Computer Programs for Bible Study

Part I- Introduction
Part II- Bible Programs for PCs
Part IIa - Bible Programs in OTHER Languages for PCs
Part III- Bible Programs for MACs & Linux
Part IV- Links to Bible Software Downloads
Part V- Visitor Rick's Review of Online Bible & e-Sword
Part VI- Visitor David's Review of Wordsearch Bible Program
Part VII - Visitor David R's suggestion

Part I- Introduction

What Does a Bible Program Give You?

  • LOTS of Bible translations.
  • Topical Indexes, so you can readily find all the Bible verses that deal with (for example) "salvation."
  • Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias, so you can quickly look up complicated words like "propitiation."
  • Bible Commentaries, so you can read explanations of those hard-to-understand verses.
  • Maps and (in some cases) pictures
  • And more -- most Bible programs include around 35 to 50 books. In fact, it would cost you several hundred dollars to buy all the individual books that you get in a Bible program.

How Does a Bible Program Work?

Five really useful capabilities that Bible programs provide are: (1) Multiple windows, (2) Linking, (3) Click-on Links, (4) Searches, (5) Lexicons

  • Multiple windows - Let's say you have opened 4 windows. In window #1 you put your favorite Bible translation. In #2 you put a Bible commentary. In #3 you put a cross-reference list, such as Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. In #4 you put a Bible dictionary. Thus, you can read any or all of these resources on one screen of your computer.
  • Linking -- If you jump to (say) John 3.16 in window #1, all the other windows will jump right along with you, to that same verse. Thus, at any given time, you will have your Bible, commentary, and cross-references all working together, no matter where you go in your Bible.
  • Click-on Links -- If you come across a word that you don't understand, click on it and poof! -- the dictionary in window 4 displays the definition. If you click on a cross-reference in window 3 then poof! -- a new window opens up so you can read that cross-reference verse.
  • Search capability enables you quickly to find any word or phrase in any of the Bibles and reference books that the Bible program provides.
  • Lexicons will quickly show you the Greek or Hebrew word that underlies a word in your Bible translation, as well as a definition of that word.

Part II- Bible Programs for PCs

10 Programs for PCs
There are LOTS of Bible programs out there for PCs that are running on the Windows OS. The following are 10 programs that Biblebell has used extensively...

  • eSword
  • Power Bible
  • Sword Searcher
  • New Bible Library
  • Sword Project
  • OnLine Bible
  • Bible Explorer
  • QuickVerse
  • PC Study Bible
  • Ages Digital Library


  • Free - eSword, Sword Project, OnLine Bible, Bible Explorer 4
  • Low priced - Power Bible, New Bible Library, Sword Searcher
  • Expensive - Bible Explorer, QuickVerse, PC Study Bible [NOTE - these programs all offer stripped-down versions at "low prices." However, their CDs include many "locked" items that cost a lot before you can actually use them.]

Features, stability, and Ease of Use

  • Overall Best - eSword, Power Bible
  • Runner-up - Sword Searcher is a beautifully designed program with a powerful search capability. However, it is short on Bible versions. Moreover, it doesn't yet offer a Bible version that is both contemporary and conservative.
  • Good - New Bible Library, Bible Explorer, OnLine Bible
  • Fair - QuickVerse
  • Difficult/unfriendly/cluttered interface - PC Study Bible
  • No significant features - Ages Library packages use the Acrobat reader, and are basically just a set of publications for reading and searching. Unlike the Bible research programs listed above, Ages Library's publications do not link or interrelate with one another. On their website and in their email, their use of the term "free offers" can sometimes be... um... very confusing.
  • Occasional instability - Sword Project's Install Manager

Biblebell's Recommendations for users of PCs

  • For Bible students - eSword OR Power Bible
  • For writers, teachers and pastors - eSword AND Power Bible [You need both!]
  • Avoid - PC Study Bible, Ages Library

Click HERE for links to download sites for Bible software.

Click HERE to read a visitor's insightful comments as to why he *disagrees* with Biblebell's recommendations. Be sure to read his insightful review, further down on this page.

Part IIa- Bible Programs in OTHER Languages for PCs

The term "Bible programs in OTHER languages" means that the Bible program's menus, help files, and such, are in a language other than English.

I know of only one source of foreign language Bible programs in OTHER languages. That source is the Online Bible site at
THIS web page.

If you know of any additional source, please
send me and eMail.

Part III- Bible Programs for the MAC

I make it a practice never to personally recommend a program unless I myself have used it extensively.

  • Biblebell doesn't own or use a MAC computer.
  • Accordingly, I will merely provide links to the Bible programs that run on MACs, and make no comments.
  • You can add to this list of MAC Bible programs. You can also submit review comments. To do so, just send me an eMail. PLEASE!

3 Programs for MACs

  • OnLine Bible - This is a FREE program which provides LOTS of available Bible translations, commentaries, and other excellent resources. One of the very best *Deals* anywhere.
  • Accordance - They offer a wide range of Bible software packages. Prices range from around $39 for small assortments, all the way up to [gulp] $1699 for a fully unlocked scholar's collection.
  • iBible - Price is only $15. I surfed the program's website for a while. As far as I could tell, the program includes one or more Bible translations plus Strong's Lexicon. Period. I am NOT saying that there isn't more stuff included with this program. All I'm saying is that I couldn't find it listed.
Our thanks and aloha go out to Tim Mischuk of Canada, who put us on the trail of the Accordance and iBible resources for MAC users.

If you are a MAC user and want to review or add to the list of Bible programs for MACs, PLEASE do so.
Just send me an email with your comments and I will add the appropriate information to this page.

Part IV- Links to Bible Software

Bible Programs for PCs

e-Sword | PowerBible | SwordProject | OnLineBible

SwordSearcher | Wordsearch | Bible Explorer 4

Bible Programs for MACs

OnLineBible for MAC | Accordance | iBible

Part V
Visitor Rick's Review of OnLine Bible and e-Sword

Rick L. writes - I have both e-Sword and the OLB [OnLine Bible]. I totally disagree with your assessment of the two. I have used both extensively.

e-Sword is the best looking and best laid-out Bible software I have seen, but the OLB is by far the best Bible software to USE for study. Why? Because the OLB is the most versatile Bible I have seen. It isn't even close. Examples...

  • In e-Sword you have to have a 14 meg add-on Bible with Strong's Concordance. With OLB you do not.
  • All you have to do in OLB is right-click and a whole bevy of options pops up. These OLB options include Strong's, footnotes, variants, etc. e-Sword doesn't have nearly the options that OLB has.
  • A HUGE HUGE problem that e-Sword has is that it can't display more than 11 or 12 verses of Scripture at a time in its pop-up windows. Why? Because there is no scroll function. Therefore, many pop-up windows with Scripture show up incomplete!! Also, the information that pops up in dictionary or commentary sections with more than 12 verses is not highlighted -- for the very good reason that e-Sword can't show the whole section! For example, e-Sword cannot display the full text of Genesis 1:1-14.
  • With OLB, once a window pops up you can click in it!! You can't do that with e-Sword. Never! Also, with the pop up windows in OLB you can click endlessly in those windows, opening up as many pop up windows as you need to study as deeply as you need. That is such a HUGE HUGE advantage over e-Sword or ANY other Bible program out there.
  • The search function in OLB is very very quick. e-Sword is slow compared to OLB. Very slow.
  • e-Sword also takes up a lot of disk space. OLB does not. I have over 135 add-ons for the OLB and those, along with the program itself, take up about 210 megs. I shudder to think what 135 add-ons would take up with e-Sword.

So -- why do I keep e-Sword on my PC? It looks -- nice. Also, it has a built-in word processor.

Which one do I use for study? OLB 99% of the time.

e-Sword is a 5 star download, but it is a distant second compared to OLB. I am not alone in this assessment.

Part VI
Visitor David's Review of Wordsearch Bible Study Program

David writes - For the past 5 years I have been using Wordsearch which is a multiple window programme which includes many Bible versions and other add-ons which are all on the CDs but unlockable via a telephone call.

It is not a cheap programme but I consider it very good value because of its ease of use and its breadth of coverage given the add-ons.It links easily to my wordprocessor (Microsoft Word) and copying and pasting is very easy including the maps, etc.

I understand that the newer version of the programme has CROSS as its inter programme link. My version has STEP compatibility but I can upgrade my version for less than £50GBP (when I can afford to do so).

Trust your site users will find this information useful and I welcome any negative comments if more experienced computer user have any.



Bellgamin sez: THIS is a link to Wordsearch's website.

Part VII
Visitor David R's Suggestion

David R writes - Just thought I would make a suggestion for those MAC users out there. This isn't a program, but it is a very thorough and useful site that I used to use until I got e-sword >> BlueletterBible

God Bless you all,



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