Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Bible Works 8 - Part 2

As a follow up to my earlier post, I'll now describe some of the new features of BW8 that I like. (You only have to look at the sidebar to notice that myself and Joel Willitts have developed a friendly rivalry over which Bible Software programme we like!) New features of BW8 include:

Menu Tabs. Generally I don't like people messing with my software. Just when I get used to something the manufacturer upgrades the programme and then I have to learn how to "do" and "find" functions all over again. BW8 uses a new drop down menu when you want to change versions. The first option it gives you are languages (English, Greek, Hebrew) and then the assorted versions and documents available. Second, the BW8 makes it easier to move between biblical books, chapters, and verses. Whereas previously you had to scroll up and down to shift between say Acts and Revelation, the new drop down menu is much quicker. This is a change that I like.

New Analysis Tabs. A new "Context" Tab enables you to see the most common words in a pericope, chapter, and book. This is great for getting a feel of an authors preferred vocab.

Phrase Matching Tool. This is a cute little gadget that enables you to find similar phrases and words. I tried this with Rom. 1.17 looking for a phrases 5 words in length with 4 gap words at most and I instantly got Gal. 3.11 as I expected. This is far better than mere word searches as it allows you to identify common themes, threads, and phrases.

Text Exporting. There is now more flexibility as what the text looks like when you export it to a document. For instance, I prefer "In the beginning" (Gen 1:1). to "Gen 1:1 ESV In the beginning".

New Resources. Among the many new resources include:

a. New Greek and Hebrew references such as Wallace Exegetical Syntax of the NT, Waltke & O'Connor Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, and Jouon & Muraoka A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew.

b. Early Church Fathers from with complete series of Schaff Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene Fathers.

c. Old Testament Pseudepigrapha in Greek and English. (Though I'm still trying to figure out where the Greek of 1 Enoch comes from!). It is based on versions from R.H. Charles and C.A. Evans.

Let me say that having the LXX, MT, Syriac, Targums, Josephus, Philo, Church Fathers, Pseudepigrapha in English and original languages makes this a great resource to have. The DSS are also available but you have to pay to unlock them.

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