Reviews! and User Comments!

Search and ye shall find, TrueBeliever Magazine

Do you find yourself spending more time on your computer and less time even reading God's Word, let alone studying it? You would like to find a good Bible study program, but they're either too expensive or do not meet your needs. Well, I was introduced to a Bible study program created by a company right here in Austin. Bible Research Systems produces "Verse Search," a product that integrates an entire library of Bible translations and references into one easy to use system. BRS, founded in 1981 by Kent Ochel and Bert Brown, produced the very first Bible study program available for home computer users. Beginning with the Apple II, BRS wrote their program for every major home operating system, and has over the past 19 years added a wealth of study aids to make computer based Bible study fast and enjoyable.

I ordered the basic package for Windows, and received it in two days. It includes: 1) Verse Search, the study engine; 2) Bible text for one translation of your choice, (12+ to choose from), and a concordance: 3) Maps; 4) Dictionary; 5) Personal Commentary; 6) Morning & Evening Devotionals, written by Charles H. Spurgeon. It also includes a timeline, table of weights and measures, daily reading schedule and a Bible thesaurus. It comes in several flavors: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP.

Since I am running out of space on my hard drive and my CD-ROM is a 32X, I chose to do a minimum install, requiring the CD to be in the drive while using the program and occupying only 3.6MB of hard drive space. Installation was simple enough, although an access code MUST be entered for each unit ordered. For the basic package five access codes are required. The use of access codes makes it possible for all of the products available for that version to be included on the CD you receive from BRS. To order other products just call BRS on their 800 number or any authorized retailer, give them the order and they will give you the access code for the desired product(s). Pop your Verse Search CD into the drive and install the ordered product(s). Time and cost to both consumer and BRS are significantly reduced.

When the program is opened two windows are shown, Verse Search and Verse List. Navigating around "Verse Search" is like most other Windows programs. All of the latest conventions appear to be in place. So, if you are familiar with either platform you will not have any difficulty navigating this program, and if you are new to computers then getting familiar with it is simply a matter of learning the basics of your chosen system.

Searching for a specific verse is easy; simply select Search > Go to a Verse... (or press F5) and the search dialog box pops up. Either type the desired reference, John 3:16 for example, in the edit field or if you don't like to type just select the Book, Chapter Number and Verse Number in the scrolling fields provided and press the OK button. The first found verse will be shown at the top of the Verse Search window in context and a list of the remaining verses will appear in the Verse List window. How about finding every occurrence of a particular word, group of words, or synonyms of a word? No problem. Just select Search > Find and tell Verse Search what you want to find.

After searching and finding the desired verses then enter the Personal Commentary found under the Study Aids menu. I would recommend doing two things here: tile the Verse Search and Personal Commentary windows and select Translation > Synchronize. With Synchronize enabled the Personal Commentary and Verse Search windows will scroll in sync making it very convenient to make entries and review any commentary already entered.

Additional features include color highlighting that prints in color, bookmarks, and the ability to copy and paste text to your favorite word processor. "Search the Internet" opens your browser and takes you right to the BRS links website.

They even have a good warranty: "We produce quality software that works. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. Return any product in 60 days for a full refund, less shipping and handling. No questions asked."

If you are looking for a well written Bible study program that is simple to use, reasonably priced, and can be expanded significantly as finances allow, "Verse Search" would be an excellent choice to add to your reference library for Windows platforms.

Cyber-Scriptures New Man Magazine

Imagine this: You're at your computer, putting together a Bible study on Ecclesiastes 12:13: "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." To get a better understanding of it, you punch in a few keystrokes and see several translations. NAS, KJV, NKJV and NRS.
That word "fear" has been bugging you, so you click on it and bring up the Hebrew word "yare" from Strong's Dictionary. It means "to revere." Just to make sure, you call up Wycliffe's Bible Encyclopedia and Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary. What about a biography of Solomon? And a map of his kingdom? Now you're in business. Thirty seconds later, the whole caboodle is pasted in a word processor and ready to print.
It took all of 10 minutes, which gives you time for prayer, reflection and some cross-referencing, for which you jump back to your computerized Bible. Bible software is utterly amazing. Not only is a wealth of knowledge available on computer disk, the ease and speed with which it is accessed is equally impressive.
Bible Research Systems makes one of the most comprehensive and easy-to-use Bible software packages I've ever used. It incorporates the full text of highly regarded study aids (a few of which are mentioned above) and a slew of handy features.
Once installed, each module (such as Nave's Topical Bible) can be accessed through a keystroke or pull-down menu. Linking several translations turns your computer into a parallel Bible. You can transfer text and graphics into your word processor, or build a library of favorite (or related) verses without leaving the main module.
The program's TOPICS and PEOPLE modules for its LIBRARIAN feature allows you to find all the biblical references to specific topics or people. Selecting the word "adultery," for example, calls up a list of 88 verses. Or you can search the Bible - in whole or in part - for words you specify.
Dazzle your family! Amaze your friends! Better still, know the Word of God!

Scrolling through the Bible Texas Monthly Magazine

In Austin in the shadow of the IBM assembly plant sit the sparsely furnished, almost ascetic offices of Bible Research Systems. In 1982 the company's founders, Bert Brown and Kent Ochel, made history by becoming the first programmers to transform the entire Bible into a program for home computers. That is a formidable accomplishment. The product of their labor is the most revolutionary thing to happen to any book since the invention of the paperback.
The program acts like a control center, letting you locate and manipulate Bible text. You can search for words, phrases or even entire verses. Within a fraction of a second the screen fills with the opening verses. The text starts to unroll like an ancient parchment. This program would make an excellent companion for all readers.
Bible Research Systems includes a complete manual of instructions, but once I learned how to get the program running, I found ample on-screen help with the stroke of a key. The video instructions were so thorough that I rarely looked at the paper version. Another easy-to-use feature is printing - you can print any range of text, including the collected verses of any index you may have created.
Bible Research Systems has developed complementary programs that are designed to help make Bible study even easier. TOPICS cross-references verses on two hundred subjects and PEOPLE does the same for 140 biblical protagonists. These works allow you to examine and study a wide variety of citations, everything from marriage to forgiveness or from Adam to Zedekiah, whether or not the specific word or name actually appears in the verses selected. TOPICS and PEOPLE are useful study aids as well as impressive demonstrations of the indexing capability.

Putting Out the Word Electronically, New York Times

With personal computers, users can manipulate information on their own. An example is the electronic version of the Bible, sold by Bible Research Systems of Austin, Texas. Bible students using the disks and a personal computer can search for particular words or phrases without having to know the chapter and verse numbers.

Spirit of a New Machine, Third Coast

When technology looks for a revolution, it often looks to the Holy Bible. Five centuries ago the Bible was hot off the Gutenberg Press. Just as the printing press completely altered the way literature was once distributed, computer technology will revolutionize the way we'll read and learn. And once again, the best seller of all time leads the way. The new Gutenbergs are Kent Ochel and Bert Brown, partners in Bible Research Systems, based in Austin.

The Bible on Home Computer, The Christian Science Monitor

When Beryl Thompson studies the Bible, she switches on a computer. The 70-year-old Bible teacher now studies the Scriptures using a computer program developed by Bible Research Systems. "I am finding it very useful," teacher Thompson says. "It is much simpler to use" than traditional Bible study methods. The new scriptural software in effect turns her computer into an electronic concordance.

Computer Feat, Personal Computing

I had a big discussion with my Sunday school class, and I had used the program from Bible Research Systems to print out all the references. The lesson became a lot more meaningful to my students when they could see what the Bible actually says.

THE WORD processor, Houston Post

Two Texas men have combined the world's oldest best seller with modern technology to develop a Bible computer program that allows detailed anaylsis of the Scriptures a the touch of a keyboard.

Computerized Bible, National Catholic Register

A computer program designed by Bible Research Systems allows detailed analyses of Scriptures at the touch of a button.

The Disk-Based Bible, Popular Computing

Until now Bible researchers have had to work from concordances. But concordances have a serious drawback. The software from Bible Research Systems, on the other hand, is limitless; it lets you connect any single phrase or string of characters within the Bible to all its precise reference points.

Briefs, The Wall Street Journal

Bible Research Systems, a Texas company, brings out a Bible on a computer disk called The Word processor.

Bill Atherton, Durant, Oklahoma

As a user of Verse Search since the early eighties, I truly appreciate the way you have continued to improve and expand the capabilities of this outstanding Bible study program. I just completed the installation of the new Verse Search update for Windows 95. The new features are all great! Over the years I have found the following statement from my first operating manual to be true: "Every effort has been made to assure a product that contains all the functions needed and which operates without error. We are proud of the quality of our work and we are committed to its proper functioning." I appreciate your continuing efforts to maintain the quality and usefulness of your Bible software over the years. You have lived up to your original commitment. Keep up the good work!

Paul Raybern, Houston, Texas

This software has added greater value to the hours I spend in study and teaching preparation. I can now do detailed research in minutes that once took hours. This is an all encompassing family of programs that has my strongest recommendation.

E.W. Goodrick and John R. Kohlenberger III, The NIV Complete Concordances.

This is the finest software for general Bible research we have found. Its ease of use and great speed and capabilities commend it to the novice as well as to the seasoned researcher. It has our strongest recommendation.

Christian Boetker, Elizabethton, Tennessee

Now that I have the software from Bible Research Systems, my studies have become so exciting, and so quick. I do not believe that I could go back to my old way of studying the Bible.

Jeff Anderson, Eagan, Minnesota

I must say that of all the software that I own, your program is still my favorite. I cannot fathom Bible study without this incredible software! Your efforts are sincerely appreciated in bringing this masterpiece to the market place.

Floyd Jones, Houston, Texas

It is easy to learn and does incredibly fast searches. It enhances my study abilities and clearly demonstrates the benefits of computers in ministry. I sincerely recommend this program to anyone with the desire to grow in their Bible study.

Rebecca Kortan, Santa Paula, California

Its ease of use enables me to get my work done quickly and accurately. Over the years that I have had your programs, I have been very pleased with your updates and many new study aid add-ons. I am so glad that I chose Bible Research Systems! Keep up the good work!

Glen Yeager, Tyler, Texas

Outstanding, excellent, extremely helpful and well worth the money! It is an easy to use tool for studying the Bible.

Jack Nation, Waverly, Iowa

The ease of use and versatility of Verse Search and add-ons has made Christian study a sheer joy! I have always appreciated the fast and friendly service I have received when calling for orders or technical help.