Acquiring Lexica – Your Input Appreciated

It’s time that I finally buy Greek and Hebrew lexica. I’m therefore currently trying to work out the best way to go about adding BDAG and HALOT to my library, whether physically or digitally. I’d love your input.

At the moment, I’m most seriously considering digital versions given my somewhat transient life–currently living in France, but about to move to Africa in the new year. Additionally, I love the Logos app for my Android smartphone and wouldn’t be surprised if purchasing their biblical language set of BDAG and HALOT integrated perfectly into the app. On the other hand, I’m not currently a user of Logos on my computer, thus I’d really only be able to access the lexica on my phone–not a terribly inviting notion. But Is it the case that if I purchase the lexica I’d only be able to access them through the app or would I somehow be able to use Logos for PC without buying a huge package?

Or, do I go with Bibleworks? of which I have an older version thanks to a very benevolent friend.

Or, ought I just buy the physical books?

I’d love your thoughts on the best way to add BDAG and HALOT to one’s library in 2012. Thanks!



  1. Joe   •  

    99.9% of the time I would recommend actual books, which means it’s worth something that I am suggesting, for reference material such as this, the software would probably be more handy. I’m not much help after that.

    • drew   •  

      I’m back around to the idea of actual books again–in other words, I think the honeymoon phase of ebooks might be wearing off. (Not that I ever went off books!)

      I want to actually own an actual book rather than simply rent the rights.

  2. Don L.   •  

    I have BDAG in Logos, and I love it! Logos is great software, and it’s really useful to have everything integrated. You wave your mouse over the Greek text, and up pops BDAG! Much better than flipping pages. It is on the expensive end, though.

    I hear Bibleworks is slightly better for original language work, and I may eventually get that too. Logos satisfies my need to have a lot of commentaries at my disposal.

    • drew   •  

      Thanks, Don! I’d love to get Logos, but I can’t quite stomach dropping a chunk of change on so many public domain materials. I have an older copy of Bibleworks and might just stick with it or upgrade. We’ll see…

      • Don L.   •  

        I hear that. I got lucky and got a copy of Logos Platinum on eBay for half price, and unfortunately, now they’ve taken out the good commentaries (Pillar, Baker Exegetical, NIGTC) from their base packages. If I were in your position, I would probably go Bibleworks upgrade, depending on what version you have now.

        You might know more about this than I do, but I’ve heard rumors that Translator’s Workplace will eventually move to the Logos platform, which would be great.

  3. Benelchi   •  

    My thoughts on your two different questions:

    1) Choosing between ebook version of these resources, the physical books, or the reference version in the bible software is a difficult choice. The ebook is extremely portable and you can do searches; however, I still prefer physical books despite these advantages. Because lexicons are already in alphabetical order, I can often find references faster in my hard copy. Most ebooks employ DCM that prevents you from cutting and pasting so they are no better than hard copy references when you want to quote a citation. The reference versions in the bible software are linked to the biblical texts and finding references is very fast and you can copy the text directly into your study notes directly (NO DCM!) however, the formatting within bible software packages is not very good and reading longer articles is a little more tiring on the eyes. BTW – I would also consider NIDOTTE as well as HALOT, it is also a great Hebrew reference; the NIDNTTE is ok but the format is not very friendly for those who know Greek. It is indexed by topic and not by word and the Greek index at the back is actually in transliterated English 🙁 I purchased the NIDNTTE after having already purchased the NIDOTTE (which is one of my favorites) and was very disappointed to find that they were not organized the same. If I were to purchase the NIDNTTE again, I would certainly choose a electronic reference copy because it is a lot of work to use the hard copy editions of this work. Articles on the same word are often found in all through volumes and you need to use the forth (index volume) to find them.

    2) Choosing between Bibleworks or Logos. For those who read the biblical languages, Bibleworks is a far superior product. I use bibleworks regularly and and our pastors use Logos. When I have helped them with Hebrew, I found that the Hebrew/English parallel in Logos actually formatted the Hebrew text like a reverse interlinear i.e. the Hebrew words were rearranged to match the English word order in the translation (yuck!). The Hebrew text made absolutely no sense until the pastor pulled up the real Hebrew version with the correct word order; which took a few too many mouse clicks. You can get the same information in Logos, but you have to go through more menus to get it i.e. you don’t have options to toggle back and forth between real parallels of the different translations and the original languages that are near as easy as they are in Bibleworks. The way the original languages are handled in Logos just makes it more difficult for those who read the original languages and easier for those who mistakenly believe they can find new meaning in the text by reverse translating the text with the aid of a lexicon. Also an upgrade to version 9 of Bibleworks is worth it. The new version has digital images of many of the primary NT Greek manuscripts and they are searchable!!!

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