Logos Academic: Bible Software That’s Not Just for Academics! (Review)

<p><a class="external-link" href="https://partners.faithlife.com/click.track?CID=432198&amp;AFID=481377&amp;nonencodedurl=https://www.logos.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Logos Bible Software</a>&nbsp;is an affiliate partner of Anglican Compass. I regularly recommend their software and resources because I think that they’re incredibly beneficial to anyone who wants to learn more about the Bible and Christian theology.</p>

If you take a look at Logos’ offerings, you’ll notice that, in addition to selling thousands of books individually, Logos has these things called “Base Packages,” which are the main way to get started with building a Logos library.

Most of these Base Packages are broken up into different price points (starter, bronze, silver, gold, etc.) by tradition. So, in addition to the “standard” Base Packages, you’ve got Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, and Reformed ones (plus others).

While Anglican Compass obviously recommends that you take a close look at the Anglican Base Packages and individual resources on Logos, I’d like to say a bit more about the Logos Academic Base Packages and why they’re worth a closer look, even if you’re not an academic!


Why I use Logos Academic

I now use Logos quite extensively for research, writing, and answering questions here at Anglican Compass. But the main reason I first bought Logos was to use it for my Ph.D. dissertation on Barth and Bonhoeffer’s theological interpretation of Scripture.

The complete works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer were about to come out on Logos in both English and German, so I took advantage of the Evangelical Theological Society and American Academy of Religion Logos conference discount to purchase an Anglican base package, Bonhoeffer’s works, and a collection of Karl Barth resources (including Church Dogmatics).

However, because the nature of my project requires me to engage with modern biblical scholarship (and not just what Barth and Bonhoeffer had to say), I quickly started acquiring Logos Academic base packages, because they were the cheapest way to purchase some of the standard top-of-the-line Hebrew and Greek resources.

For example, I really wanted to get Logos editions of the standard critical Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible, and purchasing the Academic Essentials package (after my initial round of Logos purchases) ended up being the cheapest way to do so.

(Keep in mind: With Logos, you never end up paying for the same resource twice. The price of a package of resources will get “dynamically reduced” for you, based upon what you already own in Logos.)

Since then, I’ve purchased additional Logos Academic packages (Standard and Premium) as my needs to engage with biblical scholarship have increased. Most recently, I was given access to the Logos Academic Professional library in exchange for this review.

Some important Logos Academic resources

The following are some of the most important resources included in various Logos Academic base packages.

Reasons why you should NOT buy Logos Academic

Let me be clear, I’m not trying to convince everyone to go out and get a Logos Academic package. In fact, here are some reasons why you should NOT do so!

1. You have no desire to engage with Hebrew/Greek

If you take a look at the Logos Academic packages, you’ll see that they are clearly geared toward academic study of the Bible in its original languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek).

Now, I think that everyone should at least consider the possibility of learning Hebrew and Greek. (If you’ve always wanted to read the New Testament in Greek, then check out my good friend Ryan Martin’s Kairos Greek program.)

But I definitely don’t think that everyone needs to go out and learn Hebrew and Greek. If engaging with the Bible in English is more your speed, then you should still check out the other Logos packages, but Logos Academic packages probably aren’t for you.

2. You’re not interested in engaging with the modern biblical studies guild

The Logos Academic packages are also clearly geared toward the demands of the modern biblical studies guild. And that’s not everyone’s cup of tea!

Sure, some of the packages include the texts of the Early Church Fathers, which is great! But the vast majority of the resources are not geared toward “theology,” whether systematic or pastoral.

That’s why, for example, the commentaries included in Logos Academic packages are the International Critical Commentaries and certain Hermeneia volumes. They’re not NICOT, NICNT, or NIVAC commentaries, which all have more theological and pastoral content in them than ICC or Hermeneia.

Now, I think that there are plenty of Christians, especially pastors and teachers, who need to be able to engage with modern biblical studies. Logos Academic packages provide some great tools that, in the right hands, could help bridge the unfortunate divide between biblical and theological studies for the sake of the church!

But, if you don’t resonate with that or feel called to directly participate, Logos Academic packages probably aren’t for you.

3. You’d rather just go to the library

I LOVE having access to my Logos library wherever I go, even on my iPhone! And losing access to my Ph.D. student library carrel for almost 6 months during the COVID pandemic only intensified the premium I place on resource accessibility.

However, there are plenty of people out there, with ready access to amazing research libraries, that might not feel like spending a bunch of money on building up a Logos library. I get that! Take advantage of the library resources while you can.

Reasons why you SHOULD buy Logos Academic

My reasons why you SHOULD consider buying a Logos Academic package begin with the inverse of the previous section.

Take a closer look at Logos Academic if:

  1. You want to engage with Scripture in the original languages
  2. You want to engage with the modern biblical studies guild (even if you disagree with it)
  3. You want to always have access to your exegetical toolkit (whether or not there’s a library nearby)

Ultimately, whether you’re ordained or not, whether you’re an “academic” or not, if you feel called to get your hands dirty in the messy work of bringing the church and the academy back together for the sake of the church and the world, then I think you should take a look at Logos Academic resources.

What I would change about Logos Academic

OK, so I’m obviously a Logos fanboy. But I DO have some gripes with the Logos Academic packages.

Standard biblical studies resources should be in the Standard package!

For starters, I don’t understand why BDAG and HALOT (the standard Greek and Hebrew lexicons, respectively) aren’t included in the Academic Essentials or Standard packages. Instead, you have to get the Professional package to get BDAG. And HALOT isn’t included in any base package! (Although it is included in the BDAG/HALOT bundle, which occasionally goes on a good sale.)

I also really wish that certain standard grammars, such as Daniel Wallace’s Greek Grammar beyond the Basics, were included in the Academic packages somewhere, preferably in the Essentials package. NIDOTTE and NIDNTTE should also be in the base packages somewhere.

At the end of the day, even if it increased the price, I think that the Academic Essentials or Standard packages should provide you with all of the basic, standard resources to get you through seminary Greek and Hebrew courses. Why not put together Logos Academic packages based upon the recommendations in, for example, Introduction to Biblical Interpretation by Klein and Hubbard?

Needs way more theology and church history!

So much for the lack of some standard biblical studies resources in the Logos Academic packages. The theology and church history gaps are even more severe!

It’s great that Early Church Fathers and Historic Creeds and Confessions are included, but I really think that Logos Academic needs to provide access to some of the classic works of theology, as well as to an overview of church history.

For an overview of church history, please give us SchaffGonzalez, Pelikan, someone!

Then, in addition to the Early Church Fathers texts, throw in at least some of the following:

Bottom line

At the end of the day, of course, whether or not you should purchase a Logos Academic base package depends upon your particular situation.

However, because every Christian is a theologian, I really do think that everyone should give Logos Bible Software, in general, a look. There are SO MANY great resources out there to help all Christians grow in their knowledge and love of God! (Please ask me for reading recommendations at any time!)

As for Logos Academic packages in particular, please don’t let the word “academic” scare you away. Even if you’re not going to seminary or getting a Ph.D., we need many more people who have the desire and the ability to engage with Scripture using academic tools! This definitely applies to pastors and teachers, but I think it also applies to the many more Bible scholars we need in the pews!

Take a look at Logos Academic packages today.

You should also check out The Logos Academic Blog!

Disclosure: I have previously purchased Logos Academic packages (Essentials, Standard, Premium), but I was given access by Logos to the Academic Professional package for an honest review.

Published on

June 22, 2021


Joshua Steele

Josh Steele was the first Managing Editor of Anglican Compass. Learn more about him at joshuapsteele.com.

View more from Joshua Steele


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