On Bible Software

Nothing substitutes, in my mind, for the feel of sitting with a Greek New Testament and a notepad and jotting down thoughts and questions while reading. That being said:

E-Sword: It is free. E-Sword.net and biblesupport.com make absurd contributions to the pastoral study, the devotional time, and to the individual’s biblical knowledge for free. The commentary modules (Lange, Matthew Henry, Matthew Poole, Spurgeon on the Psalms,  Meyer, Robertson’s Word Pictures, Trapp, the Gnomon by Bengel, Calvin’s Commentaries, etc) are literally thousands of dollars worth of free material. The problem is that it is dated material. Nevertheless, old, useful, and free is still fairly awesome. Also, because of the free-ness if you die a family member can use it. Digital licenses work differently when product is not under free domain.

BibleWorks9: It is inexpensive and it is nearly comprehensive in terms of its search, lexical, and textual features. Even a minimum wage worker could afford it after seminary. I bought it with money I made tutoring math on the side a few years ago. It has helped me write dozens of papers and read through the GNT with my paper GNT and using my mouse to run over words whose lemma I was unfamiliar with. My vocabulary improved by thousands of percent I would wager.

Gramcord: I still appreciate gramcord because it has the simplest syntactical search available. That is all there is to it. It’s the cheapest of the non-free options, but I have not even tried it in windows 8. Surely they’ve updated it.

Logos 5: It’s search capabilities are fantastic because of its plethora of material, particularly if you purchase the Portfolio package (which is quite pricey and filled with…well filler). The nice thing about it is that the lexical features (like HALOT and LSJ), Ancient Documents, searchable Perseus database, and other expensive academic features are available for pennies on the dollar.

All in all, I am saying that I am pro-bible software. All of these options are worthwhile, especially if you’re frugal. If you’re looking to them to save time by having less research I would warn you that it is better to look to them to make your research more efficient (more research same time). Also, it does not excuse you from reading huge chunks of Scripture on your own without electronic assistance (so in English or Greek and Hebrew if you’ve developed the skill) to have a good sense of the whole counsel of God.


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