Archive for the ‘PocketPC’ Category

Last year one of my goals was to read the Bible starting with the New Testament – for whatever reason I didn’t make it and stopped with Romans. I felt it’s time to finish what I have started and this brought up two questions.

Which program to use for bible reading on the Pocket PC

A quick survey revealed three candidates.

  • Pocket e-Sword (homepage)
    This program is available for free together with many bible versions (commercial and free). The layout is great and it’s easy to use, however, I don’t like that the presentation is verse-by-verse. If you use a real bible, verses are joined together to form paragraphs, which improves the understanding of passages. Another thing I don’t like is that commentaries are only shown for one verse and not as continuous text covering multiple verses. This makes it difficult to scroll up and down to review things that have been said somewhere else.
    What I really like is the way how bible versions can be compared or read in parallel. Another advantage is that MANY versions are available, including the brand new International Standard Version.
  • OliveTree (homepage)
    To be honest, the GUI didn’t convince me. The idea with the buttons in the scrollbar is nice, but they haven’t been placed perfectly. Especially when one is used to Pocket e-Sword, the program feels awkward. Apart from that, the feature list is long and I am sure that many users will like it.
  • PocketBible (from Laridian)
    This program was the last I have tested and quickly jumped to the top of my list. The interface is fully customizable, especially the toolbars. Navigating through the bible texts is easy, although I sometimes got lost while switching from one window to another. Footnotes can be turned off to make reading easier. I really enjoyed the feature that allows to find a verse in all commentaries. This will show the first part of each commentary on the selected verse. I would love to see something like “prefered commentary” that allows to change quickly between the bible and the study notes. Maybe in the next version.
    The Gold package – if you can afford it – has everything you need to get started with serious study: different bible versions, the incredible Bible Knowledge Commentary and the Complete Word Study Dictionary (2 Volumes). If this is too expensive for you, choose the Bronze package (you WANT different bible versions, believe me) + the Bible Knowledge Commentary. Later, when you wish to understand the meaning of the original words, come back and order the Complete Word Study Dictionary (2 Volumes).

All three programs are available for free or as demo.

Which bible version to choose

After I have found the best program for the Pocket PC, the old question about the best bible version came up again. In my old blog entries I have finally choosen the ESV but after further studies I decided to reconsider. I was surprised how odd the English is and I have found the advise that the NASB would be the prefered edition for a literal translation although it is harder to read. betterbibles.com gives many examples and shows why literal translations can mislead the reader. As a starter it makes more sense to use a translation that reads fluently so it finally came down to:

The ISV is quite new and would probably be my first choice IF it would have been available for the PocketBible program. The TNIV and the HSBC seem to be on par but after browsing the internet I was surprised that the HSBC seems to enjoy a growing popularity and is respected for the un-biased translation. I glanced at some passages and I think I can’t go wrong with it. It’s good to have the other in the background though together with the bible commentaries to put everything into the right context.

Now starts the important task: to read the bible.


Read Full Post »