Commercial and Ideal Bible Study Software
Commercial Bible Search Software
This is not a complete list. It just includes the software I have actually tried. Don't
let my honest reviews deter you from spending your hard-earned money on any of these. I'm
looking for the "ideal" Bible search program, but haven't found it, yet. I use
NavPress Software's WordSearch and Parsons Technology's Quickverse and like them both for
their strengths. If you sell commercial Bible search software and want me to review it,
please send me a copy. (Email me for my street address.)
- The American Bible Society reference Bible on CD-ROM has lots of good Bible text on it,
but the search program is a DOS-based database interface is very clunky, and seems to be
written for mainframe database programmers, not most Bible students. The program insists
on reading only from a local CD-ROM and has other fascist tendencies. Greek and Hebrew
text is displayed in a rather unique mapping to 7-bit ASCII. I found it easier to export
the English, German, and Spanish text I wanted to read to an ASCII text file and read it
with another program than to deal with their "Find-it" software. The Greek and
Hebrew texts need serious help before they are really usable (i.e. conversion to the
- Logos Research - look for the $9.95 KJV + search
software special. NOT STEP COMPATIBLE, so books you buy with this software can only
be read with this software. This is very complex software that obviously took a long time
to develop, but is still pretty easy to use. Lots of features, Bible texts, and books to
choose from. The basic software with the KJV text is practically given away, but they
charge rather steep prices for unlocking other texts, including those in the Public
- NavPress Software (800-888-9898 or email NavPress@aol.com
or firstname.lastname@example.org) just started
shipping STEP compatible software. Their CD software
used to be COPY PROTECTED, and frequently stopped working on my computer because of
that, but they claim to have fixed that with WordSearch 4 for Windows (3.1, 95 or NT).
They offer a good selection of Bible texts and helps. Formats text nicely. The only
really irritating nit about this software is that when running under Windows NT 4.0, the
"copy to clipboard" function flat out doesn't work, contrary to all of the
documentation. The work around is to use their "copy to word processor"
function, then copy from the word processor to the clipboard to paste into another
- Parsons Technology has low cost, quality Bible
search software and a STEP compatible library viewer. QuickVerse has a very basic verse
list type display, but access is fast and scrolling smooth. My only complaints so far are
(1) poetry line formatting is not preserved, (2) Psalm titles are missing, and (3) that
the Bible text selection doesn't yet include any Bibles that include
deuterocanonical/apocryphal books. You and your church may differ in your views of the
authority of these texts, but I personally think that you would do very well to read these
good history books, even if you aren't Catholic. On the bright side, this is solid,
well-written software that has never displayed any bugs in my use of it, and which
delivers on its promises. I highly recommend that you try out their free download with the KJV, and if
you like it, get one or more of their reasonably priced modern English translations.
- Zondervan has an NIV Bible search program, calle BibleSource
for Windows, that can be purchased
on line. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with it, but it is capable of
displaying Bible text and doing searches. Some of the user interface is a bit different to
get used to, but at least its clipboard function works. The text reformats in a confusing
way when you page up. Not very feature rich, and the price is kind of high for what you
get. They also have some other software
that I haven't tried. In all fairness to Zondervan, I must admit that they do publish
the best Bible on cassette tape that I have listened to. I highly recommend audio Bible,
but I recommend that you get your Bible software elsewhere for now.
- Bible Research Systems - I haven't tried
their latest stuff, but I used to use a DOS version that worked pretty well.
- BibleSoft - I haven't tried this.
The Ideal Bible Search Software
OK, I admit that it doesn't exist, yet. If it did, it would have the following
features, in my humble opinion:
- Wide selection of Bible texts in many languages, including:
- Many translations in Spanish, English, and other Latin Alphabet
- Translations in languages with other alphabets and/or pictograms.
- Support for audio Bibles
- Other living languages (all of them - over 6,000)
- Original language texts (Greek, Hebrew)
- Good helps, including maps, dictionaries, etc.
- Ease of use.
- Export capability in many formats
- Easy, configurable copy & paste
- Printing/typesetting capability
- Support for open standards like those on the STEP
technical information page.
- Support for many languages.
- Preserves poetry & prose formatting (not just a list of verses)
- Simple, intuitive, and powerful searches
- Note-taking, highlighting, and journaling features
- Reasonably efficient use of computer resources
- Configurable side-by-side translations for comparison
- Interlinear translation support
- Support for multiple computing platforms (Win32, Linux, Mac, SunOS, etc.)
- Freely available