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Now Bible College Comes to You

with Scott Lindsey | September 12, 2008

On today's broadcast, Scott Lindsey, director of ministry relations for Logos Research Systems, tells Dennis Rainey how their new bible study software can help anyone who wants a more in-depth study of God's word. Type in a word or phrase, and in minutes this technology scans hundreds of books to find exactly what you're looking for.

On today's broadcast, Scott Lindsey, director of ministry relations for Logos Research Systems, tells Dennis Rainey how their new bible study software can help anyone who wants a more in-depth study of God's word. Type in a word or phrase, and in minutes this technology scans hundreds of books to find exactly what you're looking for.

Now Bible College Comes to You

With Scott Lindsey
|
September 12, 2008
| Download Transcript PDF

Bob: You know, the ads on TV that say you can have a complete, full-body workout in four minutes a day or something like that, and you think, "Oh, yeah, sure, right."  Well, it is possible to have a complete, in-depth Bible study in just minutes a day.  Here is Scott Lindsey from Logos Software.

Scott: That's really the value of the system – is that in 30 minutes it does hours and hours and hours' worth of research, so the beauty of the technology is it's time saving.

Bob: This is FamilyLife Today.  Our host is the president of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine.  We're going to talk today about how technology can help you get more out of your Bible study in less time.

And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us.  You know, I have to make a confession here at the beginning of the program.  When I was in college, I didn't read most of what the assignments were, I mean, for most of college.  I'm not talking about one class, I'm just talking about the fact that …

Dennis: Cliff Notes?

Bob: If I couldn't do it …

Dennis: Were you a Cliff Note user?

Bob: I didn't use the Cliff Notes, either, I usually read the back fly jacket or asked a friend of mine – what was that chapter about?  I mean, that's how bad I was.

Dennis: I was too conscientious.

Bob: Oh, yeah, I'm not believing that.  You read the stuff?

Dennis: Oh, yeah.

Bob: Did you really?

Dennis: When you go to a superior institution like the University of Arkansas …

Bob: … the Harvard of the Ozarks – yeah, I understand.  Well, I skated through with whatever I could – with the least amount of work I could do.  But a few years out of college, I started getting a little more serious about Bible study, and I remember one day, Dennis, being at a point where I'm thinking, "If I'd studied one-tenth this much for college, I would have made lot better grades than I did."  But, all of a sudden, I was just – I was curious.  I wanted to know what the Bible taught about a wide variety of things.  I remember those nights when I'd have all the books opened up around either my desk or on the kitchen table, and I've got my notepad out there, and I'm making notes.  There was a hunger to know God's Word.

And then one day I had a friend introduce me to these two books that I'd never seen before.  One was a New Testament that had a number underneath each of the words in the New Testament, and the other one was the book you went to, and you looked up the number, and it showed you the Greek for that word from the New Testament.  Well, that was the coolest thing I'd ever seen, because now I could get back to some of the original languages, and it really helped me understand more about what the Bible was saying.

Dennis: And, you know, something similar happened to me.  A friend introduced me to a series of books that were written – I don't know how long ago, a couple hundred years – called "Weiss Word Studies," and it was a scholar who had done specific word studies from the original languages in the Bible, captured them, put them in a book. 

And so I'd leaf through them, and I'll never forget, it seems like there were four volumes in that series that I would have to work through to find it and, unfortunately, this particular scholar had not completed the entire New Testament and so I only had a few of the books of the Bible.  Well, you know what?  Now, on my computer, I've got them all.  I've got something better than one scholar's opinion.  I've got what's called Logos Bible software, and we have with us Scott Lindsey who has been coaching and mentoring and helping, and, Scott, I want to welcome you back to FamilyLife Today, and I want you to explain to our listeners, first of all, what Logos is, and then I actually want to go to a verse, like Bob's talking about, and let's kind of dig into a verse and see what this software will do for our listeners in terms of understanding what the Bible is teaching.

Scott: It's great to be here.  Yes, I've been with Logos about nine years, and we are a technology software company – I know that word, and we'll get into that, scares some people, but it's amazingly easy software to use.  For anybody that has a passion for God's Word and finding out what does the Bible say about this particular topic or subject or you want to get further with a particular Bible verse, this is it. 

The beauty of the technology is that it's married to a library.  So when you get into Logos, we're not only supplying cutting-edge technology but also a huge theological library that goes with the technology.

So I tell people it's really like having your own research assistant.  It's like getting a Bible college library and a full-time research assistant with it.  So when you want to know more about a verse, "Romans 8:1," or a topic like "discipline," you simply type that into the software and click one button, and it literally reads the entire library in a matter of seconds, not months, years, days – seconds – and tells you what you've got.

Dennis: And the library contains not just Bibles but commentaries, dictionaries, word studies …

Bob: … as well as hundreds of books on a variety of subjects depending on which library you get.  You've got all kinds of books by John MacArthur or by Kay Arthur or by Bill Bright or by anybody, and it reads through all of those books, too, and says, "Where did John MacArthur make any comment about Romans 8:1?"  It finds it in his whole library of books, right?

Scott: That's right.  One of the things that's happening in the industry is Christian publishers are now starting to create what they're calling "Lifeworks Libraries."  So we just finished one for the late and great Dr. Bill Bright.  So it's most of the books that he wrote, along with video and audio, so it's amazing.  I can listen to Dr. Bright teach and follow along in my Bible and actually read the book on my screen.  But that's what's happening in the industry now is it's all going digital.

Dennis: Let's take a look at a passage of Scripture like John, chapter 15, verse 4.  We're typing it in here, so we hit "Go," and immediately it comes up.  It gives me, on the right-hand side of the page, because these were Christ's words, it's in red.

Scott: Yes.

Dennis: Okay, and has the passage "Abide in me and I in you as a branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine.  So neither can you unless you abide in me."  Now, you have to know, Scott, this is one of the most important verses in the Bible for me.  This is one of the verses and passages where I learned what it meant to trust Christ because of the word "abide."

Scott: Amen.

Dennis: We click on the word "abide," and up pops the Greek word, and it shows me how to pronounce it, and it has all the numbers of times in the Scripture it appears – 61 times it appears as the word "remain, 15 times it means "dwell," and 11 times it means "continue."  Well, all of a sudden, when Jesus says the words "Abide in me," now that has a meaning.  It means "remain," "dwell," "continue," in Christ.  It means to be a follower of Him and draw your life from Him.

Scott: One of the goals at Logos is to get the church back into biblical languages, and many people think, "Oh, I've got to go get that seminary degree or buy – you've got to have a good library if you're go on to study Greek or Hebrew, and so that's one of the goals is the ability to tap down to that level.  So you bring up one of the huge features of Logos is the ability to actually float on a word in the English text.  So here I am reading New American Standard.  I'm going to float my cursor on the word "bear" and I get the word "pharaoh," and it tells me that it's a verb, and what it means in this particular passage, but as Bob mentioned, you know, with paper, you've got to get a Strong's number, go to the book, so it's a very tedious and time-consuming process, so most people don't.  But with Logos, it's a simple matter of floating on the word.

Bob: And at the same time that you're looking up and seeing what the original Greek words are, you are also opening up a number of Bible dictionaries and Bible commentaries that speak to that particular verse and that will give you insight from a variety of viewpoints on that verse, and you can open up multiple translations or paraphrases of the Bible and see how different translators or paraphrasers have translated the same verse.

Scott: I know the listeners are going, "Okay, it's doing all this.  Do I have to do that?"  That's the real amazing part of the technology is that to get all that information, you simply, again, type the verse and click "Go," and, literally, when I typed in "John 15," as Dennis did, and clicked "Go," it brings back a report called the "passage guide."  So this is your research report, and in sections are all the major parts to this report.  So I can see my commentary section – I've got about 20 commentaries here that all I have to do is click the link, and the commentary opens up, right there on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.  So you have instant access to wonderful commentary.  Then I have a Cross-References section, so here I have the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, so there's all the verses that relate to John 15:4.

Then a new feature that is very popular, is the Comparing Versions section where you can actually pick your favorite Bible translations, and it will do a word-for-word comparative analysis.  So for those that are a little confused, you know, what is a word-for-word translation, what's a thought-for-thought, what's a paraphrase?  We'll actually show you how things are being changed amongst the different translations.

Bob: I will often pop up the six versions that I most often want to look at, and I have there the same verse in those six different versions, side-by-side, so I can look at them side-by-side, and see, "That's interesting, he used "abide," but he used "remain," and get some context of it that way.

I'm thinking there are probably some listeners who are going, "This sounds like it is a great thing for a pastor or a Sunday school teacher or some guys who are on the radio talking about the Bible.  But it sounds a little overwhelming for the average person.  Do laymen who have a Bible and, you know, they're just kind of your average Bible student, what do you hear from them about this software?

Scott: That's probably our greatest response right now.  If there is a conference that we are getting asked to speak at more and more, it's the lay conferences, because I don't need to argue to a pastor why they need this tool.  They know they need this tool, because this can do 20 to 30 hours of sermon prep in an hour.

Now, for the layperson, for the one listening, the soccer mom, the 16-year-old, whatever, the beauty of the system is that we are delivering Bible college libraries to your computer but, again, you don't have to be intimidated by Greek or Hebrew.  You don't have to be intimidated with technology because all you have to do, again, is type a verse or a topic and click one button, and it will go. 

And the real point, or value, I feel, to the technology is it's time saving.  I think most people listening want to do better Bible study, but we understand to do better Bible study with a paper library takes hours and hours and hours because it's page-flipping, and you don't know where to go and things like that.  So that's really the value of the system – is that in 30 minutes, it does hours and hours and hours worth of research.

Bob: When my daughter, Amy, was getting ready to go overseas, to teach overseas, this was a thing I said, "She's got to have this on her computer," because, imagine, if she tried to box up the books and take them with her overseas, we couldn't afford the shipping, right?  But to have it on her computer and to have this library right there for her was huge.

My son is getting ready to go off to college.  I'm thinking when we get his laptop, after we've installed Windows, we need to install this, because, again, he's heading off to college.  I want him to be able to take that library with him.

Dennis: And I'm thinking of my daughters and daughters-in-law who are raising the next generation of young men and women, and I'm thinking about the cry I used to hear from Barbara, and it was a lonely cry of "I just don't have time to do Bible study," because of all the demands of raising children today.  And, many times, her only time to do Bible study would be in the afternoon when the kids were taking a nap.  Well, if you have something that can be productive in 15 minutes, something that would normally take you an hour to do, even if you only use it just to read the Scripture and look up a few commentaries about the passage, this would be a great tool for a mom to use or for a father who is trying to train his son or daughter around a particular subject such as morality and choices in life and being wise and not foolish.

One of my favorite things I did with my kids before they graduated from high school was I took them through the Book of Proverbs.  Well, I could see today, if I had teenagers, I'd use this software to go do a study in Proverbs because the kids would be fascinated and, frankly, they'd probably become more efficient and effective in using it than me in a couple of sessions.

Scott: One of the greatest reactions we see at conferences is with young people, because this is how they study.  I tell parents, if you want to excite your young person with regards to Scripture, if you don't plug it into a wall, it's boring.  If it doesn't have an "on" switch, it's boring to them, because we are in the digital age, and so introducing them to technology that brings the Bible to life – because it will find maps and pictures and charts.  I mean, the only person that doesn't like me showing this at a youth conference is the youth pastor who now has to study the Scripture 10 times more than they ever did in the past, because they've got young people checking up on their Greek.

Bob: Some of our listeners are familiar with sites on the Web, like Bible Gateway, I think, is a great site.  There are sites that have got access to different translations, access to different books, and they may be saying, "Well, why do I need this on my computer if I've got it available on the Internet?"

Scott: Very, very good question.  Most of what's on the Internet is what we call "public domain," okay, which means that it's relatively old.  Hey, sometimes old is good – Spurgeon and R.A. Torrey and some of the great writers.  However, anything current, current scholarship, will not be found on the Internet because it's copyrighted, and that's what Logos is about – we're delivering not only the classics but also the current scholarship, the authors, that you are most likely using and buying their resources and books.

Dennis: You know, Barbara has been in all kinds of Precept Bible studies for the past, I don't know, decade, and she's a big fan of Kay Arthur and has got all of her pencils, her little colored pencils in a little plastic pouch, and it's my understanding you're getting ready to come out with some software around Kay Arthur's material that enables these Kay Arthur groupies – you know, Barbara is a Kay Arthur groupie – and I am, too.  I love Kay, she's a good friend.

Scott: One of the benefits to Logos, and I don't know if there's any other technology that does this, but all the updates to the core technology – so when Windows changes and things like that, you get all those in Logos for free.  So we want you to have the best at all times.  So no need to worry a year down the road, is Logos going to knock on your door and say, you know, whatever, show me the money, we've got something better.  But one of the new updates that's coming out will be all the Precept mark-up tools.  So the way that they teach to take a passage of Scripture and mark up the Scripture, and it's a wonderful way to study Scripture – that will all be included.  Just download it free, and you'll have that ability in the software.

Bob: I know there are probably some of our listeners who have been listening to us talk about this, and they go, "This sounds like just an extended sales pitch for this software."  The reality is this is you and me just like we do with somebody – and I've done this before – where I've said to somebody, "Come here, I want to show you something really cool on my computer."

Dennis: Well, I've done this, and you have, too, with this software.  We've shown friends who are in the ministry and others who aren't.

Bob: You boot it up, you show them how it works, and it's just because we're excited about it and how helpful it has been for us, and we want to pass that along, and I thought I don't want our listeners to feel like we're just coming on and trying to sell them something, but we are trying to sell them something, and that is getting into God's Word more regularly, more deeply.  We want to sell you that, and we just think this is a cool tool for making that happen.

Dennis: Well, you know, I'm not a health food nut.  I am eating better than I used to a couple of years ago, but what FamilyLife Today is, everyday, is health food for marriages and families.  We're, hopefully, your preferred source to come to to find biblically anchored truth for your marriage and your family relationships; to be a true follower of Christ and to represent Him well.  If you're going to have health food, why not have a tool that helps you serve it up with healthy portions.

This, really in my opinion, it takes the Scripture, and it doesn't make it more alive than it is, because the Bible is what it is – it is the truth of God.  But you know what?  When you can sit there on a screen, as I am looking at right now, and I can look at three different screens and, you know, I've got all these resources on Proverbs, Chapter 1.

Bob: You've got about 15 commentaries opened up, and if you look at the topical index down there …

Dennis: … all the words that are in the passage, you know, that I could look up …

Bob: … 50 or 60 different topical words that you can look up …

Dennis: … and then definitions in one of the other windows – just the definition of "wisdom" – I used to pound that point home with my teenagers as I would take them out for breakfast during their sophomore, junior, and senior year in high school.

Bob: And, meanwhile, you've got the text of the Bible that's in the upper right-hand corner, and you've got New American Standard there, and I've got ESV in mine, and you can decide which version you want to look, or toggle between different versions and parallel them.  It's just a cool tool that will take you deeper into the Scriptures.

Scott: Now, I do have to apologize to the spouse that will not see your other spouse for a few weeks.  We do get that complaint – "I haven't seen my husband or my wife for about three weeks.  They're glued to their laptop."

Dennis: Wouldn't it be fun, though, to come in and catch your teenager instead of playing these games on the Internet or just have their iPod open, listening to music – instead fully engaged around the living Scripture that it – you know, with a tool that really allows them in this generation to dig into it.

Scott: One of my favorites stories – last year at a conference there was a family, saw the Logos presentation, went ahead and got it, got home, loaded it up, and the mother called me about a month later and said, "Scott, we got the Logos, we loaded it up, we love it, but I do have a complaint."  I was, like, "Well, okay, ma'am, I want to take care of you.  What's the complaint?"  She said, "Well, the other night I called up to dinner – I have four children, they're in their teens – called up to dinner once, twice, three times," the fourth time she's stomping up the stairs, busted in the room, and they were on the Logos.  And, you know, she obviously thought that was wonderful, but I ask that at conferences – what parent here would like to have to kick your kid off the computer because they're doing Bible study?

Bob: Yeah, we haven't had to kick any kids off the computer yet, but I know that on Saturdays, my mom will stop by the house, and she'll say, "Oh, what a surprise.  Bob is on his computer,"  because I've got it set up at the kitchen table, and I've got my Logos open, and I'm working on my message for the next day in church.  And whether you're a Sunday school teacher or just a serious student of the Bible, this is a wonderful tool to help you dig deeper in your understanding of God's Word, and I have really benefited from having this software on my computer, and I recommend it to folks all the time.

If you are interested in getting any of this software for your computer, any of the different libraries they have available, Scott and the team at Logos have agreed to make the software packages available at a discounted rate, 25 percent off the regular rate, that's the lowest price you can get on this software anywhere, and they're making it available to FamilyLife Today listeners. 

In addition, they have agree that you can pay it out over 12 months, if you'd like, again, as a special offer to FamilyLife Today listeners.  If you'd like more information or if you'd like to browse and see what's available, come to our website, FamilyLife.com, and click on the right side of the screen where it says "Today's Broadcast."  That will take you to an area of the site where you'll find a link to the Logos website.  You can look around and see all that's available, and if you decide to order something, type in "FLT" to the coupon code, and that will qualify you for the discounted rate.  Again, just type in "FLT" as in FamilyLife Today as the coupon code, and you'll qualify for the 25-percent discount.

If you'd prefer to call Logos, you can call them directly at 800-87LOGOS.  That's 800-875-6467.  Just mention that you were listening to FamilyLife Today, and they can answer any questions you have about the software or can take your order and send it out to you and arrange for that 12-month payment plan, if you are interested in taking advantage of that as well.  And I think as you start using this software, you'll find that it really is an invaluable tool for folks who want to seriously study God's Word.

Let me say a special word of thanks to those listeners who not only listen each day but those of you who get in touch with us from time to time to help with the financial needs of FamilyLife Today.  As a listener-supported program, if we didn't hear from you, you wouldn't hear from us, and we do appreciate those of you who make an occasional contribution to help support this ministry, and we appreciate those of you who are regular Legacy Partners with monthly support for this program.  We really value your partnership with us.

This month if you are able to help with a donation of any amount, we have a thank you gift we'd like to send you.  It's a two-CD set that deals with the subject of conflict in marriage.  We spoke with our friends, Tim and Joy Downs, not long ago about some of the most common conflicts couples face in a marriage relationship, and we'd love to send the two CDs of that conversation out to you as our way of saying thank you for your support of what we're doing here at FamilyLife.  We do appreciate your partnership with us, and it's always great to hear from you.

If you're interested in the CDs, and you are able to help with a donation, when you fill out the donation form online, just type the word "conflict" into the keycode box so we'll know to send the audio to you.  Or call 1-800-FLTODAY.  You can make a donation over the phone and just mention that you'd like the CDs on conflict, again, they are our way of saying thank you for your support of this ministry.

Well, I hope you have a great weekend.  I hope you and your family are able to worship together this weekend, and I hope you can join us back on Monday when we're going to begin a weeklong look at one of the most significant transition times in a woman's life – that time when she moves from being a full-time mom to really re-examining and redefining what her life is going to be all about.  We'll talk with Barbara Rainey and Susan Yates about that starting on Monday.  I hope you can be with us for that.

I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team.  On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine.  We'll see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.

FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas – help for today; hope for tomorrow. 

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