So, this will be my first review of well anything, so please bare with me as I think this little step. Firstly what I am reviewing exactly is PC Study Bible Version 5: Professional Reference Library. I had acquired this thanks to my old Hebrew professor at Davis. I figure I’d give a review just as an exercise to see how well I can review something.
Until having acquired PC Study Bible, my major electronic Bible software which I had used was E-Sword. Now, for the most part I had enjoyed E-sword, I was able to get most of the Bible translations I preferred and some other decent if a bit outdated commentaries. To be honest, I mostly preferred many of the user made modules for E-Sword over that of the official ones. In particular I was often quite annoyed that I had to seek out more modern translations of the apocryphal books, but I digress. With E-Swords upgrade and change in file format I have long left E-Sword in the dust and have used PC Study Bible more or less. In many ways I still miss User Made modules, but with the increase in size of the library I don’t really miss them as much.
Things I actually don’t mind:
When on the Bible search pane I’m actually quite grateful that when I type in Tobit 1.t. Firstly that I can type the “.” between chapter and number and not the “:” since I’ve become quite use to the former. Secondly that it grays out the translations which don’t offer Tobit. In the package that I have, it includes NRSV, Douay-Rheims, KJV, RSV, and the GNB. This I think is rather useful since I would have normally assumed a version of KJV without the apocrypha.
I’m quite glade the package I have includes the church fathers, now I realize this might not the same for other packages, but as its quite useful for my current journey in Seminary I thought I might mention that.
While I’ll have some misgivings about the original language setup for the program, generally its rather all right. When I click the Greek/Hebrew button I easily can get into verse I was working on, sadly though its all for the interlinear books they have. They have pure original documents, so I’m not sure why that’s not a choice in the menu. In either case, clicking on words in both the interlinear bible and pure language will pop up the word information, giving a basic transliteration and parsing in the lower left hand corner. This is kind of nice, great for those who don’t have a strong grasp on the language, and it becomes a tempting cheat to instead of parsing it yourself to just look. In all honestly I use it to check my paring so eh. Now double clicking strong’s number in the interlinear does pop up a window which gives a brief definition (Strong’s). The window is a appreciated, if I could change it to BDB (defaultly) it would be more appreciated. (I’m not saying you can’t, I just haven’t found how yet, but by clicking on it in the side menu will change it to it, yay).
Greek pronouncing is cool, especially as I don’t know Greek quite yet and every now and again I have to use it for a sermon. However, why doesn’t the Hebrew text have it?
Things I wish were different:
Probably my biggest complaint with PC Study Bible is that I cannot simply port Hebrew and Greek words into Word. Here’s an example of what I get when I try to import the first word in Genesis. בְּרֵאשִׁית
This is extremely frustrating when I want to simply import a word for a paper or sermon manuscript. Or when I do the various verse translations. Often I end of going online to find a Hebrew Text, or simply retype the word. But copying and pasting would be much easier.
While I’m glad that its easy to hide the footnotes, often when I feel the need to look at them, the program seems to be sluggish in popping them out. To be honest I wish I could highlight the footnote marker and have a small window pop up.
Another thing of complaint is that I wish I could have a window of the Biblical text right next to a commentary or whatever. Or even two commentaries side by side. A Church father with a biblical passage and a commentary all on the same window in smaller windows would be nice. Now, don’t get me wrong you can have all that information up, it just appears in separate tabs. So at least I can’t have , just not how would prefer.
Finally I would have liked two other things, an interlinear LXX and an interlinear Latin Bible. Simply because I don’t know the base language for those quite yet and I would rather like having these two since it was the Old Testament for many of the faithful.
Well here’s the basic review. For the most part despite its few let downs I rather enjoy PC Study Bible and do find it of great use. One may thing there’s always E-Sword, but there is a bit of benefit in having the library which this offers. Secondly even though I may have some faults with the original language part of the program, it does at least have the languages. It could be worse, but as it stands now it’s a good tool. At some point if I’m ever not poor, I would like to add some additional resources. (In particular I would like to have NAC series and that new Church Fathers Supplemental they have. Oh desires ^.^)! In any case I hope this has help someone out there.