1 March 2006

Free Scholarly Texts for your Palm

I feel lost without my Palm. I can survive without its diary, word processor,
reminders and most of the books, but the Bibles are indispensable.
It is so much faster to look up a Hebrew word or find a text on a Palm
than to open up a book or a laptop program. I use BiblePlus which also has
extra-biblical books, linked lexicons and parallel windows.
And the price couldn't be better: Free.

Like many free programs, the best utilities are dispersed all over the web.
So I have collected my favorites together into a Tyndale Kit for BiblePlus on Palms.
Of course you need a Palm. And if you don't have one, I suggest that
you get one with Palm OS5 and an SD card slot (for extra memory).

1) Why you need BiblePlus on a Palm, and what else you might use
2) The models of Palm available, and some guide prices to aim for
3) Instructions for downloading and installing BiblePlus software
4) More texts to download

1) Why you need BiblePlus on a Palm
BiblePlus is a must for Biblical Studies
* lots of scholarly Bibles & tools - all FREE. Not always the best, but very good.
* English translations: ESV, RSV, WEB (modernized ASV) and lots more.
* Hebrew BHS texts with pointed Hebrew & number-linking to lexicons
* Greek LXX NA27/USB3 with accents, parsing & number-linking to lexicons
* Aramaic Targums (Neofiti, Ps.Jon. & Onkelos) and English translations.
* Syriac NT (& English) in easy-to-read Hebrew font and English translation.
* Josephus in English & Greek, (Loeb & traditional refs) and Philo (English)
* Early Church Fathers (English); Nag Hammadi texts (English)
* Commentaries and other books, both scholarly & devotional

You can see two translations at once, eg Greek LXX with English LXX,
or Greek Josephus with English translation, or Hebrew OT with LXX.
You can also search, keep bookmarks, and append notes to passages.
The modules are tricky to find on the web, and the fonts are almost impossible to
match with the texts, but I've done all the work for you - see below.
If you don't have enough tools in the Tyndale Kit, sign up for free membership
at Chan's wonderful site at http://www.thechan.com/ and get some more.
Read a full review of BiblePlus at http://www.bsreview.org/bplus.htm

If you find this free software inadequate, there are lots of packages you can buy.
See the summary of Palm software for Christians at
I recommend OliveTree. And look out for Bible With You (it is becoming very good)
See this comparative review of BiblePlus and other Palm Bible software

2) The models of Palm available

Should you get a Palm or Pocket PC?
* BiblePlus is only available for Palms though other (costly) software works on both.
* Palms are cheaper, becasue the operating system is more efficient
(so it doesn't need such a powerful processor and the battery can last longer)
* Pocket PCs do have built-in compatibility with Work and Excel, but
"Documents To Go" (bundled with many Palms) has arguably better compatibility
with Word & Excel, and Wordsmith even shows TTF Greek & Hebrew fonts.
(These programs are also available on the Pocket PC)
* Palms are being made by a decreasing number of manufacturers,
so they may eventually disappear. But that's what they said about the Mac
* Palms (except Sony) use SD cards - put your camera SD in it and you can see
your photos on a large bright screen. (Some Pocket PCs also have SD).
See a detailed comparison of Palm v PocketPC

Which Palm should I buy? (show this to your loved one before your birthday)
Requirements to get the best out of BiblePlus
- hi res screen - ie 320x320 or the larger 320x480, rather than the old 160x160
- expandable memory - ie an SD slot, to hold all those Bibles & Commentaries
(128 MB should be plenty - each Bible is only about 3 MB)
- OS5 - ie the latest Palm operating system, necessary for the latest software
(if you don't have all these, use the earlier versions of BiblePlus.
See the previous notes at http://www.instonebrewer.com/tyndalearchive/Brewer/TTech/TTech021.htm

The following Palms have all these features, in approximate order of ordinary to special:
The guide prices were the cheapest on Froogle.com and Froogle.co.uk in March 2006.
Most are cheaper in the US, some are cheaper in the UK. I don't know why.
Normal size screen:
Palm Tungsten C: $330 £120
Palm Tungsten T & T2 : $230 £150
Palm Tungsten E2: $160 £120
Normal size screen plus a camera:
Palm Zire 71: $130 £130
Palm Zire 72: $230 £170
Extra 50% screen size:
Palm Tungsten T3: $400 £180
Palm Tungsten T5: $330 £250
Extra 50% screen size plus WiFi:
Palm Tungsten TX: $300 £200
Normal size screen plus a phone (unlocked - use a cheap pay-as-you-go sim card):
Handspring Treo 650: $500 £400
Some of these models are now discontinued and are often available
very cheaply on eBay, sometimes new with guarantees.
Sony Palms have wonderful features, but can be difficult to find outside Japan.

I recommend those models which have non-volatile memory
(so you don't lose unsaved data if the battery dies)
- ie the Tungsten E2, T5, TX and Treo 650.
Print out this section and give it to someone who loves you very much
a week before your birthday.

3) Downloading and installing BiblePlus software
As well as these Instructions see the list of sources and licence notes

To install the BiblePlus modules:
1) Start up Palm Quick Install- either from Start: Programs: Palm
- or click on Install in Palm Desktop
(or on a Mac, find the 'Send to Handheld' icon)
The programs and modules are in zip folders which open automatically in Win'XP
If you can't open zip folders, get a free expander for Mac or PC from Stuffit
2) Download and double-click on Program_Fonts.zip
- click on 'extract all files' at the top left
- click Next, Next, tick 'Show Extracted Files', and Finish.
- highlight all the files and drag them to the 'Handheld'
area of the Palm Install window.
3) Download and Right-click on Bibles.zip
- click on 'extract all'
- click Next, Next, tick 'Show Extracted Files', and Finish.
- highlight all the files and drag them to the 'Expansion Card' area
or, if this doesn't exist for your palm, to the 'Handheld'
- this is a total of about 19Mb. If you don't have much room,
choose which ones you want from list of sources
4) If you want the Lexicons, repeat no.2 for LexiconPrograms.zip,
and repeat no.3 for Lexicons.zip.
5) If you want more than just Bibles, repeat no. 3 for
Commentaries.zip (just a coupld of scholarly ones)
Extra-Biblical.zip (Philo, Josephus, Nag Hammadi etc)
6) Synchronise your palm.
7) Run the new Bible+ program
8) Enable the fonts:
- go to menu Options: Skins & Plugins
- the top box should contain:
PB Greek 21
If they are in the bottom box, highlight them and click 'Enable'
If others are in the top box, highlight them and click 'Disable'
These three fonts work well together. You can try other mixtures.
Don't enable too many at once, because they can conflict with each other.
9) Enable the cross references
- go to menu: Options: Preferences: Navigation
- tick 'Enable Cross References'
10) Enable the lexicons
- start PPI, select RoadLingua as the program to look up, and click Save.
- start Plucker. Go to the menu Options: Preferences: Lookup. Select "Look up in PPI."
- tick "Word lookup always active". Now you can tap on a word to look it up
- start BiblePlus. Click on menu: Options: Preferences: Interface,
and tick "Double Tap PPI"

Using the Bibles & Lexicons:
To see cross-references, double-click on the verse number.
To see the Greek & Hebrew parsing & vocab numbers (in BHS+, LXX and WH+)
use the menu View: Toggle footnotes, or type Command-n (ie forward-slash - n)
To use the lexicons tap on a Hebrew or Greek number (in BHS+, LXX and WH+)
or on a Latin word in the Vulgate.
If RoadLingua opens in the wrong dictionary, change it.
Click on "Hide" to return to BiblePlus.
Further instructions in the BiblePlus Manual
and for the lexicons in the RoadLinguaManual

4) More texts to download
McLean - esp. for Islamic and extrabiblical texts, as well as many Bibles
Sudbury BC - esp. for Hebrew fonts in various sizes
Joseph Park - the first to produce original-language Bibles
Chan - a vast collection of everything esp BDB+Thayer lexicons
Darlack - esp. for Philo in Greek & a converter for Hebrew texts
NTCS - for Targums
Mechon - for Jewish texts, incl. the whole of Maimonides' Mishnah Torah
Chumash - Torah + Rashi's commentary.

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