Friday, August 24, 2012

BibleWorks Review: Searching

What sets BibleWorks apart from all other Bible software is their search engine. Because BibleWorks never intended to be a theological library, they seemed to have been freed up to put everything into their search engine. It is quick enough to instantly search all the greek lexicons, church fathers, grammars, critical apparatus', and manuscript images (!) as you simply mouse over each verse. It doesn’t bog down the system, but effortlessly displays the information like so:

Notice the two panes to the right? Those are the ones that instantly update every time I move the cursor over the next verse. Every resource is tagged by verse as well, so if you download some additional church fathers or perhaps Grudem's Systematic Theology, those also will be included in the right panes to be instantly searched every time you place your cursor over a verse.

Even more important is the command line searching, which is the bar that says [enter search words or verse here] in the first pane from the left. Here, you can search anything you want, from the simple query of "Righteousness of God" in Pauline texts to "heaven * * earth" which will search for every phrase that has heaven, plus any two words, followed by earth. And this is only scratching the surface of what BibleWorks is capable of.

When you turn to searching the original languages, it just gets better. Through the how-to videos, anyone can learn how to quickly and easily search through the Greek text. There are options to search every time a from of αγαπαω, or every time αγαπη is plural (which was not a simple process for BibleWorks to make available). Plus, the google-like wildcards such as αγαπ* can be used as well!
Again, what separates BibleWorks from the rest is the speed of the search. Though I can't speak from experience with other top-of-the-line Bible software, I can point out that the general consensus agrees. For example, this came from a Tom Collinge, who owns both Logos and BibleWorks because they "do different things." It was found in the Logos forums:

When it comes to the original languages, BibleWorks (BW) beats Logos (L4) hands down IMHO.  When it comes to speed, BW runs like 2011 Ferrari Enzo and L4 runs like 1972 Ford Pinto.

What a nice turn of phrase, eh?

For the quote, see and scroll toward the bottom of the page.

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