I am the holder of a sacred trust. Both of you look to me—both of you trust me—to deliver unbiased analysis of Bible software trends.
And now my favorite underdog Bible software company is making it hard for me. I recently got the e-mail below, and I’m just not sure what to say about the partnership of BibleWorks and WORDsearch. It strikes me as too little, too late—and an unwarranted drift of focus away from BibleWorks’ strengths.
Logos has cornered the market for a quality, beautiful, useful, indexed digital Bible study library. It’s over. WORDsearch is a scrappy little competitor figuring out ways to make better deals than Logos, and their end user experience for a long time wasn’t wholly different from that provided by Libronix. But Logos 4 changed all that. It is one of the best-designed pieces of Windows software I have—and throw in the iOS app and Biblia.com (accessible in mobile and full web versions) and there’s no contest.
As for BibleWorks, I’ve kept it because it still beats Logos in three key areas: 1) speed, 2) verse display, and 3) notes. (It also has a few tools Logos doesn’t, but those I personally do not use often.) Under speed, there are two subdivisions a) much faster response time for almost everything, especially Bible searches, and b) a powerful command line. What I mean by “verse display” is that I prefer seeing individual verses displayed like this (see image)…
…rather than in separate windows or tabs. (Logos does have a Text Comparison tool, but it’s more of a supplementary window than a central place for doing exegetical work.)
So I have been running Logos and BibleWorks jointly for several years now. They both run all the time on my Windows laptop that I use for work as well as on my iMac desktop I use at home.
The problem—and it truly pains me to say this—is that I don’t think BibleWorks will win in the end. Too few people (in my admittedly limited experience) are willing and able to climb the steep learning curve necessary to make BibleWorks worth buying when a good Logos package can do so many of the same things. And adding WordSearch—I’m just not convinced that will help.
Here’s what I wish: I wish Logos would make a module within Logos 5 that would mimic the strengths of the BibleWorks layout. Ditch the Home Screen and replace it with this new module. Provide the kind of command-line original language morphological searching (for advanced users) that BibleWorks has provided. Give us a notes window that works like BibleWorks does, with an auto-loading note for every verse of Scripture. And get faster. Oh yeah, and give the BibleWorks programmers a lot of money so they can retire and move on to other things.
Now, don’t give up, BibleWorks. Fight for your life. You’ve given me so much; I’ll never leave you.
Here’s the ad:
New Modules for BibleWorks from WORDsearch
We’re excited to announce that BibleWorks is now partnering with WORDsearch — one of the leading providers of electronic Bible libraries for Christian pastors, teachers, and believers — to make many of its titles available for use in BibleWorks.
The first six BibleWorks-compatible modules are as follows:
- Dictionary of Biblical Imagery by Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit and Tremper Longman III (InterVarsity Press).
- Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship by Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, I. Howard Marshall (InterVarsity Press).
- Dictionary of New Testament Background: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship by Craig A. Evans and Stanley E. Porter (InterVarsity Press).
- Dictionary of Paul and His Letters: A Compendium of Contempoary Biblical Scholarship by Gerald F. Hawthorne, Ralph P. Martin and Daniel G. Reid (InterVarsity Press).
- Dictionary of the Later New Testament & Its Developments: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship by Ralph P. Martin and Peter H. Davids (InterVarsity Press).
- New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition by Gordon J. Wenham, J. A. Motyer, D. A. Carson and R. T. France (InterVarsity Press).
You can order today here:
These titles can be used in BibleWorks and in WORDsearch — whichever suits your needs.
If WORDsearch has a title you would like to have available in BibleWorks, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know. They will use your input to prioritize which books they make available next, and let you know by email when it’s ready.
WORDsearch has been producing software and electronic books for the Christian market since 1987. The company offers over 2,400 volumes of electronic books through several software products.
The BibleWorks Team
BibleWorks, LLC , P.O. Box 6158, Norfolk, VA 23508, USA
Copyright 2011, BibleWorks, LLC