Logos 9

Faithlife is releasing Logos 9 today, and in this post I will highlight a few of the new features and resources I find most significant:

  • Dark mode for the desktop apps
  • Improved guide aesthetics and functionality for the desktop apps
  • Factbook on mobile
  • New Lexham Reference Lexicons for the Hebrew Bible, Aramaic portions of the Hebrew Bible, the Greek New Testament, and Septuagint

Dark Mode (desktop)

Dark mode is a long-awaited addition, and it looks great on Logos.

Dark mode on MacOS
Dark mode on MacOS

My son frequently falls asleep in the guest bed in my office, and I often need to keep working. With the lights out, night mode makes Logos so much more pleasant to use.

Logos will, sort of, automatically shift with your OS between light and dark mode. I say “sort of” because at sunset and sunrise, you will be prompted to restart the program to initialize the color shift.

Restart to shift between light and dark mode
Restart to shift between light and dark mode

The only two apps on my computer that require a restart to initiate dark mode are the two Bible software programs — Logos and Accordance. Hopefully, in the near future Logos will do the programing necessary to allow the app to more seamlessly switch between light and dark mode.

Guide Aesthetics and Functionality

Years ago I created a custom guide in Logos to search by Bible reference. This guide includes commentaries, grammars, ancient literature, the atlas, and cultural concepts.

In the images below, you can see how the commentaries section has been significantly improved. Now, the commentary results (1) have book cover images and (2) you can click to sort the results by your library prioritization, series, author, and other fields.

In one sense, this is a small improvement, but it is an improvement that makes my experience of using the app better just about every time I use it. The cover images make it especially easy to see exactly which series have hits. Every time I use this guide, I appreciate that feature.

Factbook on Mobile

Factbook is the Logos tool that gives you a launching pad for researching almost any topic that isn’t reference based. For reference-based searches there is the passage guide or the exegetical guide or your custom guides. For discovering what your library has to say about Jerusalem, for example, there is Factbook.

Logos 9 gives you full access to Factbook on your mobile devices. To give you a sense of the breadth of results this tool returns, I’ve taken four screenshots of the Jerusalem report:

Factbook on a 12.9” iPad Pro (1 of 4)
Factbook on a 12.9” iPad Pro (1 of 4)
Factbook on a 12.9” iPad Pro (2 of 4)
Factbook on a 12.9” iPad Pro (2 of 4)
Factbook on a 12.9” iPad Pro (3 of 4)
Factbook on a 12.9” iPad Pro (3 of 4)
Factbook on a 12.9” iPad Pro (4 of 4)
Factbook on a 12.9” iPad Pro (4 of 4)

Whether you are looking for information on a famous biblical city, discussion of an obscure place or person, introductions to books of the Bible, or you are starting a thematic study, Logos 9 significantly improves your ability to put your library to work on mobile devices.

Check out this screenshot showing the various types of entries you find by typing “James” into Factbook.

Lexham Research Lexicons

Alongside the release of Logos 9, Faithlife has produced four new lexicons culled from their years of hard work mining and tagging texts and hand curating data. These lexicons are unique in both the content and organization of their entries. Take a look at this entry on 1-הלף from Genesis 31:7:

Lexham Research Lexicon of the Hebrew Bible
Lexham Research Lexicon of the Hebrew Bible

Here, the Lexham Research Lexicon of the Hebrew Bible includes the following:

  • Basic English glosses
  • Equivalents from the Septuagint
  • Beside each Septuagint equivalent is the number of times that word is used to translate the Hebrew word you looked up. (The LXX base text is Swete, I believe.)
  • In the “Verb Usage” section you are given meanings and example citations that link to the Bible sense lexicon, along with links to other Hebrew words in the same semantic domain
  • Links to key resources in your library that discuss the word

The verb usage section is so helpful in the way it links to the Bible sense lexicon and provides synonyms. Here is an example of what you find in the Bible Sense lexicon when clicking “to transgress,” the first link in the article above:

Jumping from Research Lexicon to Bible Sense Lexicon
Jumping from Research Lexicon to Bible Sense Lexicon

For the parallel word ἀλλάσσω in the Septuagint, The Lexham Research Lexicon of the Septuagint lists the following information:

  • English glosses
  • principal parts that occur in the LXX
  • Hebrew equivalents with word counts
  • Key passages
  • Links to occurrences of ἀλλάσσω in contemporary literature
  • Links to key resources in your library discussing the word
The Lexham Research Lexicon of the Septuagint
The Lexham Research Lexicon of the Septuagint

The name research lexicon is appropriate in light of the unique content of these resources. They are a mix between well organized concise traditional lexicons, concordances, dictionaries based on semantic domains, and word study reports that give you quick access to other resources in your library that discuss the word.

Here is a look at The Lexham Research Lexicon of the Greek New Testament on διοδεύω in Acts 17:1:

The Lexham Research Lexicon of the Greek New Testament
The Lexham Research Lexicon of the Greek New Testament

Finally, The Research Lexicon of the Aramaic Portions of the Hebrew Bible on פְּשַׁר in Daniel 5:8:

The Reasearch Lexicon of the Aramaic Portions of the Hebrew Bible
The Reasearch Lexicon of the Aramaic Portions of the Hebrew Bible

The Research Lexicons are a fantastic addition to any library, and they will be especially helpful to those who don’t have the standard lexicons and are just getting started exploring the biblical languages.

Other Improvements

The features and resources above are the aspects of Logos 9 I find to be most helpful, but there are many other new features and improvements:

  • Sermon builder improvements
  • Preaching mode for Sermons (all platforms)
  • Sermon manager
  • Counseling Guide
  • Images in notes (all platforms)
  • Charts tool (desktop and web apps)
  • Improved reading plans
  • Document info pane
  • App toolbar improvements
  • Easier access to search (mobile)
  • Passage lists (mobile)

Logos will be posting and linking to a host of other articles and reviews discussing these features. You can follow them on Twitter @Logos and #logosbiblesoftware.

Conclusion

If dark mode is something you use and value, Logos 9 is definitely worth looking into. The addition of Factbook on mobile is helpful and the improvements to guides are nice, but dark mode is the major new feature.

The Research Lexicons are the standout new resources; they are absolutely awesome. If you don’t find a package you want that includes them, you might consider picking up one or two as standalone resources.

Logos will have a host of upgrade paths to choose from, and these are all being announced today. Checkout Logos 9 here.

Thanks to Faithlife for allowing me to be a part of the beta process and providing me with the resources necessary to write this review.