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New American Standard Electronic Bible Library V2.0 with Complete New Testament Amplified Bible Multimedia CD – May, 2002
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Since then I have owned a number of PC Bibles. So far, the NAS Electronic Bible Library 2.0 is the "best in class". It does utilize the 1995 update to the NAS, my personal favorite. What makes the NAS EBL 2.0 the best in class in my opinion?
1) Software-based Reference Features - the software itself has the point and click functions one expects from professional grade software: click to copy, hover to read hidden text, click on note icons to read commentary, click on reference icons to read reference passages, click to see Greek and Hebrew definitions of the precise word selected, and so on.
2) Advanced Search Functions - Ability to see verse fragments in a scrollable list, ability to find search text in the Bible or any other reference materials included in the package, full featured Boolean operators. In fact, the search function is so "intelligent" that just typing in a single word (e.g. satisfy) will cause the package to search for that word and all English variants (satisfaction, satisfied, satisfies).
3) Multiple Texts Included - the package contains the NAS along with the Amplified, the KJV, the ASV, Hebrew and Greek dictionaries, Easton's Bible Dictionary, Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary, along with some assorted histories.
Of course there are some weaknesses in the package. The package tends to load and run slow on my machine (Windows 98, Pentium 2, 128meg RAM). Search functions do take some perceptible time to conclude. Searches resulting in hundreds or thousands of verses can take minutes to complete.
Finally, the feature-packed software is frankly difficult to navigate. The multiple screens/windows that pop up for every activated feature can take some time and patience to learn and to manage. However, as the expression goes, "no pain - no gain". Without the features, this would be just another Bible search program.
For any serious student of the Bible, especially of the NAS, this is a full-featured professional software package; an excellent aid for in-depth Bible study. The package is even expandable, additional versions of the Bible (beyond those included in the package) can be purchased and loaded onto the same user interface engine.
As much as I hate to leave my DOS-Bible behind, this is clearly the future of electronic Bible study. In this case, progress is good.
1. The Bible version itself: This one includes the new updated NASB version. If you've seen comparisons of the various Bible versions, the NASB was generally described as the most literal version (word-for-word accuracy) of the Bible that sometimes suffered in terms of readability for that very reason. I believe the reputation has been largely undeserved. But, with this version they have gone back over sentence structure, vocabulary, etc. with a view toward improving the readability and flow of the language. They have also removed archaic words like Thee and Thou. I believe they have succeeded in improving readability without compromising the accuracy of the translation. We now have a literal, word-for-word translation that reads with the best of the modern versions. (I initially liked the NIV, but eventually got to the point where I realized that without an accurate word-for-word translation close by, I would never really know what the Bible was saying.)
2. The addition of the full Amplified Bible. The previous version had only the Amplified NT. I would never consider the Amplified Bible as a primary Bible, but it's great for comparison study and bringing out nuances in the text.
3. The Libronix Digital Library System. This is the underlying technology used to view and work with the Bible texts and reference materials. It has a browser-like feel to it, so most people will be very comfortable with it in a short period of time. You can do things like hover over references embedded in the Bible text and get a pop-up window of the full text of the verse. A trip to the Hebrew-Greek dictionary from a word in the text is as simple as a right-click and menu selection.
There are many Bible study tools as well. My favorite is the Passage Guide. You simply select it from wherever you are in the Bible text and it will generate a page of everything related to this passage from all the reference works available. You can then follow hyper-links to all the resources. What a time-saver for Bible study! Also, simple things like being able to view passages in a variety of versions are wonderful as well.
I am very enthusiastic about this electronic Bible version. Highly recommended!