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e-Sword Comes to Mac with e-Sword X

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.

e-sword x 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…

  • Bible
  • Commentary
  • Dictionary
  • Editor for notes, journal or topic notes

e-sword download dialog

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.

e-sword navigation

Each resource pane has it’s own navigation controls. 1 – Bible pane and 2-Commentary pane.

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.

e-sword x window menu

Open additional resources from the Window menu.

From the Window menu, find some additional resources. That’s where users go for their Bible Reading, Daily Devotional and Reference Books.

e-sword x reference books window

To open the American Bible Society Maps, if it’s installed, go to the Window menu and click on Reference Books. Open it from the drop down box at the top left.

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.

Kevin

Dr. Kevin Purcell is pastor of High Peak Baptist Church, an author and writer at Church Tech Today (www.churchtechtoday.com). He used to write for a number of other Christian and secular technology and mobile tech sites. Now he's one of the hosts of the Theotek Podcast, which you can find by checking the menu above or over at www.facebook.com/theotekpodcast.

14 Comments

  1. Regarding conversion of resource files from Windows to Mac versions. The convertor available on the e-Sword Extras site is useless on a Mac machine. So what does one do if only a Mac is available?

  2. No additional parallels available on Mac. That’s one of the main reasons I bought it.

  3. Go to the Bible menu, then parallel settings. You can select which Bibles to display in the parallel view. You can do the same thing with the compare settings as well.

  4. Just installed e-sword X for mac. Can’t work out where to find modules that will work. I think I need .bbli files rather than .bblx ones. But where to find them? Or are they convertible with a mac? Andrew

    • If you go over to e-Sword’s website and download the Mac conversion utility, you can convert all your PC books to Mac compatible versions, but you’ll have to so on a PC unfortunately. The utility is available on their Extras site at the bottom. Also check out BibleSupport for more info on e-Sword help.

      • Thanks, Kevin, I saw that but don’t currently have a PC. I used to use theword when I had one and had some wonderful old commentaries – H.A.W Meyer’s NT commentary, Ellicott’s on the Greek text – which I can’t see on e-sword, even on the PC version. Do you know if they can be converted?

        Andrew

  5. When I click on a Strong’s number in the KJV+ text the box on the lower right does not change to reflect the definition of that number. I have to manually input it. Is there a way to link the text to the Word Study definitions.

  6. Wow I need HELP! I have been a long time E-sword user with daily use (I am a pastor). I just switched from a PC to an iMac. I am getting basically NO WHERE with the new program. e-sword sent me a tutorial. Seriously? Not much help at all. How about a step by step tutorial for idiots like me. I have no wasted over 8 hours total time trying to learn this program that was used to be SO EASY. And BTW, I do not even use anything else but only the very basic searches, copy and past functions. It must be me but there ya go!

  7. For all of you asking support questions about esword for macOS I don’t really use it much anymore. I’d advise seeking help at their website.

    • Sorry, but I’m not sure.
      You’d probably get more help from e-Sword the makers of this software. I wrote this review years ago and don’t user it any longer.

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