Posts tagged with "BibleWorks"

BibleWorks 8 Overall Evaluation

I have recent versions of both BibleWorks 8 and Logos on my laptop as well as an older version of Accordance.  Of these three programs, my two favorites are BibleWorks 8 and Accordance, though I cannot speak to soundly on Accordance for reasons I’ll make clear below.  I realize that a significant amount of this has to do with the type of work that I do with the software.  For instance, I do a lot searching in Hebrew and Greek text and find this much easier with both BibleWorks 8 and Accordance.  In particular, the collocation module within BibleWorks has the potential for making aspects of my research 100 times easier, though I will wait a bit to talk more about it. (I spoke with the folks form BibleWorks at SBL about a potential application of the module.  Depending on the outcome of that conversation and some follow-up I may write a good bit more about that in the future).

To be fair, one advantage for Logos is that they appear to have a lot more resources available than I have seen with the other packages.  And, for someone whose interests extend into a lot of different areas beyond Biblical languages this does seem to be a plus.  There are a couple resources in particular that I use and am pretty tied to with Logos, including the works of my supervising professor – The Lexham Hebrew-English Interlinear and A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar.  This will keep me opening up Logos from time to time.  But, when it comes to using Logos on a day-to-day basis, I do not like the interface.

I probably cannot offer a fair assessment of Accordance; I have a very old version.   I originally used BibleWorks and then switched to Accordance when I switched to a Mac.  I bought a core bundle with Accordance, but never found myself in a financial position where I could add modules (that I really wanted) to it.  So, I let it languish.  I think the version I am running now is (gasp) 5.7.  But, in interest of being fair, I don’t think that anyone should take my views of Accordance too seriously.  You will have to look into that for yourself.

Finally, that brings me to BibleWorks 8, which has become my software of choice.  I like opening the program and having a bit of Greek and Hebrew hit me as soon as I open it up.  I like the collocation module in the form that it is in now, and if some advancements are made to it, I will almost certainly prostrate myself before it every morning … just kidding ;-).  I think the module has significant potential for research in vocabulary as well as lexicography.  As an Apple user, once I have learned a lot of the shortcuts in BibleWorks it has expanded my use of the program significantly, though the interface did take a little getting use to after using Accordance for a few years.

In addition to taking a little while for me to get accustomed to the interface (which was aided greatly by spending some time with Jim Barr at SBL), I think the downside of BibleWorks is that the user is somewhat limited in the number and types of modules that can be added to the program.  It works great for me as my interests are primarily in the areas of languages and linguistics.  However, if your interests lie in a lot of different areas and you will want to add a lot of different modules to your software, you will likely want to look at either Logos or Accordance.  But, if your interests, like mine, are more related to Biblical languages, I believe BibleWorks is a great option.

This will not be my final look at BibleWorks 8, but after a couple of weeks with the program I thought it would be good to give an overall evaluation in light of the other software that I have available to me.

Also check out my posts on BibleWorks on my Mac:

BibleWorks 8 Functionality on My Mac

Updating BibleWorks 8 on My Mac

Updating BibleWorks 8 on My Mac

I have been running BibleWorks 8 on my Mac for a couple of weeks now using Parallels.  My time has been a bit sparse on account of SBL; however, I have noted previously that the functionality of BibleWorks 8 on my Mac using Parallels is excellent – the issues being the added cost of Parallels and extra hard drive space needed.  Yet one thing I was a little concerned about was updating BibleWorks and how that would work running through Parallels.  In other words, I wondered if there would problems due to the fact that Windows 7 and Tiger are “sharing” the internet connection.  I’m not a computer expert, and I’m sure that some of you who are might be thinking “Why in the world would you be worried about that?” My response would be, “Back off, these are the kinds of things normal computer users worry about.”

At any rate, I decided to give updating BibleWorks a go today.  In short, it was a piece of cake.  There was no problem with updating running the program in Parallels.  I highlighted the items I wanted to update and clicked “Apply Selected Updates.”

Updating BibleWorks 8 on my Mac

Updating BibleWorks 8 on my Mac

BibleWorks and Parallels worked together on the rest.  BibleWorks restarted a couple minutes later with my updates installed and apparently working properly.

Daily Hebrew and Greek in BibleWorks 8

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.”

Daily Light is the Blue Box in the Center of the Screen

Daily Light is the Blue Box in the Center of the Screen

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.

Bagster's Daily Light – Thy Thoughts are Very Deep (BibleWorks 8)

I opened up BibleWorks 8 this morning to be greeted with the Bagster’s Daily Light for the day.  This is a resource I am very interested in because it hits me with just a bit of Hebrew and Greek every morning and evening, which is something that is good for the soul.  I’ll give a more thorough review of this feature when I get a chance to write something more in-depth.  However, I thought this morning’s Daily light was a very helpful collection of a few texts from the Hebrew Bible on the thoughts of YHWH.  The three Old Testament texts are as follows:

How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep! (Psa 92:5 NRS)

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isa 55:8-9 NRS)

You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you. Were I to proclaim and tell of them, they would be more than can be counted. (Psa 40:5 NRS)

The idea that God’s thoughts are deep and not like ours is very good counsel to take just before reading scripture.

BibleWorks 8 Functionality on My Mac

Perhaps the first thing on many people’s minds when they see me reviewing BibleWorks 8 is “Isn’t BibleWorks a Windows program? And, aren’t you a Mac user?”  The answer to both questions is “yes.”  However, programs for running a Windows OS and Windows programs on a Mac have come a very long way with offerings like Parallels.

I am personally running Windows 7 and BibleWorks 8 using Parallels and have been quite impressed.  Using Parallels, I am able to run BibleWorks 8 as a window on my computer screen almost identical to what it would look like if I had open Logos for Mac or Accordance (see screenshot below).  As a window, BibleWorks 8 functions with the “hot corners” I have set up on my computer.  In addition, I am able to cut and paste directly from BibleWorks into other applications like Pages and Keynote.

BibleWorks 8 as a Window on My Mac

BibleWorks 8 as a Window on My Mac

With regard to the installation,  it went along without a hitch.  In terms of lag that one might expect running a Windows program on a Mac, I have not experienced any.  BibleWorks 8 appears to be running just like any other application that I run on my Mac.  And, that is good news for Mac users who would like to use the program.

Overall, there are a lot of matters to take into consideration when investing in a Bible software program that will aid in one’s study and analysis of the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible.  However, if functionality is one of the issues that would keep a Mac user from choosing BibleWorks 8, I see no reason why this should be the case.  Of course, there is some additional cost incurred by needing to purchase a program like Parallels. Also, running Windows 7 does require a good chunk of hard drive space.  Yet in the end I do not see any loss of in terms of the functioning of the program.  In fact, I feel pretty certain I would prefer running BibleWorks 8 on my Mac than on a PC.  But, that’s just me.

Much more to come as I take a look at some of the specific features of the program.

Received My Review Copy of BibleWorks 8

Yesterday evening I received a review copy of BibleWorks 8.  Be on the lookout for a number of forthcoming posts.  The first will come very shortly and deal with the install for a Mac user, namely me.  In addition, there are a lot of features that I’m really, really looking forward to taking a look at, especially the Daily Light devotional displayed in Greek and Hebrew.  I’ll also be putting the program through some pretty complex searches like those I conducted for identifying multi-word items in Biblical Hebrew for my dissertation research.  So, stay tuned …