Olive Tree has been a mainstay
in the Palm OS Bible software arena for many years. As far
as I know, they and Dave Fedors started the Palm OS Bible application
world. I tested BibleReader+ with the KJV with embedded Strong’s
numbers and associated Greek/Hebrew lexical dictionary with
Tense/Mood/Voice as a bundle ($24), the parsed Greek New Testament
(free), and the JFB Commentary (free). At a later time, I also
received the GRAMCORD Greek NT ($45) and the Parsed Hebrew
Masoretic Text ($70) to test the Greek/Hebrew font capabilities.
Although the basic reader is free along with quite a few Bible
versions, Olive Tree’s non-free products are commercial,
The basic reader possesses some interesting
features. It starts up initially with a nice little tutorial.
The reader is highly configurable, and the top bar supports
searching, bookmarking, notes, and forward/back buttons.
The display supports up to three windows. When using two
windows, the second window can either be 1/2 or 1/3 of the
screen. Three windows are 1/3 of the screen each. They enable
the user to have the Bible, the dictionary, and a commentary
all open together. You can set the verse chooser options
so that the selected windows jump together to a common verse,
after which they’ll be synchronized for scrolling (except
for dictionaries/lexicons). The scrolling only stays locked
using the page up/down buttons. If you use the scrolling
arrows, the windows don’t scroll together.
The split screen display is a nice concept.
On a 320x480 display, each window shows six lines in each
of three windows with normal font size. Olive Tree support
s the Palm DIA, greatly increasing the usefulness of three
windows on the screen. Better yet, you can designate one
window to receive the dictionary information regardless of
the source window. That's great, because you can have an
English version and original language version both displayed,
and no matter which window you seek dictionary or lexicon
information from, it doesn't interfere with your main Bible
displays as indicated in the illustration. This furnishes
a powerful learning and textual study tool.
Databases can be stored on the card in
the /Palm/Programs/Bible/ directory. This includes the font
files—a nice touch. Reading large databases off of
the card was a bit slow, though, even on the 400 MHz T3.
BibleReader+ stood in the top tier in search
capability. Searches can be conducted at three levels--basic,
simple, and advanced. The Options and Method buttons in the
advanced mode lead to other screens to bracket and tailor
the search. Searches can be limited in scope, phrases can
be matched exactly or you can find verse with those words
anywhere in them or even within a specified number of verses,
case sensitivity may be chosen, and you can even specify
the number of words before and after the target word to display
in the find window. BR+ can also search on Strong number--a
very powerful capability for language study. Speed comes
in at the middle of the pack, especially for databases on
the card, but isn't bad or annoying. If complex searches
are your forte, BibleReader+ will quench your thirst.
Speaking of complex, Olive Tree’s
Scholar’s Tools stand as the crown jewels of their
language products--and of the Palm OS Bible study realm.
Both GRAMCORD Lite (parsed) and the Hebrew Masoretic Text/BHS
with parsing provide very powerful language tools in your
palm/Palm. If these seem expensive at $45 and $70 respectively,
consider that Logos
Software (my choice for PC Bible study) offers the Hebrew
BHS with morphology for $99.95 and the Greek Nestle-Aland
27th Edition with morphology for $99.95 for your PC--and
that doesn't include the advanced lexicons that come bundled
with the Olive Tree offerings. GRAMCORD Lite comes with the
UBS Dictionary+ and the HMT includes the BDB lexicon, both
powerful language references, especially when combined with
Tense/Mood/Voice. These advanced language tools set a new,
higher standard for Bible language study in your palm/Palm.
BibleReader+ offers a preference menu just for Greek/Hebrew
font support , which includes syntax coloring and font size.
Olive Tree offers a large number of commercial
Bible versions and study resources, and in quite a number
of languages, at reasonable prices. The Hebrew/Greek Theological
Dictionary seems to be the same as the one in BWY except
that it also includes Tense/Mood/Voice, a very powerful study
aid. BibleReader+ can display Greek or Hebrew fonts in OS
5, and mix them with English on the same display. The Greek
UBS Dictionary+ and BDB Hebrew Dictionary mixed Greek/Hebrew
and English in the same window. The advanced font files with
accents and breathing marks only come with the Scholar's
Tools. The free Greek texts will use the Greek fonts from
the Scholar's Tools, but will display transliterations without
original font files. The free version of the Greek fonts
comes in their Byzantine Greek New Testament which at no
cost, but there is no free Hebrew font offering.
After living with BibleReader+ for a while,
I've found it the most advanced Bible study tool available
for the Palm OS when using its Scholar's Tools.
Outstanding search capability, including
Nice tutorial available on initial startup
Split screen display, up to three windows
Great Hebrew/Greek lexicon w/TVM
Outstanding Scholar’s Tools for original language study
No free original language font support
for Hebrew Bibles
Slow reading databases off of a card