“If it keeps getting better and better, oh Lord! I don’t know what I’m going to do.” Those lyrics express my feeling about computer technology. John 1:3 says “All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.” The Lord is the Creator of technology! Christians, especially pastors, should recognize what a great tool technology can be in helping to do “the work of the ministry.”
Personal computers continue to get more powerful and more affordable. Software programs continue to improve, the cost has remained about the same or gone down and the Internet is opening up vast new opportunities for ministry. Technology is only a tool, but when used well, it can make the pastor more productive than ever before. The purpose of this article is to give encouragement and information about technology that will help the pastor/preacher.
Thinking About Hardware
If you are just now considering buying a computer, be sure to shop around and to make sure you are getting the most for your investment. Depending on configuration, you can buy a PC from $900 and up. I priced a 486DX/4-100 with 8MB 72-pin RAM, 850MB Hard Drive, 1.44MB Floppy Drive, 14″ SVGA Monitor, 104 Enhanced Keyboard, MS-Compatible Mouse and choice of Windows 95 or DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.11 for $899. Printer prices start around $300.
Additional hardware that is important to have is a CD-ROM (a device which allows for greatly expanded data storage on a single disk) and a modem (which helps you communicate with other computers over phone lines). Almost all the products reviewed in this article are available on CD-ROM. The great advantage to the CD-ROM is capacity. A single CD-ROM can store up to the equivalent of 500 high-density floppy disks. This kind of storage and delivery capacity allows software companies to provide their users enormous amounts of resource material. If you were to buy the same amount of resources in print form, it would require a bookcase and would cost hundreds of dollars more.
If you presently don’t have a CD-ROM drive, I encourage you to get one. There’s still very useful software on floppy disk, but don’t expect to find the wealth of material that’s available on the CD-ROM.
With the Internet becoming such an important part of today’s world, Christian ministries, churches and organizations are establishing a strong presence on the World Wide Web (WWW). There are thousands of Christian web sites on the web. If there is an affordable local access provider, I encourage you to “go online.” To do so you need not only a computer, but also a modem. When buying a modem, always buy the fastest available. Today’s minimum speed for a modem should be 14.4. You can buy a 14.4 Internal Fax/Modem for about $100.
Going On-Line
The past year has seen online services change because of the Internet. CompuServe has announced that it is completely changing its format and America Online is constantly upgrading its customers access to the Internet. Cost is also coming down. Online services provide Christians a number of resources, such as the Christian Interactive Network on CompuServe and Christianity Online on America Online.
While these online services do valuable service for the Christian community, the future is on the Internet. To obtain local access you may need to do some research on who is the best access provider in your area. The going rate for unlimited access on the Internet is $19.95 per month. The Internet and online services can give you immediate access, day or night, to valuable resources and allow you to communicate with other Christians around the world via email. There is the issue of sites that promote pornography, but Christians shouldn’t abandon the Internet. There is some excellent blocking software available to help us deal with this issue.
I would like to suggest — if you have access to the Internet — to visit the following sites as a starting point. These sites can link you to thousands of other Christian sites on the web:
Gospel Communications Network – http://www.gospelcom.net
GOSHEN (Global Online Services Helping Evangelize Nations) http://www. goshen.net
Christian/Answers Network – http://www.ChristianAnswers.net/canhome.html
Christianity.Net – http://www.christianity.net
Christian Computing Magazine – http://www.ccmag.com
Speaking of Software
To review the PC software, I used a Pentium-based system, with 16 MB of RAM, and running Windows ’95. For the Macintosh software I used a Classic II with 10 MB of RAM running Mac O/S 7.5. With the CD-ROM based packages, I installed only the minimal amount necessary on my hard drive. I don’t like to read manuals so I installed and used each package without reading the manual or accompanying documentation and I’m very pleased to report that all of these products installed without a problem. The products reviewed in this article are arranged in alphabetical order by title.
Accordance 2.0 for Macintosh by The GRAMCORD Institute. For more information call (360) 576-3000
With version 2.0 The GRAMCORD Institute has made an already excellent product even better. Accordance 2.0 has new tools that enable even the original languages novice to do better and deeper Bible study.
Version 2.0, with its new windows and modules, is very intuitive. There is a separate parsing box for Greek and Hebrew so you can have instant parsing of either language. There is the ability to have any selection spoken in English, Greek and Hebrew. The Bookmarks allow you to jump quickly from one marked passage to another marked passage.
I would encourage every serious Bible student who uses the Macintosh to check out Accordance 2.0. For more information, write The GRAMCORD Institute, 2218 NE Brookview Drive, Vancouver WA 98686, call (360) 576-3000 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Pacific Time, fax (503) 761-0626, or email [pmiller@GRAMCORD.org].
For the latest news and pricing information on Accordance 2.0, visit the new Macintosh website at [http://www.GRAMCORD.org]. The website also has downloadable demos, tours of the Greek and Hebrew tools, and screen shots illustrating all the main features of the program.
Bible Explorer Version 2.0 by Epiphany Software. For more information call (800) 280-7437
Epiphany Software has just released their latest version of Bible Explorer for the PC. If you liked Bible Explorer 1.0, you will love version 2.0. Bible Explorer 2.0 offers a comprehensive, expandable library that has powerful search features. It provides an enormous list of cross-references, a wealth of word study material and the ability to create your own personal study notes.
The program’s powerful search capabilities allow you to locate information in any subset of your library or your personal notes. Searches can be limited to a specific range of text and can check for words occurring within a variable number of verses from one another. Wildcard and Boolean logic are also supported. Search results are returned as a list of references associated with one or more texts. Click on a reference and the associated text moves to that location. You can also use up and down arrows to conveniently view each of the references in turn. A set of maps are included as well as numerous photos, drawings, and works of art.
Bible Explorer comes in five editions. The Standard Edition retails for $39.95, the Reference Edition for $69.95, the Student Edition for $149.94, the Teacher Edition for $249.95 and the Scholar Edition for $349.95. Epiphany Software’s web site address is: [http://www.best.com/~epiphany/].
BibleMaster for Windows & Macintosh by Foundation Publications, publisher for The Lockman Foundation. For more information call (800) 535-5131
The BibleMaster CD-ROM Library includes the NASB, Updated NASB, KJV, La Biblia de las Americas (Spanish NASB), Hebrew/Greek Transliterated Dictionary, Cross References and Marginal Notes, Updated Cross References, Topical Studies and The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.
You can open as many Bible text windows as you need. When opening a Bible, you can select the book of your choice from lists grouped as Old Testament, New Testament, OT History, OT Poetry, Prophets, and Epistles. You can also type a starting chapter and verse if required. Icons are provided to jump one chapter or book at a time. Search results are returned as a list of verses which can be viewed in three modes: Verse, Context, and Excerpt. The latter simply shows the first line of each verse. Boolean and wildcard search functions are provided. A simple text editor is included which functions much like the Windows Notepad editor. User generated index files can contain verse references related to a particular topic. The software provides the capability of creating notes attached to words or verses. I found the notes feature somewhat awkward to use.
The BibleMaster CD-ROM Library retails for $49.95 and is available through American Bible Sales, 870 Anaheim Boulevard, Anaheim CA 92805.
Bible Source for Windows, NIV Bible Study Edition by Zondervan Publishing House. For more information contact your local Family Bookstore or call (800) 727-3480
The NIV Study Bible is a favorite of many pastors, missionaries and teachers, so they should feel right at home with the Bible Source software from Zondervan. The CD-ROM package includes the NIV text, NIV Study Bible Notes, NIV Bible Dictionary, NIV Bible Commentary, NIV Footnotes, the KJV text, Expository Dictionary, Naves Topical Bible, and the Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties.
With Bible Source, notes can be attached to verses and a general purpose text editor is included. When you search for a word or phrase, the window containing the text you are searching displays the search results. The original window splits into two panes with the left pane displaying a scrollable list of references and the right pane showing the text positioned to the currently selected reference. You can move quickly from one reference to the next while simultaneously viewing the individual verses in their full surrounding context.
A nice feature is the ability to scroll synchronously the NIV Bible window and the NIV Bible Commentary window. You can also use this feature with another Bible text window. The down side is that most windows cannot be link together. An example of this is that you cannot highlight a word in the NIV Bible window and then have the NIV Dictionary window automatically move to that word. Instead you switch to the NIV Dictionary window and then search for the word of interest. Hopefully this problem will be addressed in future versions of the software.
BibleSource for Windows-NIV Bible Study Edition is available in local Christian bookstores or by calling (800) 727-3480. For tech support, call 1-800-925-0316. For information, email [zpub@zph.com], or go online to [http://www.zondervan.com] or AOL Keyword: “zon.”
Bible Windows 4.0 CD-ROM by Silver Mountain Software. For more information call (800) 214-2144.
Bible Windows 4.0 contains a selection of texts and capabilities basically directed at those who want to work with the original Greek and Hebrew text. Each screen has Search and View icons for the various texts. To begin, click on a View icon and select the place where you would like to start your study of the text. You can select your display font and size for each individual screen. Parsing of words is shown in an interlinear display of the Greek and Hebrew and a Dictionary window displays the Greek or Hebrew definition of the selected word.
For more information, write Silver Mountain Software, 1029 Tanglewood Drive, Cedar Hill, TX 75104, call (800) 214-2144, email [info@silvermnt.com], or visit their web site at [http://www.silvermnt.com] where you view a demo version of Bible Windows.
BibleWorks 3.5 for Windows by HERMENEUTIKA Computer Bible Research. For more information call (800) 742-4253.
If you are looking for an exceptional selection of Bible texts and reference materials, you need to check out BibleWorks 3.5 for Windows. New users can get up-to-speed quickly by using the multimedia demos located on HERMENEUTIKA’s website on the Internet. You’re walked through the primary functions of the program and are given simple explanations of complex tasks.
BibleWorks 3.5 not only has a number of English translations and Greek and Hebrew text, but also Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Latin and Spanish translations too. Their reference works, which include Greek/Hebrew Concordances, Strong’s Concordances, A.T. Robertson’s Word Pictures, Naves, etc. and their lexicons which include Friberg’s, Thayer’s and more, make BibleWorks great for exegetical and expositional Bible study.
For more information about Bible Works 3.5, call HERMENEUTIKA at (800) 742-4253, visit their website at [http://www.intr.net/bibleworks], or email [biblewrx@cyberport.net].
Deluxe Bible for Windows by Rocky Mountain Laboratories. For more information call (800) 743-1651
A program that is easy to use and comes with a good basic set of features is Deluxe Bible for Windows. Buttons you select with a click of the mouse allow you to move to the next or previous book or move directly to the beginning of any book. You use the scroll bar to select a chapter within the book. The Search functions allow you to search the entire Bible, Old or New Testaments, the four Gospels, or any combination of individual books.
There is a Notes feature, but it’s only for single chapters. A chart allows you to easily view all chapters for which you have created notes. The study aids include eleven maps, three timelines, indexes to major events, and informational documents about the current translation. The three timelines cover the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the life of Christ. The index of major events allows you to jump to dozens of special places in the Bible.
Deluxe Bible doesn’t offer multiple windows that would allow several translations to be opened simultaneously. But if you are looking for ease of use, with only a few bells and whistles, Deluxe Bible offers a friendly way to enter the world of computerized Bible study.
Deluxe Bible for Windows is available either on disks or CD-ROM from Rocky Mountain Software, P.O. Box 272224, Fort Collins CO 80527. To reach Rocky Mountain Software, call (800) 743-1651, or email [75540.600@ compuserve.com]. You can learn more about Deluxe Bible by visiting their website at [http://www.rmlabs.com].
HeavenWord Audio Bible for Windows by White Harvest Software. For more information call (800) 347-0077
At the Christian Booksellers Association’s (CBA) convention in July, I discovered a product that addresses a need for preachers that is sometimes overlooked. It is a software program that helps a person meditate on God’s Word, not just study it. Meditating on the Word is, according to some, the difference between knowing the Word and Knowing the Word – Jesus.
White Harvest Software introduced this computer program that reads the Bible to you. Ever want to just sit and listen to the scripture text? With HeavenWord you can do that, plus you can search for words, topics, etc. just like other Bible software. It also includes a Bible reading planner, Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening for devotional thoughts, a journal to record your daily reflections and a reminder page to keep prayer and to-do lists handy.
HeavenWord is a great way to start your day. The recordings are fantastic, especially the King James, and are sure to put a positive start on your day. White Harvest believes the Word of God still speaks to those who will listen, and now you can hear it! HeavenWord turns hearts heaven-ward.
For more information on how to order HeavenWord Audio Bible for Windows, call White Harvest Software at (800) 347-0077, or fax: (919) 876-1147.
HyperBible 4.0 for Windows and HyperBible 3.0 for Windows and Macintosh by Kirkbride Technology. For more information call (800) 428-4385
Kirkbride Technology has released version 4.0 for Windows of the Thompson Chain HyperBible program. This new version is most impressive and contains some features not found in other Bible software programs.
I found that one of the most exciting new features is the Talking Strong’s Concordance. It verbally pronounces every Hebrew and Greek word from Strong’s by some of the best known language teachers today. It allows you to quickly and easily hear the correct Hebrew and Greek pronunciation.
Another improvement is the maps All of the maps have been redigitized and all of the Thompson journey maps have been incorporated into the new colored layouts and include an increased number of cities that HyperBible can locate on the new mapping system.
Another great addition is the Photo Tours. The tours are divided into several logical segments that let the user enjoy the sites of Israel and the lands of the Middle East. The photos are also tied to the Thompson Chain-Reference Study System.
HyperBible 4.0 is only available for Windows. Macintosh users can still purchase HyperBible 3.0. The standardized icon palette makes navigation simple and you can access most areas of the program with a click of the mouse button.
For information about HyperBible 4.0 for Windows and HyperBible 3.0 for Windows and Macintosh, call (800) 428-4385 or email: [mark@kirkbride.com]. Visit Kirkbride’s web site at [http://kirkbride.com].
Logos Bible Software 2.0 and the Logos Library System (LLS) by LogosResearch Systems. For more information call (800) 875-6467
Logos Bible Software 2.0 is an ever-growing collection of electronic books. It’s available on four levels. Each level includes the same software, but a different mix of Bibles and reference texts. Level 4 consists of 38 works including 7 translations of the Bible, 8 original language texts, 7 original language reference tools, 2 Bible dictionaries, 4 Bible commentaries, maps, and a number of other accessories.
Each volume of your library appears in a library browser, which works much like a directory tree or outline structure. For example, double-clicking on a specific Bible drops down a list of books, double-clicking on a particular book drops down a list of chapters, and double clicking on a chapter opens the text in a window beginning at the chapter of interest. An instructional video tape is included with the software to make sure you know your way around and to demo some of the more advanced features.
Logos 2.0 is available with any book in the Logos collection and is packaged in several other retail configurations such as MacArthur’s New Testament Commentaries, Topical Analysis of the Bible, Baker Illustration Library, and many other products from BakerBytes Software. If you purchase a book or collection of books you receive Logos 2.0 FREE. The user has flexibility and control over what books to select for his or her electronic library.
You may reach Logos Research Systems, Inc. by calling (800) 875-6467, by fax at (360) 675-8169, or on the Internet at [http://www.logos.com].
MacBible 3.0 for Macintosh by Zondervan Publishing House. For more information call (800) 727-7759
One of the first Bible study software programs I bought was MacBible. I have owned all three versions. Version 3.0 makes use of the enhancements of the Mac O/S7. MacBible has adequate search features and the ability to display multiple text and references at the same time.
MacBible for the Macintosh is available in many local Christian bookstores or by calling (800) 727-3480. For information, email [zpub@zph.com], or go online to [http://www.zondervan.com] or AOL Keyword: “zon.”
Online Bible for DOS, Windows and Macintosh by Online Bible. For more information call (800) 243-7124
If you are looking for a large assortment of Bible texts and reference materials at a very reasonable cost, then take a look at the Online Bible. The software includes most of the basic functions such as searching for words or phrases, displaying passages by verse reference, cutting and pasting of text to your word processor, and assigning personal notes to verses. If you want Online Bible for DOS, Online Bible for Windows, or Online Bible for Macintosh, you can order your choice from Online Bible USA, P.O. Box 21, Bronson MI 49028, or call (800) 243-7124.
Pastor’s Secretary for Windows – A Database Manager For All The Pastor’s Needs from .COM Computer Systems, Inc.
Pastor’s Secretary for Windows (PSWin) is a database application for the pastor, other Christian worker, or ministry-involved layperson. It includes sixteen databases, all of which are driven by a powerful database engine. The databases include: Area Codes/Time Zones, Contacts, Church Attendance, Church Donations, Church Membership, Church Library, Counseling Manager, Counseling Topics (w/ Scriptures), Home/Office Inventory (new to the Windows version), Master Topic Index, Pastor’s Library, Personal Journal, Prayer List, Schedule, Sermons, and Software.
PSWin includes several extra Windows utilities: 1. NoteBook, a quick and easy way to write and keep track of notes; 2. One Page Calendar, a quality calendar printing utility; 3. PCAlarm, sounds an alarm after a specified number of minutes and optionally displays a message you input; 4. QuickRun, a command line utility that quickly runs a program.
PSWin is available immediately from .COM Computer Systems, Inc., 1041 Cleveland, Meeker, CO 81641.
PC Study Bible 2.0 for Windows by Biblesoft. For more information call (800) 995-9058
PC Study Bible was one of the first Bible study software programs available. The latest release, PC Study Bible 2.0 for Windows Reference Library Plus, includes an impressive array of tools along with four Bible texts: KJV, NIV, NAS, and NKJV. There is a row of icons just below the pull-down menu that lets you easily choose the tools you need. You can open multiple Bible study windows or open one window with several linked “panes” that scroll together in different translations. You can open reference material linked to the current verse by simply clicking on the appropriate icon. A collection of maps and photos help you visualize various items and locations mentioned in the Bible.
A very convenient accessory in PC Study Bible is the Bible Reading Planner. This tool arranges a reading schedule based on which days of the week you have available, starting and end dates, and what portions of the Bible you plan to read. The software also helps you track your progress.
PC Study Bible 2.0 is available in most Christian Bookstores, or call Biblesoft at (800) 995-9058.
Quick Verse 4.0, Deluxe Bible Reference Collection for Windows by Parsons Technology. For more information call (800) 223-6925
Another program that has been available for a long time is Quick Verse from Parsons Technology. This summer they released Quick Verse 4.0 for Windows. The Deluxe Bible Reference Collection version of Quick Verse 4.0 includes a number of popular translations, several resources and Parsons’ STEP Reader. STEP stands for “Standard Template for Electronic Publishing” and is being adopted by a number of Bible software companies to provide resources that can be used in any STEP compliant program.
The Rainbow Study Bible is also included, which highlights each verse of the Bible in one of twelve colors which are associated with twelve categories. For example Red is Discipleship. Green is Love, etc. You can highlight passages in any of the translations yourself using your own color scheme.
The Daily Bible Reading Planner is really nice and can generate multiple reading plans for different members of your family. You indicate which days of the week you would like to read and the planner will create a custom schedule for a specified time period. You can select to read the entire Bible from beginning to end, the Old and New Testaments simultaneously, a choice of other popular sections of the Bible, or simply select the particular books you would like to read. The software automatically turns to your first unread passage. If you get behind schedule, you can conveniently modify your plan to help you get caught up.
For more information or to order, contact Parsons Technology at (800) 223-6925 or online via Internet [http://www.parsonstech.com], AOL (keyword PARSONS) or CompuServe (GO PA). QuickVerse and related products can now be downloaded directly from the Parsons website.
The SAGE Digital Library for Windows and Macintosh by SAGE Software. For more information call (800) 297-4307
The SAGE Digital Library CD-ROM contains a tremendous amount of information. The two volumes exist on a single CD-ROM. The Library uses the Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing and searching functions. The Old and New Testaments are loaded in the Acrobat Reader separately. The predefined bookmarks allow you to jump to the beginning of any Book or Chapter. You then scroll from there to the verse you want. Text appears on the screen in pages and the entire process works very much like a Bible that has been “thumb-indexed” down to the chapter level.
The Sage Digital Library, while not my first choice for a Bible study software program, does contain a wealth of reference texts to greatly expand your electronic library. On the CD-ROM are: three Bibles including King James, American Standard Version, and the Darby Translation; Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, John Wesley’s Complete Works in 14 volumes; Charles Hodges Commentaries on Romans, First and Second Corinthians, and Ephesians; Calvin’s Institutes in 4 volumes, The Anti-Nicene Fathers in 10 volumes; Marvin Vincent: Word Studies in the New Testament in 4 volumes; a four volume collection of Bible Studies; four works of illustrations and quotations; and a set of 24 maps. In addition you will find large collections of materials by Charles H. Spurgeon, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Charles G. Finney, Dwight L. Moody, John Owen, Adam Clarke, A. M. Hill, Samuel A. Keen, Martin Luther, Ramsey, Deismann, plus many more.
This CD-ROM runs on both PC and Macintosh computers. For more information or to order, call (800) 297-1307. Learn more about The SAGE Digital Library by visiting their website at: [http://www.sagelibrary.com].
The Scroll Multimedia Bible for Windows by Electronic Christian Media. For more information call (800) 381-7326
Because The Scroll is a multimedia product it’s different than the other Bible software products mentioned. An MPC compatible double speed CD-ROM drive and sound card are required. The CD-ROM includes the King James Version text, 1000 color photos and illustrations, 78 topical entries, 10 color maps, 24 charts, Bible timeline, 22 videos/animation sequences, and 140 Greek and Hebrew Pronunciations.
The Scroll Multimedia Bible retails for $59.00 plus S&H. For more information or to order call (800) 381-7326. The Scroll website is located at [http://www.discribe.ca/scroll.htm].
Sermon Prep for Windows by CSS Publishing Company. For more information call (800) 600-6402
SermonPrep is a software program that allows the user to “create, store, and search” their sermons within a single program. By applying document management technology to sermon creation the user can create his/her own sermon notebook within the program and then store sermons. Lectionary users normally store sermons under the Sunday Lectionary contents. Non-Lectionary users normally store sermons under the alphabet contents or the book of the Bible from which the scripture text was taken. Either way, the user can locate a sermon by doing a search for either the sermon “title” or the “text.” SermonPrep accepts add-ons which can also be searched. Available add-on titles include the NRSV Common Lectionary, the NAB Catholic Lectionary, the Barclay New Testament Commentary, the Sunday School Commentary, several Bibles and many sermon helps.
The first thing I did, after installing the software, was to create a sermon notebook. Each time you prepare a sermon, you start a new file and decide where you want it stored. For example, a sermon on “Repentance” could be placed under “R” in the alphabet contents. Once you have created a new sermon file, you can begin typing. For references, you can click on a Sunday reading, a Bible chapter, a commentary chapter, a sermon help, or a past sermon of your own. Using the copy and paste function of Windows, you prepare your sermon.
For more information and to order call (800) 241-4056, or write CSS Publishing Company, 517 South Main Street, Lima OH 45804. You can visit their website at [http://www.bitlogic.com].
The Teacher’s Bible Companion for Windows from Companion Bible Software. For more information call (800) 526-2796
The Teacher’s Bible Companion is a very user friendly program with a large selection of Bibles and reference materials. I like the color “highlighters” for marking passages in various colors. Several commentaries are provided including your own personal notes. Search statistics give you information on how many “hits” you got on a book-by-book basis. The current status of your work can be saved in four different desktops. I found this to be very useful when working on more that one study project. Also it could be used to save configurations for different family members.
Bible Companion Software is a ministry of Loizeuax Brothers, Inc. For more information about The Bible Companion Series Software, write Bible Companion Software, P.O. Box 277, Neptune NJ 07754. To order, call (800) 526-2796, or fax (908) 922-9487.
Verse Search For Windows by Bible Research Systems. For more information call (800) 423-1228
Verse Search has been used by Christian computer users for a long time. Bible Research Systems now has a Value Pak CD-ROM edition that includes the KJV and your choice of an additional translation, Bible Maps, Personal Commentary, Major Bible Themes and Bible Dictionary modules. When you do a word search, a list of references is returned in the Verse List window. Click on the reference and it quickly moves to the verse.
You can synchronize multiple Bible text windows to scroll together and attach personal notes to any verse. If you follow the Daily Reading Schedule, you will read the New Testament in six months or the entire Bible in one year. Twenty maps are included along with a corresponding Index of Geographical Terms.
For more information or to order, write Bible Research Systems, 2012 Wells Branch Parkway, #304, Austin TX 78728, call (800) 423-1228, fax (512) 251-4401, email [bible@brs-inc.com], or visit their web site [http://www.brs-inc.com/bible].
WORDsearch 4 for Windows by NavPress Software. For more information call (800) 888-9898
WORDsearch 4 is fully STEP compatible which allows you to add additional reference materials from NavPress Software or other STEP compatible vendors. The product has one of the most user-friendly interfaces on the market and was very easy to learn.
NavPress Software products are designed for pastors, youth workers, and participants in small group or personal Bible study. A key companion to WORDsearch is LESSONmaker, a unique program for assembling custom Bible study guides from a huge library of discussion questions and background resources. WORDsearch and LESSONmaker are both STEP compliant programs and draw upon a library of supporting translations, commentaries, study notes, and dictionaries in STEP. Software products are available for Windows, Windows ’95, Macintosh, and DOS on diskette and CD-ROM. For more information, contact NavPress Software at (800) 888-9898; 1934 Rutland Drive, Suite 500; Austin, TX 78758; email: navpress@aol.com.
The Ultimate Bible for Windows by Simila Soft Software. For more information call (800) 991-3002
The Ultimate Bible for Windows is a fairly new product. The CD-ROM includes a number of Bible translations, several commentaries and some other resources. The program is fairly simple and can do a number of functions. It is supposed to allow you to open another linked Bible text or Note window with a Bible text window already opened. I was not able to get this to work correctly. The new window did not scroll synchronously with the original.
For more information or to order The Ultimate Bible, call (800) 991-3002, or email [similasoft@halcyon.com].
A Bible study software program is a great tool for preachers. The most often asked question is, “What is the best program?” I believe the correct answer is: there’s not a best! Personally, I’m thrilled that we have choices because I know people take different approaches to the study of God’s Word. With so many choices, there is a program that will help each of us become better Bible students.
The decision on a Bible study program is not easy. Fortunately, all of the companies are more than happy to send you information that will help you be fully aware of what their product offers. Call or email them and ask for more information.
Using computer technology “to do the work of the ministry” is still in its infancy. More and more products are being developed, designed specifically for ministers, pastors, missionaries, etc. I know that the 1997 Annual Review of Software for Preachers will include even more exciting products that are in development today!

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