Computer Bible Helps
We now have available a suitable substitute for cumbersome and expensive books about the Bible: Bibles and Bible helps on computer diskettes and CD-ROMs (compact discs for computers). If you have access to a personal computer equipped with a CD-ROM drive, you can make use of Bible helps that would normally cost thousands of dollars for only $75 to $500. Some are available free or at minimal cost through online computer services.
Biblical Archaeological Review periodically summarizes Bible-study software:
"The number of Bible software programs on the market has multiplied in the past couple years as computer users realize that their Macintosh or PC is the route to cheap and efficient Bible study.
"For serious students of the Bible, computer-aided text retrieval and word processing alone can justify the purchase of a computer.
Remember, one $300 Bible product on CD-ROM (a compact disc for computers) can contain enough texts and reference materials to fill more than 30,000 pages, weigh hundreds of pounds if hardbound and cost thousands of dollars. With blinding speed, a Bible study program can search its component texts (Bible translations, original-language editions, dictionaries, commentaries and the like) and pull up every instance of every word or reference you seek" (November-December 1996, p. 58).
For example, Bible Explorer is a program on CD-ROM in Microsoft Windows format available in five editions starting at $39.95. Its deluxe edition contains multiple Bible versions, Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, two Bible dictionaries, Vine's Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament and New Testament, Nave's Topical Bible, Matthew Henry's Commentary, Bible maps, Thompson's Chain Reference, five classic Bible helps and A Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge. More information can be obtained from Epiphany Software, (800) 280-7437.
Logos is a CD-ROM for Windows with an extensive collection of reference books. Its cost depends on the number of books included on the CD-ROM. More information can be obtained from Logos Research Systems, Inc., (800) 875-6467.
Macintosh users can buy Online Bible, with a similar number of Bible helps and 14 Bible versions, for less than $100. More information can be obtained from Ken Hamel at (908) 741-4298.
The Bible and many helps are also available on the Internet.
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