A Review Of MacBible

A Review Of MacBible Software for Bible study and research on the Apple Macintosh Version 2.0, copyright 1990, Zondervan Electronic Publishing Reviewed by Phil DePriest

I have been searching for about a year for a good Bible search program for my Mac that I could afford, both in initial cost and in hard drive space. So, when I opened my last copy of MacWarehouse, and saw a new product from Zondervan called MacBible, I made one of those “impulse” decisions and ordered it, by phone, yes you can use my Mastercard, and yes, please send it overnight!

The first attraction to MacBible is that it lists for $99.95 ($59 from MacWarehouse) for either the KJV or NIV versions (I did receive the later flyer from Zondervan offering MacBible for $39.93 as an inventory reduction, but only in the NIV, and I use KJV). There is also a Greek New Testament, corrected-I don’t know what they corrected ($174.95, $99 from MacWarehouse) and a Hebrew Old Testament ($174.95, not listed in MacWarehouse). The second attraction is that the program and KJV, NIV text requires only 2.8 meg. of hard disk space (the book says 2.6, but it takes 2.8 on mine), the Greek NT uses “just over 1 meg.”,
and the Hebrew requires 4.5 meg. For a long time I had been trying to figure how a guy with a Plus, 1 meg of memory, and a 20 Meg LaCie could run HyperBible ($199 list, 9.5, count em, 9.5 meg. on the hard drive). “But Honey, I really do need a bigger drive, honest, I mean, 20 meg just gets you started, and . . .”

Basic features of the program are the search of scripture by word and phrase, displaying a verse or verses by asking it to show me Acts 2:1-2:4, or just ask it for the number of times a word occurs in the Bible (God is in 3875 verses).The program operates just as you would expect a Mac-based program to, and you can be looking up Scripture electronically in a matter of minutes. It really is the ultimate concordance, right down to giving you the number of times “prayer” occurs in any one book of the Bible. All of our favorite shortcut commands are there, Command C for copy, etc., and the only one I think they really messed up is the shortcut for adding all of the verses in a window to a “verse file.” That is Command 0 (as in the number). I use this one a lot, and it requires both hands. The other versefile shortcuts involve the numbers 1 through 5. It may look good starting at zero in the pull down menu, but it irritates me every time I use it. The program loads up in about 15 seconds, a fact I would not usually think important, except that I have to use my word processor to add any comments (ever have a great thought you wanted to bring out in conjunction with a scripture?), and that process takes 45 seconds in each direction. You can add a description to a versefile, and then copy all text via clipboard to your word processor, but it’s just not the same. I like my comments in italics to keep me straight when preaching, and MacBible will not do that. I know, I know,
multifinder will solve a lot of this, but I don’t have the memory yet. “But honest, Honey, 1 meg is so small, and . . . .”

Good points: The search is really fast. Before church the other night, I searched for and printed 12 verses for that service, all in about 5 min. Double clicking on a verse that has been found will give you that verse in context, and the range of the context is user definable.

Not so good points: It is a concordance. Nothing more. This probably applies to all such programs, but I would like to search for, say, “emotions.” The ideal program would allow me to define emotions, give words to search for, ie. laughter, tears, etc., or, in other words, do a subject search (like my Thompson Chain), place a curser on a verse, open up my favorite commentary on that verse (and it’s context), copy, paste and delete at will to a word processor-type section, save that verse (and comments to a sub-section like the comments attached to a cell in a spreadsheet) to a verse directory by my personal subject index-in other words, let me get rid of my file cabinets! Then, let me index and search my encyclopedia, history’s, lexicons, Bible dictionary that I have stored on CD ROM, . . . oh well.

Overall, it works as advertised, fast. The features are basic, but functional. I will continue to use it, and I will get multifinder to make the usage faster. And, it was only $59.