1 December 2005

Bible Study Software packages

Biblical scholars are pampered. Unlike almost any other discipline, all our primary texts
and most of our background texts are easily available with full searching and parsing facilities.
At SBL recently, I was pushing the software producers to remember the scholars, even though
they can make much more money by selling popular texts. Mostly I didn't need to push - they
are all doing us proud. The software keeps getting better, at such a bewildering speed that
packages are hard to compare.

John Glynn has produced a wonderful review of the top five, and this email is really just
an adjunct to his work. See http://www.TyndaleHouse.com/TTech/GlynnReview.pdf
and updates: March 2007


1) Review of the top five packages
2) Other software, including free stuff
3) Personal recommendations

1) Review of the top five packages
READ THE REVIEW by John Glynn - http://www.TyndaleHouse.com/TTech/GlynnReview.pdf
- if you miss it, you have missed the main value of this email.
- he is the author of the Commentary & Reference Survey (Kregel, 2003)

Libronix (Logos) the big one - http://www.logos.com/products/bstudy.asp
Accordance the pretty one - http://www.accordancebible.com/
BibleWorks the all-in one - http://www.bibleworks.com/
Gramcord the old one - http://www.gramcord.org/
Pradis (Zondervan) the sturdy one - http://www.zondervan.com/interactive/pradis
PCs run them all (Accordance via an emulator) .
Macs run Accordance (and soon, Logos too)
All of them are growing and improving constantly, especially in the realms of
grammatical analysis, secondary literature and background sources.

2) Other software, including free stuff
The Sword (free: PC, Mac & PDAs): http://www.crosswire.org/index.jsp
Online Bible (free: PC): http://www.onlinebible.org/html/eng/starterspack.htm
Bible Windows (PC): http://www.silvermnt.com/
E-Sword (free: PC): http://www.e-sword.net/
AnyText (Mac): http://www.linguistsoftware.com/atse.htm
Bible Database (free: PC): http://bibledatabase.org/full.html
Theophilus (cheap: PC): http://www.theophilos.sk/
QuickVerse (PC): http://www.quickverse.com/shopfiles/default.asp
More details: http://www.tyndalehouse.com/TTech/TTech028.htm


For PDAs (ie Palms, Pocket PCs, phones & iPods):

BiblePlus (Palm, free, very good): http://palmbibleplus.sourceforge.net/pbmanual.htm
Olive Tree (all PDAs, scholarly, using Gramcord texts): http://www.olivetree.com/index.php
Bible With You (Palm & Pocket PC, new, using Accordance texts): http://www.gmpsoft.com/
Laridian (Zondervan, all PDAs): http://www.laridian.com/
Quickverse (Palm & Pocket PC): http://www.discountchristian.com/qvpdastd.html
More details: http://www.TyndaleHouse.com/TTech/TTech021.htm
Comparative review: http://www.mobiletechreview.com/software/bible.htm


3) Personal recommendations
Accordance is the one I find easiest to use and most powerful. It is less pretty and slightly
slower on the PC because of the emulator. It exports Greek & Hebrew in Unicode, so that
you can create documents which are future-proofed and readable on PC or Mac.
BibleWorks is what I use mainly on a PC, mostly because it starts up quicker than Accordance
on a PC, and has most of the same tools.
Libronix is necessary because it has exclusive rights to so many important works, but
personally I don't like the interface.
Online Bible is useful on one of my old laptops, because it is so fast. Basic searches only,
but that's all you need for sermon writing.
The Sword online is just the thing when you are at an internet computer. Its Web 2
programming means that it can have pop-up lexicon and parsing for Greek - see
OT LXX & MT at http://crosswire.org/study/parallelstudy.jsp?key=Gen&add=LXX&add=WLC
NT parsed Gk at http://www.crosswire.org/study/parallelstudy.jsp?add=WHNU&add=NASB
BiblePlus on the Palm is what I used most. In my pocket I carry: various Bibles in English,
Hebrew, and Greek (with basic parsing & lexicon); Targums in Aramaic & English; complete
Josephus, Philo and even Nag Hammadi. Views two versions at once with a split screen. All free!
Download from http://palmbibleplus.sourceforge.net/pbmanual.htm

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