Electronic resources available in the market today have made the work of pastors and seminary students much easier than it was for a previous generation of Bible students. Most pastors of my generation had to do research using cards on which they kept notes for further studies and bibliographic information of books and articles read.
When studying to prepare sermons and Bible studies, most pastors have two choices. One is to build a personal library by buying one book at a time. Building a library requires money, space, and time to catalogue each book individually.
The second choice is to go to a library and check out books for later reading. Since most public libraries do not carry many theological books, pastors and seminary students have to use interlibrary loans to request books or go to a Christian college or university or to a seminary in order to obtain the material needed for sermon preparation.
Most pastors today can buy ebooks and read them on their tablets or on their computers. Or pastors can use Logos Bible Software and build a library of digital books that can be available to them any time they turn on their computers.
Recently, I installed Logos Bible Software version 5 on my computer in order to review “The IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament Bundle.” This collection consists of two books that I have used in two of my courses at Northen Seminary and recommend to all my students. These two books are:
T. Desmond Alexander and David W. Bakers, eds. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003.
Bill T. Arnold and H. G. M. Williamson, eds. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003.
Every year I teach a course on the Pentateuch and another on the Historical Books. I often consult these dictionaries because they offer articles on major themes and issues on these two sections of the Old Testament. Now, these two books are available to pastors, seminary students, and students of the Bible through Logos Bible Software.
The articles in these dictionaries are written from an evangelical perspective. This means that the writers believe in the authority of Scripture and take seriously the historicity of the events. These are articles that pastors and seminary students can read with confidence and gain a better understanding of the themes, issues, and problems found in these two sections of the Bible.
The volume on the Pentateuch covers the five books of Moses. The articles in this volume deal with issues of historicity, biblical criticism, and the archaeological evidence for the biblical narrative. They also offer detailed information on the major characters that appear in the Pentateuch.
The volume on the Historical Books deals with the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. This volume deals with all the historical events in the life of Israel. The articles provide in-depth information on persons, cities, and archaeological sites. The articles also present information on the many nations which interact with Israel.
Each article contains a bibliography of works cited in the articles. Each dictionary contains an extensive cross-referenced system designed to help readers find related material in the book.
These two dictionaries include the works of hundreds of Old Testament scholars who present an in-depth study of the biblical text. Each article presents different perspectives on how to read the biblical text and scholarly views dealing with controversial issues of interpretation.
The most significant feature offered in Logos 5 is the easy integration of resources and the quick way to search for information in these resources. For instance, at the present I have five resources in my Logos Library: Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch, Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books, the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), the King James Bible (KJV), and the Anchor Bible Dictionary.
In order to test the search capability of Logos 5, I searched for Achan in my library. Achan was the individual who kept some of the booty which was dedicated to God after the conquest of Jericho (Joshua 7:1). The search of my Logos Library produced the following results:
Achan: 101 results in 43 articles in 5 resources (search time: 0.15 seconds).
This means that Logos 5 took fifteen seconds to search for Achan in 43 articles in my library of 5 sources. If I had to search manually for all references to Achan, I would probably not find all 101 results. And if I did, it would probably require many hours of intense labor searching through all my 5 sources.
Click here to read a detailed description of the IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament Bundle online. If you use the Logos Bible Software, you should consider adding the IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament Bundle to your library. It is a great resource for students of the Bible.
I would like to thank Logos for making the IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament Bundle available for review.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary