Software helps bring Bible study into the electronic age

Northcliffe Baptist will host an event where the technology will be explained.

Published October 28, 2006

SPRING HILL - Scott Lindsey thinks he has the greatest job in the world.

"I get to travel all over the country getting people excited about Bible study," he said. "I really feel that we provide a tremendous solution to people."

Lindsey, 36, is the director of ministry relations for Logos Research Systems Inc., an award-winning Bible software company based in Bellingham, Wash.

This morning, he will be at the Worldview Weekend at Northcliffe Baptist Church to talk about "Technology and Bible Study." He will also have a display of his company's latest Bible study software, the Logos Bible Software 3.

"When a missionary comes up to me and tells me what a blessing our libraries have been to them, that excites me," Lindsey said. "I feel good about what I do when they say that."

What Logos offers missionaries, and anyone else interested in serious Bible study is the equivalent of a Bible college library, literally at their fingertips.

"It is like a U-Haul truck pulling up to your house and delivering a Bible college library, but as the last book enters the front door, out of the truck pops a full-time librarian," Lindsey said. "And that's the real power of the software. Who really cares if you could amass a library of 500 books, because it's going to be up to you to find the information. That's what our technology does automatically."

With the Logos software, what would take a student hours of research can now be accomplished in a fraction of that time.

"You get to spend time with what you are wanting to learn, not trying to find information," Lindsey said.

Here's how it works:

Once the Logos software is installed, users can select any topic or Bible verse and type it onto a screen. Click "go" and the software takes it from there.

"Click one button and that's where the librarian comes in," Lindsey said. "He or she reads your entire library and in a matter of seconds tells you exactly what your library has to say on that topic or Bible verse.

"We automate the process. We do the work for you. We translate the English into the Greek or Hebrew and find the dictionary articles. For the last 15 years, we've been amassing the largest theological library on the planet. We have 7,000 resources in our format right now. And that list grows almost daily. It's just awesome."

Logos offers seven collections - the No. 1 seller at the Worldview Weekend events is the Scholar's Library.

"That is the one that includes the foundational Greek and Hebrew words," Lindsey said. "With the new software, it even pronounces the word for you. It just depends on how far you want to go with your study."

The collections range from about $150 for the Christian Home Library to about $1,300 for the Gold Scholar's Library. According to the company's Web site, the latter set includes more than $11,700 worth of books.

The features of the software libraries are so numerous that the company offers demos on its Web site to illustrate their use.

All the technology updates are free and other books bought for the Logos Bible Software system can be integrated into the library.

Lindsey said parents have been buying the software for their teenagers, who request it after they see the demos.

"I stumbled upon a statistic that shocked me as a parent," he said. "The article stated that by the time the age group that is right now between 14 and 18 graduates, more than 70 percent of what they will learn, they will learn electronically.

"Today's young people don't view study as paper. They view study as electronic."

Lindsey said the goal at Logos is three-fold.

"We want to be the best," he said. "I think we have some of the brightest minds on the planet who could be making much more money at Microsoft, but they have decided to use their gifts to equip the body of Christ.

"Second, we want to equip people with entire Bible college libraries on their computers. Third, we really want the church to get back into the Greek and Hebrew languages. I think our tool is the best thing out there to assist the church in getting serious about Bible study."

Last fall, Bob Pritchard, the co-founder and CEO of the company, won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Pacific Northwest for 2005.

"That was a real testimonial to the company," Lindsey said. "It shows that we are really on the cutting edge of technology with our digital libraries."

Lindsey said Logos does not promote any doctrinal stand.

"Logos is the technology provider for the United States military chaplaincy and that was a big issue with them. In the Military chaplaincy, you've got Methodist chaplains and Catholic chaplains and Jewish chaplains, so we've got to be able to provide resources for all of them. Right now in Iraq,

"Logos is what the chaplains are using for ministry. Logos is also what most seminaries and Bible colleges are using."

Lindsey said he still likes to have his Bible in his lap for his morning devotions.

"There's something surreal about you and the word of God and a cup of coffee," he said. "I don't want to boot up my laptop for that. Logos isn't meant to take the place of a quiet time with God in the morning. We just want to change the way people study the word of God."


Logos software

- For information on Logos Bible Software 3 features, visit logos.com/logos3.

- For a demo of the software, visit logos.com/videos.

- For prices and purchases, call toll-free at (800) 875-6467.