A Note on Sermon Preparation

I want to take a moment and speak to something very important to my ministry:

Sermon preparation and Bible software. I cannot imagine preparing a sermon without the aid of Bible study software. I currently own Quickverse, Pradis (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary), and Logos Silver edition.

I use Quickverse Deluxe because I have John MacArthur’s commentaries for it. The Firefox-like interface is fairly easy to use and is functional.

I use Pradis simply because I have to in order to have computer access to a really wonderful commentary. If you do not have The Expositor’s Bible Commentary then I recommend that you spend the money and get it. However, be warned. In my opinion Pradis is the worst user interface for Bible software that is out there. There are freeware programs that have better interfaces. I have a great disdain for the software, so you can only imagine how much I like the commentary since I use it every week.

My primary Bible study software is Logos. It is where I do the majority of my sermon preparation. It has many books and tools, but makes access to them a breeze. The new reverse interlinears that they have make original language study a joy. I highly recommend this software.

Logos is very customizable. I particular feature that I love is Visual Filters for the “Active verse reference”. It is such a timesaver. Have you ever opened a lexicon for a word that has a number of multiple meanings and cross references to where that definition is used? I always want to find where the author’s of the lexicon feel is the best definition for the word I am studying. By setting up a visual filter for the active verse reference, now every time I open a lexicon, the verse that I am looking at is highlighted! I can scroll through pages of word definitions and find the definition for my word in seconds instead of reading and searching manually.

The reason I bring up this topic of Bible study software is that if you are a pastor, then I strongly recommend that you do two things.

1. Buy Bible study software.

2. Learn how to use your Bible study software.

Pastors, Bible study is our trade. Bible study software is the tool of our trade. Just as a mechanic learns how to properly use his new tools for maximum efficiency, we too should take the time to become experts in the use of our Bible study software. It will save you time, make your sermon preparation more efficient, and your flock will benefit.

You will notice that I have the Logos blog in my blogroll. It is a way for me to stay current on what is going on with the software, and learn new tips and tricks. The blog was where I learned the “active verse reference” trick. It has literally saved me hours. Don’t just buy software. Learn to use your software to its maximum capability. You will not regret it.

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