As I continue to acclimate myself to BibleWorks 8.0 and its search and study capabilities, I'm finding out more and more how powerful and intuitive the interface is. The speed with which things can be done might be somewhat daunting in fact - but taking it in after a couple of weeks I have to retain my initial enthusiasm for this software. It is truly a time saver for working on original text study. You can purchase Bibleworks 8.0 directly from the company here, or at outlets such as Westminster Theological Seminary Bookstore, at this link.
Among the very helpful capabilities that BW8 includes is the ability via the Resources window to find all references to the verse currently displayed in the Browse window in every unlocked resource. This can be particularly helpful when studying verse-by-verse for teaching (as I am) or preaching - it also seems to be a convenient springboard for comparing lexical entries as I often do.
If the Analysis window/tab is open in the right-hand pane of the standard BW8 layout, then as you browse the text that you're studying, the contents of the pane will update to reflect the verse (or word) that you are hovering over. For the lexicons, this means that every word entry in the given lexicon that makes reference to the verse (in the screen below, Ephesians 4:18) has a line on which you can click to bring up the lexicon window at that entry. At the top of each section in the Resources window that corresponds to a lexicon is the lexical entry for the word your mouse happens to be over at the moment.
I find this feature - the line-by-line recording of every word referenced in a lexicon for the given verse to be VERY helpful as I go about studying a verse. Not only do the lexicons show up in the Analysis window, though, but so does every indexed and unlocked resource - including reference grammars, and the Early Church Fathers collection. Everything that has a reference to the verse you've got highlighted can be accessed from this window! An example below is shown from the Early Church Fathers, wherein I've chosen to pull up a reference given to Chrysostom's homily on Ephesians 4:17-19:
Returning to the lexicon entries - in this example, I'm working with the BDAG lexicon as my standard Analysis window version, which does not come standard with BW8, but which I received as a gift from a friend once he found out I had BW8. (I'll make another posting on the integration of BDAG with the rest of the lexicons in BW8 - but suffice it to say the integration is thoroughly seamless, and the addition of BDAG to the array of lexicons is WELL worth the additional price).
Again, I'm looking at Ephesians 4:18, and have opened the analysis tab, and have highlighted the participle ἐσκοτωμένοι. This form appears only once in the NA27 text, so the search window shows only the one instance.
As I did in a previous review - but this feature is really useful so I highlight it again here - in order to check the usage of the root verb σκοτoω, I clicked in the Analysis window on the root verb, which effectively gives me a search on all forms of the verb in the NA27 + LXX text (the combined analyzed text is very nice - for searching automatically on both the NT and the LXX):
With this I can see the 9 verses wherein the word σκοτoω appears in its various forms (8, as it turns out) in the NA27 and the LXX. Further, for more detail, I can grab the lexical entry for σκοτoω in the pop-up Lexicon Window by highlighting it and clicking on it:
In the lexicon text window (and in the Analysis window, for the lexicon that is displayed - another excellent user-customizable feature) the Scripture references are highlighted - and are clickable to bring up the text. However, what I've found more useful (or differently useful?) is the tooltip that comes up when you mouse over the reference in the Lexicon text. This makes a study of the contextual usage of the word the lexicon entry covers very easy to do rapidly. The tool tips simply pop up with the Scripture reference you've chosen to display (my choice, ESV for the english and BGT, the Greek NA27+LXX compilation BW put together) shown for your easy consultation. See below for an example:
As it turns out, the example above highlights an interesting textual variant - σκοτιζω appears in the Byzantine (essentially the Majority text) textform at Ephesians 4:18, while the verb σκοτoω is found at this place in the critical NA27 text. So, that prompted another study which was easy to do, comparing these words and their presence in the Scriptures. One can easily change the search version that BibleWorks references by clicking on any word in the desired version in the Browse window (or by clicking on the left-most button on the bottom of the BibleWorks window to change manually to whatever version is desired). Then, if I repeat the steps above I can find the lemma in the Byzantine text for σκοτιζω - and compare it to that for σκοτoω, finding a couple instances in the New Testamenet where the Byzantine text and NA27 text differ on this point.
Again, the presence of the tooltips for showing verse-by-verse context of each lexicon entry, the easy switching of search versions from one to another make for a profitable time spent in the Word. It's hard to characterize this tool as anything but powerful and easy to use, and effective for researching in the original Biblical texts. It is cliche to say, but the possibilities are truly endless. Again, if these reviews are helpful to you and your interest is piqued, you can purchase Bibleworks 8.0 directly from the company here, or at outlets such as Westminster Theological Seminary Bookstore, at this link.
Wednesday @ Westminster: The Anointed Prophet
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