Tuesday, March 16, 2010

BibleWorks 8, Part 3

Now that I've spent a few weeks using BibleWorks 8, I am ready to add the final thoughts to my series of blog posts (Part 1 and Part 2). In a word, BibleWorks 8 is... genius. I loved the interface in BW7 and I love it even more now with the added tabs in the analysis window. For anyone wanting to do serious work in original languages of the Bible, I don't think it gets any better than BW8. That being said, I've also used Logos and while BW8 is geared for working in the biblical texts (hence the name I suppose), its lack of a "library" per se stunts its potential. But, that doesn't mean they don't offer any additions (which they do) as modules, which you can buy here.

The ease and user-friendly nature of this program makes it a huge bonus and well worth every penny you'll pay for the program. One cool thing about BW8 is 'Ermie,' an external resource manager that allows you to get your hands on some of the tools that are not installed in BW8. This is probably selfish, but since I am very interested in doing research in Greco-Roman literature with its relationship to the New Testament, I wish somehow the LCL would be available and searchable within BW8 (I know, I know, there's no program that does that, as far as I know, but still...). If there is a program that contains LCL (searchable), you let me know! Anyway, BW8 is lightning fast and if you add to that some modules for some extra cash like BDAG and LSJ, this is one application you won't do without.

Regardless, paying a few hundred dollars for anything is not an easy task, but if you are serious about doing biblical studies in the original languages, this program is a must. Hopefully you have some rich friends or family who can buy this program for you as a present for your birthday or Christmas. The more I work with the program, the more I wonder what biblical scholars did in the hey-days before any of these programs were available. Here's a snapshot of what you get when you highlight the 'Resources' section of the program:

Pretty impressive, no? It's amazing just how much stuff you get with this one program. I know (as I've shown above) that we always want more than what we get, but honestly, BW8 comes jam-packed with a slew of resources and translations to keep you busy for a while.

Again, I'm very thankful to Jim Barr and the awesome folks over at BibleWorks, first for making an awesome program and second for sending me a review copy. Hopefully these blog posts will have helped some of you sitting on the fence to go out and purchase this program, and if I have any other thoughts or new surprises I find in the program, I will definitely post that up as well.

Grade: A++
Price: $349 (Full Version), $149 (Upgrade from BW7)
System: PC (Windows XP, Vista, 7 / Mac users can use through other means)

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