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…. :)