Logos 6 Buyers’ Guide

If you’re intending to use Logos for more than just reading electronic books, you should buy a ‘base package’. A base package not only contains hundreds of books at a discounted price, but also access to many of the tools that make Logos great. As well as the standard base packages, Logos also has base packages aimed at Anglicans, BaptistsCatholics, Charismatics/PentecostalsLutherans, MethodistsOrthodox ChristiansSeventh-Day Adventists and those from the Reformed tradition.

In considering Logos, you should think first about the ‘colour’ of the package (Bronze, Gold, Diamond, etc.), and then about which denominational flavour you want. Assuming your budget can handle it, you should be considering

  • Starter ($294.95)  — an entry-level package, without original languages
  • Bronze ($629.95) — students and preachers who need a little help in the original languages, but not many commentaries
  • Silver ($999.95) — students and pastors wanting to dig deeper
  • Gold ($1,549.95) — pastors and post-grads looking to do detailed exegesis or explore historical theology
  • Platinum ($2,149.95) — pastors wanting to do in-depth Greek exegesis
  • Diamond ($3,449.95) — pastors who want a wide range of resources from the last three centuries, and are involved in ministry and more academic work
  • Portfolio ($4,979.95) — pastor-theologians, particularly those with a strong interest in Bible background.
  • Collector’s Edition ($10,799.95) — seminary professors (or possibly PhD students) who major in OT or NT studies, and who want a varied library that crosses disciplines or are involved in church leadership.

The guide below is aimed particular at those I know best — students, preachers and academics within the evangelical tradition, so bear that in mind as I assess the value of hte various packages. I don’t know Catholicism, SDA or Orthodoxy well enough to comment on them. Remember, there are dozens of differences between each package, but I try to highlight only the most important. I’m fortunate enough to own all the base packages on this page, so at least you know I’m speaking from experience.

Within each family, all the larger packages include everything in the cheaper packages (so Baptist Gold contains everything in Baptist Silver). This means you can upgrade from one package to another by paying the difference between the two, plus only a little bit more. So if you can’t afford the package you want now, you could buy a cheaper one and upgrade later. You can also mix and match base packages without paying twice for resources that are included in both packages. That’s definitely worth considering once you get past the Gold level.

Finally, if you want a 10% discount and possibly some free books, don’t order online. Instead call Logos at 1-888-875-9491 (or email [email protected]), and tell them Mark Barnes referred you. You’ll get the discount, and I’ll get a little something, too :-).

Starter ($294.95, or $265.46 with a discount)

Starter includes several English Bibles (though it’s missing the NIVNCVNKJV and GNT), reverse interlinears, lectionaries, maps, images, interactive resources, and a handful of dictionaries, one-volume commentaries and theologies. Tools include only limited Bible Word Study, Passage Guide and Exegetical Guide functionality. It’s very light on lexicons.

Suitable for: Those looking for an entry-level package, who aren’t working with the original languages.

Also available:

Verdict:  Unless you’re keen to get Wright’s NT for Everyone series, Anglican Starter doesn’t have much for the generalist, but may suit Anglicans who are Anglicans by conviction, rather than by accident. That’s even more true of the Baptist Starter, Methodist/Wesleyan Starter and Pentecostal/Charismatic Starter, but if you don’t fall into those categories, Starter (for dictionaries), Lutheran Starter (for commentaries) or Reformed Starter (for theology) would be better choices.

Bronze ($629.95, or $566.96 with a discount)

Bronze includes everything in Starter and adds much more. It’s twice the price, but worth the upgrade, particularly for those studying the original languages. The most useful additions are: the NIV and GNT, several Greek and Hebrew Bibles and Lexicons (including BDB [$49.95], TLNT [$89.95], and TLOT [$99.95]), and the Lexham Theological Wordbook [$69.96]), commentaries such as the 10-volume Socio-Rhetorical Commentary [$199.95] and two older sets: Keil and Delitzsch Commentary [$119.95] and Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures. Also added is the Baker Encyclopedia on the Bible [$139.95], the Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, [$59.95], several versions of the Septuagint including an English translation [$24.95], several Greek and Hebrew grammars, Bloesch’s Christian Foundations Collection [$99.95], Battle’s translation of Calvin’s Institutes [$69.95], the Alfred Edersheim collection [$69.95] and English translations of Josephus [$19.95] and Philo [$29.95]. Just as importantly, you also get access to the Beitzel Photo Library [$29.95] and other media, and most of the advanced tools, including the Timeline, Sermon Starter Guide and Greek pronunciation.

Suitable for: Students and preachers who need a good general package, intend to do a little work in the original languages, but don’t need many commentaries.

Also available:

Verdict: Neither Baptist Bronze nor Methodist/Wesleyan Bronze has any stand-out additions, in my opinion. Choosing between the other Bronze packages is tough. Anglican Bronze, Lutheran Bronze or Reformed Bronze probably represent better value for money than standard Bronze if you can manage without the English Bibles and BEB, simply because of the better commentaries and/or the Church Fathers. Pentecostal/Charismatic Bronze loses a lot, but gains a lot in Tozer. Go with your denominational instincts: choose Anglican if you want the Fathers and For Everyone, Reformed if you want Calvin, Pentecostal if you want Tozer, Lutheran if you want the Fathers and Augsburg, Methodist/Wesleyan if you want the Wesleyan Bible Commentary.

Silver ($999.95, or $899.96 with a discount)

Silver contains all the resources in Bronze, and is a worthwhile upgrade. The two main highlights are undoubtedly the 41-volume New American Commentary Series [$509.95], Calvin’s Commentaries [$149.95] and the 37 volume Early Church Fathers [$229.95]. They alone are well worth the extra $370 in my opinion. Also worthwhile are Hebrew/English interlinear Bible [$99.95], some Greek/English editions of the apostolic fathers, and the rather optimistically priced Lenski’s NT commentary [$299.95] and Horae Homileticae [$489.95]. Most of the tools missing from Bronze are also added, including Ancient Literature, Clause Search, and Reported Speech.

Suitable for: Students and pastors wanting to dig deeper.

Also available:

Verdict: Silver is not quite as compelling as the upgrade from Starter to Bronze, but nonetheless it represents excellent value for money, as the two main highlights are expensive, multi-volume works, which are both very useful. Baptist Silver is worth considering if you’d prefer Spurgeon’s sermons to the Early Church Fathers. The NAC is a big loss to Reformed Silver, and its replacements lack the NAC’s up-to-date scholarship. Pentecostal/Charismatic Silver is worth considering if you prefer good quality modern commentaries that centre on application. Both Lutheran and Anglican Silver have little general appeal beyond their own denominational boundaries in my opinion, although the inclusion of Bonhoeffer’s works in Lutheran Silver might attract those more interested in theology than commentaries. But for most users Silver is probably the best option.

Gold ($1,549.95, or $1,394.96 with a discount)

Gold contains everything in Silver, and a lot more. There are recent commentary sets — Black’s New Testament [$249.95], the superb Pillar New Testament [$524.95], New International Greek Testament [$599.95] the UBS Handbook [$619.95], plus a few Lexham Bible Guides. For OT background you get Charles’ Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha [$119.95] and Ancient Near Eastern Texts [$79.95]. You also get the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament [$199.95] and 37 volumes of Themelios [$209.95] and the final datasets: word senses and NT manuscripts.

Suitable for: Pastors and post-grads looking to do detailed exegesis or explore historical theology.

Also available:

Verdict: Gold represents terrific value for money if you’re looking for good quality modern commentaries and they alone are well worth the $550 premium over Silver. But the denomination packages are far less attractive in my view. Baptist Gold might tempt those looking for less technical commentaries, and Lutheran Gold may appeal to those who appreciate German or Continental scholarship. Pentecostal & Charismatic Gold adds exegetical tools, but lacks commentaries. Reformed Gold is strong on theology, but weak on Biblical Studies. Ultimately, the lack of good commentary sets in the denominational packages means that for most people regular Gold is the best option.

Platinum ($2,149.95, or $1,934.96 with a discount)

Platinum includes all of Gold, and adds a lot of resources, but costs $600 more. For the extra dollars you get several Greek texts including NA28 [$39.99] and the Greek Audio New Testament [$44.95], plus morphologically tagged Greek editions of Josephus [$179.95], Philo [$99.95] and the Apocryphal Gospels [$49.95]. Useful commentaries include the pastoral Warren Wiersbe’s Old Testament “Be” Series [$159.95] and IVP New Testament Commentary Series [$289.95], the academic Exegetical Summaries [$554.95] and JPS’s Tanakh Commentary Collection [$399.95], a few critical 19th century commentaries and Metzger’s Textual Commentary on the NT [$31.95]. Greek lexicons are better served, with the addition of BDAG [$150] and Louw-Nida [$35.95]. Also included is Aquinas’ Summa Theologica [$249.95], the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge [$319.95] and some ANE journals.

Suitable for: Pastors wanting to do in-depth Greek exegesis.

Also available:

Verdict: The Platinum base packages are something of a mixed bag. Platinum might suit pastors wanting to do in-depth Greek exegesis, but offers little new on the OT. Anglican Platinum is woefully short of commentaries and exegetical aids in my opinion. Baptist Platinum has some nice commentaries, but at this level I’d expect at least some of the additions to be more exegetical and academic. Lutheran Platinum is good for NT exegesis, fairly good for OT/NT background, OK for theology (if you like the Continental sort) but almost all its commentaries are very dated.  Reformed Platinum is certainly a good improvement on Reformed Gold, it’s fairly well-balanced, and is not too far behind Platinum for Biblical Studies. If you’re not a pastor doing in-depth Greek exegesis (or even if you are) remember that for about the same money, you could purchase Gold plus one of the denominational Silver base packages. That mix is likely to offer better value for money for most people.

Diamond ($3,449.95, or $2,639.21 with a discount)

Diamond includes all of Platinum, and adds more than 580 resources for around $1,300. That includes some commentary sets, of which the most valuable is probably College Press NIV Commentary Series [$769.95]. Most of the other sets are incomplete or dated. Wesleyans may appreciate Wesleyan Bible Study Commentary Series [$249.95] which covers the NT and the Eerdmans Wesleyan Bible Commentary [$199.95], which covers just seven volumes at present. Moulton’s Grammar of New Testament Greek [$179.95] will help with exegesis. There are also several journal sets, including 26 volumes of  The Journal of Biblical Literature [$299.95], For OT background the Context of Scripture [$299.95] is a welcome addition. They are collected works from Spurgeon [$499.95], John Wesley [$249.95], Charles Wesley [$99.95] and B. B. Warfield [$274.95]. The Jewish Encyclopedia [$349.95] is comprehensive, if somewhat dated. The rest of the additions range from A Grammar of the Hittite Language [$81.95] to 101 Things Husbands Do to Annoy Their Wives [$8.95].

Suitable for: Pastors who want a wide range of resources from the last three centuries, and are involved in ministry and more academic work.

Alternatives

Verdict: Prior to the Diamond level the denominational packages tended to be very weak on commentary sets, but thankfully they’ve now caught up. Personally, I’m not convinced the standard Diamond package is worth the premium over Platinum. If the denominational Diamond packages don’t appeal, you might be inclined to mix and match some of the smaller packages. But Anglican Diamond is good value for Anglicans committed to Continental/European theology, Baptist Diamond would suit pastors wanting non-academic commentaries combined with high-quality Greek tools. Reformed Diamond offers an excellent mix of exegetical tools, Biblical Studies, systematic theology and historical theology, mostly in the reformed or evangelical stream.

Portfolio ($4,979.95, or $4,481.96 with a discount)

Portfolio adds another 900 resources to Diamond for an extra $1,500. Most of the commentary sets that had been restricted to denominational packages have been added, including N. T. Wright’s New Testament for Everyone [$149.98], Believers Church Bible Commentary [$399.95], Holman New Testament Commentary [$149.97], Augsburg Commentary on the New Testament [$229.95], Reading the New Testament Commentary [$209.95]. Language tools include HALOT [$159.95] and the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament Bundle [$149.95]. Resources for background include Writings From the Ancient World [$355.99], Neusner’s Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud Collection [$279.95], the Ugaritic Library [$429.95], Jewish Law [$299.95], and much of the Second Temple Period Collection. Church history is served by Classic Studies on the Apostolic Fathers [$249.95], and theology by Barth’s Church Dogmatics [$499.95]. The collected works of Jacob Arminius [$89.95], John Knox [$99.95] and John Owen [$299.95] are also added, and of course there are hundreds of other resources from Biblical Studies, theology, history and ministry.

Alternatives:

Suitable for: Pastor-theologians, particularly those with a strong interest in Bible background.

Verdict: Portfolio is a reasonably good upgrade from Diamond, but it’s not for most people. To benefit from it you really need to be a pastor-theologian with a strong interest in Bible background. Anglican Portfolio is worth getting mostly for the Fathers of the Church, ICC (Old Testament) and AYBD. If they don’t appeal, then it’s probably a pass. Reformed Portfolio adds value to the Reformed stream for those who want European/Continental commentaries. They and others will appreciate HALOT, AYBD and other sets, but that might not be enough to justify the $1,500 price increase from Reformed Diamond. For most users then, the advice is the same as earlier. If you have a Portfolio-sized budget you may be better off mixing and matching smaller base packages or bundles.

Collector’s Edition ($10,799.95, or $9,719.96 with a discount)

Collector’s Edition is twice the size of Portfolio, but it’s more than twice the price too, weighing in at more than $10,000 and 5,000 resources. You’ll gain a number of useful modern commentary sets over Portfolio. From expository to technical, they include Opening Up Commentary [$324.95], Feasting on the Word [$247.95], Focus on the Bible Commentaries [$409.95], Westminster Bible Companion [$399.95] Evangelical Press Study Commentary [$299.95], Mentor [$369.95], International Theological Commentary [$449.95], 86 volumes of the Anchor Yale Bible [$1,969.95], 59 volumes of the International Critical Commentary [$1,899.95]. Dozens of volumes of older commentary sets are also included. Useful reference works include the new International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [$129.95], Dictionary of Classical Hebrew [$249.95], and a wide range of Greek and Hebrew grammars. For background work there’s Charlesworth’s Old Testament Pseudeipgrapha [$119.95] and the Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition [$89.95]. There are also a number of second and third tier academic journals. The monographs in theological studies are not terribly attractive, comprising mostly of 18th and 19th century works. Historical studies are fairly well represented, this time being a mix of older and more up-to-date works. There’s a little on ministry and preaching, and rather more on apologetics. But its the Biblical Studies monographs that really shine. It’s very hard to summarise what’s included, as they’re so varied and there are literally hundreds of them. But generally speaking, the additions to Collector’s are often academic monographs from publishers like Sheffield Academic Press, T & T Clark, Magnes Press, Fortress Press and Eerdmans, with proportionally fewer 18th and 19th century works. Here’s just a small sample: Hermeneutics Collection [$189.95], Near Eastern History Collection [$399.95], Magnes Press Hebrew Bible Collection [$329.95], Judaism and Christianity Collection [$179.95], JSOTS Studies on Exodus [$119.95], David [$219.95], 1 & 2 Chronicles [$219.95] Psalms [$299.95], Jeremiah [$179.95], and JSNTS Studies on the Gospels and Acts [$249.95]; the PBI NT Studies Collection [$218.95].

Suitable for: Seminary professors (or possibly PhD students) who major in OT or NT studies, particularly those who want a varied library that crosses disciplines, or are involved in church leadership.

Verdict: Despite the massive cost, Collector’s Edition represents excellent value for money for those who can put it to use. Like Portfolio, it’s not for most people. Most pastors will be better served by a smaller package. Professors of Church History or Systematics probably won’t find enough relevant content to justify the cost. But for OT or NT seminary professors and PhD students, there are few other places where you can get such a range of academic commentaries and monographs for such a (relatively) low price.

 Tips for getting the best value from Logos

  • Don’t buy books you don’t need.
  • Use an academic discount if you can.
  • Logos runs frequent sales. If you don’t need it now, sign up for their email list and wait (and pray the book you want comes up!).
  • If you’re thinking of buying several resources, contact the sales team and see if you can negotiate an extra discount.
  • Learn about Logos’ pre-pub and community pricing schemes and watch out for things that are useful.

1 Response to Logos 6 Buyers’ Guide

  1. Johnny Russell says:

    I have a thousand dollars for the GOLD package, how can I get a discount to pay thousand for the GOLD? Are there ways I can pursue to find discounts? I’m able to put $400.00 down of the thousand dollars, and after wish time I can put a $100.00 down each month for the next six months to pay the rest of the $600.00 dollars left.

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