Bible Geeks' Corner

Bible Software

Here you find these sections:

Bible Software for Mac OS X

QuickVerse Logo
Three years ago, or something like that, I was browsing the Bible shelves in a christian supplies store (Bender's) near Buffalo, NY. And I came across QuickVerse for Mac (Black Box), it was on sale, so I figured I'd give it a go. And there's a lot of good resources in that package, lots of Bible texts, Strong's Concordance, Commentaries, Bible Dictionaries, Devotionals, books and so on. (Check the Product Comparison Chart before you decide.) If you go for QuickVerse, make sure you download the latest update for your version.

Zondervan Bible Study Software
Then later the same year, I got another Bible Software package, called The Zondervan Personal Growth Bible Study Suite for Macintosh®, which I later discovered was a Zondervan branded version of Oak Tree's Accordance. The first time I used it, I was confused by the user interface, I didn't really understand where to search and where to “jump to” certain passages/scripture references. (I should have taken the time to read a little more first.) And it also seemed limited, since there was no Strong's or other Greek/Hebrew Concordance. So I used Quickverse more for the time being. But for a long time I didn't really use either this program or Quickverse much, as I usually just looked stuff up online or on my PalmOS device (I ran Bible With You, first on a Tungsten T5, later on a Palm Treo 680). I wasn't really doing to much concentrated studying and digging, so that suited my need for the Time being.

Accordance Bible Study Software
Then in 2009 I became a student at a Bible school (NSSM) here in Norway, and I started feeling the need for Bible software on the Mac, so I started checking out and comparing the software more in depth, and I found the Accordance Bible Software to be really good. I downloaded the demo version to check it out more in depth, and I followed the nice tutorial videos. It's an awesome product. I ordered a program upgrade and the Library Collection Introductory Level. And for Christmas I wished for and got more modules and some upgrades (including Scholar's collection to get original language texts). Check out the product page and read through the comparison charts to find what best suits your needs. I found the sales person(s) at Oak Tree to be very helpful. Make sure you try the demo version before you buy. I could say many great things about Accordance, but you're better off using your time checking the demo version and watching the tutorial videos than just reading my praise. (Tip: Check out The Map and Timeline modules.)

There is also a version of the Logos Bible Software now available for the Mac. I have not tried it (and it's also in alpha version at the time of this writing). I assume it's most interesting if you know or have Logos for Windows. (There is also an iPhone version available, but it requires internet access to function.)

So, what would I recommend? It depends on your wallet. With QuickVerse you get a lot of content for a very affordable price (it is rather amazing, in my opinion). Accordance is better and more powerful in many ways, but it does cost you money! Like for me, I had the NIV and TNIV and some stuff, but had to add program upgrade and stuff, so I probably paid three or four times the amount for my current Accordance library than for my QuickVerse program, but as I now use the software quite a lot, I think it's worth it. (Even if there's still a couple of Bible texts I had in QuickVerse, which I don't have in Accordance yet. Go for Accordance if you can afford it, it's worth the cost!

(Now I am eagerly awaiting the Accordance iPhone app.)

Bible Software for the iPhone

When I switched from my Palm Treo680 phone to the iPhone, my main concern was these: A decent calendar application and Bible Software close to the quality of GMPSoft’s Bible With You. As for calendar application, I still miss Pimlico Software’s DateBk 6. I still use a lot more time to just add simple appointments and such on iPhone. I wish Apple could either open the door for competition, or themselves implement functionality like the Week view in MyWeek.

Mantis Bible Study Software Logo (iPhone)
Anyway, when I switched to the iPhone, there was already quite a lot of Bible apps, but most of those require you to be online to read the Bible. The main ones available back then, which had the Bible texts available offline and Strong’s dictionary and such, was OliveTree’s Bible Reader and Mantis Bible Study. Mantis also have an Webster’s dictionary available (for English words) and I like the interface better than Olive Tree. So I ended up buying Mantis Bible Study. The availability of texts and dictionaries and such is very good. I do realize that Mantis is a little more expensive than other alternatives, and on a iPhone 3G it is actually a little slow. But I am all over pretty satisfied.

I have noticed that Laridian’s Bible Reader has shown up for the iPhone, and there might be other new apps to check out by now. I read about Logos for iPhone, but it required internet connection to access the Bible texts and modules, so I didn't think more about it. (I want to be able to read and study the Bible offline, like on a long flight or in a cabin far away from people and cell coverage.)

I am waiting eagerly to see how the Oak Tree’s Accordance Bible app for iPhone is going to be. (As Accordance is my preferred Bible software for Mac OS X.)

Bible Software for Linux

Xiphos Logo
On Linux I have only used Xiphos (formerly known as GnomeSword). In my experience a good piece of software, especially considering that it’s free. You can also buy extra Bibles and other modules. Xiphos is based on SWORD and modules for SWORD are usually reasonably priced. (If I remember correctly, a module with f.ex. the HCSB translation would cost around $10.)

In my opinion, Xiphos is still far behind my favorite Bible study software, Accordance for Mac. But it is also way cheaper ... :)

Bible Software for PalmOS

When I got my Palm Tungsten T5, I was searching for suitable Bible Software. I found several. First off was QuickVerse, which offers great value for money (you get many Bible texts, dictionaries and other modules). I compared that to Olive Tree’s Bible Reader, Laridian’s Bible Reader and finally Bible With You. I bought QuickVerse early on, but I discovered that it is pretty slow at certain operations, and the user interface is not as good as the other’s mentioned here. Both Olive Tree and Laridian is good products, and I almost both Laridian, but there is one feature I didn’t find there, which GMPSoft’s Bible With You offers: The ability to lookup both regular words (English, German etc.) in a good dictionary, and the biblical languages in Strong’s. And all this works nicely in Bible With You. It all costs a little more than other alternatives, but the functionality is worth it, in my opinion. GMPSoft also offers quite a few eBooks for their ebook reader software as well. Check it out!

(For the record: I am no longer using PalmOS myself, I switched to the iPhone.)