Miscellaneous Ramblings

Bible Software for Macs and Palms

Charles Moore - 2001.12.19 - Tip Jar

The Associated Press reports that U.S. Christian bookstores are reporting weekly sales as much as 40% higher than last year following the September 11 terrorist attacks and in the runup to Christmas. A Canadian Bible Society spokesman also is quoted saying that Bible sales "are way up over past years." One religious bookstore in a Nashville suburb had post-Thanksgiving sales six times higher than last year.

A number of good Bible study and resource programs are available for the Mac. Here's a look at some of them, and apologies to the authors of any such programs I've missed.

Accordance 5.2 Bible Study Software

One of the most comprehensive Mac Bible study packages is Accordance 5.2, state-of-the-art in Bible software that offers an easy to use and integrated approach to Bible study. Now on several CD-ROMs, Accordance offers a full library of texts and study aids, powerful Greek and Hebrew grammatical searches, and an interactive Bible Atlas.

With Accordance 5.2, Strong's numbers display and link to the Greek and Hebrew. An Amplify palette gives instant access to all Bible texts, lexicons, commentaries, and other resources. Virtually everything in Accordance is accessible with a single click of the mouse, including contextual help.

Advanced features include graphical searching, statistical analyses, and global searching. Users can also add advanced Greek and Hebrew resources that allow elaborate grammatical searches. Well over 150 Accordance-compatible modules are available on a variety of CD-ROMs; all purchased modules are completely integrated into your Accordance library. Select text in any window, and a single mouse-click lets you find your selection in any text or tool. Five CD-ROMs contain collections of texts and tools centered on particular Bible versions. The interactive Bible Atlas lets you explore the lands of the Bible: build your own maps, follow animated routes, and navigate three-dimensional landscapes. Additional specialized CD-ROMs include the Bible Lands PhotoGuide, Anchor Bible Dictionary, and Church Fathers.  

There are now more than 180 Accordance-compatible titles to choose from, on a variety of CD-ROMs. Some, such as the Accordance Library 5 and Scholar's Collection, contain large selections of texts and tools. Other CD-ROMs, such as the Anchor Bible Dictionary and Bible Atlas, are dedicated to specialized modules.

Every Accordance-compatible CD-ROM comes with the Accordance software, at least one Bible text, interactive guides, and all necessary fonts. All Accordance modules are completely integrated, and can be run in conjunction with any of the others.

The Library 5 CD-ROM is the core Accordance collection, offering the widest selection of Accordance-compatible Bible texts, commentaries, and other tools. It includes two Bible texts with Strong's numbers, which give you instant access to the original Greek and Hebrew, as well as a wide range of commentaries, parallel passages, topical resources, and Bible dictionaries. The Library 5 is available at one of three affordable levels, or as a custom package.

Accordance version 5.1 for OS X is now available It is native to OS X (Carbon).

Accordance Library 5 sells for $59, but is on sale until December 31, 2001 for $49. Other Accordance titles and collections are also sale priced until the end of the year.

Bible Viewer 2.01

HolyMac Software's BibleViewer 2.01 is an electronic, searchable edition of the Bible that I personally find very useful. I have had copies of BibleViewer and its predecessor BibleBrowser on my hard drive for several years.

BibleViewer is quick and easy to use and has a simple, clean, Mac-like interface. Navigation within the text of the Bible is fast and intuitive. User settable bookmarks can mark locations or selections, and an efficient search engine provides nearly instantaneous access to text matching any entered phrase or word criteria.

BibleViewer features:

  • fast, so that you can search the contents
  • small, so that you don't waste memory
  • simple, so that you can use it easily
  • smart, so that you can bookmark particular passages
  • flexible, so that you can change its appearance

System requirements are modest and simple: BibleViewer will run happily on any Macintosh or Mac clone running the Classic Mac OS.

The main change in BibleViewer 2.x from earlier versions is that it uses a modern English translation, the World English Bible (WEB), a public domain (no copyright) Modern English translation of the Bible based on the American Standard Version of 1901, the Biblia Hebraica Stutgartensa Old Testament, and the Greek Majority Text New Testament, rather than the Authorized Version of 1611 (King James Version) that was used in BibleBrowser. Traditionalists (like me) who love the KJV's majestic cadences will not necessarily regard this as an improvement, but it should broaden BibleViewer's appeal, and the KJV version is available for those who prefer it. In addition, there have been improvements in various interface elements of the program, including the online help.

The American Standard Version (ASV) is a solid translation that has earned the reputation of being the "Rock of Biblical Honesty." Your reporter has used a print copy of the ASV as a reference for the past 25 years. While the English used in the ASV is somewhat archaic, it is easier understood by modern readers than some passages of the better known King James (Authorized) Version of 1611. The ASV is in the public domain, since its copyright has expired. You can download, a copy in HTML, a General Bible Format .zip file (asvgbf.zip), or a plain ASCII text version in a zip file at http://www.ebible.org/bible/asv/.

The World English Bible used as the basis for BibleViewer 2.0 is essentially the ASV translation with some simple word replacements and a few grammatical adjustments that will be kept in the public domain. You can download the current draft of the WEB as an HTML file, plain ASCII text with poetry and prose formatting, General Bible Format text, or one line per verse ASCII text (no poetry or prose formatting or footnotes), at http://www.ebible.org/index.htm.

BiblePromise 2.4.2 For PPC

BiblePromise is a shareware program for Macintosh by Rick Janson that presents a different inspirational Scripture verse each day, chosen from its database of nearly 365 quotations.

The verses in BiblePromise have been carefully selected to offer wisdom and comfort. For many, BiblePromise serves as a means for daily encouragement; for others it provides the starting point for daily Bible reading and exploring the context of the Scripture verse for the day.

BiblePromise includes options for a different Scripture verse each time the application is run and a "Verse of the Day" setting.

The software is available for Macintosh and Windows, and in English and Dutch versions. The English version allows the user to choose from four translations:

  • New International Version
  • Revised Standard Version
  • King James (Authorized) Version
  • New King James Version

New In The BiblePromise 2.4.2 (US):

  • U.S. English Version
  • Interface and Scripture quotations use U.S. English spelling
  • Minor enhancements.

Minimum System Requirements:

  • Any PowerPC Macintosh or clone running Mac OS 7.6 or later.

BiblePromise is $15 shareware.

EZ Bible 1.3 Searchable Scripture Reference Released

Ever wanted to read the Bible in a year? EZ Bible will organize your reading of all 31,173 verses in 364 days. EZ Bible's text is fully searchable, and searches can be saved and reloaded later.

EZ Bible includes a full copy of the American Standard Version of the Bible, and Version 1.3 adds the option of using other translations. The King James Version is the first available alternate translation. (Separate registration is not required for additional translations.)

EZ Bible is available in both PowerPC-only and FAT (both PPC and 68k) versions, and the ASV Bible comes in ClarisWorks, RTF, text, and FileMaker formats. The ASV Bible itself is free, while EZ Bible is shareware that users may try free for two weeks.

Online Bible 3 For Mac

Online Bible for the Mac has been updated to version 3. Features include note searching, speech support, a contextual menu, and other enhancements.

Full Feature List

  • Fast, easy, and powerful Macintosh interface
  • Perform word searches in under 1 second
  • Complete set of search operators including AND, OR, XOR, NOT, wildcard, and proximity
  • Search and view the original Greek & Hebrew words using Strong's numbers
  • Verb parsing information including tense, voice, and mood
  • Greek & Hebrew lexicons with definitions in English
  • Point and click hypertext linking
  • Synchronized scrolling of search results, Bible passages, and verse notes
  • Open as many as 24 verse note/commentary sets at once
  • Unlimited windows
  • Bookmarks for Bible passages, verse notes, and topical studies
  • New Speak command to read the Bible or notes
  • New Contextual Menu for fast access to common commands
  • Extensive collection of English as well as foreign translations to choose from
  • Actual Greek and Hebrew texts for original language work
  • TrueType Greek and Hebrew fonts
  • Over half a million cross references
  • Commentaries by Matthew Henry, John Wesley, Adam Clarke, John Gill, A.T. Robertson, C.H. Spurgeon, and others
  • Topical studies by Naves, Thompson, Torrey, and others
  • Integrated personal verse notes with built-in editor
  • Bible FKey for quick and easy passage lookup without switching applications
  • View Bible passages and verse notes using any installed font
  • Picture support with color maps and diagrams
  • Print or export as a text file any Bible passage, search result, verse note, or topical study
  • Disk-based User's Manual with tutorial and reference sections
  • Requires a hard drive and System 6.0 or higher.
  • Runs on any Macintosh from a Mac Plus to the newest G4 Power Mac
  • No hidden unlocking fees required to access CD material
  • More program features, more translations, and more add-on modules than any other Macintosh Bible study package available

Those with FTP facilities can download the latest version from: <ftp://members.aol.com/khamel/olbmac/olb29.hqx>. A copy of the KJV New Testament is posted there as well.

Ordering Information (Note: The program disk is free when ordered with any Bible text module listed below.)

  • Online Bible 2.9 program with disk based User's Manual, $5

Bible Texts

  • KJV with Strong's numbers, footnotes, and alternate readings (3.7 meg on 2 disks). $10.
  • 1984 NIV with footnotes (2.1 meg on 2 disks), $25
  • 1995 NASB with footnotes and xrefs (4.6 meg on 2 disks), $25
  • 1982 NKJV with footnotes (2.1 meg on 2 disks), $15
  • 1989 NRSV with footnotes (2.1 meg on 2 disks), $15
  • 1993 Modern KJV by Jay P. Green, Sr. (2 meg on 2 disks), $15
  • 1993 Green's Literal Translation (2 meg on 2 disks), $15
  • 1973 Revised Standard Version (2 meg on 2 disks), $10
  • 1901 American Standard Version (2.1 meg on 2 disks), $10
  • 1898 Young's Literal Translation (2.1 meg on 2 disks), $10
  • 1890 J.N. Darby Translation (2 meg on 2 disks), $10
  • Spanish 1989 RVA (2 meg on 2 disks), $10
  • Spanish 1909 RV (2 meg on 2 disks), $10
  • French 1910 Louis Segond with Strong's (3.6 meg on 2 disks) $10
  • German 1912 Luther with Strong's (3.6 meg on 2 disks), $10
  • Italian 1991 La Nuova Diodati (2.2 meg on 2 disks), $10
  • Russian 1917 Synodal Text (2.4 meg on 2 disks), $10
  • Five Greek texts (1550 Stephanus with Strong's and full parsing, 1894 Scrivener, 1991 Majority, 1881 Westcott-Hort, and Nestle's 26/27th) and Biblia Hebraica consonantal text (8.2 meg on 4 disks) $20.

Add-On Modules

  • Thayer's Greek and BDB Hebrew Lexicons (3.7 meg on 2 disks) $10.
  • Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (6.2 meg on 3 disks), $10
  • Thompson's 1934 Chain Refs, Torrey's New Topical Textbook, and other topical material (6.4 meg on 2 disks), $10
  • Nave's Topical Bible (4.8 meg on 2 disks), $10
  • Spurgeon's Morning and Evening (1.6 meg on 1 disk), $5
  • Easton's Bible Dictionary (3.9 meg on 2 disks), $10
  • Smith's Bible Dictionary (3.8 meg on 2 disks), $10
  • Robertson's NT Word Pictures (5.7 meg on 2 disks), $10
  • Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary (4.2 meg on 2 disks), $10
  • John Wesley's Notes on the Bible (6.5 meg on 3 disks), $10
  • 1599 Geneva Bible Notes (5.5 meg on 2 disks), $10
  • Apocrypha - Oxford and RSV editions (1.7 meg on 1 disk), $5.

CD-ROMs (Note: These are version 2.5.3.See Appendix E in User's Manual for a complete listing of CD-ROM contents.)

  • Classic CD with over 400 meg of Bible texts and add-ons ... $40.
  • Deluxe CD containing Classic plus NIV, NASB, NKJV, & NRSV . $90
  • Classic or Deluxe CD upgrade (only if you purchased an earlier CD). $25.

The Bible in FM

J. Rick Adams, M.D., and JRAd consulting, Inc. offer a 30 day demo of their software Bible, The Bible in FM, version 1.0 for the Mac.

The Bible in FM is the complete text of The Bible in a form developed for easy reading, reference, and study. Text lookup, rapid goto, and full bookmarking capabilities highlight the comprehensive set of features found in this program.

The Bible in FM is available for both Macintosh and Windows-based computers for US$25. A bundle deal with the companion software, Prayers, is available for US$40.

Prayers provides a simple means of listing, categorizing, and searching the daily list some of us keep, our prayer list. Answers may be entered into each prayer and remembered through simple search functions. The program optionally utilizes another JRAd consulting product, The Bible in FM, to look up, reference, and remember scripture so that each request is based on biblical principle.

System requirements are:

  • A Macintosh or MacOS clone (680x0 or PPC)
  • 8 MB of RAM required for PowerPC systems
  • 4 MB of RAM required for 68OxO systems
  • Mac OS version 7.1 or later

QuickJournal 2.02 Personal Journal, Bible Study, Prayer Guide

QuickJournal for the Macintosh is designed to assist you in keeping a personal journal, a consistent prayer time, with scripture memory, and Bible study.


  • Quick, easy way to journal your thoughts and goals for each day.
  • View the entries sorted by date using a "QuickList"
  • Fast Keyword search quickly retrieves data based upon any word or phrase you have typed.

Scripture Memory

  • Type Bible Verses from your favorite translation of the Bible
  • Quick online self-test for the entire memory Verse(s) and/or the Reference
  • Print memory verses on Avery business card-size stock to keep your scripture memory program with you at all times.

Bible Study

  • Dynamic Bible study method helps to study and personally apply a passage
  • Using the fast Keyword search you can quickly retrieve notes from any study
  • Quick reference for all the passages you have studied

Prayer Guide

  • Assign prayer request items as daily, weekly, or monthly. QuickJournal will remind you to pray on the appointed days.
  • Click to record and track answers to prayer. Answered prayer list to encourage you to keep on praying.
  • Complete list of all prayer requests - answered and pending.
  • Half-page (Dayrunner format) list of current prayer requests that you can print, and carry with you in a small notebook.

Contacts database

  • QuickJournal's Contacts database contains a contacts list, phone list, call list, 30-up address labels and a QuickFind.
  • Contacts are automatically added to your prayer names popup list.
  • QuickFind: type the first few letters of a first name, last name or even a nickname and QuickJournal instantly provide a QuickList of appropriate contacts.
  • Call List: lists names and phone numbers and you can mark each contact with Yes, No, or No Response.
  • Address labels: Use any of the standard 30-up address label sheets to print labels for mailings to your contacts list.

New in this version:

  • Additional prayer guide reports, contacts database, new database engine with speed and power enhancements, new search and sort features, functionality with both U.S. and non-U.S. Macintosh systems.

System requirements:

  • Any Power PC Macintosh including G3 and G4 processors
  • Mac OS 7.5.5 or later
  • 10 MB of disk space
  • 8 MB of free RAM
  • Minimum CPU: Power PC 601
  • 640 x 480 pixel monitor (13" or larger, or a PowerBook)

QuickJournal is freeware  

PandoCalendar 5.7.5 Small Christian Calendar

This useful Mac-only program places a fully functional calendar on your desktop. The look is completely customizable. You can change the calendar font and its size, and the calendar's background color; you can center the current week (so you are always able to look back and ahead a full month at a time), display the numerical number of the weeks of the year, display the calendar with European style weeks (Monday being the first day and Sunday being the last), assign notes to any day of the year by clicking on the day in the calendar, and set alarms to remind you of time sensitive events. You can also have PandoCalendar automatically plot the days you work. Great for people who don't have a Monday-Friday work schedule.

New in this version:

  • Worked around a bug in Mac OS 9 that would cause importing and exporting to fail.
  • Fixed a bug that would cause importing of recurring notes from versions 5.0-5.0.3 to fail.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause search result windows to display very thin and not be able to resize wider.
  • Worked around a bug in Mac OS 10.1 that would cause sheets attached to the calendar window to display in the wrong place.
  • Fixed a bug where all note balloons, except those that appeared to the lower right of a date box, wouldn't point to the proper date.
  • PandoCalendar will now directly overwrite the preferences file when a temporary preferences file can't be created.
  • Fixed the formatting in the About window on OS 9 with Chicago as the system font.
  • When opening the Preferences window fails, because the Frames folder can't be found, there is now a more descriptive error message.  

System requirements:

  • Mac OS 9.1 or higher with CarbonLib
  • Mac OS X 10.0 or higher

Don't have Mac OS 9.1? Download the older non-carbon 5.5.6 version of PandoCalendar. Requires Mac OS 7.5 or greater and Appearance Manager 1.0 or greater.

PandoCalendar is freeware.

MyBible for the Palm PDA And Compatibles

And finally, for Palm users, the Bible particularly lends itself to digitalization, because it is so frequently used as a reference, for which a search engine facilitates things immensely. I have three digital Bible applications on my PowerBook hard drive, and now Palm users can have a digital, searchable Bible database that they can carry in their pockets. MyBible gives you instant access to the entire text of the Bible on your Palm or Palm-compatible PDA.

Laridian's MyBible gives you instant access to the entire text of the Bible on your PDA. A tap the top of the screen scrolls up; tap the bottom to scroll down, or use the "up" and "down" buttons on your Palm to move through the text. Stroke right to go to the next chapter or left to go to the previous chapter.

To go to any verse in the Bible, tap the Bible reference in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and select the book from this list. Then enter the chapter and verse in the writing ("Graffiti") area.

To find all occurrences of any word or phrase in seconds, enter "command-F" (or select "Find" from the menu) then write a word or phrase. Select how much of the Bible you want to search and tap the Find button. Excerpts from verses containing the word or phrase you're looking for are displayed. Just tap one to instantly view the full verse in context.

You can set a bookmark on any verse in the Bible by tapping the bookmark icon on the top of the screen and selecting "Set Bookmark." Go to any bookmarked passage by tapping the bookmark icon and selecting the verse to which you want to go. And delete a bookmark by first going there, then selecting "Delete Bookmark" from the bookmark list.

If you want to compare translations, just purchase and install two (or more) Bible databases. Tap the name of the translation to quickly switch between them to compare wording. Instantly, you'll be looking at the same passage in the new translation.

Each Bible database in MyBible requires 1.5 MB RAM. If that's too much, each of the Bibles is delivered in pieces from which you can select individual books to remove if you don't have room for the entire Bible. For example, if you don't want to take up most of the available RAM on your 2 MB Palm VII, you can install just the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. But a 4 MB Palm IIIx can easily hold two entire Bibles, and an 8 MB Visor Deluxe or Palm Vx handles 3 or 4 without difficulty.

The MyBible program and its accompanying Bibles are sold separately. You need to purchase the program itself and one or more Bibles when you order. Some Bibles come with the translator's footnotes. These can be optionally installed.

MyBible with the KJV Gospels is free.

MyBible is the only Bible software product for Palm organizers to offer the NIV.

MyBible Program for Palm is $10 demoware.

Bible version modules:

  • King James Version (KJV) $19.99
  • New American Standard Bible (NASB) $29.99
  • New International Version (NIV) $29.99
  • New King James Version (NKJV) $19.99
  • New Living Translation (NLT) $19.99
  • Revised Standard Version (RSV) $19.99

And a Merry Christmas to all!

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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at Applelinks.com and a columnist at MacPrices.net. If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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