17 May 2010

New ways to Study the Bible

Bible software is so wonderful and plentiful, you can get lost in a toyshop full of wonders.
This list is based on what I like, which is the original texts with lots of English tools & translations.  
New stuff is listed first, and then a round up of the best, listing my favorites first.

A host of new online tools have been released recently. Here at Tyndale House we are pushing the envelope out further, developing some very cool tools, some of which aren't available even on commercial software yet. Our aim is to support the new generation of able scholars and new converts in the Majority world, who often miss out on Western riches, so we're concentrating on things which work with intermittent internet connections. Keep up with the story on Facebook

1) New tools with new methods

2) Commercial Bible Software

3) Free Downloadable Bible Software

4) Free Online Bible Software


New tools with new methods


New Online tools:


NExT Interlinear 

NET bible. Still being developed, so it doesn't look pretty yet, but it works very well.

Biblos Interlinear

Orthodox Gk OT, Heb OT, NT with morphology

New Living Bible Interlinear

Still in Beta. Only NT so far, but looks promising. Good concordance lookup


NASB, parallel, but linked like an interlinear, so it is easier to read.


NASB and basic dictionary+morphology (but this opens in a separate page)



KJV+NASB+ESV+NIV in parallel with good Greek-English lexicon & concordance facilities


Bible Arc

A new way to visualise the structure of the text. Lots of good tutorials. (Their wonderful diagramming isn't free any more)


A collection of all the normal tools, well presented, plus:  
Picture Library , Parallel Gospels , Atlas , Chronology, Interlinear and others.

Tagged Tanakh

Not so much a tool as a noticeboard on which scholars can pin their exegetical comments to the JPS OT translation. It may develop into a good place to find interesting Jewish commentary - or it may be taken over by the crazies. At present, you need a registration code to add comments. If you want one (and if you're not crazy), I can give it to you.

Bible Reader

Experimental tool to help you read Greek with only as much help as you need.


New Downloadable tools:


The Word (PC)

Very flexible program with all the free modules you can think of, plus some commercial texts for a minimal licence fee. Easy import from other free programs.

Scripture4All (PC)

Downloadable interlinear Bible with analysis tools


Works like a website, but continues working offline (still developing)

XulSword (PC)

("cool sword") downloadable, with a very clean interface  (still developing)


All the texts from the huge Sword project, in a tiny package.

Glo Bible  (commercial, PC) 

VERY pretty - lots of background information, maps & pictures 

BibleCrawler (PC) 

Especially for finding Bible allusions even when the vocabulary has been changed
It does complex searches and compares texts, with parallel MT/LXX and even LXX variants.



Commercial Bible Software

The big three (Accordance, BibleWorks and Libronix aka Logos) all have a fantastic range of Bibles & tools. Their high price is largely due to royalty fees on the modules. When you count up the cost of the equivalent books, all of these are a bargain.

Must Buy: SESB

Stuttgart Electronic Study Bible   contains the best original texts (BHS, Quinta, NA27 etc) with seachable apparatus. Now available for   PC (Logos)  or for Mac (Accordance) ( more... )

Best for Macs: Accordance

The easiest to use and most powerful. It is Mac software, though it works on PCs with a supplied emulator  (but on PCs it is much less pretty). ( more... )

Best for PCs: BibleWorks

Gives you more for your money though has fewer resources in total. Has virtually everything I want.  PC only, but Macs can emulate PCs.  ( more... )

Best for books (Mac & PC): Libronix

Powerful though often confusing. It has a vast array of resources, with an increasing emphasis on Bible tools. Now available on PC & Mac.  ( more... )

Best for PDAs & Phones: Olive Tree

All PDAs. Scholarly Gramcord texts, with integrated parsing & lexicons. Very comprehensive. Lots of freebies. ( more...


Gramcord   the old one  - very good, but it lags behind the competition.
Bible With You   - Palm & Pocket PC. Scholarly Accordance texts, with parsing. Very fast.   
Laridian   (Zondervan) - all PDAs, NIV text and many others.  
Quickverse   -   Palm & Pocket PC.  
Bibloi   (was   Bible Windows)   - for PC, good scholarly texts, good value 
Linguist Texts  - for Mac & PC in perfect fonts. 
QuickVerse   -   for PC, friendly.
PC Study Bible - for PC, sophisticated, mainly for non-scholars


Free Downloadable Bible Software

The free Bible software is remarkably good, and sometimes faster and easier to use than the commercial equivalents.

For Palm:

BiblePlus with Tyndale Scholar's Kit

Worth buying a Palm just for this.    
* View two versions at once (eg LXX in Greek & English), with basic parsing & searching
* Bibles in English, Greek, Hebrew & Aramaic; Lexicons for Greek, Hebrew, Latin. And more.  
* academic texts from   Chan ,   Darlack ,   NTCS , Mechon  - eg Philo & Josephus in English & Greek!
UniBible  -  a new program which shows promise, with lots of foreign translations.

For other PDAs & phones:


This commercial program has more free texts than most free programs
Sword Reader   for Pocket PC. Still being developed, but stable.

PocketSword for iPhone (see New Stuff )

For PC & Mac

The Sword  (PC, MAC, & Linux)

Includes most texts in the Public Domain plus many others by special arrangement. This cooperative project has resulted in several different programs on different plantforms  - see the comparative chart .

E-Sword (PC)

Includes most texts available for Online Bible plus more Greek

Davar (PC)

Pointed Hebrew text with linked lexicons - a remarkable free program. Takes getting used to.

Online Bible (PC+Mac)

Very fast even on old computers. Very many free Bibles & tools. Sites with useful collections for download:   here   and   here
MTR   - (PC) DOS program, great for for Hebrew texts - Bible, Talmud, Tg Onqelos, Mishneh Torah etc
Theophilus   (PC) - now free & easy. 
Bible Database  (PC) - a promising start

(see also New stuff )


Free Online Bible Software

The modules in free Bible software have migrated to the web, as well as some commercial Bible texts which free software cannot supply.

My favorites:


Sword online

Vast collection of texts with popup parsing, parallel versions, and brief lexicons, fast intelligent searches etc
eg see   OT in parallel Greek, Hebrew & English LXX & MT   or   NT in parallel Greek & English with linked parsing

Tyndale Toolbar 

Bible lookup, lexicons, find online books, links to 70+ translations, and all the best Bible tools.

Special in their own ways: 



Many other tools at  Biblos   - nice multi-version concordance, and lexicons linked to Hebrew & Greek. Useful layout.  

Laparola Variants 

Multiple Greek editions & MSS, with variants, linked to very good lexical aids.  

BlueLetter Bible 

OT & NT, very good links incl. full Thayer and Gesenius lexicons

NET Bible

Integrates a free scholarly translation, with many tools, including wonderful translation notes.

Tanak Analyser 

Massoretic punctuation turned into a visual structure of the Hebrew OT 
Tyndale Library of Weblinks

Lists ancient language facsimiles and texts  , 70+ English translations etc etc
Lots of Bible versions at:
Unbound Bible
United Bible Societies
StudyLight   - Hebrew BHS, LXX, NA26, linked to lexicons, with English. Fast.  
Perseus Greek NT   - W&H ed. with links to superb lexicons & grammatical analysis. (Perseus 4 is much now faster)
The Online Greek Bible   - NT only, click on any word for lexicon & morphology
OliveTree online   - search Greek & Hebrew,  - eg this search for hilasmos
Bibelwissenschaft - display-only versions of the BHS Hebrew text, NA27 Greek NT & Rahlfs LXX

(see also New stuff )


Charles R. Cherry said...

Did I miss something? I don't see Logos software in your list.


David IB said...

Logos is in the list - their software is called Libronix, though they seem to have quietly dropped that name for v.4

Krakowian said...

Online Bible also has a Mac version of the software that is compatible with most modules. I don't know where to find it, but I know it's out there.

Unknown said...

What do you think of PC Study Bible?

David IB said...

Thanks for the reminders about Online Bible for Mac and PC Study Bible

ScW said...

for online study... also: http://beta.mystudybible.com/

CrossWay Youth Group said...

Noticeable omission of the new ESV Study Bible online as well! http://www.esvstudybible.org/

Brian said...

Wordsearch by Navpress is very good!! http://www.wordsearchbible.com/

Anonymous said...

Any recommendation on software that will help me memorise verses? Free or otherwise. Not too fussed.


Anonymous said...

Any recommendation on software that will help me memorise verses? Free or otherwise. Not too fussed.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic. Thanks for the great review.