Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 142 / JULY 1992 / PAGE 110

QuickVerse 2.0. (Bible-study software) (Evaluation)
by Steve Hudson

Students of the Bible sometimes need serious tools to further their studies. QuickVerse 2.0 delivers an onscreen Bible that practically invites serious study. With several popular translations of the Bible available, along with Hebrew and Greek Transliterated Bible, this Parsons Technology product can give scriptural scholars some welcome assistance.

The QuickVerse screen remains neat and uncluttered, even when simultaneously displaying multiple translations. A function bar along the top provides access to pop-up menus detailing specific program functions (easy-to-recall keyboard shortcuts are also available). But most of the screen is devoted to the text area, which displays up to four windows of single-spaced text. With all four active, your computer presents two rows of two windows each. No side-by-side arrangement is available, making parallel studies slightly more tiresome than with other packages.

One text window is always designated as the active window, and you navigate therein using the Home, End, Page Up, Page Down, and cursor keys. Text in the active window can scroll independently or in synchronization with identical references in other windows. Synchronization, however, is an all-or-nothing prospect. If you want to sync any windows, you'll have to sync them all.

It's facinating to read a passage while there are multiple translations on-screen for easy comparison, and most users will spend much time doing just that. But QuickVerse's search features make the program really notable. Say a particular word catches your interest--forgiveness, for instance. QuickVerse can search out and identify every occurrence within the text, listing them all on your screen. You can then look at individual occurrences or step through them one at a time. QuickVerse ignores case but not punctuation--a trait that you can use to add precision to your searches.

What if you don't know how to spell the word you want to find? If you want to find Nebuchadnezzar, for example, just check the alphabetical listing of all words occurring in the current translation. Alternately, use QuickVerse's wildcard feature. Type the first few letters followed by an asterisk (in this case, neb*), and you'll find all passages containing words beginning with the letters neb. Unfortunately, the wildcard feature works only at the end of a word, so an educated guess at the first few letters can prove crucial.

Looking for related words? Boolean search capabilities allow you to pinpoint verses containing specific combinations of words or any of several given words. There is no way to search for words occurring a given distance apart (for example, the word forgiveness when it's located within five words of the word neighbor), but the Boolean approach actually seems to be more useful.

How about phrases? QuickVerse searches for phrases of up to ten words or 127 characters, whichever comes first. Punctuation need not be included, so there's no need to worry about all those commas. Phrase searches stop at verse boundaries, however. In fact, if you try looking for a phrase that crosses verse boundaries, the program will tell you that it's not in the Bible.

In any case, you can easily set search limits. You can search a range of verses, a single book, a range of books, or a group of books. If you don't specify a limit, the search will cover the entire Bible.

Once you've found your word or phrase, QuickVerse allows you to write your own comments on that particular word or phrase. It's like writing in the margins of a printed Bible--a genuinely handy way to record your thoughts as you study. The package offers a wide range of printing features, of course, including the ability to print those notes with the text.

Is QuickVerse really quick? Indeed it is, despite what sometimes seems like a lot of hard disk accessing. Even on a turtle-slow 16-MHz machine, locating a phrase never took more than a few seconds--much faster than any text search using traditional reference-book techniques, as page-weary Sunday school teachers will attest. The result: less time spent looking things up and much more time to spend looking them over.

What's missing? An autoscrolling feature would aid casual reading. Some might wish for the Apocrypha, and those with a bent toward comparative studies might wish the text windows were side by side instead of stacked two over two. But for many pastors, Sunday school teachers, and other students of the Bible, QuickVerse 2.0 may take Bible study to a more comfortable level.