Quickverse 2010 Update


The illustration by Eugene Peterson is a good example of why I hate sermon illustrations

I’m really stubborn about getting a computer program to work. Quickverse 2010 comes with an annotation ability, such as Bible Explorer used to have, and Wordsearch had (and apparently now has again).

Why I’m putting this much work into it , I really don’t know. Logos is my go-to Bible program. I just really remember having Quickverse back in the 90’s, and it was the industry standard Bible program. I’ve had the Platinum package since 2016 (I think) and… while it’s great, I can’t copy and paste without having to fiddle with it, and the annotation feature (as I’ve mentioned about 563 times) never worked.

I’ve tried everything at this point. Tried using Quickverse 2009 to make annotations, copy and paste over or import over my annotations. The annotations still don’t work, and didn’t in the 2009 edition either.

I can write in the user books, and those actually work BETTER than the Wordsearch user book functions.

The only way I think I can use is to openly edit the db3 annotation file, but here’s where it doesn’t work – you’d have to know the lookup. Each entry in the db3 database has an index key, called a lookup. I could enter it as john1.1, john1:1, Jn1.1, Jn1-1, etc. Without knowing how Findex intended for it to work, the annotations functions remain useless.

What it really is, honestly, is nostalgia. I think it’s just a comfortable feeling of poking around in a Bible program I knew well and could use (kind of silly that I actually had Logos back then, and never read the user manual, back when software came with printed user manuals).
Also, it’s got to be that I’ve got a HUGE library of books in Quickverse platinum, and I’m reluctant to just let that go. I’m just frustrated that the overall design was not bad, and could have been useful… but it’s not working.

So, frustrating as it is, I really need to stop wasting time trying to get the annotation function to work.

I only use Quickverse as it is for one or two things, and should just keep working with Logos.

If you find Quickverse 2010 Platinum, and you decide to make it your go-to, just know you’ll have to constantly edit your Bible quotes, and you’ll need to use your Bible user books to do commentary and study notes in.

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How to Configure your Bible Software


I’ve realized over the years that Bible Software is written with possibilities in mind. Wordsearch, as I’ve commented before, has a lot of useful tools, as does just about all of them.
I’ll give the big shout out and say, I think Logos was written by people who USE it, and ran into “Wouldn’t this be nice” features! And then they worked them in.
I get the feeling that the people who write Quickverse from edition 5 until 2010 didn’t use Bible software. Or if they did, they were using something else.

Like Logos.

What can your Bible software do?
  • Notes. A primary feature of Bible software MUST BE to make notes on what you study. This is your first and PRIMARY function of Bible software. Utilize it! I’ve written some VERY wordy articles (2,500 + word articles) on how to do this, what to look for, what to notate. 2017 was supposed to be the year of doing notes on your Bible, if you weren’t playing along! Next year, we’re going to do this again, because unless you’re devoting 2 hours a day to Bible study (wow, that sounds like a DREAM!) you had time to make perhaps 3 notes a day on Bible study. That’s less than a thousand verses, and for realities’ sake, I’m going to cut that number in half and say you managed to get only 450 notes. Logos makes note files that are separate. Quickverse and Wordsearch do annotations in a special file that opens beneath the Bible text. At least, that’s the idea… I can’t find a way to get the annotations in Quickverse 2010 to work! Apparently, it only worked in Windows 95. By the time Wondows ME, XP, and Vista came along… it was broken, and Findex never bothered to fix it.
  • Clippings/Notecards. Logos and Wordsearch have the ability to copy things right from what you’re reading into files. I’ve found you can’t just have one major file on your computer unless you get super processors and 64 gigs of ram. Better to split up your work into multiple Clippings! I was going to make 2018 the year of the Clippings, but we’re going to leave this as year of the notes part 2 instead. What you SHOULD be doing, is as your reading things in the add on libraries, you should be sending things you consider important to a clippings file. This way, you’re not forgetting that important quote! Two days ago, I did an article entirely from notestack clippings I’d made in Wordsearch. Quickverse and Accordance cannot do clippings.
  • Highlighting. The two Bible programs with the best highlights are Logos and Accordance, hands down. Both Wordsearch and Quickverse feature usable highlighting. The Quickverse ones tend to completely obscure what you’re highlighting. You only can use about 6 of the colors. Wordsearch is about the same. Logos you can actually make your own highlighter colors and patterns. Like notes, Highlighting your bible program can take about 2 years to get it where you like it.
  • Personal Books/Journal: This is a habit I wrote about recently, and it got zero likes. Trust me, I was dumbfounded to go through my ministry journals in Wordsearch and Quickverse and see what the Lord has been doing in my life. I’ve come to the conclusion long ago that like the Apostle Paul, the Lord does not LEAD me, He DRIVES me. Personal books can be done in Logos, but it’s not as user friendly. It requires you to write it in Microsoft word, then tag it, and import it. I personally would write it in Scrivener, compile it, open in Word and tag it, THEN import it! Quickverse takes one step longer to do it than Wordsearch, but actually my 8 year old Bible program does it far better than others, because I can add Greek and Hebrew if I need to in my Journal! In addition, Wordsearch and Quickverse allow you to make dictionaries and commentaries that feel a little more like, well, the real thing!
Conclusion

Buying and installing your Bible software is only the beginning. Believe it or not, you won’t even begin to get the maximum benefit out of them until you’ve used them for at least 3 years! Start doing the above, and you’ll start getting the maximum benefit from your Bible software in 3 years!

7 Reasons You should use Bible Software


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?

A Solution

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?

Seven reasons!

  1. 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?
  2. 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!
  3. 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!
  4. 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!
  5. 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!
  6. 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!
  7. 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!

Conclusion

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!

8 Steps to Effective Bible Study


Here’s a way to do effective Bible study with Logos. As I’ve mentioned before, you can do a LOT with Logos 7 Basic. It’s free, and you can get the King James for only $10. Yes, they should offer it for free, but Logos has so many tools… Like many of you, I was opposed to Logos for many years (despite being a Logos user back in the 90’s), but yeah… once I tried it… I was sold on it. I don’t think I could go back to anything else. It’s funny though, I still find myself turning back to Quickverse out of nostalgia. This was how I started in Bible study with computers in 1994, Quickverse and Logos. I used to alternate between them every day. If Logos had offered the “How to use Logos” videos back then, I might not have used Quickverse as much.

So… how’s the first and easiest way to start Bible Study with Logos?

  1. Set up a one year reading plan… Twice through the New Testament in one year, once through the Old. this is the David Cloud reading plan. Go to Documents, start a new reading plan, choose Old Testament by pericope in the King James in one year by yourself (you can invite others as well…). Then do the same, but for the New Testament by pericope in the King James in six months by yourself. Go to the documents again, and COPY the NT reading plan, then open it and edit the copied one to have a July 1 start date.
  2. Start your Bible reading, by clicking on it from your home screen. Now, go to Layouts, and choose Bible Journaling.
  3. Open the TSK if you bought it or if you bought a package that has it. Keep it in your Bible window, not the Journaling one.
  4. highlight a single word in the verse, and choose “add note to Bible journal”. The entire verse will highlight by default, but in the context menu you still can choose the word if you just want to comment on a single word.
  5. Notate anything that is Law of First Reference (the first time it is mentioned in the Bible), if it is a contrast (today I’m reading Psalm 22, and David constantly and clearly contrasts his own situation with Christ’s), if it is a Hapax (something mentioned only once in Scripture). you don’t have to write commentary right now on the level of a John Walvoord here… you can just write “only time this word is mentioned” or “first mention of straw” or whatever.
  6. If you looked something up in Greek or did a word study on it, notate that. you’re trying to record your Bible study, and no, you WON’T remember what you just learned today!
  7. If you see in the TSK anything else in the Bible related to this verse or word, notate that as well.
  8. If you looked in a commentary and found anything of interest, HIGHLIGHT and DRAG that important part into your Bible Journaling window INTO the verse – otherwise, it ends up at the bottom. Logos is hard wired to have the right priority – Bible first, commentary second.

READING something in the Bible does not work. I attended schooling once where you were required after you got home to type up your notes that you took by hand. Why? It aided memorization.

you’ll find by USING these techniques, your understanding of the Bible will grow by leaps and bounds. But start TODAY, otherwise you’ll get the same results you got from your diet and exercise program… you’ll get very good at procrastinating and nothing else!

Best Bible Software 2017


There’s really no more important decision than, “What Bible software will I use?” As you’re about to see, many people are still working on the same technology today that we worked on years ago with Quickverse 2. however, that was back in 1993-1994, and computer technology has increased greatly. Bible software on the other hand has either increased slightly, or in leaps and bounds, outpacing even the advances in technology.

Last year, I re-evaluated the way I did Bible Study thanks to a series I ran in Dec. 2015 by David Cloud. I decided that if I was going to seriously change the way I studied the Bible, it was time to see if the tools I was using were up to the challenge. I discovered they weren’t.

So, here’s the shootout on the top Bible programs I use, and which ones I recommend. For the impatient, cut to the chase people, I’m recommending two Bible Programs as my must-have recommendation… Logos and Bible Analyzer. You need both of them. The Number two spot goes to Accordance, and #3 goes to Wordsearch.

However, understanding that not everyone thinks the same, and some people prefer different interfaces and different approaches. So, I’m giving you the blow-by-blow on them, and letting you choose.

What features do I insist on for a Bible program? All Bible programs have some form of Boolean search, so that’s not even a problem any more. The must have features are Passage Lists, Clippings, and Word Lists. If they don’t have those, I didn’t even seriously consider them. And as you’ll see, it ruled out immediately all the free Bible programs. Another must have feature is original language study capability. It was okay back in 1996 to be satisfied with Quickverse and using Strong’s too look up the root… but not in 2016, with programs like Logos and Accordance that give you the ability to look up the Manuscript, the root AND the lemma, and be able to investigate all the places in the Bible where that lemma is used in, say, the active tense.

The lay person can be satisfied with E-sword or Theword, but if you’re a pastor, teacher, or if you’ve been called of God to start a blogging ministry where you teach… they are not even close to sufficient.

Accordance

Accordance, for the impatient, stands as number two on my list. It is, like all premium Bible software, a little expensive. Not as expensive as Logos, and by means not offering near as many library addons.

Accordance is available in a time limit demo. You can supposedly only use it for 30 minutes. I don’t understand that, because it’s never shut down on me. You get five Bible with it, the King James, the Textus Receptus Greek, the BBE, the ASV, the WEB and the Douay Rheims Bibles. You also get Eastons and Strong’s dictionaries. Other than that, you don’t get too much for Accordance in Libraries.

accordance-desktopAccordance

I suppose the first thing I need to explain is the basic appearance. It’s got that old-style Mac look to it. Back in the day, Apple computers were in black and white to save money and make more profits. They have a slightly different architecture than PC programs, and so, Accordance looks a little different. Accordance die-hards insist that Accordance is only available for the Mac, and that there’s a program similar to it with the same name for PC. That’s kind of splitting hairs. Accordance has a lot of die hard users. This is one of those I suggest you try the demo and see if it’s what you’re looking for in a Bible program.

 

Accordance Reference ListAccordance Reference List…

Accordance is difficult to add on to. As I see it, they like to sell collection packages, meaning if you need ONE BOOK in a collection, you still have to buy the collection to get that one book. That to me is a downer. If I just want to buy the Bible Knowledge Commentary, I have to search for the bundle that has it, and buy that bundle, spending more than I want to spend. But then again, it saves you a lot more money, as you’re usually buying at discounted prices for the bundles. So, if you decide on Accordance, be prepared to save up and purchase bundles, not books.

Accordance starts at $60 for the basic, $199 folr bible study, $299 for the original languages bundle, Essential is $499, Advanced is $999, and Ultimate is $1,999.00 – so the packages seem to at least double in price as you go up. Most of my readers will do well to buy the Basic or Bible Studyn packages, if you decide that Accordance is your preferred Bible software.

Features

Accordance is very RAM light. You can apparently open just about everything without the program bogging down. You have windows, and panes (tiles, in other Bible programs). It’s kind of like a mix of Wordsearch and Logos, in that you can have several panes (like Logos) and several windows (like wordsearch). It’s much more customizable than Wordsearch in its desktop display, but much less than Logos in terms of panes/tiles.

The first thing I did was to open the King James twice, one with the Strong’s hidden, the other with it visible, and then the Textus Receptus was opened in a third column. Accordance calls columns inside a pane a “parallel”.

I then opened other windows, with the research window open, and all the individual resources as well. If you’ll click on the above images, you’ll see how I arranged it. It’s actually not that hard… Accordance tends to set up the desktop similar to this anyway.

Work is done by highliting a verse, and either choosing from a right click menu, or from the “amplify” drop down menu. I got the hang of it the first day, searching and amplfying. Apparently, Accordance learns from you how you like to do things, and will try to offer you results first based upon your usage history. Kind of creepy. As long as I don’t wake up with Accordance standing at the foot of my bed holding a meat cleaver, i’m good.

As I mouse over Titus 1:16, the Textus Receptus begins to shadow over the Greek word of the English one I’m looking at. Here’s the verse…

Θεὸν ὁμολογοῦσιν εἰδέναι, τοῖς δὲ ἔργοις ἀρνοῦνται, βδελυκτοὶ ὄντες καὶ ἀπειθεῖς καὶ πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἀδόκιμοι.

Theon homologousin eidenai, tois de ergois arnountai, bdelyktoi ontes kai apeitheis kai pros pan ergon agathon adokimoi.

They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

It’s really handy, as it works both ways. In many ways, a step or two less work than Logos… but much less info than Logos, where I can see what the Lemma is, how the word form changes in uses, how many times those forms are used in the Bible, and where those are. If you do a LITTLE Greek and Hebrew research, Accordance might be enough for you. If on the other hand you have an apologetics or teaching ministry, or if you’re a serious Bible student or a Pastor… Accordance is not sufficient.

Reference lists are a handy tool in Accordance – you can build lists of verses based upon the Ressurection, prophecy, etc. There are only a couple of programs that do this, and only those programs make it to my top three. Wordsearch, Accordance, and Logos do it. The others do not.

What Accordance needs is the Noteclipping feature of Logos. As for user books, forget it. You’re limited to making user notes, where you make your commentary. Still, it’s a very powerful tool. If you don’t need a large library, don’t have a lot of money but want to do a little original language research, then Accordance may be your best choice. http://www.accordancebible.com

Bible Analyzer

Bible Analyzer. This one is not in my top three (it’s at number 4 right now), but let me put it this way. If you’re saved… you want this program. Every saved person on the face of the earth needs it. I’m using it less now that I have Logos 7, which does some of the same things but…

bible-analyzer

Want to know how many capital letters there are in the Bible? You need Bible Analyzer. Want to see immediately the first usage of every word in a verse? You need Bible Analyzer. Want a good free library? you need Bible Analyzer. Want a list of all the words used in a range, or even the Bible? you need Bible Analyzer. You want to see the Bible act like it’s own dictionary? YOU NEED BIBLE ANALYZER.

Here’s an example of some of the research. Trust me… you need Bible Analyzer.

Various Statistics For:

Acts 20:21 (AV)

Act_20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Words: 20

Complex Words: 2

Syllables: 28

Letters: 93

Vowels: 32

Consonants: 61

Phrases: 4

Sentences: 1

Italics: 0

Avg. Word Length: 4.65

Grade Level: 4.01

Verse Index: 27648

Verses To End: 3454

Numerical Sum: Omitted

bible-analyzer-commentary-window

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bible Analyzer Scripture Pad/Commentary Window

Bible Analyzer does not have a lot of Bibles or commentaries, but that’s not the point. Tim Morton has created a HUGE benefit to Bible Study through this program. This program is apparently designed for use when you use another program a lot, and need Bible Analyzer for what it does best.

It’s free… go get it. Bibleanalyzer.com. Every Christian should own this.

Davar

davarLong time readers of this blog will recall this was one of the programs I’d gotten that I used for Hebrew study. It’s free. Davar basically is a collection of dictionaries, cued to texts. I don’t open it often, but the Hebrew dictionaries they offer are outstanding. Searchable, and if you install a Hebrew or Greek virtual keyboard (there’s several available on the internet), you can type in Hebrew and determine the exact spelling and definition, using backwards and forwards thinking. Nice. It’s free. If you don’t do much in Hebrew, it won’t do you much good. If on the other hand you want a little bit of extra Hebrew resource, Davar is it. However, if you’re loooking to make this your sole Bible software suite, I don’t think this is your best choice.

E-Sword 11.06

eswordE-Sword… Rick Meyers must have found my blog, and my constant complaint that E-sword is agonizingly s-l-o-w. Because, in 11.06, he fixed it.

It’s about time, because I suffered through agonizingly slow E-Sword through the first year of seminary, Theword in second year of seminary, and then someone bought me Bible Explorer, which became Wordsearch.

It’s much faster now. I don’t really have to explain to you what E-Sword is in depth, because most of you already own it.

E-sword has a lot of tools. I think the Journal notes/topic notes/study notes functions rank among the best aspects of it, as is the Scripture memorization tool and the prayer requests. But it completely lacks the tools I consider so necessary I can’t recommend a Bible program without them – note clippings and verse lists. You can kind of make verse lists, but not in depth, with nothes and etc.

The big thing is, I never really felt comfortable or motivated to write any commentary or take notes in E-sword. That’s probably just me, and I’m sure there are others that use it. But for the most part, no, I never really felt motivated or comfortable taking notes inside E-Sword. If you regularly use the study notes window, leave a comment and let me know.

E-sword has a sermon illustration manager, which probably gets zero use from most users. Anyone who is collecting sermon illustrations is a Pastor, and they’ll be using something more serious.

E-Sword, to me, is one of the best amateur programs out there. It gives you basic Bible Language study capabilities, but little in the way of serious original language work. I say this from someone who had a year of Greek and a year of Hebrew. Both E-Sword and Theword are completely insufficient for language study purposes. Indeed, when I first started writing this blog in my laptop (before I took it live), I was a regular E-Sword user, then switched to Theword, which I loved – and hated.

E-Sword is essentially a mostly free version of Quckverse. Craig Reardon’s influence is felt throughout all of the amateur Bible programs. Essentially, E-Sword and Theword are good versions of 1994 Bible technology, but this is 2017, and they need to start stepping it up a notch, as you can see from Accordance and Logos.

This program is not free. If you use it regularly, you really should send Rick Meyers a donation.

King James Pure Bible Search

king-james-pure-bibleIf you’re a Ruckmanite/Riplingerite/Pearlite King James Only person, this Bible program is for you. Very little in the way of tools. About the only feature in this I liked was the bare bones approach and the “add your own lcross references” approach. If I wanted to spend one year seriously going through the Bible and identifying every cross-reference, then I’d be spending the year in this program. Other than that, it’s not even a contender in the serious Bible student category. The programmer has only one thing to say to those asking for Strong’s capabilities is that they read Gail Riplinger’s highly flawed “Toxic” book. If you’re interested in something that forces you to build your own list of cross references, then give this free program a try. If you’re Ruckmanite-Riplingerite, then yes, it’s for you. But I’m telling you, what Gail Riplinger says about concordances and other Bible tools is nonsense, and you’ll be Biblically ignorant without MAJOR dedication to reading the Bible and note taking.

Logos 7

logos-bronzeI really can’t think of a better way to describe Logos than the official way to describe it: “Imagine that you have a large library, filled with commentaries, dictionaries, monographs, etc. You want to find everything in that library you can on John chapter 9. So you hire an assistant, and tell them, ‘bring me everything in my library on John chapter 9.’ And a month later, they bring you a detailed report. Now imagine them doing this in just a few seconds. That’s Logos.”

It really took me a while to transition from the “set up your desktop and study from that unchanged desktop every day” to the Logos way of simply typing in what I want in the reference box, then simply adding any work or tool that Logos neglected to add that I want to use (and the guides will give you the list!!!). And once you mentally make that transition, you just can’t go back. It literally saves me hours of work. The study I did on Hebrews last year was hundreds of hours of study and research – I cannot even imagine how much more hours it would have taken using any other program. I’d estimate ten times the number of hours. My expository teaching on Hebrews might have been over 1,500 hours of work using Theword or Quickverse.

For instance, typing John 9 into the reference box yields my top 5 Bibles, one commentary, a passage guide and an exegetical guide. The passage guide lists several other commentaries, harmonies, etc that have information on John 9. I simply click on those entries to open the commentaries to that. Logos will auto-synchronize your Bibles and commentaries to the scroll set you want (I use scroll set A by default). In other words, if you change an “a” set Bible to a different passage, all the scroll set “A” books change with it. You can choose 6 different scroll sets (A-F) or “None”, meaning that you can open two King James’, one that stays on the passage and another one for hyperlinks. Just choose “None” for the second King James, and “Send all hyperlinks here”. Amazingly easy to do, less clicking on back buttons.

To look at a passage in Greek or Hebrew, just go to your exegetical guide. You’ll see the passage in English, then in Greek, and a break down word by word. You can do a word study by looking at the lemma of each word, and you’ll see a little circle (like a “recycle” symbol). click that little “recycle” symbol, and it will open a word study guide that shows the breakdown, meaning and usage of the word, so you can study it in context, how it appears in other books of the Bible. Knowledge of Greek and Hebrew is really important here! THanks to the revolutionary way Logos is structured, I can honestly say… if you have no language skills, get Logos Bronze and… you’ll have a good background in Koine Greek VERY quickly. To a first year seminary student, this is HUGE. It’s time saving. You’ll be able to see the tense-voice-mood of every Greek and Hebrew word in context.

You can do the same thing in the information window (which unlike wordsearch, does not crash constantly) by mousing ovver a word, then clicking on the Recycle symbol. It then does the same thing of opening the word study guide.

A little “spark graph” will show every occurance of the word in the Bible in that Lemma, such as 49 times in Matthew, etc. Clicking on the spark graph yields the results. Logos is like using a Interlinear/Reverse Interlinear/Lexicon/Concordance/Grammar all at once.

Features of Logos

Clippings – this is a VERY handy tool. It’s so handy that it’s one of my standards for what Bible software I’ll use. I will not use a Bible program that doesn’t have this feature. Accordance does not, but Wordsearch does, and Logos does. As you read through other books you get in your Logos package, you can save important quotes simply by highlighting a passage and right clicking. These quotes go to your clippings. Why is this big? THe William Evans book on preaching gives you the reason why – when you’re trying to find that quote by someone about kittens and butterflies that you wanted to use (I’m just picking an example), instead of spending hours searching your library for it, it’s right there in your clippings.

Passage Lists – this tool is so important, it remains my standard – if the Bible program doesn’t do this, it’s not in the running for what is my primary program. I save passage lists on The Rapture, The Trinity, Separation… all you do is highlight a verse on an important subject, open your passage list on that topic, and then send the passage to that list. Only Wordsearch, Logos, Accordance and Theword have it! I do this a lot, and have about 15 passage lists. I finally got to use the one on the ten commandments a couple of years ago. Why is that important? I’d looked up the re-statements of the commandments in the New Testament and saved them to the list. The bottom line? THere was no restatement on the Sabbath. So, it’s done away with.

The Word Find Puzzle is something I’ve never messed with. I suppose it’d be good for church bulletins. If you ride the bus a lot, this might be handy.

Handouts is for sermon handouts, or for position papers on your church. They’re limited to only four pages. Kind of disappointing, actually. You’ve got to be really terse with your words.

Bibliography is very handy, if you’re a seminary student. You can make multiple bibliographies, based upon which report, thesis or dissertation you’re doing. Time saver.

Notes. This is how you can take notes on topics, make your own commentary, etc. It’s so open ended what you can do with it. This is the default word processor document. In previous versions, here’s how you wrote sermons (many Logos users do not keep their sermons in Logos). However, in Logos 7, there is a Sermon tool, where now the sermons are written inside Logos, and saved in a separate list. Very quickly, your listings of Notes in your Documents folder gets HUGE. The update in Logos to adding the Sermon Tool is greatly needed. Unfortunately, you need to get the Bronze package with the full feature set to truly take advantage of it.

Prayer Lists.

This is exactly what it sounds like! Lists of prayers to pray! And since Logos syncs to my phone, I can check my prayer while I’m at break at work to see if I forgot any of them. I usually do.

Sermon Editor

I expect to see this grow, as more people contact them and point out, “It’s a little clunky”. Unlike Wordsearch, Logos is good at not letting the grass grow under their feet, so I’m sure we’ll see this grow. This is the first version of Logos to include this, so it’s got some shaking out to do. But right now, your points, subpoints etc., are defined by headers. When you’re done with it, you can print handouts for it, or the churchgoer can sync the document to their smartphone using the Logos Bible Study app. The handout only has in it what you add to it. The added benefit is once you’re done with the sermon, it syncs with Proclaim for on screen display (if your church uses Proclaim). The great thing about that is, if you finish by Friday, the choir leader can take the Proclaim presentation and add the three to four hymns that fit the sermon on Saturday.
I use as a matter of habit the template that my SEminary forced us to use, and now I’m kind of lost without it. I’m going to have to see if there’s a way to paste it into the sermon editor by default, otherwise I’m kind of at a loss what to do!

Like Graphics in your powerpoint, sermon or blog?

christ-the-lordLogos has a library of over 10,000 royalty free images that literally they say “You own it,.” Well, technically, we all own them. You’ll see bunches of them over the coming year, as I’m going to start incorporating them into the Blog. You can choose a quote from a book or Bible in the program, or even simply open one and write your own caption to it, I found some dissatisfaction with a couple of them. “Grapes from Antioch” seemed like a perfect background for “I am the true vine”, but I couldn’t find a way to grayscale the photo or increase the contrast to the point the image would serve as a unobtrusive background for the text. Hopefully, this is something Logos is working on! Otherwise, I may have to save it, open it in Paint Shop Pro, edit it, and then post it on the blog!

Guides

These guides are amazing, in the amount of information they present. This is how the information is presented when you do a search on something. I cannot dsecribe them efficiently enough.
I’m going to sum up my presentation on Logos by saying, there are tools in it I still haven’t learned how to use effectively. For instance, one presenteer on a Webinar said he used a tool most of the time that I never use! I can honestly say this – I’ve never heard anyone say, “I learned to use Logos, spent some time with it, and hated it. It gave me too much information, and I have no use for that.” Seriously. Once you learn to use it, you cannot be satisfied with other Bible software that just is there passively for you to simply read something. Logos forces you to learn, and study – and for today’s Christianity, that’s a must-have.
I’ve said it many times, and I’ll say it again… Logos is the clear runaway favorite Bible program. Its one downside is that it’s expensive. Expect to pay at last $250 for it, and better results if you upgrade to the Bronze or higher packages.

Olive Tree Bible Study 6

OlivetreeDavid Cloud calls this his favorite Bible program. So, I tried it, was completely dissatisfied, and deleted it. A few months later, I tried re-watching the Effectual Bible student series again, tried Olive Tree again, and… bleh. Completely without tools. Original language functions are minimal. Most of you know how to use this, as it’s a very popular program. There are many add-on books, at very reasonable prices – and 100 free books. I’ll just say that it may be some people’s favorite, but I can’t really get motivated to use it. Not even making my list of “It’s useful, download it.” Once I get done with my videos on how to use Bible software for Seminary use, I’m deleting it.

Again.

Quickverse 2010

The illustration by Eugene Peterson is a good example of why I hate sermon illustrations
The illustration by Eugene Peterson is a good example of why I hate sermon illustrations

I include this program in my Bible software reviews, because you can still find it for sale in some Christian bookstores that haven’t sold it, on Ebay, and on Amazon sometimes. And I’ll point out that someone at one point uploaded the entire program to their website, as a free download. Findex is out of business, sold the rights to Wordsearch who plundered it and discontinued it. So, it’s Abandonware, essentially. If you can find the Platinum package (or whatever it’s called), by all means, get it. Don’t pay the $799 price that some Christian bookstores are probably still charging for it! Your top price for it should be about $30, since the annotations feature… doesn’t work at all. If you’re releasing a major software package that costs hundreds of dollars, you should make sure that all the features WORK before you release it. From what I understand, Findex was only going through the motions for upgrades, charging people full price, and that’s it.

The library of Quickverse 2010 Platinum is huge. It came with just about everything but the kitchen sink, and contained everything but the NIV. Really odd, since the NIV still ranked as one of the most popular Bible versions out there, except among Independent Fundamental Baptists.

The personal book features of Quickverse are familiar to me, since I was a Wordsearch user for so long, and Wordsearch incorporated the concept, but not the coding, into Wordsearch – leaving the bizarre contradiction of being able to make a Hebrew/Greek dictionary in Quickverse 2010, but not in Wordsearch 11, which was the result of Wordsearch buying Quickverse! The personal books are arranged by date, scripture reference, or alphabetically. If you’re trying to take any books you may have written, and put them into Quickverse, there’s no real way to do it.

Quickverse used to be the industry standard under inventor Craig Reardon, but when it was bought by Mattel (I still don’t know if Craig is kidding when he says that), and then Findex. Craig threw up his hands and moved on to PalmBible, which shortly after had to change their name to Pocketbible. If you’re a diehard Quickverse fan, and you absolutely despise everything that happened to Quickverse after version 5… look at Pocketbible. The features that were in quickverse 5 that were so revolutionary have found their way into Pocketbible, which I still have not gotten (At this point, I’m so settled in Logos I’ll probably never go back to anything else.)

When I first got into the software Bible programs back in the 90’s, I had three Bible programs – Quickverse 2, Logos 1 and Davka. I found Quickverse to be good, but Logos to be better. I found Davka to be frustrating. However, as Quickverse upgraded to the various versions , I got more and more dissatisfied. the 2010 one shows all the reasons I was dissatisfied with it. Annotations don’t work. LIttle in the way of original language tools, but they give you several Greek grammars and dictionaries – then the Nestle’-Aland Greek text. Really. Why not the Textus Receptus? But you don’t get the Old Testament in Hebrew.

search capabilities in Quickverse 2010 is horrible. It takes a while to figure out how to do a Bible search, or a LIbrary search. Once you figure it out, it;s not bad. Not good, but not bad.

The read through the Bible plans in Quickverse are much better than Wordsearch. For a while this year, I was actually doing them in Quickverse, until I got the King James for Logos.

Once you get the feel for Quickverse, and ignore the functions that don’t work, you see why this was a $800 package. You literaly have every commentary, dctionary (etc) that the average Christian will ever need in this package. I’m using Windows 8, and it still works. If I ever need to upgrade my system (and I’m dragging my feet on that as long as I can!!!), I would finally bow to the inevitble and simply import all of it into Wordsearch, making the whole thing somewhat less usable.

Aside from that. with almost no tools, this is in the category of, “If you can find it for $30 or less , then get itl.”

Theword 5.0.0.1450

theword
Notice that the Greek in my commentary window shows up mostly as… boxes

After a reader of this blog came on and attempted to convince me I was completely wrong, I re-examined the issue and… I’m still right. Original Language tools are still minimal, research abilities are still minimal… to compare Theword with Logos is simply ridiculous. IT’s STILL 1994 technology, compared to Accordance and Logos. It’s still roughly the same as E-Sword, but without some of the more useful tools of E-Sword. On the other hand, Theword can do a lot of things E-Sword cannot!

Theword still has the same clunky, untidy interface. The minimize-maximize-close buttons are still in the wrong spot industry-wise, meaning, if you’re trying to minimize several different programs at once, be prepared for the annoyance of closing Theword when you meant to minimize it. This alone was one major reason I did not keep it. That and the “hoarder household with bundles of newspaper” look to the windows. I just expect to see cockroaches run across my computer screen when I click on a window.

In many ways, if you are simply used to E-Sword and how to do minimal Bible study, then Theword is a viable substitute. I’m sure many who use Theword absolutely hate E-Sword. The real reason so many people use Theword is really because one of the major module creators for E-Sword got angry at Rick Meyers for a major change to E-Sword, and Rick’s somewhat arrogant “I really don’t care” attitude caused him to switch to Theword, and thousands followed.

If you were used to Quickverse, and then made the change to E-Sword when Quickverse started getting really expensive, you’re already used to the same elementary approach of “look up the root in Strongs’, because that’s all we can do.” Compared to the language tools in Accordance and Logos, this comes up VERY short.

Theword has the same topic and commentary functions as E-Sword, but lacks the journaling function. THis is a big mistake. The ability to create Bible Memorization lists that E-Sword gives is missing as well. THe prayer list funcrtion is missing.

Theword does have a verse list capability. It’s rudimentary, but it’s better than E-Sword which doesn’t have them. This one doesn’t really make it to my list of recommended programs, falling in just behind E-sword.

Wordsearch 11

WordsearchI read a review recently of Wordsearch, where someone described it of falling “just short of brilliant”. The description was accurate to a T. Wordsearch has many bonuses and pluses, but what it boils down to is, once they write the code for a particular function, that’s it. THey never revisit it. So, you’ve got features they got from Quickverse and Bible Explorer and every other minor Bible program they’ve purchased and discarded they’ve added to Wordsearch, which pretty much means you’ve got two or three ways of doing exactly the same thing! It kind of makes me think they’ve got three groups of programmers working in three different rooms, and never sharing their work with one another.

The info window remians buggy, and crashes a lot. So I keep the info window hidden unless I need it open – completely rendering it useless. User books are copied over from Quickverse, but of course, don’t work as well as in Quickverse. The Annotation function still works the same as it did in Bible Explorer. The bookmark function was lost for a year in WS11 until I pointed it out to them you now could make a bookmark, but never view it! The Notebook function is to make your commwntary on a verse… but you can also do the same for the User Book function. The add on module for Morphology is locked in to the UBS Bible text. When informed that King James Only adherents simply are not going to pay $80 for a morphology keyed to a heretical text… they simply ignore you. From what I’ve read, the morphology module is still the same as WS9 when it was introduced, and still only has half the features Wordsearch promised back then. i’m glad I never bought that module – I’d be furious to pay for a module that only does half of what they advertise it for. This went a long way in increasing the dissatisfaction I was experiencing with Lifeway, the parent company. You can make suggestions, but unless they plan on doing that suggestion anyway, you’re ignored. And like Logos, it seems they lump all Baptists into the Southern Baptist category, and are completely clueless about the beliefs of Independent Baptists.

Lifeway seems to be evenly split between Calvinist Baptists, Traditional Southern Baptists, and a minor group of Emergents. You’ll see that evident in the books they offer. Lifeway sponsored a poll a few years ago, showing their bias, in which you had only three choices: “I am a Calvinist Baptist” or “I am an Arminianist Baptist” or “I don’t know”. The last category was the runaway favorite, as most Southern Baptists are neither Arminian nor Calvinist, but… Baptist.

WordsearchnoteclippingsIf you like a GIANT screen for your Bible study, Wordsearch is it. But if you want a split window so you can read commentary at the same time, or use Bible dictionaries that change as you mouse over the word… it’s not possible.

Customer support for Wordsearch is very good. You will get responses pretty much quickly to any concerns. They were able to fix a long-running error I was constantly getting.

Original language tools are limited in Wordsearch. If you find yourself constantly looking at the Textus Receptus to see how it reads, then Wordsearch won’t do. THey do give you the TR for free, but any morphology or lemma work or TVM analysis… forget it. Buy Vines and see the end result, without looking at the raw data. It’s basically one step above what you get with E-Sword or Theword, which is not what the way it should be for a program they’re trying to sell.

Wordsearch offers passage lsits and clippings as does Logos. They are about the second best at those two features. Really, I think with a top to bottom re-design of Wordsearch, it could be a lot better, and place itself firmly in the same category as Accordance and Logos.

The Lesson maker addon I approve of – but then I saw the vast majrity of the modules for it are written by women, meaning they are absolutely great for women’s groups, but men Scripturally cannot buy them or use them. I wonder if Wordsearch has even considered that?

If having a huge library available is important… Wordseearch is it, topping even Logos and Accordance in available books and add ons.

Wordsearch ranks as #3 in my list. The passage lists and verse lists functions are very good. The ability to write your commentary and take notes in many ways is good, although bewhildering. The word processor function is terrible, though. Original language studies are almost nil.

Unless the company drastically revisits the way they do things, they’re on the law of diminishing returns, and they’ll go out of business within 5 years.

Bottom line: The winners

  1. Logos 7
  2. Accordance
  3. Wordsearch 11

Honorable mention software you must get:

  1. Bible Analyzer

Package you should get if you find it for $30 or less:

Quickverse 2010 (don’t get Quickverse 11, it’s essentially just Wordsearch with a different logo).

Quickverse


Quickverse as a sermon tool is, well… if you can find it (Quickverse 10 Platinum) on Ebay or Amazon or even a yardsale…go ahead. It’s got a million resources in it.

quickverse

 

If you get Quickverse after 2011, you won’t be able to register it. It will forever give you an option to register Quickverse. The domain is inactive, and it’s been hit by hackers, so trying to register it will get you a nice Trojan virus attack.

This is my own desptop I’ve created (they call it “Studyview’s”). I started opening Bibles (the King James) and then heretical translations (all the others) for mostly, well, use on the blog.

I then opened commentaries, and DRAGGED them to the left. It creates a blue outline while you drag it, and then when it’s where you want it, drop it. I then started opening more commentaries. I don’t know how many I can open at the same time without crashing it. Not going to find out!

Sermon illustrations… I opened one, and dragged it and dropped it on the bottom.

The program crashed.

I tried this three more times (I used to do 4 tiles when I had Quickverse 2 back in the ’90’s) and finally, it stuck without crashing. I can’t create the third tile of Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias. Quickverse was good when it first came out. When Laridian bought it, it annoyed me because they made changes to it which prevented my commentary from working any more, so I stayed with Logos 2.0 at that time.

I think you can see from the first sermon illustration listed why I despise them.

To write sermons in QV, (wow, it;s been like 20 years since I used that abbreviation!) you simply have to… use a different program. I guess it never occurred to Craig Reardon that Pastors would want ot keep their sermons in one central place. So, use Libre Office or Open office. I recently found that Microsoft Office is free online in a limited capacity, and I’m using it for my thesises, thank you kindly! There, I just saved you hundreds of dollars! If you have a Microsoft OneDrive cloud, the online Microsoft office will automatically save your sermons there. No matter where you write… you can now print them out at home or at the church. Or even just have a Kindle open on the Pulpit, and do your sermons from that.

If you buy QV, you may notice a couple of differences between the screen shot and yours. I created a folder and called it “Sermon material”. I then (one at a time) clicked on every sermon related material in the Reference Folder, CUT it, and pasted onto the Sermon Material folder. When you’re done, right click on the Sermon Material folder and choose “Re-scan Folder’.

Everything is sorted in order.

My advice – ignore the “Annotations” feature. For some bizarre reason, it doesn’t work. Maybe it worked in Windows XP, but it never worked in Vista, and still doesn’t in 8.1. At this time, I refuse to upgrade to Windows 10, until they remove the tracking features from it.

So, right hand pane is the Bible reading tile. You can make your own study view, and if you want the Bible on the left, feel free. I’m right eye dominant and left handed, so I’m all messed up. I like the Bible on the side of my dominant eye. Commentaries and dictionaries I like on my left.

Sermon illustrations are on the bottom, as stated before. Reading through those will make you apoplectic, I guarantee it.

To search the meaning of a word, select it, right click, and choose “Quick define”. If you’re doing any kind of Greek or Hebrew lookups, forget about it. you’re limited to Strongs.

There’s three different ways to copy a text, so be aware of that. It’s annoying in that Findex, who bought QV from Laridian, chose to always cite the citation BEFORE the Bible text, which is not the standard way to do it. Findex was headquartered in Nebraska, but my information was they were a Las Vegas talent booking company. I guess they couldn’t find enough Elvis imitators, so they decided to buy a Bible software company. Probably another reason Findex went broke – Christians rightfully would not support a company like that. Any more than they buy Zondervan materials.

Anyway.

select your text, right click, and choose “copy passage”. Trust me, it’s a lot less annoying if you go the extra step. It will paste it in your Word Document, and then you just have to cut the reference and paste it at the end.

QV has about 10 highlight colors, but like Wordsearch, some of them aren’t usable. I just use tan, yellow, cyan, green and blue. The Orange is a little too… bold. The other colors are too solid, and tend to drown out whatever I’m trying to highlight. Highlighting things are good unless you can’t read them after that!

While reading commentary as you prepare your sermons, I’d highlight the wheat portions of the commentary, and ignore the chaff. Same as the other Bible programs, be sure to use cross references in your studies and your Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias.

If you can find QV 2010 for less than $30, it’s worth it. I’d probably have been more than a little angry if I’d paid the $800 and some of the features didn’t work, like the Annotation feature.

One thing it does do… user books. You can make a Greek or hebrew dictionary. It acutally saves the foreign alphabet. Something to think about. If you’re desperate for a major piece of Bible software and have only $50 to spend, you should look for, well, Quickverse and one of the free packages like the Accordance demo for foreign language tools, and of course Bible Analyzer.

Sadly, nobody yet has managed to make one bit of Bible software with every feature in it. Logos is getting close to it, though.

The Best Bible Software 2016


August 2016 Update – this page gets a LOT of hits, and all my opinions on everything has changed since I first wrote it in January. So, I’ve completely rewritten this!


You know how it is…Every pastor, Bible teacher, etc. is CONSTANTLY looking at other Bible programs. I mean, really, if good enough was all we needed, we’d have all stopped with Quickverse 2.0!

I think deep down inside, every one of us are constantly in fear we’re going to completely miss out. If I just use Quickverse 2.0, what if Logos (it’s Law-Gahsss, not Low-Goes) has some gizmo, some widget or whosawhatimacallit, that Quickverse doesn’t?

Back in those days, Quickverse was new, and cool. I mean, we’re talking Windows 3.11 here. When Logos came out, it was Windows 95. And Logos was REALLY hard to copy and paste back then, but it seemed a little better than Quickverse. Just going from one program to another seemed to spark my creativity.

OKAY!!! Moving onto today, and a little less reminiscing…

I should first mention Accordance. It’s neat. I downloaded the demo, and it’s pretty… well, it’s got that slick, clean look that something from an iPad or a Kindle has. I like it. They give you about five Bibles, which is about 4 more than I really need. But the key here is in this kind of ministry, where I’m addressing the modern Bible translations pretty regularly, I really can use all the moderb Bible Babble Buffet editions I can get, so when someone says “Well, Acts 8:37 is in the ESV” I can answer, “uh… no it’s not”. Last time Will Kinney beat me to it, but see, he’s good at that stuff. Having Will follow this blog is kind of like having a professional boxer walk around with you, and letting you pick fights with other people!

accordance

Getting back to Accordance, I have the demo. If it never expires, or shuts down, then I’ll keep what I have. They say it shuts down after an hour of use (yes, you ca restart it) but I’ve had it open since 8:30 and it’s 10:30 now, so…. NOTE: I’ve been using it a while. It has yet to shut down on me. It’s very interesting if you like getting into the original languages.

Accordance has good tech support – I wrote to them to ask about the use of the BHS and the Ben Asher texts, and they responded back within an hour. I got absolutely nowhere trying to explain about the Ben Chayyim texts, and they answered it was virtually the same. Well, virtually the same is not the same – it means there’s differences. If I promised you a thousand dollars and pay you $998, that’s virtually the same thing. When it comes to the Hebrew Bible, having a SINGLE LETTER wrong can condemn a whole Torah scroll.

What Bible companies fail to realize is – if you don’t offer the Ben Chayyim Hebrew texts, it’s a deal breaker with many Fundamentalists. No purchase. That’s what it boils down to. I can’t understand why so many of them just simply REFUSE to offer Morphologies keyed to the TR, and Hebrew displays of the Ben Chayyim Masoretic text.

Anyway, they were very polite, but saw no need to offer the Bible in Hebrew, but rather a flawed text in the BHS and the Ben Asher text.

I was able to set up a KJV-Strongs window with the original languages showing next to the words (neat, but the Hebrew was left to right, and IMMEDIATELY I noticed it was wrong – they had the first word in the Bible as Rayshiyt, and not Bereshiyt), Another window with KJV strongs (this time with numbers and interlinear hidden), Matthew Henry, and “outline of Bible Books. All in four columns. A really cool feature is the right click parsing, showing the root Greek word, and the suffix. A more complex construct I’m sure has the other Greek diacretics, and perhaps prefixes as well, such as the Ha- prefix. A simple right click gives you a Research window, where you see the English word, and the Greek or Hebrew lemma, with strongs number.

For the entire passage.

ἀγαπη τός Beloved G0027 ἀγαπητός agapetos

It was neat, I suppose. I did like the way they do it, but they need to offer the interlinear with Ben Chayyim, and… get it right! The only real drawback to this kind of program (very intuative – it took me maybe 30 seconds to figure it out – the rest of you would probably do really well with it, because you all use smartphones and Kindles and Nooks and what have you…) is – really – the cost. To really get the benefits out of this program, you’re going to need to buy the program, then LOAD UP on modules. Expect to pay several hundred dollars. BOTTOM LINE – $59 starter package, $350 minimum and up. I did like this program!

Now, Olivetree. My wife was given a Kindle as a gift a few years, and she loaded on a Bible program that came for free from the Kindle LIbrary. It’s… Olivetree. After hearing David Cloud talk about it, I decided to try it. It comes with a couple of Bibles, a couple of commentaries. And a link for free software. Very easy, very intuative – not that many add ons or functions. Really, in terms of tools and functions, nothing compares to Wordsearch.

Olivetree

I don’t need to describe Olivetree too much for you. Most of you own it already on your electronic device. I have it pretty much as it opened up, except I hurriedly swtiched it to King James with a click of the mouse, since it opened to the ESV (I quickly cleaned off my computer screen with a cleansing of oil, blood and water and a heave offering). For the casual user who’s going to use it for Bible study and reading, it’s great. It comes with almost nothing – HCSB, ESV, King James, JFB commentary and Matthew Henry. That’s it. Oh, what’s on the left? A link marked “free books”. Well! I bet it’s only like 20 books. What’s that going to do you? Absolutely… wait. A hundred frree books???

Can’t fault that! Well!!!! Let me just give a cynical look at the paid volumes and see how much they’re charging for… ummm… $3? A lot of the books are very reasonably priced. It can add up, of course, but that’s going to be said for any Bible software. Bottom line – Free, and over 100 free books. Limited to no tools besides note taking. Right click reveals “Highlighting” and “Bookmark”. Good for a casual user. David Cloud, interestingly enough, says this is his favorite Bible program now, even over Swordsearcher! Comparing that program to Wordsearch meant… nothing. It just didn’t have any tools I could use.

Logos 6 – This is the Cadillac of Bible programs. In my first review of this program, I was completely annoyed that – unlike what apparently is Industry Standard – they REFUSE to give you the King James for free to try it out. They offer the Lexham Bible for free, but not the King James. To me, the explanation makes ZERO sense. If they have to tag the Bible to make it work, then they had to tag the Lexham the same way!!!

The learning curve for Logos is steep compared to Accordance, which is supposed to be in the same league of Bible software, Logos is much more difficult to learn. If you’re going to simply get the free engine and buy the King James – which is what I did from February until August – I’d really recommend taking the time to download and watch Morris Proctor’s free videos on Logos Basics. Once I did that, I understood the difference, and really, how to use the program.

BaptiststarterNT

Every review of Logos I’d read sums it up this way… They’re saying expect to pay $1,000 for it, and it’s worth it the way everything works together. My experience with it is you can actually do a LOT for $9.99… just get the free engine, the King James Bible, all the free addons they have available (very little) and you’re really good to go. If I ever made it to being dirty filthy wealthy and could spend ridiculuous amounts of money, then I suppose that I would just say “ehhh” and purchase EVERY Bible program, load them up with everything, and sit around giggling as I scroll through eighteen windows and Bible programs, reading about how Abraham and the twelve children of Israel escaped the flood in the Ark. (If that didn’t make you laugh, you’re WAAAY behind on Bible readings).

Logos gives away the program with… nothing. You can purchase packages, but get this concept into your head right away, and be prepared for it – if Logos charges you for the KIng James Bible, they’re going to charge you for everything else. Nothing is free. Free books? Zilch. Zip. Free tools to get you started? Forgetaboutit. Getouttahere!

Well, they do have some free books… but nothing useful! You can get the Lexham Bible, the Lexham Bible dictionary, and you can get the faithlife Bible commentary. If you just download the Logos 6 or 7 engine, then you get… Bupkis! And several have no use unless linked to the costlier modules. For instance, if you’re interested, you can get the Daily Daf cycle, that tells you what pages to read in the Talmud on what day. Absolutely free. If you don’t have the Talmud, it’s… completely useless. Oh, but you can buy the Jacob Neusner Talmud from Logos, though! (BTW, a serious Talmudic student would bypass that for Steinsaltz’s Talmud, or the time honored Soncino edition, which I used to have.)

To understand why Logos is different requires an understanding in the trend in Bible software. Originally, they were designed to READ, LOOK UP, MAKE NOTES. That’s it. Logos began back in the 90’s giving you options in searching that Quickverse didn’t, and once you got the hang of it, it was very cool!

Wordsearch expanded the concept to Whole Library – in other words, you worked to accumulate a Whole Library, and the search tools expanded to cover that.

Logos has expanded this now to a concept of Entire Library together. If you imagined that you tasked a research assistant with going into your library, and reading every book there and give you a list of every book that covered Matthew 5-7… and every dictionary entry that covered the key words, themes and concepts – that’s Logos. Once I grasped how to use Logos 6, everything changed, and suddenly it was very difficult to work with Wordsearch any more. I felt like I had to do so much more work to achieve the same results!

Here’s some of the features of Logos 6:

“Clippings”. It made ZERO sense until I by coincidence was reading a book by William Evans on preparing sermons, and suddenly it all made sense. As you read something, you can highlight it, right click and send to clippings. Ta-da. Why???? Well, if you’ve read the Evans book, you’ll know. Pastors should routinely make clippings or notes on things they read, to form bits of information they use to illustrate a Bible text. So, if you get Logos, you can highlight something you read, right click on it, and choose “add to my clippings”and there you go. You can type some thoughts in after that. Of course, you can use Note Stacks in Wordsearch for the very same thing!

Passage Lists – the same as verse lists in Wordsearch. Trust me when I say this is a must-have tool. Any program that doesn’t offer Passage lists and clippings, pretty much rules themselves out for me. This is the reason Accordance never made it to number one in my list.

Text compare – if you get a Starter module, you now have text compare… you can open the Bible, and then modern mistranslations, and click the little “A” icon. Now the differences are highlighted. I have my Bibles arranged in this window by the lower variance – in other words, compared to the King James, the least variance to the most heretical. If you’re King James only, this is a huge bonus, as now you have verifiable proof that thee’s agendas in how modern translations are mis-translated. Some of the changes in wordings are just to maintain a copyright – others are deliberate.

There was a very nasty comment from someone who purchased the Baptist book package, about “Really? I have to pay EXTRA for the Strong’s dictionary??? Really?” He’s right – EVERY Bible software comes with James Strong’s life work for free – not Logos. And that’s kind of the story with Logos – everything that every other Bible software company offers for free, you have to buy from Logos. Bottom Line – $10 minimum, Starter Package around $300, up to $7,995 for Platinum package.

This is my default program now, since my wife bought the Baptist Starter package for me as a present. I hope to make it to Logos Baptist Gold, but may have to settle for Bronze or Silver due to the high price.

Quickverse 11It’s basically Wordsearch, with a different interface. Good gift package for someone. The search functions are abysmal, and the Annotations features do not work. I have tried everything. If you can find Quickverse 2010 or 2011 Platinum, yeah… get that. There’s a massive library in there. DO NOT CLICK THE REGISTER THIS PROGRAM link. It leads you to a defunct website that someone hacked with a trojan virus. Bottom Line – Unless you can find the Platinum version at a yard sale, Ebay, or Amazon, Get Wordsearch instead. Especially since Wordsearch offered it for a year, and then discontinued it.

quickverse
Quickverse 2010. The illustration by Eugene Peterson is a good example of why I hate sermon illustrations

theWordI’m sure a LOT of you all use this. Almost everything’s free. Customizable (kind of), you can change the layout, the colors… I’m just always accidentally closing windows. I didn’t like that I could make my own commentary, make it available for free, and really there’s no way to lock it so someone else couldn’t enter it. Too cluttered for my taste, but it has a sizeable number of followers. Not a lot of tools. Bottom line – free, lots of add-ons. Not even on my list of favorites. Deleted off my computer.

E-Sword – the king. It’s not free. It’s donationware. If you’re using it regularly, you really should make a donation. The major issue with it is that once you start adding to it, it…bogs…down… and I have a really fast, powerful laptop. I suppose if I was going to use it more regularly, I’d have to triple my RAM to 24 megs or so. The program runs best with just the books and topics that are in it when you install it. Start adding things, and it starts slowing down.

Here’s the thing – it gives you a prayer calendar, to pray for specific situations and other people. It gives you a way to mark it as “Answered”. That’s really cool. I’ve written to Wordsearch about five times asking them to include that. Wow. I can think of nothing more faith building than to keep track of prayers for others, and be able to mark most of them as “answered”! I guarantee, out of those who used to be Christians and apostated, most of them would never have done it if they’d used this. You want proof God exists? There you go.

E-Sword has a lot of tools and features, more than theWord. Not very customizable, but you right away get the feel for how to work in the layout, and I almost guarantee you’ll never change the setup of it. Clean looking. I like the calendar function. I like the Scripture Memorizing tool. Very neat. The latest change of making the Topics pop open in a new window I suppose is better. I’m just aggravated by an unusable software that moves slower than a pregant elephant in drought season. And Rick has zero interest in user comments and suggestions. Bottom line – donationware. Many many addons. Expect to pay only a few hundred dollars if you desire any of the premium addons. SLOOOOOWWWW and cumbersome.

Bible AnalyzerThis Bible program is, to describe it simply, a complete right angle from all other Bible software. This is Tim Morton’s program, and I suspect that as a KJV only Fundamentalist, his approach was simple “I don’t need a lot of addon modules – so what can my program do that nobody else’s does???

In case you’ve never tried it, I can honestly say – you’ll never delete it off your hard drive. Go ahead! Buy Logos! Pay for every add on module and package! You’ll still spend about 30-50% of your Bible study time looking at Bible Analyzer. seriously. I am sometimes dumbfounded at the very neat features of this program. I’d say Mr. Morton has to be left handed, because it’s completely different from every other bible program.

Ever wanted to know what the first reference is for any verse in the Bible? Bible Analyzer does it. Like to know what’s the most commonly used words in a chapter or book of the Bible, in order? Bible Analyzer does it. Want to know statistics? Bible Analyzer does it. LIst of capital letters? Bible Analyzer does it. I did a series on the book of Romans where half the time I simply was putting in the statistics of the chapter, and it was sometimes downright creepy, in that the words of the Bible sometimes spelled out Gospel messages. I had to stop that, because it was getting too much like divining or something weird like that. Timothy Morton’s Bible package needs to be looked at FIRST out of all the free Bible programs. You now can buy the Way Of Lfe Encyclopedia and Things Hard To Be Understood from the Bible Analyzer store, as two of the most expensive premium modules he offers – $9.95 each. Yes, just under ten bucks each. “Virtually the same thing” as ten bucks.

I’ll say this – if Logos weren’t so cool, Bible Analyzer would probably be my go-to Bible program. Did you know you can highlight a LETTER, right click on it, and see options of searches? That’s like… wow. Bottom Line – Completely different from every other Bible program. You need this. Free. Most add on modules are free or $3-$5. Use in conjunction with your other Bible program.

Bible Works – yes it does. But because it has no demo, the BHS instead of the Ben Chayyim text, I’d have to pay $400 just to find out what it’s like. Probably great! Other than that, I have no way of knowing. Everyone says if you like working in original languages, I hear it’s amazing. No commentaries, no dictionaries. Just for the most part Bibles. That’s really a downside. Not sure if they offer Lexicons and grammars.

I don’t know how they can say this when they don’t offer the Hebrew Masoretic text! Bottom line $400. No addons except for what you buy from Wordsearch. Updated note… The customer service was intersted in my contacting them about the Ben Chayyim text. Their answer was simple – if I can help them find an E-text of it, they’ll gladly pay whoever typed it in and offer it. THey’ve had many requests, and would love to offer it. And when I told them under Jewish law the Ben Asher text belonged in a Ganiza (burial vault for holy manuscripts that were flawed or decayed)… they actually paid attention, unlike Accordance.

Swordsearcher – this program is the go-to for many IFB pastors. I do like the uncluttered look of it. The gentleman who designed it did a GREAT job giving you everything you need, right where you can see it. Theres a number of symbols on the left hand side of the verse, and by making a verse active, the tools come into play. A pop-up window tells you every book with something on that verse. You can click on say, Nave’s in the popup window, and your Nave’s will suddenly open to the entry corresponding to that word in the verse. VERY neat. It has a number of very nice features. But my bottom line really is, for me, there’s nothing there so outstandingly great that it causes me to immediately say, “I have to have this!” It’s more, “Well, that’s nice!” So, bottom line, unless I get a drastic increase in my funds, I won’t be buying the complete package for $60.

PC Bible Study – My former pastor and the head of my Seminary swear by this program. I’d have to try it and see, but… there’s no way to try it for free! You have to purchase the program to see if you like it. It’s probably a policy that has cost them millions. I don’t know really how good it is! It may be everything I’m looking for! It may not. Unless I buy one of the packages, I’ll never know! It’s very highly recommended from those that have spend hundreds of dollars on it. I suppose it’s the same thing for every last Bible program, I suppose! When you buy their ultimate package, it’s got so many bells and whistles that it’s just amazing! If you have an iTunes account, you can download an “app” to try it. If on the other hand, you just want to download it without getting iTunes, forget it. Bottom line – $90 to $1000, no demo available.

WordSearch 11This was my go-to program, until this year. Logos has replaced this program. I’ll probably never spend another dime on Wordsearch, which means I need to go and clear out everything on my wish list on their website.

Wordsearch

Wordsearch still has somewhat of a clunky interface. Their awkward “navigating the Bible” feature in WS10 they fixed in WS11. If you like to click in the window and type “Matthew 7:14”, that still works. If on the other hand, you’re used to clicking on a window and choosing the book, then the chapter, and scrolling to the verse… it does that too.

Wordsearch gives you a small library for free with it. The engine is $39.95, and for many, many users, that’s all you’ll ever have to pay. But that’s not all – WS is loaded with tools. You can click on a verse, and choose “Instant Verse Study”. Click that, and a window opens up letting you search your entire library, or just specify books. Then you can open LibreOffice or MSWord or whatever you use, and just paste. And you have every reference to that verse in your entire library (or whatever books you specify) there. That’s huge. If you want to talk about serious Bible study, that’s hard to beat. Including if you’ve been writing your own commentary, and you want to include that as well. If you’re working on a Master’s Thesis or a Doctorate, behold!!! There you go.

Notestacks. These are like stacks of 3X5 cards. You can right click on a verse, send it to a notestack. If you keep it open, you can keep adding to it. It allows you to write down brief notes. Why is this great? Let’s say you’ve got a blog, and you end up having to say the same things OVER and OVER and OVER again, to roughly the same people. By making notestacks, you can eliminate the 45 minutes it takes you to answer comment debates… now you can just open the notestack labeled “refuting Philip Dean” and copy and paste. or whatever your notestack is. A helpful feature some of my frequent blog visitors might want to take advantage of. If it forces you to read your Bible for yourself and not rely on the Magisterium, or the Watchtower Society, or Salt Lake City, I’m all for it!!!

Verse lists. I’ve talked about these before. I’ve made up verselists for “the Trinity” the “Rapture” etc. And I simply right click on verses and send them to the verse lists. Like Notestacks, but instead of laying them out in series, it’s one list you can separate into various sections. These are for when you just need the verses without the comments.

Wordsearch also allows you to read book modules – and make your own notes in them. That’s really helpful. Especially when you read someone like Arthur Pink, and you end up getting angry over his unBiblical doctrines. You can type in your own responses and evaluations, and it can… wel… be fodder for blog articles.

User books – you can choose by verse, by date or alphabetically. You can create your own topical Bible, your own commentary, your own yearly devotional – or even your own calendar of Bible study notes. After all, when you’re reading your Bible three times this year, you’ve got to write out your thoughts SOMEWHERE!

Add on modules – Wordsearch gives you far more free than anyone else. I’ve got over 350 modules in my library, and I think I’ve paid for one of them. Every Friday night, the Wordsearch blog features “free friday” where one book is offered for free. A lot get repeated, but hey! That book you missed last year may eventually be repeated!

Bottom line – free for Wordsearch Basic, $39.95 Wordsearch Engine & library. This was my go-to software, but has been replaced by Logos. You can of course buy upgrade packages with more books and Bibles. The Preaching Gold package is the biggest one, at $1,995.00 Most people will not need more than the bottom line package.

What software do I recommend in order?

1. Logos 6 or 7

2. Bible Analyzer

3. Wordsearch 11

4. Accordance