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Posts 241
Kendall Sholtess | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Sep 19 2010 4:29 AM


  This post is going to sound dumb. But since I first laid eyes on Libronix many years ago, I've always wanted something like it. This last winter, I finally got my wife's imprimatur for the purchase. I have been supporting Logos ever since, buying resources above what I probably should on my salary.

  Having said that, I have but one complaint: I can't use it. It is probably not so much a complaint as a testimony to my lack of Bible study ability. I want to be able to dig out stuff in the Word and grow, as well as be able to teach people. I never went to seminary, but I have a lot of seminary books lying around. They haven't helped me much, because their methods do not always seem very practical. I am a language lover, and have taught myself 8 languages, plus I've taught myself to read Greek and some Hebrew. But all this "discourse analysis" and such is way way over my head. I doubt I will ever reach the level that I can do that stuff.

   Here's where the problem is: with the best of intentions, I double click the little cross Logos icon. Upon opening, I flip around through resources, determining to read that or this. I never get very far, even on reading plans. I basically freeze up every time I open Logos. I'd have to say, that I have been totally unproductive during the last 6 months or so that I've had it. I want to serve God with this resource, but I am really just tied in knots about it. I get more accomplished it seems, with my plain old paper and leather Bible.

  Can anyone help me?

Posts 134
Esther Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 19 2010 5:00 AM

It doesn't sound dumb at all, and I'm glad you posted your request.  I'll bet you'll get a lot of help!

I think that first off you should quit beating yourself up because studying on the computer is different than studying from books.  Lots of studies are showing that people read and assimilate information differently from the computer than they do from paper books, even when both have exactly the same content.  Some people say that's a bad thing, but I don't.  It's just different.  We're human, and God made us very adaptable.  We'll adapt.

And that's what you've got to do.  Acknowledge that studying on the computer will be different than studying with paper books.  It may or may not be more efficient for you, but it will be different.

I would suggest a few ideas:

1) watch all of Mark Barnes' and the other training videos here: http://www.logos.com/training.  Even though some of the things they are doing in the videos are pretty basic, try to follow along and do just exactly as they do.  Spend a week at this.

2) after you are very familiar with the possibilities of the program, get out your paper books, pull up a table beside your computer, and begin a study in your paper books.  Set a timer, if necessary, but stop ever 5-10 minutes and attempt to recreate what just happened in your study on your Logos 4.  Mind you, the goal is not necessarily to succeed in studying whatever subject you are working on:  the goal is to learn how Logos works and begin to find out how you can make it work for YOU.

3) If you can't seem to recreate your study in the computer, come to the forums and explain what it is that you got stuck trying to do.  You'll get lots of help.

Give yourself plenty of time to do this.  You've been waiting 6 months...another month of training yourself to use it most efficiently will be a good investment.

Oh...and though I've never been able to myself, I suggest you take some of your hard earned money and attend one of Morris Proctor's seminars.  I hear they are amazing!


Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 19 2010 5:08 AM


It's not dumb brother...I know how you feel... :)

Since Logos is like a multi-lane-info-super-highway...and the "where do I turn?" syndrome is always there....I'd suggest this:

Do what you always do with your paper bibles....that is: study your normal way and don't force it..

If you normally just "read a passage a day and then do some looking up in a commentary for some back ground"....then do that...

if you usually "pull apart a verse to get inside it further"....then do that..


Logos is just a tool, to do what you always do....but much easier and faster.....


Myself, before I had Logos I had a MacArthur Study bible, a Strong's Concordance, a Halley's bible handbook....

All I tried to do with Logos was to shrink the "kitchen table clutter" by having all of my (3) books in the Laptop....

So that's how I started...reading my daily passage....reading the Mac Study bible in Logos...and reading a little background with  a bible handbook....not very professional....but it got me started...

From there...I just kept reading and digging a little...taking notes....

It will happen...just go with what you know at first...then take some baby steps...


I hope that helps....

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 6725
Forum MVP
Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 19 2010 5:13 AM

Kendall around here are no dumb questions, when it comes to helping someone use Logos Bible Software. So ask all you want.

I am Glad you like the software Kendall. If you are involved in Bible study, start by using the home page, and entering a passage. This should help you get started and focused. Focus on a topic,and using the best resources that you have (noticed I said best, not all, as you may have a large library) read what various authors have to say, and then ask the Holy Spirit to help you see the message found in the text, both for the original reader and yourself.

There are many videos and articles to help you learn how to use the software. If there is anything specific ask. There are many people here who are more than willing and able to help. 


Lynden Williams Communications

Posts 346
Ralph Mauch | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 19 2010 5:23 AM

Kendall Sholtess:
I get more accomplished it seems, with my plain old paper and leather Bible.

That's sometimes true for myself also, but that's because I don't have other distractions for myself to keep me from a simple reading of Scripture. When I read from the paper version I will read a whole book, or letter, and then the second time through I'll grab a note book, and then I go back and use Logos and all it's features. Other times I will let the program read to me (as long as I can stand listening to the computer voice), and make highlights in the electronic bible, plus takes notes in either Logos or another word processor, the main goal is not to get distracted with all the books in the library, they should all serve to help you with THE Book, God's Word.

One of the best resources I point folks to to learn how to study the Bible is available in logos http://www.logos.com/ebooks/details/LIVINGBYBOOK , it's an old resource but still one of the best.

You're not the only one that gets over-whelmed, nor the last. But it's better then not having my Logos Big Smile

Just keep reading the Word!

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 19 2010 5:41 AM

I would also highly recommend the videos on the Greek and Hebrew tools Logos just put out recently... They're expensive, but worth every penny if you're getting trapped in the discourse and language tools stuff.

I think I would start with what others have suggested --just start with a Scripture you're interested in, and use the passage guide and other tools to do the study. If you're not finding the paper tools all that useful right now, then there's no need to refer back. The key is that using Logos really is like sipping from a firehose, and the more resources you have, the larger the firehose, or the more the pressure.

The key, to me, is to learn to contain the information, to cut it down to size. This mostly revolves around classifying and compartmentalizing. The custom guides are your best friend to start. Use a guide, and then weigh carefully which pieces of information were really useful, and which weren't. Create a custom guide based on that, and try again. Keep going until the guide really hits useful information 70%-80% of the time. Narrow down, then build back up.

Another very useful tool is collections. While you can't view the library in collections (I wish you could), you can use collections in searches and guides. But just don't think in terms of "commentaries," and "dictionaries." Think in terms of "most useful commentaries," "language oriented commentaries," "least useful commentaries," etc. Arrange things so you put the stuff you find most useful up top by putting in sections that show results from specific collections in the guides.

Narrow down. As you get accustomed to it, build back up. Half the battle is learning what resources you need to reference when, and what you're looking for.




Posts 13419
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 19 2010 5:42 AM

Kendall Sholtess:
Here's where the problem is: with the best of intentions, I double click the little cross Logos icon. Upon opening, I flip around through resources, determining to read that or this. I never get very far, even on reading plans. I basically freeze up every time I open Logos. I'd have to say, that I have been totally unproductive during the last 6 months or so that I've had it. I want to serve God with this resource, but I am really just tied in knots about it. I get more accomplished it seems, with my plain old paper and leather Bible.

Hi Kendall. Great to hear from you. I work best (and study best) when I have clear goal. It really helps me to focus on getting to the information I need, and thinking through it carefully.

So can you give me an example of an upcoming goal you want to accomplish in a single study. Some examples in case I'm not clear:

  • I want to teach a Sunday School class on 2 Tim 3:1-6
  • I want to write term-paper on Holiness.
  • I was reading a book, and they said 'xxxx'. I want to find out whether that's really true.
  • I've been thinking about subject yyyy, recently, and I want to make sure I've really understood it properly.
Posts 241
Kendall Sholtess | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 19 2010 6:54 AM

Wow! All of this stuff is very helpful! Making a goal is important, and I also am already beginning to put my paper resources and laptop side by side. Although really they seem like different worlds. The computer world lacks the feeling of reality to me, sometimes.

 I think one of my biggest problems is having an attention span problem. My thinking is often scattered, and I flit from subject to subject faster than you can say "flit." Then I come back to the former subjects in a haphazard fashion. I think setting a goal should help me the most. But also preventing becoming unfocused. I only have 512 books in my library, but that is quite enough to get me wound up.

 I am greatly encouraged by those of you who told me to take it easy, don't beat myself up, etc. Thanks a lot! I really want to beat myself up sometimes because although I got Logos 4 on sale (yay!), nevertheless, the hundreds of dollars (trans. thousands of Chinese yuan which I am paid in) results in a little pressure for me sometimes.

Again, thanks for so many great suggestions. God bless you all!

Posts 2548
Forum MVP
John Fidel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 19 2010 7:28 AM

Hi Kendall,

For me the key to staying focused is to focus on the Biblical text first. To do this I keep a very minimalist workspace that allows me to get to my library resources, but does not present everything to me at once. I have to decide it is time to move from the Bible, to the original language, to the commentaries to other resources in an orderly way. Not much different than studying from paper resources except everything is easy to get to. Try to avoid what I call drinking from a fire hose.. 

I demonstrated my workspace using the new L4 for Mac Gold Release, although not my best video, here:


I hope some of these suggestions help.

Posts 709
Russ Quinn | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 19 2010 8:11 AM

Thanks, John.

Helpful as always.

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 19 2010 8:59 AM

John, Russ, Mark...

Very insightful comments as always...very helpful to me also...


Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 314
Steven L. Spencer | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 19 2010 10:37 AM

Kendall, I am a seasoned pastor and yet I am still learning how to use Logos4. For me, it has been a pretty steep learning curve. But I just keep pluggin' away, reading the forums, watching the videos and just experimenting. And yes, quit beating yourself up!  I assure you that in time, you will learn how to make Logos 4 work for you. And the time you invest in learning this program will pay HUGE dividends in days ahead. Blessings to you, brother--Steve

Posts 442
Tony Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 19 2010 11:28 AM

I would say to create simple layouts at first without too many resources open at once.  Start with just two panes and increase them as you go. Concentrate on what you have open.  Float the panels that you are using so that you can concentrate on them one at a time.   Then, pick one tool at a time and work on mastering it.    Then, increase the number of resources as you become more comfortable.

I agree that Mark Barnes' videos are excellent in showing you how to use Logos 4 to its fullest.

If you are preparing sermons, I recommend the Sermon Builder tool on the Shepherd's Fellowship web site:



Director of Zoeproject 


Posts 37
Lee Webb | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 19 2010 11:43 AM

Logos is so huge and powerful, yours is a very common response.  Often it's like using a 747 to drive to the mall, not knowing how to fly.  That all changed for me when I went to Morris Proctor's Camp Logos.  He is a great teacher and takes everyone through the basics of how to use the program most efficiently.  If you can possibly scrape up enough time and money to go to a Camp Logos in your area, it will be worth every penny!

Posts 611
Graham Owen | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 19 2010 1:32 PM

Hi Kendall

Your experience will resonate with every user of Logos on this forum, determining the best way to you the software to support our study rather than spending hours playing with the software is a challenge we have all faced and one which we will face when Logos 5 comes out. The first piece of advise I would like to offer is that you should not be so hard on yourself, it will have taken you some time to develop your current approach and it will take time to develop one that works well in Logos 4.

For me I guess I was fortunate because Logos was not as sophisticated when I started using it as it is now so my initial approach was to use the software in conjunction with hand written notes. As the software became more sophisticated so did my use of it and now my study method is quite different. I should also mention that I still use a fraction of the power available.

The key is to learn to use the relevant tools.

Bible Search - replaces your concordance

Topic Search - is like flicking through the table of contents in your books

Library Search - is the equivalent of looking for information via the index of your books

Linking - is like reading your Bible alongside your favourite commentary

This is a simplification but as you explore the system you'll get the picture and find more powerful things that you can do.

To help you to gain control of your library which probably contains an overwhelming array of information it is a good idea to learn about collections.

Notes are useful for capturing your thoughts on specific verses, etc. and Clippings are a good way of gathering content from different resources. How you use these will depend on how you study, you might want to create a notes and clipping file for each study you perform or you may build up files on specific topics. You may also prefer to continue writing in a notebook or use Word, OneNote or another program.

As you explore the software you'll find that some tools are useful to you and others are not. The most important thing is that the software helps you to study the Bible so it does not matter how much or how little you use of the software. If you were to simply use the software to access and read the Bible and a few of the books you would gain from the ease with which you can navigate the resources.

Tools like the Word Study, Cited By, Sentence Diagramming, etc. are all great and you will eventually master those that you need and determine those that you don't. Over time the way that you study will change as you discover new ways to access information using the software again the challenge is to make sure that you remain in control of the process. Logos should be a tool that helps you on your journey and should not dictate where you are going and how you get there.

The best description that I ever saw of the software said that it was like having a research assistant and on a good day that is EXACTLY what Logos is, using the right tool you can access all of the relevant information in seconds. 

God Bless


Pastor - NTCOG Basingstoke

Posts 19274
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 19 2010 6:05 PM

My first piece of advice (which I do not follow very well myself) is resist the urge to multi-task! With paper books, you've got the physical thing in your hands, and that's pretty much all you can focus on. On the computer, in a windowing environment (be it Windows or Mac), you have the opportunity to have all sorts of tabs and tools open, and other applications too. And you can easily "flit" back and forth between one resource and another, and allow distractions to interrupt your flow (checking email, checking the Logos forums for new responses to your post, checking your calendar to verify what time your Bible study group is meeting tomorrow night, etc.) So discipline yourself to do just one thing at a time on the computer when you're studying God's Word there. Logos in particular invites a vast temptation because it is a multi-threaded application. So you can start a search in one tab and a Passage Guide over here, and be looking up something in a commentary over there and have three Bible translations open in the other tile, etc. Just slow down. One thing at a time. Yes, you can have multiple tiles open at the same time without jumping back and forth between them all constantly. You can wait while a passage guide report is being generated -- you don't need to jump to somewhere else to kill time while it's finishing (like I do so often). Just wait. Pray and wait. Maybe it's a blessing that Logos is a little bit slower than we'd like it to be for some things!

Also, take 5-minute breaks from the computer every 30 minutes or so. Set an egg timer if necessary. Your eyes get bombarded by all the electrons from the screen, and that contributes to the sense of overwhelm. Take a breather and get a glass of water, walk around the block, or do some stretches. Taking periodic breaks is good for your back and your wrists, too. Operating with the screen a bit dimmer can help too. If your computer doesn't have a screen brightness control, use software to do it. Dimmer is free and simple and works great, even though it's a few years old; still runs fine on current versions of Windows.

I will reiterate the advice to pray. Pray before sitting down to each session at the computer. Bookend your 30-minute time slots with prayer. Pray that God would direct your time at the computer so that you can be focused. Pray that he would use the tools at your fingertips to imprint his Word on your heart, quicken your mind for learning and resolving questions, and help you make wise use of your time.

Posts 5337
Kevin Becker | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 19 2010 6:39 PM


You've received excellent advice from all present. I want to suggest one more thing, help others. The best thing I did to learn Logos was to start trying to help people on the forum. I learned to answer questions that I would have never thought to ask and how to use the software in unexpected ways. Doing this forced me (so I wouldn't look stupid when I answered a question) to learn the program's logic. I also pay attention when someone offers a simpler solution that the one you figured out on your own.

Just remember to keep at it and to keep it simple to minimize frustration.

Posts 241
Kendall Sholtess | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 19 2010 7:02 PM

Thanks! I will definitely be taking these pieces of advice to heart. I am really glad I asked this question. There are so many practical suggestions. And I hope other people will be helped by these suggestions as well. Maybe there are a few people out there who struggle as I do.

  By the way, I do want to help others, too. I read the forums, but I am mostly quiet  because when I add something I want it to be a quality answer. I will consider doing my homework on these things more and investigating solutions so that I can help others in the future. Smile



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