I'm new and looking for a little help with studying.

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Posts 27
James Amos | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Feb 6 2015 6:20 AM

I have been using Olive Tree for a couple of years and really like it but was looking for more resources to help with my personal study and with my lesson planning. I'v only had the program for a day.Here is a list of what I need help with:

1A.How do I make a group of notes for my study? I can make a note the sub notes under it eg Study on Romans then Romans Chapter 1.   1B. Is this the right way to be doing this?    1C. How then do I get to view them at a later date?

2 What are some of the better Commentaries to use for this? I have the Bronze package. In the Olive Tree I used ESV Study Bible Notes, the strong's links, and then my paper study Bible is a John Macarthur.

3. What's a good layout to do this with? I've been using a 3 column setup first column literal translation, second column easy ready translation, third column commentary and word study. How's that seem?

4. I can't seem to get my android tablet to update with new resources. It loaded a list of them yesterday but stopped downloading and won't resume.

5. Any other tips/tricks about the program would be welcomed. I've been watching the videos but a lot of them apparently go off of the assumption that you know where to start because it seems like they start in the middle of doing something.

That's all I can think of right this minute.

Posts 2775
Erwin Stull, Sr. | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 6 2015 6:35 AM

Hi James, and welcome to the forums (and Logos Bible Software).

I can add an answer to #5. Since you have the Bronze package, you have a resource called Logos 6 Quickstart. I would encourage you to go through these 1 by 1. There are also many videos available on the Logos Youtube channel. Check them out also.

Hope that this gives you a start. You will most likely get many other replies, answering #1 to #4, and elaborating on #5.

Posts 371
Lonnie Spencer | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 6 2015 6:37 AM


Welcome to the Logos fraternity. Big Smile There is a learning curve to Logos that does seem daunting at times, but there is help. Check out Morris Proctor's product page. https://www.logos.com/products/search?q=Morris+Proctor&Author=11975%7cMorris+Proctor&redirecttoauthor=true No experience is necessary. I bought his training manual's when learning Logos four and still keep them around for reference.  Once you master the basics then the user made videos will make much more sense and will seem like plain genius. God bless your studies and your diligence will be greatly rewarded.

Posts 27
James Amos | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 6 2015 7:01 AM

@Erwin I've been watching those videos from Logos and youtube.

@Lonnie I'll look into your link.

I think it is just cause it is totally different than what I'm used to. Like the opersations to do the same things are different in each one.

Posts 25143
Forum MVP
Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 6 2015 7:27 AM

Hi James

James Amos:
1A.How do I make a group of notes for my study? I can make a note the sub notes under it eg Study on Romans then Romans Chapter 1.   1B. Is this the right way to be doing this?    1C. How then do I get to view them at a later date?

Some terminology - individual notes are stored in "Notes Documents". You access Notes Documents from the Documents menu - the left-hand side of that menu will allow you to create new Notes Documents while the right-hand side will show you the Notes you have.

So if, for example, you created a Notes Document called "Study on Romans" you could then open it later, from that menu, and look at the notes you have made.

There are two types of notes:

  1. Those which are created "by reference" which are tied to a verse (or range of verses) and are viewable in any Bible (or other "versified" resource). These normally have a note "icon" associated with them - hovering over this icon will provide a popup showing the content and clicking on it will open the Notes Document to the correct note
  2. Those which are created "by selection" which highlight a particular group of words and are only viewable in the Bible (or resource) in which you create them. Right-clicking on such a highlight gives you the option to "Open Annotation" which again takes you to the appropriate note

And it is worth thinking through which type of notes you want to be creating.

In terms of structuring it depends on what you want to do. If you are going to create a significant number of notes (e.g. lots of text per verse) and link them to specific verses then I would probably have one Notes Document per chapter or pericope and store. If you are just making a few comments then a single Notes Document may be sufficient. 

If you want an easy way of accessing them it is worth looking at the use of Favorites and creating a Favorites folder to which you link your Notes Documents. More details on this are available at https://wiki.logos.com/Favorites 

James Amos:
2 What are some of the better Commentaries to use for this? I have the Bronze package

With that package its certainly worth looking at the Bible Knowledge Commentary and the Socio-Rhetorical Commentaries

If you are going to be spending a lot of time studying a particular book it may be worth investing in some additional commentaries specific to that.

James Amos:
3. What's a good layout to do this with? I've been using a 3 column setup first column literal translation, second column easy ready translation, third column commentary and word study. How's that seem?

It very much depends on what works for you. If that gives you what you need that's fine.

Some things to think about though - do you want to include a segment for your Notes Document in there somewhere? How about including a dictionary?

And some of the other Logos tools - such as Text Comparison and Power Lookup may give you some valuable insights.

I would experiment with various options and see what works best for you

(I know others use very well defined layouts - I tend to build mine as I need them so probably not best qualified to comment on this!)

James Amos:
4. I can't seem to get my android tablet to update with new resources. It loaded a list of them yesterday but stopped downloading and won't resume.

So do you think that some downloads are pending?

If so, you might want to try force-exiting the app and starting it up again.

But please be aware that you don't need to download all your resources so long as you are connected to the Internet. In that case you can access your resources from Logos servers and just download resources you need when offline.

Hope this helps

But please do come back with further questions as they arise


Posts 27
James Amos | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 6 2015 7:46 AM

Hey Graham thanks for the in depth response.

1. As far as my notes go I am looking at doing a in depth study. What I would like to do is start at the beginning of a book. select a group of verses eg. v1-5 then give a general overview of these then go verse by verse more in depth.

I think I was in the right place I just didn't see where I could open them, but I se them on the right side of the documents menu now.

3. Yeah with my layout I had a Notes in the 2nd column but was trying to decide if I wanted to move it or what. I think this will just improve over time.  Is there a way to get it to open in my saved layout instead of having ot click on layouts everytime?

4. I use my tablet 2 times a week teaching where there is no internet so I would like ot have everything i can on it for ease of use.

Posts 25143
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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 6 2015 7:52 AM

James Amos:
 Is there a way to get it to open in my saved layout instead of having ot click on layouts everytime?

If you go to Tools -> Program Settings you will see an "At Startup Open to" option. Click on this and choose the layout you want

James Amos:
4. I use my tablet 2 times a week teaching where there is no internet so I would like ot have everything i can on it for ease of use.

Fair enough - but please be aware that while you can access downloaded resources when offline, some functionality (such as Passage Guides and Bible Word Study) require Internet access (the guides run on Logos servers and results are displayed in the app) so won't be available to you then

Posts 27
James Amos | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 6 2015 8:06 AM

Awesome I was looking for the setup and never found it, looked over it A LOT, lol.

Yeah I understand that some of the resources won't be available just if I wanted to do any last lookups I would have all available that I could.

Thanks ya'll have been a great help in getting started.

Posts 5318
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 6 2015 8:58 AM

IN killing two birds with one stone I would suggest the New Interpreter’s Bible (12 vols.), it provides a good critical commentary, and offers insightful theological reflections. It is pricier than some sets but gives you a decent critical commentary and decent devotional reflections afterward. This is so well done by top scholars from many branches of Christianity I wish everyone could own it. This set also gives you coverage of Catholic books in what we Protestants call the Apocrypha. While most of us Protestants do not consider them authoritative as scripture, some like I Maccabees offer important historical background to the NT others like Wisdom and Sirach offer insight into intertestamental religious thought. Some verses of Wisdom are used by Paul in his letter to the Romans.


PS: Here is a very brief sample by looking  at Psalm 1:


1:1. The book of Psalms begins with a beatitude, a form usually associated with wisdom literature but that occurs most frequently in Psalms (see e.g., Pss 2:12; 32:1–2; 33:12; 34:8; 40:4; 41:1; 106:3; 112:1; 119:1–2; “blessed” or “happy” [אשׁרי ʾašrê] occurs 25 times in the Psalms and 8 times in Proverbs). Because the opening phrase stands outside the parallel structure of the remainder of the verse, and because Psalm 1 is a preface or introduction to the psalter (see the Introduction), the effect is to offer the exclamation, “Happy are those …” as an interpretative clue both to this particular psalm and to the whole psalter. In some sense, all of the psalms will involve a portrayal of what it means to be “happy” or “blessed.”
The remainder of v. 1 describes the happy person over against the “wicked” (רשׁעים rĕšāʿîm), “sinners” (חטאים ḥaṭṭāʾîm), and “scoffers” (לצים lēṣîm). The effect of defining the happy person initially in negative terms is to sharpen the contrast between what will in v. 6 be called “the way of the righteous” and the “way of the wicked.” The two occurrences of “way” (דרך derek) in v. 6, along with the occurrence in v. 1 in the phrase “way of sinners” (דרך חטאים derek ḥaṭṭāʾîm; NRSV “path”), suggest that this psalm and the entire psalter will offer a choice between two fundamentally different ways of life or life-styles. The outcomes of one’s choice of ways are described by the first and last words of the psalm. That choice will either make one “happy” or will lead one to “perish.” In short, the way one chooses is a matter of life and death. The comprehensiveness of this choice is probably reinforced poetically by the fact that “happy” (ʾašrê) begins with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and “perish” (תאבד tōʾbēd) begins with the last letter—that is, Psalm 1 is an all-embracing presentation of what it means to be “happy.”
As the only three-part line in the psalm, v. 1 effectively emphasizes that the way of the wicked is to be studiously avoided. The vocabulary of this verse also begins to suggest what Psalm 1 and the psalter mean by wickedness and righteousness. As is often the case, the parallelism in v. 1 is not precisely synonymous. The general term “wicked” is followed by a more specific term, “sinners,” suggesting those who miss the mark or choose the wrong way. The most specific term is “scoffers,” which elsewhere connotes persons who are arrogantly unwilling to accept instruction (see Prov 1:22; 9:7–8; 13:1; 14:6; 15:12). This specific term prepares for the positive presentation of the happy person as one whose “delight is in the instruction [תורה tôrâ] of the LORD” (see v. 2).
The three verbs in v. 1 are important: “walk” (הלך hālak; NRSV “follow”), “stand” (עמד ʿāmad; NRSV, “take”), “sit” (ישׁב yāšab). The variety of postures covered by these verbs not only reinforces the importance of how one positions oneself, but also has the effect of associating motion and thus instability with the wicked. Insofar as the wicked do achieve stability—the verb for “to sit” also means “to dwell”—it is in the wrong place. Like the nouns in v. 1, the verbs prepare for the positive presentation of the happy person, whose fruitfulness is made possible by a stable rootedness in a favorable location (v. 3).
1:2. The negative characterization of v. 1 is followed by a strong adversative particle (“but” [כי אם kî ʾim]) at the beginning of v. 2, which introduces the positive portrayal of happy persons. While the NRSV and the NIV regularly translate the Hebrew word tôrâ as “law,” this translation is misleading. Many interpreters have understood “the law” in v. 2 to mean the Deuteronomistic code, and they have taken Psalm 1 as recommending a rigid legalism that is accompanied by a mechanistic system of reward and punishment for obedience or disobedience. Consequently, Psalm 1 has often been dismissed as simplistic and naive. Such a conclusion is not necessary. The word tôrâ fundamentally means “instruction.” In contrast to scoffers who arrogantly refuse all instruction, happy persons delight in God’s instruction, having it always before them. What is commended, therefore, is not a close-minded legalism, but a posture of constant openness to God’s instruction. That this openness to God’s instruction was not a burden but a source of delight is indicated by Psalms 19 and 119, which along with Psalm 1 are often categorized by scholars as torah psalms (see Introduction).
Verse 2b is reminiscent of Josh 1:8. As Joshua succeeds Moses, he is told by God that “this book of the law” is something he is to “meditate on … day and night” in order to “make your way prosperous” (NRSV; cf. “prospers” in Ps 1:3). The king of Israel also is to have “a copy of this law” and is to “read … it all the days of his life” (Deut 17:18–19 NRSV). It is likely that “law” in these two texts does, indeed, designate the Deuteronomistic code; however, such need not be the case in Ps 1:2. There is no mention of a book or a copy of the law. “Instruction” here refers not to a particular corpus of stipulations, but more broadly to the whole sacred tradition of God’s revelation. It is helpful to recall that the Torah for Judaism—the Pentateuch—contains both stipulations and identity-forming stories of God’s dealings with the world and God’s people. But even the Pentateuch is too narrow a referent for the “instruction” of v. 2. The two occurrences of torah here, especially in conjunction with the division of the psalter into five books, suggests that the psalms are to be received in a manner analogous to the Pentateuch—that is, as an identity-forming, life-shaping source of God’s instruction. What Psalm 1 commends, therefore, is a devotion that looks to tradition, to Scripture, and to contemporary words and events as sources of God’s revelation (see Commentary on Psalm 119). What the righteous, “happy” life involves is constant openness to God’s teaching.
1:3–4. These verses lie at the center of the psalm, and each contains a simile. Persons who are open to God’s instruction are like trees transplanted beside a source of water; they are never without a resource to sustain their lives—namely, God’s life-giving instruction (see Ps 19:7). What the tree imagery highlights is not primarily the aspect of fruitfulness but the importance of a stable rootedness. The root is in precisely the proper place—beside water, which represents God’s life-giving instruction (see the importance of water in Job 14:7–9). The identical image appears also in Jer 17:8, which specifically mentions the tree’s roots. It is deep rootedness in the proper ground that allows the tree to withstand drought and to always bear fruit. As Jer 17:7 suggests, when read along with Ps 1:1–3, to be open to God’s teaching is to trust God and to entrust one’s life to God. Those who do so always have a resource to sustain their lives. This understanding of the simile illumines the meaning of the final line of v. 3, which has often been interpreted to mean that obedience is materially rewarded. Instead, to “prosper” in “all that they do” should be understood as an affirmation that persons who trust God have a resource for sustaining their lives under any circumstance. As James L. Mays puts it, the way of the righteous is “not so much a reward as a result of life’s connection with the source of life.”46
Verse 4 is introduced by an emphatic form of the negative particle, which has already occurred three times in v. 1 and once in v. 3 and will occur again in v. 5. This sixfold repetition sharpens the contrast between the righteous and the wicked. The second simile (v. 4b) is preceded by the same adversative particle (“but”) that introduced v. 2 and that reinforces the contrast. The similarity of the Hebrew words for “tree” (עץ ʿēṣ) and “chaff” (מץ mōṣ)—both are two-letter nouns ending in the same letter—also serves to highlight the contrasting sense of the two similes. While the righteous are like a well-placed tree whose stability allows it to live and bear fruit, the wicked are like chaff, which is the insubstantial waste product that “the wind blows away” while the heavier fruit of the grain falls back to the threshing floor. The wicked have no stability, no rootedness, no place to stand. As suggested already by v. 1, the wicked are always in motion. The instability or “lightness” of the wicked is represented by the relatively brief amount of space accorded to the second simile. The simile of the tree occupies three poetic lines, while the simile of the chaff occupies only one.
1:5. The instability and uselessness of the chaff prepare for the description of the wicked in v. 5. The wicked “will not stand in the judgment.” The Hebrew word used here for “stand” (קום qûm) is different from the one translated “stand” in v. 1 (עמד ʿāmad), but the effect of each is to communicate that the wicked have no foundation, no connection with the source of life. The meaning of v. 5 is disputed. It may mean that the wicked will not endure when the judgment of God occurs. Dahood, for instance, finds here a description of “the final judgment,” and concludes that Psalm 1 offers “a rather advanced concept of resurrection and immortality.”47 Most scholars disagree. Craigie, for instance, understands v. 5 to assert that “the wicked hold no weight or influence in the important areas of human society.”48 When persons meet to determine matters of “judgment” (or “justice” [משׁפט mišpāṭ], as the word may be translated), the wicked will have no influence, no place in “the assembly of the righteous.” Insofar as vv. 5 and 6b do suggest a kind of judgment, it need not be understood mechanistically as punishment (see below on v. 6).
What is clearer about v. 5 is its literary correspondence with v. 1. The same characters are involved—the “wicked” and “sinners”—and the similarity of the Hebrew words for “counsel” (עצה ʿēṣâ) and “assembly” (עדה ʿēdâ) also suggests a correspondence. Petersen and Richards take this correspondence as one piece of a larger chiastic structure (see Introduction) of vv. 1–5, which they outline as follows:

A Description of the righteous (vv. 1b–2)
B Simile (v. 3a–b.)
C Objectifying conclusion (v. 3c)
C′ Objectifying introduction (v. 4a)
B′ Simile (v. 4b)
A′ Description of the wicked (v. 5)

This analysis identifies “a hinge” (C/C′) consisting of the following two lines (vv. 3c–4a):

And (in) everything which he(it) does, he(it) prospers.
Not so the wicked!

Verse 3c may be understood as the continuation of the tree simile if the subject of the verbs is taken as “it,” or the verse may be understood as an “objectifying conclusion” to the simile if the subject is taken as “he” (i.e., the person open to God’s instruction). The Hebrew permits either construal, and the ambiguity is probably intentional. Since v. 4a precedes the simile, it can more clearly be taken as an “objectifying introduction.” The effect is to create a “hinge” that demonstrates again that the whole psalm turns on the crucial contrast between the wicked and the righteous.49
1:6. The concluding verse of Psalm 1 stands outside the chiastic structure outlined above, thus effectively emphasizing again the contrast between “the way of the righteous” and “the way of the wicked.” The conjunctive particle at the beginning of v. 6 suggests, however, that it should not be totally isolated from v. 5. Furthermore, the repetition of “righteous” and “wicked” links v. 6 to v. 5; not surprisingly, the pattern of the repetition is chiastic: “wicked … righteous … righteous … wicked.” The effect is to present the righteous as central and preeminent, both literarily and theologically. In vv. 5–6, the wicked perish on the periphery (note “judgment” in v. 5a and “perish” in v. 6b), while the righteous are at the center of God’s attention. Indeed, for the first time in the psalm, the Lord is the subject of a verb. The Lord “knows” (ידע yādaʿ, RSV; NIV and NRSV, “watches over”), which in other contexts suggests a relation as intimate as sexual intercourse. The happy or righteous persons are those who are constantly open to God’s teaching, thus always connected to God, who is the source of life.
The wicked, on the other hand, are those who refuse to attend to God’s teaching, thus cutting themselves off from the source of life. That they “perish” is not so much a punishment, but the inevitable outcome of their own choice not to be related to God. In short, wickedness in Psalms is fundamentally to be self-centered rather than God-centered. It is autonomy, which literally means to be a “law unto oneself,” or in terms of my translation of torah, to be wicked is to be self-instructed rather than open to God’s instruction.
By offering the sharpest possible contrast between “the way of the righteous” and “the way of the wicked,” Psalm 1 prepares the reader to hear the rest of the psalter. These two “ways” and their results will be in view again and again, and the reader will be challenged to choose the way of openness to God’s instruction, the way that leads to happiness and life.


Psalm 1 offers an understanding of happiness, life, prosperity, and righteousness/wickedness that differs profoundly from the way these things are ordinarily understood. The understanding of reality in Psalm 1 is thoroughly God-centered; the perception of reality among contemporary persons is almost inevitably self-centered. This means that happiness tends to be understood essentially as enjoying oneself; one’s life goal is understood in terms of self-actualization or self-fulfillment; prosperity becomes a matter of attaining what one wants; and righteousness and wickedness become moral categories that are measured among some by the ability or inability of persons to obey a set of rules and among others by the ability or inability to enact particular programs and policies. In either case, righteousness is measured in terms of a capacity of the self; it is essentially self-righteousness.
For Psalm 1 (and the rest of the psalter), happiness involves not enjoying oneself but delight in the teaching of God. The goal of life is to be found not in self-fulfillment but in praising God (see the Introduction concerning the songs of praise). Prosperity does not involve getting what one wants; rather, it comes from being connected to the source of life—God. The righteous are not primarily persons who make the proper choices or implement the proper policies (although some psalms include the psalmist’s affirmation of innocence), but those who know that their lives belong to God and that their futures are secured by God (see Ps 2:12). In the book of Psalms, the righteous are constantly assailed, persecuted, and threatened (Pss 3:1; 34:19), while the wicked visibly prosper (Pss 37:7; 73:3). The prosperity of the righteous is real but hidden. It is an openness to and connectedness with God that sustains life amid all threats. It is real, but not “as the world gives” (John 14:27 NRSV).
What is so unsettling about all of this is that what Psalm 1 and the rest of the psalter call “wickedness” is perhaps what North American culture promotes as the highest virtue—autonomy. What generally marks maturity among contemporary North Americans is self-sufficiency. Wanting or needing help, whether from others or from God, is taken as a sign of weakness or instability. The effect is to produce a society of isolated selves. The irony is tragic—the pursuit of self-fulfillment yields self-alienation (see Mark 8:35).
In her story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” Flannery O’Connor strikingly portrays “the way of the wicked.” When a character called the Misfit is asked why he does not pray, he replies: “ ‘I don’t want no hep,’ he said, ‘I’m doing all right by myself.’ ”
The Misfit represents what Psalm 1 and the rest of the psalter call wickedness—the conviction that we are doing all right by ourselves, that we need no help. It is not surprising that the Misfit’s words conclude the story: “ ‘It’s no real pleasure in life.’ ”50 He is telling the truth. Failing to trust God and to make connection with God as the source of life, persons cannot be “happy.” It is not surprising that contemporary societies of isolated selves consistently fail to produce people who are “happy,” even though these societies are among the wealthiest, healthiest, and most educated in human history. In biblical terms, to be autonomous, to be alienated from God and other people, is to “perish.”
The choice presented by Psalm 1 is always contemporary. We may choose to be self-instructed and self-directed, or we may choose to open ourselves to God’s teaching and to God’s direction. In a real sense, what Psalm 1 commends is what John Calvin described as “a teachable frame.”51 This “teachable frame” means a reverence for Scripture, God’s written “instruction” (see Luke 11:28), as well as an openness to new ways in which God continues to act and be revealed in the lives of persons and the life of the world. Or, as Calvin insisted, the written Word must be read under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
What is commended, therefore, is not a self-righteous legalism but a commitment of the whole self to God. The call to decision presented by Psalm 1 is not unlike Jesus’ call to repent and to enter the reign of God (Mark 1:14–15)—that is, to give up self-sovereignty to live under the sovereignty of God (see Mark 8:34). Like Psalm 1, Jesus also promised that his followers would be “blessed” or “happy” (Matt 5:3–11). As in the psalms, this happiness is not incompatible with persecution and suffering (Matt 5:10–11); as in the book of Psalms, the way Jesus commends constitutes a righteousness that fulfills the law (Matt 5:17–20) without being a self-justifying legalism (see Matt 5:21, which initiates a series of new teachings introduced by, “But I say to you …”). As an introduction, Psalm 1 not only orients us to read and hear the psalms as Scripture or “instruction,” but it also prepares us to hear the affirmation of God’s sovereignty, which is explicit in Psalm 2 and which pervades the psalter.

J. Clinton Mccann Jr., “The Book of Psalms,” in New Interpreter’s Bible, ed. Leander E. Keck, vol. 4 (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994–2004), 683–687.

Posts 791
James Hiddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 6 2015 11:47 AM

Hey Dan thanks for mentioning the New Interpreter's Bible. Looks interesting.

Posts 1085
JohnB | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 6 2015 12:54 PM

You might like to look at these by one of the forum members.


Posts 525
Kent | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 6 2015 1:22 PM

James Amos:
1A.How do I make a group of notes for my study? I can make a note the sub notes under it eg Study on Romans then Romans Chapter 1.   1B. Is this the right way to be doing this?    1C. How then do I get to view them at a later date?

Let me offer some outside the box thinking...

I don't use Logos' note feature. Instead, I copy and paste everything into Scrivener. This way I can eventually turn what I've created into a personal book to be added to my Logos and allows me to search it as needed.

This also allows many sub notes and automatically adds citations.

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