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Thread: BW8 vs Logos Original Languages

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Question BW8 vs Logos Original Languages

    Dear friends,

    I've read AMAZING stuff about BibleWorks. It sounds to be THE best of the field. for those who have looked or used other computer programs, I would like to know: how does Logos Original Languages ( ) compare?

    Is L.O.L better than BW8? How is LOL better than BW8? How is BW8 better than LOL?

    BibleWorks 8 retails for $349, while Logos Original Languages's price is $415.95. To conclude that L.O.L is better simply because it's $75 more expensive than BW is not fair, but because my biblical studies up to this point is without software ( I've been using plain old books so far!), I cannot make any conclusion.

    If LOL is not better than BW8, why is LOL more expensive?

    Or, to put it another way, if money was not an issue, and you could only either one, but not both, which would you pick?

    Thank you very much for helping in the making of a well-informed decision on what could be a turning point in one's life and ministry.
    Last edited by eternalsoul; 02-15-2009 at 01:31 AM.

  2. #2

    Default BW8 Vs Logos

    I have had Logos Gold edition for 2 years and Bibleworks for 2 months. to compare the two is somewhat unfair because they both have completely different focuses. Logos is working on version 4.0 and is about 1 to 1.5 year(s) away from the goal. Some teasers that they have put out seem to focus on one of the largest gripes I have with the is slow. However its goal is not to be a searching speed demon but a comprehensive collection of religious resources of all types. Its value is in the resources you own and nothing compares to the wide range of noteworthy resources available for the platform.

    Bibleworks on the other hand focuses on the original text and those resources which aide in its research. At first it seemed slow for me to move over to doing original language research in Bibleworks. I was used to Logos and knew how to accomplish tasks such as comparing Greek texts. But the more I do in Bibleworks the more I like it. Bang-for-the-Buck hands down goes to Bibleworks. I don't know what Logos 4.0 has in store, but currently Bibleworks still has it substantially beat when it comes to the original languages in my opinion.

    One thing you must weigh into your decision is the philosophy and structure of the company. With Bibleworks, if you want to upgrade to the new features in the newest version you have to pay for the upgrade. So in a sense you are paying for resources you already purchased. However in truth you are paying for things like the work that went into recreating databases that allow for new features. In Logos on the other hand once you pay for the resources, you will not have to pay for them again. You can go to Logos right now and download their program, called Libronix, for free. All electronic books you purchase now will work with future additions, or you can upgrade your book at no additional cost. However they factor that into the original price you pay for the book. That's why Logos resources cost so much more.

    I have three possible suggestions. If you do not believe you will purchase additional resources and expand your digital library in the future, and if you believe you will be content and your research needs satisfied with the resources you see listed that come with Bibleworks, go with Bibleworks over Logos. If down the road you know you will want to add things like commentary research or journal research and if you want a more comprehensive library of resources available on your computer, go with Logos. Finally, if you have no clue and I've confused you more, go with Bibleworks. One nice thing about Libronix is that you can purchase items individually. So you can get the Journals library (550 years of journals like JETS and Bib Sac) and do not have to purchase a base package. So you can end up with Bibleworks as a core researching tool and Logos as a suppliment. I love both programs and am thankful to God that I have had the resources to purchase them.

  3. #3


    I use both and am glad of both. Both have differing foci, as has been said. I expect to keep upgrading both.

    But I must say that, while I use and respect Logos, I love BW.

    BW is fast, it puts a treasure-trove of test-related, linguistic, grammatical material at my fingertips in a flash, and what I probably value most of all it allows me to record my findings and observations and studies in verse-by-verse notes, with a robust textual editor that is just as fast as pointing my mouse at a verse.

    A relatively small investment gets you a truckload of material you can use forever.

    So I'd say, if you have to choose just one, choose BW.

    Then put Logos on your Christmas list.

    One Dan's opinion. Your mileage may vary.

  4. #4


    I have owned Bibleworks since version 7, having purchased it two years ago. I have since upgraded to version 8 and absolutely love it. With that said, I had to purchase a commentary set for my seminary studies that was going to cost me $800 and I have always wanted the digital library features of Logos, so I ended up purchasing it (Scholar's Gold) a few months ago.

    I use both programs on my system, much of the time they are both open on my screen. As I do appreciate the depth of the Logos system for the digital library and linking, I find that Bibleworks is much easier to do original language study. I know others swear by the Logos original language features, which are great, but I have been more used to Bibleworks' straight-forward approach to the original texts. I echo the comments of others in saying that if you aren't ready to jump into the digital world with your library, but want more speed and efficiency in searching original languages, Bibleworks is the way to go, hands down.

    Just my two cents.

    Rev. Aaron Kesson, Pastor
    Emmanuel United Methodist Church
    Blissfield, Michigan

    MDiv - Asbury Theological Seminary
    MA(Counseling)-Spring Arbor University

    BibleWorks 9 User

    Blog -

    "Mhdei,j sou th/j neo,thtoj katafronei,tw( avlla. tu,poj gi,nou tw/n pistw/n evn lo,gw|( evn avnastrofh/|( evn avga,ph|( evn pi,stei( evn a`gnei,a|"
    -1 Tim. 4:12

  5. #5

    Default Metaphors

    Let me add a point that gets raised from time to time. It seems to me that the fundamental metaphors that drive design decisions is different when you compare Logos and BW. Logos thinks of electronic resources as books, so they use a book metaphor throughout. I can see Logos running on an Amazon Kindle reader, you have pages that you turn, volumes you open. It seems to me that BW is built around the metaphor of a concordance. If your work flow in exegesis involves lots of Even-Shoshan or Hatch and Redpath, the BW metaphor makes total sense. Here, you are working out from a list into texts and dictionaries. From this distinction it flows that BW's best features are the speed with which it builds lists and the ease with which you can make very complex lists. On the other hand, I don't much like reading through "pages" of material in BW. Logos on the other hand is where I go to read a commentary (or a section of the Church Fathers or Calvin), but the search and concording features just don't "feel" quite right.

    So for me the question becomes what does your workspace look like when you're doing work with biblical texts. If its a stack of commentaries, Logos might be your thing. If its a spread of concordances, BW is for you. And if its both depending on where you are in the process, you'll most likely double your cost and your program count.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Default That's a good image

    I like the imagery of the workspace. My exegetical work without BibleWorks was all about a pile of concordances, and lexica propped open everywhere with a generous distribution of tranlations and versions strewn about. BibleWorks (I've used BW since 3.2) has saved me by now literally thousands of hours of research. When it has come time to read though, I usually go back to the books, If I take out the TDNT, I grab a cup of coffee and settle into my reading chair and read. For me the value of grammars and commentaries in electronic format is for easy citation, cutting and pasteing. I have had various installments of Logos/Libronix (mostly journals), but they don't usually survive the migration to a new machine because I like books, and don't read from the screen when I can flip a page. I have not tried the kindle yet, that might change things, but I can't give up BibleWorks. It is almost part of me.

    "Ambitious to be well-pleasing unto him"
    RJ Blackburn
    Reformed Episcopal Seminary

  7. #7

    Default Comparative Reviews

    Since BW8 is so new, there are not any (that I know of) reviews directly comparing BW8 and Logos3. There are a number of ones comparing BW7 and Logos3.

    • Dan Philips who posted above was too modest to point out the review of Logos w/ comments in relation to BW7 on his own Pyromaniacs blog.
    • I have posted a number of links HERE, but HERE is my direct review of BW7 and Logos3.
    • The Bible Software Review site by Reuben Gomez has all sorts of good stuff, and John Fidel wrote a comparative review for BSR HERE.
    • From the Logos side, check out Phil Gons' comparison HERE.

    I think you will find that these reviews do for the most part support the comments posted in this thread.
    Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman
    Professor of Biblical Studies
    Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg -
    Biblical Studies and Technological Tools

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default "everything BW8 can do, Logos OL can do"

    Thank you all for your helpful posts.

    I've come across some other sites that review Logos or BW.

    2 people who manage the website posted the following replies on their blog ( )

    I haven’t used BW, but for me the issue comes down to use. As far as I know, anything you can do in BW you can do in Logos. The opposite can not be said.
    He concluded by saying that
    Logos is a powerful original language tool AND a powerful digital library management tool
    In case there was any doubt which BW version and which Logos Library Ryan had in mind, Terry clarified:
    Everything you can do with BW8, you can do with Logos software as well.
    Terry says that one of BW8's strengths over LOL is the number of Bible translations (e.g. Lithuanian Bible, a Turkish Bible, a Finnish Bible). I personally do not see a need (at least at this stage of life) for non-English Bibles. I only mention this to express one BW8 strength which won't be of help for me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004


    "The Bible Software Review site by Reuben Gomez has all sorts of good stuff, and John Fidel wrote a comparative review for BSR HERE."

    Just as a quick follow up, both are outstanding. As many have stated, they have a different focus and long-term perspective. BW8 is designed to "Focus on the Text." While Logos is a true electronic theological library. The pros and cons in the article I wrote several years ago still principally hold true. It is a matter of what you want from your software now and into the future.

    Logos can do most of what BW8 does, but in most cases, because of BW's focus, BW does it faster and sometimes better. Examples are vocabulary lists, word lists, and MT/LXX Parallel searching.

    BW has held to formatting their resources, other than bible texts and lexicons, in the windows help file format. This format, while a standard and works fine with BW, is not equal to how Logos formats their resources. It does not come close to replacing a true theological library. If you want an expandable theological library with commentaries, introductions, journals etc, then Logos prevails since such is not BW's focus.

    BW's customer support is as good as it gets. They run their business with a Godly focus. I love the software and the company.

    Do you want softare designed primarily for textual studies or an expandable theological library...?

    If you can afford it, get both.

    John Fidel
    Last edited by jfidel; 02-16-2009 at 04:25 PM.

  10. #10


    Everything you can do with BW8, you can do with Logos software as well.
    Maybe. But there are at least two other factors.

    At what cost, and how easily and quickly?

    BW wins both of those questions hands down. (Said by someone who's used BW since version 4 and owns a good number of scholarly resources in Logos.)

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