One of my main goals for this site when I launched it last year was to provide assessments and comparisons of some of the Bible Study programs on the market – assessments based on what the various programs allow users to do, and how well they support those things, rather than focusing on the books available in different libraries.
I haven’t gotten very far to date, having started and stopped several times, and with course work looming on the horizon for me, my schedule is not going to be getting any looser. Given that, it seems like it’s now or never to get it going. I’ve decided to take an approach of publishing my results incrementally on the blog as I go through the process. I’m hoping this approach will provide me a little extra incentive to get through the job.
I’ll begin by focusing on the four commercial programs I currently have installed: WORDsearch, Logos, QuickVerse, and Pradis. Later on, I may add some or all of the other commercial, library-oriented programs to the mix (Accordance, PC Study Bible, PocketBible for Windows), but only if I can get evaluation copies – as I’m satisfied with the programs I’ve already made investments in, and don’t see the value in spending more money just to provide a public review of the other products.
I also hope to be able to provide evaluations of the programs I call text-oriented (BibleWorks, Bibloi, GRAMCORD), but this is also unlikely unless I can manage to get eval copies. I’m probably more likely to invest in one of these as a licensed study platform after evaluation, but that’s neither here nor there at this juncture.
As for the cohort of free programs out there, I may provide some comparative analysis later on, but it is not a priority – seeing that people can easily download and evaluate each one themselves. It would be nice if someone did the work of comparing them, and publishing the results, I’m just not sure that person will be me.
At least for starters, my plan is to evaluate each of the four programs more or less side-by-side, following the outline of evaluation criteria I published here. I’ll publish posts for each application’s evaluation at each stage of the eval process, beginning with the Core program functions – specifically: searching.