*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.