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Palm OS Scripture (Bible) Program Review: Bible With You, Bible +, Bible Reader +, BibleThumper, MyBiblepage 4 continued
posted Nov. 2003 by Tanker Bob

BibleThumper 1.2.4, by Pat Double

BibleThumper has been around for quite a while. Pat’s business model involves registering the reader, but then all the databases are free. The databases use an XML basis for conversion, and Pat has converted some of the best classic Christian works. This has to be a labor of love, because he isn’t charging for them. I tested the KJV ($25), Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary, Strong’s Greek/Hebrew dictionary, and all the commentaries in that subject illustration below.

BibleThumper doesn’t support the Palm DIA natively, but works quite well throughout with CodeDiver1.1B6 on my T3. The tools across the top bar provide access to searching, bookmarking, notes, changing books and chapters, next/previous find, and forward/back buttons. When in another part of the program like search or a reference, there is always an icon that will bring the user back to the Bible text. The little page icons after the verse numbers indicate the presence of notes or references for those verses. More on that below. BT uses a non-standard implementation to change books. Tapping on the app tab brings up the book selection display, whereas in standard Palm OS design it should bring up the menu. That takes a little getting used to.

The real strength of BibleThumper lies in how it implements references. Tapping on the page icons next to applicable verses brings up the last used reference with the comments on the current verse selected. The reference comes up to occupy the entire screen. Once in a reference, other references can be selected through a pull-down menu, shown to the right. Very slick operation.

BibleThumper’s basic word study support showed the rest how to do it. Tapping on a word brings up a dialog offering a dictionary or lexicon lookup as well as a search. The 1828 Webster’s comes from an era when Christian theology was part of every day life in America. Words now only found in Bible dictionaries were in ordinary use then. The lexicon comes from Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Exhaustive Concordance. Tapping on the Bible icon takes you back to the Bible display. This implementation provides the maximum ease in using multiple references and is well executed, but not without cost. Even on the T3, loading references off the card can takes a few seconds, though loading is progressive and you can read the beginning while the rest of an article loads. The user doesn’t see any real hold up in the display unless the Bible itself is on the card.

BT’s search routine isn’t the strongest in the pack. Searches can be specified in content, as well as parts, all, or exact phrases. Searching with the database on the card proved somewhat slow, especially since the search scope cannot be limited to particular books or collection of books. Although BT makes good use of the Strong’s material, you cannot search on Strong’s numbers.

Pat Double distributes BibleThumper as shareware with a 30-day trial period. All the references are free, and there are a good selection of references available. Other than the dictionaries, all the references are classic commentaries. John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible, the JFB Commentary, and the 1599 Geneva Bible notes are particularly good. In addition to English works, Luther’s German Bible and several German references are available. However, BT only uses the KJV for its English Bible, and that isn’t open to negotiation.

Pros:
Nice implementation of commentaries and dictionaries
All resource databases are free
Easy navigation throughout

Cons:
KJV only
Slow reading off the card
Limited search options

 

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