Saturday, March 25, 2006

New Logos version coming soon…

While I haven’t had a chance yet to talk much about Bible study software on this blog, I am very excited about the upcoming release of the new version of the Logos Bible Software. I have been a Logos user for over 4 years now and I must say that this product is outstanding. The integration of resources and the depth of resources available for Logos, in my opinion, really sets it apart from other products. Bible software overall is a tremendous tool for study. Imagine, being able to open every book in your paper library to the page that discusses the topic or verse that you are studying! That is the power of electronic libraries. With the simple click of the mouse, every resource available to you opens to the page you need. All you have to do is right-click on a word in your New Testament to see the Greek, link to your favorite lexicon and read a detailed explanation, or look up the word in your favorite Bible dictionary or commentary. For Greek work, standard resources such as The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT), BDAG and others make digging into the Greek text a breeze. The best part of all of these resources is their fidelity to the original books. For example, when you look up an article in TDNT it matches the printed version exactly – even giving you the proper volume and page numbers. This means that you can use these resources in your writing and cite sources accurately – not just some electronic source, but the printed version as well.

The new version…
I have been using the latest Beta version for about a week now and the number of changes and improvements in this new product is very impressive. They have completely reworked the interface to make it easier to navigate and they have added some awesome to tools. One of my favorites is called Biblical People. This tool allows you to instantly see the family tree of any Bible character. It includes a list of verses referring to the character and if you click on another name is the tree, the tool shows you the new tree for that person. There are dozens of other improvements and tools. The Bible Word Study tool allows you to see a detail list of references, listings and texts dealing with any word you click on, with links to all your major resources. This is a huge time saver!

While addmittedly, these packages can be very expensive, when you compare the price of the useful books included (not just the total number of books as some really aren't that useful), these libraries can be very affordable. There are a numkber of different packages available and you can start small and add new bnooks over time if you wish. When you add the time savings of doing research and study to the mix, the cost may be more than worth it.

I would like to tell you about all of the new features, but that will have to wait for a future review. Just suffice it to say…this new version is going to change the way you study the Scriptures!!! Check it out.

Monday, March 20, 2006

A handy tool for looking up Scripture verses...

If you visit websites that include Scripture references, or include Bible references in your MS Word documents there is a great little tool I have found that makes looking up those references a snap. EZword is a small program that runs on your PC and allows you to look up Scripture references by simply hovering your mouse over the reference. Just point your mouse at the reference and a small window automatically pops open to show you the complete text (in context). When you move your mouse away, the window automatically closes. It is that simple. The program also allows to to paste verses into MS Word documents without the need to open other Bible software programs. This handy feature can really help ensure that you are quoting the verse correctly.
The program is only $9.95 and comes with the King James Version (KJV) and the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). There are a number of other versions available at additional costs. I use the New American Standard for most of my studies and purchased it for an additional $19.95. This bundle included the NAS 1977 edition, as well as the 1995 Update. All of these Bibles have footnotes and additional helps available. This is a cool tool that makes looking up Scripture while working on the Internet a breeze. At $9.95, it is a great bargain as well.

Welcome to ministrytech!

I have begun ministrytech as a place to discuss current technologies as they can be used in ministry. There are so many possibilities available to us today to help with the task of spreading the Gospel. Ministrytech is designed to help weed through the mire and help to keep ministers, preachers, Bible teachers and evangelists informed about what technologies are available, how they can be implemented and what is working.

I hope that you find this information helpful in your ministries. I would also ask you to communicate with me about new technologies that you are using in ministry. Together we can help get the word out.