What resources do you get with BibleWorks 7 (BW7)? "Time would fail me to tell of" thirty-two English translations, plus versions in twenty-two other modern languages. Now, free tools such as the valuable E-Sword also have a lot of free versions. What they don't have is the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic resources built in to BW7. You get the BHS4 Hebrew OT, and Nestle-Aland27/UBS4 Greek NT, as well as Robinson-Pierpont Greek New Testament (Byzantine Textform 2005), Scrivener's, Stephanus', and other variations in both Testaments.
But wait -- there's a virtual-ton more. Suffice it to say here that I'm very enthused about this version, and heartily recommend it to any serious student, particularly to anyone who's a student of the original languages. It is an amazing resource, a treasure house.
List of ten goodies above and beyond what I discussed at Pyromaniacs:
- Be Eugene Peterson! You can make your own translation, and get it formatted and included into the BW7 database. (Okay, don't go off on me saying "Peterson" and "translation" in the same paragraph; you get my point.)
- Outlines! You can make your own Bible outlines, and have them display as you go through Bible books.
- Maps! They've got all sorts of cool maps, including satellite imagery.
- All sorts of potential add-ons! At the forum, you can find a list of user-created add-ons.
- Customizable all over the place! You can change a lot of how BW7 displays and works, to your own preferences.
- MS Word interface! You can insert Bible text into your Word document via a hot-key combination.
- Flash cards! You can make your own Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic flash card system. You can do it in terms of frequency, or in terms of the specific vocabulary of the book(s) you are studying.
- Cheaper upgrades! Pay full price for your first BW, and every upgrade after is significantly discounted.
- Nice guys! The programmers with BW are hardworking, very nice folks, totally easy to work with.
- Great instructional videos! Earlier versions had well-intentioned, informative, but kind of lame and long videos. This version has a ton of them, and they tend to be more bite-sized, specific, and very helpful.
- Updates. It is a really good feature that you can check online for updates -- and the programmers frequently update the program and data files to improve, catch bugs, correct typo's. But you must check manually. You click on Help, then Check for updates, and then you find out whether there are any. You check boxes, download, install. (Oddly, you have to approva that BW will shut down -- then you have to approve that it will shut down!) The program should check automatically and alert users to updates -- as, for instance, AvantBrowser and other software does.
- Non-intuitive searches. The methods of searching are, to me, not intuitive, not patterned (say) on standard web or window searches. For instance, if you want to search for all occurrences of the word word, you don't type in word. You have to type in period-word: .word. If you want to search for the phrase "word of God," you don't type "word of God," as in a standard web or Windows search; or check a box that says "All the words." You use an apostrophe, and type 'word of God. It goes on, gets even more Byzantine, for more complex searches. Now, it's all quite learnable, and they have very handy online reminders and context-sensitive help -- it just would soften the learning-curve if it were standardized -- or if it used a GUI box, as other programs do.
- The ASE. There is an Advanced Search Engine that I, so far, have been unable to learn. For years. Now, the brainiacs at the site (advanced users) use it, love it, probably think I'm a wimp for not "getting" it -- but I don't. I've tried, and I don't. It's GUI, but it is -- to me -- indecipherable. Hebrew was easier. I do think it could be done easier, using a GUI box with options to check. But I've raised this at the forum, and didn't elicit much sympathy among users. So perhaps you'll find it easy, too. (I would hasten to add that, though I can't/don't use this feature, I get immense profit from the program, and enthusiastically recommend it nonetheless.)
- Less wimpy taskbar/QuickStart icons. Need I say this is my most trivial "gripe"? The icon they use might be great full-size, but it looks like a bit of speckled tiling on the taskbar and especially Quick Launch. So I used an icon editor and made my own, just so it could be distinctive.