BibleWorks Announces Closing

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Image via BibleWorks.com

 

I was surprised and saddened to receive an email the other day announcing that BibleWorks is closing:

BibleWorks has been serving the church for 26 years by providing a suite of professional tools aimed at enabling students of the Word to “rightly divide the word of truth”. But it has become increasingly apparent over the last few years that the need for our services has diminished to the point where we believe the Lord would have us use our gifts in other ways. Accordingly as of June 15, 2018 BibleWorks will cease operation as a provider of Bible software tools. We make this announcement with sadness, but also with gratitude to God and thankfulness to a multitude of faithful users who have stayed with us for a large part of their adult lives. We know that you will have many questions going forward and we will do our best to answer some of them here.

The use of Bible software has been integral to my sermon preparation and teaching and small group leading these last five years. BibleWorks was my first foray into Bible software and always will hold a special place in my heart. One of my very first blog posts was this one on BibleWorks and the Septuagint, followed by a post called “BibleWorks in the Pew?” That led to a six-part review of BibleWorks 9, followed by some posts on BibleWorks 10, the 2015 and most recent release. From there I reviewed Accordance and Logos, culminating in this 2012 comparative review, which is by far the most-visited post at this blog.

The BibleWorks transition to Mac has been a little bumpy, so I haven’t used it nearly as much in the last couple years, although I still remember buying a used PC laptop for the sole purpose of having a machine to run BibleWorks on!

In the meantime, BibleWorks 10 is set to receive support for existing users for the foreseeable future, and until June 15, you can purchase it at $199, by far the lowest price the program has ever been.

There is some ambiguity remaining with the program’s future, although founder Michael Bushell has since elaborated on a forum post here. It looks like either open-sourcing BibleWorks or selling it are not on the table.

BibleWorks has been a big part of my ongoing journey through the Bible via Hebrew and Greek, so like many others, I am sad to see it close. Thanks be to God and to the staff for the many years of ministry and good programming BibleWorks has offered!

6 Most-Visited Posts at Words on the Word

It’s been a quiet week at Words on the Word. Don’t worry–I’ve been working on some future posts, not the least of which is a review of the new Caspian record. In the meantime, just for fun, here are the top six posts that keep people coming back to the blog, based on traffic, in increasing order.

6. First Look at Logos 6: New Features and Screenshots

5. How to Read and Understand the Göttingen Septuagint: A Short Primer, part 1

4. Why did Jesus tell the disciples not to tell anyone about him?

3. Review of Sony SRS-BTS50 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

(I’ve got a review of Logitech’s new BOOM 2 coming soon….)

2. Bonhoeffer’s Last Words, Before He Was Hanged (70 Years Ago Today)

1. Which Bible software program should I buy? Comparison of BibleWorks, Accordance, and Logos

(This review is three years old, and could be updated to include the new versions of all three, but many of the comments still hold.)

More anon….

Full PDF: Comparative Review of Software for Septuagint Studies

JSCS (2014) Cover
JSCS (2014) Cover

 

I’ve received permission to post the full .pdf of my comparative review of software for Septuagint studies. It appears in volume 47 (2014) of the Journal of Septuagint and Cognate Studies (JSCS). In the review I consider and evaluate Accordance 10, BibleWorks 9, and Logos 5, specifically with an eye toward their use and resources in the field of Septuagint studies.

Since I wrote that review, new versions of each of those programs have appeared: Accordance 11, BibleWorks 10, and Logos 6. Perhaps the biggest change worthy of mention is that BibleWorks now offers as part of its program the New English Translation of the Septuagint.

Here is the offprint of my review.

You can subscribe to JSCS and see information about the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS) at this link. Journal Table of Contents are on Eisenbrauns’s site here.

Leningrad Codex in BibleWorks 10

"Leningrad Codex Carpet page e" by Shmuel ben Ya'akov - [2]. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
“Leningrad Codex Carpet page e” by Shmuel ben Ya’akov. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
The Leningrad Codex is the basis for the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS), the critical edition of the Hebrew Bible. Leningrad is the earliest complete Masoretic manuscript still available to us, dating from the 11th century. BHS is what’s called a diplomatic edition–it uses Leningrad as the best available text with a critical apparatus at bottom.

Images of Codex Leningradensis, as it is also known, are available freely online. (See here, for example.) But users of Bible software still have hoped for something more integrated and easier to use than a .pdf.

BibleWorks 10 offers Leningrad images, fully integrated with the rest of the software’s texts. There are even verse markers so you know where you are in the manuscript. You can toggle verse markers off if you want to read through with no help.

Here’s what it looks like:

 

Click image or open in new tab to enlarge
Click image or open in new tab to enlarge

 

You can see in the image above that I can view the Leningrad Codex (with verse markers) in tandem with BibleWorks’s Search Window (far left), Browse Window (second from left and showing multiple versions of my choosing), and Analysis Window (second from right, here featuring lexical data that automatically appears as I hover over words in the Browse window).

It’s possible to zoom in and out of the image at far right to get a closer look at the manuscript detail if you desire. Or you can open it in its own window, like so:

 

Leningrad Images
Click image or open in new tab to enlarge

 

Now you can navigate the Leningrad Codex using the sidebar at left.

One other really cool feature–by hovering over the verse reference in the codex, you bring up a pop-up window showing you multiple versions:

 

Click image or open in new tab to enlarge
Click image or open in new tab to enlarge

 

Very impressive. Note, too, the nifty blue and yellow color scheme in the image above.

My only critique of this new, flagship feature (which is executed really well) is that there’s not a keyboard shortcut to zoom in and out of the codex images. You have to right-click, then navigate through the contextual menu for the zoom percentage you want, then select it. Somewhat making up for this, however, is the ability to simply click-hold and drag your way through the images.

Check out a short video of the codex in BW10 here:

 

 

BibleWorks 9 took a huge leap forward in offerings of Greek manuscripts:

 

Alexandrinus longer ending

 

Now BibleWorks 10 starts to bring the program’s Hebrew offerings to parity with the Greek. There is still much more by way of Greek MSS in BW10 (might we hope for the Aleppo Codex in BW11?). But BibleWorks is the first software to offer the images of Leningrad to its users. A big step forward to readers and students of Hebrew.

See more of what’s new in BibleWorks 10 here.

 


 

I received a free upgrade to BibleWorks 10 for the purposes of offering an unbiased review. See my other BibleWorks posts here. You can order the full program here or upgrade here. It’s on Amazon, too.

BibleWorks 10, Just Released

 

 

BibleWorks 10 just came out today. From the press release:

After four years of intensive development, BibleWorks 10 is now available – with a substantial list of valuable additions that will enhance your ability to study God’s Word. Please click HERE to watch our introductory video.

In BibleWorks 10 you will find an impressive array of new search capabilities, along with some important exegetical resources, that significantly enhance its already substantial toolbox:

• High-resolution tagged images of the Leningrad Codex
• Two new NT manuscript transcriptions
• Nestle-Aland GNT 28th Edition
• New English Translation of the Septuagint
• Danker’s Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the NT
• Instant lemma form usage info for Greek and Hebrew
• 1,200+ high resolution photos of the Holy Land
• EPUB reader & library manager
• Complete audio Greek NT
• Customizable window colors
• Dynamically adjustable program text size
• Mac and PC versions.

We have a series of videos
HERE that give you more info on each of these!

I hope to write more soon. Check out www.bibleworks.com in the meantime. 

My Comparative Review of Software for LXX Studies, Published in JSCS

I’ve just come home to the new Journal of Septuagint and Cognate Studies (JSCS) in my mailbox. This volume (vol. 47, 2014) publishes an extensive comparative review I wrote of Bible software programs for Septuagint studies. In the review I consider and evaluate Accordance 10, BibleWorks 9, and Logos 5.

I’m excited to see it in press! Here are the journal cover, the contents, and the first page of the review. You can subscribe to JSCS at this link.

JSCS (2014) Cover
JSCS (2014) Cover

 

JSCS (2014) Contents
JSCS (2014) Contents

 

First Page of the Review
First Page of the Review