First Impressions: BibleWorks 8

I received my BibleWorks 8 on Friday – installed it and upgraded it. Easy. It runs smooth, updates easy, and takes up very little of my memory usage. My computer is not experiencing any lag time due to this program.

One of the first things I noticed is that BibleWorks’ motto is ‘focus on the text.’ While other programs are filled with devotional, commentaries, and added thoughts and words, BibleWorks seems to devote it’s resources to lexicons, grammars, and dictionaries. That is not to say that BW does does have these other things, but commentaries (unless it is your own) is supplanted by the need to study the original languages. Further, it provides tools in studying the original languages, such as flash cards.

These flash cards will come in handy. It says the word for you and allows you to record yourself. Further, it allows you to study the words on your own time. This way, when I am trying to speak Greek, it will sound Greek, and not like Paul grew up in the Deep South.

As far as the program itself, it has a lot of study guides – which is preferable to reading material provided by some software programs. I like to see things in action, not read about them and guess that I am doing it right. BibleWorks is intensive, and these study guides help to make it a little less frightening for those of us who are not use to intense study with technological help. These study guides are short and arranged, as far as I can see, around the FAQ’s that one would have.

One of the interesting things that I have discovered is that for each verse (when applicable), it links to a passage in the Church Fathers. The only problem that I have with this is that it does not identify the title of the work, just takes you to the work where the verse was used.

Some of the other features that I am picking up on is the amount of bibles that it provides – English, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and a whole host of international languages as well. During the set-up, I choose full configuration, meaning that all of these databases were loaded unto my PC. You can actually choose what databases you want to load, so if you do not want the Albanian bible, you are free to not install it.

Above, you will see an image of the BW interface. The middle section is the bible/book section, which allows you to choose as many of these bibles that you want. So, comparing is easy. You can pick either the single verse view or the chapter view. You can also add another window for this section (and the others as well) for easier comparing, as well as utilizing different resources such as the Apostolic Fathers in Greek and English. (You can also search these resources like you would the bibles.)

One of the things that I thought I would have trouble with is the unique method of searching, using an almost MS-DOS command line prompt system, but it’s actually pretty easy, allowing you to keep your hands on the keyboard instead of switch to and from the mouse.

Another feature which will come in handy is the parallel Hebrew/LXX which includes the Greek/Hebrew analysis among other features. Another feature, which I may or may not try out at a future time (think end of the year) is the ability, within BibleWorks, to create your own database. I started translating my own New Testament, so I could easily upload what I have and use it, or correct it, it seems.

It also includes maps, and other resources which I have yet to get my hands on, but will attempt to cover in subsequent posts.

You may purchase BibleWorks 8 from:

Westminser Bookstore
BibleWorks
Amazon
Eisenbrauns

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