I wanted to say thanks to BibleWorks for the opportunity to review BW 8. 

When I was in Dallas I just used a basic program put out by Zondervan, but when I started PhD studies I knew that wouldn’t be adequate anymore.  So at the recommendation of others here I bought BW7 about 3 years ago.  Since I haven’t really ever used any of the other major programs, the focus of my review will be on the differences between BW7 and BW8.

On the whole, users won’t see much of a difference with the interface of BW8, but don’t let that fool you. 

  • OT Greek Pseudepigrapha
  • Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics
  • Improved Analysis Window
  • ANF and NPNF

The inclusion of the Greek OTP is the biggest reason to get BW8.  Since this only includes the Greek portions of the OTP it doesn’t include things like 2 Enoch or parts of 4 Ezra that aren’t in Greek, otherwise it includes most of the works in Charlesworth’s edition. 

The inclusion of Wallace’s grammar is worth about $30 by itself.  I made the mistake of buying the electronic Pradis version before I had BW and regretted it from the beginning because it was so poorly formatted.  Needless to say the BW version is much more user friendly. 

The other big improvement is making the analysis window more robust: 1) With the ‘Browse’ tab you can see the larger context in one window while you are looking at individual verses in the Browse window.  2) The ‘Resources’ tab is very good.  It shows where the verse you are looking at is referenced by different resources–lexicons, reference grammars, and to my great pleasure Schaff’s Early Church Fathers, which includes the Ante-Nicene and the Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers. 

And as you’ll know from my interest in patristics, the inclusion of the Ante-Nicene and the Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers is quite a welcome addition.  However, its inclusion as a html help file, which is the way that BW includes many reference works, is unfortunate.  The real power with BW is its search capability, and searching through the ANF and NPNF in the help file format is tedious to say the least.  Most of the ANF has been converted as a user defined database on the unofficial BibleWorks blog.  If you use it, you’ll see the difference.

Other smaller, but helpful tweeks include the use of Ctrl-Tab to move through the Search window tabs.  I’m a big fan of keyboard shortcuts so this was a welcome improvement.  Maybe they should also add the function of hitting Ctrl+ a number to take you to a specific tab.  Also, the opportunity to use an editor for papers and the like as well as notes on particular verses is handy.