Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Review of BibleWorks 9: Introduction


I bought a copy of BibleWorks 6 when I began seminary in 2005.

Since then, I’ve used BW6 as my go-to program for exegesis and language study. A decade later, BibleWorks is still my preferred Bible software. Despite the value of alternative systems (e.g. Accordance or Logos) and the explosion of online resources, there are several reasons why I still use BibleWorks.

Perhaps the most idiosyncratic reason for this preference is that BibleWorks is just what I know. I cut my teeth in language studies with BibleWorks, so this is the platform I’m the most familiar with. And, it’s served me well! Virtually every Greek or Hebrew character that I’ve ever used in research or in print was initially accessed from this program.

I remember the first few times I used the program as I careened toward my first exegetical paper on Col 3 (which was rough!). I pulled up Col 3:1, double-clicked on Χριστός, and then did a phrase search on τῷ Χριστῷ. In a matter of seconds, I had accessed several hundred cross-references, and just kept hovering my mouse over random words as the analysis window kept scrolling through a deluge of lexical and morphological data. Magic! Sorcery! I felt like I had entered the exegetical matrix, and my heart was strangely warmed.

And so, as a creature of habit, I keep going back to the software that has worked for me for a long time. For a while, now, though, I’ve been window-gazing at all the new programs that are now available. As you know, ten years in “tech years” feels like time, times, and half a time. Additionally, in the intervening dispensation, I’ve also been transferred from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of light (i.e., I now use Macs).

Aside from no longer having to spend an entire redemptive-historical epoch waiting for my laptop to “wake up” from its “soul sleep” (granted this might have had something to do with the fact that I was using a late 90s Dell!), this hardware shift has also changed the way I interact with software.

Along these lines, I’m going to review BibleWorks 9 (BW9) in light of these areas:
  • Is it worth upgrading to the newer version? I'll be comparing BW9 to BW6 (some of the "new" features I'll discuss were added with BW7 + 8).
  • Why stick with BibleWorks in light of readily available online resources? 
  • Can BW9 handle a Mac environment?
  • What are the features that keep drawing me back to BW9? 

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I also occasionally post annotations that I make as I read Cormac McCarthy at "Reading Cormac McCarthy."

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Says Simpleton is (c) Ched Spellman
2006-17

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