I get asked a couple times a month for advice on Logos Bible Software, specifically what package to spend, what resources to purchase, etc. I tend to avoid this question or answer in a round-about way, as I am wary of telling people how to spend their money. That said, I do usually offer some guideline for purchasing. In order to expedite the future responses to this question, I thought it best to place the information in a blog post.
1: Start with the Free Version
Many people don’t realize that you can take Logos for a test drive by downloading the software for free. This of course doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but it helps you get a feel for the software.
But more than just the software shell, Logos offers a number of really excellent and entirely free resources to add to your free version of Logos. This includes their own translation, a Greek New Testament, and the unbelievably great FaithLife Study Bible. I have a whole blog post that I encourage you to look at called Quality Bible Study Resources for $0, particularly the first section of the post.
2: Are You Taking Greek with Me?
If a student is enquiring because they are taking introductory Greek with me, I instruct them to sign up for Logos Academic Basic. This version of Logos is free for students of colleges or seminaries, by first signing up for the educational discount. In this version, students get the free Logos resources mentioned in my Quality Bible Study Resources for $0, as well as other primary language resources (Hebrew Bible, Septuagint) and some older lexicons.
If a person is learning Greek as a self-learner with my textbook and/or my online course, they likely will not be able to get Academic Basic. However, for the purpose of learning Greek, the free version of Logos along with the free resources (particularly the SBL Greek New Testament) is sufficient for the most part.
Students then need to purchase the Louw & Nida lexicon as well as the DBL Greek lexicon. I also strongly recommend getting the Greek audio New Testament through Logos for help with reading and pronunciation.
Although not strictly necessary for the course, the final recommendation I make is a theological dictionary. The NIDNTTE is my main recommendation for students, though you can get all 10 volumes of the TDNT for the same price, or the abridged TDNT for a 1/4 of the price. The TLNT is also a good and more affordable option.
3. Consider the Full Feature Set
Logos has a massive library of resources from most of the major publishers. I prefer eBooks, and if a book is available in Logos, it is my preferred way to own it. But I recognize not everyone is like me – lots of people still much prefer a physical copy.
What you cannot get in physical copies, though, are all the incredible and growing list of features that come in Logos. There are so many wonderful datasets, interactive media, and unique Logos feature — too many to name. But it is these features that make Logos shine. For discussion on some of these, see my recent post on Logos 8.
It is for that reason that frequently recommend to people that if they want to invest in Logos, make sure to get the full feature set. Some people do not realize that you can choose not to go with a base package, but instead can purchase feature-only packages, and then just add individual title later as you want them. (Current users of Logos should also recognize that, when new versions of Logos come around, you should focus on upgrading to the next feature set.)
4. Examine the Base Packages for the Titles You Want (and make sure it has the full feature set)
For potential purchasers who would like their investment to include a little library, they need to more carefully weight the kind of titles they want in their library. Logos has a lot of different types of base packages to try to cater to the different types of users. Do you want lots of original language resources? Lots of commentaries? Lots of church history titles? Titles in counseling? Something specific to your church tradition? The decision needs to be made as to the focus of your research. But do note that in order to get the full feature set included in these base packages, you are at around $900 dollars, because it is at the silver level that the full feature set is included.
That’s it for my advice. Have anything you want to add? Put it in the comments!