Bible Software Reviews

I have been a fan of Bible software for many years. The right software can enhance your study, improve your teaching, and give you access to a library that would cost more than most of us could afford if we had to purchase the printed equivalents.

I thought it would be fun, and hopefully useful, to review all the available Bible software packages on the market, and provide information and opinion on which ones I thought were the best. While it was fun, it definitely was more work than I expected. So, at the very least I hope it is useful to someone. Below are the results.
  • Click on the product name for detailed review.
  • Go to my related blog entry to leave comments on the reviews.
  • Scores are on a 1-5 scale: 1=Awful, 2=Bad, 3=Average, 4=Good, 5=Awesome

      Product Interface Searching Resources Extensibility Support Value Cost Overall
    1. WORDsearch 8 4 2 5 4 4 5 $50 - $500 4.0
    2. The Word 3 5 3 3 3 5 4 Free 3.8
    SwordSearcher 5 3 5 2 4 5 4 $50 3.8
    4. Bible Explorer 4 3 2 5 3 4 5 Free 1 3.7
    5. PocketBible 3 4 2 4 4 4 $50 - $200 3.5
    Logos 3 4 3 5 3 3 3 $25 - $1380 2 3.5
    7. e-Sword 3 3 4 2 4 3 Free 1 3.2
    QuickVerse 2008 3 4 3 5 2 2 $60 - $800 3.2
    9. Pradis 6 4 3 3 1 2 3 $27 - $225 2 3.0
    10. PC Study Bible 5 1 2 3 4 5 2 $25 - $450 2.8
    11. Theophilos 3 2 2 2 4 3 3 Free 1 2.7
    La Parola 2 2 4 4 2 2 Free 2.7
    13. BibleSpeak 4.0 3 3 3 2 2 2 $30 2.5
    14. Alkitab Bible Study 4 1 2 2 2 3 Free 2.3
    15. The SWORD Project 2 2 2 3 2 2 Free 2.2
    16. Bible Pro 12 2 2 2 2 2 2 $9 3 2.0
    SwordBible 2 2 2 2 2 2 Free 2.0
    18. Bible Analyzer 2 3 1 2 2 1 Free 1 1.8
    19. Online Bible 1 1 2 3 2 1 Free 1 1.6
    20. Lightning Study Bible 3 1 2 3 2 1 Free 1 1.3

  • 1 Software and enough books for effective study are free. Optional books are available for purchase.
    2 Software engine is free, but payment required for any books. Therefore prices listed are for boxed sets.
    3 Technically BiblePro is free, but you can't even download it without paying $8.95 shipping. To me this constitutes a hard cost.

    Explanation of categories:

    Interface - Does the user interface allow you to study unhindered, or does it get in your way?

    Searcing - How fast can it search? How many options? Search multiple books at once? How are the results shown?

    Resources - What library resources are available to the program? What comes with the basic package, and what can be purchased later? Are the prices reasonable?

    Extensibility - To what extent can you put your own mark on the program? Can you add your own notes and commentaries to Bible verses? Create your own books? Modify the program itself?

    Support - How good is the support, both from the program's authors and from the user community? The latter is just as important, and often more so, in making your software all that it can be.

    Value - Based on the price paid, do you get your money's worth. Why or why not?

    Some things to note about my reviews:

    First, I have a specific user in mind when I write my reviews:  Me. A lay person who is interested in Bible software for personal study and teaching, yet does not have much extra time or money.

    For instance, I did not test a product's Greek and Hebrew tools. All of the products reviewed provide basic Greek and Hebrew texts and word lookups. Some of them offer much deeper Greek and Hebrew studies, but I did not explore those options.

    It also means I didn't test every feature of each product. I just wanted to give a solid overview of basic functionality and usefulness, concentrating on the features that are useful and interesting to me.

    Second, I did my best to provide accurate reviews; but in the end these are just my opinions. If you enjoy one of the packages that I rated low, then more power to you. Use what you like and be proud of it. I welcome dialog and disagreement, provided the discourse is civil. A location for comments on these reviews is provided at this blog entry.

    Finally, I stuck to Windows desktop software. I didn't investigate Macintosh or any web-based offerings, though I reference them in my "Not Reviewed" section below for completeness sake.

    I hope this review guide benefits you and helps you choose the best Bible software for you. God bless.

    Not Reviewed

    Original Language Tools
    Bible Works BW has long been acknowledged as having the best original language tools in the industry. This product is really intended for a different audience than I am trying to reach in my reviews.
    GRAMCORD for Windows Another software product designed specifically for the Hebrew/Greek scholar.
    Biblio Yet another software product designed specifically for the Hebrew/Greek scholar.

    Simple / New / Outdated
    BPBible It's "simple" at this point because it is still in the early development stages. But even at version .4 this SWORD-based product shows promise.
    Berean Bible Study A neat little Bible program for reading and searching the Scriptures. Searches are fast and intuitive. They've managed to land the ESV, NASB, and NKJV, even though it is free.
    Bible One Appears to be a very basic Bible study aid; no demo or downloadable content.
    Power BibleCD Website is a single page with no listing of modules or content. There is a demo, but it is two versions behind the current version.
    The Bible Missionary Looks old and outdated.
    Bible Research Systems No demo or screenshots, but the description shows very basic funcationality for the $99 price tag. You only get one Bible version with the product. Additional translations are $50 each (including the public domain KJV!).

    Accordance Macintosh Some people feel this is the best Bible software on any platform.
    Logos Macintosh Logos Bible Software for the Mac is now available.
    FireBible Firefox Yes, this is a Bible software extension for the Firefox internet browser.
    Bible Desktop All Based on Crosswire's JSWORD project, Bible Desktop has versions for Windows, Mac, Linux, and the web. The Windows version is basically reviewed under my Alkitab review, an improved Windows front-end for JSWORD.
    MacSword Macintosh Based on Crosswire's SWORD Project.
    BibleTime Linux Based on Crosswire's SWORD Project.
    GnomeSword Linux Based on Crosswire's SWORD Project.

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