We are commanded in scripture to study to show ourselves approved unto God (II Tim. 2:15). Since we will stand in judgement before God based on our understanding of and obedience to His word (Rev. 20:11-15), it is imperative that we give serious attention to the study of God’s word. The following is a list of computer Bible programs I use in my Bible study which you might find helpful.
But before addressing these digital resources, I would suggest reading the Bible as often as possible and memorizing as much of it as is within your power. All serious Bible students will tell you that setting aside regular times for Bible study is indispensable to “mastering” God’s word. It takes time and effort to learn anything well. Learning God’s word is no different in that respect.
But beyond this regular study, take a pocket New Testament with you where ever you go and when you have free time, take it out and read. Or, if you have an electronic Bible, take it with you. Not only will this provide an opportunity for study, but it may also provide an opportunity to talk with someone else about the gospel, whose interest is piqued by your reading the Bible in public. Unfortunately, those with Bibles on their phones will not find as many opportunities as those who possess an actual book in their hands.
Also, having your New Testament with you will allow you to memorize God’s word. It only takes just a moment to begin the process to memorize God’s word. I say a process because you may not fully commit a passage to memory at one sitting, but once you lay down a foundation, it will become much easier later to recall it. The reason memorization is important is because once you have this passage embedded in your mind and hopefully in your heart, when a subject comes up, your mind will very naturally bring forth the passages that address it. If you cannot memorize a passage, at least remember what the passage teaches and where to find it.
Now, regarding resources used in regular, personal Bible study, I most often use e-Sword. s-Sword is described as “a feature rich and user friendly free Bible study app with everything needed to study the Bible in an enjoyable and enriching manner!” I must concur with this assessment.
What is especially grand about e-Sword is not just that it is free, but it will also allow you to add modules of some of the best known and time tested works the world has known. Barnes, Clarke, the Pulpit Commentary, Jamieson-Fausset-Brown, McClaren, Gill, The Biblical Illustrator, Poole, Henry, Alford and many others. To be sure, most of these works are by denominational authors, but they provide great insights into the word of God when used judiciously. Lesser known works are available, as well. In fact, works from our own brethren can be found on various sights that offer modules for e-Sword.
The best site I have found that offers add-ons for e-Sword is called Biblesupport.com. There are many other sites, however. There are literally thousands of volumes available on that site. To buy all of these works in hard copy would be unthinkable for someone like me, but with e-Sword I have them at my fingertips…free! There are many different Bible versions available, many different commentaries, reference works, devotionals, maps and graphics. There are other sights which offer copyrighted works for which you must pay, but most of these are free. You can even add modules to be downloaded or add your own books to e-Sword.
Another resource I use is WORDsearch. I own a copy of WORDsearch 11, the latest version. It is inexpensive at $39.95. There is also a free version called WORDsearch Basic. Wordsearch is a little more intuitive to use than E-sword and it also provides over 200 free books. WORDsearch is also expandable, but beyond these two-hundred free books, you must pay for each book. It allows you to search for words or sentences and you can search for words in the original languages. It provides Strong’s definitions to words and you can even hear the word spoken in the original tongue. What is nice about WORDsearch is that you can open up several tabs and read and compare several passages at a time.
Another Bible software package that I occasionally use is Olive Tree Bible Software. They have a free version and a paid version, like most software packages. I use the free version mainly because it offers the NIV and NKJV free, which I don’t find in other software packages. I use these versions merely to see how these translations read and to have a digital copy at my fingertips. You can add other books to your collection, but most of them cost.
I also use Logos Bible Software which is a very expensive software package. The version I use is one of the less expensive language base packages, which is still very expensive compared to other Bible software. It cost in the neighborhood of three hundred dollars. To purchase the most expensive you would have to pay over $12,000 dollars. This is way out of my range, so I am content with what I have. I am far from mastering all that my limited version will do, but for really serious Bible students, it is extremely helpful.
I would also mention two other free programs. One is called called theWord. It is similar to other Bible programs that allow you to add books, but it seems a little more cluttered to me. That may be just because I am unfamiliar with the it. The other is Quickverse starter, which is a free, base version of Quickverse. It is my understanding that Quickverse is no longer published. I must confess that I do not own Quickverse. But many use it and I am sure that it will be helpful.
Another Bible program that is very useful is BibleWorks. I do not own it and cannot say much about it. But it is described as “the premier original languages Bible software program for Biblical exegesis and research.”
There are other software packages that I use, but these are the ones that I find most helpful in my studies. Perhaps this list will help you, too. Next week I would like to look at internet sites that are helpful in studying the Bible.
Eric L. Padgett