Probably the feature that I was most excited about when I found out I would have the opportunity to review BibleWorks 8 was the Bagster’s Daily Light feature, which allows this resource to be viewed in the language of one’s choosing whether, English, Greek/Hebrew, or otherwise. I run my website and blog related to the study of the Old Testament; however, my full-time job does not really have me interacting with that much Hebrew and Greek on a daily basis (I do get to focus on the languages to some extent, but this is not often daily). I was hopeful that this feature would get me reading small portions of Hebrew and Greek more regularly.
And so far, after a couple of days at least, this is working out pretty well. When I open BibleWorks 8, Bagster’s Daily Light in Greek and Hebrew is the very first thing I see. So, even though spending any time with Greek and Hebrew text may be the furthest thing from my mind, I am initially greeted with a prompt to do so. I may or may not decide to take that opportunity, but at least I’m reminded. The yellowish (morning) or blueish (evening) box says “Hey, take a couple of minutes. This is important.”
In addition to the frequent reminder to spend some time with the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible, another positive of this feature is that the texts are topically arranged. For instance, the texts for this morning were arranged around the idea of “God’s thoughts.” This means that the vocabulary in each of the verses may be similar and facilitate reading or translation.
Yet the one con of the feature I think would be that it has not been integrated with the morphologically tagged Hebrew and Greek texts. This is somewhat important for a resource like Bagster’s that uses a lot of poetic texts. These can sometimes be fairly difficult to read or translate. However, the feature does make it very easy to toggle between the Hebrew and Greek versions and an English version. In this way, one can check to make sure they are reading or translating properly. Perhaps in future versions of the feature the morphological tagging can be integrated in.
In addition, I can also see that this feature has other future possibilities for more liturgically oriented communities. Perhaps it would be possible to integrate with the lectionaries of various communities as opposed to Daily Light being the only option, though I’m not sure what would be involved in acting on such a possibility in terms of copyright and other matters.. Still, all in all I think this is a very helpful feature, both for those who study these languages academically and for those in busy ministry situations who would benefit from the daily reminder to read devotionally in Hebrew and Greek.