well blow me down

I have been playing with Logos 4 for about five days now. I was fully prepared to disdain L4 as much as I do L3 and previous versions. Well…

Well blow me down, I actually like Logos 4. They said they rebuilt it from the ground up. They did! And it shows!

Logos 4 is vastly superior to all previous versions of Logos. I had the Logos 4 engine downloaded on my computer for some months now. I know they released it a while ago. I have always been somewhat unimpressed with the Logos technology, the philosophy behind their interface [downright clunky], the S-L-O-W-N-E-S-S of their search, and (ahem) some of their business practices [i.e., pricing, early release of unfinished products, etc.].

They have received some criticism on that last point still (and it is largely still deserved, as far as I can see), but the new version is really amazing. The searches are much, much, much faster. The interface is much more intuitive, certainly no longer clunky. The Help file often answers my questions! And displays in a nice side window, not covering the whole screen you are trying to figure out.

I like the easy way of saving layouts of your work. You can save your work in any state and go back to exactly where you left off. That is really nice. And I only needed to look in the help file to find the place to “name” my workspace… but maybe I could have figured it out on my own. As I said, the interface is much more intuitive.

I like the way the Library is easy to access and open books, way faster and really better than the old method.

I like the various options on right click menus – very helpful and often quite different, depending on the type of book you are looking at.

There are still some things that I think could be improved. I think the “Home” screen is basically useless. I have disabled most of it… in fact, I would get rid of it altogether if I could. I wish they had published a handy reference to their new URL method of finding locations in books (so I could get my link to TDNT [Kittel] working direct from Bibleworks). I wish they had a ‘quick search’ “address bar” active in each book – it could work like “Find” in most word-processing software, finding the next instance of a particular word or phrase. I wish you could get rid of irrelevant search items and just keep the ones you wanted (then save them to some kind of hypertext link list file).

But these wishes are really minor. I suppose I might be able to come up with some actual complaints after searching for awhile. But I have to say…

I am VERY, VERY VERY IMPRESSED! Logos, you finally got it right.

I still love Bibleworks, though! I use the tools side-by-side, and find them to be a fantastic one-two combination for Bible study.

Oh yeah… about pricing… because of Logos’ market-leader position for library programs, they tend to have very high pricing. I know that comparisons are made with print material, and supposedly it is all favorable and all. But I find most titles sold directly by Logos to be way too pricey. Look at the success of Amazon Kindle. They are selling books way below their print cost as they should. While I recognize that Bible reference works are more expensive in general than general works, and the workman is worthy of his hire, in theory electronic books should be much less costly than print books. Once they are produced, there is no real cost to their publication. The market for digital Bible reference works is somewhat smaller than general works as well, but I bet Logos would sell a lot more books if they made them available less expensively. They would probably come out at least even, if not ahead.

The only thing that I can see that might keep prices so high is the print publishers demands to Logos. They may be insisting on certain pricing in order to maintain the pricing of their print books. They may have a point, but I think they may also be shooting themselves in the foot by insisting on this practice. I believe they would profit from selling more digital books at lower costs than trying to maintain the price of print publications.

However, this complaint has not much to do with the Logos program itself. Logos 4 is well worth your while if you are a student of the Scripture (in conjunction with Bibleworks!).



  1. FYI, hit Ctrl-F when in a resource and you’ll get a little ‘find’ window popup in the right hand corner of the resource. Works like a word processor find.