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The following is an except from "Using Built-In Bible Study Help Systems", from Christian Computing Magazine, April 2007. Christian Computing Magazine can be found at

Using Built-In Bible Study Help Systems

by Kevin A. Purcell

If you own one of the topflight Bible Study software
programs, then you might have a Biblical Interpretation
class right in the program’s help system. [...]

BibleWorks Getting Started Guides

Many other Bible programs have similar offerings included in the basic software package. BibleWorks is one that has a huge selection of resources that can help you learn how to do anything from a Book Study to a Topical Study. They show how to prepare a research paper, how to do an English only study, and how to do textual criticism, among other

If you installed BibleWorks 7, and did not change a thing, then a help screen entitled “Getting Started” will appear when the program starts. You click on “BibleWorks Study Guides” to open them. If the screen doesn’t appear, then go to “Help” and then “Study Guides.” The first guide is for preparing a book study. It lists the basic steps for this kind of study, which include:

• Reading the Text
• Develop an Outline of the Text
• Identify Textual Variants
• Compare Parallel Versions
• Identify Key Words
• Perform Word Studies, and
• Check the Grammar”

There is also a bibliography if you want to do some further reading on the subject or want to know their source for this study method. Each item in the above list is a hyperlink which will take you directly to that spot in the study guide. Also, at the top of the window is a browser like toolbar with buttons for navigating the study guides.

After you click on a link from the above list and it takes you to the section for that step, then you are ready to learn how to do
that step. Each section is not only a tutorial on how to do that step but also how to do it in BibleWorks. Along the left hand side are links to videos that show you how to do that step.

Having now owned BibleWorks for the past three versions, I have always been impressed with their level of support. They have one of the most extensive Help Systems available. They have always included a very nice Video Help System too, so you can not only read how to do things, but also see it. Until version 7 they included a thick manual, too. I can understand their reasoning for not including it in the latest release. Besides the cost of printing such a manual, the printed page cannot be updated like an electronic help system can. I still wish it was there as I am a strange bird who actually reads manuals from cover to cover.

Two other forms of help are available from BibleWorks. I recently attended one of their training workshops at my alma mater, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary – Charlotte. It was so helpful and the instructor was enjoyable to listen to. He covered a lot in a little time. Also, I frequent the help forums at the BibleWorks web site (


Kevin Purcell is the pastor of High Peak Baptist Church in Valdese, North Carolina.


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