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A real post?

Friday, July 11th, 2008

By my notice we haven’t had a real substantive post all year on the BW blog. Talk about not good. At the beginning of the year we had file server issues where we lost all of our files. A little after that we had more blogger issues where our posts wouldn’t post properly (meaning, at all), thus the reason for multiple test posts.

As we’ve said, life has gotten busier. It doesn’t mean we have lost track of BibleWorks completely, but we have not been as good as maintaining this as we should be. As I’ve mentioned, a new marriage, a relocation, the beginning of a PhD program all have taken chunks of my time this year. Fortunately others have been producing new materials, we simply haven’t been advertising them very well. If you have been following the BibleWorks forums (which I highly recommend), you should not have missed any of the new offerings that have been posted this year. Most of them I have managed to catch and upload here so that even if they are not blogged about, they are still in one place. However I have missed a few of them here and there during the school year, so if you know of any of those, please alert my attention to them and I will get them up.

Another reason why things have been quiet is because I’ve been enjoying reading a fellow BibleWorks user (and Lutheran! — well that’s a big deal in my book, you can ignore it, if you wish), Mark Hoffman’s blog Biblical Studies and Technological Tools. If you haven’t been following his blog, get with it! He has done an admirable job of comparing Bible software programs (among other things!) with regard to their offerings, how you can use them, advantages, disadvantages, etc. Although he was on sabbatical this year (and therefore amazingly prolific), his posts might be a little less plentiful this coming school year, but even so, he will still be worth following.

Anyway, now we try to play catch-up.

New Version: Nova Vulgata!

Monday, January 7th, 2008

Just released for download for BibleWorks 7 users, the Nova Vulgata, which is the official Latin version of the Roman Catholic Church. This new version will have the version ID “NOV.” Already BibleWorks has the Clementine Vulgate (version ID VUL and VUO which is the same as the VUL except for the fact that it does not include the Apocrypha, has been remapped to match the King James Version with respect to verse numbers and its Psalms are from the Hebrew based work of Jerome, rather than the LXX-based work).

So if you count that all up, that would make three different Latin versions of the Vulgate in some way shape or form. If you want to know more about some of the differences between the Clementine Vulgate and the Nova Vulgata you could always start with a simple place like Wikipedia which identifies a few differences between them…….

…..Or you can be brave and see if you spot any yourself by turning on BibleWorks version comparison mode:

  1. Go to Tools: Text Comparison Settings
  2. Add VUL VUO NOV.
  3. Pick an appropriate highlighting setting and click Enable
  4. Click Apply and then Close.
  5. In the command line type “nov” and then type “d c” (clears all other versions except display version).
  6. Click in the Browse Window (the part which has the text of the Bible) and type “B” (for browse mode) on your keyboard.

All highlighted portions are words that are different as compared to the VUL and VUO versions. If you want to see what the other versions have, you can simply type “d vul” or “d vuo” or “d vul vuo” in the command line. Just don’t forget to toggle back out of the BROWSE mode (either click in the Browse Window and type “B” or click on the pair of shoes footprint just above the text in the Browse Window.

Creating Bibleworks Modules from Word or HTML

Monday, January 7th, 2008

A BibleWorks user has offered more help on teaching other users how to made more user (HTML-based) modules for BibleWorks:

Creating Bibleworks Modules from Word or HTML

  1. Format the webpage in Word. Make sure you use styles (heading 1, heading 2, etc). These will become your table of contents.
  2. Use msword2chm to convert the Word document to compiled help. You can get msword2chm for free here.
  3. Extract the chm using 7-zip, available here.
  4. Use tidy to clean up the HTML. Tidy is available here:
    1. From a DOS prompt, run the following command (just copy and paste to the DOS prompt)
    2. for %f in (*.htm) do tidy –i –u –w 999999 –m %f
    3. This will tidy all the htm files at once
  5. Add the necessary javascript to each html file with the (DOWNLOAD file here!). You must have Perl installed for this to work. Perl can be downloaded from here.
    1. Run in the directory with the htm files. They will all be edited automatically.
  6. From the file (c:\Program Files\Bibleworks 7\, copy the files bw.js, mymodule.chd and mymodule-books.txt to the htm directory.
  7. Use Bibleworks to tag the htm files
    1. Tools | Build Module Index
    2. Base Directory: Directory containing the htm files
    3. Bookfile name: mymodule-books.txt
    4. Base name: Name of the module
    5. Click Build and Tag.
  8. Use HTML Help Workshop to recompile the HTML. When you create a new project, note that you will already have the HTML files, the index, and the Table of Contents.
  9. Edit mymodule.chd as directed in Bibleworks documentation
  10. Copy *.chm, *.chd, and *.sdx to the databases directory and restart Bibleworks.

NOTE: Be sure to DOWNLOAD this file if you use his process as it is needed in step #5.

We really do exist!

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

It’s been a long time between posts! This is not completely by choice, but due to the nature of the academic cycle and being so busy! I have also noticed with other blogs on my blogroll that after a while many of them stop being nearly so active because blogs actually are a lot of work to keep up. Even more so with this one because it entails a lot of work before anything can even be posted. However, since things have been so quiet here lately, let me remind you of other helpful things.

First of all, BibleWorks has recently released A Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew by Jacob Weingreen, available as a module add-on. BibleWorks’ version costs $49, while I see the Amazon price for the print book is $53, so for a little less than the real book you get all the usual features of a digital module in BibleWorks. While I learned Hebrew using a different grammar, my professor did highly recommend Weingreen’s grammar and when I had the chance to buy a used copy at a local bookstore (why they had a copy of a Hebrew grammar floating around sure beats me), I jumped at it and I can say that it is a very nice beginning level grammar. Definitely not in the league of Waltke-O’Connor or Joüon-Muraoka, but helpful nevertheless for those who like grammars.

Second, BibleWorks has recently started a section on their website for classroom tips. So far there are seven tips up and more expected to be added later. These are the sort of things Jim and I have hoped to have on this blog as well, but we have not been very successful at implementing this. Also, related to this, if you haven’t added Mark Hoffman’s blog called Biblical Studies and Technological Tools, please do so now. Mark has also helped fill a gap as he rather routinely highlights specific uses not only of BibleWorks, but also Logos software and often compares and contrasts the two, noting strengths and weaknesses of both pieces of software.

Third, BibleWorks has a sale going on until Nov. 30 for users of older BW versions. If you’re not yet living in BW7, now is as good a time as any to sign on. Buy now and put it under the Christmas tree for later :) The sale has caused some on the BW forums to speculate whether this means BW8’s release is imminent, but BW staff has assured customers that this is a special treat for users to upgrade and not a way to cop people out of money only to find out that a new release is just weeks away. So if the burning question in your heart is when is BW8 going to be released, the answer is: not for a while. However, when it is released, you can be sure there will be lots of new features, bells and whistles that make you drool.

Fourth, a question for the readers. As I have worked to provide a lot of classical Greek text resources, I am wondering how you find them helpful or whether you do at all. How do you use them? What else would you like to see added? Etc.?

New Module: Last Twelve Verses of Mark by John Burgon

Monday, September 10th, 2007


For those who are interested in textual criticism, it is hard to imagine not being unaware of the various controversies over the ending of the Gospel of Mark. John Burgon wrote a book on that very controversy way back in 1871 and it has remained a very influential book on that topic. Burgon sets out to show that the ending of Mark can be shown to be reliable based on extant manuscripts of the Bible. If you’re interested in how text critics do their work, sit down with Burgon and you get a feel for some of the issues involved in the process.

BibleWorks user Scott Jones gracious provided this text which he manufactured digitally. He holds copyright on the digital text as such and so any other uses of this text outside of its present form will require his permission. You can contact him via the email address provided in the Burgon BibleWorks module. Scott graciously thanks Ewan MacLeod and Willem Swanepoel for their help in converting the e-text into BibleWorks friendly format.


BibleWorks 7 New Module: Joüon-Muraoka Biblical Hebrew Grammar

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

Although I am partial to Greek resources, I am still excited by news of a new module being released today for BibleWorks 7:

Don’t be fooled. There is another edition of Joüon-Muraoka floating around out there, but this module represents the latest edition, published in 2006 by the Pontifical Biblical Institute, but more information on the print edition at Eisenbrauns:

Already well known in its two-volume first edition [«Subsidia Biblica», n. 14], this is the most extensive revision yet of one of the most complete Hebrew Grammars available in English. That first edition of 1991 was, in its turn, based on the original work in French by Paul Joüon published for the first time in 1923. This edition brings the work up to the present by taking account of developments in our understanding of the Hebrew language during the intervening years. For the first time the work is presented in a single volume. Professor Muraoka hopes that this helps to make the book more attractive and the content easier to use. As with the earlier edition students of the Old Testament, Hebrew and Semitics who have a basic knowledge of Biblical Hebrew will find much useful insight and information here.

The module is available as a download for $75 via the BibleWorks website.

On Modules

Friday, February 16th, 2007

It seems a number of people have lately asked whether the Custom modules which are available for download here work in versions other than BibleWorks 7. The answer is no, Custom HTML help modules that work within the BibleWorks are a new feature only to BibleWorks 7.

The longer answer is that it is a really cool feature that is only increasing in value the more the days pass because more users are getting together to make more resources available for other users.

Essentially these modules are HTML Help files which have been tagged by a BibleWorks scripting program which is what makes it possible for the Resource Window to link to a given resource when it is cited in that resource and it also makes Scriptural links within a given HTML help module work as pop-ups. I’ll talk more about how to make these files in a future post, but for now, how about showing how they work in BibleWorks 7.

Cool Feature #1:

Custom Modules act as footnotes within the Bible, by alerting you to the fact that a given module references a specific Bible verse.

They do this by showing up in the Resource Summary Window when you are on a given Bible verse.

So in the picture above (click on it to make it larger), in the Browse Window I am looking at Psa 51:5 (English / Psa 51:7 (MT) / Psa 50:7 (LXX)), but I see in the Resource Window to the right of the Browse Window that there are a number of resources that have citations to this verse. Specifically, I see that Bente’s Book of Concord has a reference to Psa 51:5 in the Smalcald Articles. Now since I don’t have the Smalcald Articles memorized along with the Small Catechism, I might wonder, Gee, I wonder why Martin Luther was citing Psa 51:5. I could pull out my Book of Concord to figure this one out, but that’s way on the other side of the room. Or I could open up my Book of Concord that I have in Logos, but that would take a minute for the program to load and another minute or two of navigation for me to find it in my resources, etc. At that rate, I’d be better off getting up and picking up the book. Or since I have this resource in BibleWorks, I could just click on it!

Genius idea! So I click.
And bingo. The link not only opens the resource, but it brings you to the exact spot of the reference. Now if you wish to read more, simply scroll around in the module itself. Nice.

Cool Feature #2:
Not only does the BibleWorks scripting tool make links for the Resource Summary window (Cool Feature #1), but it also makes pop-up windows that work within the HTML module. So, I see that in this part of the Smalcald Articles, Luther also lists a few other Scriptural citations. Now since I only have the Bible memorized up through Genesis, I’m not quite sure what all these verses are referring to simply by seeing their Scriptural reference. Now one way to fix this problem would be to close or minimize the module and type in the reference, but that would take like 15 seconds. 15 seconds? Come on that’s way too time consuming. How about if you just place your mouse on the reference *in* the module. Now you don’t have to do anything at all, BibleWorks produces a pop-up window which will tell you what that verse says.

Classy. Now if you dislike the pop-up Bible versions, you can easily change which versions show up in these little pop-ups in BibleWorks (Go to View on the main menu and then Choose Popup Versions).

And what if you weren’t interested in all this goose-chasing, but what you wanted was to quickly see what was in another one of those resources, let’s say, Kretzmann’s Popular Commentary. What would you do? Well you could surf on over to the Kretzmann Commentary website, but maybe you left your internet connection at home. So what are you to do? Oh I know, click the link!

And there you have it. Go have some fun and see what the commentary has to say.

So to review. Custom HTML modules = Cool. Custom HTML modules = BibleWorks 7. Ergo, BibleWorks 7 = Cool.

How-to’s: Where to begin… (within BW7 itself) Part One

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006

Someone left a comment asking if we could have more posts on practical helps for BibleWorks users. Indeed, we will get to those, but let me start off by introducing some of the first places BW users should go to learn tips and tricks about the program (in other words some of this stuff already exists), but we will try to make you aware of your options.

  • Within the BibleWorks program itself there are several places to get help. Along the Menu bar in BW 7 proper you can go to the one titled “Help.” There are a couple of options here that will be especially useful.
    • The option labeled “Getting Started” would be an obvious place to begin. Clicking on links through this will bring up some short videos that explain the basic set-up of BW7 and try to familiarize users with how the BW7 was designed.
    • From there your next step would be the option “BibleWorks Study Guides.” These have numerous short clips that help you navigate through BW7 and do specific tasks. If you haven’t browsed through these you’re really missing out. Even if you don’t think these may be relevant, I encourage you to check them out because you might learn something that you can apply elsewhere.
    • Finally the “Online Help Contents” is the BW7 “manual,” but even this was designed to put some helpful hints right at your fingertips. If the Help is open, there are tabs on the left side that say “Contents,” “Index,” “Search,” and “Favorites”. If you click on Contents and you just opened the Help file, you’ll get a page with the Table of Contents, but also you’ll see “Frequently Used Links.” There you can get quick help with using the Command Line if that’s one of your weaknesses.
    • A little used feature is the “Favorites” tab. Maybe you are reading through the Help manual, but get tired and want to do something else. If you are currently in the middle of chapter 37 you can click the tab “Favorites” and then at the bottom click “Add.” Essentially this puts a little bookmark where you were and you can either leave or go do something else and easily return to this same spot when you go back to Favorites and click on that link.
    • The Index can be also very helpful for finding something if you’re not sure how to look it up. Otherwise, Searching for keywords is the final way to find something in the Manual.
  • There is also context specific help. For this, you hold the mouse cursor over the area where you want specific help and then press F1. This will load the Online Help manual to the area of Help that relates to the place where your mouse was situated. This is another little known, but very helpful place to begin.
  • In the Search window side of the screen, there is a little icon of a hammer and wrench. If you click on that the last option is a link to see Command Line Examples (This is also located under the option “Search” in the menu bar). This too is very helpful when you’re not sure why you can’t type out the right things to get BW to do what you want.
  • The last major Help options in BW7 are found under the Help Menu under the option “BibleWorks on the Internet.” (Technically then these aren’t “available” within the BW7 program, but you will need to make sure you have Internet.) Here you can go straight to BibleWorks official customer support by selecting the option “Get Support” or you can go to the BibleWorks forums. The official BibleWorks forums are a WEALTH of information. If you use BibleWorks but have never visited the forums, you’re missing out. Here you can post questions and sometimes the official BibleWorks staff will help out, but mostly this is a user-community. If you want official help, you would contact the BW staff through the Get Support options. Here, however, you’ll find BibleWorks users of various skill levels and you will just about always find a quick answer to your question (assuming that one exists).