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BibleWorks 10

David Hutchison

Southwestern Journal of Theology
Fall 2015
Volume 58, Number 1

BibleWorks 10 improves upon an already excellent program.  Remaining true to its vision, BibleWorks 10 focuses on the text while adding significant new features and tools which are included in the base price of the program.  Maintaining its simple pricing (everything is included except for a few special modules), BibleWorks 10 provides in its base package far more than what 99% of Christians in history have ever accessed.

The amazing speed of BibleWorks 10 is on display with the new Forms tab.  By simply hovering over a Greek or Hebrew word in the browse window, the Forms tab instantly shows all forms of the word in the entire version, including parsing and frequency statistics.  This information may be sorted by form, by frequency, or alphabetically.  This function is significantly faster and easier than other programs with similar features.  It could be further improved by showing a total hit count at the top of the window as in the Use tab or by grouping the results in paradigm form.

Morphology Colors allows the user to automatically apply colors to any morphological form.  As an example, one could easily highlight in one color all imperative verbs or highlight in another color all nominative masculine singular nouns. Multiple files can be created and the files may be shared with others, a significant benefit for professors who wish to share such files with students.  Additional style options could further improve this tool.  A new tab for The Analytical Greek New Testament shows information such as parsing, lexical form, and an English gloss in an interlinear display.  Additional features may be toggled on and off with a click.

BibleWorks 10 includes NA28, two audio recordings of the Greek New Testament, and updates to several Hebrew and Greek databases.  The Manuscript Project moves forward with the addition of two Greek texts, Ephraemi Rescriptus and Claromontanus, as well as complete morphological tagging for Sinaiticus and Vaticanus.   Beautiful images of the Hebrew Leningrad codex may be viewed in the new Leningrad tab.  Since the images are tagged with verse locations, the images automatically update as the user navigates through the biblical text.  In addition to the extensive manuscript and apparatus features which come with the base package of BibleWorks, the apparatuses for NA28, UBS5, and BHS4 may be purchased as part of the Stuttgart Original Language Package, either in an NT or OT edition.  This is a very welcome yet expense module due to the cost of licensing the products.

Additionally, the program adds more than 20 new versions and texts including The New English Translation of the Septuagint and The Hebrew Samaritan Pentateuch.  New resources include Danker’s Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Verbruggen’s Essential Biblical Hebrew, and The ESV Concise Bible Atlas.  The BibleViews picture library adds hundreds of images covering 57 biblical sites.

Electronic resources in EPUB format may now be integrated with BibleWorks.  Two versions of the new EPUB tab appear which allow the user to view two resources at the same time.  Two versions of the Verse tab also appear in BibleWorks 10, enabling the viewing of two choices at a time from the CNTTS apparatus, Tischendorf apparatus, Metzger’s Textual Commentary (if one has this resource), or NET Bible notes.  It remains odd for these to be subcategories of the Verse tab rather than each having its own tab.  Now that tabs are removable, such a change could be made without necessarily cluttering up the workspace.

Modifications to the user interface provide simple ways to de-clutter the page, whether hiding the search window, one or both analysis windows, or column headings.  While the owner of the company stated that this is the first interface with which he is satisfied, the program maintains the same feel.  Although more than cosmetic from a programming perspective, to the user, the changes with the user interface appear primarily cosmetic.  Icons and color schemes have been tweaked, giving users the option to choose from 15 pre-designed color schemes or create their own.  In response to user suggestions, the entire program is now scalable for improved display when using projectors.  Regrettably, this feature requires an automatic restart which is time consuming and may require an administrator password depending on your computer setup.

BibleWorks desires user feedback and feature requests.  In response to our previous review, BibleWorks 10 contains the option to toggle parsing information in the Analysis tab.  This allows users to view lexical information without necessarily seeing parsing information first.  This is a helpful step for those trying to work through the text on their own.  Furthermore, while BibleWorks does not yet contain multiple Analysis tabs, it is now possible to view multiple lexical entries in a single Analysis tab, partially accomplishing what would be possible with multiple Analysis tabs.  Using this feature, one may wish to view a concise lexicon first while viewing a more detailed lexicon below.  It will still be desirable for an additional coding scheme which incorporates tags such as 2nd aorist or 2nd perfect.  However, such information may be viewed in The Analytical Greek New Testament which is more easily accessible by means of the new AGNT tab. 

BibleWorks can improve the way in which one works from English to Greek.  The program has Strong’s numbers tagged to some English translations, allowing the user to see and search the Greek words underlying a translation.  Rather than just the Strong’s number, it would be helpful to see and search the Greek lexical form through a right-click search.  Additionally, the program can improve by allowing users to add a word to a word list by right-clicking, by modifying the Example Finder in the Vocabulary Flashcard Module to find example verses in different versions such as the Septuagint, and by creating a color scheme based on word frequency, similar to the new Morphology Colors tool.

When comparing programs based upon the content to price ratio, BibleWorks 10 stands supreme.  It is difficult to imagine life as a Greek professor without BibleWorks.  Based upon its amazing speed, content, and price, BibleWorks 10 will surely thrill users for years to come.

David Hutchison, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of New Testament at Havard School for Theological Studies, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.



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