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Soxfan23
02-21-2010, 06:45 PM
I always get excited whenever Bibleworks offers some new module or incorporates something else into the base package. As of late, it seems like things have been pretty silent. I recall months ago Mike mentioning how they were going to start selling the ESV Study Bible, but there has been no further mention about that. He has also given hints over the last year or so about one or two good commentary sets, an up-to-date Bible dictionary, and various other theological works that would be helpful for exegetical study.

Although commentaries would be cool, I can take or leave those. But I would like to see a good up-to-date Bible dictionary (e.g. Anchor or NIDB), more original language texts & aids (e.g. Rabbinic material, etc.), the Holmes translation (& helpful introductions) for the Apostolic Fathers, the NETS version for the LXX, other useful background & customs material (e.g. Ferguson, Simmons new helpful book, etc.), literary works (e.g. Bullinger), and the ability to type multiple references in the command line for comparison.

Any information about additional modules, features, etc? Any news on the ESVSB? Also, what are one or two of the major things you would like to see Bibleworks offer & perform?


*I love BW & use it everyday, so this is not a "bash BW" thread, only an opportunity to see the suggestions of others, give BW a heads up on what others say, and to see when/if any new modules will come out. BW is so powerful & vast oftentimes my suggestions end up not being suggestions at all b/c the program already does or has what I mention!

jimofbentley
02-22-2010, 06:06 AM
Yes, I agree that a good Bible Dictionary would be helpful, and I have suggested the NETS of the Septuagint.

Bible Works responded about NETS that part of the problem is the licensing fees, which would also be a problem with the Anchor Bible Dictionary, etc.

I also use BW daily, and find it indespinsable - even without NETS!

ISalzman
02-22-2010, 11:24 AM
I also use BW daily, and find it indespinsable - even without NETS!

Would you like it without the KNICKS?

Soxfan23
02-22-2010, 04:03 PM
I appreciate how BW makes sure their prices will be low even if they have to have an add-on module for additional purchase. The BDAG/HALOT bundle is still the cheapest on the market, and I'm really quite amazed at how they keep things so low.

I do wonder though, with the market heading more and more towards electronic editions (e.g. Kindle, Nook, Ipad, etc.), if BW shouldn't tweak their philosophy a bit and start offering more modules for additional purchase. I personally prefer to purchase something in BW rather than Logos, but have had to make a concession several times because Logos just has more options (e.g. IVP dictionaries, NT introductions, etc.)

Any word on additional add-on modules coming up, BW staff?

Michael Hanel
02-22-2010, 04:24 PM
I appreciate how BW makes sure their prices will be low even if they have to have an add-on module for additional purchase. The BDAG/HALOT bundle is still the cheapest on the market, and I'm really quite amazed at how they keep things so low.

I do wonder though, with the market heading more and more towards electronic editions (e.g. Kindle, Nook, Ipad, etc.), if BW shouldn't tweak their philosophy a bit and start offering more modules for additional purchase. I personally prefer to purchase something in BW rather than Logos, but have had to make a concession several times because Logos just has more options (e.g. IVP dictionaries, NT introductions, etc.)

Any word on additional add-on modules coming up, BW staff?

It really is a tough business. Mostly because they have to deal with publishers who haven't completely come up with good rules about who gets to distribute these materials and how and for how much. I do often envy the offerings of other Bible programs, but even if I envy them, I wouldn't buy all that stuff even if BibleWorks had it because of the cost. And that factor seems to be one of the driving principles of BibleWorks. They could certainly pursue and offer more things, but they are more at work for the consumer's economic interest than the consumer's dreams. For instance, they could have secured the NETS Bible but haven't primarily (it seems) because the costs would have been too prohibitive. I think some people might "punish" BibleWorks by taking their money elsewhere to get more "stuff", but I'm of the mind that most of the other stuff is unnecessary and what isn't will come in due time. It's a relatively recent phenomenon when people thought they needed to have more books than some small libraries.

On other paths, I don't think there has been mention of when the ESV study stuff will come out, but they did mention that it was in the process. The other long-term project that has been talked about is a massive textual critical effort which will produce all of the NT manuscripts (i.e. Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, etc.) as BibleWorks versions (or something like that) to enable users to view this material for themselves. And what is more, that project (as time intensive as it must be) is supposed to be available as a free upgrade to BW8 users. Now I suppose that's not as valuable as a Bible dictionary for some people, but check out other Bible programs to see how much something like that would cost.

I can't immediately think of any other projects that have been mentioned as being in development, but you also must keep in mind that they try not to let the cat out of the bag too early on projects like this (the text crit project being an exception).

Soxfan23
02-22-2010, 06:54 PM
I can't immediately think of any other projects that have been mentioned as being in development, but you also must keep in mind that they try not to let the cat out of the bag too early on projects like this (the text crit project being an exception).



I understand that. It would just be nice if every once in a while we got a, "we have something coming, so just wait a little while longer!" It at least keeps anxious people like me hopeful!

The text-critical thing will be cool & useful for many, but for what I'm interested in I can take it or leave it since I think the NA27 is so darn close to the originals. I think Mike did mention that they will soon be offering the New Orleans Seminary TC project (I forgot the name of that) for a minimal fee.

I guess what really interests me are things beyond the traditional historical/grammatical/text-critical exegetical heuristic. Things like background works, literary works, etc. The exegetical process has really developed in the past several years beyond a mere HG orientation with the explosion of interests in hermeneutics & other theories/criticisms. I'd just like to see BW broaden out a bit, but I'm sure I'm in the minority. Even if they never came out with another version or added anything else, I could use it the rest of my life because of how helpful it is. Besides, I've accumulated so many user notes with hyperlinks & such that switching platforms now would be foolish, not that I'd ever want to.

jimofbentley
02-22-2010, 07:05 PM
I also use BW daily, and find it indespinsable - even without NETS!



Would you like it without the KNICKS?

Very clever - :D

Michael Hanel
02-22-2010, 07:28 PM
I guess what really interests me are things beyond the traditional historical/grammatical/text-critical exegetical heuristic. Things like background works, literary works, etc.

Please oblige to be a bit more specific here. Do you mean literary works like Philo or literary works like books modern people have written?

bkMitchell
02-22-2010, 07:42 PM
I for, one, am glad that Bibleworks doesn't follow the market. If they had they never would have started nor would they have ever created any of the cool tools like the ASE/GRE we take for granted.

Bibleworks, "focus on the text" ideology is what created and has sustained their market share for almost 20 years.

May God continue to bless their work and may users of Bibleworks come to a more intimate relationship with God.



I can't immediately think of any other projects that have been mentioned as being in development, but you also must keep in mind that they try not to let the cat out of the bag too early on projects like this (the text crit project being an exception).

They did mention that the CNTTS module maybe available near the end of 2010(this current year) for a reasonable price.

If, anything I would like to see the Westminster Hebrew Syntax database, more Hebrew language texts, and updated icons on the tool bar. However, that's not really necessary.

Soxfan23
02-22-2010, 07:50 PM
Please oblige to be a bit more specific here. Do you mean literary works like Philo or literary works like books modern people have written?


I'm mainly referring to books modern people have written. One that particularly comes to mind is Bullinger's "Figures of Speech" tome. We can parse the daylights out of certain words & do word studies for the next ten years, but if we don't understand figures of speech authors use then we fail to acquire the true meaning.

I'm also a big fan of things like narrative analysis, poetic analysis, etc. We have to know HOW to read the Bible to understand it. We can't read narrative as if it's clunky history, we can't read poetry as if it's narrative, and we can't read apocalyptic as if it's a blueprint of the future. Exactly how BW could incorporate works that focus on these issues is a tough question since they're not "reference works" per se & nobody wants to read Adele Berlin or Leland Ryken's work on their computer screen. However, maybe one or two basic books describing the Bible as literature would be helpful solely for reference material. Then, before we tackled Revelation or Ezekiel, we could pop open the relevant chapter & get a good handle on it.

For background things, BW has many primary sources, which is great. But it would also be nice to see things like secondary sources solely for reference, such as Bruce Malina's "New Testament World" which has a massive scripture index, or David DeSilva's "Honor, Patronage, Kinship, & Purity." Perhaps just a good, up-to-date Bible dictionary would solve much of this, I don't know. I just think BW could become a little more holistic, though it will require some creative thinking to do this. The only reason I make these suggestions is because "exegesis" is no longer just a method that focuses on word studies, syntax, grammar, text-criticism, & history. We have discourse analysis (which is something BW could try to incorporate), rhetorical criticism, social-scientific criticism, literary criticism, theological criticism, etc. Incorporating works on these subjects or adding features that help discern them in the text would be revolutionary. Though like I said, it will take some imagination & creative thinking to get there. I just think BW can still remain true to their philosophy & broaden out just a bit. In my opinion, the way scholarship is heading, it will demand it. One huge step in the right direction is the recent addition of the RVT & PMT which help with intertextual studies. That was brilliant & helps me quite often. Another huge step in the right direction was the addition of a browse window in analysis pane, which helps us not lose sight of the context so our exegesis isn't so atomistic. That, likewise, was brilliant.

Soxfan23
02-22-2010, 08:05 PM
I for, one, am glad that Bibleworks doesn't follow the market. If they had they never would have started nor would they have ever created any of the cool tools like the ASE/GRE we take for granted.

Bibleworks, "focus on the text" ideology is what created and has sustained their market share for almost 20 years.

May God continue to bless their work and may users of Bibleworks come to a more intimate relationship with God.


I'm with ya here & I don't want them to "follow the market" either. One of their great strengths is that they have a great philosophy & stick to it. I'm just saying, "don't be married to it."

Also, what is the ASE & GRE? I haven't heard of those.

"Focus on the text" is fantastic & I am all for it, but oftentimes we just don't understand things in the text, or even know how to read the text itself. I'm not suggesting some type of revamp of BW b/c it's so great already. I'm just challenging them to broaden just a bit & add a few more good modules. I don't want them to be Logos & start following the electronic library route. They could just offer one or two good dictionary sets instead of 20, 1 NT & OT intro instead of 12, or 1 good commentary set instead of 100, or one literary book instead of 30. I hope I'm communicating this the way I want to. As I said before, I love BW & use it everyday & am not bashing it one bit. It could never change again & I could use it the rest of my life. The recent silence on additional features/modules just caused me to bring something up about how it could be even better & inquire about future possibilities.

ISalzman
02-22-2010, 08:45 PM
Very clever - :D

I couldn't resist. I am in the NY Metro area after all!

bkMitchell
02-22-2010, 08:51 PM
I'm also a big fan of things like narrative analysis, poetic analysis, etc. We have to know HOW to read the Bible to understand it. We can't read narrative as if it's clunky history, we can't read poetry as if it's narrative, and we can't read apocalyptic as if it's a blueprint of the future.

In other words, Genre Criticism and the like. I think this is an important point. It can only be hoped that those who come to Bibleworks or the Bible in any form will use some critical thinking skills.

That, is one of the reasons I am glad there are not a lot of commentaries in BW; if there were commentaries some would let the commentaries decided what the Bible text were saying.



what is the ASE & GRE? I haven't heard of those.
That is because I made a mistake. Not the GRE but the GSE.
The ASE= Advanced Search Engine but it is now called the GSE= Graphic Search Engine.


As I said before, I love BW & use it everyday & am not bashing it one bit. It could never change again & I could use it the rest of my life. The recent silence on additional features/modules just caused me to bring something up about how it could be even better & inquire about future possibilities.

Then, I think we feel the same way. I would like to see more original language modules. However, before they work on that I think they should improve/update their GUI(graphic user interface), the design of their icons, and give user the ability to input Unicode text when creating a user date base for Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek(or least add a a Unicode to CCAT converter). This last idea would allow more user to input public domain Hebrew texts, as well as directly typing in Unicode data bases of their own creation for addition to Bibleworks.

However, I read this silence as indicating that they(BW) are probably hard at work on something. In this current age it really would not be to their benefit to indulged us to much on what they may be working on.

For example one, European software company has a page dedicated to dismissing Bibleworks as a possibility for their potential customers. I found that to be really distasteful and unbecoming of a Christian corporation. It really is an aggressive mark out there. I am glad Bibleworks is keeping their nose and hands clean.

Soxfan23
02-23-2010, 02:12 AM
Then, I think we feel the same way. I would like to see more original language modules. However, before they work on that I think they should improve/update their GUI(graphic user interface), the design of their icons, and give user the ability to input Unicode text when creating a user date base for Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek(or least add a a Unicode to CCAT converter). This last idea would allow more user to input public domain Hebrew texts, as well as directly typing in Unicode data bases of their own creation for addition to Bibleworks.


I'm with ya on updating the GUI. Though I don't think it should be that drastic since that would frustrate everybody since we're so used to how it is. The design of the icons could certainly be more simple. I currently have my icons disable just because it makes the program look too "busy." I didn't use them enough to have them there anyways.

One thing I neglected to mention is that I would like to see the map & timeline module revamped. While they both are sufficient now, they could be greatly improved. I'd like to see the map module look more "pretty," with layers & borders between areas more distinctive & the possibility of connecting it with Google maps somehow. I'd also like to see an option of "modern nations" or something so we can give students a perspective when we teach. For the timeline, I'd like to see the introduction of critical dating & the updating of the interface to look prettier.

And as always, I'd like the font increase/decrease task to be much easier. For pedagogical purposes, this is a hassle. It seems like it could be simplified a great deal. Maybe some day. . .