Categories of Bible software

There are different types of Bible software. Each one has its benefits and its limitations.

General-Purpose Software

General-purpose software appears on all software platforms, including Bible websites. This category of software is easy to use, has the most commonly-used Bible versions, and rudimentary search features. Some software and websites contain additional Bible-related resources such as dictionaries, lexicons, commentaries, cross-references, and other useful items.

However, this software does not usually have much to offer for those who use Greek or Hebrew. Additionally, it usually contains older, public-domain resources rather than newer resources. A notable except is the WORDsearch software, which contains a large collection of recent resources. Its main limitation is its lack of original language resources and advanced search and display features.

Included in this category is most iOS and Android Bible software. The simple feature set works well on these platforms, as these platforms do not have the processing power and memory of desktop and web-based software programs. There are some excellent iOS and Android apps, such as the ones by Olive Tree, Accordance, and Logos, to name a few, but they are included under general-purpose software because they do not have the advanced features contained in the next category of software.

Professional Software

Professional software contains advanced search and display features and has the best modern resources available. This software has an amazing collection of available resources to meet the research needs of professors and students. For those individuals who use Greek and Hebrew, this category of software is a must-have.

Disadvantages for the professional software is a large expense and a higher learning curve, especially for advanced features. This software usually won’t run on the smaller portable devices.

Software programs in this category include Accordance and Logos. Other programs in this category that are, unfortunately, no longer being developed are BibleWorks and GRAMCORD.

Key Point

The general-purpose software has a small memory and storage footprint, is easy to use, and is available for portable devices and on the Internet.

Professional software provides advanced features needed for Bible interpretation tasks that require the best texts and resources and advanced search and display tools.

Each tool has its place. When recommending a Bible software program, keep in mind the user’s level of computer knowledge and study needs. There is no one-size-fits-all software.

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