I received a review copy of BibleWorks 9 in the mail a several weeks ago and have been working with it ever since. In reviews of previous versions of BibleWorks, I have mentioned that this software is a valuable resource for scholars, pastors, and other serious students of scripture. This latest iteration of BibleWorks is no different. I am going to break this review up into several parts. This first installment focuses on the interface and browsing in BibleWorks 9.
BibleWorks 9 moves quickly (like previous versions) – much quicker than some of the other Bible software packages on the market today. When a curser is place over any word in the text, the parsing information and BDAG/HALOT entries displays instantaneously. There is not lag time as there is with some other programs.
The main screen divides into three columns: search window, browse window, and analysis window. The search window is on the far left and displays the list of search results. The browse window is in the middle and allows users to browse through one or more Bible versions at a time. The analysis window is on the far right and displays numerous dictionaries, grammars, and other resources that aid in the interpretation of the biblical text. This left-to-right order is an improvement over previous versions of Bible Works and matches how scholars process data: searching then browsing then analysis. Here’s a look at Ephesians 1 with BDAG showing in the analysis window.
The browsing window in the middle is where the biblical texts are displayed. Users can have open as many or as few translations as they please. One new feature in the interface is that the analysis window can now be divided into two columns to allow more than one resource to be showing at one time. Here’s an example:
In the picture above, you can see that there are now four columns: search window, browse window, first analysis window, and second analysis window.
I love the interface on BibleWorks. It is intuitive and user-friendly and displays all the most relevant information in one screen. For this reason, I use it daily in my classroom teaching and in my own personal study.
There is much more to BibleWorks 9 than its flashy interface. I’ll have more to say on that in forthcoming posts.