Tuesday, September 29, 2009

0 BibleWorks 8.0 First Impressions

First impressions? Smooth. Clean. FAST.

When I had BibleWorks 8.0 up for the first time and was reading through Ephesians, chapter 1, looking through the NA27 Greek text, those were the words that immediately popped to mind. I was delighted as coordinated lexical entries flashed by in the analysis window while I moved my mouse over the Greek words in the main text window. When I had brought the program up the first time, a friendly pop-up window had told me, providentially, that I should hold down [Shift] as I move the mouse over the Greek text if I wanted to freeze the results of the Analysis Window on a particular word. So, as I moved on to Ephesians 1:7, I moved over to the Greek word ἀπολύτρωσιν (translated "redemption") I then held [Shift] and moved the mouse over to the Analysis window, where I was given the lexical information and several other references for the word. Going back to the Greek, I decided to double click on ἀπολύτρωσιν and up came in the left-hand window all the instances of the word in exactly the same form in both the LXX and the NT (in this case there are just 6 instances, all NT). Further, a right click on ἀπολύτρωσιν enabled me to send the verse to the Lexicon Browser...with no instruction and no searching on the Help functions, I was simultaneously pleased and excited at the resources already in my hands at a few minutes into my use of this package.

The installation of BibleWorks 8.0 from the DVD-ROM that arrived via UPS today was exceedingly simple and straightforward. It couldn't have been 20 minutes from the opening of the package (okay, 35 minutes, which included 15 min
utes helping a student with Quantum Mechanics homework) I had BW8 up and running on my laptop after a quick reboot as required by the installer. Then I got to work. First things, first - I looked at the default texts in the middle panel of the main window - pulling down the menu that by default came up as KJV - and selected "ESV" and "NAU" (NASB 1995) out of the multitude of English texts available. Then, the above paragraph describes the first few minutes with the program. The two screen shots below show the interface as I have them before me, without having to fiddle with any settings at all: A very clean and useful presentation, I think.

Main Window, Ephesians 1:7 in focus, together with a search for

After having brought up the Lexicon window for ἀπολύτρωσιν:

At this point in time, I have to say that while I know next to nothing about this software, I already feel as though I can quickly begin to make good use of it in my preparations for teaching and leading Bible Studies. The tools available are quite impressive, even at this very first blush (ten minutes of playtime elapsed so far). Please see this list, provided at the BibleWorks website, for the multitude of resources available in this package. In addition, more original language and other resources are also available at extra cost to the user. I very much look forward to digging in to see how powerful Bibleworks 8 is.

I am needless to say impressed at the outset. I have done previous original language study only with online tools and my hard copies of the Greek New Testament, TDNT, BDAG and TWOT. While those are indeed wonderful resources, I employ Microsoft Word to write my own notes for teaching and preaching - and the time going back and forth between hard-copy resources and the electronic tools at my disposal prior to my receipt of BW8 was often substantial. I will be anxious to compare the ease of preparing exegesis and study notes having this powerful tool in my hands - and will be reviewing my experiences here as I write several BibleWorks 8 reviews over the next few months.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did receive this copy of BibleWorks 8 gratis - and I thank the folks at BibleWorks for the opportunity to fully exercise this software package as I prepare these reviews. BibleWorks is available at the publisher's website and other outlets such as the Westminster Theological Seminary Bookstore.



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