e-Sword: Great Free Bible Study Software

e-Sword is my favourite Bible study software, but it’s hard to get people to use it if they don’t know how. So I decided to write a short series of tutorials on some of its highlights. It is free, so everyone who is reading this should be able to use it so long as you are able to download it from the internet.

Here is a screenshot of what it looks like on my computer:

Today I just want to start by explaining why you should download it, and how!

Why Use e-Sword?

“I have a Bible don’t I? What else do I need?” I sometimes imagine people saying that in their heads when I tell them about this Bible software. And it is true that we don’t really need anything else besides the Bible. But it can help with an awful lot of things. Here are some reasons why I think it’s so helpful (and no I’m not benefiting in any way from promoting it!):

  • You can find verses. Often you know a Bible verse exists but you can’t remember where it is. My husband sometimes asks me where a verse is and if I have my computer on I often look on e-Sword.
  • You can find what the Bible says about different topics. Sometimes I’m interested in one particular topic, and although my Thompson Chain Bible is more thorough, I can use Torrey’s topics on e-Sword for a quick look. 
  • You can find parallel passages. Comparing scripture with scripture is one of the best ways to study the Bible, but it is hard to do if you don’t know where the other scriptures are! Treasury of Scripture Knowledge is one of the free resources on e-Sword that is invaluable for doing this.
  • You can get an idea of what commentators say. Often if I’m about to put something on Twitter about a particular verse I will look it up on e-Sword first just to make sure I’m not barking up the wrong tree!
  • You can copy and paste Bible verses. Often when I’m blogging or writing e-mails I use Bible verses, and with e-Sword I can just copy and paste the ones I want to use. Admittedly I did pay extra for the NKJV version on there, but there are many free versions on there as well. 
  • It is fast. You may have a concordance, but if you look up the wrong word in it then you have to turn the pages to find another word. With e-Sword it is a few clicks of the mouse.
  • Everything is in one place. A lot of these helps you can find in other places, like topical treasuries, dictionaries, concordances, commentaries. But they are all together here so you can quickly switch from one thing to another.
How To Download It

This part is quite simple really. Just go to http://www.e-sword.net/ and click on the blue button on the right that says “Download e-Sword now”. Then on the Downloads page go down to where it says e-Sword application installation, and click on the arrow on the right of it. If you are a Mac user just scroll down to underneath those boxes and there is a link you can click on there.
Once it’s all downloaded and installed, if you open the program you will see a ‘Download’ option at the top of the page. You can use that to download all the extras you want. Many of them are free, and it will state clearly if they are not. 
Here’s some of the freebies that I would recommend you get at the very least from those downloads:
Commentaries – Henry (Matthew Henry Concise is I think on the original installation, but the full version is better!), Psalms (the Treasury of David by Spurgeon).
Dictionaries – BDB & Thayer for Hebrew and Greek definitions, Torrey and Nave for topical studies, ISBE to have an encyclopedia.
There’s loads more of course and I tend to download a lot of them, but I don’t want to overwhelm you!
I am going to try to write next about some of the different things you can do with e-Sword, but they also have a training page which you can look at for help here.

Linking up to Women Living Well

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