[b-greek] Re: Bible Study Software - Gramcord

From: JFantin@aol.com
Date: Wed Mar 13 2002 - 05:45:43 EST

<HTML><FONT FACE=arial,helvetica><FONT SIZE=2>Please forgive me if this has been covered already, I receive the digest and thus any post since the last digest I have not received.
<BR>&gt; Michelle Vetter stated:
<BR>&gt;Any comments on GRAMCORD? &nbsp;Bible Companion
<BR>&gt; has a $50 off special this month on their ultimate bundle,
<BR>&gt; with 2 extra add-ons free...
<BR>As has been mentioned before, the choice of bible study software is somewhat personal and thus its choice should be made on the basis of need. Therefore, I am uncomfortable of claims that one bible study package is the best. People have different needs. Some packages may appeal more to some while other packages will appeal to others.
<BR>There is much I could write but I will restrict my comments to those below.
<BR>I have used Gramcord since the days of DOS and continue using the windows version (I used the DOS version again two days ago for a feature on occurrences per 1000 words). I have used on occasion BibleWorks 4 and Logos but really have not learned them. But for me what these packages offer do not entice me away from GC.
<BR>I suspect the Bible Companion Series format on which GC is presently run is not as feature packed (and thus as useful for some people's needs) as other packages. However, it certainly is sufficient for my needs. I believe Gramcord is working on their own format (Lightening-info was given out at SBL) which will probably make it more attractive to those who like all the features of the other programs.
<BR>For me the main feature by far that I want from a package is the ability to create complex and accurate searches in the biblical languages using the most accurate databases available. I believe that GC is first in this area. They are the ones updating the text. In fact, Dr Wheeler (on this list) is responsible for the present Hebrew database. I will stand corrected if someone can tell me otherwise. I am not sure how quickly or when corrections/changes get into BW, Logos, etc. But I am more comfortable knowing biblical scholars are behind the text I am using. They are able to make educated decisions about the database.
<BR>Though I am not concerned about having 100s of translations to choose from. I do like to have a few of the most important. GC does provide these. Some packages have 100s of texts that I will never use. I do not mind that these are there but I do not think they are a selling point. I am waiting for a Klingon translation to be added to the huge list offered by some. &nbsp;
<BR>One further point (well points) I want to make which really is not related to usability. GC was created for scholars and is a nonprofit organization. In the times I have needed help they are always there. On two occasions because of problems that could not be solved through e-mail they have not hesitated to send me free of charge the latest database CDs which considering my Internet hook up in the UK, saves me a lot of time and hassle. Also, their pricing is very reasonable. At SBL they even offer more types of discounts (correct me if I am wrong but I recall they offered free packages to teachers when a certain number of students purchased the package at a very low price last SBL). Students can get discounts when the college has a (reasonably priced) site license and when they order in groups. When I upgraded from DOS to windows, the cost was minimal ($25 if I recall correctly). I was shocked that BibleWorks upgrade 5 cost $150 from version 4. Though some were pleased with the added databases, only one
or two looked helpful to me and these was definitely not worth the cost (in my opinion).
<BR>For me concentrating on research (and in the future seminary teaching) it is important that the people working on the most important biblical study tool I use really understand the complexities of the languages. I want to feel confident that if I address an issue, I will get an informed response.
<BR>Finally, as a personal preference, I am glad that GC is a nonprofit organization. This frees them up from needing to appeal to the masses. I have nothing against the masses owning bible software; however, I have different needs than the average person. GC does operate as a nonprofit organization and the way they deal with people reflects this.
<BR>Just by two cents
<BR>Joe Fantin
<BR>Sheffield and Dallas
B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek>
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