I’m forever on the search for the perfect Bible software. I like something that gives me not so much flexibility, but allows me to write my own commentary.
For the last year, I’ve used Bible Explorer 4, which is a very good program. But – it seems to place most of its abilities on its library. For the Wordsearch people, you’re only as good as your library. Many people have described how its the best. And in may ways I like the setup. But you’re limited to its default setup. Update – Bible Explorer 4 is now discontinued, and has been replaced by Wordsearch Basic 10.
Bible Analyzer. Its biggest drawback is how slow it is to start up. I suppose if I had a mega laptop that was designed for music and video editing (the massive amounts of video memory and the large RAM supply, plus much faster processor) and used it solely for Bible programs – I wouldn’t notice. And I really don’t have a lot loaded into bible analyzer right now. Aside from that… I wish it would load my own commentary in the commentary windows first. I’m sure that’s something I could choose in settings once I figure out how.
I really like how in E-Sword I’ve got the layouts at the click of a button, and can maximize my commentary window to use it. Lo and behold, Bible Analyzer does it almost as well. I can maximize my commentary window, and then with a click of a button I can… have to reload the default window settings I’d made once I downloaded the program.
Bible Analyzer has features that will benefit the King James Only believer, and will do nothing more than confuse a MVO believer. I really like it for some things.
I think in terms of neat appearance and uncluttered layout, it’s the closest to Swordsearcher. I rate the two of them so far at the top in terms of uncluttered, good looking interface.
E-Sword. Mega-slow. I got a little frustrated when trying to write commentary on 2 Tim. 3:2 and was on a good rant when the program… … … …. … locked up. And then it… … … … cleared up. So I began to type again when it… … … … … locked up and… … … … …. In some frustration, I’m wondering if I should port all my commentaries to other programs, and empty out E-Sword? Then maybe it wouldn’t… … …
I really had just been thinking since yesterday that I was ready to move back to E-Sword full time, completely over my frustration with it, when I tried using it. And again, I remembered WHY I went to Bible Explorer in the first place. And what irritates me is that I’d spent some more time, learning how to do things in E-Sword. And then I start typing, and the temporary lockups started again. “Oh, yeah. I remember why I switched.” How can I write commentary, when the program is timing out like an old DOS computer program? Forget writing to Rick about it – he’s already shown that he does what he does and if you don’t like it, there’s always TheWord Bible program.
TheWord. In many ways the best of the Bible Programs. The only thing I dont like is the interface. It looks so cluttered! This is something I have control over, how the layout is. I just don’t want to have to spend a long time learning how to really use a program. It looks like a messy room.
I don’t like my layout or colors, or even the fact that the minimize, maximize and close buttons in the upper corner are not the default size, or in the default location. When I’m in the ridiculous position I’m in every day of having 5 Bible programs open at once and I’m trying to minimize them all… TheWord takes an extra seconds to minimize.
SwordSearcher. I have this as a time limited shareware program. So far I like the speed of it, the ease… The big problem with it is the issue with not enough user modules. I’m sure if I went online today and looked, I could probably find all the user modules I need. Like B. H. Carroll’s commentaries, Edersheim’s writings, the Webster’s 1828 dictionary, Vine’s, the Thompson Chain Reference Bible (which I don’t own for any other program, but it would be nifty…) Update – i looked. Still not that many.
So far Swordsearcher is the easiest to use, and the neatest, cleanest layout. It almost feels like an extra step to write my commentary on it. But if I decide I want to use this, I’d need to go to Way of Life and buy it from David Cloud – that way I can get his add on works for Swordsearcher.
The major drawback of Swordsearcher is – it costs money. $70. That’s twice as much as Wordsearch 10. And they don’t give you a free version with limited features. So, I was limited to a month’s use, and gone.
Update – Wordsearch 10. Looks better than Bible Explorer 4 did. I like some of the added features. It does look like they’ve spent a little time analyzing TheWord. I’m seeing some familiar features, but without the untildy look. I like the multiple notebook feature a lot, and it still has the bookmarking feature of Bible Explorer I liked, although I ended up using it not as much as I originally intended.
The Verse List function has been a great way for me to compile lists of verses on particular subjects. I may even offer some of these for free download later on!
Good news is that all my books were immediately imported. And I have much more control over my sermons and how they show up in the left hand windows. I’d still like to see the sermons moved from HTML to DOC format, and much more in the way of word processing functions added. Indeed, one of the strengths of Visual Basic is simply, how easy it is to write a word processing program. It’s the second thing you always learn how to do besides making a clock!
My bible notes and bookmarks did not import over. This is a major annoyance. It also looks like my markups were not imported either. I do like how I can notate which highlight color stands for what meaning? I can name what the purple highlight stands for. Green has always stood for God’s judgment in my Bible, simply because not being a word-faith person, I simply have little interest in marking anything the Bible has to say about money! I can always later on make a notebook that allows me to write notes on verses about money and wealth. But that’s just not a priority for me.
The “Save Desktop” feature of both Bible Explorer and Wordsearch is poor at best, and needs addressing.
I do wish that they could find ways to combine some of the good features of E-Sword (topic notes, verse notes, journal, multiple underlining styles), the ease of note writing (Bible Analyzer, Swordsearcher), find a way to integrate Robert Langer’s Pastoring software, and more resources for Fundamentalists. I’ve written to them about this, but heard nothing back. UPDATE: They answered me, and are already in the process of including many of my suggestions into Wordsearch 11!
Essentially, if Wordsearch were to implement all my suggestions, I feel they could finally produce the stand out Bible package, the ultimate. The question is, are they far more willing than all the other Bible software writers to take suggestions and implement them?
Bottom Line for me: Wordsearch will ultimately end up the winner, I think.
- E-Sword, TheWord, and Davar (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Bible Explorer 4 pt. 2 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Decisions for 2013 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)
- Working With Bible Explorer 4.0 (matthew714ministries.wordpress.com)