Logos 5 offers powerful, flexible Bible software that allows users to build and utilize a substantial digital theological library for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, or Android. Logos 5 features various base packages for new users and current users seeking to upgrade: Starter ($294.95), Bronze ($629.95), Silver ($999.95), Gold ($1,549.95), Platinum ($2,149.95), Diamond ($3,449.95) and Portfolio ($4,979.95). The Platinum package features an extensive library that would greatly benefit pastors, students, scholars, and laypeople in studying Scripture. This review highlights new features in Logos 5, then overviews the Platinum base package, and finally compares Logos 5 Platinum with other commercial Bible software and assesses its value for potential users.
Logos 5 includes several major upgrades from Logos 4. First, version 5 offers five “guides” that allow users to quickly search relevant resources in their library. The Passage Guide presents commentaries, cross-references, parallel passages, outlines, and even relevant media on a particular biblical text. The Exegetical Guide includes apparatuses and grammars and offers definitions and resources for studying major Greek or Hebrew words in a passage. The Bible Word Study looks up a Greek or Hebrew word in available dictionaries, performs searches of all available texts, lists the word’s various “senses” or usages in Scripture, and pictures how the word is translated in one’s preferred English version (see figure, showing ESV renderings of λόγος).
Logos 5 also includes Sermon Starter and Topic Guides that may prove useful for ministers. For each of these guides, users may prioritize favorite resources, include personal notes, and save their work for future reference.
Second, the new Timeline feature (listed under Tools) includes people and events from biblical, church, and world history up to the present. For some events (for example, “Second letter of Peter is written”) multiple dates or date ranges are offered, with links to further discussions in Bible dictionaries and other resources (see figure).
A search for “exodus” yields a range of dates for the writing and finalizing of the Book of Exodus as well as two Qumran manuscripts but curiously does not include Israel’s exodus from Egypt, one of the most important events in biblical history, the dating of which is controversial.
The Logos 5 Platinum package includes 1,327 resources (print valued at $28,700). Some headliners of this collection include major lexicons (BDAG, TDNT, Brown-Driver-Briggs) and commentary series (Preaching the Word [26 vols.], New American Commentary [40 vols.], Black’s New Testament Commentary [13 vols.], and Lenski’s Commentary on the New Testament [12 vols.]), and classic theological works by Calvin, Edwards, Baxter, Bunyan, Simeon, and Henry. The Platinum package also features many searchable, morphologically tagged ancient texts (including the BHS Hebrew text, NA28 and SBL Greek texts, Rahlfs’ Septuagint, and Philo’s works), as well as 17 English Bibles (though surprisingly not the NIV or NET). The Context of Scripture, Themelios (issues 1–37), and the first three volumes of N. T. Wright’s Christian Origins series are also noteworthy inclusions.
Logos 5 is one of several superb commercial Bible software programs currently available for multiple platforms, alongside Accordance 10 (which I reviewed in Themelios 38:3 , available at http://thegospelcoalition.org/themelios/review/accordance_10_ultimate_collection), BibleWorks 9 (see the review in Themelios 37:2 , available at http://thegospelcoalition.org/themelios/review/bibleworks_9), and Olive Tree. Positively, Logos offers a vast library of resources available for purchase and allows users to seamlessly access their libraries across platforms and devices. The Personal Book Builder (under Tools) allows users to upload Microsoft Word documents into their Logos library, and the Bibliography feature makes it easy to cite sources, create a project bibliography, or export a collection into Zotero. Logos also offers dozens of short tutorial videos online to equip users to effectively use their software.
Conversely, Logos 5 launches and runs noticeably slower than Accordance 10 and Bible Works 9 on some computers. Further, I was somewhat disappointed in the unevenness of the Logos 5 Platinum base package. With its many strengths, the Platinum package lacks many of the important commentary series (such as Bible Speaks Today, NIGTC, Pillar, and Tyndale), standard dictionaries (HALOT, Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, ISBE, and IVP reference volumes), translations (NIV, NET), and tagged Greek texts (OT Pseudepigrapha, Josephus, Apocryphal Gospels) included in the comparably priced Accordance 10 Ultimate Collection. Academic users should also consider Bible Works 9, which offers a very strong, focused collection of resources for original language exegesis at only $359.
Nevertheless, Logos 5 is a remarkable resource that will be of tremendous use for a wide range of users. For those who can afford it, the Platinum package offers an impressive digital library, though scholars and pastors will likely need to supplement it with additional reference tools. I wonder what Augustine, Calvin, or Edwards might have accomplished with such Bible software in their studies (or their pockets)!