by Terry WilhiteLogos Series X Offers Dream Resources
All of us have packed up and moved before, and those of us with any sizeable collection of books know that it's no easy task to box volumes of books and cart them into a moving truck, whether the move is across town or across country. Further, it's absurd to think about taking any more than maybe one or two books with you for the down time you'll have in the hospital waiting room or to read while you're waiting for your next appointment to arrive at the meeting across town. But what if you could load your car with several thousand dollars worth of Bibles, books, and reference works, and the weight was less than the concordance on your desk? That is possible with Libronix's Logos Bible Software Series X's new Scholar's Library and a laptop computer.
Let's look at what the Scholar's Library offers, how it makes those resources available, and why if you've ruled out a computer-based library in general or Logos' software specifically, you should give it a second look.
What It Contains
When I looked at the four-column list of books and resources on the back of the software box. I thought, "Surely it doesn't contain all of this!" But it does: More than sixteen Bibles, the major Bible commentaries, Warren Wiersbe's "Be" Series, Greek, Hebrew and Latin texts, Bible Outlines, including Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New and Old Testaments and a special collection of resources for small groups and discipleship. You can quickly call up Greek lexicons and analytical Greek and Hebrew concordances. There are special volumes about Bible ethics, home school and Christian Education, manners and customs, and theology, including the Moody Book of Theology. You'll find more than 7,700 illustrations, devotionals and a leadership library. The Mastering Ministry Series (from pastoral care to church finances) is available, plus many more titles just a click away. As Logos puts it: "More than 230 Bibles and Bible references are available worth over $5,000 in equivalent print editions." Wow.
Needle in a Hay Bale?
Faster than you can say: "Bible Exposition Commentary, Septuaginta-Morphologically tagged edition, and Scrivener's Textus Receptus" (yes, they're included too) you can do a sweep of the entire library. Sure, you can hone your search criteria so you're not searching for the needle in the whole hayfield, but looking only in one bale or less. Thanks to the Libronix Digital Library System, you can find what you need (and probably more) quickly. How?
You have several choices, but two major ways, all of them easily conquerable in a simple point-click-and-type manner. Once you click on the Libronix icon on your computer screen, you're presented with a very well organized, non-intimidating "home page" window. Scroll down and you will see where you can either do a passage search or a topic search. If you do a passage search you can tighten your detective work by using click buttons for passage, exegetical, word study, Bible and commentary, or Bible only. Should you choose the topic or passage search, simply type it in and the software will scan the library to find all of the references for you.
While most of us have our own plan for studying the Bible, the Scholar's Library's engine will generate your own customized plan, depending upon the timeframe, and volumes you want to tackle. Perhaps one of the nicest new features is the ability to do parallel Bible searches and to be able to line up side-by-side the translations you want to see. If I barely knew how to turn a computer on, I could maneuver my way through this software simply by pointing, clicking, and typing. "Home base," which is customizable, is a windowpane that shows up on the left of my computer screen. What I type into the fields on the left windowpane simply shows on a window on the right of the screen. Considering the volume of what's available - eight CDs worth total-getting to where you're going is fairly simple. Clicking on "My Library" gives you a hierarchy of the titles of everything that's in the library.
One of the great things Logos has added is the ability to easily store to your hard drive those volumes that you'll use most often. My only complaint was not with the software, but my 400 Mhz laptop computer. Searching straight from CD seemed a bit slow (though always less than 30 seconds), but considering how many things were being searched, I should be more forgiving.
In my opinion, Bible software offers the clearest example of how technology makes us more effective and efficient in our responsibilities as Bible students and ministers. "I fought computers for years. But I'm into them now," my pastor will tell you. For him, there is no down time with his Bible library and laptop nearby. Scholar's Library retails for $599.95 and street price is as low as $449.96 from various discounters. See www.logos.com for more information.
Terry Wilhite is a technology, multimedia, and communications specialist. For more information about his resources, see www.terrywilhite.com. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.