Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas suggestion for your favorite exegete

BibleWorks 8 may not make it in time for Christmas. But....

BibleWorks is an amazing value. I've used it for years. In the transition from version 6 to 7, I went from an admiring user to a BW-lover (see my review). If the trajectory continues (as reported), version 8 should be pretty terrific.

I plan to review it shortly after its release. You might consider ordering in advance, or getting some sort of a gift certificate from BibleWorks. Write them at, and see if they won't work something out with you.


Fred Butler said...

What about LOGOS? I have used BWs but am limited in my computing skills to utilize it completely. But having recently been introduced to LOGOS it appears it can do the same as BW but so much more and, though it is expensive... Man, the books and reference add ons are unbelievable and far surpass anything BWs offers.

Is it one of those Windows/Mac debates or is there comparable differences?

DJP said...

No, Logos can't do the same as BW, nor vice-versa. And no, I don't think it's like comparing pcs and Macs; maybe it's more like comparing a scalpel and a Swiss army knife. It's a dreadful mistake to think that BW7 is trying to do what Logos does, but not doing a very good job. It isn't trying, and it's doing a splendid job.

I also have and use both programs, I also keep buying more add-ins to Logos. Have you read my reviews of both, here and at Pyro?

I respect and use Logos, and it's VERY complicated and non-intuitive in some ways. You have to put out a LOT of money to get what you want. But it is a wonderful resource, I'm glad I have it, and I use it every day.

However, I love BW7. You sort of shrug at the expense of Logos — did you look at the link to what someone will get in BW8, just as a base package? It's mind-boggling. BW8 is more of a ministry than a for-profit business, or they might be well-served to do a side-by-side comparison of what $349 (upgrade just $149.99) will buy you, and what that would cost in Logos.

But BW7 is fast, elegant, and astonishingly robust. In a blink, I have a truckload of exegetical materials in BW7. If you do Heb/Gk (which every pastor should), it's indispensable.

But what I love most is the marginal notes, and Logos has nothing like that. Don't even try to bring up stick-ons or such: no comparison.

I've always written in the margins of my Bibles. This is like that on steroids, bombarded by Gamma rays, in an Iron Man suit. Mouse-over verse, and your notes are up in a twinkle. That alone is worth the price for me. It's like having a DJP Exegetical Study Bible. Lexical, theological, personal; fully formattable (I just stuck in pix of leptons for today's reading). It's a marvel.

I'm not a usage genius either. I wish I could take a workshop. I know I'm also just using a fraction of both programs.

So yeah, I respect Logos, and use it, and expect to keep throwing handfuls of money at them for years. (Sure hope they improve the interface.)

But I love BW7.

Rachael Starke said...

"Mouse-over verse, and your notes are up in a twinkle. That alone is worth the price for me. It's like having a DJP Exegetical Study Bible. Lexical, theological, personal; fully formattable"

Oooh. So that's what it means about "Add your own Bible version".

Otherwise I was going to make a crack about the LOLCat version. Or my version, which would seriously, ahem, "update" Prov. 31. :)

But does this mean that you don't mark up your actual physical Bible at all? I have a couple of Bibles where I have marked passages with dates where those passages really rang true. I love looking over them in kind of an "ebeneezer" way. Plus, I have had just enough really awful data loss experiences with technology to make me wary of really trusting in it that way.

DJP said...

Funny, funny lady. (c;

Actually yes, it has meant that I stopped marking up Bibles. In fact, my carry-to-church Bible is my laptop. When I switched to mainly using ESV, I never got a better-bound edition; BW7 took over.

But in the eventuality of pastoral ministry, I will have to have a carrying Bible. That will probably be my newly-acquired, yet-to-be-reviewed ESV Study Bible. But that doesn't allow for much marginal writing.

You're absolutely right, of course. Data backup is very important. I periodically copy my BW notes to my laptop, so I have three copies (pc, flash, laptop).

VcdeChagn said...

(Sure hope they improve the interface.)

Well...logos 4 is supposed to use a Google search code-base engine...

I hope that it's true because searches are MISERABLE in Logos.

Can you explain this more in depth?

I've always written in the margins of my Bibles. This is like that on steroids, bombarded by Gamma rays, in an Iron Man suit. Mouse-over verse, and your notes are up in a twinkle.

I'm trying to figure out how this is different that what Logos does. I currently use Logos' notes system (color coded, etc) and they pop up when I mouse over a verse...

Can you explain how it's different, since you're an expert user of both? The only difference I can see based on what you're saying is adding pictures.

I know I could go to their site and look but I want to know from someone who uses the product how it matters in real life.

DJP said...

VXajlnbwqen, I expressly admitted I wasn't what I'd call expert at either.

As to notes, I had the pleasure of being given a demo by Logos pros. One of the questions I asked was whether they had anything like BW's note-taking feature. They admitted they didn't, apart from that clunky post-it type note.

By all means, DO go to the site and see the amazing range of what you'd get for a relatively low pay-out.

Jared Bryant said...

I would highly recommend Logos Bible Software. You can actually do the same things with Logos as well as much much more. Logos covers all aspects of Bible study. There are a lot more resources available in Logos format as well. Don't take my word for it though. Get a copy and try it out. They have a Money-Back-Guarantee!

Full disclosure: I work for Logos Bible Software so I am a little prejudiced…

If you want to take your Bible study to the next level, take a look and give me a call and I would love to offer you a discounted price!

Jared Bryant (800) 875-6467 ext 2319

John said...

IMHO, the ESV1 from R.L. Allan is the best ESV Bible ever made (to-date). Check it out at (CA company, I think) sometime. I came across the R.L. Allan in my search for a better quality ESV than you'll find from Crossway. I think you can get the ESV from Cambridge now, as well, and probably others, but I am still VERY happy with the R.L. Allan, and it's easier to carry around than the ESV Study Bible. Great size for preaching, IMO, although I am not a preacher.

John said...

btw; I own/use Logos, as well, and I too hope they improve the UI one of these releases. Esp. considering what they charge for the software.

DJP said...

Thanks, John. (But ouch! Pricey!)