QUICK VERSE 2.0
By: David Krueger
What a long way we have come in just four or five years! It has only been half a decade ago when most computer-aided Bible software was little more than word processing programs using the Scriptures as data
text. To accomplish scripture searches you simply used the word search capability of the word processor. Yes sir, what a long way we have come. A chorus I learned as a new Christian goes, “If it keeps getting
better and better O’ Lord, I don’t know what I’m gonna do!” That’s how I feel about many of the latest versions of computer-aided Bible programs. As computer-aided Bible software continues to get better and
better, believers should rejoice over a technology that has revolutionized Bible study and sermon preparation for today’s busy minister. Parsons Technology has now introduced what may well be a new
generation of Bible software into an already crowded field. They have just upped the ante in the competitive market of computer-aided Bible programs by introducing their mouse-driven version 2.0 of QuickVerse. Frankly, it’s about time! The next major achievement needs to be Bible software which takes advantage of MicroSoft’s new Windows 3.0. Take the hint software developers! When I reviewed the original release of QuickVerse in the November 1989 issue of Christian Computing Magazine, I wrote:
“I must admit that I was skeptical of the program when first asked to review it for Christian Computing Magazine’s readers. For $49 I thought, `This can’t be much of a program!’ I was wrong, QuickVerse
lives up to its claims and will give you as much, and even more, than Bible search programs costing two or three times QuickVerse’s price.”
Oh ye of little faith. When my editor contacted me about QuickVerse’s latest release and all its claims, I again found myself being skeptical. I mean, for $69 what can you really expect out of the program? After all, many distributors of Bible programs ask that amount just for a second Bible version! Once more I was extremely impressed by Parsons Technology’s commitment to offering a superb program at a low price. After years of reviewing computer-aided Bible software, it takes a lot to impress me any more. QuickVerse impressed me.
The original release of QuickVerse 1.2 was in a category of computer-aided Bible software I classify as “text search” programs. These programs are fast and will quickly find words or phrases in the Bible text. Once you find the text you desire, they will allow you to send a verse or verses to the printer or to a disk file. These Text Search programs have few “bells and whistles.” QuickVerse 1.2 is a fine example of this class of Bible software. Its retail price of $49 continues to make it a serious competitor in the Bible software field.
QuickVerse 2.0 is a true “Bible Study” program with emphasis on the word study. Just like QuickVerse 1.2 gave every other Text Search program a serious run for its money, now Parsons Technology has done
the same with version 2.0 in the field of true Bible Study programs. With QuickVerse’s latest release you can view up to four translations side by side, or look at more than one passage from the same translation. You may enter footnotes and create your own personalized study Bible by tagging notes to any word or verse. You can also create topical indexes to extend the breadth of word and phrase searches. QuickVerse now lets you find the Hebrew or Greek word underlying the English translation by using the Hebrew and Greek Transliterated Bible. If you need a program for sermon preparation, QuickVerse lets you paste verses directly into your word processor documents using the memory-resident program QuickVerse Companion. If you have an EGA or VGA monitor you may optionally display 43 lines of text (EGA) or 50
lines (VGA). The best new feature of QuickVerse 2.0 lets you use your Microsoft or compatible mouse to interact with the pull-down menus.
The search mode is still QuickVerse’s most basic function. (Although I will be referring to the use of a mouse to describe the search methods, the program is designed for all functions to be entered by
mouse or keyboard, for those who do not have a mouse.) Using your mouse, go to the menu bar at the top of the screen and click on “Search.” Now, hold the left mouse button down and drag down the search menu. Position the highlight bar over the function you desire and release. It’s as simple as that! The search menu gives the user two basic options. You may search for a word or phrase or for a specific reference. If you are searching for a reference, highlight that feature and release the mouse button. A dialogue box will appear asking you for the verse you wish to view. Type in the book, chapter and verse, click on [Enter] with your mouse and QuickVerse will display the requested verse. If you are searching for a phrase, simply
click on that option. A dialogue box will appear asking for the word or phrase, a specific index you would like to search through and the limits of the search. If you type in a word or phrase that does not occur in the Bible, QuickVerse immediately informs you that the word or phrase cannot be found. While you are in the phrase window, QuickVerse gives you the option of opening a Word Window. This window displays all the words used in the Bible and the number of times that each occurs. If you are using your mouse, position the cursor on the up or down indicators at the side of the screen to scroll back and forth through the word list. You can also move through the word list by typing the word you are looking for or the first few letters of a word if you are not sure of the spelling. QuickVerse lets the user perform Boolean (And/Or) searches. Boolean and wildcard searches can be used in conjunction for more complex searches. Search limits may be set and can be very general or very limited. Setting the limits at Matthew-Revelation will obviously search through the entire New Testament. Setting the search limits at John 1:1-10 will limit the
search to those few verses. Separate passages may be specified as limits by connecting them with semi-colons: Matthew 1:1-10: Luke 1:1-10; Mark 1:1-10, etc.
NOTES AND INDEXES AND FILES
This newest release of QuickVerse now lets the user attach personal commentary notes to any word or verse. This is essentially the same as writing notes in the margin of your Bible. The configuration menu
allows you to specify whether your notes will appear when transferred to a text file or printer. The ability to create and manipulate indexes is also a new feature in QuickVerse 2.0. Indexes are used for creating personal Bible studies on particular topics, words, Biblical characters or doctrines. After using the search function to, for example, find all the New Testament references to the phrase “Son of man,” you can create an index containing all references found. As time goes by you can manipulate an index by deleting verses or adding new verses which relate to the topic of that index. QuickVerse allows you to send the index to a diskfile or printer. The File option allows you to save passages in a text file for future reference. As in the Index menu, the File menu gives you the ability to create new files, open and close existing files, and assign verses or a group of verses to the file. Although the index file contains only a list of verse references, the file created here is a text file that you can manipulate with most word processors. In addition to the capability of storing verses in a text file, QuickVerse provides some basic file management capability. This allows you to copy, delete, and rename files without requiring you to exit to DOS.
The windows feature is one many Bible Study programs are now using. QuickVerse is no exception. The ability to open up to four windows at a time allows the user to view four translations of the same verse or
passage simultaneously, (if you purchase that many translations). Or, you may review related gospel accounts on the same screen side-by- side. Windows are easily opened or closed. If you’re using a mouse,
simply move the cursor to a window and click to make the window active. QuickVerse also lets you turn window synchronization on or off. The windows feature is comparable to having a parallel Bible open
on your desk.
QuickVerse took a major leap forward by including a Hebrew/Greek transliteration tied to Strong’s numbers. (Sold separately for $39.00) It turns the program in to a real study tool for ministers. To use the
Hebrew/Greek Transliteration, you must open a second window and load in the Hebrew/Greek Transliteration just like you were loading a second translation. After you have loaded the Hebrew/Greek
Transliteration into the second window, the display window is divided into two display areas. The top two-thirds of the window displays the Hebrew and or Greek words for each verse and their related Strong’s
number. By using the mouse or keyboard the user scrolls over to the desired word. The definition of the words appear in the smaller box at the bottom of the window. By clicking on the definition box, the user
may add commentary to the Strong’s definition. To do a search of word roots, simply go to the “Miscellaneous” menu and click on the Definition menu. QuickVerse will display the highlighted word in the Hebrew/Greek window. Simply position the cursor on any Strong’s number in the definition that definition will be displayed. This kind of search can go on almost indefinitely!
The Miscellaneous option of the menu bar contains an area which allows for extensive configuration of your monitor display, printer codes and how you want scripture to appear when printed.
While I was pleased with the overall performance of QuickVerse, there were a few disappointments. The most notable difference between versions 1.2 and 2.0 is speed. As with any program, the more powerful
it becomes, there is the potential for loss of speed. QuickVerse lost some speed with their new version. They seemed to have concentrated their new upgrade features on improving the power of the program, and
not the speed. Searches take a variety of different times, depending on the number of windows you have open, and the complexity of the search. The time for individual searches will also depend on your
personal computer speed, speed of your hard drive, etc. When purchasing Bible search software, one should be aware that power and complex searches normally means a trade off with speed. I also felt
that the setup for using the Hebrew/Greek Transliteration was inconvenient. You must first open a second window, then change the translation to Hebrew/Greek, then turn on synchronization in order for the second window to display the same text you are studying in the first window. Admittedly, this may be more a matter of personal choice rather than any problem in the program. I am also disappointed that, for all its improvements, QuickVerse’s developers did not include a “NOT” option in its Boolean operators. While it is a search function which may be infrequently used by most users it is a nice search feature to have. I expressed my disappointment in this matter to Parsons Technology, and was informed that a NOT search function will very likely be included in future updates of QuickVerse. The ability to turn capitalization on and off is also a feature which would make this and even better program. I may be alone in this thought however, for Parson’s response was that in the two years QuickVerse has been on the market, they have never received a single request for this feature. In spite of these exceptions, the user will find that QuickVerse is a fine, full-featured Bible Study program. As already noted, QuickVerse will live up to its name on 286 or 386 based machines. The ability to attach personal commentary notes to words or
verses is an option not every computer-aided Bible program offers. It is delightful to have that alternative. The ability to add one’s own commentary to the Hebrew/Greek Transliteration is also a feature that
many users will appreciate. If you plan to use QuickVerse to import Scripture text into your sermons via your word processing program, QuickVerse’s Companion is one of the finest TSR programs for that
purpose. (A TSR program is one that stays in memory in the background while you run another program, and is activated by pressing the combination of two “hot” keys.) It really merits a review all its own. Suffice it to say that it offers excellent search and import features. (Note, if you have only 640K of RAM and are using WordPerfect 5.1 you may not have enough memory to run QuickVerse Companion). The absolute
finest feature of QuickVerse 2.0 is its ability to function with a mouse. If you have a Microsoft Mouse (or compatible) you will discover that many operations are simplified. When QuickVerse detects the mouse, it places additional items on the screen, items that are “clickable.” To execute the function indicated by a mouse-selectable area, move the mouse cursor to the area and click the mouse button.
If you are currently trying to decide which computer-aided Bible program to purchase, I would heartily recommend QuickVerse. For $69 you will receive the QuickVerse program and the translation of your
choice along with QuickVerse’s Companion program. This is a super price! Additional Bible versions sell for $39. (NIV $49) Available versions include, the KJV, New KJV, RSV, New RSV, NIV, and the Hebrew/Greek transliterated Bible. System requirements include: an IBM PC, XT, AT or compatible with either a hard disk drive or two floppy disk drives, one of which has 720K or more of capacity. (For better
speed in searching, I highly recommend that QuickVerse be run on at least a 286 based computer) A minimum of 512K of RAM. DOS 2.11 or later. The use of a mouse is optional, but I highly recommend one.
(The above material is a reprint from an issue of the Christian Computing Magazine in Belton, MO.)
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