This is the third and final post in a series on the new Hebrew Bible for Kindle (or Nook) from Miklal Software Solutions. I’ve now had a chance to use this Hebrew Bible a bit, so in this post, I will give some of my personal thoughts.
First, I tried out the Hebrew Bible on my Kindle, the Mac desktop app and the iPhone app. From what I understand, it was meant primarily for the Kindle itself for which it works quite well. I also thought it worked pretty well for the desktop app, though I had to play with the window size a bit. This will not be a big deal for most people like me who have Bible software already, but you never know, this might be a matter of interest for some. It didn’t work well for me on the iPhone, which really isn’t that big of a deal since I already have a functional Hebrew Bible on there. The text did not display properly.
With that said, it is very nice to have a Hebrew Bible on my Kindle without carrying a hard copy around. For the price, I think it is definitely a bargain. At $9.99 this is cheaper than the least expensive hard copy of a Hebrew Bible that I know of.
The text, for the most part, is beautiful (check out the screenshot):
The only issue that I saw was that some of the accent marks seem to make the spacing between the consonants a bit irregular (see vs. 7 above). I don’t think this affects the readability considerably. The e Ink makes reading this Bible on the Kindle much easier on my eyes than reading from a backlit screen, which is one of the reasons I’d probably still have a Kindle even if I had an iPad.
The navigation of the Hebrew Bible is easy enough. In fact, it is much better than the navigation for the NRSV Bible that I have for my Kindle. The NRSV table of contents contains only book titles, whereas this Hebrew Bible allows for navigating to a specific chapter within a particular book. The navigation for the dictionary is also simple; however, I think that the dictionary would become a bit of a problem if you needed to look up a lot of words. So, reading a narrative for me would be fine, but I probably couldn’t work through something like the poetic material in Job.
In terms of negatives, there really is only one negative that I can perceive with this text, and that is the narrowness of the market. This text is not going to replace a hard copy of the Hebrew Bible for scholars due to its lack of a text critical apparatus or for beginning readers due to other texts that make reading a bit easier, like the Reader’s Hebrew Bible. Most people are not going to use it on their desktop or smart phone since there are more feature rich hypertext versions available. This Hebrew Bible is meant strictly for reading on the Kindle or Nook.
From my personal perspective, I think this Hebrew Bible will be very beneficial for me. I love reading on my Kindle, and I enjoy having a Hebrew Bible on my Kindle. For the cost, even if I hadn’t received a review copy, I would have bought it. I just spent four days at the beach and didn’t open my laptop, but I had my Kindle out reading on it each day. Some of that time I spent reading from this Hebrew Bible. At that, my wife didn’t cajole me about bringing a stack of hard copy books with me. I had a whole library in my hands of which my Hebrew Bible was a part. This text will surely make a good traveling companion for me.