I am a firm believer in using Bible Software to help advance our understanding of God’s Word and personally use multiple different software programs. In the past couple months I’ve blogged about some of them, including WORDsearch Bible Software and Logos Bible Software . Today I would like to introduce you to two additional FREE platforms.
In the PC world, E-Sword has been the go to FREE Bible software program for some time (there is now a Mac version available). I’ve used it for years. Then I cam across The Word Bible software (also FREE) and began using it (and introduced all of my students to it).
Both programs are great and for most people are all they will ever need (However, I still think that if you are a reader and/or like to get new releases and scholarly materials for FREE you should take advantage of the offerings of the Faithlife/Logos/Vyrso/Noet/Verbum family).
Both E-Sword and The Word are freely downloadable programs and feature lots of FREE books, Bible, commentaries and more. In recent years both platforms have also started offering premium or paid modules so that you can add more recent materials to your library (most of the main modules are public domain, though still excellent resources).
Multiple translations are available in both programs, basic (and complex) bible searching, book searching, highlighting, copy/paste, built in editors and more are included.
Both programs are also heavily supported by user created modules by which you can literally add thousands of FREE books to your library (many of these books are now being added to Logos’ platform but at a significant cost, especially if not purchased while on community pricing).
For additional thoughts and resources on electronic tools (including mobile apps) for Bible Study see my Electronic Teach Tools post.
To demonstrate the savings available in these two programs let me demonstrate;
- Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (20 volumes), which Meyer worked on from the ages of 27-72 retails at Logos for $249.95 (although it is included in some base packages as well). It is FREE in both E-Sword and The Word.
- Lange’s Commentary (63 volumes) retails at Logos for $299.95 (again, it is included in some packages) and is FREE in both E-Sword (25 volumes) and The Word.
- The Expositors (49 volumes) E-Sword The Word
- Pulpit Commentary (66 volumes) E-Sword The Word
- Biblical Illustrator (56 volumes) E-Sword The Word
- Possibly the greatest savings is the International Critical Commentary on the New Testament (ICCNT) which retails at Logos for a whopping $1,082.95 for 33 volumes or $1,964.95 for 61 volumes (includes the OT) of mostly (if not, all) public domain material. Most of the volumes for the NT are now available in both E-Sword and The Word. Despite my investment in Logos, this is one I cannot cough up so if I want to use this commentary I fire up E-Sword or The Word.
- Make no mistake, these commentaries, though in public domain and old are still top notch – still quoted in modern commentaries from time to time. The ICCNT was THE standard of the day.
- A more modern set (1960s-1980s), the College Press Bible Study Textbook Series (59 volumes) is also FREE but retails for $769.95 at Logos (42 volumes). The Word
PS – You will need to create free accounts to login and download the extra modules. It will take some time but you will have a great library!