Today is Black Friday, the day known for people who get up before dawn to spend hours just to be the first ten people in the door of stores and get the best deals. Let’s spend today talking about a deal you won’t have to stand out in the cold to enjoy: The seventh thing I think you’ll love about BibleWorks 8 is the addition into the base package of three top-rate Greek and Hebrew Grammars.
Meet Wallace, Waltke-O’Connor and Joüon-Muraoka. They’re not the Magi, but at least we do know there are three of these. Typically these grammars are used in intermediate or advanced Hebrew and Greek classes. Although not everyone agrees with everything in them, they are books that must be consulted for any seminary student writing an exegetical or any scholar writing about a certain grammatical construction. Daniel Wallace’s book Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics is obviously a Greek grammar, while Joüon and Muraoka and Waltke & O’Connor are Hebrew grammars. If you are interested in dealing with the original languages of the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament, you will need these at some point in time. In fact, I would go so far as to say that these are pretty much mandatory resources for any serious language student.
So let’s go on a trip to the store, shall we? On our Christmas list for today is three top-notch grammars.
- Daniel Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. ~ Brand new this book would cost $45. But who pays retail anymore, right? You can find a new copy on Amazon for $27. Previously incarnations of BibleWorks had it available for $30 as an add-on module. Other Bible programs have a price around $40.
- Waltke & O’Connor’s Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. Eisenbrauns lists this book at around $53 normally. Amazon doesn’t carry it exclusively, so if you order it from others on Amazon you still have to pay shipping. Other Bible programs price this one at about $50. In previous incarnations of BibleWorks, you could buy this as an add-on module for $43. (do you notice a trend here on BibleWorks pricing vis-a-vis other Bible programs?)
- Joüon and Muraoka’s A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew. Also not available in Amazon, but you can get it for $100 at Eisenbrauns. Note this edition is a revision of a previous edition floating around out there. So if you want the latest and greatest, this is it. This was available from BibleWorks and other Bible software programs for the same price, $75.
So there you have three really good intermediate/advanced language grammars, that will set you back either $200 if you buy the books, $165 if you got them in other Bible programs, or $158 in previous versions of BibleWorks.
But now, if you choose to look at the math this way, if you update from BibleWorks 7, you pay $150, and get for that price these three books unlocked (in addition to all the other great stuff in BibleWorks 8). So think of it this way. Prior to BibleWorks 8, BibleWorks made whatever profit on the sale of these three resources, totalling up to $158. In BibleWorks 8, the company threw away the profit they made on these “add-on” modules which would cost users extra dollars and now they are part of the BASE package. I don’t care how you do the math, the inclusion of these three products into the base package of BibleWorks clearly was a move to help USERS not to cushion bottom lines, for that I am grateful.
But not everyone will have this opinion. Some might complain because they previously did pay for these modules in earlier versions of BibleWorks and now when others are getting huge savings, they are seeing none (although again, keep in mind, if the value of upgrading is not in these particular resources, there are many other areas to show that the program is worth the cost of upgrade). To my knowledge, BibleWorks has no credit system, where you will get a discount because you already own these add-on modules. If this really irks you, please try calling (or emailing) their Customer Service people, but if you are one of those people who are upset about “money lost” keep in mind that you’re talking to a company that just gave these resources to thousands of people not to feed their own bottom line, but to create a product that is one of the best exegetical tools that exist. No other “base” package of any other Bible program puts in this kind of content, which everyone who studies the text will tell you is indispenisble to that work.