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.