At the end of October Logos Bible Software changed their name to Faithlife and then the company released Logos 6 with a collection of base packages ready to meat almost any serious Bible student’s needs. The update includes so many new features and tools, there’s no way a column like this can comprehensively cover it all. For that, head over to the Logos forums where there’s a post entitled “What’s New In Logos 6” that gives a nearly exhaustive list of features introduced in this version (https://community.logos.com/forums/t/92701.aspx). For my purpose, I will share my top reasons to upgrade to Logos 6 highlighting my favorite new or updated features.

Faithlife makes one of the top Bible study software programs available for serious Bible students and lay students alike. I’d put it on the list with the likes of WORDearch, Bibleworks, Accordance and PC Study Bible to name a few. There’s a lot of programs for the average Bible student, but these programs give serious students the tools to scholarly research and intensive languages study. Logos 6 plays in the major leagues of Bible study and the intramural league. In other words, a Ph.D. student can do scholarly research while a Sunday School teach can prepare for her next lesson. The best new features give something to each group of users and those in between. Also, it lets the beginner grow into the advanced user.

Logos is, as one reviewer called it, the “Batmobile of Bible Software” (http://overviewbible.com/batmobile-bible-study-logos-bible-software-6/) because it’s expensive, complex but incredible powerful with more ways to get at the Bible’s core meaning than most of the programs available. In addition, Faithlife publishes more digital Bible study and general Christian books than just about another other.

 

Owners Should Upgrade While Others Should Think Twice

With the above accolades in mind, there’s nothing new in Logos 6 that will entice users to switch from one of the above mentioned programs. However, all Logos owners should upgrade and anyone owning a simpler program incapable of serious scholarship, will want to give Logos 6 a serious look.

Faithlife offers a number of “base packages” (https://www.logos.com/basepackages) that help users, not only grab the new features in Logos 6, but also expand their libraries by adding new books. However, upgrading through these base packages can get confusing.

Head on over to https://www.logos.com/basepackages and take a look, but think that Logos 5 users have to upgrade by getting the same named base package they already own. You don’t have to upgrade to the base package of the same name in Logos 6. For example Logos 5 Gold owners can get Logos 6 Starter and vice versa. The user keeps their Gold resources and only adds the new books and features included in the Logos 6 Starter package.

Logos uses something called dynamic pricing to give users a discount. An owner of Logos 5 or earlier should log into their account before shopping for a base package. Find one that gives you some enticing new books and check the price. The company discounts the base package price based on what books you already own. That means that even though Logos 6 Starter costs nearly $300 for new users, upgraders can get it for less. For example, I own a large library with the Platinum package in Logos 5. My upgrade price is only $56. Click on the base package title and see what new resources this purchase will add to your library.

 

Crossgrades

For users who don’t want any new books, Faithlife offers two options. Get a “Crossgrade” to Logos 6. It only includes the basic Logos 6 software and all the things necessary to take advantage of the new tools built into the program. More on those later.

Patient upgraders can wait till sometime in 2015 to download the Logos 6 basic engine without any of the new data sets that make the upgrade really different. You’ll get the latest code which alone should offer some advantages over version 5, since it runs on 64-bit operating systems. Again, more on that later.

I chose the Extended Crossgrade, which regularly costs $679.95. With dynamic pricing it only cost me a little over $200. It netted me the following new features:

  • There’s a collection of new multimedia resources for visually understanding the text.
  • Ancient Literature dataset in the Passage Guide which connects the text to what is said in ancient literature about that passage.
  • Cultural Concepts lets users see how certain cultural elements affects the text which gives the users an idea of the backgrounds of the text in its culture for better understanding of how the original readers would understand the author’s meaning.
  • Bible Book Guides in the new Factbook feature that gives users a quick look at the key ideas that help them interpret a given book of the Bible.
  • Multiple new Visual Tools like reading the Bible text in its original format or seeing a timeline of a passage and how it fits into history.

 

Visual Copy Tool

The Visual Copy Tool takes a selected Bible verse or quotation and gives it a visual look for sharing with an audience in a presentation or for posting to social media. Users could also create an attractive poster of an inspirational quote. Here’s an example of the results of a Visual Copy of John 3:16.

Logos 6 takes the more popular verses from the Bible and presents them like this, however, most look more generic. This makes the text of a sermon come alive for those who use worship presentation software or PowerPoint while they preach or teach.

 

Inline Search

Search for a word or phrase in a single book more quickly using Inline Search. Highlight the word in the text you’re reading. For example, to see how many time the word “perish” shows up in the Bible, highlight it in John 3:16 and then right-click. Select the word from the right column in the popup menu. Then select This resource (inline) from the left column. The window will only show the verses with that word in them in the open book.

To see the results in context use the drop down arrow in the upper right. The default says verse. Click the down arrow and choose pericope or, if the book has it, choose paragraph.

For English Bibles with words tagged with Strong’s Numbers, the user can also search the underlying Greek or Hebrew word behind the English translation. When the word is selected, right-click and choose the Greek or Hebrew word, lemma or root word.

Inline Search lets users search the Bible or book without ever leaving it, unlike previous versions of Logos, which required the user to open a new search window.

 

Bible Book Guides

Logos 6 includes something called Bible Book Guides. People who use a study Bible will get the idea quickly. Most study Bibles include an introduction ranging in length from a few paragraphs to a few pages that talk about the key information related to that book. The Bible Book Guides will search the user’s library for titles with content about the book. It’s a study Bible book introduction on steroids. If I’m going to preach through Romans, I can find things in media resources, commentary introductions, Bible dictionaries, book overviews, outlines and more.

Inexplicably, the creators of Logos 6 didn’t put this “guide” under the Guides menu, but under the Tools menu. Select Tools and Factbook. The Logos 6 Factbook gives users tons of information about various things.

This makes for great, in-depth, personal study of the book. I can also copy the contents found and paste it to a Word document to make a nice introduction for my students at church or school.

 

64-bit Compatible

Logos 6 now takes advantage of 64-bit architecture, which means the program will use all of the computer’s memory. Some users will be surprised that older versions didn’t. Because it was a 32-bit program, it could only access 3GB of memory. We don’t have to time to explain why. Suffice it to say, this will result in a performance increase for both Mac and Windows users.

Mac users will automatically get the 64-bit version since there isn’t a 32-bit version of OS X that run Logos and uses only 32-bit.

 

But Wait, There’s More!

Other awesome new features that deserve a mention, include the following:

  • Send to Kindle – link your library to you Kindle account and send books to the Kindle for reading
  • Factbook – already mentioned above in the Bible Book Guides discussion; a collection of special information about biblical information like people, places, events, etc.
  • Large collection of new resources in the base packages (see more at https://community.logos.com/forums/t/92701.aspx)
  • New media resources for a visual look biblical content

 

For more information on the new features in Logos 6 along with screenshots and video overviews, go to https://www.logos.com/features and look at all the new stuff.

 

Logos 6 System Requirements

Logos 6 requires some slightly more powerful computer specifications than older versions of Logos. Here’s the list of minimum system requirements for Logos 6 starting with Windows.

  • Windows 7 SP1
  • 2GB RAM
  • 1024×768 Display
  • 30GB Free Space – Internal HDD/SSD Only (may require additional space depending on your library)
  • Internet connection (for activation, updates, and some features)

 

Here’s what Mac users will need to run Logos 6.

  • OS X “Mavericks” 10.9
  • 2GB RAM
  • 30GB Free Space – Internal HDD/SSD Only (may require additional space depending on your library)

Internet connection (for activation, updates, and some features)