BibleWorks makes an excellent Easter present
by Scott Lamb
The Pathway, Newsjournal of the Missouri Baptist Convention
I have been using Bible Works software for three years, and hardly a day has gone by without my using this wonderful program. Having just upgraded to the new 7.0 version, I am very pleased.
BibleWorks is an original languages Bible software program that comes loaded with fully-searchable Greek and Hebrew texts as well as a ton of English versions. The stat sheet reads like this: “112 Bible translations spanning 30 languages; 14 original language texts; 18 morphology databases; 12 Greek lexicons and dictionaries; 5 Hebrew lexicons and dictionaries; 30 practical reference works (Greek/Hebrew sound files, Bible maps, NT diagrams); and more. Package includes five program CDs, including online manual and video tutorials CD”.
If you don’t own BibleWorks, why should you? If you already have version 6.0, what new features make the upgrade worth the purchase? The entire list is long, but here are some highlights.
The user interface has been redesigned. It is now laid out for ease in moving from searching, to browsing, and then to individual word analysis.
When you read the name of a city, lake, mountain, etc., a right click on the word pulls up a satellite map of the very spot. Very cool.
There are “Greek New Testament Diagrams” that show the outline of a text. This is particularly helpful for those of us who are diagrammatically challenged.
The new Holman Christian Standard Bible from LifeWay has been added.
There are “Task-oriented study guides” that provide “Detailed instructions, complete with four hours of videos, that explain how to use BibleWorks to perform common tasks, like writing exegetical papers, searching Hebrew and Greek text and much more.” I looked through a few of these and wish that I had these tools ten years ago.
Do you desire to retain Hebrew and Greek vocabulary you learned in college or seminary? There is a flash card module for drilling vocabulary words. This was also in 6.0, but the earlier version lacked audio files. Now, if you struggle with the pronunciation of a word, a quick click will allow you to hear it spoken.
If you cut and paste a lot of texts into bulletins, sermon notes, and Bible studies, then you will benefit from the improvements made to the “Editor” board. It sure makes getting your church materials together a snap.
But do you need a fancy software program to study the Bible? No, the printed text works just fine. But have you ever wished that your study time was more efficient? Do you ever struggle to squeeze in as much preparation as it takes to faithfully deliver God’s unchanging truth?
Without exaggeration, I spend no more than five minutes with BibleWorks performing Bible study tasks that would take an hour with the printed page. Figuring that I save a little more than an hour a day, that is like getting an entire extra work day per week. And that precious preparation time can be better used in deeper exegetical work, sermon development, and praying over the passage and the people.
Pastors, the point is that once you have learned the basics of this software, it pays for itself very quickly in the time it saves you. Church members, you really ought to consider giving this as a blessing to your pastor. It would make an awesome Easter present, and will come back to bless you as you listen to sermons in worship each week.
Scott Lamb is the pastor of Providence Baptist Church in St. Louis and is a regulat book reviewer for The Pathway.