Quote Originally Posted by Chip Sellars View Post
Hi, my name is Chip and I love studying God’s Word! Having no ancient Greek or Hebrew, most of my time is spent trying to figure out what the Bible really says in the original language, and I’ve found some online resources very helpful, such as Biblehub, Studylight, Scripture4all, etc. But I want more, so I’m getting ready to pull the trigger on BibleWorks9 with the ESV Study Bible and BDAG/HALOT modules. Before I do that, I’d like to ask you guys a few questions.

1) What other modules have you found to be particularly helpful?

2) Does anyone know what other modules BibleWorks may be planning to add, like Botterweck’s TDOT for example?

3) I notice some folks here use multiple programs, such as Logos and Accordance. If you had to choose just one, which would it be? What advantages or disadvantages does BibleWorks have compared to others?

4) It looks like BibleWorks has a powerful and flexible search function. You can do a simple search of multiple words in one verse, but does anyone know a way to search multiple words in a passage? Like, “find all these words that occur anywhere within ten verses of each other.” Something like that.

5) A non-BibleWorks question: anybody know of a good online forum about theology?

Any light y’all could share on these questions, or any other thoughts about BW, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
For me, the most helpful modules right now are the facsimile copies of the mss. I've been documenting Bible Hebrew Meter which even the NT writers use with Greek words, since 2008. So it helps a lot to see the actual textual variants in their native habitat, so to speak. That might be more than you need right now, but as a newbie it might be a thrill to see what the actual manuscripts look like. Next best thing to touching them.

And oh boy, am I grateful to BW9 more than ever, right now! Those textual variants helped me prove John's dateline for each of his books (Gospel 1John Revelation, written 77 AD, 80AD and 89 AD, respectively; each Bible writer datelines his text by means of the meter, see my http://www.vimeo.com/channels/johnmeter if you want details). The variants were VERY easy to analyze, thanks to BW9. I'm so happy I could scream. Point is, if someone makes phony textual claims to discredit Bible (like Bart Ehrman), that module in particular -- all the variants displayed -- is a Godsend.

All the lexicons and other learning materials are called 'modules' too, and I love them all. Reading Bible in the original Hebrew and Greek (or other languages that are sometimes used), is like looking at God Face to Face. Can't live without it. Don't want to. On the other hand, it's easy to go overboard. Ask God what modules you best need 'now'. That will save you a lot of time.

Concerning multiple programs, I have the Logos version of TDNT (aka 'Big Kittel'), and while I love TDNT, I can't love the Logos interface. But many do. To me there's too much 'marketing', and the interface windowing is too arcane. Depends on your own style, though. Accordance has its fans, and I'm thinking of getting it also, but for me BW is king. You also might want to check out the free 'The Word' software, which is customizable and structured like Bibleworks.

Concerning search: really, just type a period in the search box, followed by the words you want. I've been using BW for over 10 years and never had to use the more sophisticated search engine. BW is good at bringing up synonyms, if you search all in the same language version, and you have a number of Bibles in that same language version, installed. BW8 and 9 are a bit more cumbersome in that now you get this popup window of the occurrences in each version that you have to close, before you can look at the search results. The first time you call up the program you might not get search results, but do the search again and they show up.

Concerning online theology forums, well.. it depends on your beliefs, frankly. I'm pre-Trib Dispie, so I'm not welcome in any Reformed forum, no matter how nicely I behave. By contrast, if I go to the Rapture or prophecy forums, or even any doctrine forums where folks share the same 'take' on Scripture, convo there is way too simple for me. This is the best of the forums I've found, frankly, but then your experience might differ, depending on what topics interest you. And if you are interested in Greek, then the B-Greek forum is of extreme value. You can't post unless willing to disclose your real name. So I don't post there, but anyone can read.

Hope this long answer helps. Yell at me if it doesn't. Welcome to BW and this forum!