Logos Bible Software and the Perseus Project

I’ve known about this one for quite a long time. It’s been in the works since before I quit working for Logos back in April. But it’s here now and its awesome.

All of the Greek and Latin texts available from Perseus are now also going to be available offline in Logos Bible Software. And that includes the Duke Data Bank Papyri, the grammars, lexicons, commentaries, everything.

You can read all about the details here:

3000+ Free Perseus Books for Logos 4

This is an incredible event and provides numerous resources that thus far have only been accessible with an internet connection. And they’re still free. I’d suggest reserving your place in line ASAP.

16 thoughts on “Logos Bible Software and the Perseus Project

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  1. Hi Mike, do you know which grammars and lexicons are available for Greek? I couldn’t find any in the long list Logos published.

    1. I was too quick I guess (or the list is just too overwhelming ;-)). I found Jeffrey A. Rydberg-Cox, Overview of Greek Syntax, 2000; William Watson Goodwin, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb 1889, and Basil L. Gildersleeve, Syntax of Classical Greek 1900. Do you know which one could be most helpfull in studying Koinè Greek? I was hoping for Liddle-Scott’s lexicon and Herbert Weir Smyth’s Greek grammar (since they are on the Perseus website), but these are not included in the Logos collection.

      1. My guess is that they held back on LSJ (link) and Smyth (link) because Logos already sells them that giving them away would cannibalize their products. The Logos version of LSJ is far, far superior anyway, since it has the 1996 supplement integrated directly into the main body of the lexicon.

        As for what grammars are useful, I don’t know anything about Jeffrey A. Rydberg-Cox’s overview, but I own personal copies of both Goodwin and Gildersleeve and refer to both regularly.

  2. Wow, this move makes me respect Logos a little now. But still only a little. One free package doesn’t make up for the thousands of ridiculously overpriced ones they have.

    1. Dannii, I’ve seen what it looks like on the inside of digital publishing. You don’t know what you’re talking about. That is to say, while I completely understand your frustration about prices, if you saw their production costs in relation to the prices they sell at, you’d see that things are not what they seem. Most books on pre-publication do little more than cover production costs.

      1. Wanna expand on that?

        I edited my comment above and added another statement following, but your comment appeared before I finished (fyi).

        (if I don’t respond right away, it’s because I’m right about to leave to drive across North America…)

      2. Some of the books are clearly overpriced, such as the out of copyright works by Bunyan being sold for $10. That said, I’m sure that many, maybe even most, of the books do reflect production costs.

        I think though that that only strengthens my case – the problem is not the cost of production but the excessive and exclusive standard of production. The Logos version of the TDNT is $200, but I’m quite certain that someone has a simple pdf version of it sitting on their computer somewhere. Of course the Logos version will be fancier and easier to use etc, but that doesn’t mean that a more basic version shouldn’t also be available. Western Christians are plagued by materialism, and we are constantly seduced by messages telling us to get the latest and best. Whether it’s the fanciest TV, an oversized house or the flashiest smart phone (here in Australia we have the stupidest ad campaign ever, but it really says what marketing is all about now: “If you don’t have an iPhone, you don’t have an iPhone!”) we are constantly being told that anything less than the best is not worth having, and Christian publishers are no exception.

        Christian publishers should all be about getting the content to the people, lowering whatever barriers there are to that. If I was in charge of a company like Logos I’d sell basic PDF versions of all these books (or possibly another format with some kind of DRM), and then also sell more advanced versions, for those who want to trade money for usability, just like how if you aren’t blinded by Applemania you can buy smartphones ranging from $50 to hundreds more. If I were in charge I’d price it so that anyone who was interested in the TDNT (for example) could get it at a price they could afford.

        But books are different. Publishers love exclusive deals, and so if Logos has the TDNT it would be very hard for a new company to also licence it (not to mention that the owners of most of these products don’t want to maximise the reach of their content and wouldn’t be interested in licencing it for dirt cheap). So we’re left with those amazing production values and a product that is inaccessible to most of those who would make use of it. Secular publishers have no reason to do anything different, but Christian publishers should be seeking to make content as accessible as possible.

        Lastly, once those production costs have been met, whatever they are and however long it takes, why not drop the price? Or for the unpopular or highly academic works, why not subsidise them with the more popular ones?

        1. Dannii, Thank you for your thoughtful expansion of your ideas about Logos and publishers. I am sure I agree with you that the price of some things are high. But “high” compared to what? a used copy of a print book? A book in the public domain? My advise is to not buy books from Logos or any other publisher (electronic or print) if the value does not meet your standards. I mean that very sincerely and without malice.

          I just don’t see what your statement means, “If I were in charge I’d price it so that anyone who was interested in the TDNT (for example) could get it at a price they could afford.” Huh?!

          I have to challenge that notion. If you WERE IN CHARGE, you would be in charge of a corporate entity. That means that you would need to make payroll demands. That means you want your company solvent for the next MANY years so that commitments that the company has made to the families/employees are kept. And with that in mind, you still say, “I would give them a premier collection like TDNT for “whatever they can afford?”” Without consideration for your own costs and your own future as a corporation, you would soon be selling off your assets and letting people go.

          But besides that, What does it mean, “at a price they can afford.” In Seminary, I had two kids and debt and what would you have sold TDNT to me for? Better still… do you currently own TDNT??? If so, what will you sell it to me for now? I really want it, but it needs to be at a price I can afford.

          You see, I believe it is not about cost of things, it is about value. If something does not have value to you, then don’t buy it. Personally, I often don’t buy many books that are devotional in nature or in the public domain for my Logos Library. Oh, some I would covet, but it is about value. I want too many current works, too many classic reference works and commentaries… which hold very high value to me… IF THEY ARE effectively tagged and incorporated into a system that allows me to access that information effortlessly and with great benefit… and that is Logos’s value. If you don’t see that value, then you are right to avoid the purchase. It will always be too high a cost for you. But, I dare say, one can not declare the price of Logos books ridiculously high as a statement and then support it by saying YOU would sell things at a cost that people could afford. One, the statement is meaningless. Two, I doubt you would run your own financial resources into the ground for the sake of millions of others.

          But, those are just my ideas. Perhaps I misunderstood you. Thanks for sharing.

        2. Wow, there’s a lot here. As a fellow missionary (well, soon anyway…), I understand your complaint. But from everything you’ve said here, the honest truth is that you really have absolutely no problem with Logos. That is to say, your frustration is misdirected. Logos licenses the vast majority of its content from the publishers. That means two things:

          1) Royalty payments to the publishers
          2) The price at while *the publishers* necessitate content may be sold.

          The fact is that print publishers are still rather uncomfortable with digital books cannibalizing their print sales (though things are progressively getting better on that front). Logos’ (and every other digital publisher in existence) has contractual obligations to the people they license content from. For example, you may have noticed that while Amazon provides cheap fiction for Kindle, it’s Kindle prices for the highly academic works published by the likes of Oxford and Cambridge are not drastically different than the print editions.

          Well, I have to go to church, but I’ll say more later today.

  3. Okay, that was more than just going to church. Sorry.

    TDNT is an interesting example for you to choose. It was the original prepublication Logos did. There used to be a webpage on their site about this, but since the site redesign, I can’t find it. I don’t know if its still there or not.

    Basically, way back in the day, licensing TDNT has never been the problem. Eerdmans was completely willing to license it for bible software. User interest was also never a problem. The problem was that digital files didn’t exist. The reason that no other bible software has the full version isn’t about licensing. It’s about digital files–and Logos typed up all ten volumes by themselves. If you wanted to start a bible software package and wanted to include it, it probably wouldn’t take much work to do so on the red tape side of things. But you’d have to type those big volumes up yourself or pay someone else to do it for you.

    Now, should Logos share those files with other software companies? Well, does Macy tell Gimble?

  4. Honestly, I’m a little surprised that Eerdmans didn’t have digital versions of TDNT, but I guess it was probably begun before that era began, even if it was finished during it.

    That doesn’t change my basic point though: a fully digitised version is far more functionally useful than the paper version, and should be considered the special edition. The basic edition could be for example a non-OCRed PDF, which would be about as functional as the paper edition. Scanning is far cheaper than typing out of course. But which publishers would be willing to sell non-OCRed scans of books? If Christian publishers were really interested in lowering the barriers to their resources, because they believe their resources would be useful to Christians, then they would consider selling such things. But I don’t believe they are that interested in lowering the accessibility barriers.

    ALSO, Eerdman’s could have at least considered allowing their works to be OCRed by JSTOR or Google Books. They have the resources to do so cheaply. But they haven’t… (Actually Google Books might have it scanned and viewable in snippet view… I have vague memories they do.)

    So my question now is, has Logos recovered the digitisation costs of any items in its library? High prices are understandable once they have. But after?

    1. Eerdmans did have the digital rights. It’s just that no digital files existed. I don’t know how it works exactly, but I do know that with other massive projects where digital files did not exist yet (e.g. LSJ) other software companies had to do the work from scratch.

      Logos has recovered costs for most projects, yes. But that introduces a bigger problem. Logos’ model for production provides substantial discounts (sometimes above and beyond 50% off) books and resources for those who pre-order them before they’re completed–precisely so that they know that they can cover their costs. So if Logos does that to make sure they can cover costs, how fair is it to then lower the price dramatically after the book is produced? If there’s a cheaper price after a book is produced, then there is no incentive to order it ahead of time to make sure that those costs can be covered. That is to say, the fact the Logos is able to cover its costs is greatly dependent upon the fact that books are sold at retail (or close to retail) prices afterward.

      Generally speaking, after pre-production sales, the best sales have historically been in the base packages and then at holidays. Sometimes those sales have come close to (or matched) the original pre-pub sales. Like any other business, its then a matter of keeping one’s eyes open for the deal when it comes.

    2. I should also emphasize that you’re not actually frustrated with Logos Bible Software. You are frustrated with the Christian publishing industry as a whole.

      With that said, many Christian publishers do work with missions organizations to provide access to their resources *for the purpose of furthering their missional goals*. The constraints on that access is relatively tight, but they still provide it.

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