The eagle eyed among you will have spotted the nifty little thing that happens with Bible verses on this blog. Whenever I quote a Bible verse I will always give a reference to that verse so you can read it for yourself. But the neat thing is that if I write something like John 3:16 you get to simply hover your mouse over the Bible reference and a little popup shows you what it says! This is a nifty little service supplied again by me favourite company, Logos, which they call RefTagger. It’s dead simple and really rather brilliant.
There’s a few things to say about those pop ups to let you enjoy them to the full.
The first and most important point is that at the bottom of the popup is a little link which says “more>”. If you click on it you will be taken to a brilliant website called bible.logos.com. If you follow the link there you will see the whole chapter of the Bible that the verse I’m quoting comes from. Much better still though is that at the top right of the screen you will see a list of abbreviations “NIV ESV NLT MKJV KJV more”.
These abbreviations might seem like gibberish but they actually all stand for different english translations of the Bible. If you click on one you will be able to read the same passage of the Bible in a slightly different english translation. That’s really handy if you want to check how the different translations help you understand differences in the passage. So I encourage you to use it and explore.
The other thing to mention is the little ‘L’ in a box which appears after every reference. This won’t actually be of use to most of you. It is a link for Logos Bible Users. If you have Logos installed on your computer then clicking the ‘L’ will open up the reference in your copy of Logos for you. For the rest of you I’m afraid it doesn’t mean a sausage! Sorry!
The default version of the Bible currently is the NIV (New International Version) as the evangelical tome of choice, for me at least. I hope that RefTagger will support the Holman Christian Standard Bible which I’m fast falling in love with. If and when it does then the default version will become the HCSB.
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In this modern age, where many of us spend hours a day online, or at least on a computer for leisure, work or study, reaching for a book on a shelf might seem like either a luxury or a very slow means of finding information.
There is no doubt in my mind that there is little which can top the pleasure and relaxation of holding a real book in your hands and sitting down with a cup of tea and spending half an hour or more just reading. Bookshops remain one of my guilty pleasures in life still to this day. BUT…I’m also pretty busy, and much of my time is spent studying the Bible and preparing sermons, thoughts for the day, writing articles and teaching others about God’s word. The truth is, my bookshelves are stacked full of books which I just don’t always have time to search through by hand to find the information or the quotes I want.
More still, the Bible itself. As much as I know a fair bit about the Bible I constantly find myself scratching my head trying to remember where a particular story or passage is.
It’s for these things that Logos Bible Software was invented … and more.
Logos is much more than just a Bible study tool. It is an entire electronic library management system. For instance, if I open up my copy of Logos on my laptop (which actually I don’t need to do because I pretty much always have it running on my toolbar) I can quickly see that in my laptop alone I have over 500 different books, journals, Bibles, and other reference materials. Each of these can be immediately searched in a variety of ways.
If I want another book, for instance we going through the Gospel of Mark as a church right now so I recently wanted some small group material on Mark, I just visit the logos.com website and see what they’ve got. From the comfort of my office chair or settee I can buy and download a vast range of thousands of titles and have them imediately within Logos ready to search and work with.
Everything is just a click or two away.
The interface is excellent, which is no mean feat when you consider the vast array of functions and toolsets built into the Logos software. Whether you mostly just want to read books and search them easily, or do scholarly level ancient language studies, Logos has it all. It even has a very nice wordsearch maker tool (great for kids work at church) and tools for writing notes, sermons, and more.
The other great thing about Logos is that it is highly scaleable to your needs. You can buy it in a range of flavours (mine was the Scholar’s Library Silver which I’ve added to extensively over the years with other bundles and individuals titles) to suit your needs and budget. Once you’re a customer you will find they are constantly adding new titles to their range every week, and you will get large discounts on upcoming titles by agreeing to buy them before they’re available. So in the long run it’s a way to save money on the books you’ll want to buy in the future as well.
Anyway, it’s such a huge tool that this brief review can’t possible do it justice. If you are serious about your Bible study, especially if you are in full time ministry, then I heartily recommend Logos Bible Software to you!