Software Review: BibleWorks 8 – Part 3 of 3

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Miscellaneous Helpful Features in BibleWorks

The Command Line alone is a wondrous thing. So many different types of searches can be performed that I can’t think of much of anything that couldn’t be done. There is an extensive Help file page devoted to the Command Line. In English, any number of searches can be performed and for geeks, regular expressions can be used.

An example of a more complex search would be:
(/grac* faith*).5(/law* work*)

would give you:
a form of “grac…” OR “faith…” AND a form of “law…” OR “work…” within 5 verses

There is also a more user friendly Command Line Assistant and plenty of examples. For even more complex searches that the Command Line can’t do there is the Graphical Search Engine.

A number of Greek syntax searches can be done. You could search for all verbs within a range of verses, narrow that down to first person singular and/or plural, or any number of other syntactical searches.

Which Version Uses that Word?
Do you or have you used more than one translation in your life? Do you sometimes try to find a word or phrase that you are certain is in the Bible, but cannot remember which translation has it? BibleWorks can help you find a word or phrase even if you cannot remember which translation contains it.”

Vocabulary Flashcards
You can find vocabulary sets for Hebrew and Greek including Greek sets from Croy (a book I’m going through), Mounce, Black and others. These include sound files with a choice of Erasmian Greek or thankfully, modern pronunciation! I don’t use Erasmian and if I want to hear something pronounced I would rather hear something closer to what I use.

The Synopsis Window helps you to find predefined parallel Gospel passages, places where the New Testament quotes the Old Testament and parallel passages in the Old Testament. Another feature that helps you find similar information but wider in scope is the Related Verses Tool. When choosing a Greek morphology version, it will automatically remove words of lesser importance like contractions, articles, etc. In the example below you can see that I clicked on the verse in Isaiah in the middle window and it shows up in the right window.

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Search and Display Favorites
You can create favorite lists of translations to display when doing a search. I have a main favorite (which I named f1), one for the Old Testament (which will display a Hebrew Bible that can be linked to a lexicon), one that displays mainly formal (more literal) translations, one that displays mainly dynamic and paraphrases etc.

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What I would like to see in BibleWorks

  • A popular paraphrase translation like The Message or the Good News Bible (for occasional comparison)
  • I was a little disappointed in the section on A Brief Description of Major English Translations. Only a few of the translations were given descriptions and outdated terms like word-for-word are used for some translations. I know it’s “brief” but it would be nice to see that updated and expanded. I was hoping to find more information on each translation included in the program all in one place. Maybe this is asking a bit much.
  • Some functions require going down a couple menu items in order to perform it. For example, to uncheck all boxes of verses that appear in the Search Window results, you must right click and go down two menus in order to uncheck all the boxes. I would think there could be a button or keyboard shortcut for something like this, although there are a lot of keyboard shortcuts for many functions within the program. I would also like to see custom toolbars where a new toolbar can be created with buttons for functions that are frequently used. This would be a major task for the software developers since there are so many functions in the program. But I have seen this done with high end graphics programs and it greatly speeds up the process.
  • Commentaries by Gill, Clarke and a few others that can be found for e-Sword

Regarding commentaries: An advantage of using BibleWorks is that when displaying a verse in the Browse window, you will find all of the resources available pertaining to that verse in the Resources window. When looking at a commentary, it will not only give you a link to the commentary for that verse, but also links for every other instance that verse is mentioned in the whole commentary.

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Ease of Use

The learning curve is as shallow or as steep as you’d like to make it. The box that the CDs come in has a 16 page Quick-Start Guide for guiding you through installation and basic functions. That, along with right clicking and pressing F1 everywhere in the program, and going through all of the menu items at the top of the program will show you most of what the program has to offer.

Going from the Command Line/Results window on the left, to the Browse window in the middle and to the Analysis window at the right is intuitive and easy to navigate.

If you’d like to go deeper into exegesis, sermon preparation, etc. the aforementioned Performing Common Tasks in BibleWorks will guide you through only what you need to know.

If you are like me and like to read owner’s manuals you will be greatly rewarded by going through the whole help file system. You won’t remember everything you read because of the program’s vast capabilities, but you will know what every function of the program does and you can go back and relearn whatever is necessary when the time comes.

There is also their official BibleWorks User Forums where I’ve gotten quick replies to a couple of questions I had that don’t fall under the area of technical support.

I hope that gives you a glimpse of just some of the things that this software can do and help you with making a decision in which Bible software to purchase.

5 Responses to “Software Review: BibleWorks 8 – Part 3 of 3”

  1. 1 paul merrill

    It’s great to have tools like these to explore God’s Word!Just a reminder today to consider the 2,000+ languages around the world that don’t have a single word of the Bible in their language. Prayers appreciated for those who are working to change that.-Paul Merrill for Wycliffe’s The Seed Company

  2. 2 Mike

    “I would also like to see custom toolbars where a new toolbar can be created with buttons for functions that are frequently used.”I assume this is not what you mean, but you do know you can customize the main button bar in BibleWorks, right? It allows for some level of customization, but I wasn’t sure if that’s what you meant or if you were thinking even bigger.

  3. 3 Scripture Zealot

    Hi Mike,
    Yes I am aware of being able to customize the main toolbar by choosing the buttons they supply and adding, removing and repositioning. I am in fact thinking bigger, with more buttons for more functions of the program and being able to have additional floating toolbars or toolbars docked at one side or the other.

    I’m glad to see you stopped by. Thanks for commenting.

  4. 4 Mike

    Be sure to try to submit a feature request. The programmers are generally quite responsive to ideas from users. Of course there’s no guarantee they can make it happen, they do make a lot of continuous improvements to the program. Plus if it’s useful to you, it’ll likely be useful to a few other people as well.

  5. 5 Scripture Zealot

    I’ll do that. There are various other things I think of along the way too. I hope they don’t get tired of hearing from me.

  1. 1 BibleWorks 8 Bible Software Review | Scripture Zealot
  2. 2 BibleWorks 8 Bible Software Review | Scripture Zealot
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