I want to highlight features of different tools—be they online only, downloadable, or something you just have to pay for. Of course, we won’t be able to do this all in one post, so you’ll have to tune in.
Our pretend-to-study text will be John 1:1. This will help us to have a constant reference point throughout the series and perhaps will allow us to see comparisons and differences in the medium.
Before you study anything, you have to read. It applies to the Bible. It applies to Shakespeare. I strongly suggest picking up Adler’s How To Read A Book, but that’s just to underscore this one point. You. Must. Read.
Read the full thing. By “full thing” I don’t mean reading the verse that you want to study; I mean reading the entire book, preferably in one sitting. This is, of course, more difficult (impossible?) with bigger books.
- Online: Hop over to the Bible Gateway and pick our favorite translation for a one sitting reading. You type out where you want to read and then go to the Page Options button and turn off headings, cross references, verse numbers—all that stuff. Mind you, there are some really good online Bibles for serious study so don’t think we’re going to stay here.
- Downloadable: Open the program of choice (MacSword/E-Sword/Xiphos) and pick your favorite translation that’s available for free—unfortunately that’s not a lot. You’ll quickly discover that due to licensing issues, you have to pay extra for Bible modules. Turning off the extras is usually located under either the Options or View menu but since you have the restrictions on the versions, you might just want to use the free online option.
- Not-Free: If you spent over a hundred bucks on the program, it most likely has your favorite version but turning off the extra information varies from program to program.
Turning off the extras allow you to read the text without the influence of someone else’s headings and without the visual stop-points of verses.
Crossposted at Digital Sojourner.