Logos Bible Software Review

Logos 9: Solid Bible software for pastors and serious students of God’s Word

Introducing Logos 9 Bible Software
Logos 9.

Image Courtesy © Logos Bible Software

On October 26, 2020, Faithlife, a technology company committed to equipping the Christian church for ministry and life-changing Bible study, launched Logos 9, the latest version of their powerful Bible software. I've had a few days to explore some of the new features and get acquainted with the resources in the Diamond package, the suggested bundle for senior pastors, preachers, leaders, and anyone doing academic research or advanced teaching. 

Logos 9 Diamond Package

I’ve been passionate about studying God’s Word since attending Bible school more than 30 years ago. When I started using Logos Bible Software in 2008, my studies took on a new dimension. Before then, I studied with a variety of printed and online resources. Was it rewarding? Absolutely. Worth the effort? You bet. At the same time, it was often tedious, cumbersome, and time-consuming work.

Logos (pronounced LAH-gahss) is now the starting point for all of my Bible research and personal study of the Scriptures. I rate it among the best Bible software programs available today. The enormous digital library gives me one-stop, instant access to a wealth of resources. I truly don't know how I managed without it in the past.

What’s New in Logos 9

Logos had pastors and full-time ministers in mind when designing Logos 9, making many improvements and enhancements to streamline the work of sermon planning and preparation. Illustrations, quotes, and loads of other preaching resources have been beefed up and brought to the forefront of the new Sermon Builder tool. The Factbook, already a goldmine of information for rich, in-depth topical studies, has been overhauled to give pastors even more of what they need for counseling, understanding theological terms, and putting together comprehensive sermons.

You can write your messages in Logos’ built-in word processor, and then, by clicking the "Preach" button, convert them to an easy-to-read format specifically for use in the pulpit. The tool incorporates teaching slides and a built-in timer, so you’ll know beforehand if you’re trying to cram in too much. 

Logos 9 also delivers a new Sermon Manager where you can plan teaching series and schedule out your messages for the entire year. You can also keep track of every message you’ve ever written in the Logos database. They become available to you for future study through the Passage Guide results.

An all-new Counseling Guide (not fully functional yet) is in progress to help you find resources for
difficult counseling sessions and mediating challenging conversations.

Users Spoke and Logos Listened

  • The desktop application of Logos 9 now features a Dark Mode theme, the most-requested improvement by users of the software.
  • Newly added search filters and sorting options make sifting through an enormous library of commentaries much faster and more focused.
  • Users can now insert their own images into Bible study notes with drag and drop functionality.
  • The Factbook is now consistent on desktop, mobile, and web applications.
  • The mobile application has been greatly enhanced for Bible study, including easier to access search features.
Logos Homepage in Dark Mode
Logos 9 Homepage in Dark Mode.

Screenshot / Mary Fairchild

Its Yoke Is Easy

Most new users will find it easy enough to navigate Logos 9 right from the start. I’m not super tech savvy, and the first time I upgraded and opened the software, I managed to get right down to business after just a few minutes of poking around. Nevertheless, Logos does integrate a large number of complex features, and I've talked with a few pastors who have had difficulty learning the software. Some users only tap into a small portion of the resources. For this reason, I strongly recommend taking advantage of the many Logos training videos and articles.

Logos Bible software is a hefty investment, and you'll want to make the best use of those well-spent funds. If not, you could miss out on some of the less obvious, but incredibly valuable tools available to you. Current Logos users are not likely to experience much of a learning curve when upgrading to Logos 9, as the software has the same look and feel as the previous version and often leads you right where you need to go. Even so, it may be well worth your time and investment to take advantage of the reasonably priced training courses at your disposal.

Home Page Dashboard

In the previous version (Logos 8), the home page dashboard was redesigned so that users can customize the software to fit their personal study habits. On the dashboard, you'll create "cards," like custom entry points to your most frequent types of study. When you choose a card, such as "Topic Study" or "Passage Study," each day Logos will return you to the exact place you left off previously. You can launch your Bible reading plan right from the dashboard, or go back to preparing your weekly sermon outline. The dashboard is super easy to organize with drag and drop functionality.

Workflows With Step-by-Step Instructions

When you choose the type of study you wish to perform, Logos 9 provides you with easy-to-follow instructions that will lead you to the tools you'll need to thoroughly examine the topic. For example, you can do an in-depth study of a biblical person, place, or passage. Each workflow gives you space to record your thoughts and save your notes as you study. Logos will also save each of your workflows so you can return to that particular study at any time.

Theology Guide

The systematic Theology Guide, a tool released in Logos 8, presents a new and more efficient way for you to compare views on thousands of theological topics contained in your digital library. 

Custom Guides

Logos also gives you the ability to create, organize, and edit your own custom study guides to fit your personal study style or preferences. These guides are similar to the built-in "Passage Guide" and "Exegetical Guide," however, they can be tailored to include only the resources you need.

Sermon Preparation

If you’re a preacher or teacher, perhaps the most valuable tools in Logos 9 are the Sermon Builder (previously called Sermon Editor), Sermon Starter Guide, Sermon Manager, and the Expository Sermon Preparation Workflow. The Expository Sermon Preparation Workflow presents the basic steps for preparing an expository sermon. Pastors, small group leaders, and Sunday School teachers can research and write their sermons and lessons right within the Logos word processor. Gather resources, take notes, build your outline, prepare your visual presentations, and even create printouts all inside Logos. 

Study to Show Yourself Approved

Most of the great study tools you're already familiar with in previous versions of Logos remain intact in Logos 9, but the system is constantly being made faster and more intuitive with each new version release. Here are some of my favorite tools.

Topic Guide

One of my most treasured features in Logos Bible software is the Topic Guide. If you enjoy doing topical Bible studies, this feature will dazzle you as it brings together Bible dictionaries to explain your topic, key verses related to your topic, other interrelated subjects in Scripture, profiles of biblical people, places, and things, as well commentaries connected to the topic. Everything in your digital library pertaining to the particular topic of study comes to your fingertips in the Topic Guide. You can create notes with each topical study and save them for future reference.

Exegetical Guide

The Exegetical Guide allows you to draw out detailed information on Bible passages, such as original Greek and Hebrew word-by-word analysis. You can listen to the pronunciation of words. And individual word studies will allow precise original language searches, so you can quickly find and view the word in every instance in the Bible.

Passage Guide

The Passage Guide is extremely useful for pulling together the resources needed to better understand Bible verses within their biblical context. Logos lists all of the related content in your library, which you can open and read with a single click. You will see all commentaries, journals, cross-referenced verses, ancient literature, genealogies, parallel passages, and cultural concepts.

Count the Cost

Logos offers eight base packages. The basic Starter package is regularly priced at $294.99. This review covers the resources in the Diamond package, regularly priced at $3,449.99. The largest, most expensive package is Logos Collector's Edition, which gives you everything in the Logos arsenal for a whopping $10,799.99.

Logos Bible Software is a sizable investment. Many students, missionaries, and pastors on a ministry budget will find the price tag beyond their reach. However, each collection contains hundreds to thousands of resources. For instance, the Diamond package gathers together more than 30 of the most popular English Bible versions, over 150 original-language tools, more than 600 theological journals, more than 350 Bible commentaries, over 50 volumes of systematic theology, and over 25 volumes on biblical theology. With 2,020+ resources in total, the entire collection in print would cost more than $37,000.

Visit Logos to compare prices and resources offered in the base packages. With the latest software release, for a limited time, you can get Logos 9 at 15% off, plus choose five free digital books available only to first-time Logos 9 purchasers. Faculty, staff, and students enrolled in an approved seminary, college, or university, may qualify for an academic discount. You can learn more about Logos' Academic Discount Program here. Logos also offers monthly payment plans.

The Gift of Service

Besides great training videos and an active, helpful forum community, Logos offers one of the best customer service and support experiences I've ever encountered. While I haven't needed them often, the Logos support team is professional, responsive, and easy to access.

If you’re committed to serious and consistent Bible study, you truly cannot go wrong with Logos Bible Software.

Visit Logos Bible Software Website

  • Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher.