BibleWorks 9 Review
I am a full time Southern Baptist pastor. I preach 3 times per week, and I also teach a class on Sunday nights. I use BibleWorks 9 when preparing sermons and teaching lessons. The main benefit of BibleWorks as compared to other Bible software programs is the exegetical framework it provides. BibleWorks is primarily a textual tool for those who want to interact with the original languages of Scripture.
When you hold your mouse cursor over a Greek or Hebrew word, you have instant access to its morphological parsing. Also, when you hold your cursor over an English word, you have instant access to the Greek or Hebrew and its possible meanings. Furthermore, you can compare and contrast with ease multiple Bible versions in English, Greek, Hebrew, and many other languages. Finally, you can cross-reference with ease as well by searching Scripture using English, Greek, and/or Hebrew words.
In our busy world, sermon preparation can often fall to the way-side due to a lack of time or a mismanagement of priorities in ministry. BibleWorks helps me to maximize the time I have so that when I stand in the pulpit, I can stand as “a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).
I’m currently a PhD student in Systematic Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Part of the requirement for the PhD program is a reading knowledge of two research languages. In my dissertation, I plan to show the relationship between common grace and the atonement. Most of the discussion dealing with common grace comes from the Reformed Tradition. Thus, I need to develop a reading knowledge of the languages common to the Reformed Tradition–French, German, Latin, and Dutch. Furthermore, since my dissertation will include exegesis, I need to be able to handle Greek and Hebrew in a manner faithful to the text.
I’m also a full time pastor. I preach 3 times a week and teach one class on Sunday Evenings. I use BibleWorks 9 to prepare my sermons and teaching lessons. I’ve learned Greek and Hebrew in seminary, but if you don’t keep interacting with Greek and Hebrew, you can lose your knowledge of it. One feature of BibleWorks 9 is that you can use its parallel versions window to compare and contrast hundreds of Bible versions. All the Bible versions I need for scholarship, keeping up and increasing my knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, and learning my research languages are included with BibleWorks 9. Thus, with each sermon I prepare, I can read the text in Greek, Hebrew, English, French, German, Latin, and Dutch in order to increase my knowledge of the Biblical languages and to gain a gradual reading knowledge of my research languages (I’ll need to test out of 2 of them in about a year.).
Moreover, BibleWorks 9 also includes a flashcard tool. This tool includes flashcards for every Greek and Hebrew word in the Bible. Thus, with only a few minutes per day, I can gradually memorize the most-used Greek and Hebrew words in Scripture. Then, I can work my way out into less-used words until I am able to read and understand Greek and Hebrew while referring less and less to lexicons. Additionally, if there is any question concerning how to pronounce these Greek or Hebrew words, the flashcard tool includes a sound tool! John Schwandt sounds out the Greek, and Jan Verbruggen sounds out the Hebrew.
I am not a scholar of the original languages of Scripture yet, but that’s my goal. Ten years from now, Lord willing, I’ll be ten years older regardless if I’m a scholar or not. But, with daily labor, I can be ten years older and a textual scholar. That’s where BibleWorks 9 helps.
I am currently a PhD student in Systematic Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. They’re either trying to make a theology scholar out of me or they’re trying to kill me. I’ll assume the best that they’re trying to make a theology scholar out of me. But, if I am to truly be a scholar of theology, I need to be able to interact with the source of theology (Scripture) at the highest level. Any so-called theologian that does not handle Scripture with integrity, honesty, and great care is an idolater. An example of a good scholar and theologian is D. A. Carson. He is both a textual scholar and a theology scholar.
With BibleWorks 9, not only can you interact with the original languages of Scripture, you can also delve into textual criticism. You can compare and contrast many different manuscripts and lexicons of the original languages of Scripture. Here are some of the resources included with BibleWorks 9:
Each of these resources can be searched. You can search in Greek, Hebrew, English, etc. for words, partial words, phrases, related verses, key word in context, etc. The results are lightning quick as well. Thus, if you desire to be a scholar of the original languages, BibleWorks 9 is an essential tool.
I use BibleWorks 9 when preparing my sermons and lessons for teaching at the church I pastor. BibleWorks 9 is primarily a tool that helps users interact with the original languages of Scripture, but if you do not have a working knowledge of Greek or Hebrew, there are still many useful tools in BibleWorks 9 to help with Bible study preparation. Almost all major English Versions of the Bible are included: KJV, NIV, NKJV, ESV, NASB, NLT, ASV 1901, RSV, NRSV, NJB, NAB, NET, CSB, etc. You can also compare and contrast these versions in the same window to see how the translators handled texts differently.
Furthermore, when you move your cursor over a word in the English translation, you automatically see its Greek or Hebrew definition, explanation, and possible translations. In a separate window, you also see various Greek and Hebrew tools, commentaries, dictionaries, cross-references, etc. You can even view maps associated with specific books of the Bible and biblical time-periods.
Moreover, you can add your own notes in BibleWorks 9. You can prepare your lesson within BibleWorks 9, save it, and easily access it any time you interact with these Scriptures. You can also print your lessons.
Finally, there are several user-created modules and commentaries that are free, but you can also unlock several other resources for cheaper prices when compared to buying the print editions. You will find that BibleWorks 9 is an invaluable tool for preparing Biblically-based lessons. And, if you have any questions about using the program, there’s over 6 hours of how-to videos included that explain every facet of the program in detail. If that’s not enough, you can log your questions in the online support forum for a speedy response.
Your can purchase BibleWorks 9 here.
Jared Moore is a full time pastor, a PhD student in Systematic Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, a Garrett Fellow (grader) for Dr. Ware at SBTS, and an adjunct Professor at Mid-Continent University.