A while back someone asked me to compare Logos 6 and Accordance 11. Here’s a brief comparison between the two that I sent over to him. He has also asked me to shoot a screencast outlining a more detailed comparison between the two. I plan to do that as soon as I have a free moment. I’ll probably embed the video in this post. Now with Logos Now and Logos Cloud arriving, I’m going to have to re-think the comparison and include them in the mix.
I’ve been a Logos user for years, as well as my Bible College and seminary “runs” on Logos, so I will always heavily use Logos, and I see Logos remaining my primary Bible study program. Logos offers the most books available in any platform, and I don’t see any Bible program catching up to Logos in the sheer quantity of resources. I always start with Logos when writing seminary papers, sermons, engaging in Biblical research, etc. I’m the most familiar with its search engine and guides, and I can jump into Logos and really get my work accomplished.
Logos offers a very powerful search engine, but with that power comes complexity. In order to get the most out of Logos’ search engine, you need to master the various search commands (largetext, heading, NEAR topic, etc.). While Logos 6 is far faster than previous Logos versions (especially Logos 3 and prior, and now that Logos 6 is 64 Bit, you can throw all your RAM at it), Logos 6 is still no Speedy Gonzales. It’s still going to take some time to crunch through your library, especially if you have quite a bit of resources (I have over 6,000).
Logos also has a wealth of excellent resources available as well. Their Reverse Interlinears are excellent for getting into the Biblical Languages if you don’t know the Biblical Languages. Their guides make powerful Biblical research simple. Their datasets created by their in-house content innovation team are top notch, and you’re not going to find those datasets anywhere else. Logos 6 has new datasets such as Ancient Literature, Cultural Concepts, the Factbook (which improves Bible Facts), etc. Logos 6 also has a new Atlas tool, and while the maps are very clean and up-to-date looking, I feel Accordance’s Atlas is more powerful (more on that coming up). Logos 6 also has a very powerful timeline (so does Accordance). Logos 6’s new Bible Book Guides make getting the background on a Bible passage a breeze. I so wish I had this years earlier.
Logos 6 is also getting very visual. Visual Copy is very handy to share Bible verses, quotes, etc., to social media or presentation apps. Logos also interfaces very nicely with their Proclaim Church Presentation app, which I find is becoming a solid contender to more high end programs such as ProPresenter. Logos 6 also offers all sorts of new interactive media which look great in the classroom or in a church setting, etc.
Logos 6 also offers Visual Filters that are also handy to help those get into the Biblical Languages who don’t have formal training in the languages. Logos 6 also offers Greek and Hebrew alphabet tutors and solid pronunciations of the Biblical languages (Accordance relies on your system’s text to speech which may not be 100% accurate pronunciation). Logos 6 also makes it easy to create Word Lists of
Greek and Hebrew words and sync them with a FlashCards app. Logos 6’s sentence diagrams are on par with Accordance.
Logos 6 also offers inline searching which feels similar to how Accordance’s searching works (although Accordance is much faster). Logos offers powerful syntax databases (Andersen Forbes, OpenText, Cascadia, Lexham, etc.) and clause searching databases making it easier to find where people are mentioned in the Biblical text. Much of the hand-tagging (speaker labels, Biblical referents, Bible Sense Lexicon, etc.) are extremely powerful, and you’re not going to find that anywhere else. Logos 6 also makes it easier to search “everything” (your library plus all the datasets) as well as has expanded how autocomplete works.
Logos 6 makes it a breeze to use Logos resources in papers with full footnote copying and Bibliographies. I’d be lost writing my papers without this. Logos 6 also features Send to Kindle which is handy for Kindle users.
Logos notes are a little easier to begin working with over Accordance’s, but Accordance’s are more reliable. Logos notes performance tends to bog down and crash the program if you start using them too heavily. Logos 6 has improved Personal Books tools which are powerful ways to create your Personal Books, but you still have to maintain your original Word documents for them. With Accordance, once you create User Tools, all the edits are done inside of Accordance.
Logos 6 Reading Plans are extremely flexible since you can create them for any book. Their excellent for reading seminary textbooks, etc. Logos 6 syncing is also somewhat more reliable than Accordance. Accordance uses Dropbox, which I’ve run into a few sync issues. Logos uses its own syncing service which has generally been pretty reliable.
Logos 6 offers new document sharing and sharing with FaithLife Groups which is pretty neat. I see a lot of potential in FaithLife Groups. They’re great for churches, schools, etc., that want to center themselves around the Word of God. Logos 6 has definitely gotten more “social media” oriented.
The Logo6 homepage also makes it easy for people new to Bible Software and Bible study to jump into Bible study even if they haven’t learned the program.
Logos 6 mobile apps are excellent, and I use them frequently for reading books and for some on-the-go Bible study.
Logos also offers a version of their software for Catholics (Verbum), another version for the study of classics/humanities/scholarly stuff (Noet), both which are handy.
Logos also offers Vyrso which is an excellent way to get Christian eBooks that integrate with Logos. I do most of my eBook reading (Charles Stanley, etc.) through Logos or Vyrso.
Logos also produces a lot of in-house resources from Lexham Press, and a lot of their resources are high quality. The Lexham Bible Guides, Bible studies, etc., do really help jumpstart Bible study. Their other resources such as SBL Greek New Testament, Lexham English Bible, Lexham Bible Dictionary, FaithLife Study Bible, etc., are high quality as well, and Lexham Bible Dictionary and FaithLife Study Bible are continually being updated with new content. I also have the Galaxie Journals, IVP resources, some of John Butler’s books, etc., in Logos format.
Accordance 11 is the most Mac-native feeling application of the two (I’ve heard the Windows app is pretty good as well). Logos 6 feels very Mac-native as well, but since Accordance has been building on the Mac for years, it still has the edge of feeling the most Mac-native. In terms of speed and performance, even though it’s still only 32 Bit, it’s still the fastest performing application around. When I need to quickly fire up a Bible app and run the fastest performing searches, I always turn to Accordance.
Accordance’s search engine is also “easier” to learn than Logos’, although I still need to get the hang of it since I’m so used the complexity of Logos searching. Its search engine is very powerful as well. Accordance offers Graphical Searching that’s powerful yet easy to use when you get the hang of it (easier to use than the graphical search tools Logos used to offer). The Search Analytics in Accordance are also very clean to look at yet very powerful. They’re great for Biblical research. Accordance’s “Amplify” feature is also a powerful and simple way to search one resource from another resource.
Accordance 11 has really improved their searching with “quick entry” which suggests what you want to search while typing. Especially for someone like me who isn’t as familiar with Accordance as I am with Logos, this is a huge help. Accordance’s Research tab is an improvement over Accordance 10, but I believe it could even get a little more powerful to become extremely useful (like being able to search multiple fields, etc.)
Accordance 11 also has a very clean, easy to use layout. I like how their Parallel Panes can sync with a Bible text, as well as how much content you can fit on the screen and still have a very clean, easy to navigate around layout. I purposely purchased some resources in Accordance format instead of Logos format since when I need to work in them (such as Hebrew texts), I can more cleanly create an organized, in-sync layout that’s definitely easier to work with that I could in Logos.
Where Accordance 11 really shines is through its primary texts (Biblical Language texts, etc.). Accordance 11 offers some primary texts not available in Logos (such as the Samartian Pentateuch). While Accordance doesn’t offer the variety of resources Logos offers, the quality of many of their primary texts are superior to Logos. The quality of tagging in their Hebrew and Greek manuscripts tend to be better than some of Logos’ resources. For example, I needed to look up the breathing marks in the Textus Receptus and compare them to the breathing marks in the UBS4. The Logos edition of the Textus Receptus didn’t include them. The Accordance edition did. Accordance also offers powerful syntax modules that are simpler to work with than Logos, although Logos’ syntax tools are good too.
Accordance does make it easy to “crossgrade” resources from other platforms into it for a deep discount. It’s been handy to purchase resources in Accordance at a deep discount. I did it for Butler, and plan to do it for IVP and Anchor Dictionary. Both Accordance and Logos offer academic discounts.
Accordance 11’s graphical tools are top notch as well. Their Bible Atlas, while been around longer than Logos (since Logos 6’s Atlas looks more “modern”), is more powerful. The sheer amount of map styles, map layers, the ability to customize map layers, and the 3D Bible Atlas make the Accordance Bible Atlas the best Bible Atlas around. It looks stunning in a classroom or Bible study environment. Their Timeline is powerful as well. I’m not sure if it’s more powerful than the Logos 6 Timeline since I’m more familiar with the Logos Timeline, but the Accordance one is extremely powerful as well. Accordance 11 also offers the Bible Lands PhotoGuide which offers some excellent photos of the Holy Land, complete with explanations. It’s the perfect teaching tool. Accordance 11 also offers additional graphics tools you can purchase, some very nice.
Accordance’s Interlinear is easy to setup as well, and it makes it a cinch to compare translations and additional texts. While it’s not as easy to jump from the Interlinear into Biblical Language Study like you can with Logos (it still relies on Strong’s Numbers), Accordance’s Biblical Language searching tools are more scholarly. They offer true Inflected searching, flex searching, exact searching, and even searching for real Hebrew and Greek speakers. Accordance 11 also offers instant parsing of Greek and Hebrew words and the ability to create Word Charts. Even though my seminary “runs” on Logos, my Biblical Language professors primarily use Accordance. When I need to dig deep into Biblical Language texts, Accordance is definitely the application I’m going to turn to.
Accordance used to offer dedicated collections for Catholics and Jews. Now those are available as addon bundles instead. Logos also offers Jewish bundles from both Logos and under the Noet brand.
The new Info Pane in Accordance 11 is like a mini “Passage Guide”. It’s a handy feature that makes accessing commentaries, cross references, etc., much easier in Accordance. The Topical Bible Search tool in Accordance 11 is powerful and easy to use. Accordance also maintains this database in house, so they’ll be updating it continually.
Accordance 11 also now syncs bookmarks, saved places in modules, and your workspace when you quit the app. This is far handier than previous apps and puts the syncing closer to Logos, although everything doesn’t sync like it does in Logos. Accordance 11 also does cite resources when preparing papers, but I haven’t fully gotten the hang of it yet.
Accordance’s mobile apps are powerful and easy to use. They have many (not all) of the features of the desktop app. The only two issues with them is: 1. You have to download any resources you want to read in the app (whereas Logos can stream them), so you’d better have a sizable iOS device if you want to take your entire library with you (although the benefit is if you have no signal or slow data connection, reading and searching is still fast and functional) and 2. It’s currently only available for iOS. It’s not available on Android yet (Logos is). So only iPhone and iPad users can enjoy the mobile apps.
For Logos 6, I recommend starting with Platinum for those that can afford it. You’ll get all the datasets, plenty of books (including sermons and journals), etc. I’d like to get a higher base package down the road, as well as their denominational base packages (such as the Baptist ones) are interesting as well. I still recommend starting with a regular base package and adding on additional ones later (that can be done).
For Accordance 11, I recommend starting with Essential for those that can afford it. It has some excellent resources and all the major media tools (Atlas, Timeline, and PhotoGuide). I’d like to get a higher collection with them as well, but Essential is a great start.
All in all, both Logos 6 and Accordance 11 are excellent tools. I highly recommend getting both if you can afford it. Logos 6 offers the most resources available. It’s perfect for Biblical research and papers, and its in-house resources are excellent. Accordance 11 is the fastest program in terms of performance and searching. It’s the best for digging deep into the Biblical Languages at the scholarly level, and it offers a very clean, focused, unclutter interface. I use both in seminary, and both will revolutionize your Bible study.