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Thread: Simpler version please

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Simpler version please

    I start using Bibleworks with version 3.5. It soon became an indispensable part of my daily work. To this time, I still use it every day as I prepare sermons and also for my own devotional reading of Scripture. However, for average ministers such as myself, who can read Greek and Hebrew but are not specialized scholars, Bibleworks is getting really bloated. I'm looking for a reduced version with a smaller array of English texts, one standard Greek text, the BHS and a few basic tools such as lexicons. I believe there is a large market for such a package. Even though I'm an avid user of BW 8.0, there is a huge array of material it that I will never use.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schouten View Post
    I start using Bibleworks with version 3.5. It soon became an indispensable part of my daily work. To this time, I still use it every day as I prepare sermons and also for my own devotional reading of Scripture. However, for average ministers such as myself, who can read Greek and Hebrew but are not specialized scholars, Bibleworks is getting really bloated. I'm looking for a reduced version with a smaller array of English texts, one standard Greek text, the BHS and a few basic tools such as lexicons. I believe there is a large market for such a package. Even though I'm an avid user of BW 8.0, there is a huge array of material it that I will never use.
    I am not sure that there is a market for this, but I hear what you are saying. When I saw the BW9 materials, I was immediately struck how I would like never use a huge section of the "improvements" - the manuscript material. As a busy pastor with shepherding duties, denominational duties, and other tasks, I simply do not have 20 hours a week to delve through images of manuscripts.

    Not that I begrudge those who will use that, but I wonder if BW would benefit from offering (for example) a manuscript less (or other reduced package) for a lesser price. The reductions could then be offered as an add-on (with a suitable markup to avoid piecemeal buying as a rule of thumb).

    Just a thought.
    Fred Greco
    Senior Pastor, Christ Church PCA (Katy, TX)
    Christ Church Blog

    "The heart is the main thing in true religion...It is the hinge and turning-point in the condition of man's soul. If the heart is alive to God and quickened by the Spirit, the man is a living Christian. If the heart is dead and has not the Spirit, the man is dead before God." (J.C. Ryle)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    286

    Default

    To offer a reduced package at reduced cost would likely necessitate raising the cost of the standard BW package.

    BW offers so much more than almost any of us will find opportunity to use on a regular basis. But at $359, it's plenty worth it for the features that I do regularly use.
    καὶ ὑπὲρ πάντων ἀπέθανεν ἵνα οἱ ζῶντες μηκέτι ἑαυτοῖς ζῶσιν, ἀλλὰ τῷ ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν ἀποθανόντι καὶ ἐγερθέντι.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    839

    Default Simpler version?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    To offer a reduced package at reduced cost would likely necessitate raising the cost of the standard BW package.
    This is definitely the case. We have deliberately chosen to avoid the typical marketing approaches of different levels and multitudes of add ons. If we did that the low end would soak up all the sales and those who really need the more advanced tools would not be able to afford them. And a lot of students of the word would never find out how useful those "advanced" tools can be. We try to avoid adding anything to the package that we don't feel most pastors will eventually need. Some of the tools could be called "advanced" but that is a misnomer. Preaching the word is a profession and it really does require professional tools focused on the task at hand. With regard to the text-critical tools it is our belief that too many pastors ignore this area because they think it is too hard, time-comsuning, or difficult. But how can a minister preach authoritatively on Scripture when his hearers are continually confronted with notes in their Bibles saying that such and such verse really is or isn't there in the original manuscripts? Most pastors just slide over these issues. That is a mistake I believe. Every minister of the gospel should study the issues enough to come to his own conclusions about what the text really is. We believe we need to try to provide the tools necessary to help with that task. We don't view these new tools as "scholarly" add ons. Of course others will disagree and that is OK. But that is why we have chosen to add some of these new tools. The base package price may seem high, but ask a plumber or architect how much he spends on professional tools! In another life I was a physicist and it was not uncommon to pay more for one book than BibleWorks now costs!

    Mike

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Default

    Great answer, Mike. I agree fully. One of my former profs used to say, "The first job of the interpreter is to establish what the text is/was." You cannot preach on a text unless you have firm convictions about what that text is. At some points, English versions differ significantly. A preacher, like it or not, has to determine which reading is the most likely. Thus, it is virtually impossible not to have to make text-critical decisions. (The new CNTTS apparatus is a fabulous new addition in this regard!)
    Last edited by ISalzman; 07-03-2011 at 11:54 AM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schouten View Post
    Bibleworks is getting really bloated.
    Exactly. And despite the huge amount of bloat added with each "upgrade", features that I used are being taken OUT!

    My favorite resource, A.T. Robertsons Word Pictures was removed in the move from 7 to 8. Licencing issues were blamed: "Sadly, due to circumstances beyond our control, our license for this text has lapsed. We are, therefore, no longer able to include this work in the program. This is not a decision on our part, but on that of the publisher that holds the copyright for that resource. We regret any inconvenience that this may cause our customers."

    The official suggestion from BW that we use a web-based solution instead seems a cop-out to me. The FREE program E-sword has this resource built-in for FREE. Its a public domain resource, and as a layman I found it to be one of the most understandable Greek resources BW has to offer. Now its gone. I can run BW 7 in a Windows XP virtual machine, but should I have too just to use a resource I have already paid for?

    I started with BW 4. Upgraded each time through 5,6,7, and 8. Now in version 9 more resources are being dropped. According to the BW website, the 1984 NIV is not being supplemented with the 2011 NIV in BW9, but REPLACED! Along with TNIV if anyone used that one.

    The 1984 NIV has 42% market share in printed Bibles and is the most popular english translation. And it will be removed from Bibleworks and replaced with the 2011 version that churches are already rejecting?

    Like the OP, I would LOVE to be able to go back to BW 4. Maybe 5 or 6. With updated resources. I was forced to upgrade to BW8 in order to move to Windows 7, but not only was the program not any better for what I use it for, but the ability to easily manage a partial installation became a nightmare. Bloat is a nice word for it. There is no easy way to ... say just install English and Greek resources. You have to sort through dozens of resources and check them off one-by-one, looking them up and figuring out what they are as you go. The only easy installation is a full one. Hope you have plenty of space!

    I am not only into Bible software but I work with computers too. And I have a prediction. If the BW developers do not adapt to changing technology, eventually the superior resources will be less of a factor. Yes, the interface, and possibly the entire codebase must be adapted to advances in technology. Yes, there needs to be a way to install only the features you need. Yes, there needs to be an easy way to easily store the help videos, maps, and other space hogging resources on removable media or webservers. Yes, there needs to be an iPhone app, iPad app and an Android app, not necessarily in that order. If BW doesn't do it, their competition will.

    I haven't posted here a lot, but I have read a lot. Enough to predict that any official response will be something like: "we have limited development resources and those things are not feasable."

    Meanwhile each successive version has more new commentaries and resources, the very things that Bibleworks in the beginning advised you NOT to buy in electronic form.

    Focus on the text (unless you use any of these: TNIV, NIV-1984, Holman Christian Standard Bible-2004 or New American Bible). If you used any of those, and I am certain a LOT of BW users use the 1984 NIV, you will have to change to a different translation.

    But you will be able to add lots of new commentaries instead. Gee I can't wait to upgrade, lose more of the best features and gain a bunch of commentaries I already have in my super-bloated Libronix software.

    Ok I'm done complaining now.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    472

    Lightbulb Wait a minute...

    Hello Johns,

    Okay, I will attempt to answer your questions:

    Quote Originally Posted by johns View Post
    Now in version 9 more resources are being dropped. According to the BW website, the 1984 NIV is not being supplemented with the 2011 NIV in BW9, but REPLACED! Along with TNIV if anyone used that one.
    If, you are upgrading to version 9 you get to keep NIV 1984, and the TNIV. And, I believe this is do to much pleading and deal making on BWs part.
    Check it out!
    The following are no longer included in BibleWorks:

    • TNIV
    • NIV (1984) [replaced by NIV 2011]
    • Holman Christian Standard Bible, 2004 [replaced by Holman CSB 2nd edition]
    • New American Bible [replaced by New American Bible, revised edition]

    If you are a registered user and are upgrading from BibleWorks 8 to BibleWorks 9, you will be sent free of charge a set of activation codes enabling you to import the above databases from your BibleWorks 8 license.
    (link)


    Moving on to you 2nd comment/question...
    Quote Originally Posted by johns View Post
    If BW doesn't do it, their competition will.
    Logos, and Accordance (the competition sort of) already have gone mobile. So, that's not much of a prediction. But, I'll give you credit for trying.

    Okay, next question...

    Quote Originally Posted by johns View Post
    I haven't posted here a lot, but I have read a lot. Enough to predict that any official response will be something like: "we have limited development resources and those things are not feasable."
    Nice, guess but the official response is...
    Periodically customers enthusiastic about BibleWorks suggest that the company market an implementation of BibleWorks on a handheld device, such as a smart phone (Android, Blackberry, iPhone, etc.) or tablet (iPad, etc.).

    Such an implementation would necessarily be limited to a subset of BibleWorks function in that handheld devices, for all their virtues, are less capable than personal computers, in processing power and/or in user interfaces. Development and maintenance of this subset implementation would increase BibleWorks staffing and hence costs to our customers. Consequently, we want to approach it with caution. But we are considering it.

    We note concurrently that products of near-handheld-size, such as mini-notebooks, already have the capability of running BibleWorks. We foresee such products soon migrating to handheld size, making a port of BibleWorks to existing handheld devices of only temporary utility.

    We appreciate and are complimented by the kind suggestions and the sincere motivation of those who would like to see more people obtaining access to BibleWorks. We also believe, however, that by our keeping our costs and therefore prices low, more and more people will indeed eventually have access to the excellent capabilities BibleWorks has to offer. In this way, these people will have a product that will grow with them as God leads them further into the blessings of sincere and deep study of His incomparable Word.

    Last update: RRG/February 16, 2011
    (link)

    Now, for the final comment:

    Focus on the text (unless you use any of these: TNIV, NIV-1984, Holman Christian Standard Bible-2004 or New American Bible). If you used any of those, and I am certain a LOT of BW users use the 1984 NIV, you will have to change to a different translation.
    For statistical evidence of English interpretations(or translations) used by BibleWorks users check out the following polls: (poll one) and (poll two)

    But, smile you can still "Focus on the text" and your loved translations, too as you get to keep them. But, please keep in mind the following words of truth...

    "The real New testament is the Greek New Testament. The English is only a translation of the New testament, not the actual New Testament."
    A. T. Robertson

    "The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them."
    Westminster Confession of Faith
    Brian K. Mitchell
    חפשו בתורה היטב ואל תסתמכו על דברי
    http://www.adfontes.mitchellbk.com/


  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkMitchell View Post
    Hello Johns,

    Okay, I will attempt to answer your questions:
    I didn't recall asking any questions, but thanks for the links; other people might find them useful. I had already seen all of them.

    The BW response you quoted, if I may paraphrase is that if we wait long enough, portable devices will adapt and become powerful enough to run our obsolete PC software.

    It isn't happening. The new mobile world is becoming a contest between Apple iOS and Google Android. Microsoft knows this now, as anyone who follows recent developements would know. Windows 7 is not going to be running on your smartphone device anytime soon. That is why Microsoft is scrambling to develop Windows mobile 7.

    Your other comments seem to imply that I just need to learn Greek, then I wouldn't need tools like BW, Word Pictures, or english translations. Well duh! A desire to learn more about Greek was the reason I purchased BW in the first place.

    Your post is a bit arrogant if I may say so. And if I may point it out, your post was written in English.

    John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    472

    Default

    Hello Johns,

    Your post is a bit arrogant if I may say so.
    Yes, you may and I admit I was arrogant. I apologize.

    But, please understand I also found your post to be pretty arrogant and highly offensive as well.
    BibleWorks has not yet even released their new version and rather than sending them a note in private you publicly call their program 'obsolete' and criticize their product.
    For, what purpose?

    It's not like they have time to re-code their program before they release version 9.
    What kind of response were you hoping for?


    And if I may point it out, your post was written in English.

    If, you would like me to write in another Language I can(link).
    日本語できますか?

    バイブルワークスが大好き!

    אתה מדבר עברית
    (I can also try to write to you in Koine if you'd like?)

    However, I always encourage Christians to study Greek (or Latin) the language of their Bible just I was encouraged the language of my Bible. My Motto is Ad Fontes &
    חַפְּשׂוּ בַּתּוֹרָה הֵיטֵב וְאַל תִּסְתַּמְּכוּ עַל דְּבָרַי
    and although I am not a fundamentalist my attitude (and others in this movement) toward the liturgical/ecclesiastical language Canons of Scripture probably approaches that.

    Either way you get to keep the NIV1984 translation and others. So, it's all good, right?




    Last edited by bkMitchell; 07-05-2011 at 09:47 PM.
    Brian K. Mitchell
    חפשו בתורה היטב ואל תסתמכו על דברי
    http://www.adfontes.mitchellbk.com/


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    839

    Default Brief Reply

    Hi Johns,

    I don't want to get involved in a long dispute about the various issues that you brought up, but from my perspective as the owner of BibleWorks, I think you are being very unfair. Every one of your complaints has a reasonable answer, which we would gladly have given if you had asked.

    To begin with, the items which we have removed were removed for two reasons. In a few cases the royalties were raised several hundred percent and we had to remove the items or move them to modules. All of the other items were removed because there were copyright or licensing issues. The fact that many sites still have the full Robertson's Word Pictures has no bearing on our decision to remove it. There is a common belief that RWP is in the public domain. It is not and many sites display the text illegally. We try to obey the law. With respect to the removal of certain Bible versions, we have gone to great lengths to enable upgraders to keep the old versions, but most publishers require the removal of old versions when they produce a major update. Zondervan is no longer licensing the old NIV. Those few people still selling it are doing so under an old contract and when the contract expires, they will have to stop selling it. The same is true of the new NAB. I don't understand why you feel the need to attack us for complying with licensing requirements.

    With regard to bloat, one reason for what you perceive as bloat is that we usually comply with users requests to keep old features around when we add new ones. And we don't add features haphazardly. In most cases new features and databases are added because users have requested them. I don't think there is any bloat in our new release. Every feature is there for a reason and every feature meets a need. You castigate us for removing things and then castigate us again for not removing things. To be honest I am not sure what we can do to make you happy. But we will keep trying.

    Mike Bushell
    BibleWorks
    Last edited by MBushell; 07-05-2011 at 10:03 PM.

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