Thursday, December 03, 2009

SwordSearcher Bible Software

I am what you would call a Bible Software junkie. I have used, bought, deleted, re-installed, upgraded, updated, reviewed, and previewed Bible software for a long time. I cannot begin to count how many programs that I have used over the years.

Recently, Brandon at SwordSearcher was kind enough to send me a copy of SwordSearcher 5 for me to review. To start off many don't like a lot of the programs out there because many are nothing more than public domain (free software already available). So to be fair, I have to say that SwordSearcher does have some public domain software as part of it.

I must say that $49.95 will get you get you a nice program WITH a money back guarantee. Though, I have seen most, if not all, the software that this program has; the way that it is put together with its interface is great. It is geared for a beginner and even some intermediate users. All references are linked next to the verses and with the program being indexed, it works very fast. I also enjoyed mousing over a text and seeing the verse/reference pop up. It also has a built in word processor so that you can make your own notes as you study. The learning curve is small as most will be able to jump right in without being overwhelmed. Another neat feature that SwordSearcher has is the ability to fully install the program to your hard drive and removing your CD for safe-keeping.

I encourage you to go to this site and look at all the resources that $49.95 will get you. If not, at least download the demo and check it out.


Jon Daley said...

I recently discovered Xiphos, and have been quite impressed. It uses standard interfaces and so you can download all sorts of bibles, commentaries, dictionaries, etc.

I like the parallel bible pages where I can see different translations very easily.

And it is great how easy it is to move between (ie. they are all on the screen at the same time, so "moving between" involves moving your eyes, without clicking anything) a word search, the verse that was found, the chapter that verse is in, dictionary definition of the word or Strong's concordance, and even various devotional and books.

I've never paid for bible software, so maybe there are other things that can be done better, but I'm having a hard time imagining it.

Dead Theologians said...

Hello John,

Thanks for alerting us to the FREE Xiphos. I was wondering why I could not remember Xiphos when it hit me...Gnomesword. Though I had never used Gnomesword I did read about it several times.

I think the difference between paid and free is:
1. More resources with paid product
2. The linking and parsing with other languages is usually and issue also
3. The upgradeability of the paid verses free usually stands out.

Thanks for your great comment and review of Xiphos.


Jon Daley said...

I am not sure what you mean about your statements of "upgradeability". Speaking as a person who doesn't have any paid software for my house, and upgrades are always free and easy, and I run my own business entirely on free software, I have some sort of mental block when people talk about why paying for software is better than the free software available. (one recent good example is all of the ERP,CRM,etc. software packages - folks finally figured out that spending a million dollars on a system that doesn't work isn't a good thing to do, and now there are tons of ERP systems freely available. Granted, ERP systems are really, really big, and every company I've seen use one needs them customized, but since you are starting out a million dollars (that's a literal number, by the way - the company I used to work for wasn't that happy when I wrote part of the software they needed over a weekend, "well, we already contracted to pay for it from someone else...") you have a lot of money left over for customizing...

As for languages - since there appears to be some sort of standard for electronic bibles, xiphos (and any bible software - though I didn't look at the licenses) can use all of the bibles - so the hundred or two bibles that are available (in languages I've never heard of) are all freely available. (though one might wonder about the usefulness of the Klingon translation)

Dead Theologians said...

Hello Jon,

I suppose that most free Bible software would suffice for the average user. But for the advanced user, or shall we say more demanding user, paid software will come into view quickly.

I am not aware of the business software that is out there but I am aware of the many free Bible software programs and have been pleased with such.

Since you do not have any paid Bible software programs I would invite you to put the free next to the paid, it might be a humbling experience. :)


Jon Daley said...

I am not sure what you are saying. Are you saying that you use paid software and find it better than the free software, or you are happy with the free software?

I guess the trouble is that I can't think of any features that I would want in bible software that I can't use in xiphos.

I suppose it is one of those things that Apple would talk about - the "other" software has features I haven't even realized that I need...

I was thinking about you/this topic last night as I was going to bed - one case where the paid software is better is gimp vs. photoshop, though I like some things better in gimp, for the most part, I feel like they are a version behind, so always catching up to photoshop.

But, an opposite example is the office products - I see no reason to use any of the Microsoft products any more. OpenOffice has come a long way from StarOffice, and it has more features and less annoyances of the Microsoft products (and doesn't change the interface completely every couple years, so non-technical folks can use it much easier).

My pastor's computer died, and he didn't have a license for Microsoft Office, so he had been using google docs, and I suggested that we install Linux and OpenOffice, and he is completely thrilled and totally confused as to why people would give away such great software...


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