Linux is my operating system of choice, but there is a very real shortage of native Linux programs in the Bible study genre. There a few very capable Linux packages, but it seems to me Windows has the market share of exceptional programs for those people who rely on Bible study software. All hope is not lost, though, and there is possible some relief for this software void on the horizon, but nothing is definitive at the moment.
My needs are pretty basic, and there are a couple of Bible software packages installed on my computers. These are not my favorite ones, but they certainly get the job done. There is a wonderful little package called BibleTime for use in KDE. It really is a pretty slick program, but isn’t nearly as polished as my favorite program, the Dake Reference Library (DRL), which is a Windows program built on the WordSearch engine.
is pretty straightforward, and gives me the ability to cut and paste into my word processor of choice, OpenOffice Writer. The version I’m using is 1.6.5, but there has been a new release, which just fixes some bugs. If you use Linux with KDE, you might find this is a very acceptable program for basic Bible study.
Here’s a list of the modules I’ve got running:
- KJV – King James Version
- ESV – English Standard Version
- RNKJV – Restored Name King James Version
- Clarke – Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible
- MHCC – Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
- Personal – Personal Commentary. This is a place for me to take notes on any verse.
- RWP – Robertson’s Word Pictures
- TSK – Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
- Easton’s – Easton’s Bible Dictionary
- ISBE – Internation Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- KJVD – King James Dictionary
- Nave – Nave’s Topical Bible
- StrongsGreek – Strong’s Greek Bible Dictionary
- StrongsHebrew – Strong’s Hebrew Bible Dictionary
- TCR – Thompson Chain Topics
- Torrey – R. A. Torrey’s New Topical Textbook
There is an enormous amount of material which is free for the asking, provided you are not prohibited by the country you call home. I just looked at the Crosswire remote library, and was pleasantly surprised to see what has been included in the new updates. There is now a book section with many well-known works, so I will be installing some more material shortly. Actually, the marerial you can use is constantly changing, and I can’t seem to find the ESV any more. Better hang on to what I’ve got!
There is a wonderful tool for Linux called WINE, which allows a person to run native Windows programs in the Linux environment. While I believe this should be unnecessary, there are some programs that are Windows-only. There is no doubt BibleTime is quite useful, but just doesn’t do what my favorite Bible study program, DRL can. With WINE, I have a great Windows program running on my laptop computer called e-Sword. It’s a very nice program with more modules than I need, and works quite well in Linux. Now, why its creator, Rick Meyers, hasn’t ported it to the superior Linux platform is quite beyond me.
I am patiently awaiting the day when those who produce Bible study software will embrace the value and stability of the Linux platform. If the intention is to spread the Word of God, then why not use every means available? I personally know several people who would be thrilled to have good, sound alternatives to Windows offerings. Now, understand, I am very grateful for what is available in Linux, but would like more choices. Linux is steadily growing, and software companies need to include us in their plans. President Randy Beck of WordSearch, are you listening?