Bible Software Review: By way of an introduction, please give us any personal information you'd like to share with our readers...
Ivan Jurik: Theophilos Bible software is a privately held software project. We are not affiliated with any commercial or religious organization or group and we are totally independent from and do not promote any particular doctrinal views or teachings of any particular Christian denomination. We try to promote the Bible as the Word of God and develop tools that can encourage its study with the help of today's technology.
BSR: When did your company start, and why did you feel the need to set this project off?
IJ: Theophilos Bible software has been serving its users since 1997 whenthe first version of Theophilos was initiallyreleased.
BSR: What is yourcurrent role in the company?
IJ: Ivan Jurik is the sole owner and publisher of Theophilos.
BSR: When you look back, what would you identify as being the single greatest feat in the history of Bible software?
IJ: Bible software brought the tools used by scholars to public use. In a way this can be compared with Martin Luther's achievement of bringing the Bible to the lay community.
BSR: What segment ofBible software users do you consider to be your main target?
IJ: We are offering quality yet affordable Bible study and publishing tools for laymen from beginner to advanced level, aswell as for people in the preaching, teaching and missionary fields.
BSR: In your opinion, what are the three most salient features of your application?
IJ: Well balanced combination of ease-of-use and powerful features.Our software is not too simple nor too intimidatingto any type of user. Probably the most valued feature is its architecture allowing anyone to create and publish its own study titles either from own work or from public domain sources and integrate them with the Theophilos' library. This includes also multimedia files or entire audio Bible narrations.
BSR: If you had to recommend the use of Bible software to someone who has never been exposed to it before, how would you go about it?
IJ: Bible software should not be seen as the ultimate replacement of the printed Bible. Printed copy of the Bible should always be the choice for your reading and devotional time. But there are many important advantages of Bible software over printed books.
Computer aided study is much more convenient,efficient, faster and more effective. Not only doyou have instant access to any verse of any versionof the Bible but software like Theophilos makes searching for any word, group of words or phrase asnap. As a complete electronic concordance it makes sometimes hours of searching a matter of a second.
A wide variety of reference materials written by respected Bible scholars are just a mouse-click away. Theydon't take up any space on your desk as would all the books if you had to use them in printed form.
Different Bible software packages offer different sets of features and just as people are different soare their needs. With so many Bible software titlesavailable today, everyone will find one that will be best for him. And it does not even have to cost anything.
BSR: Why do youthink people should consider using your software?
IJ: I may disappointyou here, but we do not try to persuade people touse our brand of Bible software. We encourage them to try it as well as other Bible software packagesand choose one that is best for them. Our mission isnot to outsell the other guys but to look for better ways how to study the Bible with the help of computer technology. We do not know if we have the best software for you, but we may have one for your neighbor.
BSR: What is theprimary use you make of your own software?
IJ: Bible research and study, comparing several Bible translations, quick and easy searches in the Bible as well as in otherworks in the library. Storing the results of topical research using the program's features.
BSR: Is there anyfeature lacking in Bible software in general thatyou would love to see implemented soon?
IJ: Probably a widely accepted publishing standard. But I do not hope to see that one soon.
BSR: Are there anyspecific plans to port the software to otherplatforms? (Mac, Linux, PDA...)
IJ: We keep an eye on these platforms as well. However, nothing is implied by this. We do not know what the will of the Lord will be for us and our software in the future.
BSR: Besides English, is or will your software be available in other languages in the foreseeable future?
IJ: Theophilos is currently available in 18 languages besides English.We have completely localized versions of the software in Afrikaans, Bulgarian, Catalan, Czech,Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian,Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian,Slovak, Spanish, Swedish and Thai.
BSR: From your perspective, what should Bible software be heading for in the years to come?
IJ: I see the future of the Bible software industry as very gloomy ;-) Therewill be no need for it when Christ comes! Maranatha!
BSR: Would you like to add or share anything not covered in the previous questions?
IJ: No, thanks
BSR: Thank you so much for your time!