Bible Software: Accordance vs. Logos

This week at the seminary I attend we had a rep from Logos come and demo their Bible software. John, the presenter, did a good job, and I like technological tools so I enjoyed his presentation very much.

That said, here is my initial impression of their software. [context: I’ve been using Accordance Bible software for a number of year to do original language exegesis and general Bible study. Hence, my response will be largely in comparison with Accordance.]

Here are pros and cons that struck me:

Pros

+Includes syntactically tagged databases (Andersen-Forbes for OT; OpenText for NT (though I think only the pastoral epistles are done now; another 6-8 months until entire NT completed)).

This is probably the strongest point for Logos  (indeed it was what excited our Hebrew prof). From what I undrstand, a syntactically tagged database allows us to look not only at morphology (verb, noun, adjective, etc.), but syntax (subject, direct object, etc.). Hence you can search for all the times the “love” is used with God as the subject.

[Accordance response to Andersen-Forbes and OpenText inclusion.  Thankfully, Logos does not have exclusive rights to Andersen-Forbes; hopefully Accordance will be able to incorporate it soon.]

+Vast library (e.g. – Hebrew vocab from our grammar by Page Kelley is even there). Also they said they are continuing to expand their library with an eye toward lay people and scholars. [list of works to be included]

+Footnotes automatically added for copy/pasting references such that if you copy a sentence from a systematic theology (for example), it is automatically footnoted in whatever style you prefer (e.g. – Turabian, SBL, Chicago, etc.)

[This is in the pipeline for Accordance; Scriptural citation options are available in 7.1]

+Parse webpage for Scripture references. For example, he copy/pasted the URL of sermon manuscript by John Piper. It pulled and looked up all the Scripture references.

+Relationships resource which graphically shows the relationships (as described in Scripture; e.g. – Did you know that Sarah was the half-sister of Abraham?)

+Includes and defines BHS apparatus.

+All fonts are in unicode.

Cons

-Still slow. The presenter mentioned that one of the weakness of Logos was its slowness, but that now has been fixed. I’d have to respectfully disagree. Searching even the text for all occurences of a certain word took some time, and even more time was spent searching through the references. I understand that the computer is crunching through a lot of data, but Accordance does similar searches (at least in terms of searching a text) instantly.

-Cluttered interface (GUI).   It just appears clunky and complex.  Not what I’m used to with Accordance.

Sum: Logos has good content, but seems difficult to use.

Here are some more links from the Accordance forums:

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