Palm Study Bible

by PocketGoddess on July 2, 2003

The opening screen of Palm Study really says it all. Instead of just opening to the first verse of the Bible, as many other programs will do, you are presented with a full menu of choices. This review will go through each of them in turn, so that you can get a good idea of what this application is all about. The first one, “Read Chapter” takes you straight to a selection screen where you can quickly navigate to any book, chapter, and verse in the Bible. The Old and New Testaments are presented on two different screens for ease of use. Next you have the books located in that portion of the Bible, and tapping on Galatians, for example, causes the chapter listing to change to reflect the fact that there are six chapters in that book of the Bible. You can choose to go to a specific chapter at this point, or you can select “Go To Verse” at the bottom of the screen to be presented with a listing of all the verses in that chapter. Once you select a verse you are taken directly to the proper place in the text. If you’ll look closely at the selection screen, you’ll see a small text box that asks “Add to record?” This is great for keeping track of your Bible reading schedule. If you tap it, Palm Study will add it to your Reading Record, which is another option on that opening screen. When you go to my reading record, you’ll see that I’ve read Jude, as well as 40% of the book of 1 John. This is a wonderful tool to make sure that you are reading all of the Bible instead of just concentrating on your “favorite” parts, or as a help to see how far you’ve progressed in reading the Bible in one year, for example.
 

The main Bible screen deserves some mention here. It is well laid out, with obvious icons. The first one at the top that looks like a stop sign takes you back to the main menu for the program, whiile the book icon takes you to the main navigation screen for the Bible. Tap +C to go to a quick chapter selection screen, or +V if you want to skip ahead to a specific verse. The green arrow keys move from chapter to chapter. While you can use the up and down scroll buttons on your Palm OS device to page through a chapter, you must use the arrow keys or a navigation screen to move between chapters. This is only a slight inconvenience. I do like the fact that the individual verse numbers are a very easy to see shade of blue, so you can quickly see where exactly in the text you are at that moment.

The next entry in the opening menu is “My Notes.” Some other Palm OS Bibles allow you to add study notes to specific verses, but this is the first one I’ve ever seen that allows you to see a list of all of those notes in one place. This is invaluable if you are looking for a particular note, but can’t quite remember what verse you attached it to. Even better, it is possible to categorize your notes, which means that you could keep track of sermon notes in one category, personal study notes in another, or even have categories of Scripture references by topic, such as “trusting God,” “evangelism,” or any other category you can think of. When you tap on a note in the list, the text you have entered immediately appears. If you tap on the icon in the top left hand corner that looks like a chain, it will load the Bible and show you the chapter that the note is attached to. Unfortunately you cannot add notes to specific verses, only chapters, but that should be good enough for almost any purpose. Since you can specify the title of the note, it would be quite easy to mention the specific verse so that it will be obvious when you later review your notes.
 

One of my favorite features is next– “Memory Verse.” It seems that no Christian spends as much time on Bible memory as they should, and Palm Study presents a fun way to dojust that. Select this option on the main menu and you will be presented with a verse to “unscramble” from memory. For example, Joshua 1:9–the screen shows every word in the verse in the translation I tested, the NASB, but they’re all out of order. If you think that you remember the verse, you can tap on each word in turn to add them to the unscrambled version of the verse just above. You can undo a word if you tap by mistake, and you can ask for help by tapping the “Show me” button if you don’t remember the verse well enough to unscramble it. If you get it perfectly right, Palm Study will say “You got it” If you get stuck in the middle of the verse, you can tap the “Verify” button and if you have made a mistake, the words up to that point will be undone, so you can start again. Even better, you can ask Palm Study to generate a new memory verse for you at random, or you can pick exactly the verse that you want to practice. That way you can either work on Bible memory verses in general, or else you can use Palm Study in conjunction with an already existing Bible study or memorization program.

 

I’ve already discussed the Reading Record, so let’s move on to the Subject Index. This is a unique feature that I really enjoyed. Instead of searching for verses manually, the Subject Index collects a variety of Bible verses that relate to a specific topic, such as relationships, your personal walk, salvation, and the church. It’s very well done, and a nice resource. Tap on a specific item in the listing, such as “Welath/Possessions” and up pops a list of verses. You can tap on any one of them to be taken to their position in the text, so that you can read more about that particular subject. It’s slightly different from the main Bible text though, in that you can tap “Done” at the bottom of the page to be taken back to the topic listing OR you can tap “Show Chapter” to go to the main Bible text. I wish that it was possible to add my own topics to the collection, or that the collection covered more topics, but it is still a nice feature. I would certainly like to see it expanded in future versions of the program.

 

The last portion of the program is the Search function. It is very nicely featured, with the option to type in up to four search words, along with the ability to narrow your search to the Old or New Testament. That certainly speeds things up, especially when you already have a good idea of where the verse is located. You can also search for the exact phrase, if you know the translation well enough to specify that. I found searching to be amazingly speedy, though granted I did test the application with every file resinding in the RAM of my device, insead of the card–though Palm Study is indeed VFS compatible.

While I could probably dream up a few features that I would like to see in future releases, I am still very impressed with the Palm Study Bible application. It is very fully-featured, intelligently designed, and includes several components that would be considered “extras” with other programs, such as the memory verse and topical Bible features. It is available with the NASB translation, though at a slightly higher cost than some of the other translations: NASB is $21, the King James is $10.95, and the American Standard and Word English Bibles are each $9.95. After you purchase one version of Palm Study, you can also choose to add Young’s Literal Translation and the Darby Bible for free. You can get all the details at the AcroDesign web site.

PocketGoddess Rating for PalmStudy: 5 out of 5

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