I was scanning the discussion fora that LOGOS hosts and bumped into this very well done summary by Dr. David Adams, of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, on why he believes LOGOS is better than Accordance for most parish pastors.
“As a seminary professor teaching the Old Testament on the basis of the Hebrew text I am often asked by students and pastors what bible software I recommend. I started using software to study the bible back in the early 1980s, and through the years I have used almost everything that has come along. I was exposed to Gramcord while it was still under development in the early 80s, and I began using Accordance, which implemented Gramcord for the Macintosh as soon as it became available in 1994. So I have used it extensively for 16 years now, and am heavily invested in it. I purchased Logos as soon as it became available for the Macintosh, mostly so that I could be familiar with it in order to answer student questions but also to access a few resources that I had received from publishers in Logos format. The following observations are based on my own use of bible software over a long period of time. I have no connections to Logos, Accordance, BibleWorks, or any other software publisher, except as a customer.
“For most of the last 20 years or so I have responded to the question of which bible software students should buy by saying that they should try all of the software available for their hardware and choose the one that they felt most comfortable with. I thought the best bible software was the bible software students would actually use. As the software as evolved from the mid-90s to the mid-00s, I judged that there was not enough of a difference between the packages to justify making a strong categorical recommendation in favor of any one package over another. They all did more-or-less the same thing, and more-or less-equally well. As I said above, I used Accordance as my own primary tool, and I enthusiastically recommended it to Mac users who wanted something to help with original-language study. And I know for a fact that I ‘sold’ a lot of copies of Accordance to students and colleagues. When Logos v. 1 for the Mac became available I encouraged students to take a look at it, but frankly I was not particularly impressed with it, and still preferred Accordance.
“All of that changed for me when I first saw Logos 4 in the fall of 2009. At that time it was only available for Windows, but Logos announced that they would be doing a Mac version that would be feature-equivalent to the Windows version. I downloaded the first alpha that was available, and have worked with it ever since. (To be fair, I worked mainly with the Windows version running under Parallels until we got to about Alpha 23, when I judged the Mac version to be far enough along that I could use it as my primary tool.) Beginning in the spring of 2010 I started strongly advising students and colleagues to use Logos instead of Accordance (or BibleWorks for Windows users) and continue to do so. Since the release of Logos 4 it is clear to me that Logos now stands head and shoulders above everything else. Here are the four main reasons for my recommendation:
(1) Logos is better at what the average parish pastor needs to do.
“Virtually all of my own bible study is study of the text in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek. All of the students that I teach in our M.Div. program are required to learn Hebrew and Greek. Nevertheless, I recognize that even our students will spend most of their study time with English translations, and they will be preparing to teach Christians who almost exclusively read the bible in English. Life in the modern world being what it is, pastors have a lot of demands on their time, and are not always able to set aside as much time as they should to devote themselves to the study of the Word. Thus, they need a tool that both supports their English-language study and supports their original-language study, and does so in a way that helps them maximize the benefit of their study and preparation time. Logos 4 does this better than anything else. The Passage Guide, Exegetical Guide, and Bible Word Study Guide jump-start a pastor’s preparation (or a layman’s study time), and point them directly and quick to the most relevant and helpful resources that they have available (depending, of course, on what they own). The Biblical People, Places, and Things tools bring together a lot of information quickly and point the way to avenues for further study. And the platform provides a vast array of resources to support both the study of the Word and, equally important, the teaching of the Word. Even though I am a ‘professional exegete’, I realize that the average parish pastor needs something different than I need from bible study software. Easy and efficient access to the program’s features is quite important to pastors, and Logos excels in this regard. Fortunately it does both what parish pastors need, and what we ‘professional exegetes’ need. That’s a rare and good thing.