November 13, 2006

Today I am taking a detour from the normal topic to talk about my favorite Bible study software.

e-Sword is a Windows-based Bible study application created by Rick Meyers. Rick’s slogan for e-Sword software is:

“Freely you have received, freely give” — Matt 10:8

Just as the slogan suggests, Rick gives e-Sword away for free (but donations are gratefully accepted).

e-Sword is one feature-packed application. In my opinion, this tool competes well with packages costing hundreds of dollars. Everything I need for convenient Bible study is available in a very well-conceived interface. I don’t find myself trying to figure out how to make the tool do what I want. Instead my mind is free to think about the subject I am studying, facilitated by the tool. It just feels right.

Many translations, commentaries, dictionaries, and other modules can be downloaded directly from the e-Sword web site. I count 27 different English translations, 17 different commentaries, 14 different dictionaries, and a large number of additional modules ranging from maps to topical studies. If you prefer a language other than English, you can choose from 41 different non-English language Bibles, ranging from Afrikaans to Welsh.

There are also a wide variety of e-Sword modules available from third parties. The best index I have found to the available modules is found (pdf) in Jonathon Blake’s eSnips folder. New modules are being developed with regularity by an active community of e-Sword users. I was particularly pleased recently to discover the McGarvey / Pendleton commentaries available for e-Sword, courtesy of the Executable Preacher blog.

Since I primarily run Linux on my computers, I have had a few hurdles to clear in order to use e-Sword on those machines. In the past I have had good success with a product I bought called Win4Lin which enables you to install Windows in a virtual machine under Linux. (I used the Windows 98 version). However, with recent versions of the Wine Windows API implementation under Linux (currently using Wine 0.9.19), I have had success running e-Sword directly under Linux with just a few caveats.

Finally, e-Sword has a little brother, e-Sword for Pocket PC, also produced by Rick Meyers and distributed for free. That is now my primary Bible when I am away from my computer.

If you have not yet tried e-Sword, I highly recommend that you give it a whirl. And I’d like to encourage those who find it useful to make a donation to Rick in gratitude for his hard work.

One comment

  1. Just added the McGarvey commentaries to my e-Sword. Thanks for the link to this module.

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