Review: BibleWorks8

I wish to thank the fine people at BibleWorks for sending me this review copy of BibleWorks8.

BibleWorks8 is a software for exegesis and research.  It comes in very good use when doing research. I have found myself using this more often to pull up my favorite bible translations when I do exegesis.  I think this has now become my standard bible software.

BibleWorks8 comes with all the popular bible translations, including the NJB, NET Bible, JPS Tanahk, various Greek New Testaments, Hebrew bibles and Septuagint versions.  It also has bible translations for over 30 languages.  BibleWorks searches one version at a time but it can display as many translations as one wants.   If you want to search another translation, you have to switch to another translation.  I don’t find this too inconvenient but I suspect that a multiple translation search would slow down the search considerable.  I would prefer speed.  Furthermore, the older computers wouldn’t be able to handle a multiple search anyway.

There are all the popular translations you can think of—even the less popular translations like God’s Word, Complete Jewish Bible, Douay-Rheims, ERV, Peshitta-Ethridge, Geneva Bible, JPS (1917, 1985), Hone NT Apoc., James NT Apoc., Josephus Works, Septuagint LXX (Brenton, Magiera Peshitta, James Murdoch, Norton Peshitta, Targum Onkelos, Bishop’s NT, Rodkinson Mishnah, Tyndale’s NT, Webster’s Bible, Young’s Literal Trans.  What I noticed missing were: NCV, CEV, Message; however, I didn’t miss them anyway.  I’m not complaining about it because with this many translations, one can’t complain.

Just to see how capable the search was, I tried a search, and it displayed about 40 translations at once including Chinese and Korean translations without a problem.  I was impressed.  However, I wouldn’t try doing search and display on a phrase with that many translations.  No more going online to search different translations one at a time.  Now I can search and display as many translations as I want all at once.  This saves me a bundle of time.

The tricky thing to keep in mind is that when you display your list of translations, it will show you either the active versions only or all versions.  I prefer to show all versions because you can check and uncheck the versions you want to view or not to view.

Once you have selected which translations to view, you can also order them according to your preference from first to last.  I like this because sometimes, I don’t even bother to look at the less preferred translations, which will be displayed at the end of my versions displayed.

Another nice feature in BibleWorks8 is that it will allow you to search for a word, or even a phrase, from a list of verses searched and displayed.  What I mean is that after you have searched for a list of verses with the words you want, by clicking on an entirely different word in that list, it will pull up a new search on the word you just clicked on.  It does a continuous search on new words quite easily without having to enter a new word in the search.  After the search is completed, the window shows the number of occurrences located for that word or phrase in each of the translations.  That’s very useful information because if you want to locate the highest number of occurrences, you can select the translation that contains the greatest number of occurrences.  Once you have selected the text or phrase you want, you can click on the copy button or just highlight the piece of text, then paste onto an editor or wordprocessor.

If you are a pastor who does research and exegesis, this bible software will be very useful. I have found myself using this more and more each day and week and do not think I could be as efficient without BibleWorks8. It is a real time-saver.

I have been trying to learn this software as I do my exegesis each week. I am not so familiar with other bible software so I hope to be able to learn more about other features in BibleWorks8 as I go along.  I will blog about its other features  in a future post.

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