Bible Software Shootout

I could not be at the SBL Bible Software Shootout session between Logos, SESB, BibleWorks, Accordance and Olive Tree but I did follow some of the SBLtweets. So I’m putting a roundup of the tweets from that session here. If you were there and have anything to add, please leave a comment, thanks!

UPDATE (for a full summary of the session go to the blog This Lamp):

Each presenter was challenged to use their respective software packages to solve the following tasks:

1. Give the parsing of a word and its meaning from a standard source.
2. Show all the occurrences of a word in the NT and LXX and show the Hebrew word which corresponds withe the Greek in the LXX (if there is a correspondence).
3. Find all the occurrences of οἰ δὲ in Matthew’s gospel followed by a finite verb within the clause.
4. I want to study a part of speech, e. g., demonstrative pronouns or interjections. How do I get all of the lemmas for that part of speech, get all the occurrences of those lemmas, and the results organized in such a way that I could write an article/monograph on that part of speech from the data?
5. I want to study the inflections of the Hebrew middle weak verb, and I want to see what the range of possible variations are for each of the conjugations (perfect, imperative, etc.) person, number, gender, stem. This means I need to find all the middle weak verbs, find all their occurrences, and organize them in such a way that the variation of their inflections are immediately apparent. The goal of the data organization would be to allow me to write an article about the variations of the Hebrew middle weak verb.

Many thanks to the following folks for tweeting the session: @MaryShore, @BobPritchett, @bradleygr. Remember, these Tweets are in reverse order, so the earlier tweets start below and the last one is on top.

@MaryShore: @OliveTreeBible has lexical info? Can’t get it to work on my version but it looks sweet in presentation.

@MaryShore: One cool tip re. @OliveTreeBible. Easy copy and paste into email.

@OliveTreeBible advanced searches on handheld are cool but I can’t imagine needing it this side of a shipwreck w/o laptop.

@MaryShore: @OliveTreeBible has lexical info? Can’t get it to work on my version but it looks sweet in presentation.

@BobPritchett: Olivetree is taking on the five problems using just an iPhone. Impressive!

@BobPritchett: I’m feeling very good about reducing the buttons and dialogs in @Logos 4. It’s hard to simplify UI while keeping power, but doable.

I’m feeling very good about reducing the buttons and dialogs in @Logos 4. It’s hard to simplify UI while keeping power, but doable.

@MaryShore: BW on too many buttons: “if we take them away, you won’t know power tools.” I think I’ll build students a simple workspace.

Accordance just named BibleWorks’ motto (focus on the text) as a requirement for good Bible software. 🙂

@BobPritchett: Accordance making the point that you need “research grade” texts to write a scholarly article. Calling out software w/ “featuritus.”

@BobPritchett: BibleWorks answered the analysis questions by using word lists in an interesting way. Now it’s Accordance.

@MaryShore: BibleWorks presenter using power methods and going too fast. I use BW daily & am experiencing presentation as overwhelming.

@MaryShore: BibleWorks up now. My question, from @ericbarreto, “Why so many buttons?”

@BobPritchett: BibleWorks presenting now; interested to see how they address the shootout problems.

@MaryShore: SESB expert using Hebrew examples. I can’t quite keep up.

@BobPritchett: Just presented @Logos 4 at #sbl09 Bible software “shootout.” Was worried about time and so went fast enough to finish early!

@MarySHore: Next presentation is Stuttgart Electronic Study Bible. Searchable critical apparati.

@bradleygr: BS now presenting SESB (based on LDLS3) straight after Bob’s Logos 4 demo.

@MaryShore: Logos: “We have never had anyone pay twice for a book since 1995.” So you won’t lose library in upgrade.

@MaryShore: 10,000 books in Logos library right now. Will sync across PC, Mac, iPhone. But who could afford all that?

@MaryShore: Five Bibles “reverse-interlinearized” so you don’t need to know Grrek or Hebrew to search on the terms. Logos

@bradleygr: Datasheet currently being demoed at #sbl09 No standing ovation, sadly.

@MaryShore: Logos: Highlight in LXX and corresponding BHS is “sympathetically highlighted.”

@bradleygr: BWS report answers both questions 1 (morph, parsing) and 2 (LXX usage)

@MaryShore: iPhone compatibility with Logos 4. Free app

Computer-assisted reseach group gave Five problems gave to Software vendors and show us how you solve them. Logos 4 up first.

@bradleygr: Bob about to present Logos at #sbl09

@MaryShore: Ready to tweet Bible software shootout at #SBL09. We’re in Rhythms 3 ballroom, 2nd floor, Sheraton.

@bradleygr: About to go to the software “shootout” at #sbl09

As many of you know, I’m an Accordance user and I love the program. I’m also using Olive Tree software on my iPhone (and will write more about that soon!). I’ve just loaded Parallels and Windows 7 on my MacBook Pro, so I’ve also got Logos running the SESB package. Only thing missing from this Shootout lineup on my laptop is BibleWorks. I may try my own comparative test of a few “challenges” that line up with the kind of work I am currently doing.

2 thoughts on “Bible Software Shootout

  1. John Murphy

    I confess to using Accordance for my devotions (great notes system). Logos 4 (mainly) for my in depth study. And OliveTree for church/on the go stuff. OliveTree is by far the best for handheld (iPhone for me). I run Logos4 via VMWare 3 Fusion on my Macbook Pro (which I got brand new for under $200, but that’s another story). I obviously have more money than sense…

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