The Logos Original Languages Supplement

The Bible is the most important book in the world. Nothing else comes close. No other book in the world reveals God. No other book in the world is inspired by the Holy Spirit. No other book in the world is able to make people wise unto salvation. No other book in the world is totally true and trustworthy.

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ (Rom 10:16). The Apostles of Jesus have all passed from the scene, but the word of Christ is still heard in what they wrote. Faith comes from hearing the Bible. “For since in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God by wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of preaching” (1 Cor 1:21), and though they are dead, the Apostles continue to preach through the Scriptures.

These truths about the Scriptures—that they reveal God and proclaim the salvation that God has wrought in Christ—are the reasons I care about Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, the languages in which the Bible was written, and these reasons are also why I care about the ancient manuscripts that transmit the Scriptures and the scholarly discipline of textual criticism.

The original languages and textual criticism matter to me because the Bible matters to me.

In order to understand the original languages in which the Bible was written, we need to understand the grammatical structures of these languages, and we need to understand how the words of these languages were used. Over the years, scholars have compiled massive and significant grammars and lexicons, reference works that collect and organize how phrases and words were used when the Bible was being written.

When we come to a phrase or grammatical construction we do not understand, or when we come to a word we do not know, we can look the word up in a lexicon and the phrase or construction up in a grammar. More detailed lexicons and grammars will do more than just gloss meanings, citing other texts where these words and phrases are used, sometimes giving snippets from those texts, or in the case of grammars, discussing them.

The two advanced Hebrew Grammars are Gesenius, Kautzsch, Cowley (GKC) and Joüon Muraoka. GKC comes with Logos Scholars Gold. Joüon Muraoka comes with the Original Languages Supplement (hereafter OLS). The OLS also comes with Linguistic Analysis of Biblical Hebrew by Sue Groom (a resource with which I’m not yet familiar).

The two authoritative lexicons for Hebrew are BDB, which also comes with Scholars Gold, and HALOT, which comes with the OLS.

One of the advanced Greek grammars, BDF, comes with the OLS, as does the best intermediate Greek Grammar, Dan Wallace’s Exegetical Syntax.

The most important Greek Lexicon for NT study is BDAG, which comes with the OLS, and the most important Greek Lexicon for all ancient literature, including LXX study, LSJ, also comes with the OLS. Logos also includes Learning the Basics of New Testament Greek, which comes with a workbook.

Let me summarize what this means: in the Logos Original Languages Supplement, you get three of the four most important lexicons for biblical studies: HALOT, BDAG, and LSJ (BDB coming with other packages), and three of the five or so most important grammars for biblical studies: Joüon Muraoka, BDF, and Wallace (GKC coming with other packages, and ATR’s big Greek Grammar only comes with Platinum and Portfolio Logos packages).

I am simply astonished that all these resources are available in electronic format. Whereas in years past you needed a big table for massive volumes such as LSJ, now you need a powerful computer. The possibilities such easy access open up are mind-boggling. Much will be required of us, for to us much indeed has been given.

Logos is to be congratulated and thanked for their service in making such tools available. We are all in their debt. May we be good stewards.

I have two minor complaints about Logos, and I don’t know whether these issues are related. The first is that the program comes with a lot of “resources” that I will never use. I wouldn’t keep hard copies of most of these books if they came into my possession for free. I wish that there were an easier way to delete multiple items from my Logos library all at once. The best thing I found was instructions in a forum somewhere that gave a step by step process for deleting (hiding, removing from my library, whatever it’s called) ten items at once. The steps had to be followed exactly, I’m not sure if I could get back to those instructions (probably easily could by googling them), and it would just take forever to remove all the clutter I would like to get out of Logos. I’m not sure I want to take the time to do it. So I wish there were an easy way to remove a whole bunch of resources all at once. I know there’s a lot of magic behind the curtain, but what if Logos could bring up all my resources in one big list, with an edit button at the top right like I find on my iPhone. I hit edit, select the items I don’t want in my library, and delete them all at once. Is this possible?

My second complaint may or may not be related to the first. That is, I don’t know if it’s the number of items in my Logos library that makes the program sluggish, but it is sluggish. I have saved “Layouts” for OT, NT, and LXX screens. My MacBook Pro is about a year old, and it’s a pretty powerful machine. Just now I went to Logos, clicked the “Layouts” tab, and selected “NT” (I was in “OT”). I was able to count off 20 seconds before the NT layout appeared. Similarly, it’s not uncommon for me to try to scroll through a passage, or hit the button to go to the next chapter, and have to wait for the program to respond. This may seem petty. I agree. It is. What a pity to have to wait 20 seconds to switch from my OT to my NT layout. Cry me a river. But there is no comparison on this point with Accordance or BibleWorks. The word “instantaneous” comes to mind for Accordance, and BibleWorks is the same on Windows machines.

Would Logos be faster if I took the time to delete all that stuff I don’t want? I don’t know. I’m not sure that I want to risk the time and find it doesn’t make things go faster. If I could be assured that it would lighten the program’s load, I might look for a time to do it.

Let me return to what matters: the Bible. There is nothing in the world more important than the Bible. Lexicons and grammars are vital to study of the biblical texts in the original languages. The best, most important, most thorough, most used grammars and lexicons are in the Logos Original Languages Supplement.

As I reflect on what it’s like to have the Logos Original Languages Supplement, I think this must be close to what it was for Harry Potter to hold wand in hand.

23 Responses to The Logos Original Languages Supplement

  1. Dan Phillips February 21, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    Agreed.

    Someone put me on to the fact that the speed of Logos is related to the video card. When I upgraded my pc, I upgraded the video card and its RAM, and that made a huge difference.

    But that applies to real computers. Since you have one of those etch-a-sketch thingies, I don’t know what to tell you.

    (c:

    • JMH February 21, 2012 at 7:44 am #

      Interesting. Is it possible to disable whatever it is about Logos that wants a big video card?

      Etch-a-sketch! Hysterical : )

    • Josh February 21, 2012 at 8:29 am #

      Please. Pretty sad, though, that you have to update your PC just to run Logos well. It was obviously engineered by Windows techies. 🙂

      It seems to me that Logos has always been about content (“We have all this stuff!!!”) rather than the UI and the user experience. That’s a fundamental difference between Windows software and Mac software.

      Josh

  2. Jacob Sweeney February 21, 2012 at 8:16 am #

    I like that you slid a Harry Potter reference in there.

  3. Ross February 21, 2012 at 8:16 am #

    Jim,

    Thanks for the post. Great timing! A gentleman recently gave me money towards Logos, so I spend a good bit yesterday looking into packages, etc. So thanks for your input. Also, Greg D up at Northland is pretty knowledgeable on Logos and runs his on a Mac. I had an insightful conversation with him yesterday on this . . . you might ask him about speed issues.

    Blessings,
    Ross

  4. Jacob Sweeney February 21, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    I meant to ask this in my other comment and forgot. I have a mac as well and I have been hesitant to buy Logos because of all the extras. Which is a better investment: Accordance or Logos. I would primarily use it for language and bible study.

    • JMH February 21, 2012 at 8:40 am #

      Honestly it’s hard to say. Accordance has a price tag on virtually everything, so you don’t get as much with a “package.” On the other hand, the initial Logos price is much higher, but you get most everything you’ll need . . . So it’s not easy to compare them. Sorry I’m not more help!

  5. Dan Phillips February 21, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    BibleWorks is the most amazingly wonderful value for language tools and abilities. As far as I know, nothing comes close.

    Logos is great at what it does, but it doesn’t do what BW does. (And vice-versa.)

  6. Continuationist February 21, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Jim,
    How much RAM are you running in your MBP? RAM, not video card, is the key to running any modern day program on a Mac.

    -Dustin

  7. Doc B February 21, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    I jumped in to Logos with both feet and bought the Scholar’s Platinum package. Not sure now if that was a mistake. I love Logos, but there are way more resources in the top-end packages than I’ll ever use. I’m thinking it might have been smarter to get in at a lower level (minimally at where one gets all the language tools) and then just buy the extra resources that I need/want.

    I’m constantly looking for ways to maximize the use of the best resources, so any time anyone blogs on the good resources (or points out the bad ones) it is very helpful to me.

    So don’t make this your last post on Logos!

    • If anyone would like a list of equations for creating targeted collections so that you can customize your search to your prioritized resources, feel free to email me, dave@logos.com.

      Logos pays royalties as a percentage of the whole collection, so while they probably are many titles in a base collection you would never use (or may want to ever use) they serve the purpose of bringing the cost of having the high quality titles you really want down. For example, TDNT costs $199.95, how then can we put it in the Original Language Library along with so many other expensive titles? Because the rest of the titles bring the cost down as a percentage of the whole. So buying something you want and getting something you don’1 want, actually reduces the cost of what you want.

      When evaluating a collection, look at the cost of the things you want and compare that to buying them separately, almost always the collection will be less expensive.

      Hiding or removing titles could be made easier and we encourage suggestions on that issue to be sent to our suggest@logos.com or our forum. We are constantly working on improving our program and our collections. Before becoming an employee I wrestled tediously comparing what I wanted with a collection including a lot I would never use. I understand the frustration you are expressing. I hope you can understand how hard Logos works to bring the titles you do want to you on any platform in a way to make them far more valuable than print because of accessibility and a price that’s affordable in spite of the current economic pressure on publishers to just survive.

  8. Paul Lamey February 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    I run Logos on a MacBook Pro and recently updated my memory from 4gig to 8gig (Crucial.com is cheap for this). It seemed to help the overall ease of use. My “etch-a-sketch” has never crashed or given me a day of trouble in five years 🙂

    In addition to the language resources I would also recommend the theological journal packages from Galaxie software (these run on Logos or Accordance). I would be interested to hear what Bibleworks is able to do that Logos cannot not. I’m sure there are some niche things that each offers but they are comparable on language abilities. A few years ago Bibleworks was light years ahead of Logos on languages but that is no longer the case.

    • Chris Taylor February 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

      I’m not a strong language student, so I like all the help I can get. With BibleWorks, I was able to color code both the Hebrew and Greek texts so that I can quickly visualize what is going on.

      Small sample of my coloring:

      Nom = Blue
      Gen = Green
      Dat = Gold
      Acc = Pink

      Ind = Red
      Inf = Red Bold
      Subj = Red Underlined
      Imp = Red Bold Underline
      Part = (Same Case colors) with Bold Underline

      Etc, etc.

      Last I knew, you could not do this with Logos.

      • David February 24, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

        You can do this very easily with Logos 4.

        • Chris Taylor February 25, 2012 at 9:54 am #

          David, I’ve now spent more than a half hour looking on the Logos sight for anything that would indicate that what I’ve outlined above is possible. Could you point me to some Logos terms or something that would indicate which tools one would use to do this?

          I’ve been thinking about buying a Mac, and knowing that Logos can do this kind of thing is important to that end.

          • David February 25, 2012 at 10:01 am #

            Chris,
            They are called visual filters. You must enter an “@” in the first field using the Morph. filter.
            David

  9. David February 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    I truly love what Logos does. I own Bible Works and Word Search but Logos is superior in almost every way including price. I find that Logos does not get in the way of what I am trying to accomplish in my study and reading. The training that I received (Camp Logos 1 and the two Camp Logos manuals) has helped. The long pauses were a concern at first for me but you know you should take little prayer breaks while studying. 😉 I am able to get more done with Logos in the same amount of time than with any other software that I have used. My Tags on every book is a great help with the clutter. The books that I thought I might not use have popped up in searches at times and have been of great value. Most of the Logos created works for original language study have been of great value to me.

    Could it be better? YES, but I am truly blessed by the way it is now.

  10. Donovan Palmer February 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Credit to Logos, the program allows you to search through a huge library to find some gold nuggets here and there. At it’s genetic core, it has always had an orientation to a powerful library system… this is great if you want/need some of the collections of works on Theologians such as Calvin, Luther, et. al. That being said, you will often hear complaints about speed with Logos. In fact, I don’t know that I have ever heard anyone really bragging about how fast it is.

    After years of using Logos I switched to Accordance as my primary study program. It is fast, fast, fast. If you want ‘less is more’, it is well suited for this as there is little fluff. I find the interface superior for original language studies over Logos. My only regret is that I did not switch years ago.

    • Chris Taylor March 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

      Donavan,

      I’m making a switch to Mac and I’m happy to hear that Logos can do some of the cool things I’ve done with BibleWorks. Any idea if Accordance can do the color coded tagging on Greek as I’ve outlined above? If so, I might go the route you took.

      CT

  11. Ivan M February 22, 2012 at 6:07 am #

    One day. 🙂

  12. Larry February 22, 2012 at 6:34 am #

    I agree with all that you have stated, those of us who have not gone to seminary do not have the funds for that program have to rely on men such as yourself for some understanding. I have met you and read your writings and can say that I trust your understand because you will work at studying the scriptures with material available today to help. I wish that writers would write in such a way that men as not well educated could understand easily the meanings. I will use the gleanings from someones work in a prison ministry and need to present information for their understanding. Thanks much.

  13. Gregory Lawhorn February 22, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    I’ve been an Accordance user for many years, and keep adding pits and pieces as needed. I took a look at Logos after reading this, and watched the demo.

    Logos is definitely prettier. I especially liked the ability to quickly drag content where you want it to appear. The map feature are also nicer than what I have.

    But the complaints about speed are enough to keep me with Accordance. It IS very quick. While Accordance certainly has its quirks, they aren’t bugs as much as features. Accordance makes it very easy to hide items that you don’t use, and just as easy to get them back if you want them. It is also very easy to change the order things appear in the various lists, and to even create your own categories for drop down menus.

    Accordance also has iPhone and iPad apps, which download access to almost everything in your library, but for my IOS devices I prefer Olive Tree’s Biblereader.

    Love the blog, by the way!

  14. mike wittmer February 26, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

    I know that I should buy these resources, but I just think I think better with books spread out on a table. I wish it wasn’t so.

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