NIV Study Bible for Palm OS

by PocketGoddess on November 16, 2004

The NIV Study Bible from Laridian is based on their popular MyBible software. That means that you get a great deal more than a standard study Bible. You also get easy navigation, fast searches, bookmarks, and the ability to add notes and “highlights” to the biblical text. There are plenty of translations available, such as the NIV, NASB, Amplified, the Message, the NKJV, NLT, and RSV, as well as several free versions. But what if you want something more than just the text of the Bible? What if you have questions regarding the meaning of a particular passage, or want to find out where similar topics are discussed without doing a word search? Until now you’ve had to rely on standard printed books, or perhaps on a Bible software package on your personal computer.

But with the NIV Study Bible, an entirely new world has been opened up in the form of literally thousands of study notes covering the entire Bible. As you’re reading the text, you’ll see small symbols that let you know when extra information is available. Asterisks at the beginning of a verse let you know that there are NIV Study Bible notes relating to that verse, while a small symbol at the end of the verse highlights the fact that there are cross references to other passages available (the information typically shown between the two columns in a standard study Bible). Accessing the extra information couldn’t be easier; simply tap on the symbol to open a pop up window that floats over the text. When you’re finished reviewing the note or cross reference, just tap either “Done” or “OK”– it’s that simple. One nice extra feature is the fact that all of the references in the study notes are hyperlinked, so that one tap takes you directly to the text in question. You can jump back to your original spot by either using the Navigate/Back command in the menu or by using the /B Graffiti shortcut.

Unfortunately a few things are “missing” from the electronic version. The book introductions and outlines are not present here, and neither are the graphics and maps. The lack of charts, tables, and maps is rather understandable, as handheld software is just now starting to advance to the point that graphics can easily be integrated into text-heavy applications (reference the recent release of Tome Raider 3 and GMPSoft’s Bible Images With You). But I was rather surprised that the book introductions were not carried over, since they contain such useful information as authors/dates, themes, special characteristics, and outlines. It would seem to be a simple matter to add the introductory material to chapter 1, verse 1 of each book. Perhaps a future update will include a more complete version of the NIV Study Bible.

I’m glad to have a wealth of biblical knowledge literally in the palm of my hand, though I was somewhat disappointed to find that some of the resources included in the print version of the NIV Study Bible were not included in the electronic version from Laridian. However, there is a cost savings involved– the hardcover NIV Study Bible is $39.99, while the electronic version is only $29.99. That coupled with the ease of searching and the convenience of always having a Bible at hand may make this application a smart investment after all. You’ll probably want to keep it on a memory expansion card though, as the full NIV Study Bible requires approximately 11MB of storage space. You can get more information or purchase a Palm OS or Pocket PC version license at the Laridian web site.

PocketGoddess Rating for the NIV Study Bible from Laridian: 4 out of 5

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