1 November 2002

Bible tools on Palm and PocketPC

I’m a reluctant convert to Palm computing, having been a long-time
user of Psion computers (the ones with a real keyboard).
I've been very pleasantly surprised by the high quality of Palm
software for Biblical Studies. Much of this also works on PocketPC,
but I haven’t tried it, and won’t comment specifically.
For a lot of this software you either need a large memory, or
extended memory. If you are buying a palm, look first at the
Sony range - the mono Clie SL10 costs about $200 (£130), has
double the screen resolution of other makes (perfect for pointed
Hebrew), and you can expand the memory with cheap MemorySticks
(necessary if you carry lots of Bibles and other texts).

1) Olive Tree "BibleReader"
2) AsaiSoft "Bible Reader"
3) Laridian "MyBible"
4) Make your own texts
5) Other useful software

1) Olive Tree "BibleReader" (FREE though some Bibles cost)
Four font sizes, easy and quick to find texts, easy to navigate
with customisable settings, choice of buttons on the screen,
flexible searching which can be saved as a memo with user-defined
ranges, and bookmarks which you can attach to any verse. It even
has real Greek and Hebrew with accents and pointing in various
sizes, which loads automatically when needed.
There are lots of Bibles available see the list at
The best, in my opinion, are:
WEB (World English Bible) FREE
- a modern language revision of the ASB, still being revised.
(See: http://www.ebible.org/)
Many other free English versions are available
English Standard Version(ESV)with Notes - $16
- an evangelical scholarly revision of the RSV
Many more ‘commercial’ Bibles are available, though not the NIV
Byzantine Greek Text FREE
- Greek text with a free Greek font, though no accents or breathings
Greek text editions, with parsing and Strong’s numbers (FREE)
Byzantine Textform, edited by Robinson and Pierpont, 2000 edition.
Scrivener 1894 Textus Receptus, Trinitarian Bible Society
Stephens 1550, with Scrivener 1894 variants
Westcott-Hort 1881, with Nestle27/UBS4 variants
- in Greek (though parsed versions are in transliteration)
(download the free Gk font with OliveTree’s Byzantine text)
- they may not work properly in Extended memory
Hebrew Masoretic Text (HMT/BHS) - $40
- includes a Hebrew font with full pointing but, curiously,
no dagesh pointing (ie no dots inside the letters).
- seeing pointed Hebrew on your Palm for the first time is awesome!
Greek Septuagint (LXX) - $35
- in Greek with accents and breathing

GRAMCORD Lite™ Greek NT - $45
- the Nestle-Aland 26/27/28 text in accented Greek
- tap a word and you get its root, simple lexical entry and parsing
- you can search for the root form or the parsed form
NASB 1995 updated edition with Hebrew/Greek Lexicons $30
- click on a word to display the root form and short lexical entry
- the root is shown in Greek or Hebrew (if you have the fonts)
- you can search for Gk & Heb words using Strong’s number
- this is the MUST HAVE Bible version
All the above (except those indicated) are available at:
When you download a Bible version, ignore the long list of
options and download the top one (the .exe version), which
includes all the options and installs everything easily.
You you have to move files to extended memory yourself, though
this will be automated in a version coming out very soon.
Mac users have a set of manual installation instructions.

2) AsaiSoft "Bible Reader" (FREE)
Quick to find texts, wide or narrow spacing for lines or characters,
searching with user-defined range, and bookmarks which you can
attach to any verse. It can use Greek and Hebrew fonts (though you
have to install and select them yourself) and it has dual mode (two
Bibles at once, on top and bottom of the screen).
There are lots of Bibles available see the lists at
The best, in my opinion, are:
WEB (World English Bible) FREE
(and others, similar to OliveTree’s list)
NIV with 2 Chinese translations (CUV and CLB) $18
- displays Chinese and English text on a dual screen
Hebrew Masoretic text FREE
- displays unpointed Hebrew and English on a dual screen
- fiddly to set up the font, but worth it!
Greek NT (NA26/27/28) with LXX FREE
- displays in Greek with accents and breathing
- BUT can’t use it with an English Bible in dual mode
- and the standard font becomes Greek in all applications!
(you have to manually set and reset the font)
Much more may be on the way, courtesy of Joseph Park
(who used to be at Tyndale House).
His next project is the Hebrew Mishnah.

3) Laridian "MyBible" ($10, free demo)
Three font sizes, searching with various ranges,
and bookmarks which you can attach to any verse.
No free Bible versions.
Can’t save Bibles on extended memory.
New International Version (NIV) $29
- I think they have the exclusive rights for NIV on Palms,
though Bible Reader got round this by dealing with the
Hong Kong Bible Society

4) Make your own texts
There are various ways to put your own Bibles or other texts
on a Palm. The following are the best, in my opinion:

AsaiSoft "Bible Reader" Conversion program (FREE)
- this isn’t easy, but it is do-able
- it is more difficult for non-Biblical texts
- see hints at http://www.itsla.edu/jsp/pb_more.html

WordSmith ($29, free demo)
- reads, writes and synchronises RTF and Word files
- converts TTF fonts from PCs or Macs into Palm fonts
- this means it will display your Greek and Hebrew documents
- when the demo runs out, you can still read texts

Palm Reader (FREE)
Palm Reader Pro costs $10, but you don’t need it
Palm eBook Creator costs $30, but you don’t need it
Get a free Palm Reader (while it is still free) from:
- written by Palm, so it is very good, and very fast
- can’t show Hebrew or Greek unless you supply the fonts
- writing files with links and chapters can be fiddly
- see instructions at:

5) Other useful software

FileZ to create folders and move files (FREE)
useful for moving large texts to extended memory

FontHack 123 for changing fonts (FREE)
- necessary for Gk & Heb on AsaiSoft's "Bible Reader"
- before using it, you need to install X-Master (FREE) from:

Real Greek, with virtual keyboard ($25)
- use Greek in Memo pad or any App, with English

MiniFlash - Greek & Hebrew flashcards ($14)

BDicty - Dictionary Reader (FREE, or $10 for Pro version)
- many foreign language dictionaries available, including:
Greek & Hebrew lexicons (search by Strong's numbers, unfortunately):
Missing Sync - Palm desktop for Mac users ($30)
- essential for Sony Clie and its memory stick

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