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Thread: How I Use BibleWorks

  1. #1

    Default How I Use BibleWorks

    I am looking for examples of how to use BibleWorks when studying a text, doing exegesis, preparing a sermon, etc. Do you have a general method that you follow? Are there certain steps that you take with BibleWorks that seem to help more than others when preparing a lesson or a sermon? I am interested here in how we can get the most out of this program.

    My question from comes from my own experience of owning the program for years but not using it to full potential. I simply looked up passages or copied them into the document I was writing. For many years I have used a process of studying the language of a text in order to understand it better before preaching or teaching on the passage. Frankly, much of that work was done outside of BibleWorks. I found the editor too small and cumbersome to be helpful. As of now, I have gone through the tutorials in BW6 and learned much more that I can do with the program. I have particularly enjoyed the diagramming function as I have realized for years how the way language functions in a passage helps us understand the passage a little better. I was hoping that this thread might be a way for others to talk about how they are using the program. It would be extremely helpful for me, and perhaps for others if someone has a step-by-step process for doing exegesis with BibleWorks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004


    This is a great question, and I hope others will chime in on the topic since my experience here has been gathered mainly from talking to the people who use BibleWorks. Just to get the conversation going here's a general list of steps one might take using BibleWorks to study a particular passage of the Bible:

    1. Review the Greek or Hebrew vocab from the passage by filtering the BibleWorks flashcard set (click Tools in the flashcard window) to include only words from that passage.

    2. Read the text in the Greek or Hebrew. Perhaps using the highlighter and user notes to keep track of your thoughts. For NT texts it may also be helpful to set your Text Comparison Settings to highlight everywhere your base Greek text differs from the other texts (GNT, SCR, TIS, BYZ, etc.).

    3. Study the grammar of the passage by using the Lexical & Grammatical Help window (under Resources) to access reference grammar material with ease. Incidentally, I usually position the Lexical & Grammatical Help window over the Command Center and Editor so I can still see the Biblical text while it's open. This would also be the stage when one would diagram the passage using the diagramming tool in BibleWorks.

    4. Word studies for key words from the passage can be done also using the Lexical & Grammatical Help window. It is also worth looking at the various options available to you with the Word List Manager. The WLM is one of the most amazing tools in BibleWorks but is also one of the most neglected. It's well worth your time to learn what it can do. Don't forget that you can also look up English words in one of the Bible dictionaries. Just right click on any word in an English Bible and choose "Lookup in Default Bible Dictionary." This will open the dictionary browser where you can then switch to any of the dictionaries to see what each of them has to say about a particular topic. The dictionaries are particularly helpful in studying the historical and cultural background of the passage.

    5. At this point you might check various English translations of the passage as well as the translator notes that may accompany each version (just mouse over the text to see these notes). The translator notes for the NET Bible are great place to look for significant exegetical questions you will want to consider. The Text Comparison Settings are also useful at this step if for example you set them to highlight places where the text of the RSV differs from the NRS and ESV (both later revisions of the RSV).

    6. You can check other relevant passages of scripture using the cross-references that appear in the Auto Info Window when you mouse over any English translations. For the NAS/NAU English versions these cross-refs come from the publisher, for all other English versions the cross-refs come from the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. If you are studying a passage in the Gospels you can very quickly see all parallel passages by clicking Tools>Synopsis Window.

    Of course, don't forget the search engine, which is the backbone of BibleWorks. If at any point in your study you come across a question that could be best answered by searching the Bible, you have both the Command Line and the Advanced Search Engine. Anyone who is not familiar with the essentials of the super searching capabilities of BibleWorks should start here.

    The precise steps you'll follow in studying the Bible will vary according to the passage or topic but I think the list above is a good general list to start with. I will update the list with any suggested changes, so please contribute your thoughts.
    Charlie Gibson
    BibleWorks Technical Support
    Important Note: This forum is not the appropriate method for contacting BibleWorks staff.

    Please use the following links if you need a response from the BibleWorks staff:
    Technical Support: Click here
    Ideas: Click here

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004


    It was briefly talked about earlier too; see this post
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog

  4. #4

    Default Thanks

    I appreciate the helpful information. I particularly like Charlie's approach and plan to print out the outline and use it. Gordon Fee's outline had already come mind and I was thinking through how to combine his method with the program. It's helpful to have someone else's ideas

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