Christian Computer Resources 1997 -- By: David W. Baker

Journal: Ashland Theological Journal
Volume: ATJ 29:0 (NA 1997)
Article: Christian Computer Resources 1997
Author: David W. Baker

Christian Computer Resources 1997

David W. Baker

In the last issue of this Journal (XXVIII, 1996:112–125) we reviewed three Bible software programs. Here we will review several other Bible resource packages, as well as products to help with church management. The machine on which the programs were tested was an IBM-compatible Gateway 2000 P5-75 with an 800MB hard drive, 4MB of RAM, and a 4X IDE CD-ROM drive. Since a number of works are shared by numerous software packages, those which are unique among those reviewed here or in the last issue are marked with *.

Bible Study Resources

WORDsearch 4 is from the publishing arm of the Navigators.1 It is in STEP (Standard Template for Electronic Publishing) format, as is Bible Works for Windows which was reviewed last year. Running on Windows 3.1 or 95, DOS 3.3 or higher, and Macintosh System 6.07 or later, it requires at least 8MB RAM and 10MB free hard drive space. This review is based on using a sampler copy which allows access only to material relating to the Gospel of John.

The single CD contains all of the available resources which can be unlocked individually for a fee, or are available in 6 package combinations.2 As is clear from the list, few of the works are among the newer material available elsewhere, most being public-domain works for which no royalty must be paid. If this were not the case, many of the works would probably have sunk into oblivion by this time.

The demo was easy to install, and the program takes about 35 seconds to begin a session. The user interface is relatively straightforward, with each of the available works presented as a row of clickable library books across the top of the screen. The tool bar will be familiar to Windows users, with additional buttons for various kinds of searches (by reference, word, or topic) and for making and saving workspaces, where different combinations of text can be viewed together. The cursor placed on a button opens a little window identifying the button’s function. Most of the functions are also available through pull-down menus, and some by key-stroke combinations as well.

Searches are quick and the results allow a helpful choice of options. One may chose to display only the references of verses, the text of each, or the verses in context, with the target word in bold. Topic searches bring up an alphabetized word list from which to choose, or one may enter the word and search. Original language texts are not available, but double-clicking on a word in the KJV will bring up the Strong’s definition of it.

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