BibleWorks 10 Review (Part VI – Conclusion)

In this post I will briefly summarize my five previous posts and succinctly provide my conclusions about the software as a whole.

In my first post, I noted the new features to BibleWorks 10 and the necessity for greater Hebrew resources. After correspondence with BibleWorks, I was informed that, while a dictionary as extensive as Cline’s has been sought, it would drastically increase the cost and make the program less accessible to people. Then I discussed the value and ease of the analysis tabs within the analysis window, especially noting the User Lexicon tab. Part III explored the convenience of the Parallel Versions and Parallel Hebrew/LXX tools. Next I reviewed the effectiveness of the BibleWorks Options Window and its simplicity. Finally, Part V focused on the map module, Ernie, flashcards, and timeline to show how much they contribute to ones study and full understanding of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoy BibleWorks 10. It is clearly focused on assisting scholars and pastors with exegesis and focuses languages rather than resources. Although some resources would be beneficial, perhaps they are correct that people should use more physical books and not digital copies. And while the use may be somewhat confusing at moments, time will help the user to attain proficiency in the program and more understanding of the tools. As mentioned in a previous post, BibleWorks 10 is like the Adobe Photoshop of Bible Software. So even though it is sometimes complex, it offers unique resources and convenient program tools and analysis tabs. For any serious student of the Bible, whether Hebrew Bible or the New Testament, BibleWorks 10 is a must have.


BibleWorks 10 Review (Part V)

*Click here for Parts I, II, III, and IV of my BibleWorks 10 review.

In addition to the many features I have already explored, BibleWorks 10 also contains great study tools for students at any level or teaching tools for professor. There are four tools of this variety: Earnie, map module, timeline, and flash cards.

First, Ernie is simple and merely a list of online resource, external to BibleWorks 10, that may be used for research. While the list of websites is not too great and is likely difficult to maintain due to the constant shifts on the world wide web, it does enable users to add there own links. This is valuable because, rather than saving several pages on the browser as favorites and organizing the pages in the browser, the user may add whatever is necessary to Ernie and access pre-organized links specifically with relation to their work.

An example of my addition titled, "This is the Mediterranean Sea."

An example of my addition titled, “This is the Mediterranean Sea.”

Second, the map module is extremely beneficial. It allows for customization with ease. For example, the user selects exactly which type of areas are to be shown, whether it be biblical sites from certain archaeological eras, places mentioned in the Hebrew Bible or New Testament books, journeys of biblical stories, and much more. This allows for immediate and convenient understanding of the geographical and topographical elements at play within biblical literature, especially for books like 1 Samuel which is so rooted in the geography of the Levant. Additionally, BibleWorks allows the user to add and edit to the overlays. For those involved in archaeology or tracing things like political boundaries, or just designing a map overlay for a course in Hebrew Bible, BibleWorks 10 is an excellent tool that allows for quick customization.

Third, the timeline offers easy access to the history of the Bible and ancient civilizations with which ancient Israel interacted. Notwithstanding scholarly debate regarding specific dates, the map feature contains the biblical chronology next to basic timeline of the major ancient Near Eastern powerhouses and archeological eras. These inclusions are invaluable for students of the Bible who take seriously the time periods in which certain books and people lived.

Last, but surely not the least, the flash card are valuable for any student in Hebrew or Greek, or any professors seeking to provides students with flashcards. Individuals who own BibleWorks 10 may work through the flash cards on their own time, a tool which includes multiple sets of flashcards, the word in Hebrew/Greek, parsing, and how to say the word. It also allows for the user to specifically mark which terms s/he knows or does not know, enabling an easy return to studying unknown terms. In addition, the flash cards may be printed, a valuable asset to Hebrew or Greek professors seeking to provide their students with the best resources.

BibleWorks 10 Review (Part IV)

*Click here for parts I, II, or III of my BibleWorks review.

BibleWorks 10, as I’ve mentioned in previously, is the Adobe Photoshop of bible software. And one of the most impressive features is the “BW Options Windows” button which contains all options for making BibleWorks 10 operate most effectively for ones own purposes. Furthermore, because all the options are located within the same pop-up window, one may adjust options with ease, avoiding the struggle of having to maneuver between different option windows for different things. Within the Option Window, there are four basic categories: General, Output Format Options, Searching, and Bible Versions. Although many possibilities are present within these options, this post will only focus on two of the most notable


The “General” button provides many abilities to customize the program. Most notable, though, is the Morphology Colors. The morphology colors allow the user to select and enable BibleWorks to automatically highlight any morphologies matching the specified parameters. In short, this option allows for a more passive approach to analysis when morphology is of secondary importance. It allows the user to focus on primarily reading the text while still being made aware of certain textual elements which deemed significant.

Another notable option is the Search Limits. The search limits allow the user to select specific books of the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and Apocrypha, a feature not unique. What is unique, though, are the predefined ranges. If, for example, one desired to search only Q material, the Q materials are already entered into the custom search range limits and quickly enable the user to establish search limits. Within this search limits, it is also easy to create search limits. So I, for example, hope to eventually create a custom search range titled “PMaterial” that would enable me to search through Priestly material with ease.

These customization options allow BibleWorks 10 to operate effectively towards whatever is deemed most effective. Rather than assuming the user does not know what they are searching for, BibleWorks 10 condenses the options into one location that allow for quick and easy changes to the search limits and morphology colors.



BibleWorks 10 (Part III)

*Click here for Part I and Part II of my BibleWorks 10 review.

This post will focus primarily on text comparison tools within the tools bar, with emphasis on their effectiveness.

The tool bar contains two primary tools for textual comparison: Parallel Versions and Parallel Hebrew/LXX.

First, the Parallel Versions tool is convenient because it permits quick and easy comparison of a wide variety of texts. One can to roll through the parallel versions by clicking the down arrow on the left side, or individually search each version for comparison. This tool is one of the most notable features because it allows for easy textual comparison. Another benefit is that it permits the user to toggle the analysis within the Parallel Versions tool, thus allowing the user to compare more single verse translations next to other translations with full contexts.


Second, the Parallel Hebrew/LXX tool provides a lens for unique analysis of the Hebrew and LXX bibles. After selecting a verse, six columns in the Hebrew/LXX Alignment tab provide word by word comparisons for the both texts: the word in the verse, Hebrew analysis, Greek analysis, Hebrew lemmas, LXX lemmas, and Hebrew forms. Furthermore, two windows display the Holladay lexical entry and Liddell-Scott lexical entry for each verse selected. All in all, the Parallel Hebrew/LXX allows for quick and efficient textual comparison in a way not accessible in times past.


Overall, the textual comparison tools especially illustrate the value of BibleWorks 10. Although the Parallel Versions tool is not especially unique, it is an excellent and simple tool. Most outstanding is the Parallel Hebrew/LXX tool, which allows textual comparison to take place fast and for the user to focus more on his or her own analysis and argument.

The next post will focus on the program tools, such as the highlighting capabilities of BibleWorks 10.




BibleWorks 10 (Part II)

*This is Part II of a review of BibleWorks 10. Click here for Part I.

This post will focus on the “Analysis Window” of BibleWorks 10.

The first feature is the UserLexicon. This tab allows the user to roll over a term, English, Hebrew, or Greek, display a window similar to the “Editor”. Unlike the “Editor”, the “UserLex” tab displays a user lexicon in which a personal definition, or copied information, may be entered. I utilized it to enter the LXX equivalent to zar, entered the Holladay and BDB lexical entries for zar, and inserted a list of all occurrences of the root in the WTT. Henceforth, any time I roll over the root zar, my entry in the UserLex will appear. This tool is especially convenient for tracing how terms are used throughout the Bible and supplying definitions with information from personal lexicons and commentaries.


Additionally, the “Context” tab allows for more efficient use of time because it automatically displays all words within the book, pericope, and chapter. If one disagrees with the various pericope divisions, simply create a new .txt file and place it in the correct location or adjust how the selected outline divides the books. Another convenience is the ability to specifiy what type of words are preset in the “Context” tab, allowing one to cut out any parts of speech to allow for quicker and more efficient analysis. Both of these resources allow for quick and easy analysis of how often terms are utilized.

Last, but definitely not the least, the analysis tab can now be split into two windows, no longer limiting the user to one analysis tab. This is incredibly convenient because it allows the user to focus on, for example, the “Analysis” tab, which displays lexical entries, and the “UserLex”. Of course, any combination of analysis displays are possible by simply dragging one tab to the next window.

Overall, the analysis window is a strength of BibleWorks 10, especially with the “UserLex” tab and ability to display two analysis windows. And while there are many more features in the analysis window, they will be covered in future posts. Overall, the analysis window is one of the many unique aspects of BibleWorks 10, creating opportunity to focus more on analysis of text than preparation for analysis.

Part III will focus on the tools available within the Toolbar.

BibleWorks 10 Review (Part I)

Initial Reactions

*Prior to reviewing BibleWorks 10, I prepared by watching all of the instructional videos on YouTube from BibleWorks 10. Additionally, I’d like to express my gratitude to BibleWorks for providing me with a review copy.

Founded in 1992, BibleWorks has sought to establish students of the Bible with a comprehensive and reliable software resource for Hebrew Bible and New Testament exegesis. And, in contrast to many other companies, BibleWorks is not in the business to profit. Thus, the software is made to be efficient in every which way possible, without necessity for excessive add-ons. Although additional modules are available, the base program contains the basic resources, and really primary resources necessary for sound exegesis of the Hebrew or Greek. With over 200 bible translations, including, though not limited to, the major English translations, over 30 non-English translations, and numerous Hebrew/Greek texts, BibleWorks offers a plethora of resources.

Additionally, BibleWorks 10 includes two new mss images for its manuscript project and high resolution, Leningrad codex images. Conveniently, BibleWorks provides a toggle within the Leningrad codex images to mark where each new verse begins. Such resources are invaluable to text critical scholars and those beginning seeking to be text critical scholars.

As for specific Lexicons, BibleWorks includes standards such as the Holladay lexicon and full BDB.  Far more resources are included for Greek: Friberg Lexicon, Liddell-Scott Lexicon, Louw-Nida Lexicon, Thayer Lexicon, Mouton-Milligan Lexicon, Gingrich Greek Lexicon, and Danker Greek Lexicon. Such inclusion of the Greek Lexicons and exclusion of as many Hebrew Lexicons is problematic in that BibleWorks seems more oriented towards NT exegesis than study of the HB. This is no surprise because BibleWorks explicitly notes that they are oriented towards the Church. Perhaps they did so because they recognize that their audience tends to focus more on the NT than the HB.

Last, but surely not least, BibleWorks has a plethora of tools for analyzing the text. They are easy to use because the Browse Window is directly connected to the Analysis Window. By simply rolling the mouse over a Hebrew term, the Analysis tab in the Analysis Window displays the Holladay definition for the lemma, and the same with Greek. If the mouse rolls over a non-Greek/Hebrew text and it has Strong’s data, the lemma will display. From there it is simple to display the Holladay or BDB definition. For those who do not have experience with Greek or Hebrew, initially it may be difficult to figure out the lexicon entries for the term. Fortunately, after displaying the Strong’s data, moving the mouse to the Strong’s data, and doubling clicking the lemma from the Strong’s definition, initiating a search in the Search Window, the Hebrew text in the Browse Window will highlight the term the user seeks to define.


Overall, upon my initial use and observations, BibleWorks 10 is like Adobe Photoshop for biblical studies. Figuring out how to utilize the plethora of tools and resources may be a challenge, but tools are surely worth the challenge. For the sake of the user, BibleWorks, as I noted at the beginning of the post, provides free How-To videos on YouTube so user can fully utilize the tools. The resources are excellent for biblical exegesis, though they do lack classical Greek lexicons and Hebrew lexicons that potentially could vastly improve the quality of biblical exegesis.

In the next post, I will focus on the Analysis Window, especially new features to BibleWorks 10.