PC Study Bible. (educational software) (evaluation)
by Steven Hudson
What does the Bible mean when it says to love one another? There are several ways to decide. One way requires a stack of dictionaries, concordances, and cross references, along with hours of page flipping. The other way is to turn on your computer, load PC Study Bible, and go!
In many ways, PC Study Bible is a Bible student's dream come true. The basic package integrates three versions of the Bible (the King James Version, the American Standard Version, and the New International Version) with a multifaceted concrodance, a notepad, a word processor, and Nave's Topical Bible. Optional add-ons include additional Bible versions plus a Greek-Hebrew dictionary. The result is a truly powerful study tool.
At the heart of the program is the Bible reference section. You can start at any book, chapter, and verse, and move to other references with ease. Multiple windows allow you to work with sevral translations at one time, and scrolling through one automatically scrolls through the others. And if you're simply reading, there's an automatic variable-speed scrolling feature.
PC Study Bible's concordance works with any of the program's Bible versions. You can search for words or phrases, and do and/or searches within verses. You can also locate words you don't know how to spell. Simply enter the first few letters followed by a plus sign, and a list of likely spellings pops onto the screen. If you're looking for proper names or places, however, you must capitalize the first letter. Otherwise, the screen will say nothing found.
As mentioned, PC Study Bible includes Nave's Topical Bible, which cross-references Bible topics in more than 100,000 verses under almost 20,000 different headings. It includes outlines on hundreds of subjects and is valuable for in-depth topical studies.
Biblesoft offers Strong's Greek-Hebrew Dictionary and Englishman's Concordance as an add-on option. It provides immediate insight into Hebrew and Greek words and gives you fingertip access to original definitions and derivations. You can even locate every place where a given Greek or Hebrew word appeared in original texts. A good concordance is tremendously powerful and, compared to the traditional page turning of a printed concordance, research with this electronic one is essentially effortless.
As you work with the program, chances are good that you'll want to record scriptural passages, word info, and your own comments. To make this easier, PC Study Bible includes a built-in notepad. The program also includes a word processor, although you may want to use your own word-processing package for final editing.
PC Study Bible has features galore, but how does it work in practice? Very well. Installation is simply a matter of making a directory and copying disks, although there are lots of disks to copy. The user interface is straightforward, using a combination of function keys, pop-up menus, and single-key commands to call various functions. This is a package that won't take long to master, but it's one you'll be using for a long time to come.