Quick! What’s 2 Timothy 3:16-17??
If we were catering to Catholic stereotypes on this blog (which, of course, we’re not), then we’d conclude that most of you probably couldn’t answer that question because, as everyone knows, us Catholics don’t know our Bibles. But I don’t like stereotypes. And, as a student of Biblical Theology (who happens to be Catholic), I particularly do not like this stereotype.
Which is why today’s post is dedicated to Sacred Scripture, to encourage you to dive into the Word, and to tell you about an amazing software program to help you do just that: Logos Bible Software.
Logos Bible Software is a powerful tool available for anyone interested in studying the Bible. Think Google, only exclusively for Bible Study. Say you went to mass today, and you wanted to go deeper behind the text of the Gospel (Mark 7:1-13). All you would need to do is open up Logos, type in the chapter and verse, and within seconds you’d be able to read what Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote about the passage, you’d be able to do a side-by-side comparison of this passage across different translations, as well as see the parallel verses throughout Scripture—and much more.
Why is it important to study the Bible in this way? Besides the fact of it just being flat-out incredible to have all of these resources at your fingertips, this is actually how the Church encourages us to approach Sacred Scripture. Catholic Bible Study 101: the Church lays out three guides, as it were, for reading the Bible. They are:
- Pay attention to the Content and Unity of the whole Scripture
(The Bible, though a collection of many books, is also one story–the story of Salvation History. It’s meant to be read as such.)
- Read Scripture in light of the Living Tradition of the whole Church
(Scripture itself is a result of Tradition. We don’t understand it fully until we read it as being apart of that Tradition)
- Be attentive to the Analogy of Faith
(Scripture cannot, and does not, contradict the doctrines of our Catholic Faith)
Logos makes it easier for the faithful Catholic to read Scripture the way it is meant to be read, with these three guidelines in mind. Not that this software is strictly a Catholic program—it’s not. But it makes available many of the vast resources of the Tradition so that Catholics can read them side-by-side the verse or passage in question with just the click of a button (minimal digging required). You have at your fingertips commentaries from the Early Christians on the Scriptures, as well as Church documents. At the same time, if you want to go back to the basics and study the Bible in its original languages and compare different translations (as the Church has also encouraged the faithful to do), Logos allows you to do that, too. You don’t even have to know the original languages, because Logos does all of the legwork for you.
And of course, as the generation whose iPhones and iPads are constantly glued to our hands, the software perfectly syncs across your laptop, iPad, and iPhone apps, so whatever you do in Logos on your computer, you open it up to the same place on your iPhone (and vise-versa).
As a student of Biblical Theology, Logos is incredibly helpful to me. If I’m researching for a paper, I can type the passage, or a keyword or phrase, into the search bar and, in seconds, I am knee-deep in relevant sources that will help in writing my paper (my very own digital research assistant!). It is also incredibly helpful that I can copy and paste into a Word document and Logos will automatically add the footnote citation for me (doing the citations/bibliography of a paper used to take me an extra hour or two because I’d put off actually typing out the longhand of the footnotes until the end).
There are a number of packages available, and you can find the one that is right for you at Logos.com. I would particularly recommend this software to any of my readers who attend Catholic universities, or to homeschooling families. It’s an investment that you won’t regret because it saves time, shelf-space, and money in the long run. However no matter your background, profession, or field of study, I would recommend Logos because as Catholics, we are all called to study the Bible. As Saint Jerome has said, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ”.
16 All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
-2 Timothy 3:16-17
(for those of you dying to know the answer to my pop-quiz)