A review of the bible software program e-Sword version 10.0.5.
e-Sword is an excellent freeware bible study application designed for Windows PCs. The specifications required to run this program are listed as follows:
- Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7
- Pentium based PC (or equivalent)
- 800 x 600 resolution or greater
The screenshots I’ll be using throughout this review will be of my e-Sword install on my Mac using WINE. See my tutorial on installing e-Sword on a Mac for instructions on how to get this bible study software up and running on a Macbook using Snow Leopard.
The image on the left is the bible navigation pane which is displayed on the left when you open up e-Sword in the default layout. This allows for quick and easy access of any book of the bible with 2 to 3 clicks. Of course you could just type in the reference by typing your verse reference in the box shown in the image on the right. You can also browse for a reference by clicking the bible icon shown to the right of the text box shown in the picture. This will open a pop-up box allowing you to browse to the specific verse you’d like to view. This is fine, but I wish that it would open multiple verse reference at once. Accordance allows for this simply by typing all references you want in the verse search window and then clicking the search button. This is very valuable if your reading a bible study and it gives multiple bible references you wish to read at once rather than going sequentially. In fairness to e-Sword, I have not run into many bible study programs that can accomplish this besides Accordance. By clicking on the binocular icon, you are able to enter into an advanced search dialog box. This allows you to apply more filters and refine your search. The problem is that it still will not allow for a multiple verse search to be entered.
The actual layout of the program I found to be very intuitive. The main program window is split into 4 separate sections. They are editors, dictionaries, commentaries and bibles. In previous versions of the program, you could access other reference works called topical files by going to the editor window, selecting the topic file in the drop down list located on the bottom of the window and then browsing the table of contents in yet another drop down box on the top of the editor window. Well, you can still do this, but now in version 10 Rick (the maker of the software) has added the Reference window which is available by going to the Tools>Reference Library menu option.
I personally find this a lot better and enjoy using the reference module window. Now the topic files are available in a refx format which is a read only format unlike the topic editor (topx) format which was user editable.
The user community is very active! Bible Support is the unofficial / semi-official forum for finding thousands of extra modules which you can download and install into your base e-Sword package as well as help on just about everything you can think of relating to e-Sword. The site also has created a nice 10.x user’s manual for e-Sword which was well done and valuable for the newbie to e-Sword. I have also uploaded it here for easy download, but you must understand that it is not to be sold or made available in any form that would require paying money for it’s use. Officially supported modules are available through the built-in download feature of the program. This reminds me a lot of the Sword Project’s module installation feature which has been available in their software for years and years.
Version 10 has several new features, including sermonaudio.com integration that allows you to listen to various sermons and bible studies sorted by bible reference, the aforementioned reference modules, and continuing support for STEP modules.