Logos Reading Plan Error Fixed


Last year there was a strange error in the Logos reading plan that caused me to have to read almost all of Proverbs in one day.

That’s not too bad – I mean, I’ve done “read through the Bible four times in one year” reading plans. Those are tough. But almost all of Proverbs in one day? Prepare a guy for that!

Fortunately, Proverbs is split up evenly into two proverbs a day.

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Quick Logos Tip


When you’re writing notes in your Bible Journaling, and you want to link a word to the Biblcal text, highlight the word or words, then go to the hyperlink spot on the toolbar. Click on it, then simply type the verses you want to link to, and press enter.

The words you wanted linked to a Bible passage are now linked to that passage.

Helpful idea


It would be great if someone could make a converter that would take all of your library in all the kinds of Bible software – Quickverse, WordSearch, eSword, theWord, Logos, Swordsearcher, Bible Analyzer, etc – and convert them all to the appropriate kind of resource in any one of the Bible programs.

By Monday.

That way in all of my various Bible programs, I would have all of the books available. I have some resources in Quickverse that I don’t have in any other software.

I have resources in Word search I don’t have in Quickverse, Accordance, Logos or Swordsearcher.

And so on. It sometimes means I have to open six different Bible programs to have all my resources available.

Year of Writing Commentary


Just a reminder, that this is year one of writing commentary on things you’re learning in your Bible study. I started Jan. 1 in Romans 1:1.

So, after your Bible study (or during it), take notes in a special note file inside your Bible software.  Please make sure your Bible study session is a minimum of 15 minutes a day! If you are a Pastor or in ministry, double that. As a matter of fact, if you are a Pastor, you need to make sure that you’re studying your Bible at least an hour a day, or your congregation will have your hide. God requires a Pastor to spend time in prayer and studies of the Bible. Everything else is secondary.

E-Sword instructions: If I remember right, E-Sword comes with Study Notes, Topic Notes and Journal Notes already made. This would all go into your study notes. Remember to uncheck the little chain icon before you start writing, and then check it again once you’re done.

Swordsearcher instructions:  Under “User” click “Create new user Commentary”. Now all you have to do to add notes is click the four diamonds, and a window will open up to add your notes.

King James Pure Bible Search: Click CTRL+M or go to Edit>Add/Edit/Delete User Note. The user note editor will pop open. Save the note when done typing.

theWord: File>New User Module>Commentary. Name it, give it initials (Dean Commentary DCT) and save it. Now you can start typing away. Make sure you go slowly when trying to expand theWord to fill the window, or you’ll close it down every time. This was a major reason (besides its untidy, cluttered appearance) I gave up using it back in Seminary.

Logos: Create a manuscript, and NAME it “Dean Commentary”. No kidding (it’s a hidden thing in Logos) it will prioritize it, especially if you add a link on your taskbar to it. The more you add to it, no kidding, the more Logos will begin to refer to it as you write.

Okay, this should get you started on the “How-to”. Now you just need to start!

Go to Romans 1:1. Read all of Romans 1 and start taking notes in your commentary. You’re going to make notes every third verse (1:1, 1:4, 1:7, etc). Why? Because next year is the second year of commentary, and the year after that is the third year. In three years, you will have written study notes (if not commentary) on every verse in the Bible.

Recommended commentaries: The Bible. The Bible is its own best commentary. In this regard, Pure Bible Search gives you an advantage by FORCING you to use ONLY the Bible and ONLY the Webster’s 1828.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary by John Walvoord is the next best. Flawed, highly Evangelical, and based upon the NIV (UGH!), but still the best commentary you can get.

Look things up. Use Bible Analyzer. Is this the first time that word is used in the Bible? Unless it’s Gen. 1:1, make a note of it! Is this a word used 5 times or Less in the Bible? Make a note of that.

Open the TSK. Follow the rabbit, and see where the references take you. Literally, this is how David Cloud learned all the Bible stuff he learned, using a Strong’s, and eventually adding a TSK. His own notes took the form of a Bible Encyclopedia, instead of a commentary. And yes, you can buy a copy of it.

You’ll add a lot to your commentary as you go along, so don’t worry if you only get a few sentences in at first.

Yesterday’s blog article came out of my commentary.

Best Fundamentalist Bible Software 2018


This is an article I’ve wanted to write for a long time. Without exception, the best Bible software is all written by – and aimed to –theological progressives. Doesn’t sound bad? Read that “Bible Deniers” and “Unsaved.”

The big problem I’ve got with this is of course that no matter how theologically sound you are, stuff like that begins to affect you.

So, today we’re talking about Bible software written by Fundamentalists. For Fundamentalists.

I’ll preface this by saying if you’re the kind of person who can’t rest if your house is untidy, then you need to get Fundamentalist Bible software. All three reviewed today have the cleanest, neatest interfaces in Bible software.

Swordsearcher

swordsearcher

This is the reigning King of Fundamentalist software. No, it cannot do a tenth of what Logos does, but I don’t think Brandon Staggs is losing sleep over it. He wanted a Bible software that really does what it should: Go to a Bible verse, and see all the commentaries, Bible dictionaries and books in your library that talk about that at once.

Swordsearcher is a little unusual, in that most Bible software is written around Strong’s. However, Swordsearcher is not only coded around the Strong’s at its base, but also around Webster’s 1828! This means that you have the added benefit of seeing the definitions of the English words within their Biblical context. It’s a feature I’ve striven mightily to have built into Word search and Logos, and given up. I asked for Webster’s 1828, and they answer they’ve got the Merriam-Webster’s. Well, if you like seeing your English definitions outside of their Biblical context, sure – that would be okay. But if you’re a Christian, why would you want that??? Oh, right, the theological progressive thing.

If I could think of one word for Swordsearcher, it is “functional”. I can’t think of a better word for it. One price, and you get a massive library, a clean interface (one of the cleanest and neatest in the business), you get an instant glimpse into both the lemma and the manuscript of both Greek AND Hebrew (Quickverse, it’s major competitor for years, only gave you the Greek definitions), and you also get an instant glimpse into the English words as well.

Swordsearcher is designed with your Bible study in mind. Type in the beginning of any Bible phrase, and Swordsearcher immediately begins suggesting search terms. So if you know the “Blessed are the peacemakers”, but can’t remember it’s Matthew 5, then Swordsearcher will tell you in a hurry. My commentary on Romans is going VERY quickly, because of this feature.

The instructions show how to create your own topical Bible and your own commentary, and Brandon Staggs recommends you do just that. I like the Swordsearcher way of letting you know you’ve got a comment on a verse by the little four diamonds a lot better than the Logos little yellow squares. You get enough notes and sermons on Matthew 5, and you end up with sixty-two little yellow boxes, and now you have to start changing the colors of those.

To write Sermons in Swordsearcher, you create a user book, put your sermon template on page 1, and then create additional entries. Just copy and paste your template into each new entry you create, and then write your sermon inside it.

Is it better than E-Sword? I think so. E-Sword has unintentionally copied (or perhaps intentionally) many of Swordsearcher’s features, but without copying the interface, it still misses out on where Swordsearcher excels.

Swordsearcher is $60.

Bible Analyzer

Bible Analyzer fund

If you’ve been reading this for a while, you know that Bible Analyzer is completely different. I wouldn’t use it as a stand-alone Bible program, since its note taking system is not up to snuff – but if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I always tell you every saved Christian on earth needs Bible Analyzer.

Want to know how many capital letters are in the Bible? It’ll tell you. Need to know what’s the most repeated word in Romans 10? Bible Analyzer will tell you. Want to see the first reference of every word within a verse? Bible Analyzer will tell you.

You need this program. Free.

King James Pure Bible Search

purebiblesearch

Someone got a little upset with me because I pointed out this is a program for Ruckmanites/Gail Riplinger followers. I can’t help that – it is what it is. You get the King James Bible, and well – that’s it. No Strongs, no Hebrew, no Greek. No commentaries, no add ons, no nuthin’. And they explain it in this way…

But!

I’m going to say this. If you had ten years to really go through the Bible, and you wanted to find ALL cross references, and had nothing to go by – this program is for you. I was a HUGE fan of the fact you can make your own cross references. Alas, I have so much work to do, and so little time to do it, that.

If you just want the King James Bible and NOTHING else besides the Webster’s 1828 and rudimentary note taking, then this program is for you. If you’ve read Gail Riplinger and believe the nonsense she’s written in the “Toxic” book, this program is for you.

Free.

Conclusions

These are the three Fundamentalist Bible programs. Swordsearcher and Bible Analyzer are very good, and King James Pure Bible Search is very good for what it is. Two are free, Swordsearcher is not.

Bottom Line: I’d get at least Swordsearcher and Bible Analyzer. If you refuse to use any commentaries, Strong’s or any other tools, then the King James Pure Bible Search is the program for you.

Why Buy Swordsearcher?


Why did I buy Swordsearcher? I already own Logos. I already own Accordance. I own Quickverse. I own WordSearch.

I have Bible Analyzer, King James Pure Bible Search, E-Sword, and theWord. I had Davar on my computer until I took it off. Bible by Olive Tree, and Xiphos.

So, why did I spend $60 to buy Swordsearcher?

The issue is fairly simple. I wanted a premium Bible software written by a Fundamentalist, a Bible Believer. Brandon Staggs doesn’t write a great deal on his blog about Fundamentalism – he doesn’t even speak on King James Only-ism. The only public stand he takes on the issue is a single comment on the frequently asked questions for Swordsearcher.

But the fact remains, it’s a Fundamentalist program written for Fundamentalists by a Fundamentalist.

Logos is written by Faithlife, an exceptionally Ecumenical program written by Evangelicals. Most of the tutorials and materials they have are theological liberals who deny the sufficiency, inerrancy and inspiration of the Bible. The fact the founder of Faithlife has no qualms about offering that shows that this is probably his viewpoint as well – a New Calvinist theological liberal mindset that makes Karl Barth look like a Fundamentalist. If you’d like to fix this, a letter writing campaign to get me installed as Resident Fundamentalist would go a long way!

Accordance would be my other option for premium software, but they too have a theological liberal mindset. The materials they offer reflect this, although not as bad as over at Faithlife.

Word search is… in need of a massive overhaul, and the mindset there is Southern Baptist. Not too bad, but still they use words like “Church” when they mean “Kingdom”, and obviously consider Catholics as Christians (as does Logos and Accordance). I have a lot of time invested into Word search, but I switched to Logos a few years back from Word search and I’m not looking back.

But mostly (and some of my old readers will understand this), I did it to protect myself. If you sit in the midst of scorners, you will end up scorning too. It’s possible I could end up reading the NASB and quoting John Calvin, and wondering endlessly whatever happened to “Q”. It’s far more possible I could sprout wings and lay eggs, but still, it’s a possibility.

So I wanted a Bible program that I could use 50% of the time that would protect me, and help me to stay Fundamentalist, and stay true to the Bible.

And of course, I wanted to make sure that I had software where the text of the King James Bible remained unaltered. Recently, the ESV on all my other software was updated without my permission (and since I don’t read it, I didn’t much care). If they could do that to the ESV without my say-so, then they can alter the Bible also.

Keep this in mind when choosing your Bible program. If worst comes to worst, I’ve also got a defunct Bible program that will be getting ZERO updates – Quickverse. Once upon a time, it was the gold standard of Bible programs – and Findex ran it into the ground.

Conclusion

I would recommend to all of my readers who are looking into buying premium Bible software and $60 is a stretch to buy it, consider Swordsearcher. It’s actually a fantastic piece of Bible software, very usable and configurable. There’s just one package for $60. Add ons are all third party, and of course, David Cloud offers for $30 an add on package for Swordsearcher –  the “Way of Life Encyclopedia” and “Things Hard to Be Understood”, a work I’d love to see expanded into a 5 volume set!

Studying the word with Swordsearcher


Swordsearcher really is one of those programs I’ve always liked, but you know, $59 goes a long way in this world. Every time I get a new computer, I load in the Swordsearcher demo and play with it, trying to decide whether or not to buy it. Yesterday I finally took the plunge and bought it.

I really can’t describe the emotion I went through buying it. I own how many Bible programs? I’ve paid for several, including several hundred dollars for Logos (and saved quite a bit of money the way I did it!). But for some reason, I felt the most incredible satisfaction buying it.

I do know most Fundamentalists swear by Swordsearcher. If you’re a narrow is the way King James Only Fundamentalist, apparently Swordsearcher is the most commonly used Bible program.

I’ve written a few articles using Swordsearcher, and this current one is no exception. What makes Swordsearcher so special? I’ll tell you. While the Greek  Textus Receptus is available in many programs, the Hebrew Old Testament is not. Quite literally, Swordsearcher is the only one to feature the Ben Chayyim Masoretic Hebrew texts.

I need to explain that just a touch. All the Bible programs offer the Ben Asher Masoretic text. The words “Ben Asher” and “Masoretic” do not go together. It’s like the “Majority text” name – the manuscripts it is connected to is not the majority of the Greek texts used – that’s the Textus Receptus – but they changed the name of the modern texts to confuse Christians. In other words, they lied.

It’s the same with the Ben Asher. They lied to confuse Christians. Only the Ben Chayyim should be used, and only the Ben Chayyim should be called Masoretic. The Ben Asher is invalid under Jewish law.

Now that I’ve explained that, what do you do when you purchase Swordsearcher? They make that clear, just in case there’s problems later. Take the install files you downloaded, and copy it to CD Rom or to a USB to permanently safeguard it. Also, I’d put the download key, download link instructions and the registration number into Evernote immediately. I’ve done that with the registrations for every program I own. Almost losing all my e-mail earlier this year nearly cost me passwords and registration numbers to all my software, so I put all that into Evernote immediately.

The next thing you want to do is go to the User tab on the menu bar, and click “Create New User Commentary.” Call it whatever you like. “My commentary” is good, but it seems like the kind of name you’d call it and think later on, “I wonder what that is?” I’m kidding. I called it My Commentary.

Next, create a user book. Call it “My Topical Studies.” Here’s a list to get you started.

Sanctification
Salvation
Faith
Bible
Jesus Christ
Prophecies of the Messiah
Prophecies of the End Times
The Rapture
Heretics
Sin

That’s just a few of the topical studies you’ll end up with.

You’re ready to get started. You’ll see that there’s four little icons on the very left of each verse. The one with 4 diamonds is your commentary. If it’s grayed out, you have nothing written there. Well, of course – you just created it. The goal is after 3 years, you should have ZERO verses in Swordsearcher with grayed out commentary icons. Every one of them should be black. This will let you know that you’ve written something there.

So, get those two made, and go to your “My Topical Studies” user book. Under Bible, click to edit it, and then add “Luke 8:21”. Click the green arrow, and it saves it. Ta-da! You’ve got your first entry made in what is your own Topical Bible.

Under Luke 8:21 in My Commentary, I added these words…

ἀκούοντες, hear the word of God, λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ

I did this as a test, because a lot of Bible programs cannot save Greek or Hebrew. I did go to the interlinear page in Swordsearcher and check, but it only shows the Lemma of the form, not the actual manuscript. That’s a fancy way for saying it only had the dictionary form of the Greek word, and not the Greek text itself. When you go to the TR tab (Textus Receptus), you’ll see the Manuscript form. Don’t fall into the trap of only looking at the Strong’s KJV tab – start learning some Greek and learn about tenses and sentence structure. The tenses are important!

Okay, let’s get into how to study the Bible using Swordsearcher.

Set up a reading plan. Understand you’re going to first read your Bible, then go back to the beginning of it and start study. Remember, reading is not study. If Swordsearcher allowed it, I’d say set up two reading plans – one is your reading plan through the year (such as a 120 day schedule for reading your Bible), and the other your study plan. But to my knowledge, Swordsearcher does not allow it.

As you study (the study part, not the reading part), try to put a comment in at least every third verse. Next year will be one of the other ones, and the year after that, the only verses you haven’t put commentary in. Guess what? If you’d started this in 2016, this would be your last year of doing it!

So, write comments in Gen. 1:1, and the next one you’ll comment in is Gen. 1:4.

BTW, if you know your shorthand, the way to quickly get to a book in the Bible is Ge 1.4 for Genesis 1:4. Type that in the reference window.

Start using the Webster’s 1828 to accumulate definitions, and cross check that against the Greek. ANYTHING you learn should go into your “My Commentary” window.

A good way to get started is to also put in every cross reference to your active verse (the () icon) inside your commentary. That’s your road map.

Remember, reading is not study. You have ALL the tools you really need inside Swordsearcher.

Now, if you REALLY want to REALLY learn your Bible, this year do 120 day reading plans. Make the third time through in the year a 125 day reading plan, so you’re finishing up on the 31st instead of on the 26th.

If you want to make HUGE inroads in your study, you can buy the Way Of Life Encyclopedia and Things Hard to Be Understood by David Cloud for Swordsearcher. The WOLE will quickly be your go-to dictionary. I strongly recommend it.

Try to find at least two words at random to look up in a dictionary. If of course, you see a word you’re not sure of, then that should be one of the words. But the act of looking things up in the Webster’s and the WOLE will greatly benefit your understanding of the Bible.

Again, the goal is not to complete your commentary in one year. It usually takes ten years to complete a commentary on the Bible. You’re going to get something in every verse after three years, and then you can leisurely refine it over several years after it.

Here’s the exercise – it’s half an hour after the Rapture. Someone finds your laptop sitting open in your house. Swordsearcher is open. And for the unbelieving person who just found your computer, something that explains EVERY VERSE in the Bible is now available.

That’s what you’re writing. And if you’re a pastor, do them a favor and make sure you put copious notes in Timothy and Titus on how to run a church!