NIVpc (Zondervan, $239.95); CDWord (CDWord Library, $595.00). Reviewed by Mark Stover, who is the theological librarian at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The past few years have seen a remarkable influx of microcomputer-based Bible-study aids for both ministers and laypersons. These tools range in price from under $50 to over $700 and often also range in usefulness to the same degree. Some “computer Bibles” are simply enhanced concordances, while others offer Greek and Hebrew grammatical aids, sophisticated searching interfaces, and even the complete texts of theological dictionaries and Bible commentaries.

Instabible

A recent entry into the electronic Bible market is NIVpc, which contains the New International Version of the entire Bible, as well as the Greek New Testament eclectic text on which the NIV was based. A new edition, which includes the Hebrew Old Testament, is planned for release in the near future.

A good way to visualize the capabilities of NIVpc is to picture a massive concordance of the Bible. Searches can be performed to find any word, any part of any word, or any combination of words in English or Greek in a matter of seconds. For example, the user might want to know which verses in the Bible contain both the words sower and seed. This kind of search would be extremely time-consuming if done manually with a traditional concordance, but a computer search can provide accurate search results almost instantaneously.

NIVpc compares favorably with the dozen or so other electronic Bibles available. On the plus side is its user-friendly interface, providing help screens and “menus” (based on the popular Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet program) that ease the pain of learning a new computer application. ...

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