The Baptist Bulletin, November 2004, p. 28.
by Gregory D. Stephens, Th.M.
HISTORY AND CREDIBILITY
Begun in 1992, BibleWorks has specifically provided in-depth linguistic Bible software with students, pastors and missionaries in mind. Their vision statement read, "Our goal is to provide a complete package containing the tools most essential for the task of interpreting the Scriptures in the original Greek and Hebrew, and to do it at a price that poor pastors and students can afford."
Basics: Bibleworks 6 offers what is still probably the best in-depth Bible software for Biblical language study, though with fewer resources and functions than some competitors. Focused from its beginning on Biblical language and linguistics, BibleWorks continues to provide unparalleled capabilities while offering a short, select list of quality Biblical language-oriented add-ons.
Pricing: BibleWorks' basic price is $299.95, with upgrade discounts for those with previous versions. BDAG and HALOT are available for $125 and $159 respectively, or as a combined package for $197. Hebrew and Greek grammar guides are available at modest prices, and even the Qumran Sectarian Manuscripts are available at $80.
Interface: BibleWorks opens to a familiar windows interface screen, with the characteristic tool and menu bars. Users have the option of choosing a "Beginner," "Standard" or "Power User" mode. Biblical passages for each version appear n selected order from selected version. Searches can be done by verse references or by word or in a verse.
Content: Resources include Bibles (92 in 28 languages, including 18 in English alone); original language texts, including Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin (20); lexicons and analysis tools (13, with BDAT and HALOT requiring unlocking); and reference works (9). Hebrew and Greek grammar guides are available as add-ons.
Priority: Where BibleWorks shines is Biblical language study. Run the cursor over a word, and up pops the lexical form, parsing and basic definition. Full lexical listings appear below. By simply holding the shirt and moving the cursor, you can access complete lexical information. Click on a word or phrase in any language text, and a concordance search is initiated that provides form-specific results in amazing speed. Text coloring, comparison, flash cad, diagramming, language paradigms, and clone option tools and more are all part of the package.
Among computer Bible software programs, BibleWorks continues its hold on the niche for intensive linguistics study of the Bible and Biblical languages. Though some programs may compete (or even surpass it in some respects) for content, BibleWorks maintains its superiority because of its speed and capabilities. These qualities notwithstanding, the resources include in the program (though of high quality), apart from Bible translations, are few in number. For more information, call 1-888-747-8200 to go to www.bibleworks.com.
Bibleworks is a highly recommended option for pastors, missionaries, seminarians, scholar and anyone desiring advanced in-depth Biblical language capability and modern language version availability. These not versed in the Biblical languages, while finding the program useful, will likely feel BibleWorks too advanced for maximum use.
Gregory D. Stephens, Th.M. is Instructor of New Testament and Greek and Assistant to the Academic Dean at Temple Baptist Seminary, Chattanooga, Tennessee.