We tried out three programs. The first was QuickVerse 2.0 (produced by Parsons Technology of Hiawatha, Iowa), with the KJV and optional Greek and Hebrew transliterations; it is now available in version 4.0. QuickVerse is in English with Greek nouns and verbs transliterated in a lemma (a dictionary reference tagged to each word so that you can look it up in any grammatical form, even if you don’t know how the verb is conjugated or the noun is declined).

The second was Bible Windows 5.0, a Windows-based CD-ROM program by Silver Mountain Software of Cedar Hill, Texas. It contains full concordances for Hebrew, Greek and Latin, as well as English and several modern languages, bundled with many grammatical tools, including interlinear translations with grammatical lemmas attached to each word so that one can search for specific tenses or cases as well as different forms of the same noun and verb. Bible Windows also allows you to copy a verse easily into a word-processing document.

The third program was Logos 5.1, another Windows-based program very similar to Bible Windows, which tags the Greek, Latin and Hebrew texts with lemmas, allowing a wide range of interlinear translations, bundled with various lexica and other grammatical tools. Logos 5.1 is currently the most comprehensive program of Bible aids, with three possible disks containing a virtual library of supplementary information, including the church fathers, Philo and Josephus, scholarly works, maps and a plethora of devotional works, all available for “unlocking” at extra cost. On the other hand, Bible Windows is more specifically geared to scholars and is rapidly catching up in terms of the number of additional works available.

All three programs are very easy to use, with understandable layouts, on-screen help and handy manuals for more complicated problems. They all have helpful telephone support as well. Bible Windows and Logos now come in CD-ROM form, which allows you to access vast quantities of data without filling up your hard disk (the trade-off, of course, is that it takes a little longer to access the data).

Logos especially, but also Bible Windows, is now selling lots of additional texts and reference works with their basic concordance program. I have used their collections of the writings of the church fathers, Philo and Josephus (all in English). Users of Bible Windows and the extremely powerful word-processing program Nota Bene (“Note Well”) can access the TLG (Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, which contains most of ancient Greek literature, including Philo, Josephus and most of the church fathers in the original Greek) and the CCAT Biblical texts, available through the Packard Humanities Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, which include some of the major variants of the Biblical texts as well as some targums and other materials.

We also tried several CD-ROMs from the Judaic Classics Library, available from Davka Corporation, in Chicago, and the Responsa Project at Bar-Ilan University, in Israel. The two organizations have put all significant early rabbinic literature (and some important later classics) in Hebrew on CD-ROM (Davka also provides English from the Soncino translation of the Talmud). Gene and I occasionally looked at the rabbinic “take” on various Hebrew Bible passages, but I will not mention any of that work because it is not strictly related to the scholarly issues here. Suffice it to say that with these programs it is very easy to look up what the rabbis had to say about any Bible verse.

All these systems have increased both scholarly and pastoral abilities enormously. Some are more convenient for one kind of search than others: Bible Windows made searching through a single book very easy, while Logos has a handy ability to save passages in a file and then print them in any version desired. They all do the basic jobs well, but scholars should be warned to check their results against a hard-copy concordance because mistakes sometimes creep into the electronic texts. Fuller reviews can be found in several places on the Internet.3