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Bibleworks 8: Software Review

Terry Delaney

GoingToSeminary.com, February 8, 2009

[URL: http://www.goingtoseminary.com/bibleworks8-software-review/ copied on 2009-02-12]

BibleWorks8 (BW8) is the latest in the Bible Works computer software series. Building upon the huge successes and renovations made to BW7, this new edition has much to offer while at the same time remaining constant in most of its functionality.

Much of what I have written in regards to functionality can be found in my review for BW7 found here.  In this review, I would like to focus on what is new and believe me, there is a lot that is new.

What is New

First, there are over 190 different translations now available on the Bible compared to 115 in BW7. This makes BW8 more useful in the missionary setting especially overseas.

Second, there are new analysis tabs giving more information about the current verse. You can now find the most common word in current section (or pericope), chapter, and book. In addition, you can quickly find the full context of the verse you are studying by clicking on the Browse Tab.

Third, there is a cross-reference window that will shows the related verses. It is as simple as passing your mouse over the text. Here you can compare cross-references for any Bible version as well as build your own file of cross-references.

Fourth, the phrase matching tool enables you to see all verses that contain similar phrases. The related verses tool allows you to find all the verses containing some of the same words found in the current verse.

Fifth, BW8 offers an extra set of Greek sentence diagrams in addition to the Leedy Greek NT sentence diagrams. William MacDonald’s “Textual Transcriptions” helps to see a slightly different array of the sentence structures.

One final addition I would like to discuss is what they are calling ERMIE: External Resources Manager. What this cool little function does is to collect and organize your resources (PDF files, word .doc, websites, etc.) into one location that can be shared with other users. This will certainly be a feature that will come in most helpful in stream-lining one’s exegetical work and study.

There is so much more that has been added, but space does not allow me to go into detail here. If you would like an exhaustive list of what is new please go to the What’s New in BibleWorks8 page.

What has Been Lost

Unfortunately, some things are lost in making the move from BW7 to BW8. Their websites gives the reason why this is the case.

Many of the databases contained in BibleWorks are licensed from the copyright holders of those databases. On rare occasions we are unable to reach a mutually-satisfactory agreement with the licensor and items must be removed from BibleWorks or turned into extra-cost modules. We are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause.

Completely lost is A.T. Robertson’s Word Pictures, Mark Futato’s Basic Hebrew for Bible Study and the German Lutherbibel 1984. These three are no longer available from BibleWorks.

With all of the additions to BW8, some databases were in effect squeezed out. These are A Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament by Barclay M. Newman, Jr., A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament by Bruce M. Metzger, and a Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint by Lust-Eynikel-Hauspie. However, according to the BibleWorks website, if you were a registered user upgrading from BW7 to BW8, they will send you a set of activation codes for Metzger, Newman, Lust-Eynikel-Hauspie, and Lutherbibel 1984.

Recommendation

While some have been greatly upset with the loss of Robertson’s Word Pictures, I do not see this as such a problem that one would not want to upgrade to BW8. After all, you can still access Robertson’s Word Pictures on the Internet at Crosswalk.com.

BibleWorks8 will remain one of the two premier choices (see LOGOS)  for any biblical scholar or exegete.  Here is a list of upgrade costs for BW8 (DVD or CD):

  • From BW7–$149.00
  • From BW6–$175.00
  • From BW5 and older–$349.00

Added: Terry Delaney on February 9th, 2009 10:28 am:

In my wanting to keep the review short, I forgot to include the following resource additions:

1) “Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament” by Wallace;
2) “Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax” by Waltke & O’Connor;
3 “A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew” by Jouon & Muraoka;
4) the Greek text and modern English translation of the Greek OT Pseudepigrapha, with the Greek text morphologically tagged and fully searchable;
5) the complete series of the Schaff Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene Fathers.

Terry Delaney is a student at Souithern Baptist Theological Seminary.

 

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