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

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    Default Is This Software Just For Scholar's or Can a Young Christian Like Me Use It?

    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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theocratickingdom View Post
    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?
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
    LibraryThing!

  3. #3

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    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?

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    Another question. How would you rate your Hebrew and Greek skills? Do you consult the original languages?

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    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.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by arggem View Post
    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.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
    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.

  8. #8
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    Default Speaking as one unilingual - English

    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

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theocratickingdom View Post
    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.
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
    LibraryThing!

  10. #10

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    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.

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