tips browsing by category


BibleWorks Training Session Video

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Maybe you’ve never been to a BibleWorks training workshop, but now you can get a taste for what you might learn at one since a video has been posted of one of the sessions given at Luther Seminary this past September.  The session goes from basic information to more advanced materials. It might be a good refresher for those of you who think you have it all down pat.

If you like hearing about things like this, I suggest you become a Facebook fan of BibleWorks (I think that link will work. Otherwise just do a search in Facebook for “BibleWorks”). Generally they post things that might be of interest to BibleWorks users, sometimes relating to the program itself, but other times to Biblical studies more generally (like this link to purchase personal copies of the Dead Sea Scrolls for only $60,000). Overall they’re light on advertising or pushing products at your wallet, which I find to be a nice change of pace.

BibleWorks 8 Tutorial

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

I noticed that there is a nice wiki on BibleWorks 8 available via Luther Seminary. Although it’s possible to learn all of these tips from reading the help within BibleWorks, sometimes it’s helpful to see it explained in a different format or in a different way.

So check out the BibleWorks wiki.

(Luther Seminary is an ELCA affiliated Seminary in Minnesota. It belongs to the same denomination as the Gettysburg Seminary, where Mark Hoffman teaches. From my knowledge of Mark’s teaching and by glancing at Mary Hinkle Shore’s syllabi (who appears to also be the one who is responsible for the wiki), it looks like both seminaries teach using Clayton Croy’s textbook and stress the use of Bible software tools like BibleWorks for learning/using Greek. Why is this important? It’s not really, I just found it interesting to know how Greek is being taught in some of the seminaries.)

finding all non-Qal verbs with the command line

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

The professors at GCTS often test students in Hebrew exegesis/grammar courses by requiring the students to parse all non-Qal verbs.

As the reference librarian, I’ve been asked a few times how to run a search in BibleWorks for all non-Qal verbs so that the student identify them at a glance and concentrate their study “where it counts”.

One way of doing it would be this:


The letters in between the left and right brackets represent an “or” search of all stems but the Qal.

One student was able to achieve the same search by using the Graphical Search Engine and using an “exclusion” list to exclude any Qal verbs.

I thought that there would be a third way. I tried the following search (with my search limited only to the Book of Jonah):


The first set of parentheses would look for all verbs. The second set of parentheses would then search for all Qal verbs, but the exclamation point set in between the two sets of parentheses would “negate” the second set. Unfortunately, this does not work. When I perform the search given above, I only get 1 hit.

Now that I think of it, I understand why… The search above looks for VERSES not words. It looks for verses that have verbs and then negates all verses that have Qal verbs. This results in a single hit in Jonah 2:2, where there is only a single verb, and that verb is not a Qal, but rather a Hithpael.

So, I posed the question to the BW forums:

Is there a way to negate on a word by word level? So that one could do something like this:

I know that this search does not work, but I was wondering if there’s anything that might work like this.

Boy oh boy, I do love the BW forums! I got an answer from MBushell (a guy who’s pretty familiar with BW ;) ). He noted that the following search would work:


Indeed it does!

13841 verses, 9676 forms, 22560 hits, and only 4.53 seconds later, I was able to do a search on all non-Qal verbs in the entire Old Testament (not just Jonah). I then used the Color Filter to highlight all these verbs, so that I can see them at a glance in the text. I’ve been using BW since 4.0, and I never came across the use of the caret ^ in BW searches, but it sure comes in handy!

Update: I just tried a similar search in the BGM, trying to find non-indicative verbs in James, and I could not get it to work. Back to the forums!

Morphological Markup (Color file)

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Mark Hoffman of the Biblical Studies and Technology blog long ago posted this handy color file which provides highlighting in the BGT according to different morphological categories. Although this is an old post, he originally wrote it about BW7, the files work in BW8 as well. If you want to know more about how he put together the color file or how it works, please see his original posting on his blog. However, I decided this was such a good resource, we should keep a copy of it on hand here as well.

Thanks Mark!


Helpful list of modules

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

I’ve referenced his blog numerous times before, but Mark Hoffman provides another great post on his blog in which he creates an organized list of BibleWorks versions available and breaks them down into different groups in order for you to see what is all available. As the number of user databases have grown, the list has become quite long and so it’s nice when others reorganize the data into ways which make it easier to see what’s all out there.

If you want to download some of these lists check out the following links:

List of BibleWorks7 Texts: XLS spreadsheet / PDF:grouped / PDF:A>Z

BibleWorks 7 Tutorial/Tips Online

Monday, September 1st, 2008

Did you know that if you Google “BibleWorks 7″ this blog doesn’t even show up on the first page of searches? Well it didn’t yesterday anyway, but in a shameless effort in order to increase the logic of the search engine, I will try to mention BibleWorks 7 specifically more often.

(This actually is not even an ego- or monetary-driven plot. I think if someone is looking at BibleWorks 7 this website would be one of the best things they would want to know about because they would learn that when they purchase BibleWorks 7, they’re not only getting all of the great things that come as part of the program, they’re also getting a humongous list of other freebies, some of which are not available on any other platform.)

However, in a Google search for “BibleWorks”, our blog does show up and on the first page of the search is also this neat little link to an instructional guide to BibleWorks 7 from the Yale Divinity Library.

Now chances are you aren’t going to learn anything new from it if you’ve been using BibleWorks 7 for a long time, but sometimes we learn best by constant review and seeing things explained from a different point of view. Also, if you’re like me, you probably only read Help files as a last resort, so you might have missed something really basic quite early on. In any case, here’s the link for you again:

Divinity Library Instructional Guide: BibleWorks 7.0

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.

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.?

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).