Recently I’ve been carrying around more than 10,000 pages of commentary everywhere I go.
This is due, of course, to my living “in the future.” Logos Bible Software has an electronic version of the 15-volume (soon to be 16-volume) Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (BECNT) series. I introduced the commentary layout and began my review of how the commentary works in Logos here. While I still love the look, feel (and SMELL!) of print books, the convenience of an entire commentary set on a computer or iPad is hard to beat.
Following up part 1 of my review, in this part 2 I review the BECNT for Logos on iPad.
Almost everything is hyperlinked. The Logos iOS app gives you two windows (a split screen) to work with. You can assign any resource you want to each window, or just use one window at a time. Here I have BECNT (Luke) open, together with the Passage Guide, which makes it easy to pull up other commentaries I have on the same passage. Here’s the passage I’m preaching on this Sunday, with my highlights.
Those highlights automatically sync across devices/platforms, so that when I open this commentary in Logos on a computer, all the highlights from my iPad session are there. As of now, Logos is the only Bible software that does this automatically. (Accordance has begun utilizing this feature via Dropbox, which is automatic on the desktop/laptop side, but not yet on the iOS side, though it can be done manually.) This “universal” access to highlights and notes is appealing and handy.
All of the blue in the above is hyperlinked, so I can just tap on the verse references, and the verses (in my preferred version) will come up as a sort of popup window, while not having to navigate away from the commentary itself. One downside to mention in this, though, is that for longer passages, the popup only shows part of the text, and you have to actually “Jump to reference” (i.e., leave the commentary screen) to get there. Footnotes display via popup, too–this feature works far better than the footnotes in Kindle, for example:
Hebrew and Greek in this series occur both in Hebrew/Greek font and as transliterations.
Navigating each commentary via the Table of Contents is easy:
Long-tapping the circled arrow at far right in the TOC (for the lines that have it) expands to more detailed contents.
You can also jump to a different part of the commentary by selecting a verse reference:
Settings are simple to change:
Highlighting and note-taking are both easy, and there are quite a few different styles:
You’ll note from the shots above that you can adjust the number of columns in which your text displays. The customizability here is wide-ranging.
Navigating through the commentary page-by-page is fairly intuitive, though not perfect. You can swipe to “turn” the page, a concept which is strange on a device (we are more used to scrolling through Web pages). You can also scroll through a commentary by two-finger swiping/scrolling up or down. It’s line-by-line scrolling that you get, not continuous or smooth, so I hope this is a feature that is improved. (Accordance’s iOS app has smooth scrolling.)
All in all, Logos has done a great job with their iOS app so far. Its integration with Logos on other platforms is excellent. And carrying 10,000 pages around on a little iPad mini is a lot easier on the back!
Next time I’ll interact a bit more with some of the content of the series.
Many thanks to Logos Bible Software for the review copy of the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, given to me for the purposes of review, but with no expectation as to the content of my review. You may also wish to see my iOS review of the LSJ lexicon here. Baker’s product pages for the series (print version) is here.
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