Big-Time Deals on NIV Application Commentaries (NIVAC) in Accordance, Logos, and Olive Tree

NIVAC Accordance sale

 

Zondervan’s NIV Application Commentary series is on mega-sale, with each of the ebooks selling at $7.99 in Accordance, Logos, and Olive Tree.

I really liked Psalms vol. 1 in this series. The Genesis, Luke, and Galatians volumes were stand-by commentaries when I preached through those books, too.

Here is where you can find more details on the sale, which Zondervan rarely offers in any other e-format than Kindle:

Accordance // Logos // Olive Tree

When Bible Software Marketing Crosses a Theological Line

Logos 6 is Here

 

Logos, I appreciate you. I use your products. I was impressed with Logos 6. I even recently signed on as an affiliate to receive commissions for Logos purchases generated through a unique Words on the Word-based url. You’ve been kind to offer me a lot of great stuff to review.

You invest a lot of time and effort (and, I assume, money) in marketing.

I ignore most of it.

But you recently emailed me a link to an awkwardly titled blog post: 6 Reasons That Shouldn’t Stop You from Getting Logos 6.

This post has gone too far in trying to convince people to override their objections to spend more:

2. I already have enough books.

Even if you think you’ll never read through everything in your library, adding more books will make it more powerful and increase the value of the books you already own.

In other words, “If you buy more books to search, you’ll have more books to search.”

Dear friends at Logos, do we not already succumb enough to an insufficiency mentality in the world? I don’t have enough. I need to have more. My Bible study and teaching prep is good, but if I just had that one more commentary series, life would be awesome!

I’m as guilty of this mentality as anyone (probably more so)–and I want to fight it. Bible software marketing copy that taps into the culturally-rooted materialism that Christians are supposed to stand against? Not okay.

One other “reason” gave me pause:

4. I can’t afford a new base package.

If a base package isn’t in your budget right now, you have a couple of options.

You can take advantage of interest-free payment plans and spread out the cost over up to 24 months. That means you only pay a fraction up front, pay for the rest over time, and start using your new software right away.

Let me help with the rewrite:

If a base package isn’t in your budget right now, you have one option: don’t buy one right now.

“Our mission is to serve the church,” you say. How does enabling and even encouraging churchgoers and pastors to take on new debt serve the church?

I think it’s time for some serious evaluation of the sort of marketing mantras that (however unintentionally) undermine Kingdom values of sufficiency and wise financial stewardship and promote instead the harmful values of incessant accumulation and overspending.

Saying, “What I have is enough,” and curbing credit-card-style overspending are actually two excellent reasons not to upgrade to Logos 6.

 

UPDATE: The “6 Reasons” email I received from Logos had no author’s name on it. I didn’t see an author’s name on the blog version of the post, either, until just before this post was about to go live. I direct my critique, though, to Logos as a whole, since the individual post is emblematic of Logos’s marketing approach in general.

15% Off All Logos 6 Base Packages

Logos 6 is Here

 

Now you can get 15% off any base package in Logos 6 through Words on the Word. If you order a base package through this Logos landing page, Logos feeds a percentage back to me, which I’d use for resources supporting the work of Words on the Word. (Current project I’m excited about: Greek Psalms in a Year.)

Check it out here, or just use the promo code ABRAMKJ6 when you checkout with a base package in your Logos cart. My review of Logos 6 is here.

John William Wevers’s Notes on the Greek Text… Coming to Logos

Wevers Notes on Greek Text

 

The best (only?) complete set of books on the Greek Pentateuch is now up on Pre-Pub through Logos Bible Software: John William Wevers’s Notes on the Greek Text.

The Society of Biblical Literature’s book page has a helpful write-up of the Deuteronomy volume, which gives a sense of what this series is about:

Wevers [spent] most of his adult life studying the Septuagint, the last thirty years being devoted to the Pentateuch. The author considers the Greek text to be the first commentary on the Pentateuch ever written (in the third century B.C.E.) and not merely a collection for emendations of the Hebrew text. The work focuses on how the translator accomplished his task and on the vocabulary and syntax of the resulting text, rather than on either scholarly opinions on the text or how interpreters subsequently used the text. The Notes are intended for students who would like to use the Greek intelligently but are not specialists in Hellenistic Greek or LXX studies.

You can find the 5-volume set on pre-pub at Logos here. Wevers also wrote valuable LXX-Pentateuch text histories, which are available free online in .pdf form, detailed here.

Get Logos 6? Making (Some) Sense of the Upgrade Process

Logos 6 Gold

 

Logos 6 looks good and offers some innovative, interactive tools for Bible study.

There are a lot of upgrade options. The upgrade process has not been as clear as it could be. But I think I’ve figured it out–and I was a beta tester! So if it hasn’t been clear to me, my hunch is that’s true for others, too.

In case it’s helpful to anyone else, here’s a short post on how to get Logos 6.

 

1. Free, Bare Bones, Later

 

On February 3, 2015, Faithlife (umbrella company for Logos) will make its Logos 6 engine free. It won’t have the datasets (mentioned below), nor the Interactives (see here), but I believe it will have basic improvements like the Search Everything and notes upgrades.

 

2. Crossgrade: Keep Your Current Library, Get Some (or All) of the New Features

 

Check out Logos 6’s new features here. I mentioned in my review of Logos 6 that the Interactives are, I think, the best part.

There are three crossgrade levels, and they’re pricier than you’d expect. They’re all noted and compared here. Crossgrades don’t give you new books, but they get you the Logos 6 engine (i.e., software), as well as its new features, interactive resources, media, and datasets. (I’m especially impressed at the moment by the Propositional Flow Outline.) As one of Logos’s pages puts it: “The crossgrade packages allow you to power your existing library with the new Logos 6 features.”

 

3. Base Package: Buy a Bigger Library, Get Some (or All) of the New Features

 

This is where it gets confusing. You can buy a Base Package–and previous purchases count toward your customized dynamic pricing–that gives you new texts, books, etc. and that gives you some or all (depending on the Base Package level) of the datasets, media, and interactive resources.

So if you bought Logos 5 Gold, Logos 6 Gold will cost you money, but not nearly as much as if you’re buying for the first time. Logos 6 Gold supplies you with all the new datasets and features, as well as some new books and commentaries.

For Base Packages you can choose from Starter, Bronze, Silver, Gold, all the way up through the Collector’s Edition. If you buy Bronze, for example, you get new books and some of the new datasets and interactive resources in Logos 6, but not all.

Making your decision more potentially difficult is that Logos offers denomination-based base packages at various levels.

All the Base Packages are detailed here. Especially useful is this interactive Base Package comparison chart.

UPDATE: Get 15% off base packages here, or use the promo code ABRAMKJ6 when you checkout with a base package in your Logos cart.

 

Logos 5 had what was acknowledged by the company to be an unclear rollout and upgrade process. The Logos 6 rollout has been better, but still could have been clearer (and should be simpler, perhaps with less options?).

The best single, succinct summary Logos has published on upgrading can be found here.

See more at the home page for Logos 6.

First Look at Logos 6: New Features and Screenshots

Logos 6 is Here

 

Logos 6 launches today.

 

The Best of What’s New in Logos 6

 

Logos 6 sports a number of new features. Here are my favorite ones so far. Click on any image or open in a new tab to see it larger.

 

1. Interactives

 

L6 Psalms Form and Structure

 

This is the most impressive part of Logos 6, in my view.

I would have loved to have the interactive “Psalms Form and Structure” when preaching through the Psalms this past summer. You can click on any of the Psalm bubbles above to get a structural outline and more information. As you can see in the left sidebar, you can sort the Psalms visually by genre (really helpful), attribution (author), and more. Out of all the Interactives, this one is my favorite: visually appealing and really practical. There’s also an Interactive for the Proverbs.

Searching your Logos library for “type:Interactive” pulls up all the Interactive resources in Logos 6. Here are a few more worth highlighting:

  • Bible Outline Browser: for any given Bible passage, it shows you any Bible text outlines in your library, so you can compare various ways of dividing the text.
  • Morphology Charts: if you’re looking at a Hebrew or Greek Bible text, you can click to see all the biblical uses of a given lemma in its various forms, and with frequency. A great feature for language learning.
  • Text Converter: it takes any Greek or Hebrew you put in and automatically translates it for you. As much as I try to use Greek and Hebrew, I’m still not very good at writing or reading them in their transliterated forms. This is a really handy resource. P.S. Handy tip of the day: You can already transliterate online, via Logos, free.
  • Hebrew Cantillation Structural Diagrams (!): uses the cantillation marks in the Hebrew Bible “as a clue to the structure” to turn the passage into a “hierarchical flow diagram.”

Here’s Logos’s video of the Psalms Form and Structure:

 

 

2. Factbook

 

It’s not the CIA, and it’s not Facebook, although it does sort of function like an amalgamation of the two (in a good way).

Factbook looks and feels like one of the Guides (Exegetical or Passage) Logos has, and updates what in Logos 5 was called Bible Facts.

Basically any noun (people, places, things, Bible books, events, etc.) pulls up a corresponding Factbook panel. If I’m researching Isaac, for example, typing “Isaac” into Factbook will pull up multiple collapsible hyperlinked sections where I can learn more about him: events in which he’s involved, resources in my library in which he appears (that I can click on for more), even a nifty “Referred to as” sub-section, so I can find all his mentions as “my son,” which is important for understanding Genesis 22, for example.

 

L6 Isaac Factbook

 

3. Search Everything

 

You can search across Bibles and commentaries and resources. Here are hit results, all of which are hyperlinked and can be explored for more, when I search everything for Abram:

 

L6 Search Everything Abram

 

The new Inline Search feature (watch it in action here) is pretty cool, too.

 

4. Ancient Literature / Cultural Concepts

 

These are two new sections that can be accessed in the Guides (Passage Guide, Exegetical Guide, and Sermon Starter Guide is how I’ve gotten them). Have a look, and note that Ancient Literature is even sub-divided into Quotations, Allusions, and more:

 

L6 Ancient Literature

 

and:

 

L6 Cultural Concepts

 

Need for Speed

 

I run Logos 6 on an early 2008 iMac, but with a hard drive that’s been replaced in the last year. As a point of comparison, Accordance runs well on the same machine and returns search results quickly.

Logos’s lack of comparative speed on a Mac (even newer ones) improved between Logos 4 and 5. And you can see that the search times in the Search Everything query above are quite fast and impressive. However, it’s not uncommon even in Logos 6 for what I would consider a simple search to take 3 to 5 seconds (or more) to return results. The frequent Indexing and “Preparing Your Library” messages on startup are a pain that I really hope Logos pays attention to improving (or eliminating), especially for Mac users.

I do understand from the Logos forums that PC users and those with Solid State Drives see faster performance, but I would use Logos more often if it had consistently faster overall performance.

 

Interactives for Sermon Preparation

 

All that said, the Interactives alone (which are not sluggish) make Logos 6 worth the price of the upgrade. Sure, you can Google “Israelite Feasts and Sacrifices” and hope for the best. Or you can open the Interactive in Logos and see (and sort) this:

 

L6 Israelite Feasts

 

And this:

 

L6 Israelite Sacrifices

 

How to Get Logos 6

 

Check out Logos 6 here, and use the promo code ABRAMKJ6 when you checkout with for 15% off base packages.

Or you can click the banner below:

 

Logos 6

 

UPDATE: More on how to upgrade here.

 

Thanks to Logos for the chance to use Logos 6 as a beta tester.

Review of Morris Proctor’s Logos 5 Training Manual Set

Logos 5 Training ManualAs often as I use Logos Bible Software for personal study, preaching, and teaching preparation, I’ve found the easily digestible guides by Morris Proctor to speed up my learning process in ways that even regular weekly use can’t. When Logos 5 first released, I read and reviewed Proctor’s “What’s New?” guide. And in my review of Logos 5 Gold, I found that guide and his two-volume Logos Bible Software Training Manual to be immensely helpful, especially in explaining the newly released (at that time) Bible Sense Lexicon.

That two-volume set is now on sale for 50% off. The product page describes it:

 

  • Volume 1 covers the necessary features you need to know to jumpstart your mastery of this incredible Bible study tool. Includes 33 chapters and 220 pages.
  • Volume 2 picks up where Volume 1 leaves off. The additional sections (242 pages) continue to help you unleash the power of Logos Bible Software 5.

 

It’s kind of ironic that the best one-stop shop of a training manual for Logos in 2014 would be a print edition (which is not available in Logos itself), but I actually have appreciated having that format. (And it’s cheaper and easier to get to than seminars, though I’m sure those are useful, too.) Having the manual in print makes it easier to keep focused on the software as I’m trying out the things the guide suggests.

Just to give you an idea of the level of detail, here’s a snapshot of the Table of Contents for volume 1:

 

MP Seminars TOC 1

 

 

I felt at times when using the manual that the author was selling the product to the reader (“And there’s even more,” he notes on “Bible Searching,” and, “Those days are long gone,” he says about parallel printed editions of Bibles). I just chalked this up to his enthusiasm for the software, which is, indeed, an asset. (Though I still use plenty of books in print.)

Proctor’s explanations are clear, simple, and accompanied by screenshots that are well-labeled and easy to follow. The guides offer excellent attention to detail, including the suggestion of keystroke shortcuts to perform different tasks. Follow this link to see some of Proctor’s blog posts at Logos, which are similar in content and style to what’s in the manual. Having a spiral-bound binding is nice, too, because it means the books lay flat when set next to the computer you’re using.

You can check out a multi-page sample of the manual here, and find the product at MP Seminars’ site. Definitely recommended if you want to learn Logos 5.

 

Thanks to MP Seminars for sending me the two-volume Logos Bible Software Training Manual to review. See also my review of MP Seminars’ “What’s New” guide to Logos 5.