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Using Bible Works 8 with a Macintosh Computer

G. I. Williamson

It was five years ago that I was finally able to use BibleWorks on my Macintosh computer. This was possible because of a software program called Virtual PC originated by the Connectix Corporation. As I wrote in a review at the time: "I was not disappointed. Within a few hours I was experiencing—and enjoying—the riches of this amazing software just as many of you non-Mac users do." That was then. Now there are at least three excellent programs that facilitate the use of BW-8 on a Macintosh computer even more perfectly than Virtual PC did. And I have tried three of the newer ones. Parallels and VMware Fusion are the best known. But there is also a third called VirtualBox from Sun Microsystems, and while it is not as fully developed as the other two are it certainly does work, and it is free.

With BibleWorks 8 [BW-8] running on either Parallels or VM Fusion the union is now virtually seamless. And what a great program BW-8 is! I said, of Bible Works 6, "It will take time to learn how to make use of the incredible riches of this program. And I've already come to the conclusion that there are things one can do with this program that are—and may remain—beyond me." Well, that is doubly true of BW-8. It just keeps increasing in what it puts at your fingertips. Indeed, there is so much provided in this software program that it might tend to overwhelm an ordinary pastor. Recognizing this possibility BW-6 had a three-level approach to learning to use it. I frankly wonder if it might not be a good idea (at least for psychological reasons) to restore this feature. However, there are excellent video instruction lessons and if you make good use of them, you will soon overcome your inferiority feelings. And the bottom line is that you have awesome resources in this program that will simply amaze you.

If you are like me and feel somewhat intimidated by all the scholarly material included in BW-8, you may be thinking this is just too far above your head to ever feel comfortable with it. But I want to assure you that, whatever your level of scholarly attainment, this is the program for you. Let me give you a humble example. I was counseling someone recently and remembered how the Psalmist ministered to his own soul's distress by repeatedly asking himself a vital question: "Why are you cast down, O my soul?" (Ps. 42:5, 11; 43:5). I wanted to check all the other "Whys" in the Old Testament for comparison. I quickly consulted another computer Bible program and it came up with only a few. I then decided to look at Young's Analytical Concordance instead. Again I was disappointed. But then I went to the BibleWorks program running on my iMac, and immediately got a listing of all of them as they appear in the NKJV. Because of frequent experiences like this, I am more convinced than ever that this superb program simply has no equal even for the ordinary pastor like me. And it is great that it now works so well on a Macintosh computer that a user will hardly even think of it as a Mac-alien program running (as it is) on a Microsoft Windows [BootCamp] partition.

I will not repeat what is said in the usual BibleWorks advertisements except to say that the sheer number and quality of resources (languages, commentaries, Bible versions, encyclopedias, etc.) have no equal for the same money. My only negative comment is regret for the loss of A. T. Robertson's notes (but for this one loss there have been many gains—Bagsters well-known Daily Light is just one of them). I've seen nothing to equal BW-8 and therefore highly recommend it.[1]


[1] Those interested in finding out more about BW-8 may visit their website.

G. I. Williamson, a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, is now retired but still active in part-time ministerial work in the Presbytery of the Dakotas of the OPC and Cornerstone United Reformed Church in Sanborn, Iowa. Mr. Williamson was the first editor of Ordained Servant (1992-2005). Ordained Servant, March 2009.

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