Mac and the Good Book

By Johnson, Harriett; Johnson, Richard | Computers in Libraries, January 1991 | Go to article overview

Mac and the Good Book

Johnson, Harriett, Johnson, Richard, Computers in Libraries

Computers are wonderful for compact storage. So much information can be stowed away in such a small amount of space. But compact storage is one thing; retrieving a particular bit of data is another. Thus search-and-find programs are devised to help you. These program work like indexes or concordances to books, but they do the job much faster.

Without a doubt the one book in the western world that has elicited the greatest amount of study and research is the Bible. Many guides and reference tools have been devised to aid the student. The reference section in any library will include different versions of the Bible, several encyclopedias, dictionaries and concordances, and a variety of other reference works. Computer-based guides now supplement these printed aides, and one religious publishing house, Zondervan, has released both printed volumes and computer software for Bible study.


macBible- (yes, a lower-case m), a product of the Zondervan Corporation, Michigan, is a set of computer disks that include the full text of the Bible and a search program to retrieve information quickly. Zondervan has published macBible in three different English-language versions: the King James Version, the

Revised Standard Version, and the New international Version. Additionally, it has the text in Hebrew and Greek. For these languages it furnishes Hebrew and Greek screen and printer fonts. macBible was written by Ray Brown and originally marketed by Star Software under the name The PerfectWORD.

What macBible does is search the text of the Bible for your selected word or group of words. The verses that include the words you request are displayed on the screen. You can save the result of your search and print it out as a document, or you can copy it to a word processing document and incorporate the data there. If you wish, you can create a verse file of groups of verses that you individually request.

In addition to the search mode, there are two other basic modes for macBible. In the Show Mode you can call up any verse or verses and display them and then print or save them to another document. hi the Count Mode you can cord the number of times any word or words you request occur in the Bible.

At times you may call up a verse but not understand its full import because you are not immediately aware of its relationships to verses before or after it. Here you can take advantage of the the context display and open a separate window showing the neighboring verses.

Through a tiling command, you can display multiple windows on the screen and compare the results of different searches.

macBible in the Library

Reference librarian Robby Molina at the Jeffrey Star Library has installed the program on his Mac. macBible is simple to install, but a hard disk is desirable to facilitate its use. Robby is eager to use macBible to assist students and faculty in their research.

Although the college has no department devoted to religious studies, students often need to consult the Bible. Robby finds that in most cases students call upon the King James Version because it is so closely related to many courses in the humanities. Therefore, Robby has the King James Version module.

Student Amy Winslow asks Robby for assistance as she works on a paper for an English class. Her topic is imagery in the Bible, specifically as such images appear in the King James Version. She will seek to draw links between the language used in that version and other English literature of the period.

Robby introduces Amy to the voluminous print literature in the Jeffrey Star Library, primarily through the subject catalog and the related headings, for example, Plants in the Bible, Birds in the Bible, Animals in the Bible. Amy is surprised so much has been written, but she makes some notes of relevant volumes and scans them. She is particularly taken with Alice Parmelee's book, All the Birds of the Bible,' and returns to see if Robby can help her further in defining her topic. …

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Mac and the Good Book


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