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.

Kevin Surrenders to the Apple Watch: Theotek Podcast #036

After stating on more than one occasion that I’d never get an Apple Watch, guess what I did? I got an Apple Watch. It was under some unusual circumstances and I still don’t think it’s worth the $400 ($350 for the smaller version) price tag Apple put on it. This cost will also run up the price of other Smartwatches, which I don’t like. Find out what I think by watching or listening to episode 36 of the Theotek Podcast below.

The other things we discussed include Logos 6.5, which recently came out. Wes recommended Scapple, a nice mind mapping program. It’s not really mind mapping, but that’s the closest description to what Scapple does.

scapple

In a bit of congnitive dissonence I also upgraded to a Google Nexus 6 smartphone. I talk a little about that decision as well. Finally, we chat about Church website SEO based on an article from Church Tech Today.

logos cloud

Logos Cloud: A Subscription Based Online Bible Library

The idea of an online Bible study tool seems enticing to a lot of digital Bible students today. Logos Cloud is a subscription-based Bible study library for anywhere from $9/month to $100/month with the promise of a powerful online web app coming in the future. Are you interested in renting your theological library and using it on the web? Would you pay anywhere from $9 to $100 for it? Would you sign up before Faithlife finishes the online part of the service?

logos cloud
Logos Cloud is an online theological library focused on new users of the Bible software. Would you pay to rent a theological library?

How Much is Logos Cloud

Head on over to LogosCloud.com to find out more about the service. Here’s the basics.

  1. It’s intended for new customers, not people who already own large libraries since they’d essentially be paying to rent what they already own.
  2. The name’s a bit of a misnomer since Logos doesn’t yet offer a robust online solution. For now, even “Logos Cloud” subscribers will want to download and install the desktop app to get the full features of Logos Bible Software.
  3. Not all books will be available since some publishers are stuck in 1991 when there wasn’t an Internet prevalent in society and they don’t want people using digital books for fear they will pirate it, which by the way tempts people to pirate more than they would if said publishers would wake up and get a clue.
  4. The service costs as follows:
    1. Essentials – $8.99 for a basic set of tools in a “small theological library” that focuses on understanding, reading and searching the English Bible.
    2. Plus – $19.99 for some Greek, Hebrew, original manuscripts, and content on early church fathers. Scholars will want to start at this level.
    3. Premium – $49.99 for the Essentials and the Plus levels of Logos Cloud. This adds the full Logos features set and a large collection of media.
    4. Unnamed – $99.99 for something like the Collector’s Edition of Logos. The LogosCloud.com site doesn’t even mention this subscription level. You have to read Phil Gons’ forum post to know about it.

logos cloud prices

We’re not sure yet what subscribers will get for now. We’ll know more after June 1 when free early access starts for those who sign up early. Sign up for the $50 level and you will get early access. Do this by clicking on the button on the LogosCloud.com page that reads: Get free early access. When a person clicks on the green button with that label the next page asks users to share the page via Faithlife’s social network, Twitter, or Facebook. Click Next and this takes users to a page offering to include the person in a Faithlife group devoted to Logos Cloud.

In the “About” section of the Faithlife group for Logos Cloud, we’re told that early access for those who signed up will start on June 1 and end June 30. I suppose early adopters will see the $49.99 charge on their credit cards at that point.

There Should Be Something for Loyal Customers

Faithlife should offer another Logos Cloud subscription level. Owners of large Logos libraries may want more. They should get access to something like the Premium or higher level access for a reduced cost, since such customers will likely already own some or even much of what these levels will offer. I’d certainly change my Logos Now subscription ($8.99/month) over to the Plus or Premium if they cost $20-$30/month.

Logos Web App Not Ready for Primetime

Like Logos Now, the Logos Cloud subscription service comes with access to the online web app. It’s nowhere near ready since many of the features, like the Exegetical Guide, Home Page, Documents Menu and more don’t even work yet. Faithlife just updated the Passage Guide with a rudimentary version. I demoed it on YouTube this week.

I hope the web app gets there, but it’s not really worth $9/month. If you think that Logos Now or Logos Cloud are cloud-based Bible study, you’re wrong. It shows promise, but it’s not there yet.

logos bible app for android

Logos Bible Android Apps Updated with Much-Needed Fixes

Faithlife, the makers of Logos Bible Software, updated their Android suite of mobile apps with some much-needed fixes. Android users of the Bible app on Android can get it from the Google Play Store using the links below.

logos bible app for android
Logos Bible app for Android got an update to version 4.5 with some much-needed fixes and improvements.

Here’s a list of the new fixes and features.

What’s New in Logos Bible for Android?

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There’s a new setting in the visual settings of the Logos Bible app for Android. Tap on the screen to show the menu and hit the three vertical dots in the upper right corner (see example in the slide show above). Swipe down to the bottom and tap View Settings. Now scroll to the bottom of that screen and notice there’s a visual filter to turn on or off Notes or Community Notes. Notes refers to notes that user adds to a book or Bible. The Community Notes come from the Faithlife Community.

To add a note, select some text by holding down on the screen over a word you wish to select. Drag the note markers that appear at the beginning and end of that word so the selection covers all the text you want to select. Tap on Note. Choose Private for a user note and Community for a public note.

bible text only setttings
Open Bible text only from the Visual Settings menu.

Another visual setting a person can choose is Bible text only, which strips away the verse numbers, chapter numbers and headings in Bibles that include pericope headings. Go back into the settings as described above and just above the two notes visual filters, there’s a Bible text only menu item. Tap it to customize what will show up. The resulting screen allows users to turn on and off the following:

  • Bible text formatting – things like bold or italics
  • Chapter/verse numbers
  • Footnote indicators
  • Non-bible text – the headings mentioned above
  • One verse per line – puts it in paragraph or verse per line mode

Speaking of selecting text, the Logos Bible 4.5 version now includes Smart Selection. This selects text by automatically picking a whole verse or paragraph for you. You can turn it off in the Settings menu.

Logos added support for Logos 6 Custom Reading Plans. A user can make a custom reading plan in Logos 6 that separates the text by more than just chapter or page. Until now these didn’t show up on the Android app’s home page. This is the most important update for my daily use.

User Collections now show up in Bible Search as well.

Improved or Fixed in Logos Bible 4.5

There’s a few things that Faithlife developers fixed in this version of Logos Bible Android app. They are as follows:

  • Scrolling now tracks correctly
  • Updated French translations
  • Improvements to authentication – where one app will now authenticate other apps. Sign into Logos Bible and Vyrso will also use this sign on.
  • Support for unattached notes – users can add general notes not attached to text or Bible verses
  • Notes upgrade – no longer gets stuck in an infinite loop if upgrade requires multiple passes

Various Logos Bible Apps for Android

There’s more than just the one Logos Bible app for Android. Logos offers a suite of app promotion for mobile Bible apps including the following:

  • Logos Bible – the flagship app with most of the features serious Bible students want
  • Faithlife Study Bible – focused on the Faithlife study tools with visual features like maps, images, etc.
  • Vyrso – primarily for Christian book reading
  • Noet – scholarly study focus
  • Verbum – focused on Catholic Christians
  • Biblia – Spanish version Bible app

Also search for these in the Amazon app store for Kindle support.

logos 6 from faithlife

5 Best Mac Bible Study Programs [Video]

For a long time doing Bible study on a Mac meant getting Accordance Bible Software, a couple of lesser known programs without a lot of support for current Bible translations and resources, or installing something like Parallels software to run Windows Bible study software on a Mac. Today, there’s a number of great Mac Bible study programs that run fine on OS X.

Search the Mac App Store and there’s still not a lot of quality there, but that’s alright. Go directly to the source and download the programs below that don’t show up in the app store and start enjoying some excellent Mac Bible study software. To make this list, the program must run as a real Mac app, not a Windows app using emulation software like WINE.

Here are the 5 best Mac Bible study programs in alphabetical order.

Accordance Bible Software

accordance Bible software

Long the standard for Bible study on a Mac, Accordance 11 from Accordance Bible Software offers a rich, powerful package with everything a user might need or even want in Bible software. Some of the best features we get with Accordance include:

  • A true Mac program without any Windows code ported over using WINE or some other overlay
  • Speed with power in one package
  • Excellent search features
  • Original language study
  • Extensive options for screen layout

Learning to use Accordance will take some time, but the company offers some free training to help new users. Mastering Accordance takes time because it’s not simple to figure out. For example, entering a Bible verse may take the user to that verse, but it may not, depending on how the user enters it. Sound confusing? It can be.

Also, sometimes the program displays one verse at a time or it shows the verse in context of a few verses or a chapter or more. The user must learn how to change the settings to make it show what the person wants to see.

Despite the complexity, Accordance is a great program. It offers all of my favorite features in a single, powerful Mac Bible study program, including a feature filled notes tool, lots of top-flight digital content and quick and powerful navigation.

accordance bible lands photo guide

One lesser known feature includes some of the best multimedia content. The company produces what they call the Bible Lands Photo Guide with pictures taken on site in Israel. There’s also a nice collection of artwork centered around Bible topics and passages.

The program relies on Dropbox for syncing user content, which isn’t idea. However, it’s available if needed. The new iPad app also syncs via Dropbox or direct sync over Wi-Fi, but this requires a manual connection between the Mac and iOS app while they’re sharing the same network.

Accordance doesn’t come cheap. They sell Collections starting with the Starter Collection at $59.90, but it doesn’t include a lot. There isn’t much multimedia content and only has the ESV and KJV plus a few older public domain translations. We only get is the IVP New Testament Commentary plus a few public domain commentaries and references. The other Collections include:

  • Bible Study – $199
  • Original Languages – $299
  • Essential – $499
  • Advanced – $999
  • Ultimate – $1,999

Of those, the real bang for the buck is the Essential Collection, if you can afford $500. If not, start with the Original Languages Collection and upgrade as soon as you can afford to. Accordance also offers payment plans.

Buyers can get it directly from Accordance or from the Mac App Store for $50, but I don’t recommend that route since it’s not updated as quickly as the version they sell on their site.

 

Bible Study from Olive Tree

Olive Tree Bible Study App

Olive Tree’s started in mobile Bible software early on, but recently Harper Collins bought them. The company still keeps their mobile apps fresh and now makes a Windows and Mac version. It’s one of the few decent Bible apps available in the Mac App Store.

Olive Tree’s Mac Bible Study program runs on Apple OS X and provides Apple fans a great native Mac app that runs quickly.

The library of digital books available from Olive Tree makes this an intriguing solution. However, it’s not just a simple book reader. Multiple features make it an excellent option for users. Here’s a few of the reasons I put it on this list of the best Mac Bible study programs.

olive tree bible study app resource guide

First, the program runs with speed, offers a healthy library of books, and uses a simple user-interface. The Bible Study app from Olive Tree quickly shows users content about a given passage in the Resource Guide, which opens on the right side of the screen. It lists all the resource in a user’s library that include information about the passage displayed on left. Users can customize what it shows. See the customization option in the screenshot below.

olive tree resource guide preferences

Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the Resource Guide tab from inside Preferences and there’s a link to the company’s online store where users can buy more books. The bookstore opens inside the Olive Tree Bible Study App window. I like that the store’s there if you want it, but it stays out of the way until you do. There’s also a link on the at the bottom of the Library sidebar on the left.

olive tree store inside bible study app

Olive Tree’s Bible Study App includes all the basics expected in a Bible Study program including…

  • Simple and complex search
  • Easy navigation in books
  • Notes features
  • Syncing to backup notes, highlights, and bookmarks

olive tree quick details

One more useful feature shows up in the lower left corner of the app. Hover over a hyperlink and the information that link points to shows up in the Quick Details section. In the example above, I hovered over the word Prophecy in 1 Corinthians 13:2 in the NASB with Strong’s Bible. It quickly showed the Strong’s Dictionary entry for that word. There’s a tiny scroll bar that lets you move up and down in longer entries. Unfortunately, it’s not resizeable.

Bible Glo Premium

glo bible premium media

I only include Bible Glo Premium because of the rich media content that the program includes. Also, it’s available on the Mac App Store for only $34.99. The rest of the app looks beautiful, but doesn’t offer as much for advanced Bible study. The media along makes it worth the cost.

Logos Bible Software

logos 6 from faithlife

One of the most complex and feature filled programs comes from Faithlife. That’s the new name of the company that sells Logos Bible Software.

Subscribe to our Theotek Podcast on YouTube in video format or in audio format on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.

Logos recently received a major update to Logos 6 and we enjoyed a live demo from Faithlife’s Sean Boisen on the Theotek Podcast. You can watch the demo below.

There’s too much in Logos to give a comprehensive overview, but let’s start with the first of my three favorite features in Logos, the Guides.

The Passage Guide is what enticed me to first buy Logos 3 many years ago. Use it by entering a passage into the search box (see the red box on the top left of the image below) or from the Home Screen. Logos searches your library for information related to that passage. The Guide searches the following kinds of books by default:

  • Commentaries
  • Journals
  • Cross References
  • Ancient Literature
  • Parallel Passages
  • Cultural Concepts
  • Outlines
  • Biblical People, Places, Things, and Events
  • Media Resources
  • Logos Media
  • Atlas
  • Music
  • Topics
  • Illustrations
  • Interesting Words
  • Compare Versions
  • Sermons
  • Bookstore
  • Gracewaymedia.com
  • Sermonaudio.com
  • Sermons.Logos.com
  • Sermoncentral.com

That’s a lot of content. Your results may not include everything on this list. Only the groups that include books in the user’s library will show up in the results. Also, the last few come from websites.

logos passage guide

The Passage Guide shows the results in a long list, as seen above. There’s an arrow that points to the right when that section is closed (see the red arrow on the left above). Click it to open that section and the program will search those books of that kind.

Users can add other sections by clicking on the Add drop down link in the upper right corner of the Passage Guide window. See the arrow pointing to it in the upper right of the above image.

Other Logos Guides include the Exegetical Guide, focused on original language study, the Sermon Starter Guide, for finding content to put in a sermon or Bible study, and the Topical Guide, which searches the library by topic instead of passage. Find them all from the Tools menu.

logos copy bible verses

The Copy Bible Verses tool seems like a mundane feature to highlight, especially when a Logos user considers the hundreds of awesome tools. Yet, people copy the Bible into their documents for creating sermon preaching notes, Bible studies, books or any other document created about the Bible. This tool makes it so easy.

The Copy Bible Verses tool grabs the verses the user selects or enters into the dialog box at the top of the window. It can copy from Bibles or other books and place the text on the clipboard for manually pasting into another program or it will automatically format it and paste it into certain programs on the Mac.

logos copy bible verses tool

The feature works with Microsoft Word and the following:

  • Textedit
  • Pages
  • Keynote
  • Proclaim (their worship presentation software)
  • PowerPoint
  • LibreOffice Writer

Logos Data Sets give users detailed information about their passages. This makes it easy to understand the Bible and therefore teach the word. One of the newest that came out in Logos 6 is the Factbook. It gives details about people, places, geographical information and more. See it below.

factbook in logos

The above example shows Bethlehem (of Judea). We get media like maps, images and such. Then we find dictionary entries and references to the place in the Bible. You can’t see the other items in the Factbook list related to this entry. We get Hebrew and Greek Lemmas, a list of library search results from the Logos library, community tags, and more.

PocketBible for Mac OS X

pocketbible for mac

Laridian also got an early start in mobile Bible software. I first used PocketBible on a Palm and then Pocket PC PDA. They branched out to iOS and Android. Their Windows program is a simple tool, but they recently did a Kickstarter campaign to see how many users would want PocketBible on a Mac. The campaign successfully got funded and they produced the program.

PocketBible doesn’t look as pretty as some of these, but it’s simple and fast. It includes a great search feature and a nice collection of books. The designers paid close attention to the layout tool making it easy to set things up quickly to organize the open books.

Along the left we see a mult-use window called the Study Panel that includes tabs for easily navigating the main features in PocketBible. Search, manage bookmarks, highlights and notes, and quickly navigate to a passage.

PocketBible takes advantage of their built-in Cloud Sync to keep multiple machines or devices up to date with the user’s latest information.

 

 

logos 6.1 update

Logos 6.1 Update Now Available and Free Download

Last fall Faithlife, formerly Logos Bible Software, not only changed their corporate name but released a huge update to Logos 6. Now they’ve fixed some bugs and added a few minor features bringing the latest release to Logos 6.1. With this release, customers can now update to the version six display engine for free.

logos 6.1 update

What’s New in Logos 6.1 Update

The upgrade from 5 to 6 brought a ton of new features. (see the video below for a demo of new features in Logos 6) However, the Logos 6.1 update brings just a few. Here’s what’s new in this Logos 6.1 Update.

As always, users can get help from the Help menu or by pressing the F1 key. However, there’s now a library resource called Logos Help. Click here to open Logos to the Logos Help resource.

Logos 6.1 Update help
Either open the Library and find the Logos Help resource or click the Help button on the right end of the toolbar to open Help in Logos 6.1.

So why did they create the Logos Help book? This makes it easy to update with a resource update instead of a whole program update. It also lets the user search for content in the book. They can use the new Inline Search that the company introduced in the version six update. Inline Search means a user doesn’t have to open a Search pane to search inside an open book.

Logos promises to update the Logos Help book with “more comprehensive information, at a later date.”

Second, users can print more than 100 pages of a Personal Book. Personal Books are custom-made resources that the user can add to their Logos library.

personal books in logos 6.1 update
Users can now print more than 100 pages of a Logos 6.1 Personal Book.

Go to the Files section of the Logos forums and find a ton of Personal Books that other users created. To learn more about creating Personal Books, check out the Logos Wiki which explains the process of making your own Personal Books for use in Logos.

As an aside, there’s a great resource from Logos user and expert Mark Barnes called the Dictionary of Christianity and the Bible. Go get it and build a Personal Book. I wouldn’t recommend printing it, however. Mark estimates that a printed version would take up 19 volumes of 1,000 pages each.

The update also fixed a problem with an error when trying to remove Personal Books.

Here’s a few of the other cool new updates in this Logos 6.1 update:

  • Performance fixes and improvements
  • Reduced the “preparing your library” time on startup
  • Loads a Basic Search faster
  • Autocomplete feature in Search works faster
  • Fixed some problems displaying Hebrew text

 How to Get Logos 6 Core Engine for Free

Until now updating to Logos 6 from earlier versions cost a pretty penny. However, users who don’t care about all the new data sets can get just the Logos 6 Core Engine for free. Download it from the Logos download site and install it.

logos 6 crossgrade packages

Downloading this Logos 6 Core Engine will give users some menus with links to books that you won’t own. In other words, the core engine shows many of the new features, but doesn’t include most of them. That’s why it’s a good idea to buy a Logos 6 Base Package upgrade. You don’t have to buy the same package that you own. For example, you may own the Gold package of Logos 5. You don’t have to buy the Logos 6 Gold Package. You can get just the Logos 6 Crossgrade. It’s still expensive, but for most users it’s worth the cost. Pay monthly if paying all at once isn’t possible.