Friday, June 15, 2018

Accordance adding features to attract BibleWorks users

Accordance has been aggressive in adding features to their program to attract BibleWorks users and make the transition easier. As I noted in an earlier post, they have both a basic and advanced crossover option. They also have a crossgrade policy that allows someone to obtain some resources at a discounted price if they have already purchased them in another program.

Accordance has indeed made it possible to import BibleWorks notes, and I can say that it works quite well. They have also added a "Live Click" feature that reproduces some of the natural functions of BibleWorks in displaying a verse in all versions (or a customized list of versions), displaying all entries for a word in all applicable lexicons, and generating word usage information. Check out this short video for a demonstration of how these look and work in Accordance.

Monday, June 11, 2018

YouVersion now offers NRSV

I've previously reviewed YouVersion as one of the best Bible apps, but they recently announced that they have added the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) to their long list of available English Bible translations. You can read it for free, and it's even downloadable for offline access. Get the app available in a variety of formats (iOS, Android, Voice [!], and online) HERE.

BibleWorks closing down... What should you do?

With the recent announcement that BibleWorks will cease operation on June 15, 2018, a number of my students for whom BibleWorks was our required Bible software program for many years have asked me what to do. There has also been considerable speculation on both the Accordance and Logos forums about options and transition possibilities.

I'll first say that I am counting on BibleWorks running for quite a few more years. Even with upgrades to Windows down the line, there has usually been a legacy program option. (I still can run Win95 programs on Win10!) BW had gotten to a stable release running in VM in Mac, but I'm less confident about its future in the Mac world.

If you are thinking about making a transition, both Accordance and Logos will be happy to help, and both are working on ways to import any notes you've written in BibleWorks into their own programs. What should you do?

As for Accordance, compared to BW, it’s easier to use, less hassle to install on a Mac, and cheaper (for the program/arrangement I got) compared to Logos. BW still has so many more resources in it, and it’s still my preferred way for doing many searches I typically do and conducting a number of other tasks. (For example, neither Accordance nor Logos can generate a listing of passages that I can use in exercises like this one that is just a couple clicks in BW.) 

That said, except for a few odd omissions, Logos is the more advanced program. The difference is cost. What I can get in Accordance for $200 for my students would cost closer to $600 in Logos. (If I tried to match all the resources one got in the standard library with BibleWorks, it would cost many hundreds of dollars more in either Accordance or Logos.) Logos has some really excellent features that make great use of their reverse interlinears, and they have a number of other tools and (interactive) guides that are extremely handy. I.e., you do get what you pay for with either, so it's more a matter of deciding what you really need and can afford. I've ended up going with the Accordance Greek and Hebrew Discoverer as a good entry point. It's a reasonable price for our students with a purchase agreement discount.

But what should current BibleWorks owners do? As I mentioned above, your first option is to stay with BibleWorks. As BW announced,

If you have a valid license for BibleWorks 10 you can continue to use the program as usual. We will, Lord willing, continue to provide compatibility fixes for BibleWorks 10 well into the future. This will ensure that you can continue to use the program for the long term. Compatibility updates will be provided through the normal updater mechanism within the program.

If you want to start transitioning, Accordance offers some crossover options. Their $149 basic package gets you all the basic stuff EXCEPT that they don’t include NA28 or UBS5 Greek texts. That will cost you an extra $60. (I’ve asked them to reconsider that…) At that point, you’re probably better off paying the extra $189 to get the Advance crossover. But now at $340, you might consider looking at their Greek and Hebrew Discoverer package which occasionally is offered on sale for up to 40% off the listed $399 price. If you don’t need Philo, Josephus, or the Ante-, Post- and -Nicene Fathers, then consider this package and adding whatever other English versions you want.

Logos has not officially announced prices, but you can now call to obtain a crossgrade or upgrade for BibleWorks. You can see what resources they offer, but the price is not posted and might vary based on their dynamic pricing policy. They have also posted a helpful video, "How to Use Logos Like a BibleWorks Pro."

I suspect that with BibleWorks closing, it provides better long-term prospects for Accordance and Logos. One always runs a risk with any digital technology, but even books can be lost, burned, or flooded. Only the Word of God endures forever!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Vatican Library makes 15,000 manuscripts available online for free

It was just announced on 30 May 2018: "Vatican Library makes 15,000 manuscripts available online for free" - Read more about the availability HERE. According to that announcement:
Once the tedious process of scanning all the individual pages of each manuscript is complete, the works are compiled and uploaded to their dedicated DigiVatLib website, where they can be viewed by the public. Currently they have about 15,000 of their collection uploaded and ready to view. If they keep pace at 3,000 uploads per year, they should have the whole library of 80,000 manuscripts scanned by 2041.
You can check out what is available at the DigiVatLab site now. Browse or search to see what they have. Here's what Codex Vaticanus (= Bibl. Vat., Vat. gr. 1209) looks like. The view is of Genesis 1.

Another useful resource!
HT: Frances R. Lyons III on FB