Logos, A Little Help, Please

I need some assistance from the ‘folk in the know’ and I feel fairly confident that ‘where one has a question, others do too’.  So, here’s my issue:

Making a reading plan in Logos 5 is as easy as pie (and I love, love, love the program).  I select ‘reading plan’ and then I choose the book, the schedule, and click ‘generate’ and lo and behold, there it is.

What I can’t do, though, is generate a reading plan for more than one book, even if it’s in a series.  So, for instance, if I want to read all Calvin’s commentaries or all Luther’s works, or all Zwingli’s stuff, or all of Bullinger, or Robertson, or any single particular author, there doesn’t seem to be any way to select multiple volumes.

Is there a way to do it and I, being particularly ungifted in such technicalites, have overlooked it, or is there just no way it can be done?

So, Something Else to Love About Logos 5

While working with the LXX I discovered something of an anomaly, which I mentioned here.  Rick Brannan read the post and commented-

Ken’s got it right. “LXXALT” represents the alternate versions of texts in Rahlfs; Isaiah has no separate alternate version. The interlinear would be the better choice for a word at present. That, or you could use Swete’s edition of the LXX, but as Ken will tell you Swete’s version (based on Vaticanus, largely, correct?) has some issues compared to Sinaiticus and Rahlfs. I’ll report the issue with word lists and morph tagged texts that have reverse interlinears.

That was 26 November.  On 27 November when I opened Logos it began its auto update and when it was done here’s what had been updated and corrected-

The LXX was updated and corrected in a day! Remarkable.  So, that’s something else to love about Logos 5- swift attention to necessary corrections.

More on Logos 5: Reading Plans

Earlier versions of Logos also allowed users to construct their own ‘reading plans’ but it’s a feature certainly worth highlighting once again.  Simply put, the ‘reading plan’ utility is one of my absolute favorite.  I’ve already constructed one to use to read the Hebrew Bible through in 2013 and one for the Greek New Testament as well.  But, given my absolute adoration of organization, I’ve also made one for TLOT and one for Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar (because it’s been my custom to read a Greek or Hebrew Grammar every few years just to keep things ‘in mind’ since grad school).

Anyway, constructing a plan is easy as pie, and so is correcting one, as will shortly be demonstrated.

First, one need simply go to the ‘reading plan’ section of the software (and all of the screenshots below should be clicked on to be enlarged) :

Second, pick the book from your library you want to read through:

Next, select your reading schedule:

Then just click ‘Generate’ and voila, there it is!

You’ll now see your plan in the left panel of your software:

But, oops.. I made a mistake, setting the plan for Gesenius to run for a year and I want, instead, to read it through in 12 weeks.  But that’s easy enough to correct, just open your reading plan and click edit and change whatever you like-

And now, having corrected my blunder, if I close the window and return to the main page, here’s what I’ve got-

Users can create as many different reading plans as they wish with as many different schedules as one can imagine.  Plans can be exported and printed as can any other segment of text one wishes and by means of the same method.  The possibilities are almost limitless and – again – this aspect of the software is just simply spectacular.

More on Logos 5: The Bibliography Tool

I have to say right from the start that this is one of the most useful features of the new version of Logos.  I’ll walk you through it, remarking along the way.  Mind you, there are probably other ways of doing it, but this is the methodology I followed:

First, whilst reading in various of Zwingli’s works today, those sources were stored in the ‘history’:

So if I want to assemble a bibliography to pass along to someone or to give to students or to add to a book or essay or something of that sort (i.e., anything one needs a bibliography for), all I do is select the bibliography tool:

Then, I choose the style of the bibliography I want to use (and this is VERY useful indeed given that various publishers require various formats!)-

Then I simply select, from the history, the materials I want to ‘bibliography-icize’ (copyright, me for the neologism)

Then I need only click ‘add’ and voila!

And there it is!  Fantastic isn’t it.  But suppose now I wish to change the format to another manual of style because my publisher decides to use Turabian instead of SBL.  I need only select the new style from the dropdown menu (without having to go through all the steps) -

Then of course one need simply export or print as one does with other pages or texts.  This bibliographic tool is simply brilliant.  Just brilliant (and so very easy to use).

More on Logos 5: ‘Bible Facts- Persons, Places and Things’

One of the features of Logos 5 is the ‘Bible Facts’ tool which allows users to look up persons, places or things.  Naturally what is included in searches depends on the programmers.  So, for example, if one wants to do a search for ‘sinners’ here’s what results:

Here one discovers that the results are limited to various passages in Scripture which speak of the ‘disobedient’ the ‘ungodly’ and other such synonyms of ‘sinner’.  The same is true if one searches ‘idolater’

One fairs a bit better if one is more specific.  So, for example, if one looks for a particular sort of sinner like ‘prostitute’ one gets more than simple Scripture.  Now, one also gets other entries (and note the left hand of the search panel)

Finally, one has even better results if one searches for specific persons or places.  So, if one looks for Melchizedek here are the results:

The implications are clear enough: if one searches quite specifically one gets specific, and quite full, results.  If one searches general topics, on the other hand, one will find little more than ‘concordance’ entries.  Hence, to get the most out of this feature of the software, users should name names.  Doing that results in a fantastic wealth of material both written and illustrative.

More on Logos 5: Fonts

It may just be something going on with my machine or it may be something about Logos 5 and its compatibility with an already existing Lectionary, but I’ve noticed today that instead of whatever being displayed which should be displayed, I’ve got instead those horrifying little square boxes which indicate a font that isn’t working or installed:

Now the excessively weird thing is that, when the passage is from one of the installed versions of the Bible which I have, the little squares become little brackets:

This seems very odd indeed- so I am wondering, is something missing from the lectionary font package (if there is such a thing) or is something missing in the lectionary which is present in the biblical text?

Whatever the cause, this wasn’t the case in Logos 4, where the font of the lectionary and the font of the biblical text were identical in display.

More On Logos 5: The Timeline

I’ve been playing around with the ‘Timeline’ function (which I’ve found VERY useful).  But there are a couple of things you need to know:  first, if you type in something like BC 500-200 nothing will happen.  The screen will remain as is.  But if you type in something like 600-900 you’ll see this:

In short, if you preface your search with BC nothing will happen but if you simply type in the date range, either BC or AD (and those are the nomenclature used) you’ll have loads of information pop up.  So, think 1800-300 for BCE (for instance) and 12-2008 for CE (for example) and you’ll have the number input and thus the date range correct.   All you need is the date range.

There are two options for date range searches- world history (including biblical events)  or biblical history (alone).  The one allows a ‘wider’ view and the latter a more specific view focused on the bible alone.

And that’s quite useful.   The materials presented are also quite fair (in terms of dating ).  For instance, if you search for Abraham here’s what you get-

Enlarge the photo and you’ll find that Abraham is dated anywhere from 2100-1500 BC.  That’s over a 600 year span.  Users are free to choose which dating scheme she or he adopts.

In sum- the Timeline is a very impressive feature indeed.  It is perfect for helping students of the Bible see the larger historical framework of biblical events.  And it is much more thorough than the usual print versions of such timelines (which naturally can only contain quite limited references).

Again, Concerning Logos 5 – What’s New?

I suppose the best way to discover what’s new in the latest incarnation of Logos is to let the developers tell you themselves.

I think it fairly important to know just what the differences between Logos 4 and Logos 5 are before one considers either an upgrade or a new acquisition. After all, if screen layout is all that changes, there’s little reason to upgrade, is there? But if there are substantive differences and those differences are features which one wishes to make use of, then an upgrade may be appropriate.

People, in short, should invest wisely in their biblical studies tools. That is, scholars and students should purchase only those materials which he or she will use sufficiently so as to garner benefit from them. And that, dear reader, is a decision that one can only make for oneself.

Even in the matter of Scripture study good stewardship is required. Given those facts, in the posts on this topic to follow, I’ll look more in-depth at the features of the new software and give you my opinion on them. More anon.

Logos 5: Preliminary Observations

Logos 5 has arrived courtesy the fine folk at Logos.  The resources in the package sent me are so massive and so extensive* that over the course of the next weeks I’ll be posting observations and remarks as I work my way through them.

For now, first, a word on the download:  it took a bit of time for the 1.55Gb + 700Mb to download on my low range DSL.  I suggest that if you aren’t blessed with a super fast connection (such as are found in most parts of the civilized world), you start the download when you go to bed and then in all likelihood when you wake up it will be finished.

Second, an observation on the resources available in the v5 Platinum package:  wow!  There are over 1000 books including some of the most important exegetical works of recent and distant history.

If I were to characterize the Platinum package I would call it exegetical resource heaven.  If exegesis, textual criticism, and interpretation are your goal, this seems the very electronic collection you would wish to obtain.  Here are a series of screen shots (and many more could have been added) simply to give you a sense of what the collection includes (and do click to enlarge) :

It’s certainly worth noting at this juncture that the page layout for Logos 5 is a bit different than version 4.  Here, for example, the nav bar that was previously along the top of the page is now the left sidebar.  Installation was seamless and all of my existing resources were there in version 5, my collection now surpassing well over 3774 books.

Also worth remarking upon at this early juncture (and again, this massive tool will take time to work through) is the fact that given the large amount of new materials, indexing takes a bit of time too. Don’t despair; if your machine slows down it won’t be so noticeable that you are driven into a hair pulling frenzy.

I will certainly have more to say in due course. For now let me just say- I’m very impressed indeed. Very, very impressed.

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* Logos sent the Platinum Upgrade of Logos v5 for review, for which I thank them. And I also thank them for allowing me the freedom to review this resource unhindered by any requests for positive feedback. This series of posts, then, will be honest review and not simply ‘paid advertisement’.