Years ago, when I first got married, I didn’t have the money for a computer, or even Bible software. I started out with a word processor I bought from Office Depot (basically, a typewriter you could save documents to disc). It meant opening my Bible and laboriously typing in every Bible verse.
Then I got a Compaq Presario that I bought from my Rabbi, and it came loaded with Quickverse 2.0! A year later, I had a gift certificate to Egghead’s, and saw Logos on a CD rom (the one with the red cover), which I quickly bought. You wouldn’t believe how RAPIDLY my Bible knowledge increased after I got the Presario!
It remains a constant surprise to me when I meet Christians who refuse to own Bible software. “I’m a traditionalist.” I hear them say. Yet I’ve found most of them seem to be lacking in basic Bible knowledge – whether it’s the labor and time intensive effort to study the Bible, or whether the reluctance is due to a simple reluctance to spend time with the Bible, I don’t know.
The tools we have available to us today, with even the cheesiest Bible software available, would have made people like Matthew Henry envious. He developed his lifelong study of the Bible by firelight, loose sheets of paper, ink & quill, and hard bound volumes. It took most of his short life to develop the skills he had, and he passed on before he could pass on most of his acquired knowledge.
What would Matthew Henry say to us nowadays, who have available to us skills and tools undreamed of in Henry’s day? Don’t you think he’d be dumbfounded to know I can in mere seconds find every reference to any word in the Bible or in the Textus Receptus in English, Greek or Hebrew?
There are several free Bible programs, such as Laridian’s Pocket Bible, Esword, The Word, Logos Basic and Olive Tree Bible Software. There’s Premium packages such as Logos Starter, Accordance, Quickverse 2010 Platinum (available on Amazon or on Ebay usually for $20), and others. Take some time, look at the options (I am a Logos and Quickverse fan, having been using them since the Presario), and get your choice. And begin USING THEM.
Why should you use them?
- No more thumbing through it for ten minutes trying to find a verse! Even the most basic Bible program like Olive Tree can save you valuable time searching. You can use any Bible program far quicker than opening your Strong’s and looking up 5 verses to see if they’re the right ones! Unless you have lots of time to waste?
- No more getting misled by reading a Bible verse out of context! If Bible software had been available when Joseph Smith or Charles Taze Russell came out, they’d have drawn only about three followers! 20 years ago, the Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge was almost unknown. Now, millions use it daily, doing research in minutes that people used to take months to do!
- Easier to use them when writing blog posts or posting to social media! Even my Quickverse 2010 has a feature to instantly paste verses to Facebook and Twitter!
- The TSK. The TSK was a simple book in hard cover format, showing you lists of verses sharing words. In Bible software, it’s suddenly a pilot that navigates your Bible study, and opens the concept of “studying in concept”. The Law of First Reference suddenly has daily application!
- Topical Bibles. Many of them were like the TSK, books with lists of verses. Many owned them, VERY few used them. NOW they’re a guide for Bible study. Used along with the TSK, suddenly it’s VERY easy to grasp the big picture of Bible teachings!
- You don’t just rely on books by Bible researchers! Four simple modules (the King James, Strongs, the TSK and a Topical Bible) and you can very quickly find out those stuffy old Fundamentalists were right about almost everything!
- You learn by writing notes! Every Bible program comes with a way to make notes on Bible passages. If you get into the daily habit of writing down your notes on your studies and your discoveries, you’ll find you understand and retain a LOT more of your Bible study!
You’ll find that if you take the time to begin using Bible software to replace much of your Bible tasks, your grasp of doctrine will grow enormously! I do have an article on why you should still own a hardcover Bible, and certainly Bible software will never completely replace hardcover Bibles – but every Christian needs to do Bible study, and it’s easier and faster using software!