Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BibleWorks 8.0 -- biblical studies software

Even though I'm a technical reader of the Bible, I'm not a strong user of technology in biblical studies. Just the same, I'm writing to review BibleWorks 8.0, by far the leading biblical studies software for the PC platform.

At $349.00 for the "full" version (and by "full," I mean entry-level), it ain't cheap. Yet BibleWorks offers stuff that's hard to find anywhere else. In the long run, it's a bargain. You get many, many modern translations of the Bible, including all of the most influential ones that are under copyright (NRSV, NIV, TNIV, Tanak) and translations in a wealth of modern languages. You get the standard critical editions of the Hebrew and Greek texts -- though the apparata for these are not available. Several helpful Greek and Hebrew grammars and lexica are available -- though the HALOT and BGAD cost lots extra.

Here's the BW intro page that guides you through the basic features.
  • If you want to read the Bible in multiple versions and ancient languages, comparing versions side by side,...
  • If you want to search the Bible for words, phrases, and words in proximity to one another, whether in a modern language or in Hebrew/Greek,...
  • If you want to consult seriously helpful lexical and grammatical helps online, plus some valuable (if dated) dictionaries -- without purchasing a whole shelf of books,...
then BibleWorks is for you. In the long run it saves you lots of money by bringing multiple translations, Hebrew and Greek texts, and reference tools all to your fingertips. You won't have the "standard" academic lexica or the textual apparata for the Hebrew and Greek texts without spending extra, but you'll have more than enough to start on basic research. The package includes helpful tutorials for both basic and advanced features; the website features such an addition.

Thanks to Jim Barr of BibleWorks for my (invaluable) review copy.

4 comments:

IIPL Expert said...

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Hebrew Scholar said...

Your review is rather short, and doesn't convey the sheer power and functionality of BibleWorks easily. BibleWorks is by far the best Bible-study package for PCs, especially if you want to study original-language Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic texts. It is a tightly integrated package of many texts, morphological analysis of those texts, lexicons, etc. all in a great package. It comes with superb customer help, a forum where users are its biggest fans, videos to help you learn, a great help system, and much more. If you are serious about studying the Bible, and especially if you want to access the Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic texts, then you have to take a look at BibleWorks. By comparison, Accordance is for the Mac, and Logos is more of an online library.

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