Accordance vs Logos : A New Version of the Comparative Review!

Recap

For more than 7 years now, I have been producing comparative reviews of the best software for biblical exegesis. This work of presentation and evaluation is intended primarily for an academic audience interested in the study of the biblical text from original languages. These comparative studies are, to my knowledge, without equivalent.

This work had been initiated in view of the publication of the following paper (in French): “Quatre logiciels pour l’exégèse biblique : Accordance, Bible Parser, Bibleworks et Logos”, Revue d’Histoire et de Philosophie Religieuses (94 n° 3, 2014, p. 303-318) [open access: https://doi.org/10.3406/rhpr.2014.2304]. This paper was accompanied by a relatively substantial “online” supplement. Following the release of the new versions of these four software programs, three major updates were carried out, in February 2015, October 2015 and January 2017. These documents can be found on my Academia page.

Since Bibleworks is no longer for sale and Bible Parser is now a “web app”, I decided to focus my comparison on Accordance and Logos. The first version of Acccordance vs Logos comparative review has been published in April 2020 (see here). On this occasion, it was also decided to publish simultaneously two versions of the comparison: a French version as usual, and a (new) international version for an English-speaking audience.

Since the last version of the comparative review, Logos released its version 9 in the fall of 2020 (see my presentation of new features in French). Accordance has also added some valuable new features and databases (e.g. Andersen-Forbes database). It therefore appeared necessary to update the review: the new version is available online from this page (November 2021). 

What developments?

There is no major change in the comparative evaluation of these two Bible software. As can be seen in the table below, the overall scores obtained in November 2021 (81,25% for Accordance and 82,75% for Logos) are close to those obtained in April 2020 (78,25% for Accordance and 81,5% for Logos). However, there are some changes in detail.

Logos continues to improve in terms of execution speed, while Accordance seems a little slower than before. On this issue, see this article.

Mobile apps for both programs continue to improve and seem to me to be more stable than before.

In recent years, Accordance seems to be making significant efforts to reach out to academic users, particularly in the field of Hebrew and Semitic studies. As an example, since October 2020, the database developed by Frank Andersen and Dean Forbes on the Hebrew Bible is available on Accordance. This database, which is very extensive, allows not only syntactic searches in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, but also searches according to semantic criteria (semantic domain, semantic role) as well as other criteria. This is one example, but one could also cite the way Accordance collaborates with scholars to develop new tools for the study of the Targums (see here) or the Ugaritic (see here).

When it comes to Logos, the impression is the opposite. Five years ago, Logos had a significant lead in the development of databases that could be of interest to researchers and biblical scholars. The Andersen and Forbes database has been available on Logos since 2008. And, by the early 2010s, the publisher had developed groundbreaking semantic databases. In recent years, however, the publisher seems to be focusing its development efforts toward a broader audience of Bible readers. There is certainly a commercial logic to this. Nevertheless, it is regrettable that, for at least five years, there has been no major innovation or improvement that can be of interest for an academic audience.

These evolutions have been taken into account in the new version of the review. In terms of search functions, Accordance (17/20 in November 2021 versus 15.5/20 in April 2020) now has a better score than Logos (16.25/20 in November 2021 versus 16.5 in April 2020). The gap has also narrowed in the « Philology and Linguistics » section: Accordance now has a 7.25/9 and Logos 7.5/9, whereas in April 2020 Accordance had a 6.75/9 and Logos an 8.25/9.

In fact, the difference in the overall rating of Logos and Accordance is only due to the fact that Logos is a bit cheaper for similar content. Leaving price aside, Accordance and Logos would get the same score (75 points on a total of 90).

Score evolution between April 2020 and November 2021

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