There are a number of good Bible software programs available to assist us in studying the Scriptures. Since starting to use computers, I have tried several different programs. The ones I have used the most are Logos (www.logos.com), QuickVerse (www.quickverse.com), and PC Study Bible (www.biblesoft.com). The latter one is the program that I have been using the most the last few years. It has a lot of the classic religious works (Thayer's Lexicon, Pulpit Commentary, Barnes' Notes, etc.), as well as works published by brethren (brother Coffman's Commentary).
These programs are useful because they allow you immediate access to a large religious library. Instead of trying to flip through a book trying to find something you once read in it, you can do a search of one book or several books in a matter of seconds to find a word or phrase. For several years now, I have taken a small notebook computer to Bible study classes. As we study some particular passage in class, I have the opportunity to search easily for related comments, parallel passages, or definitions to words we are studying.
While these programs can be quite helpful, they can also be very expensive. Logos has a version they call the "Scholar's Library Silver Edition" which contains almost 400 different works that would be worth over $8,000 if purchased in book format. This package retails for $999.95 on their Web site. The QuickVerse 2005 Deluxe software package contains 144 titles (worth about $4,000 in print) that sells for $299.95. The top version of the PC Study Bible package sells for $399.95. Obviously, you can get some of these packages for a little less at some of the discounted Bible bookstores.
I recently ran across a free Bible software program on the Internet that works very well, especially considering the price! e-Sword is a "labor of love" by software programmer Rick Meyers. He is making this program free to encourage the study of the Scriptures. The program can be downloaded at his Web site at www.e-sword.net.
Not only can you download the basic Bible program, but there are also a number of free add-ons that can be downloaded and installed. There are several different Bible versions (i.e. American Standard, English Standard, Young's Literal, etc.). Also, several Bible commentaries are available for this program as well. Some of these works include those by Clarke, Barnes, Vincent, and Robertson. Under the heading "Dictionaries" you can download Brown-Driver-Briggs' Hebrew Definitions, Thayer's Greek Definitions, the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, and Smith's Bible Dictionary, among others. Other free works include: History of the Christian Church, by Schaff, St. Paul the Traveler, by Ramsay, and The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, by Edersheim. As always, one needs to recognize that these items are the works of men and need to be studied accordingly. While teaching many good things, they also teach a number of denominational errors.
If you have been thinking about purchasing a Bible software program, you might want to visit this Web site first and download this free version. It is a good way to get introduced to electronic research in an inexpensive way. Download it, and then "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). 2004 Little Stream Run, Owensboro, Kentucky 42303-1891, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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