Making the Right Choice: A Comparative Review of the PC Study Bible 3.0 and the Word Biblical Commentary -- By: David W. Jones

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 17:1 (Fall 1999)
Article: Making the Right Choice: A Comparative Review of the PC Study Bible 3.0 and the Word Biblical Commentary
Author: David W. Jones


Making the Right Choice:
A Comparative Review of the PC Study Bible 3.0
and the Word Biblical Commentary

David W. Jones

Ph.D. Student in Theological Studies (Christian Ethics)
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, North Carolina 27587

Introduction

Choices. When it comes to computers, the consumer is always presented with them. Too many, some would say. Moreover, whether the desired product is hardware or software, the selection is usually limited to two or three main industry standards. For example, concerning entire systems, two principal formats are available: Apple- and IBM-compatible machines. When it comes to microprocessors, Intel, AMD, and Cyrix chip sets are the major players. Similarly, in the word processor market, users have long debated the pros and cons of the latest editions of Microsoft Word and Corel WordPerfect.

In like manner, almost all Bible software programs can be grouped into one of three main formats; Logos compatible,1 STEP compatible,2 and the nebulous “other” category. While the Christian Booksellers Association, the watchdog group of the Christian retail market, does not monitor computer program sales, retailers generally agree that in the Bible software market Logos is the industry leader both in available products and sales, followed by the “other” category, with STEP-compatible programs a distant third. This article is a comparative review of software from the top two of these three classifications. The first product reviewed, Word Biblical Commentary, top-five-volumes edition, is a Logos-compatible product, while the second, the PC Study Bible Complete Reference Library 3.0, is a representative from the “other” category. In this review, each product will first be assessed individually before a comparison and recommendation is made in the conclusion. For the purposes of this article, a Pentium-class system was used (AMD K6 chip set at 266 MHz) with 96 Mb of RAM and an 8x CD- ROM for installation. In addition, both of the programs tested were run on the Windows 98 operating system.

The Word Biblical Commentary, Top-Five-Volumes Edition

As was mentioned above, the Word Biblical Commentary, top-five-volumes ed. (by Nelson Electronic Publications, $149.95), is a Logos-compatible product. This means that although the books on the disk are Thomas Nelson or Word publications, the software by means of which which the texts are read is the Logos Library System. This program comes with the five best-selling volumes of the Word Biblical Commentary unlocked (

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