Tony Cartledge, Editor
Biblical Recorder, Raleigh, NC.
BibleWorks 6 continues to offer a topflight resource for language-based study, leading the field in comparative translations (93 versions in 29 different languages, including 12 original language texts). The program comes out of the box with seven morphology databases, ten lexicons and dictionaries (four Hebrew, six Greek), and 18 other reference works, all in a tightly integrated package that is an ideal tool for missionaries and Bible translators.
In use, BibleWorks 6 offers a clean and customizable screen that is impressive in its simplicity and lightning-fast display of morphological information.
Users can choose between three interface modes ranging from a "beginner" mode driven by menu buttons to a "power user" interface in which one uses a few simple codes to facilitate quick entry of verses, words, or even fairly complex searches. An advanced search utility allows for more options and complexity than most users can imagine.
The basic BibleWorks screen displays the chosen text in as many versions or translations as the user desires, while associated notes are displayed in a window below and other informative verse and morphology lists appear on the side. A particularly impressive utility displays a pop-up box containing the original language root, meaning, and parsing of each word with no more effort than resting the cursor over it.
Other utilities new in BibleWorks 6 include a sentence diagramming function, user-defined highlighting, and highlighted comparisons of parallel texts. Language students can practice their vocabulary using digital flash cards, or refresh their memory of Greek and Hebrew paradigms with a single click of the mouse.
With a new Lexical/Grammatical Helps Window, the user can roll the mouse over tagged text, immediately bringing up a color-coded list of all available lexical and grammatical references, including the introductory line from each reference. A quick click brings up the complete article.
One nice feature of BibleWorks 6 is "Clone BibleWorks," a tool that allows the user to open multiple windows in pursuit of tangents inspired by other texts, then return easily to the previous screen.
BibleWorks 6 comes in a single version priced at $299.95, with a limited number of additional resources available for unlocking at extra cost. For example, the Bauer-Danker-Arndt-Gingrich Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature and the Koehler-Baumgartner Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament are widely regarded as the standard and most up-to-date works in their field. They are available for $125 and $159, respectively, or $197 for a package including both (Logos offers the resources separately, at similar prices).
For someone whose primary interest is original languages, BibleWorks 6 is hard to beat.
Tony Cartledge is editor of The Biblical Recorder in Raleigh, NC.