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Thread: BibleWorks is closing... - where do you go from here?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    11

    Question BibleWorks is closing... - where do you go from here?

    I just saw the notice, that sadly Bibleworks is closing. I want to thank the developers for providing this unique Bible Study tool over the years! I've been a user since 2011 and especially appreciate some features, which are only available in BW.

    For those who have made use of some of these unique features, where do you go from here?

    Even though there is no immediate need to switch, software which is not updated any more will, in my experience, become increasingly difficult to keep running. (Just for comparison, try to install and run 'Logos 3' from ca. 2010 today, and you will know how cumbersome this can be. I'm still running still running a version in a Parallels VM on Windows XP)

    What other Bible Software comes closest in features and speed to BibleWorks 10?

    I'm currently using Logos 6, which provides most of what I need, but there are some special things like the Aramaic extensions, which I have not seen anywhere else (specifically Aramaic Peshitta New Testament Database APNT).

  2. #2

    Unhappy Yes, indeed, where to go from here?

    I have to say that, at this point, I am still in a bit of shock. I have been a BW user since the mid-1990s, and I currently teach at a seminary that requires BW for several courses. Those courses include a tools-based course for Hebrew that I developed (& will be teaching again in the fall [on new software??]). I certainly hope that the seminary got a bit more of a heads up from BW than I did about this change.

    One honest question I have is regarding this sentence from the announcement: "But it has become increasingly apparent over the last few years that the need for our services has diminished to the point where we believe the Lord would have us use our gifts in other ways." I would really like to hear some elaboration on the ways that our beloved BW folks feel that their (IMO, awesomely useful product) has become unneeded. What other product(s) have taken BW's place? Again, IMO, Logos and Accordance can't match BW on bang-for-the-buck.

    As far as where to go software-wise, I'm a bit flummoxed. I have Logos, but only because I had some electronic library items that were ported over to Logos format at some point (and a few minor additions since). I've had students use both Logos and Accordance in my classes, and both seem to be able to do at least substantially similar things to BW, but I don't relish having to learn a new program. I'll likely stick with BW10 as long as I can keep it working, since I have a lot of time & $ invested. However, I imagine that I'll have to learn whatever program the seminary switches to, since new licenses for BW won't even be available for purchase in a few weeks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    757

    Default

    Chris, I feel the same way. I was absolutely floored when I read that email.

    First of all, let me express my undying gratitude to Mike Bushell and his team for what they have given us. I'm 100% confident that it has advanced the understanding and following of the Scriptures. It has certainly done so for me, and if my own work has any tendencies in that direction , BibleWorks has played a large part in helping it do so. It has aided not only sermon preparation and Bible study, personally and for church, but my teaching and research as a professional academic and biblical scholar. I know I'm not alone in that.

    The announcement left me so flabbergasted for three main reasons. The first, of course, was that I never saw it coming. There was no indication anywhere that there were issues that would lead to this.

    The second was the timing. With all deep gratitude and respect to Mike, two week's notice is not enough. People who haven't upgraded to v. 10 may need to scramble for the funds to do so now, even at the rock-bottom $199. There are technical questions to be addressed. Heck, people may be on vacation with their BW installation left back home!

    Thirdly, I was especially puzzled by "it has become increasingly apparent over the last few years that the need for our services has diminished." Obviously, we here don't know what's behind that. But I'm with Matt (above) in being curious. Bottom line, though, it means "Logos wins." I was very annoyed a few years back when the Society of Biblical Literature (to which I belong) made a deal with Logos to promote its software, when BibleWorks is the superior tool in many ways for scholarly research. I hope that didn't contribute to this disaster (and a disaster really is what it feels like).

    Dan Phillips, in the thread he started, reports some interest in seeing if BW would be interested in letting the software become open-source. That's a good idea; but naturally the copyright holders in all the databases are not going to do that, and having the software without the means to distribute the databases would mean that only public-domain texts could be included.

    PS: Chris, my apologies for the instant thread drift here. I didn't at all address your actual question of what else might compare to BW. Logos and Accordance are the obvious answers, but I don't know enough about them to comment. For mobile devices, OliveTree is excellent. They have Windows and Mac versions, and have for awhile. I've never tried them--didn't need to, I had BibleWorks! They surely would not have the breadth and depth of tools nor the advanced interface available in BW. Nor is their support as good. OliveTree does have good original-language critical texts as well as English translations. They have nowhere near the international spread of translations that BW has. They have been getting into commentaries and other study tools. But they don't (yet, at any rate) have the text-critical tools of BW.
    Last edited by DavidR; 06-01-2018 at 12:56 PM.
    David Rensberger
    Atlanta, Georgia

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,056

    Default BibleWorsk shutting down

    Quote Originally Posted by drmatt.thomas View Post
    I have to say that, at this point, I am still in a bit of shock. I have been a BW user since the mid-1990s, and I currently teach at a seminary that requires BW for several courses. Those courses include a tools-based course for Hebrew that I developed (& will be teaching again in the fall [on new software??]). I certainly hope that the seminary got a bit more of a heads up from BW than I did about this change.

    One honest question I have is regarding this sentence from the announcement: "But it has become increasingly apparent over the last few years that the need for our services has diminished to the point where we believe the Lord would have us use our gifts in other ways." I would really like to hear some elaboration on the ways that our beloved BW folks feel that their (IMO, awesomely useful product) has become unneeded. What other product(s) have taken BW's place? Again, IMO, Logos and Accordance can't match BW on bang-for-the-buck.

    As far as where to go software-wise, I'm a bit flummoxed. I have Logos, but only because I had some electronic library items that were ported over to Logos format at some point (and a few minor additions since). I've had students use both Logos and Accordance in my classes, and both seem to be able to do at least substantially similar things to BW, but I don't relish having to learn a new program. I'll likely stick with BW10 as long as I can keep it working, since I have a lot of time & $ invested. However, I imagine that I'll have to learn whatever program the seminary switches to, since new licenses for BW won't even be available for purchase in a few weeks.
    There are two things to keep in mind right now: (1) I use BibleWorks myself and have no intention of using any other Bible software. I plan, Lord willing, to keep it compatible with Windows for as long as the Lord gives me breath, for me but for you as well. There are people still using 15 year old copies of BibleWorks on Windows. The program just won't be sold after June 15 except through limited ealer stock. (2) After the smoke clears from the announcement we will explore ways to continue the legacy of BibleWorks. This was difficult to do before the announcement. If you value what we have done please pray that the Lord will show us a way to make that happen. It will take a miracle. But I believe in miracles.

    My advice to BibleWorks users now is to upgrade if you are interested in the long haul, and if you have BW10 just keep using it and be thankful that you are part of what may become an exclusive club. This is a heartbreak for me too, but I plan on continuing to use the program for as many years as the Lord enables.

    Mike Bushell,
    BibleWorks, LLC

    Mike

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    757

    Default

    Mike, thanks for this. It is consoling and encouraging. I did also note that in the announcement you said that you all "continue to pray that the Lord would provide a way for the program to continue, and we are exploring some possibilities." I will join in these prayers.
    David Rensberger
    Atlanta, Georgia

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    1

    Default Just Spitballing

    I think my first edition was v5 and I've always been first in line for the upgrades if just to avoid a day such as this. This is absolutely the best product for pure original language work and simply comparison across translations.

    I figure the problem is like many SW programs. It is basically mature. Most of the work is just keeping it alive and working. In fact simplifying to a core set of functions might make it better. So lots of people, and primarily selling to pastors you've got cheap customers, just don't spend for the upgrades. I don't know how many are active on v10. But have you considered converting it to a Software as Subscription/Service? Instead of releasing versions, just do maintenance work and patches. Charge $100/yr. Mostly maintenance work, maybe occasional functionality. Are there enough rabid fans of the product to make something like that interesting?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Mike,

    So sad to hear the news. But it is SO wonderful to know a loving God who does all things well! I praise Him for blessing you and your staff with the skills and gifts to provide such a great tool to study His eternal word.

    I hadn't planned on updating past v9, but I'm definitely upgrading to 10 now.

    Someone commented on another thread about possibly making BW open source. If you decide to go that route, or are ever interested in development help from the community, I'm a software developer. I'd be happy to help any way I can.

    Steve
    Columbus, Ohio
    riversidebible.church

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    445

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MBushell View Post
    I use BibleWorks myself and have no intention of using any other Bible software. I plan, Lord willing, to keep it compatible with Windows for as long as the Lord gives me breath, for me but for you as well.
    I am heartbroken over the discontinuation of BW, but this comment from Mike is very reassuring to hear. In light of this, I intend BW to remain my primary Bible software for the foreseeable future. Thank you, Mike, for all you have done and continue to do. Love and appreciation also goes to Glenn, Mark, and all those who have contributed to this wonderful program and who have helped me over the years.
    καὶ ὑπὲρ πάντων ἀπέθανεν ἵνα οἱ ζῶντες μηκέτι ἑαυτοῖς ζῶσιν, ἀλλὰ τῷ ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν ἀποθανόντι καὶ ἐγερθέντι.

  9. #9

    Default

    I am a pastor and not an academic, but BW has been one ofthe greatest blessings to me. It has greatly aided me in my personal study,research, and sermon preparation. I have recommended it to many. In one sense Iam sickened to see it go!!

    I have beenwaiting for BW11 to come out as I am planning to do a clean reinstall of everythingon my computer.

    BW is thebest exegetical software I know of. I hope it will work on future operatingsystems for I will be crippled without it. BW is the only program that I alwaysupgrade.

    Two thingsI appreciate the most about BW: their sustained focus on the text and theirministry mind set.

    I havealways been in small church work. A couple of times it was to reestablish awork. I would not have been able to afford BW if it wasnít for a couple summerinterns from College. They pulled their limited resources together to get meBW8. BW has been my companion in ministry ever since that time. Perhaps I havenot been thankful enough but I prayed for you all today and will pray for Godísleading in your ministry. God is good!

    I Cor. 15:58
    Charlie


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    4

    Lightbulb Dear Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by MBushell View Post
    There are two things to keep in mind right now: (1) I use BibleWorks myself and have no intention of using any other Bible software. I plan, Lord willing, to keep it compatible with Windows for as long as the Lord gives me breath, for me but for you as well. There are people still using 15 year old copies of BibleWorks on Windows. The program just won't be sold after June 15 except through limited ealer stock. (2) After the smoke clears from the announcement we will explore ways to continue the legacy of BibleWorks. This was difficult to do before the announcement. If you value what we have done please pray that the Lord will show us a way to make that happen. It will take a miracle. But I believe in miracles.

    My advice to BibleWorks users now is to upgrade if you are interested in the long haul, and if you have BW10 just keep using it and be thankful that you are part of what may become an exclusive club. This is a heartbreak for me too, but I plan on continuing to use the program for as many years as the Lord enables.

    Mike Bushell,
    BibleWorks, LLC

    Mike
    Mike, I (we) are sure that your heart is broke (as you say) way more than ours. I trust that you (and all the BWs people) had their reasons and it was horrible to make the decision. We feel for you brother. I have sadness but also great gratitude to you all over the years for your (our!) superior program for scholars.

    Can we ask though, why do you (BW) think BW is no longer needed in the 'market'?

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