Your input needed: Faithlife Study Bible

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Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 7 2012 5:56 AM

Bob Pritchett:

 

For years, users have asked us to make a “starter version” of Logos Bible Software that they could share with friends who might not be ready to make a larger investment in Bible study resources.

The Faithlife Study Bible is our attempt to meet this need. We’ve made a huge investment in the Faithlife Study Bible; it is our largest editorial project by far. And right now it’s free through March 2014 (with coupon code “FREE”).

We are trying to make the FSB as accessible as possible: it runs on smart phones, tablets, iOS/Android, in Logos 4 on Mac or Windows, and can even be accessed via http://Biblia.com. Our hope is that it will be a great blessing to many people in the church, reach many people we aren’t otherwise serving, and eventually return its development costs and a profit to us through the small number of those new users who decide to invest in a larger library or other digital Christian content at http://Vyrso.com, etc.

We know that some free mobile Bible apps have had as many as 40 million downloads. With a great study Bible, media, Bible dictionary, devotional content, and more, the FSB is an even more useful tool – and it is also free.

How can we tell people outside our existing Logos user base?

What would we need to say / do / offer to reach the people you go to church with? Have you already told them? Why or why not?

The FSB is our biggest content project ever, and we have a lot of marketing effort coming up. But we started with our existing user base, and have been surprised at how quiet the response (and sharing with others) has been. I think there are some community pricing titles that get more buzz! [smile]

Why? Is it that FSB isn’t targeted at our core customers? (Even if you don’t want a study Bible, have you checked out the Lexham Bible Dictionary?) Are we not describing it well? Is the message lost among our other communications? Does the product not seem right for your friends?

I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts, as well as feedback on the FSB itself.

Thanks!

-- Bob

 

Here is my 2¢ (and most of it has been said before)

  1. Subscription model
  2. Limited canon
  3. Theological position (Way TOOOOOOOOOOOO conservative!!!!!!!!!)
  4. Do not know anything about the authors.  
  5. (This could also be part of number 4 above.)  Creditably of the authors NOTE: (This is just for me), authors MUST have a PhD after their name.  None of the "Major Contributors" that I looked up have a PhD.
  6. Do not know who wrote what part of the study bible (author's name should be linked to what she/he wrote somehow).
  7. It is linked into yet another social media website - not going to use another social media site.  
  8. I still do not trust Logos with my notes/personal data after (1) loosing so much of my notes from L3 to L4, (2) Being forced to upload my sermons in L3 (had to set the option every time I added a sermon, if I forgot - everything was again uploaded to Logos), and (3) having to tell Logos not to put my stuff on their website numerous times (sermons).  (FYI...Because of #3 - I have more trust with Facebook and Google in keeping my personal information quite.)
  9. For the mobile device (Android) Why does a Study Bible need to where I am at (GPS) and also read and write to my contacts? 

 


Posts 3163
Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 7 2012 6:28 AM

tom collinge:
Creditably of the authors NOTE: (This is just for me), authors MUST have a PhD after their name.  None of the "Major Contributors" that I looked up have a PhD.

 

Your point about author credibility is an excellent one, I find when books come out I search for them in my Logos library to see what credible references cite them; this can be extremely useful, and as we know there are some PhD's that no one credible would ever refer to!

I did get a glimpse in my mind after reading your post:

Matthew, PhD

Peter, PhD

Paul Of Tarsus, PhD, DDiv

We offer application for doctoral degree in Theology at Alexandria University ... In their first year of study, candidates are called "Early Church Neophytes". Upon successful completion of all coursework with at least a 3.0 grade point average, they move into their dissertation phase and are called "Early Church Newbies". Once degree is awarded, their PhD bestows the title "Early Church Father", and we publish their dissertation manuscript at our Nile (not Amazon) Marketplace. Framed copy costs 2 shekels, in scroll form it is 1 shekel.

It goes on and on..... Wink

Posts 43
Peter Covert | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 7 2012 6:55 AM

Dominick Sela:

Your point about author credibility is an excellent one, I find when books come out I search for them in my Logos library to see what credible references cite them; this can be extremely useful, and as we know there are some PhD's that no one credible would ever refer to!

I did get a glimpse in my mind after reading your post:

Matthew, PhD

Peter, PhD

Paul Of Tarsus, PhD, DDiv

We offer application for doctoral degree in Theology at Alexandria University ... In their first year of study, candidates are called "Early Church Neophytes". Upon successful completion of all coursework with at least a 3.0 grade point average, they move into their dissertation phase and are called "Early Church Newbies". Once degree is awarded, their PhD bestows the title "Early Church Father", and we publish their dissertation manuscript at our Nile (not Amazon) Marketplace. Framed copy costs 2 shekels, in scroll form it is 1 shekel.

It goes on and on..... Wink

Too Cute!

Bob, to sum up what I have read, people do not like the subscription method, and people do not trust the authors (Something that is very important if you ask me).

Posts 1152
Tom Reynolds | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 7 2012 7:44 AM

I agree that PhD's aren't necessary but the Lexham Bible Dictionary, which is part of this, seems to have an all star cast of PhDs according to the list of contributors: http://lexhambibledictionary.com/contributors/ I presume the FSB is written by different authors but I haven't actually seen it.

On the whole I think something of this nature, which is to appeal to the average person in the pew and not regular Logos users, needs to be written from the pastoral level, not the academic level. We, western Christians, put far too much stress on academic qualifications on not enough on walking in the Spirit. There are PhDs on every side of every issue - liberal, conservative, fundamentalist, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, etc. And yet there is only one Spirit and One Body. I've known too many PhDs who walk in mediocrity or outright sin and yet are esteemed for their learning. I'm not sure a technological solution is possible for leading people into a deeper life of walking in the Spirit because it really must integrate all of life.

To answer Bob's original question - I live overseas and Logos has shown that they have no interest in supporting other languages. Even back in America Logos doesn't offer an adequate Bible in their mother tongue so what use would it be introducing FSB to them. Hey I understand the reasoning behind this but there are lots of other software programs that provide a better experience for them.

Posts 483
Gary Butner, Th.D. | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 7 2012 11:14 AM

I agree. Any Jesus will suffice.

Posts 43
Peter Covert | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 7 2012 12:05 PM

Gary Butner:

I agree. Any Jesus will suffice.

Are you sure? 

There is a train of thought that Jesus was a homosexual because he had a sexual relationship with John - the disciple whom Jesus loved.  I personally believe that good scholarship can refute this concept; "any Jesus" cannot.

All of my other study bibles have names that I know and trust - why should this study bible be any different?

Posts 483
Gary Butner, Th.D. | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 7 2012 12:47 PM

Peter Covert:

Gary Butner:

I agree. Any Jesus will suffice.

 

Are you sure? 

There is a train of thought that Jesus was a homosexual because he had a sexual relationship with John - the disciple whom Jesus loved.  I personally believe that good scholarship can refute this concept; "any Jesus" cannot.

All of my other study bibles have names that I know and trust - why should this study bible be any different?

 

I was being sarcastic. I personally believe in a highly defined Biblical Christ, and not an idol.

Posts 197
Valerie Pobog | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 7 2012 12:54 PM

I'm getting a 404 message when I attempt to download this product. Is it just me or is there a problem with the page right now?

Posts 1574
Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 7 2012 1:22 PM

I linked to it from my group blog, which has a good number of readers outside your traditional market base. Wink

I've found it useful so far as I've read through Genesis, and I tend to have the resources it links to (DDD, IVP collection, AYBD, etc.)

However, I have a number of concerns myself, which reflect my own biases.

  1. Subscription model- I'm highly unlikely to subscribe to anything like this, unless it were frequently updated with relevant things to me. As my graduate work was in Semitics, I spend most of my time in the OT, which tends not to be the focus of many people here, so I don't have high expectations in that regard. I generally don't like subscriptions; I don't have cable, and subscribe to exactly two magazines and one newspaper. My wife and I are both students and likely to remain so for the next few years.
  2. Theological position. I prefer my study Bibles to be up front about their biases, and then focus on scholarship, not dogmatic theological interpretation (as I find in the ESV Study Bible notes. Gen 1:1 being Exhibit A). Give me the data and the options, let ME make the theological judgments. I haven't seen enough of the FSB yet to see whether this criticism applies.
  3. Credibility of the authors. Given my #2, it's important to know who the authors are and where they're coming from. I much prefer PhDs from respectable universities than ThDs from Podunk (insert ridiculously specific Protestant denomination here) Theological Seminary.

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

Posts 3207
Tes | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 7 2012 1:30 PM

Gary Butner:
I personally believe in a highly defined Biblical Christ, and not an idol.

 

Not any one except my Redeemer Jesus Christ .

 

Blessings in Christ.

Posts 502
Randall Hartman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 7 2012 2:46 PM

Bob, 

I think you should hire Mike S. to promote the product and turn him lose.  I do not know him but his earlier reflections were spot on, in my view.  

Also, I dislike the subscription model.  

Thanks Logos.  UR doing a great job.  

 

Posts 711
Steve Maling | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 7 2012 3:03 PM

Hi, Bob,

I heartily agree with Garrett's assessment of Mike S.'s contributions. I've been watching this thread since it opened, but have nothing new to add, and Mike says what I have been thinking and MUCH more besides.

I add my words of HEARTY appreciation of Logos to those of Garrett. For example, you give us a whole lot of really great free stuff. So I can swallow a subscription almost two years down the roadBig Smile

Posts 73
Paul Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 7 2012 8:21 PM

Hello Bob,

Bob Pritchett:

I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts, as well as feedback on the FSB itself.

 

Thank you for looking for input. Here are my thoughts and some feedback on the FSB itself.

Until I came across your post here, I had not bothered to sign-up for the FSB. Main reason?--I don't particularly like the subscription model. I understand why you would like it (putting on my CPA hat), but as a customer I don't like it. Can't argue with free until March 2014, though! :-)

So, I thought I would give it a try. Here's my experience:

 

  1. Went to faithlifebible.com (using Safari on Mac). Enter "FREE" in the Coupon Code field and click the "Get It Free" button. This took me to https://faithlifebible.com/checkout which, except for the header and footer was totally blank.
  2. Fire up Firefox on Mac and try again. Same result.
  3. Too lazy to launch VMWare Fusion and try a Windows browser.
  4. Get out iPod Touch and go to faithlifebible.com. This time it works. Do all the stuff on the checkout page and get my confirmatory e-mail, etc.
  5. Download the app from the AppStore on my iPod.
  6. Initial launch is a bit slow, but subsequent ones are better, so not a big deal.
  7. App launches to John 1:1 in NASB, which is my preferred Bible. Start reading. Also clicking almost every link to see how things work and what's included.
  8. Within five minutes have discovered a repeatable CRASH. This reliably crashes the app every time for me. Simply do the following:
    1. Go to John 1:1
    2. In FSB, in the 1:1 In the beginning... article, touch the plus sign at the end of "agent of creation present with Yahweh from the beginning."
    3. In the expanded section, in the second paragraph where it reads "(compare Col 1:15-23; Heb 1:1-4)" touch the Col 1:15-23 reference to open the pop-up display of that passage.
      1. INSERT GRIPE HERE---> There seems to be a regression here to the old Logos App behavior where, if the text of the pop-up is more than fits in the window, the whole pop-up is not displayed. In this case, the pop-up displays only verses 15 through 19a, rather than allowing scrolling down to view the entire cross-reference (i.e., all the way to verse 23).
    4. In the pop-up of Col 1:15-23, the end of verse 16 says "have been created through Him and for Him." The words "created through" are in blue, implying a link to something. Touch the word created.
    5. The initial Col 1:15-23 pop-up disappears, and a blank pop-up one line high appears with the round spinning circle at the left of the pop-up.
    6. Wait about two or three minutes (have to wait, since the app is frozen). 
    7. App CRASHES. Happens every time. Haven't bothered trying to click on other blue words in the Col 1:15-23 pop-up, but I'm guessing that the same thing would happen.
  9. By the way, the first time I loaded the infographic "The Days of Creation", it was painfully slow. Subsequent views of it are much better.

 

Hopefully you can get someone to address the crash noted above.

I have not yet spent much time with the FSB so I cannot comment much on the content. What I saw in the opening verses of John's gospel looked pretty good to me. Another poster said that the content was too conservative for him. That's NOT a problem for me!

Before I finish, I would like to make one more observation, Bob. As I do so, I am focusing for a moment NOT on the web version of FSB, nor on the desktop use of it in Logos 4. I'm focusing on the mobile version of FSB, particularly the iPhone/iPad version. My closing comment is somewhat related to what you said here:

Bob Pritchett:
We’ve made a huge investment in the Faithlife Study Bible; it is our largest editorial project by far.

....and here:

Bob Pritchett:
The FSB is our biggest content project ever...

....and here:

Bob Pritchett:

We know that some free mobile Bible apps have had as many as 40 million downloads. With a great study Bible, media, Bible dictionary, devotional content, and more, the FSB is an even more useful tool – and it is also free.

 

....Bob, from the little bit that I have poked around the FSB, it is clear that there is a great deal of content here. Hopefully it is accurate, spiritually helpful content. But in addition to content, when it comes to the mobile app space, there is a basic level of functionality that really is indispensable. I now have three apps on my iPod Touch from Logos--Vyrso, the Logos Bible, and FSB--and all three of them lack what is to me a basic level of functionality in a Bible app. Try going offline in FSB and searching for "eternal life" in NASB. It will take you at least 45 seconds for the results to show up compared to less than one second in Olive Tree. Then when you have scrolled 2/3rds of the way down the results list, then touch a search result to look at full context, then go back to your search results, there is no quick way to get back to the spot you were last at in the search results. Also, don't try to narrow the scope of your search on the Logos apps to just the four gospels or to Ephesians--it can't be done! Bob, maybe if you redirected some of your team's effort on content (or their effort on coming up with yet-another-mobile-app-to-do-the-next-great-thing-that-you've-envisioned) toward implementing some of the basic level of functionality that has been in your competition's apps for months (years??) you might get your apps downloaded 40 million times, too! :-)

(I'm being a little bit tongue-in-cheek here. I do make valuable use of the Logos apps, but I REALLY would like to see some of this basic functionality implemented.)

Thanks for the opportunity to give feedback.

Regards,

Paul Johnson

Posts 3751
BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 8 2012 9:02 AM

Paul Johnson:

....when it comes to the mobile app space, there is a basic level of functionality that really is indispensable.  ...Vyrso, the Logos Bible, and FSB--...all three of them lack what is to me a basic level of functionality in a Bible app. Try going offline in FSB and searching for "eternal life" in NASB. It will take you at least 45 seconds for the results to show up compared to less than one second in Olive Tree. Then when you have scrolled 2/3rds of the way down the results list, then touch a search result to look at full context, then go back to your search results, there is no quick way to get back to the spot you were last at in the search results. Also, don't try to narrow the scope of your search on the Logos apps to just the four gospels or to Ephesians--it can't be done! Bob, maybe if you redirected some of your team's effort on content (or their effort on coming up with yet-another-mobile-app-to-do-the-next-great-thing-that-you've-envisioned) toward implementing some of the basic level of functionality that has been in your competition's apps for months (years??) you might get your apps downloaded 40 million times, too! :-)

Yes +1

Grace & Peace,
Bill


MSI GF63 8RD, I-7 8850H, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 2TB HDD, NVIDIA GTX 1050Max
iPhone 12 Pro Max 512Gb
Fire 10HD 64GB 7th Gen

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 8 2012 9:28 AM

Paul Johnson:
Bob, maybe if you redirected some of your team's effort on content (or their effort on coming up with yet-another-mobile-app-to-do-the-next-great-thing-that-you've-envisioned) toward implementing some of the basic level of functionality that has been in your competition's apps for months (years??) you might get your apps downloaded 40 million times, too! :-)

Hate to be a naysayer about the FSB but I agree with these comments.

It seems that is a company wants to copy improve on what 40 million Bibles users, and 800 million social media users are doing, and at the same time charge rent for it, that it should at least be on par with the targeted competition.

Just saying...

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 43
Peter Covert | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 8 2012 10:07 AM

Paul Golder:

Hate to be a naysayer about the FSB but I agree with these comments.

It seems that is a company wants to copy improve on what 40 million Bibles users, and 800 million social media users are doing, and at the same time charge rent for it, that it should at least be on par with the targeted competition.

To continue my summary, the third issue is the quailty of the actual product.  (#1 - subscription method, #2 - quailty of scholarship is unknown)

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 8 2012 10:23 AM

I really wonder about the concern about the 'quality of scholarship' issue. I suppose Bob asked everyone the question, so answers are real concerns. True.

But I look around our church, especially in Sunday morning Bible class and see the Women's study Bible, the archaeology one, and so on. There's a bunch! I really doubt our pastor (who's the best, by the way) has checked them out though he'd know any issues from the web if there were.

I've bought several over the years intensionally getting ones I don't agree with; I can't remember ever checking the authors. I do go by the publishers (eg IVP, Fortress, etc).

After so many kudos for Bob & Co's concerns (and track record by the way), is the issue germaine to the target audience? Just wondering. For me it is but that's why I have a huge Logos library. For my friends at church; they only worry, if the ecclesiatical warning bells go off.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 7
Joel Bennett | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 8 2012 12:05 PM

I've got to agree with the comments about search speed and narrowing my search results. Perhaps you should default the search box to the bible I'm currently reading, instead of my "Entire Library" ...Honestly, sometimes I know that I want to search just the New Testament, or even just the gospels, or just letters, or maybe just the wisdom books, etc.  That's a rather basic Bible search feature.

However, in FSB on Android, I'm pleased to note that when I go to a result and see it's the wrong one, if I click the search button again it pulls out the search pane in exactly the same spot it was -- that's perfect.

Another thing that's not perfect is note-taking/I was really excited to finally get note-taking in an Android bible (and even more excited because they would integrate with my Logos library), but ...

  1. Trying it in service this morning revealed a major flaw: adding a note requires internet access. I want (need?) to be able to take notes offline and then sync them to the server later. 
  2. There's no indication in the text that I've added a note, I have to open the community notes fly-out (which I can only do via the "Add Community Note" button?)
  3. After I wrote the note, I thought it hadn't been saved, because it seemed to have disappeared, but eventually a refresh showed it.  That's frustrating.
  4. Obviously this feature isn't made for taking notes in a sermon (more frustration), because I have to attach the note to a specific verse, so I can't have all the notes for a sermon in one place unless the preacher sticks to a single Bible reference. It reminds me of the note taking in my Kindle Bible, except that note-taking there works offline, and I only need a connection to "share" my notes. Of course, searching is faster on the Kindle too ;-)

I like the idea of sharing notes with "my community" but I'd like to be able to:

  1. Take notes offline and share them later.
  2. Collect notes on various scripture references during a session into one document.
  3. See my notes (or rather, a hint that they exist) in-line in the text as a highlight.
  4. See highlights for notes from one or more of my community groups in-line as well.

There's one feature I wouldn't mine requiring an internet connection for, and that's taking notes "together" with someone else so we could see what each person's written ... guess I'll have to stick to OneNote for that.

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 8 2012 5:54 PM

DMB:

I really wonder about the concern about the 'quality of scholarship' issue. I suppose Bob asked everyone the question, so answers are real concerns. True.

But I look around our church, especially in Sunday morning Bible class and see the Women's study Bible, the archaeology one, and so on. There's a bunch! I really doubt our pastor (who's the best, by the way) has checked them out though he'd know any issues from the web if there were.

I've bought several over the years intensionally getting ones I don't agree with; I can't remember ever checking the authors. I do go by the publishers (eg IVP, Fortress, etc).

After so many kudos for Bob & Co's concerns (and track record by the way), is the issue germaine to the target audience? Just wondering. For me it is but that's why I have a huge Logos library. For my friends at church; they only worry, if the ecclesiatical warning bells go off.

Very very true.  Most people who go to church do not look up or care about the scholarship that is behind their study bible.  Most pastors are also not going to say 'do not use that bible.'

As a leader of the church, I do get asked for my opinion.  If I say something like, 'I do not recommend Logos' FSB because of ...'  The odds of them paying for the subscription is almost next to nothing.

Posts 2040
Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 8 2012 6:26 PM

I just use Microsoft Word to take notes in sermon. Worry later where to attach them. Does OneNote or Evernote have British spell check equivalent to at least Word for Windows 2002?

Joel Bennett:
Obviously this feature isn't made for taking notes in a sermon (more frustration), [...] guess I'll have to stick to OneNote for that.

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