I looked back over my posts on free software, and I realized I hadn’t given e-sword its own post. I’ve mentioned it in my top five free software picks of all time, but really, e-sword should have its own entry.
This program deserves my award for the best free program of all time. Sure, many other programs are useful (Firefox, for instance), and many other programs do more (Open Office, for example), but none (except e-sword) provide life-giving truth.
E-sword easily compares to commercial offerings. No, you can’t get all the “premium” modules for free (like the NKJV) but who needs ’em? The ESV (English Standard Version) is a very literal translation that I find very similar to the NASB. Download multiple versions, bucketloads of commentaries and dictionaries, devotions, maps . . . get going!
Some people say the interface appears antiquated, but I disagree. To me, it looks snazzy and modern (O.K., well, it’s free) and it even provides useful tips on opening (if you want them).
Some cool things that I like are:
- the ability to create your own parallel Bible with up to four versions,
- the simple to use tabs that show you which commentaries, dictionaries, etc. have information pertinent to the passage you’re reading,
- the fast search tool (you can search dictionaries, commentaries, etc. as well,
- the tooltips which appear when you hover over certain things (like Scripture references in the commentaries and dictionaries),
- and all the little extras, like the Bible reading plan, daily devotions, and the cool Scripture memory tool.
Visit the site to check out the many features of e-sword. Check out the many downloads available. If you want access to the best free program of all time, then quit just checking out all the benefits e-sword has to offer – get the program!
5 thoughts on “e-sword – Free Bible Study Software”
I downloaded this at your suggestion! I’ve been using an online one to verify the Scriptures when I’m editing, and that has worked well. But with my ongoing internet outages, I figured it would be good to have one on the computer. I guess I’ll have to choose which versions I want to download? I’ll get that part figured out soon. Thanks for the suggestion.
I’m guessing you’ve been using the Bible Gateway. It’s a very nice site. This, however, will give you much more in-depth information. I really like the ESV translation. It’s very literal – it matches up closely with the NAS. I have about four or five versions downloaded – you can open them all at once to have a “parallel Bible.” I also have about every single commentary and dictionary downloaded. I highly recommend getting ISBE (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia) and at least five or six different commentaries, as some cover different things and in different ways. I have about 50 different add-ons – it’s an amazing resource!
Yes, I’ve been using Bible Gateway. I’ll download the ESV – I’ve already needed it in the editorial work here – as well as some of the other major ones. The commentaries and encyclopedia sound good, too. I’ll let you know what I think when I get things added on.
Bible Gateway is good as you can view versions like the NIV, NASB, NKJ, etc., for free. With e-sword those versions are NOT free. If I were to compare the two, I’d say e-sword is much better suited for in-depth research. The Bible Gateway is very convenient as you can access it from any computer. E-sword does take a bit of time to set up (with all the add-ons) but it’s well worth it once you have it up and running.
I have been using e-sword for more years than I care to remember and it has served me well in ministry. Now that I am on the internet I am going to download
your latest version and be thrilled by the wealth of God’s Word.