Friday, October 30, 2009

e-Sword: The Best Free Bible Study Software Better Than Ever

I have been a long time user of e-Sword (alongside BibleWorks) and cannot recommend it highly enough. It is a free Bible study software program that rivals many that you would have to pay for and is better that most. And the latest version (9.5.1) is even better, with a fully dockable user interface that enables you to completely customize the layout and "display what you want, where you want it by dragging the views into position with their titlebar." This program also makes basic word studies a breeze and has been of great use to those in my congregation to whom I have recommended it. In fact, they often tell me that they love the layout and how user-friendly the program is. There is not a very steep learning curve with this program, so most anyone can catch on to it quickly.

For those interested, here is the rest of the list of updates in the latest version:
The Bible Search feature now allows the ability to perform case-sensitive searches.

The multi-row tabs are now locked in place, so no more moving targets!

A new Bible book browser has been implemented and is no longer docked to the side of the program. Press the F2 key to display the Lookup Scripture Reference dialog next to the mouse pointer wherever it is located, or access it from the main toolbar with the button next to the "Lookup" combobox.

Study Notes can be made on any verse in the Bible, now including the Orthodox Apocrypha and the Catholic Deuterocanon.

You can now Export the Study Notes and Topic Notes in HTML, Word DOC and Adobe PDF file formats, in addition to the previous plain text and Rich Text formats.

You can now Import both HTML and Word DOC files directly into the Study Notes and Topic Notes.
The Print Preview feature has been updated, and now all printing is performed through it.

Highlighting custom colors are now saved for use between sessions.

Localization of the e-Sword user interface continues with the implementation of fully Unicode compliant controls.
And here is a more complete list of basic features:
All available Bibles, commentaries and dictionaries are readily viewed without having to "tile windows".

Create your own "parallel Bible" with up to any four translations. Studying the Word of God and comparing passages have never been easier!

Integrated editor for creating your own commentaries or study notes, complete with Spell Checking and a Thesaurus! Notes are "linked" to the Bible for easy viewing and can also be exported for portability.

Comprehensive print capabilities, including print preview, allow you to create impressive Bible study handouts from the Study Notes Editor.

Strong's definitions are displayed as ToolTips! Just place the mouse pointer over a Strong's number and the definition will then be displayed.

Scripture references in the Commentary and Dictionary views are displayed as ToolTips! Just place the mouse pointer over the reference and the passage will then be displayed. To go to the passage, just click it!

Easily compare the various translations to see how they rendered the Greek or Hebrew manuscripts.

Powerful search capabilities, yet simple to use. Enter as many words you want to search for and select the search style and range. You can even search on Strong numbers and exclude words from the search!

Use the Verse List to create your own topical lists of Scripture, or cataloging your discoveries!

Copy and print Scripture in a variety of formatting styles. This is also available for search results and verse lists.

Graphics Viewer for studying maps, charts, and other images.

STEP Reader for viewing the various resources you may have invested in from QuickVerse, Bible Companion, and WORDsearch.
Although a number of modules have been developed for purchase by eStudySource, the list of free modules grows daily. There are quite a few free modules already offered at the e-Sword downloads page, such as John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible, Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, the Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament, or A.T. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament. This list has grown steadily over the years.
But one of the great things about e-Sword is the ability that users have to create and share their own modules. This means that there are many free user-created resources available at sites like the e-Sword Users site. One user at this site has even created several lists of resources of special interest to Baptists. For example:

For those who are interested,  I have also made a number of resources of special interest to Reformed Baptists available at my own website here (all the resources with a .top extension are e-Sword Topic Notes files).

If you are looking for a free, user-friendly Bible study program that you can recommend to others in your church, e-Sword is hard to beat!


  1. I have been an eSword user myself until i found out 'The Word' (
    It has hundreds more features, it's more modern, faster and more intuitive.
    Also, it really supports creating modules from within the program (unlike eSword), it recognizes verses as you type, it has great search engine, etc ... (too many to mention)
    I suggest you try it out!

  2. The Word certainly does appear to be the only other freeware Bible study program that can compete with e-Sword. It has been gaining in popularity, and Rubén Gómez of Bible Softwate review has said of The Word:

    "Version 3 of this great freeware program created by Costas Stergiou has just been released. The Word is a very powerful and highly customizable Bible program that offers great features, and although the online help is still not available, it is fairly easy to explore. For more detailed help there is a very active forum and also a number of independent sites that offer user modules and further instructions...

    I warmly recommend The Word. Feel free to download it and give it a whirl."

  3. Hey, Guys,

    thanks for giving a "shout out" to my "Baptist" blogs at I appreciate it very much! And keep coming back - because I update all three regularly with the newest modules available.


  4. No problem, Dave.

    And thank you for all the effort you have put into making e-sword such a good resource for Baptists.