Bibleworks 8 (Review Part 1): First Impressions

I installed the version 8 upgrade of Bibleworks yesterday. I am very excited to have this new version and I have already found many of the new features very useful. Here are some first impressions that are noteworthy.

- Many features seem streamlined without the kind of total-changeover that can be daunting to users familiar with the way BW works. Its the little things that make a difference. For instance, when you want to change the Bible version you are seeing displayed, before there was a drop-window that you had to scroll through. Now, when you click on the box with the versions, it brings up the various languages (‘English’, ‘French’, ‘Greek’, etc…), and then when you select English all of the versions are displayed at once for you to select one (i.e. no scrolling). This description may sound overly convoluted, but trust me – its easier!

-Databases. Perhaps the most attractive feature of the new version for me is the inclusion of the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha in Greek and English. Before, I had to use the user-created database (Charles edition) which did not have the Greek. When I needed the Greek, I had to ask my study-neighbor to search the Greek in his Accordance (Mac) program! Now, I am free to search all I want on my own! It is also nice to have the English of the Targums and Mishnah.

- Exporting text. In BW 7, I had trouble getting BW to export to Word using unicode. I know it was possible, but I couldn’t get it working. Now, in BW 8, I quickly set it up and it works marvelously.

- Additional Module – Moulton and Milligan now comes free (as an update) with BW8. This is a great resource.

More thoughts to come.

NB: I think that future versions should begin the think about what Greek and Latin classical resources are going to be most useful to researchers.  Here it will take a bit of predication as to what sources and authors are being given attention especially in NT studies.  I would like to see the Greek and Roman philosophers (Epictetus, Plutarch, Seneca) and some of the historians (Tacitus, Heroditus).

Bibleworks also needs to begin thinking about talking to Richard Bauckham and Jim Davila about getting in on the ground floor on More Old Testament Pseudepigrapha.  Its never too early for collaboration if its makes the texts more accessible faster and cheaper…. :)

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13 thoughts on “Bibleworks 8 (Review Part 1): First Impressions

  1. As far as adding Greek and Roman philosophers, I have a feeling Logos is already working in that direction. They have already started producing Latin resources and the massive OLD is in the works. I suspect that once OLD is finished, some great Latin stuff will start to come out. Probably focusing on ecclesiastical works to start, but I will hold out hope for those Latin philosophical works. They did publish Homer’s Illiad already on the Greek side–hopefully similar projects will come soon.

    And as for the OT Pseudepigrapha, Logos already has that in the bag–morphologically tagged, no less! Unfortunately, they only have Charles available as an English translation. It would be good to get the Charlesworth edition.

  2. Alan – I know. Shame on me. Well, I do think I will convert to Mac….someday.

    Pat – thanks for the insider info. A few questions. What is ‘the massive OLD’. Also, yes Logos got the OTP, but it took forever for them to get from pre-pub to pub. I am happy to have the Evans et al. translation in BW. On a more personal note, I don’t really like using Logos for Greek-text (or Hebrew) search. It doesn’t seem as user-friendly. I tried using Logos for Peshitta stuff, but even that was difficult. Now I can do it all in BW. Woo-hoo. I still value Logos highly for the commentaries.

    You are probably right that Logos will do patristic stuff first. I can see how that would be helpful – especially with the currently popularity with ‘Theological Interpretation’ and a return to appreciating pre-critical scholarship.

  3. They should definitely load up all the ancient commentaries by Chrysostom and others. It would be great to have an english translation with the Greek next to it! What about loading up all the Fathers? Like the Ancient Christian Commentary Series?

  4. As a quick note, there are user-created databases (at least for BW7) which link the Chrysostom and Augustine homilies contained in the ANPNF series into BW. I got it at

    http://bibleworks.oldinthenew.org/?page_id=151

    If you can stomach the stilted Victorian translation, then I think it’s quite useful.

    I am told that Logos is in the midst of putting together a searchable electronic version of the first 18 volumes of the Patrologia Graeca (PG). This is intended to correspond (roughly) to the Ante-Nicene series of the ANPNF. But who knows how long that will take, and if you want, for example, Chrysostom, then Logos will have to do another 18 volumes of the PG (roughly 22,000 pages) and for Augustine 17 volumes of the PL.

    Of course, the only reason to use PG or PL at this point is that they are beyond copyrights. Neither edition is particularly trustworthy. Migne is renowned for his errors and editorial laxity, and while Augustine has good critical editions and excellent English translations, Chrysostom has only partial critical editions and no complete English translation.

  5. This was NOT a good post for me to read. Here I sit, completely content with my Bibleworks 5, and now you got me wanting 8! I can’t afford this!

    Maybe it’ll be discounted at SBL?

    Once BW includes all the DSS, I think I’d have to make the jump.

  6. Am I correct that BW has NOT come up with anything allowing current users simply to upgrade, and thus spend less? Even if so, I’m sure my BW 5 is so archaic as not to qualify.

  7. John – you can certainly upgrade for a smaller cost than buying the newest version. I don’t know if an upgrade ‘reduced’ price is available from version 5 to 8. It might be worth looking into.

  8. Bibleworks already has many of the philosophical text for free. Here is a current listing from the bibleworks blog (http://bibleworks.oldinthenew.org/?page_id=138)

    # Classical Greek:

    * Aeschines (Michael Hanel)
    * Apollonius Rhodius (Michael Hanel)
    * Aristophanes’ Works (Michael Hanel)
    * Callimachus’ Works (Michael Hanel)
    * Demosthenes’ Speeches (Michael Hanel)
    * Epictetus’ Works (Michael Hanel)
    * Gorgias’ Enconium of Helen and English translation. (Michael Hanel)
    * Herodotus’ Histories and English translation. (Michael Hanel)
    * Homer, Hesiod, and Homeric Hymns texts and morphologies (Michael Hanel)
    * Alternate edition of Homer and Hesiod, morphology, an English translation of Homer/Hesiod, and German translation (Michael Hanel)
    * Pausanias’ Description of Greece (Michael Hanel)
    * Plato’s works and English translation (Michael Hanel)
    * Pseudo-Apollodorus’ Library and Epitome (Michael Hanel)
    * Sophocles’ Works (Michael Hanel)
    * Thucydides’ Histories in English (version one and version two) (Michael Hanel)
    * Xenophon’s Works (Michael Hanel)

    # Classical Latin:

    * Julius Caesar (Civil and Gallic Wars) and English translation (Michael Hanel)
    * Virgil’s Works (Michael Hanel)
    * Tacitus’ Histories and English translation (Dan Dyke)
    * Cornelius Tacitus’ Works (Michael Hanel)
    * Suetonius’ Works and an English translation (Michael Hanel)
    * Horace’s Works, a second Latin version, and an English translation (Michael Hanel)

  9. Thanks Jackson. These have been of help to me, but I want them tagged morphologically! But, something is much better than nothing. I have been blessed by these fine folks and I appreciate their hard work, especially Michael Hanel!

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