Verbum: The New Logos for Catholics

I’ve used Logos Bible study software for used for many years, so when they began creating products aimed at the Catholic market, I was delighted. In the past year, Logos has been adding new titles and features specifically for Catholics, and now they have decided to turn that product line into its own brand: Verbum.

Thus far, I haven’t too deeply into some of the new features, but I’m pleased to see the easier search functions for catechism, church fathers, and church documents. These allow you to see, for example, every church document referencing John 1:1. It was possible to create groups like this manually, but it was labor intensive and each collection had to be updated each time a new text was added to the library.

I’m also pleased to see a much more robust set of Latin tools to compliment to Greek and Hebrew tools already developed by Logos. Evangelicals have no real need for Latin, but for Catholics in can be essential. I’m in a class on Christology right now where my ability to instantly swap back and forth between the Latin and English texts of the Summa is essential. St. Thomas requires some very special understanding of terminology and language, and sometimes it can really only be grasped at the Latin level.

The new series is offered in five packages ranging from Basic (226 resources) to Capstone (1020 resources). You can see what each package offers and decide which is the best fit for your needs. If you use the coupon code “Logos5Verbum” you get 15% off.

I had a chance to ask Andrew Jones, Director of Catholic Products for Logos, some questions about the new product line:

Why was Verbum created, and what distinguishes it from Logos?

What we’ve done with Verbum is taken the Logos 5 software and tweaked it here and there to make it better for Catholics. The idea was that while most of the tools and functions of Logos have great value to both Catholics and Protestants, there are certain things that Catholics do differently that needed our attention. Not least among these is our preferred texts. The software relies on a certain prioritized list of books. Whenever two books could occupy the same place, the software orders them according to this priority list. So, one of the things that we have done with Verbum is put the Catholic works at the top of the list. This may seem like a minor tweak, but it actually has significant consequences

Was there a feeling that Catholics needed a product that was somewhat separate from Logos, which is product with strong Evangelical roots?

There is just no way around the fact that Catholics and Evangelicals approach the study of Christianity in different ways and making use of different resources. It is a testament to the versatility of Logos’s software that Catholics could use it for our style of study and Evangelicals could use it for theirs. This remains the case. Verbum has all the functionality of the main Logos 5 product line. However, I felt that Catholics could be better served by producing a special version of the software just for them. It was important that Catholics could just pull the product off the shelve, open it up, and start using it without having to negotiate any sort of denominational “problems.” So, when you open Verbum for the first time, you will see a Catholic Bible, the Catholic lectionary, a Catholic blog feed and things like that. Verbum users are still a part of the Logos universe, with all the benefits that go along with that, but they have their own home now.

What are some of the new tools that are specifically tailored for Catholics?

One of the things we did was create default segments within the library of texts. There are three of them: Catechism, Church Fathers, and Church Documents. These segments allow for some simple, but very useful, functionality. For example, if you are doing a search on the word “Eucharist,” you can very quickly limit it to just the writings of the Church Fathers or to the Catechism. We have incorporated these segments into what we call the Passage Guide. The Passage Guide is a tool that behaves like a dynamic study Bible. So, if you are reading a certain passage in the Bible, the tool goes into your library, pulls out relevant information on that passage, and presents it to you in a useful format. In Verbum’s Passage Guide, you can see immediately how the Catechism uses the passage in question, where the documents of the Magisterium have cited it, and how the Church Fathers treated it. You can also see when the passage is read in Mass and with what other readings. This is in addition to the normal Passage Guide tools like cross references, parallel passages, maps, commentaries, and the like. You get the same sort of behavior in other Logos tools.

What are some of the new features of Logos Version 5

Logos 5 has a bunch of new features. For example, with the Clause Search you can do things like search for every sentence in the Bible where Jesus is the subject and Peter is the indirect object, even if pronouns are used. We have the Universal Timeline, which makes dates in Logos resources links, so that you can immediately see a certain event within the context of world or Biblical history. There’s the Topic Guide that allows you to pull information from the Bible and from throughout your library that is relevant for a certain topic. There’re new smart search features that suggest possible queries that are far more complex than that of a search engine like Google. We also have a lot of social media functionality. So, you can make a note in your Bible or Catechism or any other work and share it with a group. The members of the group can reply to your note and make their own—You can study the faith together with discussion threads right in the texts.

What are some of the new books being added to the base packages? 

We’ve added scores of books. We have the all the papal encyclicals since 1740; we have the Papal Exhortations and Constitutions of John Paul II and Benedict XVI; we have a reverse interlinear of the RSVCE; we have sermons of St. Thomas Aquinas, history works, reference books, and of course many, many different Bible texts. The full lists can be seen here.

About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • https://foothills.wjduquette.com/blog Will Duquette

    The big question: if you already have Logos, can you switch to Verbum inexpensively?

  • http://www.godandthemachine.com Thomas L. McDonald

    Should be free.

  • http://ourladyofashes.blogspot.com David Mayeux

    Have you taken a look at the Congregation for the Clergy’s _Biblia Clerus_ software [ http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerus/index_eng.html ]? It’s installation (at least on my computer) was a little frustrating, but once installed the resources available, especially to the multi-lingual user, seem pretty fantastic for the Catholic on a budget (it’s free). It’s links from biblical verses to saints’ writings (inc. the Summa), papal documents, magisterial documents, liturgical texts, canon law, Dante, Chesterton, etc, give a breadth of Catholic biblical material I’ve rarely encountered in any Biblical software, much less the dominating choices of Protestant Bible references software. Even if you don’t choose to install the program (which offers research tools beyond the texts) , the website itself still offers the linked documents and commentary as a powerful online Biblical reference.

  • Michael Garcia

    Thomas, it’s not free to upgrade. I had to purchase the Basic for under $30 because of my existing package, but one’s existing resources are not lost.

  • Andrew Jones

    One is not paying for the new software itself, but for the new data sets and new books. So, if you already owned everything, the upgrade would indeed be free. But this is not the case for anybody coming from Logos 4 because we have added brand new resources that are only available in the Verbum packages. However, like Michael says, you can cross over into a Verbum package from Logos 4 pretty inexpensively.

  • Marianne

    All I know is that had I been aware Verbum was coming out I’d have waited for it rather than buying Logos 4 in September. Yes, with the coupon code it’s $25, but that’s not really the point. It’s not the resources I’m after, it’s the increased functionality. Anyway it’s a great product, and were it not for this unpleasant surprise I’d be much happier.

  • http://www.godandthemachine.com Thomas L. McDonald

    Is there just a basic version of v.5 that can be downloaded? I seem to recall being able to get the front-end for v.4 as a free download and then just plug in my resources.

  • Andrew Jones

    The Logos 5 engine will eventually replace Logos 4 as the free software engine. However, the vast majority of its new features require certain data set resources or certain books. These are available in the collections and are what people who upgrade from 4 to 5 are paying for.

  • Paul

    I’m confused. I have Logos 5 and the Catholic set. The only price I can find on the Logos website is $249. Maybe a little more functionality, but not worth that much money. Maybe someone can unconfuse me.

  • Jack

    Thanks! Because I rather balked at the monthly subscription of the aforementioned (amazing) software. For a blessed poor, I’d shell out 30/yr., maybe!

  • A Random Friar

    I received an email from Logos that took me to a link with the prices for me. Try using that specific link within the email. Using that link, I could see the varying price options.

  • http://www.tdbellenterprises.com/dbblog Friar Don

    Hmm, I never received an email on Verbum, but am very much interested in upgrading to it! I have the old “Catholic Library” that was around $800+- and would like to upgrade to the new library format of Logos 5, with the Verbum changes… Who would I potentially contact to make this change at the right price? Time to head over to Logos.com and make things work. :)

    Friar Don, OBR

  • Andrew Jones

    People who already own Logos resources will get full credit for them when they upgrade to Verbum. There is a comparison chart here: logos.com/catholic. If you sign in, you will be able to see a custom upgrade price just for you. If you have any questions you should call David at 877-542-7664. He knows all the ins and outs and can help. Also, the monthly amount you see advertised is not a subscription but a 12-month payment plan.

  • Andrew Jones

    Have you visited http://www.logos.com/catholic#compare ? If you already own a Catholic library, you can upgrade to Verbum for much cheaper than $249. You could also call 877-542-7664.

  • http://prodigalnomore.wordpress.com The Ubiquitous

    Can we create our own resources?

  • Andrew Jones

    Yes. With the Personal Books tool you can create Logos books that will work seamlessly with the system.

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  • http://blog.faithandtechnology.org Rosie Perera

    “Evangelicals have no real need for Latin.” Huh?! I am ever regretful that I didn’t take Latin, and still hope to fit studying it into my busy life someday. People who know it are at an advantage. I come across snippets of Latin in my reading quite regularly but usually can’t decipher unless it is translated in the footnotes. It’s also helpful with building English vocabulary and understanding grammar in general.


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