<br><h3> Chapter One </h3> <b>Preparation</b> <p> <p> As I said in the Introduction, your Mac is designed to make you look good. iPhoto lets you take digital photos and turn them into great looking cards, calendars, slideshows, and Web pages. iMovie can help you turn home movies into first-rate productions. Keynote lets you create great-looking presentations while discouraging you from going overboard with text effects and transitions. Pages goes beyond word processing to help you create stunning page layouts. At every turn, it's as if you have your own team of designers helping you to look polished and professional. <p> Yet all of this design help is useless without great content to share. iPhoto will sit unused until you actually import some of your photos into it. iMovie just consumes disk space until you upload a movie to edit. Without your text, Pages layouts are filled with such stimulating phrases as "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet" (see sidebar "Mac Literacy: Why 'Lorem ipsum'?"). And what good is iTunes without some actual tunes? Good design and a polished presentation can enhance good content, but if the content isn't there, all that design is like frosting without any cake. <p> Before we see how your Mac can help you present your message, let's look at some ways your Mac can help you <i>prepare</i> your message. In other words, let's learn how to put together some great content before we focus on how best to deliver it. <p> <p> <b>IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, SO START THERE</b> <p> For Christians, any message worth communicating begins with the Bible, which we believe to be the very Word of God. All preparation for ministry-whatever that ministry happens to be-must therefore begin with the Bible. <p> So how can our Macs help us study the Bible? Through Web-based Bible-study tools and powerful Bible software programs. Which resources you choose will depend on your needs and your budget. In this chapter, I'll survey the options that are currently available and expose you to what's possible with each one. In Chapter 7, I'll actually describe the process of using Bible software to prepare a sermon or lesson. You'll also find a demonstration video in the Bible Software folder of the accompanying DVD. <p> Before I list the resources available for studying the Bible on your Mac, let me talk for just a moment about why you would <i>want</i> to use your Mac to study the Bible. <p> <p> <b>PAPER VERSUS ELECTRONIC BIBLE STUDY</b> <p> I love books. I love the way they feel in your hands. I love the smell of the paper. I love the way they look on the shelf. I love the experience of lounging somewhere reading them. However, I <i>don't</i> love having to shuffle between a half-dozen reference works spread out across a desk. I <i>don't</i> love scanning the small print of a paper concordance in an attempt to find some half-remembered verse. I <i>don't</i> love flipping back and forth between the main text and the index, or the main text and the end notes, or the main text and a glossary. Finally, I <i>don't</i> love lugging a bunch of books around. <p> Doing in-depth Bible study with paper books is cumbersome. It takes time and effort to find the information you're looking for, and the effort required can actually interfere with the quality of your study. If you've ever sat at your desk and thought about consulting a book on your shelf, only to decide that it would be too much trouble to get up, you know exactly what I mean. <p> The beauty of doing Bible study or other research electronically is that it is easier to find the information you need, which in turn enables you to consult more resources and dig deeper than you otherwise might. <p> That said, paper still has some advantages. When reading an entire book, most people still prefer the experience of curling up with a good book to staring at a computer screen for hours on end. With electronic books, it can be so easy to access the relevant sections that it likewise becomes easy to take passages out of context or miss an author's wider argument. Paper books, on the other hand, encourage you to read from beginning to end, or at least to skim forward and back enough to get the broader context of an argument. <p> In the final analysis, paper books are best for extended reading, but electronic books are best for consulting reference works and doing nonlinear research. Put another way: When you're doing your daily devotions, you might want to reach for your print Bible; but when you're engaged in serious Bible study, you'll probably want to start up your Mac. <p> <p> <b>WEB-BASED BIBLE STUDY TOOLS</b> <p> So many Web-based tools for studying the Bible are available today that it would be impossible for me to survey them all. All I can do is expose you to a few of the best and most popular. <p> The primary advantage of Web-based tools is that you can get free access to some top-notch resources, including modern Bible translations, study Bibles, dictionaries, language tools, and commentaries. If you're working with a limited budget, Web-based tools will become an indispensable resource. <p> <p> <b>Bible Gateway www.biblegateway.com</b> <p> The Bible Gateway lets you look up and read passages in a wide variety of Bible texts and translations (see Fig. 1.01). You can search for passages by verse, do basic word and phrase searches, or find passages related to a particular topic. A modest selection of commentaries, dictionaries, and reading plans is also available. You can even access a handful of audio Bibles. <p> <p> <b>Blue Letter Bible www.blueletterbible.org</b> <p> The Blue Letter Bible brings together a powerful collection of study tools. Enter your passage on the home page to view that passage in the translation of your choice. Beside each verse, a series of icons gives you access to a variety of Bible study tools. <p> * The K button shows cross-references from the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. <p> * The C button brings up a Strong's Concordance giving information about the Greek or Hebrew words being translated. <p> * The L button gives a Listing of commentaries on the passage, including some modern Bible teaching and even audio and video resources. <p> * The I button provides links to related Images. <p> * The V button lets you see the verse in every available Version. <p> * The D button lists Bible Dictionary entries for words in the passage. <p> <p> You can also access these and other resources by clicking the links in the contents bar to the leftor using the search fields on the right (see Fig. 1.02). <p> <p> <b>YouVersion www.YouVersion.com</b> <p> YouVersion offers a pleasant reading experience coupled with a social-networking component. Featuring an attractive layout and simple design, YouVersion's basic view offers one Bible translation on the leftof the page, with a collection of Bible study tools to the right (see Fig. 1.03). You can also opt for a view that replaces the Bible study tools with a second Bible translation. YouVersion offers a wide selection of translations. <p> The Bible Study Tools section includes a daily reading plan, a journal option that can only be viewed by you, and a Community Contributions section that acts as a sort of running commentary. You can even add your own contributions (including images and video) and share them with the rest of the community. You can follow members whose contributions you find helpful, or tag the contributions you "like." <p> YouVersion also lets you search for keywords, add tags or bookmarks to passages, and copy links to passages that you can add to your own documents or Web pages. YouVersion even offers an iPhone app. <p> <p> <b>BIBLE SOFTWARE FOR MAC</b> <p> When I was in seminary, I used to work nights cleaning office buildings and churches, including the church I happened to attend at the time. I remember dusting the shelves of my senior pastor's office and lingering over all the books on the shelves. There were numerous Bible translations, commentary sets, dictionaries, lexicons, literary works, Bible atlases, systematic theologies, and more. This pastor was an avid reader, and after twenty years in ministry he had amassed quite a library. As a young seminarian, I dreamed of having a library like that some day. <p> Today, I have access to a library at least as large as my pastor's, and it all resides on the hard drive of my MacBook! That's the beauty of Bible-study software. It's designed to give you instant access to all the material anyone in ministry might need: multiple translations, original language texts, lexicons, commentaries, and even maps, timelines, and images. Mac users have always enjoyed some of the best Bible software tools available. Here's a brief rundown of the commercial, free, and shareware programs currently available. <p> <p> <b>Commercial Applications</b> <p> At the risk of stating the obvious, commercial Bible software programs are those that are purchased by the user, and the companies that produce them rely on product sales to stay in business. Commercial Bible programs usually cost more than other alternatives, but they also tend to offer more features, better support, and a greater breadth of materials, particularly modern Bibles and study aids that need to be licensed from their respective publishers. There are currently four commercial Bible programs available for the Mac: <p> <b>Accordance Developer:</b> OakTree Software, Inc. <b>Website:</b> www.accordancebible.com <b>Current Version:</b> 8.4 <b>Cost:</b> $49 and up <p> <p> Accordance Bible software is a full-featured commercial Bible program developed exclusively for the Mac. You can use it to do everything from basic Bible study to in-depth scholarly research. <p> The Accordance interface is designed around the idea that the text of the Bible should be the central focus of your study. The main Bible view is designed to let you search by words or verses, as well as display multiple Bible texts, commentaries, and user notes in parallel panes (see Fig. 1.04). <p> The Resource palette at the right lets you quickly access commentaries, dictionaries, lexicons, and a large library of study aids. Searching any of these resources is built right into the top part of the tabs in which they're displayed. <p> You can also instantly search any resource by amplifying to it. You do this by selecting something you're looking at-a word or phrase in an English translation, a place name on a map, Greek or Hebrew text, or whatever-and then choosing the resource you want to consult from the Resource palette. The resource you choose will immediately be opened and searched for the text you had selected. <p> This kind of quick look-up capability results in a workflow that keeps you focused on the text of the Bible. You run across a word you want to look up in a dictionary, so you instantly pull up the dictionary, get the information you need, and return to the text. Then you come across a place name you want to find on a map, so you click a button, work with the map, and return to the text. Then you find the name of a person you want to place on a Timeline, so you click another button, view the Timeline, and return to the text. All of these resources are kept neatly arranged in tabs, so you can always get back to your passage of study. <p> Accordance offers a wide range of Bible study materials in a variety of different packages, but most people begin with one of Accordance's primary collections. Choose some level of the Library Collection for a wide selection of English Bibles and study aids, some level of the Scholar's Collection if you need Greek and Hebrew texts and lexicons, or some bundle of the two collections if you need both. Other collections, add-ons, and custom options are also available. <p> The least expensive way to get Accordance is to purchase the application for $49 and download a free collection of starter modules. <p> <b>iLumina Developer:</b> Tyndale House <b>Website:</b> www.ilumina.com <b>Current Version:</b> 2.6 <b>Cost:</b> $89.99 <p> <p> Most Bible programs tend to emphasize tools for studying texts. They may offer some multimedia resources like maps, timelines, and images, but the bulk of your time is spent searching the Bible, consulting dictionaries, and reading commentaries. iLumina is the opposite. It offers some text-based study tools, but its main focus is on multimedia resources. <p> What kind of multimedia resources? You name it. iLumina has pictures. It has a basic timeline. It has maps. It has videos of Biblical events like the showdown between David and Goliath. It has 3D reconstructions of first-century Jerusalem and Herod's temple. It even has some instructional videos narrated by an archaeologist. <p> All of this media-rich content is presented in a custom-built interface that is relatively simple but not particularly Mac-like. A Bible view gives you the option of viewing the text of Tyndale's own New Living Translation, the King James Bible, or both side by side. A portion of the window is dedicated to showing media related to your passage, and another portion lets you view commentaries or cross-references (see Fig. 1.05). <p> Other views include an Encyclopedia view for looking up dictionary articles and topics, a Time Travel view that shows a Timeline, and the Media Center, where you can explore all of iLumina's media content directly (see Fig. 1.06). <p> iLumina is designed to meet the needs of those who are doing basic Bible study and who may not know how to study the Bible. It therefore includes just two Bible translations, a relatively small number of commentaries and reference material, and a huge amount of visual content. If you want to do in-depth study and need a large library of resources, you'll have to look elsewhere. Yet even if you do choose another program as your main study tool, iLumina's rich media content and educational materials, coupled with its low cost, make it a worthwhile supplement to the other programs listed here. <p> <p> <b>Logos Bible Software Developer:</b> Logos Research Systems, Inc. <b>Website:</b> www.logos.com; www.macbiblesoftware.com <b>Current Version:</b> pre-release alpha of Logos 4 <b>Cost:</b> $149.95 and up <p> <p> Logos Bible software (also known as the Libronix Digital Library System) places an emphasis on working with large libraries of electronic books. Originally developed for Windows and released in 1992, Logos is notable for offering the largest selection of Biblical and theological books currently available in Bible study software. <p> In March of 2005, Logos announced that they would soon release a native Mac version of their software. This initial porting effort, which Logos had outsourced to another company, faced repeated delays and was eventually released in December of 2008 as Libronix DLS for Mac. This program lacked many of the features of the Windows version, including user notes, highlighting, effective window management, and some advanced original language searches. <p> Meanwhile, Logos had embarked on a major rewrite of their Windows product (Logos 4), and the existing Mac product was in danger of falling further and further behind. Logos therefore decided to abandon its existing Mac product and begin developing Logos 4 for both Windows and Mac. <p> In November of 2009, Logos released Logos 4. The Windows application currently features a revamped interface but is missing many of the features of Logos 3 for Windows. At the time of this writing, the Mac version of Logos 4 is a pre-release alpha, which is extremely limited, but it does give Mac users a glimpse into where Logos is heading. <p> For the time being, Mac users wanting to use Logos 4 must use the Windows version in a virtualization program like Parallels or Fusion. Mac users can also request an install disc for the older Libronix DLS for Mac and use that. <p> The Logos interface places a great deal of emphasis on broad searches and automated reports (see Figs. 1.07 and 1.08). The screenshots shown in Figures 1.07 and 1.08 are of Libronix DLS for Mac. The pre-release alpha of Logos 4 has a different look but the same kinds of reports. <p> Logos offers a series of base packages ranging in price from $149.95 to $4,290.00. Logos encourages customers to purchase the largest package they can afford in order to get the best value. <p> <b>QuickVerse Developer:</b> Findex.com, Inc. <b>Website:</b> www.quickverse.com <b>Current Version:</b> 3.0 <b>Cost:</b> $59.95 and up <p> <p> QuickVerse has long been a popular Bible program for Windows. A Mac version of the program was released in the summer of 2005. While the Mac program retains the QuickVerse name and some similar functionality, it essentially is a separate program developed for the Mac. The Mac program therefore has a more Mac-like interface than its Windows counterpart, yet it lacks many of the features of the Windows program. <p> <i>(Continues...)</i> <p> <p> <!-- copyright notice --> <br></pre> <blockquote><hr noshade size='1'><font size='-2'> Excerpted from <b>Macs in the Ministry</b> by <b>DAVID LANG</b> Copyright © 2010 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Excerpted by permission.<br> All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.<br>Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.