Making the Most of Bible Software

David Instone-Brewer has a marvelously helpful set of posts on making the most of your Bible software. You can find detailed help for the following software packages: BibleWorks, Logos, and Accordance. Yesterday, I went through the material on BibleWorks and learned a ton. If you want to learn how to get the most out of your Bible programs, you won’t want to miss this one. (HT: Jim Hamilton)

UPDATE: Stephen Smith from Logos left an important comment that I thought I should bring to your attention. It turns out that some of Instone-Brewer’s commentary about Logos is out of date. Here’s Mr. Smith’s comment in full:

Denny,

I just wanted to point out that while Dr. Instone-Brewer’s round-up was helpful, most of the content he linked to about Logos Bible Software was quite out of date. In fact, since he posted that review in Sept. 2009, we’ve completely re-worked our software from the ground up. We no longer use the Libronix name or system, have over 12,000 (not 2000) resources available, etc. It’s also unclear how he concludes who has the most scholarly Biblical texts.

One of the reviews our site visitors have found most helpful was given us unsolicited from Dr. Adams from Concordia Seminary. I pass it on because it’s one of the most thorough and objective reviews I’ve personally seen from an academic-oriented user.
http://www.logos.com/press/reviews/2010/10/why-logos-by-david-adams

Just an FYI.

If there’s anything I can ever do for you or any of your readers, please contact me personally at stephen.smith@logos.com

Stephen Smith
Public Relations

12 Responses to Making the Most of Bible Software

  1. Donald Johnson December 9, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    DIB is a great scholar.

  2. Stephen Smith December 9, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    Denny,

    I just wanted to point out that while Dr. Instone-Brewer’s round-up was helpful, most of the content he linked to about Logos Bible Software was quite out of date. In fact, since he posted that review in Sept. 2009, we’ve completely re-worked our software from the ground up. We no longer use the Libronix name or system, have over 12,000 (not 2000) resources available, etc. It’s also unclear how he concludes who has the most scholarly Biblical texts.

    One of the reviews our site visitors have found most helpful was given us unsolicited from Dr. Adams from Concordia Seminary. I pass it on because it’s one of the most thorough and objective reviews I’ve personally seen from an academic-oriented user.
    http://www.logos.com/press/reviews/2010/10/why-logos-by-david-adams

    Just an FYI.

    If there’s anything I can ever do for you or any of your readers, please contact me personally at stephen.smith@logos.com

    Stephen Smith
    Public Relations
    http://www.logos.com/press

  3. MatthewS December 9, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    I may have a chance next year to purchase either BibleWorks or Accordance. I don’t have a Mac. I am wondering if Accordance on the PC using the emulator is better than BibleWorks or if BibleWorks wins on the home field. It’s all subjective, really, but I’m wondering which will be most satisfying in the long run.

    I do like the look of the diagramming tool in BibleWorks. I am able to use a copy at the seminary lab, I can’t recall which version. I’ve not played with the diagramming part of it, though. The custom maps would be very cool as well. I have only hunted and pecked my way around. Either because of or in spite of my software developing background, the UI seems quite confusing!

    Accordance just has such a slick UI on the Mac…

  4. Robert Slowley December 9, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    🙂

    I met David recently. I’m volunteering on a project he’s leading / part of to make some online Bible software (it’s not aimed at the level of sophistication of these commercial packages).

  5. Denny Burk December 9, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    Dear Stephen,

    Thank you for that clarification. I noticed his critical remarks seemed to be aimed at the older edition. I’m going to revise my main post and include what you put in this comment.

    Thanks,
    Denny

  6. Robert Slowley December 9, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    Stephen – why don’t you send him the latest version and let him review that?

  7. Luke Geraty December 9, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    I have used BibleWorks for nearly 5 years and love it.

    Two days ago, I purchased the Platinum version of Logos. It is equally amazing.

    Both serve their purpose, though the resourses with Logos are unbelievable!!!!

  8. John Holmberg December 10, 2010 at 3:28 am #

    Matthew,

    Bibleworks wins on the home turf hands down. The UI may be prettier on Accordance, and Accordance is a great program, but for $349 in Bibleworks you would have to spend over $2,000 in Accordance. The BW guys are in it for all the right reasons and unless you’re a specialist in something like Semitics, I would say your wisest bet is to go with Bibleworks. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. After one hour with it you will much of it figured out. I actually have friends who have gotten a Mac (since it seems to be the “cool” thing to do), bought Accordance, and ironically thought the learning curve was too steep on Accordance and ran Bibleworks with VMWare instead because they said it’s better and easier!

  9. Robert Slowley December 10, 2010 at 5:17 am #

    A big downside of Logos is that you can’t import your own stuff in to it. Take Bibleworks for instance, you can create your own BIble resources and import them.

    Logos (in the previous version) had a thing called Personal Book Builder (PBB) which you’d think would do something similar, but in fact the sorts of resources you can add with PBB are far less capable than the ones provided by Logos. They’re artificially limited.

    Presumably Logos do things this way to ensure they have a walled garden. If other people could create resources compatible with Logos that were on an equal par then they would have to compete.

    Competition of course would drive the price of the resources down. As things are Logos have virtual monopoly control on the pricing of resources, which is why the price of their individual resources is always so high.

  10. MatthewS December 10, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    Thanks for the input, John. BW sounds like it’s quite a bit more cost-effective. I live in a Windows world so it probably makes the most sense to get BW and put the effort in to mastering it.

  11. John Holmberg December 11, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    No problem, Matthew. Just a suggestion though, Bibleworks normally comes out with a new version every 3 years. That would mean they’re due for a new version around next October or November. It may be wise to wait. Every time they come out with a new version, it’s usually a total revamp with crazy upgrades. It may be wise to wait. They never disappoint on new versions. They’re more secretive than Apple about new versions, so be prepared to be surprised!

  12. Sue December 11, 2010 at 3:48 am #

    I have a couple of questions about Bible software. I have never bought any for a variety of reasons so I don’t know if this is accurate.

    First, I have the impression that most Bible software does not list nouns of common gender. For example, I think that anthropos, diakonos and apostolos are listed as masculine in the software, while they are considered by linguists to be nouns of common gender, since they can apply equally to men or women. Can anyone check on this for me.

    Another question is regarding the Greek text of Erasmus, Stephanus, Scrivener, etc. Epp, in his book about Junia records that these texts all have Junia accented in the feminine. But I read recently on a blog, that in Bible software, Junia is accented as a masculine name in these texts.

    This is what to look for –

    Ἰουνίαν feminine
    Ἰουνιᾶν – masculine

    Can anyone tell me how this name is accented in the electronic text of Scrivener and Stephanus?

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