Showing posts with label software. Show all posts
Showing posts with label software. Show all posts

29 October 2012

Biblos

< Bible Gateway | Index | Online Bible Tools >

Bible Hub is a complex tool with extensive facilities for Bible research including dictionaries, commentaries, interlinears, concordances, versions in original and modern languages, word studies, parsing information and more.

The Bible Hub home page
The Bible Hub web-based Bible tool manages to do a very great deal. The only problem with this breadth of coverage is that it can be tricky to find your way around. But most users will find just a few features that they use regularly and will soon become familiar with those. In other words, don't be put off by the complexity of this tool but focus on learning the parts you need.

Home page - Here's some of the stuff you can find right away on the home page.

  1. Along the top, a row of national flags allow you to choose a language other than English.
  2. Below the flags are drop boxes for Bible book, chapter and verse, Bible chapter outlines, and to select a translation or commentary or original language version or a whole host of other things. The chapter outline autoupdates as you change the book or chapter, a nice feature.
  3. Next is a search box with options for topical, library, Strong's number and multilingual search.
  4. Below that comes a toolbar with 23 icons for all manner of options including advanced search, reading plans, devotions, biblical weights and measures, apocryphal books and more.
  5. And then there are two more toolbars and a set of tabs.
  6. Finally, a set of 28 large icons provides further ways into the data.
Below all of this the home page continues with masses of additional material. There's just about everything you might need for a detailed study of any verse, word, idea or theme in the Bible.

Let's try it out - Starting from the home page I've just used the drop boxes in row 2 to select John 14:1. I immediately see multiple English translations of the verse in the main column with cross references to the right. Further down are concordance links for the key words in the verse and extracts from several commentaries and word studies.

Part of John 14 in an interlinear display
Next I click the Greek icon in row 4 and right away I see a page of Greek interlinear. Bible Hub has unhelpfully forgotten I was in John 14 and shows me the interlinear for Matthew 1. Hmm.

Back to the drop boxes in row 1 and I'm soon back in John, but that was not as smooth as it might have been.

But the interlinear is well done (click the image for a larger view). There are five lines. First come the Strong's numbers with transliterated Greek words below and the original Greek in line three. The Strong's numbers and the transliterated Greek are clickable and bring up definitions, concordance entries and more. The original Greek is not clickable, sadly, neither is the English equivalent in line four. Line five offers useful parsing information (part of speech, case, tense etc).

Serious research - Bible Hub is a good place to do serious bible study for free and online. It contains everything you need in one place, but there are several ways into most of the information and this results in a cluttered and confusing interface.

For looking up a word or two in Strong's, studying a few verses in depth, or translating short passages from Greek or Hebrew it's probably all you need. Bible Hub can even meet some unusual requirements, for example it can display the Old Testament in Septuagint Greek and the New Testament in modern Hebrew or even in Aramaic.

Reading online - I can't recommend Bible Hub for Bible reading online. Bible Gateway is a much easier and cleaner way to do this in a wide range of languages and versions. But in a web browser with BibleHub open in one tab or window and Bible Gateway in another it's quite possible to use the two together to look up details and definitions while reading.

< Bible Gateway | Index | Online Bible Tools >

25 October 2012

Bible Gateway

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The Bible Gateway is a simple but impressive collection of online Bibles in many languages. If you want to read and search the Bible on your laptop, tablet or phone, it may be all you need. It's free, fast, and effective and comes with helpful extras like reading plans and devotionals.

The Bible Gateway website
Today we're going to take a look at The Bible Gateway. The main purpose of this free website is to provide online Bibles - and there are a lot of them. At the time of writing, there are thirty-four English translations as well as many more in a wide range of other languages. Take a look at the full list.

A clickable list of Bible books is available for each version, as an example, here's the list for the Knox Bible. But the normal way into the Bible Gateway is through its search facility.

Searching - The homepage has a search box under the site banner. The search box is accompanied by a drop down list of versions. Simply type a search term, choose a version, and press 'Enter' or click the search button. You can skip the version choice if the default is OK (and you can change the preferred default version in the system's settings).

What can you put in the search box? You can type a topical query such as 'love' or 'one another' (put exact phrases in double quotes) and then press 'Enter' or pick from a list of suggestions.

Or you can enter a chapter such as '1 Cor 13' or '1 Corinthians 13' to read it in its entirety. The display provides links to move backwards and forwards a chapter at a time.

Alternatively you can enter a specific passage, for example 'John 14:3-8' or even 'Matt 14:20-15:3'.

Other features - The Bible Gateway doesn't offer Bible study tools. It is intended primarily as a resource for Bible reading and text retrieval.

To this end it offers audio versions, commentaries, reading plans, dictionaries and versions of the site for use on mobile phones.

There is also a Bible Gateway app and various other tools, check the list in the left-hand panel.

Conclusion - If you want to read the Bible online, check out unusual versions, or search for a particular passage, Bible Gateway might be all you need. It's simple to use, quick to load, flexible, and only a web browser away. There nothing to install and nothing to pay, just load the website and begin reading and searching.

< No earlier items | IndexBible Hub >

21 October 2012

Online Bible tools

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There are many ways to read and study the Bible. Since the invention of printing this has included paper versions of the Bible as well as commentaries and tools of all kinds. Today we can also use software for Bible reading and study, both locally installed and online.

The Malmesbury Bible
Frank Viola has been writing brief reviews of Bible software, but has decided not to include web-based Bible tools because 'people can test out the free online programs on their own'. (See the comments to his post on WORDsearch.)

Even though the websites are indeed readily available, I think it's worth commenting on them. This will help anyone considering using tools of this kind.

Local or cloud? - First, let's just consider the main differences between local software that you install on your own computer, and tools provided remotely through a web interface.


  • Web-based tools are often free to use. Installed software is sometimes free, but must often be paid for.
  • Installation takes time and uses disk space (sometimes in large amounts). Web tools need no installation.
  • Web tools are available wherever you can access a browser - at home, on your phone, at work, in the local library, at a friend's house, etc.
  • Web tools are updated remotely, there's no need to upgrade the software locally (often at additional cost).
  • The software runs on powerful servers, not on your own local computer. For this reason a smartphone can work just as fast as a desktop workstation.
Searching the Bible for a phrase might take your phone a long time, but the request is sent to the server where the search is done on powerful hardware; only the result needs to be sent back to the phone.

Because of this and for other reasons there's a growing trend for data and applications to be stored and managed in 'the cloud'. This phrase encompasses the remote servers that store user data as well as the software.

Today, many people are running remote web versions of email, office applications, managed photographic storage and display, mapping tools, display of documents and much, much more. Bible software has also made the leap to the cloud for the same reasons.

Reviewing Bible tools - In the next post we'll take a look at 'Bible Gateway', a site that offers many online versions of the Bible along with simple search and some other facilities. Then we'll look at more in further posts.

As a help, here are links to Frank Viola's reviews. I'll move the list to a post of its own later, and update it with my own and other reviews as we go along.

For more background also check another article from Frank, 'Bible Software Programs'.

Do you have a favourite online Bible study tool? If so, send me a comment about it and I'll try to include it in this series.

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