PDA

View Full Version : Is This Software Just For Scholar's or Can a Young Christian Like Me Use It?



Theocratickingdom
05-07-2010, 01:01 AM
I scanned some of the things in BW8 and was a bit intimidated. Is it just for scholars? Or can a young christian like myself ignorant of the original languages make great use of it?

Michael Hanel
05-07-2010, 01:53 AM
I scanned some of the things in BW8 and was a bit intimidated. Is it just for scholars? Or can a young christian like myself ignorant of the original languages make great use of it?

Of course anyone can use it. But if you're asking whether BW is right for you, it's easier to answer that if you can say what it is you want from a Bible program. There are free programs out there if you don't intend to do anything too deep, but BibleWorks will obviously make a lot more available to you. I'd rather not give you a hard sell for something you don't need, so what kinds of things would you want to do?

Theocratickingdom
05-07-2010, 12:01 PM
I enjoy using lexical sources and grammar helps are always a plus since I'm so bad at it. I like comparing versions and reading history to try and get a feel for the background of a passage or book. I also like the idea of having a library on my pc rather than taking up more space in my home. My books are taking up enough space as it is. I use commentaries as a check and balance to see if I'm in the ballpark on a passage or am I way off. Does that help?

arggem
05-07-2010, 12:04 PM
Another question. How would you rate your Hebrew and Greek skills? Do you consult the original languages?

Adelphos
05-07-2010, 01:24 PM
It's pretty simple, really.

If you want an electronic library, go with Logos, but be prepared to spend A LOT of money to get a respectable libary in Logos.

If you want to concentrate on the original languages and Bible comparisons, then go with BibleWorks, which is dirt cheap compared to Logos, and with BibleWorks you get a ton of stuff included in the base price, but BibleWorks concentrates on the text and thus includes only a smattering of libraries.

My personal opinion, based on your statements, is that you should go with BibleWorks and stay away from the commentaries. Commentaries tell you how other people have exegeted a passage, and while they can sometimes be helpful, you don't get any personal satisfisfaction of personal revelation, whereas with BibleWorks you are forced to look at the text itself and deal with in its raw form.

In addition, BibleWorks can help you increase your proficiency in the languages. In fact, if you don't know any Hebrew and Greek, BibleWorks still has Strong's so you could begin there. Also, you can simply hover your mouse over any Hebrew or Greek word and the defintion of that word automatically pops up in a little window, thus you save hours of time by not having to go to a lexicon or dictionary.

Theocratickingdom
05-07-2010, 02:17 PM
Another question. How would you rate your Hebrew and Greek skills? Do you consult the original languages?

They are aweful. I try and use interlinear bibles and lexical sources but that is as far as I can go since I don't read the original languages. I do hope to learn soon though.

Theocratickingdom
05-07-2010, 02:22 PM
It's pretty simple, really.

If you want an electronic library, go with Logos, but be prepared to spend A LOT of money to get a respectable libary in Logos.

If you want to concentrate on the original languages and Bible comparisons, then go with BibleWorks, which is dirt cheap compared to Logos, and with BibleWorks you get a ton of stuff included in the base price, but BibleWorks concentrates on the text and thus includes only a smattering of libraries.

My personal opinion, based on your statements, is that you should go with BibleWorks and stay away from the commentaries. Commentaries tell you how other people have exegeted a passage, and while they can sometimes be helpful, you don't get any personal satisfisfaction of personal revelation, whereas with BibleWorks you are forced to look at the text itself and deal with in its raw form.

In addition, BibleWorks can help you increase your proficiency in the languages. In fact, if you don't know any Hebrew and Greek, BibleWorks still has Strong's so you could begin there. Also, you can simply hover your mouse over any Hebrew or Greek word and the defintion of that word automatically pops up in a little window, thus you save hours of time by not having to go to a lexicon or dictionary.

I noticed Logos' price and I can't afford that. Most people I listen to use BW, but they are beyond me in the original languages. You comment about BW's focus being on getting deeper into the text is telling. That is what I'm looking for which is to get better and better at exegesis.

Thank you for your help all of you.

Jim Wert
05-07-2010, 04:19 PM
I'm in the same boat as you -- no Greek, no Hebrew, no Aramaic, minimal Latin.

I use BibleWorks a great deal -- it is my primary recreational activity.
I don't often use the strong's numbers -- mostly just to see what the lemma looks like so I can find the Greek or Hebrew word and hover over it to bring up resource or analysis window info. The lexicons I find extremely useful -- especially TWOT and EDNT which give more context, and are easier for me to understand than the "standard" ones. I recently got EDNT (a pay extra option) and find it very helpful.

Mike Hanel's point above is very important -- if you want a library of commentaries BW is not for you.

Another consideration has been addressed recently in a thread on BW's user interface. BibleWorks gives you a very dense screen, with a maximum of information of various types displayed. I like that, some don't. The learning curve is substantial; you almost need to use it frequently to maintain fluency. But if these thing don't deter you, and you are serious about digging into the text, BW is a fantastic tool/toy.

Shalom,
Jim

Michael Hanel
05-07-2010, 04:41 PM
I noticed Logos' price and I can't afford that. Most people I listen to use BW, but they are beyond me in the original languages. You comment about BW's focus being on getting deeper into the text is telling. That is what I'm looking for which is to get better and better at exegesis.

Thank you for your help all of you.

As someone who has spent years in the languages, I can't imagine anyone learning them simply by using a program like BibleWorks (or any other). Some people are smart enough to learn a language on their own (I'm not one of them!). So if you want to learn a language, I say take a class or five. BibleWorks can give you access to a lot of original language resources (both lexica and grammars) and it *is* theoretically possible for you to use them to learn either language (i.e. there are both beginning and advanced grammars), but for my money real learning happens under the guidance of a teacher. (choose to ignore this if you want, it's not really relevant, I just had to rant :))

A huge advantage for you non-language person, is that BW includes a *ton* of translations. This can be of aid to you as you study the Bible because even if you don't know Greek or Hebrew, you can still get a lot of learnin' out of how words are translated differently in different versions. Free Bible programs offer many of these Bible versions, but nowhere near the number that BW does. (And I believe the other Bible programs don't come close either, they operate more on a buy this, then buy that, then this, etc. principle.). So chalk this up as one advantage.

A second advantage in BW8 specifically is the addition of a number of X-ref databases AND the related verses and phrase matching tools. These are a major boon to any kind of Bible study. Although I consult commentaries, I have a really low view of them for a number of reasons. For my money, you can come up with better (meaning more accurate, less fanciful and God-inspired) exegesis and meditation by using those three tools than you can by reading a commentary. Commentaries are ALL OVER THE MAP. You have to take into account theological biases, purpose of the commentary series, intended audience, etc. But what is better than using God's Word as its own interpreter, to see where allusions are being used, where similar phrases/ideas come from, etc. Some of the best commentaries out there do a great job of treating the Bible as individual books BUT miss out on the fact that the whole speaks for the whole (ok so this is my theological bias, so take it or leave it). So in my opinion these three things would greatly be of value to you.

There are some other features of course, but off the top of my head, those would probably be my big two because they're not available to the same extent in other programs.

Theocratickingdom
05-07-2010, 04:48 PM
Thanks for the info Jim. Your comments are very helpful as well. Digging into the text is something I'm looking to improve on and BW seems to be the best option. The learning curve on using BW doesn't deter me. The tips provided on the forums are most helpful and I'm sure there is even more info on that that I haven't found. I just want a great bible program that will help me get as much out of the test as possible so I can learn more ad more of the great God who saved me.

Theocratickingdom
05-07-2010, 04:59 PM
As someone who has spent years in the languages, I can't imagine anyone learning them simply by using a program like BibleWorks (or any other). Some people are smart enough to learn a language on their own (I'm not one of them!). So if you want to learn a language, I say take a class or five. BibleWorks can give you access to a lot of original language resources (both lexica and grammars) and it *is* theoretically possible for you to use them to learn either language (i.e. there are both beginning and advanced grammars), but for my money real learning happens under the guidance of a teacher. (choose to ignore this if you want, it's not really relevant, I just had to rant :))



Calm down Michael :D, I don't plan on learning the languages through BW8. I'm not that smart either. Especially with the deficient grammar teachers I had growing up which I'm paying for now when trying to study Holy Writ. I will attend class to learn greek and hebrew. There are a couple of oustanding seminaries here in town I'm looking into.

I will take into consideration what you said as I am just a young christian seeking to grow. I am looking for info to see if BW8 can do that (Logos has been eliminated due to the price). Thanks for your help. :)

Adelphos
05-07-2010, 05:06 PM
If you live in a city or near a city which has a Jewish Community Center, they usually offer Hebrew classes. The only thing about that is that some of the classes will be geared toward learning all the Jewish traditions instead of learning Hebrew outright, so you'll have to find out the specifics of each class.

They will also usually have a few Sabra's (native Israelis) around, so you can hone your accent by listening to them.

Ultimately, however, learning a language is really a solitudinal effort. You get the data from the teacher, but it is up to you to master that data, and it will take many, many hours of study to properly learn another language, so be prepared to buckle down.

The same is true of a Greek Orthodox establishment as with the Jewish Community center. Find out if they have something to offer as well.

Dale A. Brueggemann
05-07-2010, 06:44 PM
I scanned some of the things in BW8 and was a bit intimidated. Is it just for scholars? Or can a young christian like myself ignorant of the original languages make great use of it?

If you would like a bit of free software that might suit your needs, download e-SWORD and whatever modules you want from it from here (http://www.e-sword.net/).