In the introduction to this review I mentioned that a basic version of Logos 5 is free for some users. Having recently updated to this free version (from Logos 4), I want to comment on some of the features new to version 5. Note that these features should be available in all versions of Logos 5.
A general observation, to begin: I anticipate these new features will be most helpful to pastors, students, and lay persons, while advanced students and certainly scholars will have the skills and resources to get at the information through other/better means.
Topic Guide. A “quick and dirty” search for digging into a topic. It will return results from any dictionaries/encyclopedias in your library, suggest similar topics, and link to some other resources such as illustrations for use in a PowerPoint or the Bible Facts (another new feature) which brings together various resources on certain topics.
Sermon Starter. This is similar to the Topic Guide, but the results it returns include resources often used in the preparation of a sermon (e.g., outlines, media, commentaries, illustrations, images designed for PowerPoint [specific to your passage or topic], links to related sermon text and audio.
I am not fond of the links to other sermons since, with all respect to those authors/speakers represented, they do not necessarily reflect diligent study and work on the texts.
Clause Search. This is a Bible search that can handle multiple terms with specific tags such as “verb” and “subject.” Searches for “God” as the subject will also return instances where God is speaking as subject, even where the noun “God” does not appear.
Timeline Upgrade. Bigger and better.
Bible Sense Lexicon. This is a sort of ‘smart’ lexicon that can especially help students or pastors who do not know the original languages understand an original word or phrase, as well as the significance of its syntax in the original sentence. I should note, however, that there is no equal substitute for knowing the original languages and, therefore, being able to use the best tools and commentaries available. One can also search a specific sense of a word (e.g., where ‘hand’ refers to power in the OT). Here’s a demonstration:
In the next post, I’ll be more specific about the features of Logos I find most beneficial for my work.