by Terry Wilhite
It still boggles my mind how many outstanding software resources are available for pastors and Bible teachers, how affordable they are compared to their printed counterparts, and how anybody can think they could live without them.
I still enjoy holding Bibles, commentaries, and books in my hands and I would never, ever suggest that these traditional tools should be exchanged in totality for their computerized "cousins." But when you're looking for good software to augment your study, you have an abundance from which to choose and you'll find that, indeed, these resources allow you to be more efficient and effective.
Deciding what to buy boils down to three major questions: First, does the software package include what I need for no additional money and does it give me the best value for my dollar? Second, are additional resources that I may want in the future available from this publisher, and are they affordable? (It is very important to shop and compare future titles before you commit to a product, because one software publisher's titles can't be imported into another's publisher's software. In other words, you're not only buying what the software can do for you today, but what it can do for you in the future.) Third, do I like the décor and design? Are things where I want them and can I maneuver about in a way that makes sense to me?
In reviewing QuickVerse 2005 recently, I found the interface clean, simple, and very useful—no problems at all getting around. QuickVerse does indeed allow you to purchase additional resources and a listing of what's available for future purchases can be found at www.quickverse.com. Past users will quickly notice that additional content has already been added with the 2005 release, which has 14 Bibles and 95 reference titles with the Deluxe Edition I reviewed.
QuickVerse 2005 has some nifty features. More than 2,000 pictures and 50 color maps of the Holy Land are available. Another new feature is the ability to search the words of Jesus. In addition, you can e-mail passages to friends or the congregation directly from the software, and a parallel gospel feature allows you to show more than 100 passage similarities throughout the Gospels.
QuickVerse incorporates a feature that allows windows to size automatically and supports multiple book tabs in any number of windows so that you can see multiple resources simultaneously. It interfaces with your favorite Microsoft Windows applications by allowing you to search for a Bible passage within an MS Word document. Also, I especially like the fact that QuickVerse allows me the ability to re-arrange my library, add and change book categories, or create my own.
The software developers say they've provided more than 30 overall feature enhancements. For example, the parallel verse view now lets you see your translations in one window, either side by side or stacked, a big improvement over trying to juggle multiple windows. You'll find Strong's Greek and Hebrew support to be solid. Every word in the Bible is linked to its original Greek/Hebrew root. Further, the note-taking feature, which allows users to create personal entries tracked to certain passages, is simple and straightforward. I also like the fact that I can code and highlight my favorite passages by topic or subject, using up to eight different colors.
QuickVerse has just released a much-needed Macintosh version, a rarity in the Bible software world. The company offers two levels of its Mac software. The basic Mac White Box Edition is $49.95 and the deluxe Black Box Edition is $99.95.
There is also a Palm-based and Pocket PC version of QuickVerse. I would much rather use QuickVerse on the PC using my big monitor—but for "on the go," spur of the moment need to look up a Bible verse or passages, the small size is very convenient and handy.
For the PC user there are the 2005 Platinum, Deluxe, and Standard Versions. Prices range from $799.95 for Platinum to $99.95 for the Standard. This review is based on the Deluxe edition, which retails for $349.95.
For more information on the features and available content for QuickVerse for PC, Macintosh, Palm, and Pocket PC go to www.quickverse.com.