For years I have been a PC Study Bible user and I recently upgraded from version 4 to version 5, which was going to include a Septuagint and improved Greek/Hebrew parsing. Well, I have it now, and it does have those things, as well as Bible translations than you can shake a stick at (meaning more than I would ever want), and a generally prettier interface. But the interface isn’t necessarily easier, and I find it terribly annoying that when I click on a Bible passage in a reference work to open (what I call) a “secondary panel” to read said passage, the book, chapter, and verse of the passage is displayed in a miniscule font with light gray colored letters against a light green background (read: virtually unreadable). There may be a way to change this in the preferences, but I have not found it yet. And the Visual Basic code for the MS Word macros that come with it is still protected (unlike the code for v.3, I think), which is annoying since I would like to customize it a bit (e.g., for handling non-contiguous verse references).
Anyway, I thought I would use this as an opportunity to ask you, intrepid readers of this blog that you are, what Bible reading software you use. I know there is a great deal to balance: cost, available translations, cost, supported reference materials, cost, and, of course, cost. Actually, for software that is truly delivers bang for the buck, cost is not necessarily a limiting option, but there is something inherently unsatisfying in saving for a whole year for a software program that may be out of date by the time you buy it… (And being a past PC Study Bible owner, the discounts on updates do help make choosing it a more attractive choice, even given its drawbacks.)
My own system is PC Study Bible v5.0 when I want it for the features it has that are relatively unique to it (and I do not mind opening up the behemoth), but e-Sword v.7.8.5, the free computer Bible, for all other times. e-Sword is not so large when it opens and is pretty straightforward with fewer bells and whistles (and I have purchased the available NKJV plug-in now that it is available, to replace the “free” one that has been out there on the internet for some time). Actually, e-Sword has a really interesting Scripture memorization helper that seems promising enough that I have stopped my plans to make one myself using MS Access (which would have been finished around, oh I don’t know, the year 2525). When taking notes at church, I have MS Word open on the left hand side of my screen and e-Sword open on the right.
So what do you use? And why do you use it? What factors went into your decision to use the computer Bible you use? Do you enjoy it? Was it a good buy?
I’m sure that I could find some good consumer comparisons out there, and I am at least familiar with some of the more popular offerings (e.g., Quickverse, Logos). But still, I would prefer to know what you guys and gals are using. So consider this an open call for comments! All that I ask is that you be as respectful as you normally are on my blog. If you do not like a particular company’s product, there is no reason to be nasty or abusive — though I’m not saying you can’t be colorful. 🙂