasonable knowledge of Greek and Hebrew and you know how to use the hard copy tools with which most seminarians are familiar. But the ease of use issue is debatable. Logos 4 also has a much more extensive add on library, including the Word Biblical Commentary, etc. But these additions can involve an extensive investment which will be usable at least in the near future but maybe not forever? The reality is that computers and software become obsolete and have to be upgraded. Logos.com seems to be capitalizing on that by following Microsoft's similar business model. Monopolizing the market is a way to profit quickly and to make the consumer dependent on the dominant format. Logos obviously wants to be the Microsoft of the computer exegesis world. It seems to me that healthy competition is good for the consumer. Don't be too quick to jump on the Logos bandwagon.

Charlie

5 comments:

Charlie J. Ray said...

For a complete listing of what comes with the basic Scholar's Edition see Scholar's Edition listing.

This does not include the Bauer, Arndt, and Gingrich NT Greek lexicon but it does include the Brown Driver and Briggs Hebrew lexicon. However, the listing does not specify if the BDB is the abridged lexicon, the enhanced BDB.

But one item I missed in an earlier perusal is that this version includes the 10 Volume unabridged Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. This is a worthy addition to anyone's library. It's going to cost you extra to get BAG, though. If I remember correctly there are two versions of BAG. The regular one and a more extensive revision with more hyperlinks.

Charlie

Anonymous said...

John MacArthur & Pretrib Rapture

Who knows, maybe John (Reformedispy) MacArthur is right and the greatest Greek scholars (Google "Famous Rapture Watchers"), who uniformly said that Rev. 3:10 means PRESERVATION THROUGH, were wrong. But John has a conflict. On the one hand, since he knows that all Christian theology and organized churches before 1830 believed the church would be on earth during the tribulation, he would like to be seen as one who stands with the great Reformers. On the other hand, if John has a warehouse of unsold pretrib rapture material, and if he wants to have "security" for his retirement years and hopes that the big California quake won't louse up his plans, he has a decided conflict of interest. Maybe the Lord will have to help strip off the layers of his seared conscience which have grown for years in order to please his parents and his supporters - who knows? One thing is for sure: pretrib is truly a house of cards and is so fragile that if a person removes just one card from the TOP of the pile, the whole thing can collapse. Which is why pretrib teachers don't dare to even suggest they could be wrong on even one little subpoint! Don't you feel sorry for the straitjacket they are in? While you're mulling all this over, Google "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" for a rare behind-the-scenes look at the same 180-year-old fantasy.

Dorcas

Charlie J. Ray said...

Dorcas,

I honestly don't know what your comment has to do with the blog post on Logos 4. :D. However, let me say that I am not a big fan of MacArthur for many reasons. I have posted one article he did on the pentecostals because I agreed with that. I disagree with his dispensationalism and with his "lordship salvation" view. A Christian is saved by grace alone, apart from works. Sanctification is always and forever imperfect, though it is an outward indication of true conversion.

My own view regarding eschatology is the amillennial view. I don't believe in the "rapture" but only in the "parousia."

In Christ,

Charlie

Vincent said...

In my last reply in our previous conversation, I offered you an upgrade on the Westminster database for only $10. But then you write a follow up saying "But I suppose the only way to decide if the newer versions do any better is to invest nearly $500." I don't understand.

In any event, the BDB that comes with Scholar's Library is unabridged.

The difference between the 2nd English edition of Bauer's lexison (BAGD) and the 3rd (BDAG) is a lot more than additional linking. Danker completely revised the lexicon (which is why the 'D' in the abreviated list of editors climbs the ranks).

Charlie J. Ray said...

Vincent: I called Logos and they do not know anything about this deal you're offering me on upgrading just the database for the Westminster morphology. Could you send me more information to my e-mail? I am thinking about getting the Bible Expositor's Commentary if I can get the Westminster database upgrade for $10.

Charlie

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