I have recently reviewed both the Logos Scholar’s Library and BibleWorks7 (BW7) and have heard many say that they prefer one software system over the other for various reasons. After having reviewed both of them, I thought it would be good to offer a comparison of what I have found and open it up for discussion amongst the readers here at Said.
There is nothing technical about this; I am simply offering what I found to be the strengths and/or weaknesses to the two programs as well as a comparison of the add-ons each offers. In many ways, this was a lot like comparing apples to oranges because each program is geared for a different person. Unless otherwise noted, I am comparing the two products as base products.
Cost: For a base price of $629.95 ($440.95 for students), you receive over $6,000 in print resources with Logos. For $349.00 ($250.00 if you take advantage of a group discount), you receive the best exegetical tool money can buy in BW7.
Resources: Logos has digitized thousands of dollars worth of print books consisting of millions of pages that fit nicely onto your laptop. BW7 has made language, diagram, and exegetical work so quick and easy that one is able to wrestle with the text itself longer before reading what others have said about it.
Bible Study: Logos has similar functions in terms of exegesis and bible study tools that BW7 has. Logos certainly has more study tools about the bible than BW7. However, I personally believe that if one is studying the Bible, he or she should wrestle more with the text rather than seek another’s understanding of what the Bible is saying. BW7 is much more equipped for intense Bible study than Logos.
Add-Ins: Logos is always adding new products to their ever expanding library. They also run sales from time to time and offer what they call pre-pub sales in which you can purchase new titles for a much cheaper price than what the product will regularly run. BW7 only offers a handful of add-ins because their subject matter is much smaller than what Logos is.
If you compare the add-ins that they have in common, the base price is cheaper at BW7. If you factor in the 30% discount, if you qualify, on Logos, then they are almost dead even. Head-to-head, I would give the advantage to BW7, but because of the wider audience that Logos appeals to, and thus the quantitatively more add-ins overall, I would have to say:
Usability: At first, BW7 is difficult to use and Logos is pretty much ready to go. However, there is a learning curve to both. This again boils down to what you want and are looking for in Bible Software. I would give the early advantage to Logos and the learned advantage to BW7.
I realize this is not as detailed as many were looking for, but this only serves as an introduction to both programs. As I said earlier, in many ways, this was comparing apples to oranges because Logos has a completely different overall market than BW7. I would think if you were going into missions or were the pastor of a small church, then I would recommend Logos because of the digitized print feature. You can build your library in a very cost effective manner.
However, if are a serious student of the Bible, and the languages are appealing to you, then I would recommend BW7 over Logos. BW7 is more than worth the investment if you are looking to work with the original languages as you prepare your sermons and lessons. There is so much more that can be done at an exegetical level with BW7 that you are truly able to wrestle with the Word of God much more.
Depending on what you are looking for, both of these bible software programs are loaded with features that are appealing. If you can swing the cost, you might be best served to own both. I do not think that you can say one is better than the other without qualifying that statement with a “for ____.” The only thing that ultimately matters is what features you are looking for in bible software.
What do you think? If you use one what do you find so nice about it? If you use both, how would you rank them?