How to Cite Resources from Your Logos Library

Any Bible software aims to help you access information more efficiently than you could do in print.1 One strength of the Logos platform is the broad array of resources you can access in it.

But when it comes to citing resources from your Logos library, there are some special steps you need to take to do it well.

These are to

  1. ignore Logos’s built-in footnoting feature,
  2. show page numbers,
  3. recognize the kind of sources Logos resources are,
  4. check print counterparts, and
  5. cite Logos resources as such.

1. Ignore Logos’s Footnote Feature

When you copy text from Logos, the software has the ability to include with that text a corresponding footnote.

You can set this output via the Copy Citations option under Program Settings. And if you use it, you can choose from a handful of style manuals—including the SBL Handbook of Style—to provide a reference point for how the software crafts this footnote.

Logos does many things well. But footnoting isn’t one of them at this juncture. You’ll have much better results using a dedicated citation manager like Zotero than you will using Logos’s built-in footnoting feature.

There are two reasons for this.

  1. Logos automatically includes a footnote information only when you copy text. If you’re paraphrasing or making a point in your own words that you want to support or contrast with a Logos resource’s view, there’s no automation to that. You can output a citation from the information panel for any resource. But for the SBL Handbook of Style, that only comes formatted as a bibliography entry—you don’t get the footnote format.
  2. The metadata that Logos includes for any given resource sometimes isn’t exactly what’s needed to properly cite that resource. For instance, a commentary resource might be missing series metadata, or it might not include the proper abbreviation the SBL Handbook of Style wants for that series.

For these reasons, you’re best off using Logos for what it really excels at—being a digital library. You can then use a tool like Zotero to help take the grunt work out of formatting your citations and bibliographies.

2. Show Page Numbers

That said, one of the wonderful features in Logos—and a major selling point in my deciding to use Logos years ago—is the software’s ability to show you the page numbers of the print edition right in line with the text.

You can show these page numbers in all appropriate resources from the visual filters menu inside just about any Logos resource.

The page number will then display as an orange “p [number]” inside an upper left page corner shaped mark.

You can see both the Show page numbers option and a sample page number in the screen shot below.2

If you don’t see Show page numbers, be sure you’re looking under the Resource sub-menu. If you are and you still don’t see the option, try a different resource.

You might be working with one of the comparatively few Logos resources that don’t have page numbers included for one reason or another.3

Assuming that you’re able to show page numbers in your resource, you’re then pretty close to being able to cite it. But there are still another couple steps.

3. Recognize the Kinds of Sources Logos Resources Are

According to the SBL Handbook of Style,

Books available for download from a library or bookseller are generally available in two main formats: PDF e-books and editions for e-readers, such as Kindle, iPad, and Nook. If citing a PDF e-book that is identical in all respects to the print edition, it is not necessary to indicate the format consulted. However, because other electronic formats do not conform in all respects to the print edition, in those cases authors must indicate the format consulted.4

Logos resources fall somewhere between the category of print-identical PDF e-books and alternative formats like Kindle, Nook, and others.

Given Logos’s ability to show you page numbers from the print edition, you have a cleaner line of sight to the print edition than even a Kindle book with page numbers will give you.

At the same time, Logos doesn’t have a page-per-page display setting like you can get in a PDF that will show you exactly what is on that same page of a print edition.

This fact comes up particularly in two cases.

  1. Occasionally, Logos editions will have typographical errors that aren’t present in the print edition. And for these, there’s the ever present ability to report typos that you find, another nice feature in the platform.
  2. Although Logos will show you page numbers in the main text of a resource, Logos won’t show you where any footnotes in that resource might wrap from one page onto the next. So, if you’re citing a footnote, you’re not going to be able to tell from the Logos version whether that footnote starts and ends on the same page or whether it runs onto multiple pages.

4. Check Print Counterparts

Given all of this, I tend to recommend you cross-check the print (or print-identical PDF) counterpart of a Logos resource when you’re citing it.

There are any number of helpful sources for laying your hands on that print material. But once you’ve checked it, you can then simply present your citation as from the print text.

You’ve done your homework. You’ve confirmed that what you’ve read in Logos is a faithful representation of the print text. And you can feel good about citing that text just as if you’d only had recourse to it in print all along.

5. Cite Logos Resources as Such

That said, there might be some cases where you can’t confirm the Logos text against a printed or print-equivalent PDF text.

Sometimes, there might not ever have been a print edition. In these cases, you’ll want to cite the text like the SBL Handbook of Style suggests for Kindle, Nook, and other formats that “do not have stable page numbers.”5

In other cases, you might just not be able to get a hold of the printed text to consult for whatever reason. But your Logos resource might still have page numbers in it.

In these situations, the best approach seems to be to

  1. Compose your citation as if you’re simply citing the print text directly,
  2. Include “Logos Bible Software edition, ” immediately before the page number in the first full footnote for that resource,
  3. Use the page number(s) you get from Logos as the locator in your citation, and
  4. Include ” Logos Bible Software edition.” at the very end of that resource’s bibliography entry.6


Logos is an incredibly useful tool for academic biblical studies. It can give you access to an extensive digital library. And with these five simple steps, you can make use of that library properly in your research.

  1. Header image provided by Joshua Mann

  2. The screenshot reflects the interface in Logos Depending on your version, the interface should be similar but may be slightly different. 

  3. E.g., Jacob Neusner’s edition of the Jerusalem Talmud seems to have been designed as a digital resource and never released in print. The Jerusalem Talmud: A Translation and Commentary (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2008). Logos Bible Software. 

  4. Society of Biblical Literature, The SBL Handbook of Style, 2nd ed. (Atlanta: SBL, 2014), 90. 

  5. Society of Biblical Literature, SBL Handbook of Style, 90–91. 

  6. Society of Biblical Literature, SBL Handbook of Style, 90–91. If you’re using Zotero, you may need to insert “Logos Bible Software edition, ” in the page number field of the citation dialog before the page number. For the bibliography, you’ll then likely need to manually edit the bibliography that Zotero generates to include ” Logos Bible Software edition.” as an additional note at the end of the listing for any resource you’ve cited from there. 

Daily Gleanings: Logos (10 December 2019)

There’s no doubt about it—you can drop a lot of money on biblical studies software.

For Logos users, there’ve been ways to gift resources in the past. But at least for a good while, this was comparatively cumbersome.

The Logos store now, however, has a proper gift card purchasing option. I haven’t used this as yet. And from the comments on the page, there look to be some limitations with the current implementation.

But for those of you who are considering or who have also joined the Logos community, this offering may prove a helpful addition.

Read the Original Languages in Logos—without Cheating

Robust biblical studies software can be a hugely helpful tool.1 With just a few clicks, you can use it to pull together information in seconds that would otherwise take hours to compile. Unfortunately, making things easier and faster doesn’t always make them better.

A case in point is reading the Bible in its original languages. Modern Bible software can instantly provide you glosses and parsings for anything you see in a biblical text. But if you rely on this ability, what you’re improving as you look over the biblical text is your ability to use the software, not your ability to read the Bible in its original languages.

If you want to immerse yourself more in those languages, you need to avoid cheating and letting tools do the work for you. You need to do the work of thinking through the text for yourself and working out how to interpret it.

One way to do this is of course to use … a printed Bible. (A novel concept, I know. 🙂 ) You can then use other print tools that don’t allow you to cheat (e.g., not using things like analytical lexicons).

I did this for a while but then gravitated toward reading electronically. A primary reason is what a good job Logos does at keeping track of notes. Recent updates have improved this feature still more and allowed me to rediscover notes I’d made in the past about things I’d seen in the text but had forgotten because I failed to migrate them to a new Bible version when it came out.

So, if you too would like to use Logos to read the Bible in its original languages without cheating, here are 5 steps to help you get up and running.

1. Disable information tool tips.

Whenever I install Logos on a different PC, one of the first things I do is turn off information tool tips. When enabled, these tips allow you to point your mouse to a word in the biblical text and have morphological information instantly appear on the screen.

Of course, this is pretty distracting if you’re wanting to read the Bible without cheating. So it’s best just to disable the feature altogether. Besides, there are other ways of getting this information from the software if you just have to have it at some point.

To disable information tool tips, go to “Tools” > “Utilities” > “Program Settings.” Then, under the first section (“General”), set “Information Tool Tips” to “No.”

Illustration of steps to disable information tool tips.

2. Create or start a reading plan.

If you wish, use Logos to create your own Bible reading plan. If you’re reading from both testaments, you may want to create one reading plan for the Old Testament and one for the New. That way, you can easily use a Hebrew Bible resource for the one and a Greek New Testament resource for the other.

Alternatively, if you’d like to join my students and me on the reading plan we’re working through, you’re certainly welcome to do that as well.

3. Create your Bible reading layout.

Next, you’ll want to create the layout you’ll use for your Bible reading. You can do this as it’s convenient for you and based on the resources you have in your library.

To give you a place to start, though, the essentials of what I have in my layout are shown below.

Logos Bible reading layout screenshot

In this layout,

  1. The left-hand pane is a notes window. I use this for both vocabulary notes (as shown) and notes on syntax or other observations.
  2. In the upper-right pane are two Bible resources, Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia and the 28th edition of the Nestle-Aland. If you used Logos to define your own reading plan in step 2 above, you’ll want to make sure that the Bible resources in your reading layout are the same as the resources you used to create the reading plan.
  3. In the bottom-right pane are three lexicons. These are the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew (DCH, for Hebrew text), the Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (CHALOT, for Aramaic text), and the third edition of Bauer’s Greek-English Lexicon (BDAG, for Greek text).

Once you have your layout defined, let Logos know you want to use this layout for your Bible reading. To do this, go to “Layouts” > “Home Page Layouts” > “Bible Reading Plan,” and click the drop-down arrow. Then choose the option to “Replace with current layout.”

Bible reading layout definition illustration

4. Start reading and making notes.

Once you get this basic setup done, it’s time to dive in and start reading. Make notes as you go along as seems helpful for you. I mention below what I do in case it may be a helpful point of reference for you.

4.a. Vocabulary

When I come to a word I need to look up, I highlight it, and click the “New note” button in the notes pane. (You can now also add a note from the new text selection menu.) Then, I look up the word in the appropriate electronic lexicon just as I would in a print lexicon.

Vocabulary entry illustration

I save these notes to a “Vocabulary” notebook. But you can simply leave them outside any particular notebook. They’ll still be accessible to you via search in either case.

Inside the note, I then include the lemma, copy the glosses given, add a parenthetical reference to the lexicon section where I found the glosses, and include a link to that section.

Sometimes, I come across a word I think I’ve made a note about before but can’t recall the word’s meaning. In that case, I’ll search my notes by typing the word out in the search bar in Unicode. I’ll then highlight the word in the biblical text and use the “Add anchor” feature to attach my existing note to that word also.

4.b. Syntax and content

If I need to clarify something about the syntax of a text, I’ll follow much the same process described above for vocabulary, but I’ll save this in a “Commentary” notebook. I’ll do the same with any other miscellaneous thoughts I have about a text as I’m working through it.

5. Hide your notes.

Why would you take notes only to hide them? Well, if you’re rereading a text where you’ve already made notes, you might not want to see where those notes are only a click away.

For cases like this, Logos allows you to hide particular notes based on the notebook they’re in. (This is one of the reasons I started segmenting vocabulary notes into their own notebook.)

To hide any notebook’s notes, click the visual filter button on any biblical text resource. Then scroll down to find “Notes and Highlights,” and uncheck the boxes for the notebooks whose notes you don’t want to see.

Notebook visual filter modification


In the end, technology can make it easier to get information out of the biblical text. But in terms of you getting into the text and its languages, there’s no substitute for learning through the discipline of encountering the text and looking things up for yourself.

  1. Header image provided by Joshua Mann

Daily Gleanings: Software (30 July 2019)

Freedom introduces another new Chrome extension, Limit, saying,

Ever wish you could allot yourself a time limit on distracting websites? Limit allows you to set a time limit on any site you choose. It then gently notifies you that your time is almost up, so you can wrap up. Once you’ve reached your limit, if you try to visit the limited website you’ll be directed to Freedom’s calming Green Screen. It’s simple, effective, and free!

For more information and to install, see the Chrome web store.

Logos adds additional options for the double-click shortcut, as well as now including a triple-click shortcut.

Both types of shortcut allow lookup, search, and inline search options. The double click option allows a further word selection option, and the triple click option also allows paragraph selection.

For more details, see LogosTalk’s discussion of this feature.