BibleReader for Mac

OliveTree BibleReader for Mac

Showing the BibleReader Notes Pane

OliveTree gave us Christmas on Thanksgiving this year with the release of their incredible Bible software, BibleReader for the Mac OSX platform.

OliveTree has been around since 1998. Admittedly, I’ve been using their eBible software on the Palm, the Windows Mobile, the iPhone, and the NookColor for since the first release for each platform.

What makes their software so good? It starts with the company itself. BibleReader seems to be a company of Bible thumpers devoted to spreading God’s Word through the electronic medium. Starting from that foundation, they have consistently built their software specifically for people who both read and study the scriptures.

OliveTree Software

Resource Library and OliveTree Account

They give away BibleReader software with the King James Version and American Standard Version for FREE. Yes FREE. No strings. No gimmicks. They have also thrown in the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, and the Easton Dictionary of the Bible to get you started Bible thumping right away. (Author’s commentary: careful study of Scripture will likely reveal that the commentaries misinterpret certain scriptures. This review isn’t about discussing that; however, the reader should understand that all commentaries come with their bias, just like your own personal bias.)

So what features does good Bible software contain? Looking at first impressions goes a long way.

  • First is ease of navigation: OliveTree has spent years refining their navigation approach to the Bible and it shows. Having used other software like Logos, Biblesoft, e-Sword, BibleDesktop, and QuickVerse, I can tell you this really counts if you are truly studying the scriptures. The ability to quickly navigate to one verse, see cross-references, click on them, and toggle back-and-forth between that in previous verses, or to preview or open the cross-referenced verse in either a hover-pane or second pane is critical. BibleReader gets this right.
  • Second is the ability to highlight, tag, or annotate verses with personal notes also critical. BibleReader gets this right, too.

OliveTree BibleReader for Mac Account Synchronization

BibleReader synchronizing to the OliveTree cloud

Having covered how BibleReader masters the basics, we move onto what sets Bible Reader apart… synchronization. BibleReader backs my notes up to my free Evernote account, and then synchronizes it to my other devices with BibleReader on it. The power of this is that all my bookmarks, all my highlights, all my personal annotations and notes are available everywhere. No other software that I know of at the time of this writing does this and does this so transparently. Once you connect your Evernote account, in the Mac vain of things… it just happens in the background without user action.

 

Other features include:

  • Instant resource guide that connects passages to cross-references, other translations, commentaries, sermons and maps.
  • Powerful search filters that allow the user to search by section of the Bible, Greek, Hebrew, other resources/translations, etc.

The way that OliveTree is able to give this away, is that they license hundreds of resources and Bible translations/versions through their online store. These resources are associated with your OliveTree account and thus are downloadable to each of your devices.

Criticisms

My one criticism is that there aren’t keyboard shortcuts for Goto, or Search. There are nice toggles for going back and forward in history, Command+[ and Command+] respectively.

The only thing missing is the ability to synchronize where I was in Scripture on one device, and then go to another device and have it open where I left off. I wouldn’t call that a shortcoming, just wishful thinking… and I bet someone at OliveTree is thinking about how to do that, too.

OliveTree BibleReader Features

Ability to highlight, tag, or annotate a verse or verses

 

Thank you OliveTree for such a wonderful early Christmas Present.

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About devinhedge

Devin Hedge is a change agent focused on enabling businesses to deal with complexity and changing market conditions. Devin Hedge brings almost two decades of experience working in the IT Industry in his role as an Executive Coach, Organizational Agility Consultant and Lean Product Development specialist. Devin lives in Apex, NC with his wife and two daughters. When not helping businesses change, Devin spends his volunteering to help those that are forced homeless back on their feet and back into a home. You can find Devin running, biking or hiking all over the South.