If you have access to a personal computer with a CD or DVD drive or an Internet connection, you can make use of Bible helps that would normally cost thousands of dollars for only a few hundred or less. Or even better, some are available free or at minimal cost through software providers and online services.
These resources—which include up to dozens of Bible versions, dictionaries, lexicons, encyclopedias, commentaries, maps and more—allow you to perform Bible research more quickly and easily than ever.
Such resources are not only inexpensive, but efficient. A package on a CD or DVD can contain virtually an entire library of Bible study helps that would equal tens of thousands of pages, weigh hundreds of pounds and cost thousands of dollars in printed form. Yet it can instantly search dozens of Bible versions and helps for the particular word or topic you seek.
Most software providers offer a range of products costing anywhere from less than $20 to more than $1,000, priced generally according to the number of Bible versions and helps included. Among the more popular software packages are BibleWorks (www.bibleworks.com ), Bible Explorer (www.bible-explorer.com ), Logos Bible Software (www.logos.com ) and PC Study Bible (www.biblesoft.com ). Some of these also offer Mac versions or will run on more recent Mac computers. An excellent all-around value is The Bible Library by Talicor, currently available for less than $30 from several sellers. You can even find Bible software for handheld palmtop computers.
A highly regarded free Bible program for Windows is e-Sword (www.e-sword.net ), which also provides dozens of free downloadable public domain Bible versions and helps, plus other more recent Bible helps for prices comparable to printed versions. Windows and Mac users can also download the free Online Bible software (www.onlinebible.net ), which likewise offers dozens of free downloadable public domain Bible versions and helps. The Online Bible software is also available on CD with a helpful library of dozens of Bible versions, commentaries, dictionaries, lexicons, maps and more for $89.95 (Mac) and $44.95 (Windows, with fewer resources).
A number of Web sites offer free access or links to many of the same kinds of resources. Since the number of features and resources they provide is so large, we encourage interested readers to explore sites like the following at their own pace to see what each has to offer.
This does not mean we endorse all materials found on these sites; we mention such sites only because of their large numbers of free Bible versions and study tools.
The United Church of God, publisher of this booklet, offers an abundance of free Bible study materials at the following sites:
Dozens of free booklets on Bible teachings and Christian living.
Free subscription to and previously published articles from The Good News magazine.
Materials covering news and current events in light of Bible prophecy .
Answers to frequently asked Bible questions .
Beyond Today - TV programs covering many topics from a biblical perspective.