Resources for the Theology Student

I thought I would take a break from social and political commentary and recommend a couple of resources for theology students. Let me first say, straight away, that I have NOT been compensated for these comments. I wish I was. But I wasn’t nor is there anything in the works where I will be compensated, although I wish there was.
 My comments will be brief. The greatest challenge facing distance education students (of which I am one) is access to books and journals. Our lack of access to these resources presents a formidable challenge to our academic development. Hopefully, as time goes on, more schools will negotiate with publishers so that these resources can be made available in a digital and distance environment at an affordable cost.

Until that Nirvana happens, I suggest that students consider purchasing the following software.  If you don’t know Greek or Hebrew, then I would heartily suggest purchasing the Logos Library System. (http://www.logos.com)  I can’t begin to tell you how much this software helped me with my studies.  I just wish I had it sooner in my distance education program.  This program comes in a variety of flavors. Students should try to buy the most expensive edition as it will give you the most valuable resources right away. Sure you can buy those modules separately, at a later time, but get the most you can as soon as you can. If you only buy a lower end version, you will be saddled with a lot of old-public-domain material that won’t help you much in your work because the information will be so dated.

If you go with Logos, which can be used in Mac or PC computers, be sure to have a lot of RAM and a very fast harddrive with lots of space. Failure to have a fast harddrive will result in slower than normal searches.

If you know Greek and Hebrew enough to understand their basic word and grammatical structure, then I would also recommend getting BibleWorks software (http://www.bibleworks.com) This program allows one to create complex grammatical searches. For example, in BibleWorks, you can find every instance of  a present imperative which is accompanied by a particular noun with the definite article. Unlike Logos software, BibleWorks doesn’t try to become a digital library. Instead it is a grammatical tool. Additional modules are only made available if the programmers think the module will assist one in understanding the lexicography and grammar of the original languages. I like academic essay writing service simply cause this one is just fine. So in this regard, BibleWorks seeks to provide primary references rather than inundating your computer with commentary series after commentary series.  Please note however, that BibleWorks is only available for PC’s.

Take a gander at both companies and the software they provide. You will be glad you did.

© 2007  Stephen Vantassel

  1. These resources are expensive, but having been in contact with http://www.logos.com they offer a 40% reduction for students at some British Universities. I’m trying to establish whether Midlands Bible College (or indeed, Lampeter) is included, but if not they’ve very helpfully suggested it would not be difficult to establish this facility through a (sympathetic!) Head of Department, or Principle (cue Calvin). As already mentioned, the various packages aren’t cheap, but if you go the website and peruse the comparision page to see what you get for your money I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. I’m off to persuade my wife that “Logos” is more important than a new car, family holiday or decorated lounge (joke)!

  2. Yes Logos isn’t cheap but neither are books. Best wishes.

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