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BibleWorks 5

by Dr. Keith Bodner

Canadian Evangelical Review, October 2002.

This software package was given a lengthy (and favorable) review in an earlier edition of CER (Spring 2001), but as with most postmodern gadgetry, there is a new version on the market for the technologically dexterous consumer.

The standard features of course remain - such as a powerful search engine, numerous English translations (and 27 other languages, for that matter, including Bulgarian, Catalan, Vietnamese, and Polish), excellent Hebrew and Greek versions, and parallel text display. Without doubt, an excellent feature is the "instant morphology" information that accompanies the original language texts.

The new update (recently mailed to licensed users) now includes the unabridged Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew lexicon, which immediately appears at the bottom of the screen every time the cursor passes over the Hebrew word in question. This is surely a high point, and an excellent addition to the program.

Moreover, Bauer (3rd edition) and HALOT (4th edition) are also available, but due to the substantial royalty costs of these tools, there is an additional fee to unlock them. Nevertheless, scholars will find this new version even more helpful, and institutions interested in a Bible software package should obtain a site license for their network.

Compared with similar products, BibleWorks is certainly not overpriced, and in my view is worth the investment. Notably, the recent issue of Biblical Archaeology Review (Sept/Oct 2002) surveyed a number of Windows packages similar to this one, and BibleWorks receives the final endorsement for academics.

To be sure, other packages have their strengths (such as an emphasis on archaeology or a plethora of classic works in the Christian tradition, containing Pilgrim's Progress or Paradise Lost), but in terms of search-engine capabilities and original language work, this program comes highly recommended.

The user's manual is well-indexed, and is fully integrated into the program. The new version has also enhance the on-screen layout, and the user has a choice of several options, depending on the degree of sophisticated desired. This package, thus, is ideal for advanced students, and anyone interested should consult the website or contact the company at the above address.

Dr. Keith Bodner, Tyndale College, Toronto


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