BibleWorks in the pew? (Not quite, but the next best thing)

[GEEK ALERT] In an effort to integrate my learning of Biblical languages with church attendance and participation, I can be spotted at my church carrying this and this around. If I had an extra hand, I’d bring this, too. At first I feared it would look pretentious–it still may–but my motives are just to use my Greek and Hebrew in the context of corporate worship, while Scripture is being read aloud (in English, in my church’s case). So I follow along the Scripture readings, as best I can, in the original languages.

By Gerard Whyman (

To take it a step further, some time ago on the BibleWorks forums there was a user-initiated discussion about whether it is appropriate to have a laptop with BibleWorks open in the middle of a church service.

While I personally find the idea of a pew-sitter with a laptop tacky, I do understand the sentiment behind wanting to look at the Bible in the original languages while it’s being read and exposited in church. Hence my solution of having a print Bible with me. That’s not quite as out of place as a laptop would be.

So having my Greek and Hebrew Bibles with me is the next best thing to having BibleWorks open during church. However, there are two other next best things that do involve BibleWorks. First, there is a free user-created module that has the Revised Common Lectionary, linked to texts in BibleWorks. I rarely have time to use it on Sunday morning as we rush out the door, but I have at times been able to look ahead to the texts we’d be reading in church that week and use BibleWorks to work my way through them. The RCL module is really nifty. More about it here.

Today I found myself with the unexpected blessing of some time to play around with BibleWorks a bit. (I just received BibleWorks 9 in exchange for an unbiased review, which I will be offering in parts in coming weeks. Consider this a prologue of sorts.) Using the Report Generator, I was able to create a “Reader’s” version of Jeremiah 23:1-6, the Old Testament reading in church from the RCL this morning. Here’s the screen shot of how to get there, which also shows how I have my BibleWorks set up for Septuagint study. (Click on image for larger, or open it in a new tab.)

Once there, I set the Report Generator in the following way:

Then I clicked on “Build Report” and got a report with the text of Jeremiah 23:1-6 in Greek, followed by the listing of all words used in that passage, with frequency counts, followed by lexicon entries. After some manual organizing, I ended up with the below. Resources like this exist for the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament (what I take to church with me), but there is not as of yet a “Reader’s” Septuagint.

Fellow language-lovers… what do you think? And do you take your languages with you to church? If so, how?

Jeremiah 23:1-6 (Rahlfs Septuagint)

–with footnoted vocabulary (glosses) for words that appear less than 200 times in entire Greek Bible (LXX+NT together). Glosses from here: print / BibleWorks module.

1 Ὦ[1] οἱ ποιμένες[2] οἱ διασκορπίζοντες[3] καὶ ἀπολλύοντες τὰ πρόβατα τῆς νομῆς[4] μου.
2 διὰ τοῦτο τάδε λέγει κύριος ἐπὶ τοὺς ποιμαίνοντας[5] τὸν λαόν μου Ὑμεῖς διεσκορπίσατε[6] τὰ πρόβατά μου καὶ ἐξώσατε[7] αὐτὰ καὶ οὐκ ἐπεσκέψασθε[8] αὐτά, ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἐκδικῶ[9] ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς κατὰ τὰ πονηρὰ ἐπιτηδεύματα[10] ὑμῶν·
3 καὶ ἐγὼ εἰσδέξομαι[11] τοὺς καταλοίπους[12] τοῦ λαοῦ μου ἀπὸ πάσης τῆς γῆς, οὗ ἐξῶσα[13] αὐτοὺς ἐκεῖ, καὶ καταστήσω αὐτοὺς εἰς τὴν νομὴν[14] αὐτῶν, καὶ αὐξηθήσονται[15] καὶ πληθυνθήσονται·
4 καὶ ἀναστήσω αὐτοῖς ποιμένας[16], οἳ ποιμανοῦσιν[17] αὐτούς, καὶ οὐ φοβηθήσονται ἔτι οὐδὲ πτοηθήσονται[18], λέγει κύριος.
5 Ἰδοὺ ἡμέραι ἔρχονται, λέγει κύριος, καὶ ἀναστήσω τῷ Δαυιδ ἀνατολὴν δικαίαν, καὶ βασιλεύσει βασιλεὺς καὶ συνήσει[19] καὶ ποιήσει κρίμα καὶ δικαιοσύνην ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς.
6 ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις αὐτοῦ σωθήσεται Ιουδας, καὶ Ισραηλ κατασκηνώσει[20] πεποιθώς, καὶ τοῦτο τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ, ὃ καλέσει αὐτὸν κύριος Ιωσεδεκ[21].

[1] ὦ (109) woe (to)
[2] ποιμήν (99) shepherd
[3] διασκορπίζω (64) scatter
[4] νομή (39) pasture
[5] ποιμαίνω (65) shepherd
[6] διασκορπίζω (64) scatter
[7] ἐξωθέω (31)  force out
[8] ἐπισκέπτομαι (181) visit
[9] ἐκδικέω (97) exact vengeance
[10] ἐπιτήδευμα (58) practice, way of living
[11] εἰσδέχομαι (20) gather
[12] κατάλοιπος (98) remnant
[13] ἐξωθέω (31)  force out
[14] νομή (39) pasture
[15] αὐξάνω (63) grow
[16] ποιμήν (99) shepherd
[17] ποιμαίνω (65) shepherd
[18] πτοέω (39) tremble
[19] συνίημι (144) have understanding
[20] κατασκηνόω (70) dwell, settle
[21] Ιωσεδεκ (18) proper noun (name)

19 thoughts on “BibleWorks in the pew? (Not quite, but the next best thing)

  1. you really are a nerd. (0:
    Abram – seriously. You should get a PhD in Biblical Languages.

  2. I take my Accordance on my Iphone to church but the Screen is to small, I’m looking for getting an Ipad

    1. Hi, Theodore–thanks for your comment… I understand, too, that BibleWorks will run on the Surface, Microsoft’s iPad equivalent, when it comes out.

  3. I use this free iPod app to read the original texts in church without having to lug those two volumes with me like I used to:
    It’s the only free app I’ve found that has the fully pointed Hebrew text. The Byzantine Greek text is easier to read than the WH since it has accent marks and punctuation.
    Still waiting for BibleWorks to come out with an app…

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