Review of BibleWorks 9
Journal of Adventist Mission Studies (2011), Volume 7, Number 2: 134-135.
Missiology, one of the most recent disciplines in religious studies, entails study of the theology of mission, history of mission, anthropology, intercultural studies, history, sociology, psychology, mission strategy, world religions, and church growth. One of the aspects of missionstudies therefore involves theology. Tite Tienou and Paul Hiebert see the task of mission theology as seeking to build the bridge between biblical revelation and human contexts; to “bridge the gap between orthodoxy and orthopraxy—between truth, love and obedience” (Tienou and Hiebert 2005). In order to accomplish this goal the missiologist must demonstrate the necessary skill required torightly divide the Scriptures, being faithful to its original context and meaning, while at the same time making it relevant to the present setting and culture in which he ministers.
BibleWorks 9 is a computer software program designed primarily for theologians to enable them perform sound biblical exegesis and exposition. It comes complete with lexicons, dictionaries, search tools, and morphology analysis resources that help provide clearer meaning and understanding of the Scriptures. From its inception it has won enthusiasticreviews and perfectly fit a unique niche for excellent Bible study.
Like any good product that enters the market, it is a tough act to attempt to improve on a design that is already a success. However, this is exactly what the designers have succeeded in doing; a true fait accompli. Besides the fact that this latest version, BibleWorks 9, has a new fourth tab for carrying out analysis of key words or concepts, the new version comes to me as a better, user-friendly device. Installation is quite easy enough to follow even for those with technophobia like myself. Also, the video instruction presents a wonderful guide to the several tools and features available to the inquisitive seeker. I know some who will be glad that the video instruction has playback functions too; especially for those with learning curves.
One other very useful device of BibleWorks 9 is the highly graphic Bible maps provided for visualization of the various settings in which ministry events occurred in scriptural times. Besides this, BibleWorks 9 offers users over 200 Bible translations in almost 40 languages, such as German, Spanish, and Korean. However, what may perhaps be better appreciated by missiology teachers and students alike are the graphical presentations of the number of occurrences in scriptural passages that a word is employed—showing the significance and importance to the earnest seeker.
Personally, what I appreciate most about this device is that time, thought, and detail has been invested in order to make this library of resources available to meet every desired need in biblical exegesis and exposition. Bible scholars, students of the Word, but also missiologists, and frontline mission practitioners, will greatly appreciate BibleWorks 9, which is a wonderful resource that shall easily go down in history as one of the most useful exegetical tools of the century. I am quite certain many will concur with me on this.
BibleWorks 9 is a worthwhile investment for every missiologist who can afford it. This one-stop, electronic library containing all the biblical exegetical resources needed for the mission expert to conduct contextual studies of the text and context under study will prove to be a valuable expenditure today, and a wise investment for tomorrow.
Kelvin Onongha is with the Religious Studies Department and serves as Associate Vice President, Student Development, at Babcock University, Nigeria.