Friday, February 5, 2010

What did we miss?

Did we miss your favorite? If you would like to add a review, please leave a comment in this post.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


E-Sword (v9.5.1)is a free, extremely agile and functional Bible software program.  It has many free modules adding a good selection of Bibles, commentaries, devotions, dictionaries, and graphics (maps), greatly expanding its worth as a resource, and not overtaxing the investment of your parishioners.  You can purchase modules to expand its capabilities, which I will assume are the most current and or restricted due to copyright issues.

If you were to use this as a basis of a Bible study, you should consider the following when encouraging parishioners to select this program:
  1. Select in advance the modules you want installed, otherwise the list could be overwhelming to the parishioner or his/her computer and/or skills.
  2. Decide if they need Greek and Hebrew Bibles, for the opportunity to explore the various meanings of the words via Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.
  3. Seek a range of resources, as you should be the one to validate the download source for currency or applicability. 
E-Sword has the ability to create and save your own notes, to highlight text, to show text in comparison or parallel mode, and to view maps and graphics which help clarify geographical references, even if they are not extensive.  I’ve been running e-Sword concurrent with BW8 over the past couple of weeks, and I’ve found many common features, some with interfaces that mimic common Microsoft programs, making it easier for most parishioners to learn.
(JimG) presents a fairly common interface to the internet, which should be of reasonable comfort to members unfamiliar with the program.  The menu bars it uses, and the 12 English Bibles it encompasses, will certainly provide the basics needed for people to move beyond bare bones Bible study.  A nice feature if you have a multilingual congregation is the inclusion of many foreign language Bibles, including multiple choices in a number of these languages.
I especially enjoyed finding the online mobile version (Online Mobile Bible), for which it claims the only requirement is Internet access.  A quick try proved it works with my Samsung Blackjack 2, and the features extend beyond a simple electronic copy of the Bible (in the 12 English variants); it also has 3 commentaries and cross reference features.  It works with PDA’s and computers, so you could use this on a computer’s larger screen if you’re having difficulty reading the phone’s screen.
There is a wealth of ways to interpret and/or approach a Bible text using the Bible study Tools option.  While not extensive, it provides 25 different methods to get into the text and expand your knowledge, from parallel gospels to interwoven text (Hebrew or Greek).  It has a feature for searching on a story, date, person, place, or topic, so it you are one who doesn’t like to memorize the minutiae, you could easily use this feature to take you from the general to the specific.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


This is the Xiphos Bible site. The home page was very appealing as opposed to this one. The homepage made a reference to reporting any misuse of software such as having viruses. I clicked onto downloads to see if they are free or not, but it took me to another website: the open source Sourceforge site.
Previewing the software it looks similar to the Online Bible I also checked. Again it is still not equal to Bibleworks8, but it could easily get the job done. It looks like a good and free way to set parishioners up with online resources. I have noticed in my short time working in the program that it offers several dictionaries and commentaries that could be very beneficial to parishioners. One strength I am finding is that they include the NET translation (for free with limited notes; for a cost to get the full notes version). You can obtain hundreds more modules here (from the Sword Project whose modules work in Xiphos) or here.
After being able to download this, it seems like a great resource. This is a website I will suggest to many people interested in online Bible resources.
As long as it works, this looks like a helpful, reliable, wonderful resource to start with.

Online Bible

The Online Bible website offered downloads for DOS, Windows  3.1, Palm OS, Macintosh, Pocket PC, and Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7. It was easy to navigate the webpage. They offered different Bible translations, commentaries, dictionaries, educational material such as online Bible study material, updates on news, and an Online Bible Discussion Forum.
After looking through some of the resources available, there doesn’t appear to be anything that might be more advanced than Bibleworks8. However, for parishioners this might be the way to go. You can get quite a bit of functionality with the free version, but you can a full set of modules (including NKJV, Message, ESV) on a DVD for about $40.00.
I also want to note that from the pictures I saw of the online Bible version, it looks similar to a Bible program I bought from Staples before coming to seminary. It was about 7 dollars and offered about 15 different languages including Greek, and about 10 English translations. It also offered a Greek lexicon, and one commentary.
Note that this is not an online Bible but a Bible software program to download!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

BibleZ for Palm Pre

I started with intentions of downloading OliveTree to my Palm Pre.  After 4 hours, multiple failed attempts and coming very close to throwing my Palm Pre through the living room window, I caved, gave up on Olive Tree and went with BibleZ and have not looked back.  So brief review of Olive Tree - obviously not user-friendly for download to Palm Pre.  BibleZ on the other hand was extremely user-friendly for the download process.  It is located in the Pre application catalog.  BibleZ is a bible software application specifically made for webOS.  BibleZ relies on Zefania XML Bible modules (versions), there are currently 56  modules in different languages available for free download.  There is a bookmark feature which is handy to save the spot where you left off, and also a notes section that is easily accessible verse-by-verse.  There are no search categories which makes it tough to do any kind of exegetical work.  It's also kind of clumsy when trying to move to certain passages.  It would be nice if you could just type something like "John 3:16" and it popped up.  Overall pretty good - free application that has many modules (versions) to choose from and very easy/user-friendly to download, but lacking in search functionality.  I would recommend this application to anyone with a Palm Pre who is especially interested in language versions other then English.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Scripture 4 All version 2.1

The Scripture 4 All website  provides the free Bible software, Interlinear Scripture Analyzer (ISA). ISA allows a user to look up Scripture and to study the passages in three windows. The interlinear window displays the verse in Greek (New Testament) or Hebrew (Old Testament) and parallels it with word-by-word transliteration and translation. The translation window presents the verse (AV) in the context of the passage. The concordance window displays frequencies of words and their variations by Strong’s Concordance number. Each window interacts with the others. For example, users can search the concordance by selecting the word in the interlinear window.

The language itself is a little confusing at times. The Greek is displayed in Koine script, that is, all capital letters with some of them looking slightly different from ones many beginning Greek students would instantly recognize. The Hebrew letters are written right to left, as is normal, but the words themselves go left to right, the opposite direction from which Hebrew would be read. This is most likely for interlinear agreement.

ISA is a useful program with some helpful displays. However, coming from someone who is not very technologically-minded, the program does require time to learn and understand. The help menu allows a little more understanding of what the various windows and setups can do, and the website also has a “Help” and “Frequently Asked Questions” page. Trial-and-error exploration may be one of the best ways to come to understand this program.
[Scripture 4 All also offers downloadable PDF files of the Hebrew Interlinear Bible and the Greek Interlinear Bible.]