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An Updated BibleWorks

September 5, 2011

Several weeks ago I was given (by the publisher) a copy of the latest version of the computer-based software package, BibleWorks 9.  Having expressed my misgivings about the dangers of students relying on such resources and not really doing the work of learning Greek and/or Hebrew, I feel obliged to give some initial and limited comments about this particular one.

I’m an amateur when it comes to such items, and this is a powerful and multi-capability package that I’ve only delved into on a limited basis.  (You could spend hours probing this package!) But I can say that BibleWorks 9 seems to me a very impressive product.  The copy I was given (which I think is the standard product) comes with full original language texts of the Hebrew OT, Greek NT, Josephus, Philo, Apostolic Fathers, Targums, Syriac, Peshitta, and ooodles of English translations of the Bible, and English translations of the other texts too.

There are lexicons (e.g., Hebrew  Brown, Driver Briggs and Holladay; Greek:  Liddell & Scott, Moulton & Milligan, Gingrich/Danker), and several Hebrew and Greek grammars.

There are Bible dictionaries and other resources, making this a rich pool of things you can carry around on a mini-laptop like my Acer.

The programme default display (or “user interface”) is three windows simultaneously:  a “search” window (which displays results of your inquiries), a “browse” window (allowing closer examination of individual verses, and an “analysis” window (in which you can perform various tasks).

So, although I reiterate that such products can never substitute for learning the languages (and I have no reason to think that the producers of this or other such products ever intended this), I am not a complete moss-backed luddite!  For those considering purchasing such a product, BibleWorks 9 merits attention.

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One Comment
  1. You recently wrote: “I also insist that every PhD student should be familiar with the Nestle-Aland Greek NT, including its apparatus, and show awareness of any significant textual variants in passages studied.”
    I think, therefore, that it’s important to note that in BW9 you have (and I quoting from the BW site):
    + BibleWorks Manuscript Project: transcriptions, notes, and complete digital image sets (7.5 GB!) of Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, Bezae, Washingtonianus, Boernerianus and GA1141. Images are tagged with verse locations.
    + Center for New Testament Textual Studies [CNTTS] NT Critical Apparatus
    The wealth of text critical evidence provided in these two resources included with BW9 are quite stunning.

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