On Monday morning Faithlife Corporation released Version 6 of Logos Bible Software. If you are not familiar with Logos, many consider it to be the cadillac of computer aided Bible study.

At first I was skeptical… for the past two years I’ve been using v5 almost daily– it worked great, offered all the features I needed, and many more that I never used. I was set for life. So Monday morning I was very skeptical– is upgrading really worth the price? Is this just a cosmetic change with only a few tweaks? Or is this the real deal? A real leap forward?

I was delighted to discover that v6 is a ginormous leap forward as this list of features shows.

By this point you probably think I’m the #1 Logos fanboy. I’m not. Logos is one of the best Bible study programs available; however, it is not for everyone. There are many programs, apps, and websites available to read and study the Bible. From the simple to the complex and from the free to the expensive.

So the question is not which digital too is the undisputed “best” but rather which one is the best tool for you to study the scriptures.

In that spirit, based on my four years of personal experience using two different Logos versions, here is a listing of what I have come to consider the pros and cons of Logos Bible Software:

Pros:

  • Continuity – Faithlife Corporation is a well established business with a long history of producing quality products. By all indications it appears this company will continue to be in business and support their flagship product Logos Bible Software for many years to come.
  • Powerful – Logos offers all of the basic features, and virtually all of the more advanced features a student of the scriptures would ever need.
  • Powerful, part 2 – Logos resources are much more than a digitized print book– below the surface Logos ebooks are extensively encoded allowing each resource to dynamically interact and cross reference each other.
  • Original Languages – scholarly tools and resources to study the Biblical text in their original languages.
  • Major Platforms Supported – Logos offers apps for the PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, and Kindle Fire platforms.
  • Cloud sync – Most Logos features and documents are kept in sync through the internet.
  • Portability – the ability to access your entire library from virtually anywhere internet access is available.

Cons:

  • Expensive – While Logos offers a number of free applications, most features and resources must be purchased.
  • Expensive, part 2 – Logos is a marketing machine and aggressively markets all of their products. Discipline is required to avoid impulsive purchases. Logos often promotes their ebooks by comparing the Logos price with the print price. Keep in mind the the quoted print price is most likely the full MSRP, not the print product’s street price which is almost always lower.
  • Expensive, part 3 – The Logos PC and Mac applications require significant computing power to operate efficiently. There are many who complain in the Logos user forums about poor or slow performance– but the problem is rarely Logos, rather the computer they are using is inadequate. To get the best Logos experience possible you may have to upgrade your hardware.
  • Steep learning curve – because of the numerous and powerful features it takes a considerable amount of time to master the software. Because of this I suspect most users never really reap the full benefits of the software. Even after 4 years of experience I still have much to learn.
  • Doctrinal confusion – Faithlife Corporation does not claim to be a ministry, Faithlife readily acknowledges being a for-profit business. This is not a problem per se, but you should recognize that the resources they sell represent a very wide range of doctrinal views. Some examples include Seventh-day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Pentecostal, reformed, and many others. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to identify which theological perspective many of the authors represent. Therefore it is important to always exercise discretion when purchasing resources.

So, is Logos right for you? Maybe. I think the question boils down to this: are you committed to climbing the steep learning curve and to regularly use Logos?

If you are committed than Logos may very well be the right choice for you. If, however, if you purchase Logos and never go beyond using the most basic features you will have wasted some serious dough.

Enjoy!

Do you see Logos differently than I do? Leave your comments below, I look forward to hearing other points of view.