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Software Review: BibleWorks 8

An excellent program for the theologian

Phil Naessens

What Color Is The Sky In Their World?, February 22, 2011.

URL:[http://phillyflash.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/software-review-bibleworks-8/]

“You don’t really appreciate what you have until it’s gone”. Sounds like a true sort of statement. I could say this about BibleWorks 8. I didn’t really appreciate it until I wasn’t able to use it any longer.

For the better part of the last 6 months the laptop that housed my BibleWorks 8 has been in and out of the shop. When I first installed BibleWorks 8 I was thrilled but it wasn’t until I had to go back to working with books, lexicons and concordances that I realized what an amazing program the great folks at BibleWorks 8 had come up with and how much I missed it.

Today I have the great honor of reviewing this software that was graciously given to me by Mr. Jim Barr, Seminary and Pastor Relations Manager for BibleWorks who in no way asked me to give a positive review in exchange for a free program.

Installation

The BibleWorks 8 (BW8) program comes with 5 CD’s that installed easily on my Toshiba A300 Satellite Laptop which runs Windows 7 Ultimate. Zero “error” messages and no unexpected shutdowns to date.

The Contents

The program I reviewed is complimentary but contains well over 100 Bible Translations, Greek and Hebrew Lexicons, Grammars and many other accessories. You can visit the BW8 webpage located here for a complete listing of what each particular package consists of.

Customer Help and Support

Enclosed within this program are several tutorials to aid the consumer in utilizing this product to its fullest. Jim Barr was also a great help and has produced this 2 hour video here which is a must see. BW8 also have a forum here with extremely knowledgeable people to answer any question one might have about BW8.

Using BW8

As you can see from the image above, BW8 has three separate windows.  On the left is the search window, the middle is the browse window and on the right is the analysis window. Each of these windows has distinct features and responsibilities that will aid the user in making their exegetical tasks easier than ever before.

The Review

What makes BW8 such an amazing program is the search engine. I own several Bible programs and I can honestly say this search engine is the fastest and most efficient of them all. There are several search options to choose from as well as the ability to search in the dozens of languages offered in the BW8 package. Living in Greece my PC is able to type Greek characters but regardless of that fact BW8 comes with its own on screen keyboard that is able to type in the desired language.

After you’ve typed in your search request and selected the verse you would like to exegete, the verse pops up in the Browse window. You can select as many translations as you wish and even the order in which you would like them to appear. It’s this window; fully right click oriented, where you can do any number of searches and lexical summaries. If the user lacks an understanding of the Greek and Hebrew alphabet BW8 allows the user to point the curser over each Greek and Hebrew word where the English word pops up in a hover box. Find the word you need and right click the word twice and every instance of that word, in the original language, will show up in the search window! Truly amazing!

The analysis window is just what the name implies. Once the word is selected every instance of that word found in the entire contents of the program will be shown. This window contains lexicons, grammatical aids, commentaries and dictionaries where these words are found. There are so many options in this window it would take literally a month to explain. Suffice it to say I’ve never seen anything like BW8!

While being fluent in the original languages is certainly a bonus, it’s not necessary with BW8. If you can type and read this program will be the single greatest asset any sincere student of the original languages can ever have. BW8 and its outstanding programmers have made it very easy for anyone to properly exegete Scripture and they should be commended for their efforts with this program!

I’m sure many of you reading this has already gone to the BW website and saw the price of the basic package. 349.00USD is quite a bit of money but I can honestly tell you this program is worth every penny. When purchased alone the lexicons, bibles and grammatical helps contained within this program would wind up costing much more than 349$. The time the user saves with this program is priceless and wouldn’t it be better to spend your time studying as opposed to hunting for and thumbing through dozens of books?

One important thing to note about BW8; it does take some time to learn how to use this program to its fullest. Before using BW8 the user will want to watch the 15-20 or so tutorials included with this program as well as watching the 2-hour video presentation linked to above.

Being fluent in the original languages, I put BW8 to the test and it didn’t disappoint me. Through each “crazy type” searches I employed it came up like a champion each and every time. I can’t say enough good things about this program and highly recommend it to anyone desiring to work with the original languages. BW8 has become an integral part of my daily work and as I said in the beginning of this review I didn’t realize how important and valuable it was until I was without it. There is no other Bible software program like it anywhere I can find! After using this program I feel confident you, dear reader, will feel the same way!

Thank you BibleWorks for making my life easier and my study more fruitful than its ever been before!!

Phil Naessens blogs and owns a Tennis Academy in Corfu, Greece.

 

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