[Editor’s Note: This blogpost was written by SEBTS M.Div. student Chris Thompson. A succinct summary of the leading Bible software available for pastors and students aiming to make their research simplified and efficient, this post is just in time for last minute Christmas shopping.]
Research can be a daunting task and there are many Bible software programs that claim to simplify this arduous endeavor. The first hurdle for simplified and effective research is sorting through a barrage of choices that includes everything from E-Swords to Greek Tutors. However, one program stands above the rest and serves as an all inclusive resource for the serious student of Scripture.
Logos, first and foremost, is an electronic personal library. Even the most basic package includes nearly 100 Bibles and reference books, with the option to add many more. The depth of your research depends on the size of your Logos library. Within seconds you can perform a topical search through your entire library. Also, every Bible reference is hypertexted, so you can view the entire verse by simply placing your cursor over the text (mouseover).
Logos also features The Logos Original Languages Library, a complete library of Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Latin, and English resources for advanced biblical research. You can study all major texts, like the NA27 and BHS, and view morphology on mouseover. Another great feature is the ability to parse every Greek or Hebrew word in your passage with just the click of a button.
The most common question in shopping Bible software is whether to purchase BibleWorks or Logos. BibleWorks is unparalleled as an electronic exegetical tool. Logos cannot compare with Bible Works speed, power, and integration. To try and compare the two is like comparing an iPad and a Kindle. An iPad can be used as an e-reader, but it will never compare to a Kindle which is designed for one specific purpose.
One major barrier that holds people back from purchasing Logos and BibleWorks is the price tag. Thankfully, there are numerous free Bible programs that are easily accessible. Tyndale House has a very helpful resource (http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/BibleSoftware) that offers detailed descriptions of the major Bible software programs, including those nice free ones.
Last, but not least, Broadman and Holman have launched MyStudyBible.com (http://beta.mystudybible.com) featuring the HCSB Study Bible through a beta preview. This resource offers the following features: morphology by mouseover; word study; dictionary; and commentary. This research tool is completely free and offers a competitive alternative to some of the more expensive programs.