Monday, December 20, 2010

A Resource Tip About E-sword

I wanted to take a break today from the type of articles I’ve been posting and just post a tip about the E-sword program, in case anyone reading this blog isn’t aware of the program and its features. E-sword is a free Bible study program with purchasable add-on translations, commentaries and dictionaries. Even with just the free tools, though, it is a very helpful program and the best one I know of that you can download for free. When I was doing translation work, I had a couple of fancier programs available to me, but they were only for people working directly in Bible translation, so I don’t have access to them anymore. Even though E-sword may not be as fancy, it has some great features. I know there are also some good study tools available online, but I like being able to use the tools whether I am online or not, and being able to save notes to my computer.

Basically, E-sword has one window for Bibles, one for commentaries or your own notes, and one for dictionaries. Within the Bible window you can toggle between translations, put up to four translations parallel with each other, or compare one verse between all of them. Included in the free resources is the KJV with Strong’s numbers. Clicking on the Strong’s number takes you immediately to the entry for the word in Strong’s or in Thayer’s Lexicon, which is also a free resource. You can perform searches based on words, phrases, or the Strong’s numbers. For those who know some Greek, there are also a few different Greek texts available for free, including a Majority Text (Robinson Pierpont) with Strong’s numbers on all the words. There are also free translations available in several other languages besides English.

I have really enjoyed all these features, but have especially appreciated the study notes tab in the commentary window, which allows me to make notes on any verse and keeps them linked to that verse. There is also a topic notes tab that allows you to make notes on a topic, rather than the notes being linked to one verse. Most of the articles I have posted on this blog have been written in the topic notes feature, which has allowed my to type my notes in one window, while looking at the scriptures in another window.

Adding a purchasable Bible translation, like the NKJV or NIV, costs between $15 and $20 per translation, and there are also commentaries like the Bible Knowledge Commentary or J. Vernon McGee’s “Through the Bible” notes available for purchase, and some dictionaries like Vine’s. The neat thing about the commentaries is that they stay linked with whatever verse you click on in the Bible window.

E-sword has been a big help to me in my Bible study, and I thought I should pass on the tip for anyone else who might not be aware of it. If you are interested in downloading it, go to and then go to the “downloads” bar. You first have to download the basic program, then you can download each feature that you want to use. The free ones download immediately, and the purchasable ones take you to another site where you can buy them and then download them. Maybe everyone already knew about this, but I hope it’s a help to someone.