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.
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.