Biblical Greek Software Options
There are many powerful Bible software programs available. Some are websites that have searchable texts and original language tools. Some are downloadable programs. Some are professional software products for sale. Sometimes a person may simply want to perform a single word search. Some of the online sites may be the best alternative for this need. Sometimes you many want to work on an in-depth Bible study, thoroughly research a passage, or simply move into the current age of allowing software to assist your research. In these cases a high powered multifaceted Bible program may be the best choice. Generally, you will get what you pay for. An expensive product will offer much more than a free web site.
In my experience, Logos Bible Software a research library that includes high powered original text tools has proven to be the best resource and value for my money. So the comments and reviews on this page are written by someone who now only uses Logos Software for my electronic study but has used other products in the past.
1. Bible Software Reference Library (Full Service Bible Software with associated reference libraries)
2. Other Bible Software Reference Tools (Full Service Bible Software)
3. Freeware (Free Software with lesser)
4. New Testament Greek Study Web Sites
1. Bible Software Reference Library
Logos Bible Software has risen to the top in the Bible Software industry. Not only due to its powerful original language research tools, but because it offers its users a fully operational electronic library. Whenever, I want to purchase a new book and I think it is related to the Bible in some way, I first check to see of Logos sells it, then I check Kindle and iBooks, then I finally look for print additions and anticipate putting quotes from the text into electronic form by taking notes in Zotero. The great thing about building my library in Logos is that as I read the Bible I can create guides that will display citations from the books that I'm interested in for each particular verse. It basically, turns my whole library (or whatever part I desire) into a commentary. Further I can search those texts using the powerful research tools that Logos has. I have even gone so far as to buy duplicate electronic copies of books that I own in print so I can have them in my Logos library. So if you are just starting out and don't want to have to end up paying twice or more for books, start with Logos.
Logos Bible Software -Logos Bible Software is the most extensive Bible software on the market. Logos has offered a considerable discount on base packages to friends of the Institute of Biblical Greek. Simply go to www.Logos.com/giaw to take advantage of the discount and get the base package that suits your needs best.
- Since the release of version 5, I now recommend the Gold package (with a few extras that I recommend for any package) for New Testament research. Whatever package you decide upon you should consider getting the best New Testament Lexicon, BDAG ($150) and Louw & Nida ($40) I also have some other extra recommendations below.
- If you can't afford Gold I would recommend Silver or Bronze, and then work your way up by upgrading base packages as much as possible and minimizing individual purchases that will be included in higher level packages. This is what I have done, even though it means that I paid for BDAG separately (to use it for a couple years before it would have came along with my upgrade to Platinum.
- The Bronze package with the GIAW5 discount is $535 and easily worth every penny. It includes the following:
- Greek Texts: 6 including, Textus Recptus, SBL, Scrivener, Byzantine Text (It also includes texts such as LXX, Hebrew OT texts and the Vulgate but I'm limiting this review to the New Testament)
- 16 English Translations (including NKJV, NIV, NET, NLT, Message)
- 9 reverse interlinears (including ESV, KJV, NKJV, NIV, NASB, NRSV, NLT)
- All of these references and the power of electronic searching, parsing, and analyzing are easily worth $500. The exegetical research ability of the library is further enhanced by these included word study volumes. Strongs, Swanson's Dictionary & Thesaurus ($30), Roberston's Word Pictures ($50), Vincent Word Studies (4 vols. $54), Lust's LXX lexicon ($75), Intermediate Liddell & Scott ($35), Logos can provide links to the relevant entry in these volumes when you click on any word in the NT.
- The bronze package also include pronunciation tools including yours truly pronouncing each Greek lexical form in your choice of two pronunciation systems. (Full disclosure- I don't get a royalty for this.)
- You can also create customized "exegetical guides" that will reference your electronic commentaries verse by verse as you read in the Bible (once again no searching or page turning required). The bronze package includes the following notable commentaries (and others)
- Calvin's Commentaries (46 vols $150)
- Keil and Deiltzsch (10 vols $120)
- Matthew Henry ($20)
- Brown, Fausset, Jamieson ($80)
- Lange's Commentary (63 vols $300)
I hope the value of the bronze package is clear by now. I truly recognize it since I have previously paid for most of these resources in their print form. The bronze package is worth the price just as a New Testament research tool. But then it becomes an exceptional value when you consider the included Old Testament resources and other works on culture and Bible history and reference, and surveys. There are also many practical works and references for preaching, teaching, and counseling
- With the GIAW5 discount the Silver package is only $315 more. It also is worth the price just from the added commentaries. However, if you can get a package above Bronze, Gold is a better choice.
- Early Church Fathers (37 vols.) ($250)
- Apostolic Fathers in Greek and Interlinear & reverse interlinear $100
- New American Commentary (37 vols.) ($500)
- Holman New Testament Commentary (12 vols.) ($150)
- Pulpit Commentary (77 vols.) $170
- And many other books like the compete works of Francis Schaeffer (5 vols $100)
- With the GIAW5 discount the Gold package is only $486 more. It also is worth the investment just by seeing the savings of the UBS commentaries, which are a must for serious original language research.
Here are some of the great inclusions.
- UBS Commentaries ($800) (I use this all the time)
- It is also has Roberston's Grammar, which is a necessary reference for serious Greek grammar research "Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research" ($65)
- For more general research it has the essential Theological Dictionary of the NT (10 vols $200)
- In addition if you want to do textual criticism it has the necessary Tishendorf Greek apparatus (3 vols $80)
- It has many other worthwhile items such as a parsed version of Philo in Greek ($100)
- Black's NT Commentary (13 vols $250), and the Creeds of Christendom ($50)
Recommended Addin's no matter what package you get:
- BDAG ($150) This is the best New Testament Greek Lexicon. It comes with the Platinum package but doesn't justify the additional cost of the package.
- Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament base on Semantic Domains - AKA Louw-Nida ($40) This is a Greek NT Thesaurus. It comes with the Platinum package but doesn't justify the additional cost of the package.
- Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics - Wallace ($40) a simplified and updated version of Robertson's Grammar.
- A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament. AKA - Max and Mary. ($36) This is a verse by verse commentary on the grammar of each verse of the NT. It has great examples. It comes with the Platinum package but doesn't justify the overall additional cost of the package.
Logos is also now available for mac-users. You only need to purchase one license and you can use the Mac version, the PC version, sync with the iPhone app. and iPad app. I use all of these and they work great. I wish other companies would allow users to use their programs on all devices like this.
2. Other Bible Software Reference Tools
Below are other Bible software packages. Some of them I have purchased and used in the past, but I think they are now eclipsed by what Logos has to offer. However, if you are in a community that uses one of these it may be helpful to use the same study methods as your friends. Be aware that as you invest money in these packages you may be less likely to want to shift in the future. Who wants to pay for BDAG three times, which will happen if you want to use it in three different Bible software programs?
Bibleworks Software -Bibleworks Software was developed as a tool especially designed for biblical language research and study. It is amazing how much it packs into its one base package. Although BDAG is still an add-on it offers a number of texts missing until upper packages of Logos. However, Logos has many more texts inside and outside of Biblical languages than Bibleworks offers. Basically if you are only interested in original language study and not a broader use of electronic Bible research tools, this might be the right choice for you.
As a point of interest, Bibleworks includes vocabulary and paradigm recordings by Prof. John Schwandt. They offer these recordings in their base package as part of their vocabulary and paradigm learning tool. So now in version 8 they have audio flashcards.
Gramcord -The Gramcord Institute was the first to produce a widely accepted grammatically tagged original language Bible text. It is best known for this parsing and grammatical search tool, but really is an out of date program that I cannot recommend at this time.
Accordance Scholar's Collection -Accordance Bible Software is designed for MAC users. The program can also be run on a PC using an emulator. For years this was the Bible program to use if you had a MAC, but now Logos offers a real MAC version of their software (not just a dressed up PC version. I know, I have both.) So MAC users really do have a choice and should consider both. Accordance offers a number of tools and modules beyond basic language tools and uses a colorful and intuitive user interface. The Scholar's Collection is specifically targeted toward original language tools.
2. Freeware (Free Bible software with lesser functionality)
E-Sword Free Greek New Testaments and other languages - Scroll down the page and you will find downloads for the Majority New Testament Greek text and a fully accented Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) text.
The Sword Project - is currently developing cross-platform bible software. You can download free modules from their site.
J-Sword - is free cross-platform bible software written in Java.
Mac Sword - is free bible software written in for Macintosh (MAC) operating systems.
Gnome Sword - is free bible software written for Linux operating systems.
E4 Bible Software - The E4 group has a number of resources on a free CD including the Textus Receptus and their own Greek lexicon that is derived from Thayers. Although these resources are not the best and most current, the price is right. Unfortunately, they don't have any contact info on their site or much (if any customer support).
3. New Testament Greek Study Web Sites
Greek New Testament - No Greek fonts needed to read the Greek NT (NA26)on this site. Select the text by chapter. This site also has a nice search tool.
Biblon 2000 - This is a very nice site that allows you to click on words to see textual variants.
The Unbound Bible - You may choose from many languages and texts including the Greek NA 26, Textus Recptus (1550), and the majority text (Westcot-Hort). It uses the symbol font or Unicode to display the Greek text. Also check out their Greek Greek Parser and Lexicon.
Perseus New Testament - This site displays the Westcot-Hort Greek NT and will parse the Greek words as you click on them. There are many different display options in order to see the Greek text. Click on "Configure display" in the upper left corner to adjust the language and font.
GreekBible.com - (NA26)- You have your choice of displaying GNT passages in Symbol font, images, Athena font, Unicode (Palatino Linotype), or all caps. Includes one-click parsing and definitions.
The Bible Tool - This is a very nice online tool. You can customize the background and display morphology (parsing) and commentary information. To display the Greek texts, 1) click on "Bible Texts" (left sidebar). 2) scroll down to select your Greek text (e.g., Byzantine Majority Text, Septuagint, Textus Receptus, Tishendorf's, Unaccented Modern Greek, Westcott-Hort w/NA27 variants). 3) Enter your passage in the "by verse or passage" box.
The Greek New Testament - The Westcot-Hort GNT with NA26/27 variants. It uses the symbol font present on most computers.
Westcot-Hort Greek New Testament - The Christian Classics Ethereal Library with the Westcot-Hort GNT, (Unicode font)
Olive Tree Greek New Testament - The site has many different online Greek texts, but you must have one of the many Greek fonts downloaded on your machine. Links for downloads are available.
Crosswalk.com - Type in the desired passage in the search box and see both the Greek and English translation of the text. Click on any Greek word and automatically see definitions and concordance information. (You must download their Greek font.)
Interlinear Septuagint Greek and English - This great site provides free PDF's of interlinear texts of each book of the New Testament and Septuagint.
Patriarchal Text (1904) of the Greek Orthodox Church - This text is great because it can be pasted into a Word document with all the accents, breathings, etc.
NT Greek Reading Notes - This site has the entire Greek New Testament in Word form using the Galaxy font. You can download the font from the site. It also looks like it has some PDF files, which don't require the font, but I was only directed to login to a Yahoo account.
HTML Bible - This site has the New Testament in parallel Greek and English versions for each verse. For other online Bibles see the home page HTMLBible.com.
SBL Greek New Testament with critical apparatus - This is the first critical Greek New Testament that has an open copyright for anyone to use.