Rebecca Harris (Rice University)
Religious Studies Review (Vol. 43; no. 1; pp. 52-53), March 2017.
BibleWorks 10 is a powerful tool that allows the user to instantly search through numerous texts in a variety of languages.
Compared to other similar programs, BibleWorks 10 offers superior search and analysis capabilities, along with a large collection of texts included in the base package, making it the most affordable tool of its kind. For those familiar with earlier versions of the program, BibleWorks 10 provides some helpful improvements that further assist the user in carrying out close and thorough exegesis of the original texts.
As someone who was unfamiliar with versions 8 and 9 and was upgrading from BibleWorks 7, I was thrilled to see the greatly enhanced user-friendliness of BibleWorks 10. Admittedly, I floundered through the older version for a number of years without fully utilizing the program’s capabilities because I did not want to take the time necessary to learn the program before using it.
However, with BibleWorks 10, I have invested very little learning time—about an hour viewing online tutorials (which are very helpful!)—and already I feel I am in command of the program while using it. Popup windows provide useful hints to help the user better navigate the program and the addition of a key in the search window significantly simplifies the search process.
The BibleWorks screen is divided into three main windows (from left to right): the search window, the browse window (which contains the text), and the analysis window. Both the search window and the analysis window in BibleWorks 10 are greatly improved. The search bar now has an improved history button that displays a list of recently viewed verses, and a fuzzy search option allows the user to search for multiple forms of a word in a single search. The analysis window also offers some very useful new features, including a forms tab that lists all occurrences of a word within a text and the various forms in which it appears. A statistics tab allows the user to see, through a bar chart, the frequency with which a word appears in a particular text and compare this to its frequency of use in other texts.
BibleWorks 10 also includes high resolution images from the Leningrad Codex, the manuscript on which the BHS and WTT Hebrew texts are based. These are accessed through a tab in the analysis window. While reading a Bible text, you can let the mouse hover over a portion of the text and the corresponding images from the LC will appear in the analysis window.
Besides the Leningrad Codex, other valuable additions to the BibleWorks 10 text database include the NETS version of the Septuagint and Fredrick Danker’s Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. With the additions included in the base package and optional add-ons, BibleWorks continues to expand its library and increase its usefulness to the Bible scholar, student, professor, and pastor.
BibleWorks is a great tool that continues to improve. As a long-time BibleWorks user, I am delighted to see the vast improvement made in BibleWorks 10 over earlier editions. The user-friendliness of version 10, along with its enhanced features and expanded library, make it well worth the cost of an upgrade or initial purchase.
Rebecca Harris is a graduate student at Rice University..