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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

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Short Review of Logos Bible Version 4

One would expect that a professional scholar's version of a Bible software program like Logos Bible would perform as advertised. Don't get me wrong. The resources in Logos are exceptional, including the Enhanced Brown Driver Briggs Lexicon of Hebrew and Aramaic, etc. The morphological parsing for the LXX and the Nestle-Aland New Testament and the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia is also useful.

However, the promised precision is lacking. There are numerous errors in the morphological parsing information windows and one has to be an expert to know how to highlight the root word and then get a correct definition of the right word form or lemma. Sometimes the information window pops up a noun definition when the parsing shows the word is actually a verb. These sorts of problems are so numerous as to make the parsing useless in many cases.

Another problem I noticed is that the exegetical guide is out of sync. When I tried to do an exegetical study with the guide template I found that when I wanted to do the Hebrew passage in Genesis 24 the exegetical guide did the exegesis on the Septuagint and not the Hebrew! Arrrgh! One would think that a program that costs upwards of $600 would actually DO what the software company promises! I'm sure there are many pastors out there who don't know they're not getting their money's worth from this software.


I've owned Logos for about ten years now and I'm still finding typos and errors in the morphology of the original languages. I don't own all the addins but the ones I do have do not do what is promised. I'm generally happy with the resources provided with the package but the sloppiness regarding typos and the performance of the guide templates and other study aids is terrible. I give this software an overall C grade. Don't waste your money if you're looking for exegetical precision. If you're looking for a program that has good resources, this is a keeper. The trouble is if you don't know Greek or Hebrew that well your search results can be confusing. Knowing how to get the correct results in your lexicons, etc. can be frustrating.

What I find particularly irritating is the high cost of the packages with more resources. If the contents of the lower packages are any indication the likelihood of there being numerous typographical errors and other problems is high. I realize that this software is for a highly specialized market, namely pastors and amateur scholars. However, you would have to be a high paid pastor or scholar to afford these upgrade packages. If you happen to be a genuine scholar who is concerned with exegetical precision, then Logos is a miserable failure. However, if you want lots of resources so you don't need a large hardcopy library then Logos proves to be a useful tool. As I said, however, you have to be an expert to be able search the lexicons, commentaries, and morphology for exact results.

4 comments:

DigitalSword said...

Hi Charlie,

Thanks for the blog article.

I am a long time user as well and know your frustration.

By the way, I have created Interactive Training videos for Logos 4, to help people get more out of Logos 4.

I could really use your help getting the word out. My website is:

www.LearnLogos.com

I have some free samples to try out.

Thanks!
Keep up this great blog!
John Fallahee

Phil Gons said...

"There are numerous errors in the morphological parsing information windows."

Please pass these along. We'd love to correct them. Can you provide an example or two so I can see what you're talking about?

"One has to be an expert to know how to highlight the root word and then get a correct definition of the right word form or lemma."

It's actually fairly easy. Just right-click on the Greek or Hebrew word, choose lemma, and then select your favorite lexicon.

"Sometimes the information window pops up a noun definition when the parsing shows the word is actually a verb."

Can you provide a couple of examples so we can look into it?

"When I tried to do an exegetical study with the guide template I found that when I wanted to do the Hebrew passage in Genesis 24 the exegetical guide did the exegesis on the Septuagint and not the Hebrew!"

That's not a bug. That's a feature. We let you pick your OT text. Just switch it to a Hebrew text by clicking the drop-down menu right under the "Word by Word" heading.

"If the contents of the lower packages are any indication the likelihood of there being numerous typological errors and other problems is high."

I think you mean typographical errors. :)

Charlie J. Ray said...

I tried to switch the text but the help file didn't have a thing on how to do it and it certainly isn't intuitive.

As for the morphology problems, when a verb has waw conjunction and you point to the word it just says, "waw conjunction". So then you have to highlight the rest of the word and then right click to get the right lemma. Trouble is when you click the information button to show the definition sometimes you get one of the other forms and not the form that fits the context of the verse you're studying. I plan to do a more thorough post with examples later.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Ok, I clicked on the title for the Septuagint under Word by Word and finally figured out how to toggle back and forth between the BHS and the LXX for the exegetical guide. But my point stands--it is NOT intuitive AND there is NOTHING in the Help file to point you in the right direction on this.

I've been using computers since 1992 when I bought my first 286 pc. I type and I consider myself computer literate. If I could not find this without intervention, how do you expect others to find it?

I'm using the Scholars' version that I purchased 10 years ago. I downloaded the free engine for Logos 4 and was able to install it and get it working. However, when it was indexing files it was very slow.

That is now complete. But even with a new Gateway computer with 4 megs of RAM and a 2 ghz dual core AMD athlon cpu it sometimes takes a few seconds to pop up the information window and the lemma for the original languages. I hate lag. A 64 bit operating system (Windows 7) should fly. It's not too bad opening resources, etc. But Libronix 3.0 was much faster for opening the information windows, etc.

The search engine Logos 4 seems to work better since it found word forms in the power look up and in my own word study searches that Libronix 3 didn't find.

More later.

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