Logos Bible Software has been a staple part of my study diet for years now. Being multi-vocational, I have an appreciation for the efficiency of research that I can achieve with this power software, and given that it is now cross-platform, with full desktop features on Mac and Windows, and great basic access on mobile and web, I can truly study and prepare anywhere, anytime.
As the company has grown, they’ve begun to branch out. Whilst previously they were focused on digitizing and indexing existing publications, and providing tools to aid in study and research, the creation of the Lexham division offered a hint of the new direction. With Lexham, a literal translation of the Bible, assorted original language tools and a growing series of “High Definition” texts and commentaries have been released.
Next came the “Faithlife Study Bible” and its associated resources (photos, videos, the Lexham Bible Dictionary etc.) which provides a dynamic and growing study bible that works alongside your preferred translation of the Bible, links to other resources, and grows in content over time as scholars and pastors add more material to the commentary and dictionaries.
But Logos is not finished in its quest to assist the church in better and more study of the Bible. Having tackled academic and study Bible materials, they are now pursuing a new line of teaching and small group resources. These study sets will each follow one person of the Bible, and through their own narrative, provide a framework to know God better, to apply the Bible to our lives, and to do this in community.
I was given the opportunity to review the first of these releases, Abraham: Following God’s Promise. The full curriculum kit adds three resources to your Logos library, and can be accessed through Logos or Faithlife. There is the Personal Study Guide, the Leader’s Guide and the video collection.
The Personal Study Guide is available separately and provides a chapter for each module, with associated graphics and study questions. Through the course of eight weeks, the student encounters matters of faith, promise and God’s faithfulness. Each chapter spends time introducing the topic and narrative of Abraham’s life, dives into the Bible for further instruction on the theme, and then goes “Beyond the Bible” to bring insights from extra-Biblical historical sources. Each week ends with application and Further Reading suggestions. It’s a solid pattern of exposition and hermeneutic that not only serves to walk us through the life of a patriarch and draw out principles that are instructive and illuminating for us today, but also trains us to apply this same study method to our other readings of the Scriptures.
But wait, there’s more…
In line with the heart to support pastors, scholars, teachers and students, Logos has developed teaching material that is packaged in the Leader’s Guide which splits the material into two formats – Small Group Resources and Sermon Resources.
As the names suggest, the first provides a framework for the 8 chapters that is designed for teaching and discussion groups. There are high-quality slides, and introductory videos for each chapter. Teaching points, discussion sections and media resources offer a great base from which leaders can operate to contextualize the content. The guides are not designed to be read aloud with your head buried in the book, but instead do the legwork and leave you, the leader, to prayerfully consider the way to engage your own people with the content.
Personally, I prefer the Small Group Resource format and would be unlikely to use the Sermon Resource structure (which takes the same 8 chapters and offers ways to teach the material in a sermon setting instead). It’s not that the material isn’t good, or useful, but I prefer the work of preparing a sermon from a text myself. But for those who find their life situation doesn’t provide them the opportunity this week to adequately prepare, or if a last-minute substitute is needed, this could be a helpful resource.
Overall, the quality is high, the options for usage are varied and things are looking good as Logos moves forward innovating in the field of Bible study and technology.