the visual aids being especially useful for
families with small children. It boasts over
450 virtual tours of Bible lands, 3. 5 hours
of HD videos, more than 2,300 high-res
photos, in excess of 140 maps and more
than 7,500 articles to enhance study.
It’s also inexpensive. A partial version
called Glo Lite is a free download at www.
globible.com. The full product, Glo Premium, is $49.99 plus shipping.
The interface is user-friendly and offers
five lenses for deeper investigation (Bible,
media, timeline, atlas, and topical), all of
which link intuitively. The design is also
very aesthetically pleasing, from the box
in which the DVDs arrive to the impressive onscreen experience.
Unfortunately, in allocating resources
to design and beauty, Glo appears to have
overlooked another key area: functional-ity. I experienced issues with both activation and installation, and my attempt to
resolve the issues through the Glo user
forums revealed I was not alone in my
experiences. Stories of delayed technical
support and poor customer service came
Glo is also extremely resource-hungry,
with full media installation requiring 18
GB of hard drive space. You can choose
not to install the media and call it on-de-mand via the Internet, but this assumes a
high-speed Internet connection.
When working to its full potential,
Glo is an excellent way to experience the
Bible in an interactive and inviting way.
It may be necessary, however, to wait a
few more years to see if the technical
problems are addressed before giving
Glo a hearty recommendation. Available
for Windows, Mac, iPad and iPhone at
WORDsearch is a program designed to
streamline the process of time-consuming
searches through a large number of resources. It comes with a good collection
of materials, but quantity does not equal
quality, and users looking for high quality
resources may be disappointed by the selection. WORDsearch is also not entirely
user-friendly. The website is cluttered and
difficult to navigate, the user interface is
clunky, and the most comprehensive package, the boxed Preaching Library priced at
$499, simply does not compete with the big
three for value. Available for Windows or
Mac at www.wordsearchbible.com.
QuickVerse QuickVerse was once a key player in the
Bible software market, but its development has not kept up with the big three.
Using it reminded me of watching my
sons try to wear my shoes – despite their
best intentions, they end up looking awkward. In the same way QuickVerse appears to want a seat at the adult table,
but doesn’t quite belong there. Its main
deficiency in comparison to the big three
is its lack of original language tools, with
no Greek or Hebrew texts available, even
interlinear. At $349 for the Deluxe/Gold
Package, it is simply not enough program
for the money. (Other versions only for
PC include Essentials at $59 and Platinum at $799.)
Available for Windows and Mac at
www.quickverse.com (and for Palm and
Windows Mobile Pocket PC phone).
Bible Works, the first of the big three
software suites, has recently released
its latest version. It is an impressive program, offering a rich study experience
tailored to those who wish to do in-depth
exegetical research in Greek, Hebrew
and Aramaic. Unlike Logos and Accordance, Bible Works does not purport to be
an all-purpose library for a vast audience.
Instead, the developers have tailored it
to do one thing very well, and it delivers
on that objective. As someone working
toward an advanced research degree in
biblical exegesis, I found Bible Works to
be enormously helpful because it puts all
of my go-to resources in one place.
The Bible Works interface is smooth,
intuitive and easy to navigate, and the
online documentation is top-notch.
Bible Works also includes a highly useful
sentence diagramming tool, which is a
lifesaver for breaking down the structure
of complex Greek sentences (Logos and
Accordance also offer such tools). Unlike
Accordance and Logos, Bible Works is not
modular, offering one purchase bundle at
one price point (although there are a few
add-ons that enhance the core functional-
ity of the program).
With Accordance the difference between
the small players and the big programs
becomes very clear. Accordance is elegant and clean, with access to many excellent resources that allow a high level of
customization and good value for money.
The user experience with Accordance
is excellent. The program can be downloaded and installed in minutes, and it
worked exactly as it was supposed to the
first time. Among its many excellent features, the most useful is the amplify function, which allows you to select as little
as one word and as much as an entire
workspace window for in-depth study
across all the Accordance modules. This
feature, it seems, is what WORDsearch
is attempting to emulate, but Accordance
simply does it better. Online support
documentation is comprehensive and
helpful, and the tutorial videos cover
every aspect of operation in an easy-to-follow way.
Accordance is also one of the most efficient programs I have used – Bible or
otherwise – and its resource use is surprisingly small for a program of its stature.
It offers cross-device compatibility to iOS
platforms such as the iPhone and iPad,
and syncs smoothly between the various
devices. To be clear, Accordance is not
fully cross-platform as it is designed only