The Who, What, and Why of Logos Bible Software

15 Mar

For better or for worse our world is becoming increasingly digital. While there are many problems that new technology presents there are also many blessings that come with it for Christians around the world.

One such blessing has been the rise and development of Logos Bible Software. And today represents a new milestone, especially for Christians interested in Reformed Theology as Logos has just released a Reformed version of what they call “base packages.”

If you aren’t familiar with Logos they have been around for a while. The seeds that would blossom into the company today were sown in 1986 and ever since then they have been expanding their library, enhancing their features, and following the move in the technological world into many different platforms and devices. Read more about their history here.

Today a visit to their website will astound you as you find out how many resources are available in their digital format. And what they have available aren’t mere scans or PDF’s, but meticulously edited and tagged resources that can be accessed and searched in a variety of ways. On top of that they retain the style of the print of each book’s original hardcopy. Logos and other Bible software companies like them have truly changed the game when it comes to Bible study and research.

The reason why this is good news for those who are interested in Reformed Theology and many of that we feature on this blog is because Logos has made a concerted effort over the past few years to really bulk up their library with such resources. And they aren’t slowing down, it seems like every month a new and significant Reformed resource is available via their community pricing or pre-publication deal structure.

Community pricing involves Logos putting a potential product forward at a substantially reduced price, normally 50% off or more, to see if they can get the funding available to proceed with the project. Logos gets early funding and buyers get incredible deals. When there isn’t enough immediate interest a potential product can sit in community pricing until it picks up. Right now there is a 17 volume Baptist Covenant Collection for $30 and a 19 volume Works of John Gill collection for $40. Each of these will eventually be priced at $169 and $299 respectively so you can see the incentive to jump on early.

Pre-publication pricing is a step further into the process where a product has already moved into the development stage and buyers are able to lock-in on a discounted price before they are released. Currently, there are a few very significant Reformed products in this stage:

Institutes of Elenctic Theology (3 vols.) by Francis Turretin
Thomas Watson Collection (8 vols.)
The Works of Charles Hodge (29 vols.)
Select Works of Geerhardus Vos (14 vols.)

One of the coolest and important things that Logos has begun doing is to leverage their know-how and capabilities to actually take on major translation projects to bring essential Reformed works into English for the first time.

A few they are currently working on and that are in the Pre-publication process now are:

Reformed Dogmatics (5 vols.) by Geerhardus Vos
The Sermons and Lectures of John Calvin in English (29 vols.)
The Latin Works of John Owen (3 vols.)
A System of Christian Theology (10 vols.) by Amandus Polanus

Another way that Logos seeks to get good deals for their customers is through bundling or packaging multiple products together. As mentioned above this is what they refer to as their base packages. Until now, one could purchase a range of seven packages from their Starter package all the way up to their most expensive Portfolio package.

For many, the price of Logos resources alone has caused them to look elsewhere. On top of that for those of us more interested in Reformed resources it was very difficult to justify purchasing one of their packages that seemed to have had so many resources yet so little that we actually cared about.

Now, with the release of their Reformed Base Packages things have become much more attractive for those of us with Reformed leanings or convictions. Yesterday, I highlighted these new packages. Now, if you make the commitment to purchase one of these base packages you will find yourself enjoying many more of the resources than you may have previously. That isn’t to say that they did away with other essential features. As far as I can tell they preserved a great balance between providing new Reformed resources to these packages while also retaining a wide array of tools, including many original language tools, that will enable broad study, and more importantly, study of the text of Scripture itself.

I hope this more focused explanation of how Logos works was helpful if you have not considered it before. Please let me know if you have any questions

It is growing more obvious by the day that the future of book reading and research here and around the world will involve digital resources more and more. As these works become more available throughout the world let’s pray that God would be pleased to use them in great ways to draw more and more people to know Jesus Christ and to grow in the grace and knowledge of Him. It is for this reason that I believe Logos Bible Software will be a key platform for years to come.

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