Review of BibleWorks10
Bryan H. Cribb
The Anderson Journal of Christian Studies
When it comes to Bible research software, pastors, professors, and interested layfolk have no shortage of choices. Logos, Accordance, Olive Tree, QuickVerse, and Glo all possess their relative strengths and weaknesses, and they range in price from the inexpensive to the exorbitant, depending on the respective resource packages.
But for me, the best and most effective program—though not the least expensive—has always been BibleWorks. Originally given to me as a Christmas gift during my PhD studies, BibleWorks has consistently proven an indispensable tool in my personal study and sermon/class preparation.
BibleWorks has always facilitated in-depth analysis and exegesis based on the original text. Its numerous language tools are unmatched by any other program.
Now, BibleWorks has released their 10th version, chock-full of even more “toys” with which to play. Some of the new resources and features include: High-resolution tagged images of the Leningrad Codex; two new manuscript transcriptions of the New Testament; the Nestle-Aland GNT 28th Edition; the New English Translation of the Septuagint; Danker’s Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the NT; instant lemma form usage info for Greek and Hebrew; 1,200-plus high resolution photos of the Holy Land; an EPUB reader and library manager; a complete audio Greek New Testament (I am looking forward to the Hebrew Old Testament audio in future versions); customizable window colors; dynamically adjustable program text size (especially helpful in the classroom); and Mac and PC versions.
As you can tell, BibleWorks specializes in the languages. So, if you are looking for a program that gives you loads of systematic theologies, commentaries, and the like, other programs are better choices. In addition, BibleWorks is not for those who have little background in biblical languages. And, if you are looking for an inexpensive program, look elsewhere (suggested retail, $389).
However, what BibleWorks does facilitate is the kind of exegetical analysis I have always commended to my students. It is an analytical method that begins and ends with the exegete and the Holy Spirit—not depending on commentaries for your “insights,” but instead using these other authors as “conversation partners.” Such a method leads to those “ah-hah” moments that make personal Bible study so rewarding. So if you have the money and the basic knowledge of biblical Hebrew and Greek, you will not find a better aid than BibleWorks 10.
Dr. Bryan Cribb is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Anderson University in Anderson, S.C. .