Our family has been using e-Sword Bible study software since 2005. At first I used Pocket e-Sword on my old Dell Axim handheld PDA as a quick and easy way to look up Scriptures that were referenced in books I was reading. It was some time later that our entire family realized the software was very helpful for making notes, easily comparing Bible versions, keeping a journal, referencing commentaries and dictionaries, or studying Latin, Greek or Hebrew words.
e-Sword was first released in 2000. As of 2013, it had been downloaded 25,000,000 times! It is available for Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Linux, and Mac. Although not free, you can also download e-Sword iPad and iPhone apps.
Bible study software can come in very handy when it comes to helping our students read along with a commentary (ala Charlotte Mason), or do a word study, or memorize Scripture, or consult Greek or Hebrew word meanings.
There are so many features that make this free software a must for those seeking a digital source!
- Your choice of Bible version. KJV comes with the download, but other versions can be downloaded at no cost. Proprietary versions are available for a fee.
- Commentaries. Matthew Henry’s complete and concise commentaries are free, along with others. There is also a wide variety of other commentaries that can be purchased for download.
- Dictionaries. Strong’s, Nave’s Topical, Webster’s 1828, and many others.
- Devotions. Morning and Evening by Spurgeon, for example.
- Graphics. Many, many maps, timelines, atlases, and satellite images.
- Reference books. These include Institutes of the Christian Religion by Calvin and Fox’s Book of Martyrs, for example.
- Editors. There are three areas in which you can add your own text, complete with font and other formatting and printing options. The three different areas include a journal tied to a calendar, study notes tied to specific Bible verses, and topic notes where you supply the topics.
The above modules can be arranged in a variety of ways to suit the reader. e-Sword also includes a search function that will search whatever version of the Bible you choose for the word you are looking for. Bookmarks are available to help you keep your place(es) and can also be used to mark memory work. If you have more than one Bible loaded, you can compare verses in a parallel view.
My Axim is no longer operational, and these days I use a desktop version of e-Sword for keeping journal notes, and quickly looking up Scripture while I’m on my computer. And no, e-Sword has not replaced our Bibles. But when it comes to other Bible study purposes, e-Sword is a handy tool for the homeschool Mom!