digital libraries

Digital Libraries in Bible Software: Theotek Podcast #096

With the huge libraries of books available today in Bible software and eBook readers, some people now own massive libraries. Is this a good idea?

In this episode of the Theotek Podcast, we talked about that and shared reasons to avoid it as well as tips for what to do if you already own a lot of eBooks in Kindle or in your digital library of Bible software.

digital libraries

There’s also a few ways to convert eBooks so you don’t get stuck with books in a format you can’t use anymore because the program goes away like the old Pradis software. This includes making Kindle books from Bible software book and converting Kindle books to a less proprietary DRM-laden format. We even get a workflow for converting papers books to digital library books using a scanner and cutting the binding off books at Kinkos or other office supply stores.

Convert Digital Libraries – To and From

We mentioned a few things in the Podcast. First, here’s the link for exporting Logos books to Kindle using the Send to Kindle printer driver. You could adapt this to work with any books in any Bible software although it may not work as easily as this system found in the Logos user community forums.

Next, Wes talked about converting Kindle books to other formats. He uses a tool called Calibre to do this. Digital Trends hosts a useful tutorial on how to convert books using Calibre among other tools.

Favorite Things

kindle paperwhite

Speaking of Kindle, we shared our favorite things and Antoine picked the Kindle Paperwhite ($120) as his. He likes to use it for distraction free reading. He also mentioned using a paper Bible, something Rick agreed is a good way to do your devotions.

I shared the Christian Standard Bible or CSB translation as one of mine. You can buy paper copies of it or get the free CSBible app for iOS and Android. It’s also online. Accordance Bible Software published the digital book first, followed by Olive Tree. WORDsearch will offer it soon for free to all users. Logos will release it April 5. I’m not sure about other software companies plans.

Rick’s favorite thing was his new Logitech 922x Webcam, which he used to podcast with in this episode. Get it for under $90 at Amazon.

Fujitsu Scanner for Converting Paper Books to Digital Libraries

The Fujitsu ScanSnap ix500 does a great job of scanning books once the user cuts the spine off the book. Scan with any sheet fed double-sided scanner, like the Fujitsu. Here’s my review of this great scanner from Notebooks.com.

Fujitsu ScanSnap ix500 Review: Powerful and Fast

Is Apple Ruining Bible Software: Theotek Podcast #087

It seems that Apple is moving away from macOS towards an iOS-centric future. If the iPhone and iPad replaces the Mac, what does that mean for the church, Bible software and companies that make tools and software to help the church and believers make disciples? That’s our discussion as we focused on the question, “Is Apple moving in that direction? If they are does that affect Windows, Mobile devices, and other platforms? What is the future of church software and technology in light of this possibility?”

The conversation began, however, with our Christmas tech toys. The gifts we got for Christmas included some fun things like the following:

  • Michael Purcell – my son joined us for this episode and got the Surface Pro 4, Type cover and Surface Pen. He explains why he loves his.
  • Wes AllenThinkGeek toys like the BB8 Waffle Maker and the R2D2 Coffee Press. He also got an Apple Pencil.
  • LaRosa Johnson – one of LaRosa’s co-workers sold him the Blue Yeti mic.
  • Antoine Wright – one of Antoine’s Kickstarter campaign investments actually came through in a positive way. He got the Lumos Bike Helmet.
  • Kevin Purcell – I got myself a Kindle Fire with the gift card for Amazon that my wife bought me.

You can always listen to the Theotek Podcast using the built-in player below or subsribe to us in iTunes and leave comments if you like us. We’re also on other podcasting apps thanks to Stitcher Radio.

What’s New in Accordance 12 and MacBook Pro with Touchbar: Theotek #086

Accordance 12’s been out for a little while, but we got a chance to see all the new features demonstrated by Mark Allison, an official trainer for Accordance Bible Software. He showed off the new things like Stacks, Paper and more.

Also, Rick Mansfield gave us his mini review of the new MacBook Pro with Touchbar. I showed off my Olloclip for iPhone 7. The shot below shows a wide-angle shot.

Here's a wide-angle shot using the Olloclip on an iPhone 7 Plus.
Here’s a wide-angle shot using the Olloclip on an iPhone 7 Plus.

Here’s what it looks like without the Olloclip using only the iPhone 7 Plus camera.

Here's a regular shot not using the Olloclip on an iPhone 7 Plus.
Here’s a regular shot not using the Olloclip on an iPhone 7 Plus.

The Fish-eye is my favorite.

olloclip fish-eye lesn
The Olloclip for iPhone 7 Fish-eye lens creates this cool effect.

Olloclip gives you a macro lens in the kit too.

macro lens olloclip
This is a drop of water on a table shot with the macro lens on the Olloclip for iPhone 7 Plus.

Wes Allen’s favorite thing comes from Edovia. It’s an app called Screens that lets you remotely control your computer from an iPad. He loves using it with the iPad Pro.

Mark Allison gave us a recommendation called Quad Lock for iPhone. It’s a case and mounting system for your phone and it attaches to bikes, a tripod and more.

You can listen to the podcast below and the intro music comes from Incompetech.com. Please consider subscribing to our YouTube Channel.

e-sword-on-pc is best free stuff bible study app

The Value of Free Stuff: Theotek Podcast #080

Sometimes churches or believers can’t afford the high-end or expensive option in many categories like Bible software or web services, so we’ve got some of the best free stuff or free alternatives for you. We shared our favorite freebies that churches, pastors, and believers can use to help build the kingdom of God in their context without wrecking their wallet or bank account balance.

Below the video you’ll see the list of freebies starting with the Bible Software free stuff and then a simple list of the other free stuff we talked about in this episode of the Theotek Podcast.

Bible Study Free Stuff

e-Sword is the best free Bible study app available. They make both PC version and a Mac version, that’s not free but really inexpensive.

e-sword-on-pc is best free stuff bible study app

Sticking with Bible study Rick Mansfield showed off the free Accordance Mobile app, which people can download on their iPhone or iPad and get a ton of free content, especially if you sign up for a free user account with Accordance. Rick showed off the great ESV interlinear Bible available in the app.

accordance-mobile-esv-study-bible-app

Antoine showed us his favorite Bible app called Verse3. We had the developer of Verse3 on show #044. It’s not free, but only costs $5.

verse3 ipad app

Olive Tree offers a free version of their Bible app for almost every platform you could want. Download the app on your computer or mobile device, get some free content and then, if you prefer, add some premium content later as needed.

olive tree ipad app
Olive Tree Bible app

I showed off some free online Bible study sites that I wrote about a while ago in a two-part series. Here’s part two.

Finally, LaRosa also reminded us that WORDsearch, his former employer, offers what used to be called Bible Explorer. It’s now called WORDsearch Basic and it’s now their free option.

wordsearch-basic

The Other Free Stuff

Here’s our list of other Free Stuff to help you do your work for free or almost free.

  • WordPress website management system also called a content management system or CMS. You can set up a free website and even buy a domain from a company like Hover that will forward that domain to your free WordPress site.‘
  • YouTube for video hosting and for playing videos. Find tons of content from entertainment to music to educational content all on YouTube. Of course we use it to stream our Theotek Podcast.
  • Microsoft Sway is a great presentation app that lets users share images and pictures. Think of it as a PowerPoint or Keynote alternative for online presentations.
  • Facebook Live lets you record and host live video which people can then find later in recorded form on your Facebook wall.
  • Libre Office offers a full free office suite with alternatives for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more.
  • Google gives away tons of free tools, including free office software like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms.

iPhone 7

We ended the show discussing the new iPhone 7, which Rick and I both had our hands on. I did an unboxing of the wrong phone. Watch me get totally disappointed because T-Mobile screwed up and sent me an iPhone 7 instead of the iPhone 7 Plus I actually ordered. Watch the above video to hear what Rick thinks of his iPhone 7 Plus.

 

Logos 7 Arrives: Theotek Podcast #077

Faithlife shipped Logos 7. The update comes with a lot of new features for users of Logos 6. Logos Now users will feel like it’s a pretty minor update.

We covered the major new features in Logos 7 and talked about how users can upgrade or subscribe to Logos Now.

What’s New in Logos 7

Logos 7 Quickstart Layouts

Logos 7 incorporates a bunch of new features including the QuickStart Layouts accessible from the Layouts menu. You’ll find it on the toolbar towards the right next to the question mark icon. A box pops up and along the left inside that box you’ll see a list of layouts. The top section shows your QuickStart Layouts. Think of them as predefined layouts ready for your use. Logos lets users arrange all the books on their desk the way they prefer and then save the layout. See the Saved Layouts in the bottom of the left hand list in the screenshot above. The QuickStart Layouts are layouts made by Logos designers.

Logos 7 Sermon Editor

The Sermon Editor, accessed from the Sermon item in the Documents menu, gives users a sermon creation tool inside Logos 7. The sermons become searchable and show up when the user creates a Passage Guide search on a passage that includes a Sermon made in Sermon Editor.

Inside the Sermon Editor users can instantly add the text of Bible verses by typing the reference. It will replace the reference with the text of that passage.

Logos 7 Sermon Editor Export Tool

The editor also makes slides instantly out of Headings, Bible passages and more. The user can export these slides to Faithlife’s Proclaim presentation service or PowerPoint and others.

Courses Tool creation screen

The Courses Tool takes advantage of the Mobile Education feature introduced in earlier versions of Logos. The Courses quickly takes content from a user’s library and creates a course. This feature will eventually make it possible for a person to make a course on their own or for teachers and professors to create their own courses for use in Sunday school classes, small groups or formal education settings. Until that happens in a future version, the user must use some of the courses already included in their library. It comes with some and users can buy more.

Select from the list along the left of the tool’s box that shows up when you open it from the Tools menu. Click a course and it offers to set it up on for a specific number of days or you can customize how fast you want to move through the course.

There’s a long list of new features with links to explanations of what the new features are in the Logos forums.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

samsung galaxy note 7

After looking at Logos 7, I showed off my new Samsung Galaxy Note 7. The Note 7 is a great Android phone with an active Stylus and now includes a USB Type-C connector. It has a great screen and camera. I love this phone.

Bible Apps on ChromeOS and More: Theotek Podcast #072

We have a few topic for this week’s Theotek Podcast. We’ll see how well Android Bible apps run on a Chromebook with the new Android Apps on ChromeOS on the ASUS Chromebook Flip.

Olive tree running on Asus Chromebook Flip
Olive tree running on Asus Chromebook Flip

Olive Tree Bible Study 6 for Mac came out this week so LaRosa Johnson will show that off. Finally, Rick Mansfield comes to us live from Asia where he’s training for Accordance. We’ll learn about the perils and pleasures of traveling internationally.

Check out the end for our Favorite Things too.

Sermon Prep Part 4: Theotek Podcast #068

We talked about using Digital study tools to do word studies. Specifically we looked at Accordance Bible Software, Logos Bible Software and Bible Reader from Olive Tree.

We focused on studying the Bible in English using the tools built into Bible software that help users find the Greek or Hebrew words behind our English translations. Good language study tools focused on Greek and Hebrew tagging using Strong’s numbers helps users get at the Biblical meaning of each word and words in context. Regardless of which software you use, start with a text that includes Strong’s tagging. Usually they will let you right-click or double-click or even triple-click the word you want to study.

Start this process by searching for a word and read it in context in the different places it’s used in the Bible. Then use your software’s built-in word study tools. For example both Accordance and Logos show you how the author uses words with graphs and charts that show how many times a word gets used in each book of the Bible or how many times the original word gets translated one way versus another.

logos word study right click

The next step, after searching the word, is to look up the word in Greek or Hebrew Lexicons. Most Bible software tools include some in base packages. Users can buy more advanced tools.

Finally, if you still need some help, look up the word in an English Bible dictionary. Start with exegetical dictionaries like the Holman Treasury of Key Words or the AMG Complete Word Study Dictionary of the Greek or Hebrew.

Our Favorite Things

apple 29watt usb c charger

This week in “Our Favorite Things” we got some interesting recommendations. First, Antoine recommended the 29 Watt Apple USB-C charger to charge your iPad Pro. It charges the iPad in about an hour, but costs $49. It also requires a USB-C to Lightning cable which adds $35. He still loves the speed of the charging and wished Apple included this charger with the iPad Pro.

anker powercore charger

Rick recommended a similar device, the PowerCore+ 26800 & PowerPort+ 1 charger. It includes QuickCharge technology and with 2.4amp USB ports. It’s got 3 ports and can even charge the MacBook or other USB-C devices that need a lot of power. The 26,800mAh battery handles almost anything you can throw at it.

I showed off a new feature in the latest Developer Preview version of Windows 10. Microsoft has what they call the fast ring and slow ring for beta testers of their operating system. The fast ring version added a new feature that shows up in the system tray. The icon for this feature looks like a pen with a drawn line. Tap or click on it and a new pen-focused menu pops up with a few options as follows:

  • Sticky notes
  • Sketchpad – a white board
  • Screen sketch – the ability to do a screenshot that opens into an editor with pen/pencil drawing on the screen shot
  • Recently used – a few of the most recently opened Windows 10 Universal apps
  • Suggested – pen/stylus focused apps from the Windows store
  • Connect your pen – a link to the Settings where you can connect your Bluetooth Surface Pen or other stylus

windows 10 ink workspace

Microsoft calls this the Windows Ink Workspace.

In the “Least Favorite Things” folder, I talked about Vufine. This was originally a Kickstarter project that I mistakenly backed. They call it an HD wearable display that fastens to your glasses and shows a tiny screen inside the little device that sits just off the front of your glasses. It comes with a cheap, flimsy pair of plastic glasses if you don’t wear glasses regularly.

The problem is the Vufine is to tiny it’s nearly useless for anything. Some use it connected to a GoPro to see what the GoPro sees. But using at an actual display is nearly impossible since text is so small.

Sermon Prep Part 3: Theotek Podcast

In part 3 of the Sermon Prep series on Theotek, we covered digital reference books. Each member of the team recommends our favorite tools like Bible dictionaries, lexicons, and more.

For review we covered the first steps of sermon prep in part one of our series. Then in

We started out with English Bible dictionaries. Here’s a list of what we recommended.

  • Anchor Bible Dictionary
  • IVP Bible Dictionary
  • Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
  • Biblical Archaeology Review
  • Hermeneia
  • Bible Illustration from Holman
  • Accordance Photo Guide
  • Wikipedia
  • CCEL
  • Harper’s Bible Dictionary
  • Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs

Here’s a couple of Bible Background sources we prefer. These help you get at the cultural information that tells us more about the world of the Biblical writers.

  • Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary
  • Accordance Atlas – one of the best digital atlas resources in Bible software

Next we look at Bible commentaries. The series that we each picked included…

  • Word Biblical Commentary
  • Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary
  • New American Commentary
  • Ancient Christian Commentary
  • IVP Bible Background Commentary
  • JPS Commentary

best commentaries

To find the best sources, we all agree that just one series isn’t the best approach to building a good library of commentaries. Instead check out Best Commentaries on the web. It lists the commentaries by book of the Bible and rates the best options available. They update it when new works come out.

Our Favorite Things

visual theology

I recommend Visual Theology, a work that Olive Tree released recently.

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 9.49.54 AM

Antoine recommended the Google Cardboard, their inexpensive Virtual Reality tool that the user can put their phone into to get a VR experience. There are other VR options like Samsung Gear VR, which I don’t recommend. The children’s version comes from Mattel and uses the old View Master idea.

Rick went the opposite direction and shared one of his least favorite things. He doesn’t like the 12-inch MacBook. The screen’s nice but the keyboard doesn’t feel very good and performance suffers when doing more than word processing or surfing the web.

Sermon Prep Part Two: Theotek Podcast #066

It’s part two of our sermon prep series using Bible software to help us write a message. This week just Rick Mansfield and I tackle a little used tool – the passage outline. We show how to do so in a few BIble software packages and talk about doing it in the Notes tool of any program.

We looked at the outlining features of both Accordance Bible Software and Logos. You can also do one of these in the notes tool of any Bible software that includes one. Just copy and past the text into the note and use the space or tab keys and the return button to arrange the text on-screen in way that shows the relationship of the ideas.

logos bible outline

For a good book on how to do good Bible passage outlines in English, see The 12 Essential Skills of Great Preaching by Dr. Wayne McDill, my preaching professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Digital Sermon Prep Part 1: Theotek Podcast #065

We started a series in this week’s Theotek Podcast on doing digital sermon prep. Our team will take you through our steps of sermon prep using Bible software and digital tools.

In this first step we focused on choosing a passage. Software packages come with tools to help you figure out what verses to include in your passage, or as the scholars call it, pericope. Then we look at other aspects of sermon prep. Watch the video below or listen to the audio version at the end of this post.

We didn’t have any recommendations in Our Favorite Things this week.