We have a few topic for this week’s Theotek Podcast. We’ll see how well Android Bible apps run on a Chromebook with the new Android Apps on ChromeOS on the ASUS Chromebook Flip.
Olive Tree Bible Study 6 for Mac came out this week so LaRosa Johnson will show that off. Finally, Rick Mansfield comes to us live from Asia where he’s training for Accordance. We’ll learn about the perils and pleasures of traveling internationally.
What is the new Apple iPad Pro like for studying the Bible, preaching or teaching? Rick Mansfield (@thislamp and thislamp.com) got one this week and we asked him a lot of questions about using it. Watch or listen below to hear his thoughts.
Just a summary of Rick’s conclusions. First, he likes the side-by-side feature so that he can hold his Accordance Bible app next to Microsoft Word. This will help with both Bible study and preaching. The Keynote app and Word can sit on-screen at the same time. He uses the notes feature in Keynote, but after the podcast was over he tested and found out that you can run a Keynote presentation mirrored to an Apple TV and open Word in side-by-side mode.
Second, he tested out the iPad keyboard and looks forward to getting one to use. He didn’t like the Logitech keyboard case as much because it seems harder to remove from the iPad Pro.
We talked about the Pencil, which is hard to come by until December. Wes tested it out at his local Apple Store and found that it was a great experience. They’ve done a good job of making it work well and feel more like writing on paper than older styli.
At the end of the podcast I shared some first impressions of using the Apple TV 4th generation. It’s a nice media device and the remote is both good and bad. Siri works great and AirPlay still works as well as before.
Way back in 2000 Rick Meyers, a successful programmer, released the first version of e-Sword. e-Sword’s a free Bible study program that brought digital Bible study to people who couldn’t afford to buy a program or who wouldn’t consider paying for such software. Fifteen years later, e-Sword now runs natively on a Mac thanks to e-Sword X ($9.99) for Mac.
The e-Sword X looks familiar to e-Sword users. There’s the same basic layout that e-Sword users enjoy, plus some extra touches that take up to the next level. For example, a drop down box in the middle of the top toolbar shows layout options. Turn all the windows on with the Show All Views option. Or just pick one of the other options to see fewer panes on the screen at the same time. The available window panes include…
Editor for notes, journal or topic notes
To download free content click on File and Resources and then Download… or use COMMAND+D. Click on one of the tabs to find the various kinds of books to download and install. Users who purchased content from a third-party publisher, like modern translation or commentaries, click on the item and then click Download. It will offer to let you Recover Product Key, which helps you get the resource without knowing the key itself. This takes the user to that site to log in and get credentials. Hit Validate to enter product keys.
e-Sword X also lets user import files made for use in e-Sword. The software has a large community of users with tools to create resources that work in e-Sword. Import using File, Resources, and Import…. Also add user-created files for things like dictionaries or documents.
The navigation controls in each window pane move around in that kind of resource easily. All panes include a drop down box to select a resource like translations in the Bible pane or commentaries in the Commentary pane and dictionaries in the Dictionary pane.
The Bible window lets users read a Book, compare multiple translations a verse at a time, see parallel Bibles in a tablet with columns for each translation and rows for each verse.
The commentary browser shows Book notes, Chapter notes and Verse notes with tabs for each.
The e-Sword notes feature is simple. Attach notes to the Bible and use right-click to change things like fonts. It could use some sprucing up to make it as good as the competition, but it’s there.
From the Window menu, find some additional resources. That’s where users go for their Bible Reading, Daily Devotional and Reference Books.
The Reference Books shows additional tools like the American Bible Society Maps pictured above. We get E.M. Bounds books on prayer, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and more. You can add resources by downloading them from the Resources menu under File. You can also add your own tools, if you know how to make them, by clicking File, User Files and then Import….
One way to make your own resources is download them from third-party sites dedicated to making e-Sword modules from public domain books. A great site for this is BibleSupport.com. You can add free content from this site. You may need to convert it from the Windows version to the Mac version, but they show you how to do that. You need the converter available at the e-Sword Extras site.
The idea of an online Bible study tool seems enticing to a lot of digital Bible students today. Logos Cloud is a subscription-based Bible study library for anywhere from $9/month to $100/month with the promise of a powerful online web app coming in the future. Are you interested in renting your theological library and using it on the web? Would you pay anywhere from $9 to $100 for it? Would you sign up before Faithlife finishes the online part of the service?
How Much is Logos Cloud
Head on over to LogosCloud.com to find out more about the service. Here’s the basics.
It’s intended for new customers, not people who already own large libraries since they’d essentially be paying to rent what they already own.
The name’s a bit of a misnomer since Logos doesn’t yet offer a robust online solution. For now, even “Logos Cloud” subscribers will want to download and install the desktop app to get the full features of Logos Bible Software.
Not all books will be available since some publishers are stuck in 1991 when there wasn’t an Internet prevalent in society and they don’t want people using digital books for fear they will pirate it, which by the way tempts people to pirate more than they would if said publishers would wake up and get a clue.
The service costs as follows:
Essentials – $8.99 for a basic set of tools in a “small theological library” that focuses on understanding, reading and searching the English Bible.
Plus – $19.99 for some Greek, Hebrew, original manuscripts, and content on early church fathers. Scholars will want to start at this level.
Premium – $49.99 for the Essentials and the Plus levels of Logos Cloud. This adds the full Logos features set and a large collection of media.
We’re not sure yet what subscribers will get for now. We’ll know more after June 1 when free early access starts for those who sign up early. Sign up for the $50 level and you will get early access. Do this by clicking on the button on the LogosCloud.com page that reads: Get free early access. When a person clicks on the green button with that label the next page asks users to share the page via Faithlife’s social network, Twitter, or Facebook. Click Next and this takes users to a page offering to include the person in a Faithlife group devoted to Logos Cloud.
In the “About” section of the Faithlife group for Logos Cloud, we’re told that early access for those who signed up will start on June 1 and end June 30. I suppose early adopters will see the $49.99 charge on their credit cards at that point.
There Should Be Something for Loyal Customers
Faithlife should offer another Logos Cloud subscription level. Owners of large Logos libraries may want more. They should get access to something like the Premium or higher level access for a reduced cost, since such customers will likely already own some or even much of what these levels will offer. I’d certainly change my Logos Now subscription ($8.99/month) over to the Plus or Premium if they cost $20-$30/month.
Logos Web App Not Ready for Primetime
Like Logos Now, the Logos Cloud subscription service comes with access to the online web app. It’s nowhere near ready since many of the features, like the Exegetical Guide, Home Page, Documents Menu and more don’t even work yet. Faithlife just updated the Passage Guide with a rudimentary version. I demoed it on YouTube this week.
I hope the web app gets there, but it’s not really worth $9/month. If you think that Logos Now or Logos Cloud are cloud-based Bible study, you’re wrong. It shows promise, but it’s not there yet.
On our Theotek Podcast Dan Philips showed off the new features in BibleWorks 10. We hope you will watch the broadcast which we recorded on May 15, 2015 as we do every Friday morning at 9:00 a.m. ET.
If you’re not familiar with BibleWorks, it’s a text focused and powerful Bible study tool. They don’t clutter up the program with a lot of modern commentaries or other non-Biblically focused books. Instead, buyers just get great and powerful Bible study tools. It’s the best option for hardcore scholars of the Bible who don’t want to spend thousands on a digital library of books.
The company did make a concession to users who want more than what BibleWorks traditionally publishes for inclusion in their software. They’re never going to add a book like Ed Stetzer’s church growth titles. Now, if a user buys and ePub version of these kinds of books, they can read them using the new ePub Reader.
Buy Christian ePub books at places like CDB or ChristianBook.com. I went ahead and bought one and loaded it in BibleWorks 10 to test out the feature. It works great.
To load an ePub, click on the ePub tab in one of the analysis windows on the right. Then click on the Open/Import button on the toolbar. This shows a list of all ePub books in the BibleWorks 10 library. The list is empty until you first import a book. Click on the Import button and find the book on your hard drive. This puts the book in your library, but doesn’t yet open it. Before you open it, make sure you add it to a category. There’s a button with three dots. Click it and a drop down list shows the Assign category to selected books flyout menu item. Now add the book to one of the BibleWorks categories. The category shows up in the Category column of the ePub library list. Now click on the title of the book and the Load button.
The library window lets users sort their books by Title, Author and Category. Click on the heading of the column to do that. Users can also show only books in a certain category making it easier to find books if the user has a large ePub library. Click on the Show only: drop down box.
Official BibleWorks 10 Videos
Watch the official BibleWorks intro videos of all the new features in BibleWorks 10.
Danker’s Lexicon is a new Lexicon in BibleWorks 10. Find it in the Resources tab of the Analysis window. The currently loaded verse will show up with all the entries from the lexicon will show up in the list. Scroll down to find it.
BibleViews shows ancient culture in a visual way. Open it from the Resources menu. Click on Pictures and then BibleViews. It looks like a Windows help file. There’s a tablet of contents listing all the topics in the BibleViews Picture Library. Users can also search it from the Search tab in the column on the left.
Some items just show a picture while others give a some text explaining it. If there’s a Bible verse in the description it’s a hyperlink that the user can open by clicking or hovering over it.
New User Lexicon Feature
Now in BibleWorks 10 users can create their own lexicon. This means I can grab content from various tools and collect them in one place. The my lexical entry for that word will then show up any time I find that word in another place. This makes it possible for translators to work once and reuse their translation elsewhere.
Audio of Greek and Hebrew Bibles
Two new sets of audio files reads the NA27 in verse-by-verse recordings and the Byzantine Text in chapter-by-chapter recordings. Open these from the those books when they’re showing in the Browse window. Right click a verse and choose one or the other from the pop up menu.
Other New Features
The BibleWorks Manuscript Project added some new manuscripts to the tool. This gives scholars a look at the ancient manuscripts without going to them around the world. One of the cool new features is the tagging. Each manuscript gets tagged with the verse it’s showing. Open a Bible and the open manuscript will scroll along with the text of the Bible.
People who teach or preach showing the BibleWorks interface will love the screen scaling feature. It zooms the text and buttons so they can be seen on a projector from the back of the room.
The new user-interface color options show up in two places. The window colors and highlighting of text and parts of speech to make it easy to see the grammar of the text visually. For example, certain morphology tags get one color while others get another.
There are a number of new resources including…
New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS)
Samaritan Pentateuch (SMP)
Friberg Analytical Greek New Testament (AGNT)
ESV Concise Bible Atlas from 2010 and 2012
More languages like Vietnamese, Norwegian, Modern Hebrew etc.
We’ve only covered some of the biggest new features. To learn about every new feature, see the BibleWorks website that lists each feature added or updated in BibleWorks 10.