BibleWorks natively on a Mac

Written by Michael Hanel on October 3rd, 2012

BibleWorks just announced that they have made enough progress to release a preview edition of BibleWorks 9 that works natively on a Mac. As a preview version, it’s not yet perfected, but they believed it’s in good enough shape that it will work smoothly for 95% of their users. There is no additional cost, but it will require you to have an up-to-date DVD version of BW9 to install it. If you do not have an up-to-date DVD, you will have to purchase a copy of the DVD ($25), but you still use your original registration info when installing.

This is a new move on the part of BibleWorks that further enhances Mac support. Previously one could run BibleWorks on Mac either through Boot Camp or a virtualization program. This will now enable users to run BibleWorks with no other software downloads (not Windows and not any virtualization programs).

You can read more about it on the official BibleWorks website.

Samaritan Pentateuch / Aleksandr Sigalov (Heb/Eng)

Written by jdarlack on June 16th, 2012

I’m pleased to release the Samaritan Pentateuch as digitized by Aleksandr Sigalov, who blogs at

I’ve included three different “Version” databases in this release. The SAMH (the Hebrew text), the SAME (Mr. Sigalov’s adaptation of the KJV to reflect differences in the Samaritan Pentateuch) and the UWTT (a modification of BibleWorks WTT file that ‘ambiguates’ the sin (שׂ) and šin (שׁ) with ש and removes the ‘paragraph markers,’ the Petuhah (פ) and the Setuma (ס). This allows the Text Comparison tool in BibleWorks to compare the UWTT with the SAMH to give a pretty good representation of the differences).

The Hebrew text is based on Kennicott (1780) and von Gall (1918). Full information about the source texts is found at Mr. Sigalov’s Interlinear Pentateuch site.

According to Mr. Sigalov, the SAMH

Text is based on “Vetus Testamentum Hebraicum cum variis lectionibus”, (Parallel Samaritan Pentateuch - Hebrew Samaritan), by Benjaminus Kennicott, 1780 [main page here]. Text was manually compared to “Der Hebraische Pentateuch der Samaritaner”, (critical edition of the Samaritan Pentateuch) August Freiherrn von Gall,Verlag von Alfred Topelmann, Giessen, 1918 here.

He states about the SAME:

Notes on the Samaritan Pentateuch Translation in English

  • Based on KJV Bible.
  • Samaritan Pentateuch Translation is in plain text.
  • In square brackets [] shown translated variant readings/additions from Septuagint.

In the BW version of Mr. Sigalov’s adaptation of the KJV, the bracketed text corresponds to italicized text in the BibleWorks KJV version, thus for the sake of consistency, the database compiles the bracketed text as italicized text.

As mentioned above, the UWTT is an adaptation of the WTT text, it is connected to the WTM (just like the WTT), so if you right-click a word you can search on lemma.

All three versions (SAMH, SAME, and UWTT) are included in a single ZIP archive, and are available for download:

Samaritan Pentateuch Files (2.2MB)

NOTE: These versions may need the latest version of BW (with updates) to display correctly.

ANOTHER NOTE: To install the files, shut down BibleWorks. Unzip the archive and copy all the files found therein to your C:/…/BibleWorks 9/databases/ folder. Restart BibleWorks.

YET ANOTHER NOTE: For what it’s worth, I did some quick checking of the text against Accordance’s Samaritan Pentateuch. There ARE differences - mainly orthographic (with the Accordance version having the plene spelling). For instance, in Genesis 1:12, Sigalov’s version has ותוצא, but the Accordance version by Tal has ותוציא. Sigalov’s version reflects the text in von Gall. As with any digitized text, check against the critical printed editions, and learn what the source files are based upon before using the text to reach conclusions in your research.

BibleWorks Turns 20!

Written by jdarlack on June 1st, 2012

BibleWorks just turned a score! To celebrate the program’s 20th birthday, the company is giving away two copies (one for each decade).

To enter the contest, send BibleWorks a 20 word note explaining “why you need a copy of BibleWorks. The winners will be selected based on humor, wit, and verve.” Enter before June 15.

You can submit your note either at the BW site, or on their Facebook page.

Biblical Antiquities of Philo (trans. M.R.James)

Written by jdarlack on April 21st, 2012

For a few versions now, BibleWorks has included R.H.Charles’ edited translation of Old Testament pseudepigraphal writings from vol. 2 of his 1913 Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament (APOT). This collection of pseudepigrapha related to the Old Testament has since been ‘replaced’ by James Charlesworth’s Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (OTP), which provides more modern translations based on new manuscript evidence. APOT still retains a great deal of usefulness - especially for its notes, etc. (as are available in the BibleWorks module). One text that is present in Charlesworth’s OTP, but not in Charles’ APOT, is the work commonly referred to as “Pseudo-Philo.” In 1917, a few years after the publication of Charles’ APOT, M.R.James translated this Latin text wrongly attributed to Philo of Alexandria. The Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum or (Biblical Antiquities) is now often referred to as Pseudo-Philo, and is often abbreviated either Ps.-Philo or L.A.B. (or LAB). This translation made a previously overlooked piece of early Jewish literature available to the English speaking world.

LAB is a fascinating retelling of the biblical story from Genesis through the reign of King Saul. Manuscripts only exist in Latin, though it is believed by several scholars to originally have been composed in Hebrew. It is thought to predate the destruction of the temple (70 AD). Because of this early date, LAB is extremely significant for its representation of first century Jewish interpretation of Scripture.

This BibleWorks version provides the English translation of M.R.James’ 1917 Biblical Antiquities of Philo. The footnotes have been retained throughout (and will display in the Analysis Tab in BibleWorks. Cross references to the Old Testament have been omitted from this version for formatting reasons (though a CHM file of this text may be released in the near future that will retain OT cross references and include James’ introduction).

To install the files, download the archive and unzip the files to your /BibleWorks 9/databases folder. If you want the book name to display properly in your browse window, then you will need to append the following line to your default bookname file (typically books.bna in your /BibleWorks 9/init folder:

LAB,Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum,L.A.B.,Ps-.Philo

NOTE: Because of some of the features in this version, the text will best display in the latest update of BibleWorks 9. It has not been tested on earlier versions of BibleWorks (and will certainly not work on versions earlier than 8.)


This version is converted from the electronic text made available freely on the Internet Sacred Text Archive, where James’ Biblical Antiquities of Philo was scanned and edited by Bruno Hare (2004). The site states that these files are free for public domain use as long as proper attribution is retained.

Scans of the original publication of James’ translation are available via the Internet Archive:

James’ translation was republished in 1971 with an extensive prolegomenon by Louis H. Feldman, providing commentary and corrections on James’ translation and introduction. It is highly recommended that one consults Feldman’s notes when using this translation for research. Alas, it is not in public domain, so the notes cannot be fully incorporated into BW. Daniel J. Harrington produced a fresh translation of Pseudo-Philo in Charlesworth’s OTP 2:297-377. Howard Jacobson wrote A Commentary on Pseudo-Philo’s Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum (1996) and provides the Latin text, a new translation, and copious notes.

Audio Files to Narrate the OT in Hebrew

Written by jdarlack on March 30th, 2012
Today’s guest post is by Mike Tidsell. Mike lives in San Jose, California, and works as a network and security consultant. He studied Greek and Hebrew at San Jose Bible College and continued his study of Hebrew for four more years at San Jose State University. He has been using BibleWorks for about 5 years, and he wishes he had tools like this when he was in school! Thank you Mike, for making these files available to BW users! ~JMD

The audio for these files was recorded by Fr. Abraham Shmuelof. According to various online sources [here, here and here], Fr. Shmuelof was born in Jerusalem. “He would become a legendary figure in Jerusalem, journeying from being an Ultraorthodox Jew to Roman Catholicism, Trappist monk, Benedictine, returning to the Trappists and finally to serving in the Greek-Catholic Church in Galilee.” As a native Hebrew speaker, Fr. Shmuelof reads the text with a fluent modern Sephardic pronunciation (the pronunciation used in modern Israeli Hebrew), even demonstrating the slight vocal difference between the aleph and the ayin that is typically only heard in the pronunciation of a native born speaker. The text is read rather than chanted like it is often done in Jewish recordings of Scripture. There are, however, a few passages that he sings as tradition dictates (one example is the “holy, holy, holy” section of Isaiah 6).

I have found these recordings very helpful in learning how to pronounce modern Hebrew. Listening you can hear the differences between a sheva nah and a sheva nach, or between a qamats qatan and a qamats gadol, etc. I have often played these recordings while reading along in Scripture to help learn to how to pronounce the text more fluently, so when I realized that I could integrate the audio recordings into BibleWorks, I was motivated to write a program to convert these files into a structure that could be used  by BibleWorks. The files included here are formatted into a structure that easily integrates with BibleWorks.

Note: one bug I have discovered is that the chapter that is read is the one that is shown in the status bar above the text even when you right click on the text of a different chapter, so make sure the chapter displayed in the status bar is the chapter that you wanted to hear.

Installation Instructions:

There are two ways to incorporate these files into BibleWorks. One method is to pull each individual audio file from the internet when needed (this requires less disk space, but it requires that you have a good internet connection to listen to the file as needed. The other local installation option is to download the audio files to your computer.

Local Installation Option:

  1. Go to and download all of the files labeled “(zipped file)”. (You may want to use a downloading tool like the “DownThemAll!” Firefox extension.)
  2. Under the bibleworks folder (”C:\Program Files (x86)\BibleWorks 9″) create a folder called HebrewAudioBible and then extract all of the zipped folders into this directory, so that there is one folder in the directory for each book of the Old Testament, and that folder contains the MP3’s with chapter numbers for file names (e.g. “C:\Program Files (x86)\BibleWorks 9\HebrewAudioBible\Gen\1.mp3″). NOTE: It’s important to make sure that you don’t have double nested folders when you unzip the files - you DON’T want “…\Gen\Gen\1.mp3″
  3. Open the menu “Resources” in Bible works, choose “Edit external links” and then choose “Narrate WTT chapter (under the “Menu entries”). Change the path in the “parameters” section to read something like: "C:\Program Files (x86)\BibleWorks 9\HebrewAudioBible\<Book>\<Chapter>.mp3" Make sure the path reflects YOUR bibleworks installation directory.
  4. Choose the WTT version of the text and right click “Narrate WTT chapter”

Online Installation Option:

  1. Open the menu “Resources” in Bible works, choose “Edit external links” and then choose “Narrate WTT chapter (under the “Menu entries”). Change the path in the “parameters” to: "<Book>/<Chapter>.mp3"
  2. Choose the WTT version of the text and right click “Narrate WTT chapter”

New Versions - Church Fathers in Greek, Latin and English!

Written by Michael Hanel on February 2nd, 2012

After putting together the version of Eusebius’ Church History for BibleWorks, I thought I stumbled onto something good and there was a need to add more writings of the early Church Fathers* into BibleWorks. The only question was whether to add them as separate versions or put them together in one release. I decided that it would be better to start putting them together in one gigantic release. So this is the first of hopefully many updates to this version.

Out of the zip file what you have included is original language and translations of the following texts:

  • Justin Martyr: Apology 1, Apology 2 and Dialogue with Trypho
  • Clement of Alexandria: Protrepticus, What Rich Man is Saved?, and To the Newly Baptized
  • Tertullian: Apology, On Spectacles
  • Minucius Felix: Octavius
  • Eusebius: Church History
  • Basil the Great: To Young Men on Greek Literature

If that’s not enough to get you excited, I’m not sure what is!

Oh I know. It’s probably the cost. These are all free downloads for BibleWorks users. The files all work perfectly in BibleWorks 9 (make sure you have updated the latest executable files), and should work in BibleWorks 8, but I make no guarantees.

Special thanks to those who have helped me put together these files and especially to Kevin Edgecomb for sharing the work he had done on Justin’s Dialogue!


1. Unzip the files to the \databases\ subfolder in your BibleWorks folder and restart BibleWorks. The new versions will use the version IDs CF-G for the Greek version, CF-L for the Latin version, and CF-E for the English translations.

2. In order to get the book names to show up correctly you must also add any of the missing lines to your books.bna file (which is found in the BibleWorks subfolder called \init\ and can be opened with a simple text editor like Notepad)

Unless I’m mistaken the following book names come standard in BibleWorks, but if not, you would need to add them to your books.bna file:
JAp,The Apology of Justin,JAp,JAP
DJT,Dialogue of Justin with Trypho a Jew,DJT,DJT
TAp,Tertullian Apology,TAp,TAP
TSh,Tertullian The Shows,TSh,TSH
MFO,Minucius Felix The Octavius,MFO,MFO

If you’ve downloaded the Eusebius files, you should already have added the following to your books.bna file:
EH1,Ecclesiastical History-Book 1,EH-1,EH-1
EH2,Ecclesiastical History-Book 2,EH-2,EH-2
EH3,Ecclesiastical History-Book 3,EH-3,EH-3
EH4,Ecclesiastical History-Book 4,EH-4,EH-4
EX5,Ecclesiastical History-Preface Book 5,EH-5preface, EH-5preface
EH5,Ecclesiastical History-Book 5,EH-5,EH-5
EH6,Ecclesiastical History-Book 6,EH-6,EH-6
EH7,Ecclesiastical History-Book 7,EH-7,EH-7
EH8,Ecclesiastical History-Book 8,EH-8,EH-8
EH9,Ecclesiastical History-Book 9,EH-9,EH-9
EHX,Ecclesiastical History-Book 10,EH-10,EH-10

These are the new book name abbreviations and need to be added to your books.bna file:
Jaq,Justin-Apology 2,Justin-Apology 2,Apology 2
CRM,What Rich Man is Saved?,What Rich Man is saved?,Rich man
CBP,To the Newly Baptized,To the Newly Baptized,To the Newly Baptized
INC,On the Incarnation of the Word,On the Incarnation of the Word,Incarnation
BTY,To Young Men on Greek Literature,To Young Men on Greek Literature,To Young Men on Greek Literature

* I use this term rather loosely to mean Christian writers of the first few centuries.

Apostolic Fathers - Big Update

Written by Michael Hanel on January 16th, 2012

Earlier today BibleWorks posted an update to their Apostolic Fathers versions. The update consists of corrections made to the Apostolic Fathers databases (APF, APE, APL and APM) and the addition of duplicate copies of those databases with an alternate versification scheme for the book Shepherd of Hermas (APFH, APEH, APLH, APMH). Rather than dividing Shepherd into many different books according to the Vision, Mandate, Similitude divisions, it uses a continuous chapter numbering scheme and puts it all in one book. This alternate scheme is most famously known through the latest updates of the Apostolic Fathers by Michael Holmes, but is also found in other resources.

These Apostolic Fathers versions were originally developed by BibleWorks users and BibleWorks subsequently added the morphology version and first packaged them with BibleWorks 8 (or was that 7?). This made the Apostolic Fathers available in the *base* package of BibleWorks without any additional module fees or add-ons. But due to the nature of how the database was first created, there were still a lot of errors in it. So I went through and tried to clean up some of those errors, but I was limited by the nature of the text. The problem was that APF wasn’t identical to any of the Lightfoot editions that were published. Sometimes it was, sometimes it wasn’t. So in the end, I didn’t know what the errors were and what was a good reading, even if it came from a different source. So rather than trying to figure all of that out l came up with a different solution. If you get the update of the Apostolic Fathers, you’ll note what the new solution was.

Rather than trying to make the eclectic APF actually fit Lightfoot (an old text from the 19th century), I decided to go a different path and change APF to fit Kirsopp Lake’s edition of the Apostolic Fathers (Loeb Library). This way, BibleWorks would not only have a better text of the Apostolic Fathers, it would have a database that actually was tied to a print version. So with this, you not only have the original Apostolic Fathers databases, you will now also receive the LAKE-E (English version), LAKE-G (Greek text), LAKE-L (Latin text) and LAKE-M (Greek morphology) all free of charge when you buy BibleWorks 9 (or run the updater, if you already have it). Last time I price checked these databases with other Bible programs, they had an additional cost associated with them. But here you can get them at no additional cost because BibleWorks is just that awesome.

Finally, there’s one other small database that you’ll also be getting in today’s update. Although this is not of much value to me, I put it together because I know some people like to have as many texts as possible at their fingertips. This new piece is a database that includes the English translation from Lightfoot (LAF-E). This translation is rather archaic sounding and not one I would use a lot, but, nevertheless, some of you may appreciate it when you’re practicing your KJV-ese.

So, now when you go to download the latest update in BibleWorks, you’ll know what special surprises are waiting for you.


#1. Corrections made to APF databases

#2. Addition of alternate Shepherd of Hermas versification

#3. Kirsopp Lake Apostolic Fathers texts

#4. Lightfoot’s English translation

(I assume the update is only available in BibleWorks 9, but I can’t say that for sure).

BibleWorks on a Mac?

Written by Michael Hanel on January 9th, 2012

Probably the single most common complaint I hear about BibleWorks is that it’s not available on Mac natively. Currently, the best way to use BibleWorks on a Mac is to use an emulator program like Parallels which allows the user to run both Windows and OS X programs on the same screen. This certainly isn’t Mac native-programming, but it still allows Mac users an option to keep using BibleWorks.

For all this time, the BibleWorks official answer to the question of a Mac-native version of BibleWorks has been no. On the positive side, BibleWorks noted that through emulator programs, users could still use BibleWorks on Macs, but BibleWorks wasn’t actively designing their program for the emulators.

Now it seems that BibleWorks is slightly changing its course to more actively pursue running the program on Macs and Linux machines. Today, owner Michael Bushell posted this response on the BibleWorks forums:

Hi All,

Just FYI we are now formally investigating the possibility of officially spporting BibleWorks running on third party emulators on Mac and Linux. So far what we find looks promising. Re the question of this thread, BibleWorks does run under CrossOver, whch does not rquire a Windows license. Crossover is not free but it is not expensive either. It does have some problems, specifically with CHM files, but we are hopeful that we will eventually have a good, supported solution for our Mac and Linux users. I can’t give any dates. The best I can do is tell you that this is something that we are now taking seriously.

Mike Bushell

Note that his answer is not an immediate promise of at a Mac-native version of BibleWorks. But it looks as if BibleWorks has slightly softened their previous answer and is now looking to ways its program can be used on multiple formats. I’m sure there are more than a few people out there who look forward to this progress. Obviously his announcement doesn’t indicate an impending release, but is merely a signal that rather than saying no, they’re now investigating their options.

BibleWorks in the Blogosphere

Written by jdarlack on November 3rd, 2011

Gee. You’d think that I’d post to this blog more often, wouldn’t you? Michael Hanel has been the driving force behind the Unofficial BibleWorks Blog for some time, and I am quite thankful for all the work he’s done - posting his own work and highlighting the works of others (even Shakespeare).

Anyway, I’ve been poking around my feed reader, and came across a few interesting blog posts on BW.

New Version - Complete Works of Shakespeare

Written by Michael Hanel on November 1st, 2011

Due to the release of the movie Anonymous, people have been talking around their water-coolers about the speculation whether William Shakespeare is really the author of the works that bear his name. Obviously this isn’t one of those rigorously researched movies that aims to the tell the truth. Instead it joins the legion of movies that play on our old-fashioned love of the conspiracy theory. But on the plus side, perhaps it will inspire renewed interest in the works of the long-dead bard.

If that’s something that appeals to you, or maybe you’ve always wanted to have an index of Shakespeare’s works so you can look up words, phrases or lines, then you’re in for a treat. BibleWorks user Bob Venem has put together William Shakespeare’s complete works into a BibleWorks version. Granted it’s not Biblical studies or anything like that, but it does make good use of the BibleWorks engine for anyone out there who’s interested in digging deeper into Shakespeare’s stuff. Enjoy!


1. Unzip the files to the \databases\ subfolder in your BibleWorks folder and restart BibleWorks. The new versions will use the version IDs SHKS1 and SHKS2 (it was so big it had to be divided into multiple versions)

2. In order to get the book names to show up correctly you must also add the following lines to the file books.bna (found in the BibleWorks subfolder called \init\)

Son,The Sonnets,The Sonnets,The Sonnets
ALC,A Lover’s Complaint,A Lover’s Complaint,A Lover’s Complaint
AWT,All’s Well That Ends Well,All’s Well That Ends Well,All’s Well That Ends Well
AAC,The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra,The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra,The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra
AYL,As You Like It,As You Like It,As You Like It
COE,The Comedy of Errors,The Comedy of Errors,The Comedy of Errors
TOC,The Tragedy of Coriolanus,The Tragedy of Coriolanus,The Tragedy of Coriolanus
HAM,The Tragedy of Hamlet,The Tragedy of Hamlet,The Tragedy of Hamlet
H41,The First Part of King Henry the Fourth,The First Part of King Henry the Fourth,The First Part of King Henry the Fourth
H42,The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth,The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth,The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth
KH5,The King of King Henry the Fifth,The King of King Henry the Fifth,The King of King Henry the Fifth
H61,The First Part of King Henry the Sixth,The First Part of King Henry the Sixth,The First Part of King Henry the Sixth
H62,The Second Part of King Henry the Sixth,The Second Part of King Henry the Sixth,The Second Part of King Henry the Sixth
H63,The Third Part of King Henry the Sixth,The Third Part of King Henry the Sixth,The Third Part of King Henry the Sixth
KH8,King Henry the Eighth,King Henry the Eighth,King Henry the Eighth
KJN,King John,King John,King John
JUC,The Tragedy of Julius Caesar,The Tragedy of Julius Caesar,The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
KLR,The Tragedy of King Lear,The Tragedy of King Lear,The Tragedy of King Lear
LLL,Love’s Labour’s Lost,Love’s Labour’s Lost,Love’s Labour’s Lost
MAC,The Tragedy of Macbeth,The Tragedy of Macbeth,The Tragedy of Macbeth
MFM,Measure for Measure,Measure for Measure,Measure for Measure
MOV,The Merchant of Venice,The Merchant of Venice,The Merchant of Venice
MWW,The Merry Wives of Windsor,The Merry Wives of Windsor,The Merry Wives of Windsor
MND,A Midsummer Night’s Dream,A Midsummer Night’s Dream,A Midsummer Night’s Dream
ADO,Much Ado About Nothing,Much Ado About Nothing,Much Ado About Nothing
OTH,The Tragedy of Othello,The Tragedy of Othello,The Tragedy of Othello
KR2,King Richard the Second,King Richard the Second,King Richard the Second
KR3,King Richard the Third,King Richard the Third,King Richard the Third
RAJ,The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet,The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet,The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet
TOS,The Taming of the Shrew,The Taming of the Shrew,The Taming of the Shrew
TPS,The Tempest,The Tempest,The Tempest
TOA,The Life of Timon of Athens,The Life of Timon of Athens,The Life of Timon of Athens
TIA,The Tragedy of Titus Andronicus,The Tragedy of Titus Andronicus,The Tragedy of Titus Andronicus
TAC,The History of Troilus and Cressida,The History of Troilus and Cressida,The History of Troilus and Cressida
TWN,Twelfth Night,Twelfth Night,Twelfth Night
TGV,The Two Gentlemen of Verona,The Two Gentlemen of Verona,The Two Gentlemen of Verona
WIT,The Winter’s Tale,The Winter’s Tale,The Winter’s Tale

3. Right click the .bna file and use the Open With command with a text editor (like Notepad) to paste in the text above at the end of the file.

4. Save the file and re-start BibleWorks.