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Canadian Evangelical Review, Spring 2001 

by Dr. Keith Bodner

...If there is no dearth of Bible dictionaries on the current market, then the same can undoubtedly be said about computer software programs. One loses track of the plethora of notices pertaining to the newest, fastest and cheapest Bible software, and there must be dozens of such programs drenching the PC terminal. Against this flood in many ways is the BibleWorks package. Given the transitory nature of the electronic field and painfully short lives of many of these companies, BibleWorks is an antediluvian commodity. In terms of biblical reference tools, this is in fact a distinct advantage. For one, there has been sufficient time and feedback to iron out bugs, errors, language inaccuracies, and aesthetic infelicities. If a pastor or scholar is dependent on reference tools, it is imperative that they have a low margin of error. 

Moreover, the remarkable degree of correctness has not compromised the speed of the program. While this is often a matter of hardware, the program itself appears to have a high rate of efficiency. This is commendable in light of the sheer breadth of features in BibleWorks: original language texts (Greek, Hebrew, LXX, Vulgate), translations (numerous English, German and French, as well as dozens of other languages from Albanian to Vietnamese), lexicons and analysis tools (abridged BDB, Liddell-Scott Greek lexicon), several basic reference works (e.g. Nave's Topical Index) and online help. For those working with biblical languages, a most helpful feature is the built-in parsing device: when the pointer is passed over a Hebrew or Greek word, the lexical data simultaneously appears in a window below, with no extra step involved. Thus, for more sophisticated research or detailed exegesis, there are immense advantages to this program. 

If one was looking for drawbacks, the built-in text editor needs some modification in the future. It is roughly equivalent to the Windows Notepad, but given the refinement of BibleWorks, this feature should probably be connected with MS Word or WordPerfect. But this is not a major issue. Clearly the price will be a stumbling block for many, but in light of the vast range of application, if an investment is going to made in a software program, this one needs to be seriously considered. 

More information is available at the website (www.bibleworks.com). The company is confident enough in their product to offer a full refund, although one suspects that few users will need to exercise this option.

Dr. Keith Bodner, Tyndale College, Toronto

 

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