BiblePro 12  
  Version: 12  
  Developer: BibleOcean  
  Rub�n G�mez  
Overall Rating:  6.0
User Interface: Searching:
Ease of Use Features:
Help & Support: Modules:
Customization: Original Languages:
Speed: Price:

April 20, 2006

A review written by Rub�n G�mez, Bible software translator and beta tester. Copyright � 2006-2009 by the author. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce any part of this document without obtaining permission from the author.


According to BibleOcean's website, its purpose is "to provide you with Bible Software at a low cost, but with all the tools, Bibles and resources that you can get from the most popular multi-hundred dollar tools available in stores today. It's simple: Request the CD and you'll get professional software for the cost of my postage and packaging costs. No more costs, no hidden fees, no ads, no 'extra' charges. Just great software."

BiblePro is certainly a low-cost Bible software (the full version of BiblePro CD-ROM [1] costs $ 8.95 [US] or $ 10.95 [Europe]), and it does include a good number of Bibles and resources, but only public domain texts. Permission is being sought to be able to offer a number of the major modern Bibles (NIV, NASB, and so on) for a fee, but it hasn't been granted so far.

There are a number of online video tutorials that can be watched here. Unfortunately, no online help or printable manual are available.

There is also a BiblePro Web version available. This is a somewhat trimmed down version of the program that includes a few Bible texts (KJV, ASV, YLT, Bible in Basic English, Darby, KJV2000, MKJV, Douay-Rheims and Spanish SEV) plus a limited number of dictionaries and commentaries. The problem is that I could only get it to work properly when I used Internet Explorer (Firefox had a few glitches). Also, use it only in case you don't mind the, in my opinion, slightly distracting Google Ads bar located on the left hand side of your screen and, needless to say, if you are on a broadband connection.


BiblePro is publicized as freeware, but its distribution (you pay shipping  and handling charges for the CD), and certain licensing aspects (you are only allowed to install the CD-ROM on a single computer and activate it with a unique email address - see Figure 1 below), appear to place it more in the realm of shareware. True, there is a free online download, but with rather limited content and features (e.g., no Strong's numbers searches are possible). So, if you really want to have a full-fledged Bible program you need to get the CD.

Fig. 1 Activation dialog box.


When the CD autoruns, you are taken to a web-browser installation. Alternatively, the program can also be installed by clicking on the Setup.exe file (by default D:\BiblePro 12, where D: is the letter of your CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drive). Microsoft .NET Framework and Microsoft JET are required in order to run the software, but most reasonably recent PCs should have them installed already.

Rebooting is necessary to complete the installation process. A minimal install takes about 50 MB of hard disc space, but that amount easily rises to well over 450 MB by simply adding all the English Bibles, Commentaries, References and Maps included in the CD-ROM. This is done in a very straightforward manner via the Add Books/Maps menu (Figure 2)

Fig. 2 Copying resources to the hard disk drive is a no-brainer.

User Interface

BiblePro has an MS Office kind of look the first time you run it, so most users should find little difficulty getting around the program. The default layout (shown in Figure 3) displays all the different kinds of windows available.

Fig. 3 Overview of BiblePro's default layout.

It is possible, however, to move all but the main Bible window to the sides (Figure 4), and have any other pane open by simply clicking on it. Users can also rearrange the position of each window (using drag and drop), or even tab all the auxiliary windows so that they use much less space on screen. Alternatively, one may choose to have each pane as a floating window and move it around at will. This is particularly useful if you work with a large display or a dual-monitor setup.

Fig. 4 All windows have been moved out of the way to leave more room for the Bible window.

BiblePro is fairly "skinnable", allowing the user to change the general aspect of the program by using different combinations of themes, background, fonts and colors (Figure 5).

Fig. 5 The "look" of BiblePro is highly customizable.

Main Features

Export Formats

One of the interesting features in BiblePro is the built-in ability to export any given chapter, commentary, reference or search result in .doc, .pdf or .html format (Figure 6). Alternatively, these texts can also be emailed with the click of a button.

Fig. 6 BiblePro's Export feature.


Simple searches in BiblePro can be performed by entering a word or phrase in the Search box found in the Search window and clicking on the Simple Search button (or pressing the Enter key). These are always double wildcard searches, which means that the program adds an asterisk on either side of the search term behind the scenes. This in effect will match any word that contains the word we enter, with any prefixes or suffixes So, if we want to find "reader" in the KJV, BiblePro will return 2 hits (Isaiah 16:10 and Amos 9:13), neither of which is exactly "reader". So we'll end up with "treader" and "treaders." Nevertheless, the program will highlight and capitalize only the search term as we typed it (e.g., tREADERs). It should also be noted that we cannot limit our search to a particular range nor use any Boolean operators when running simple searches.

Fig. 7 A simple search with BiblePro.

More advanced searches, with Boolean AND (All Words), OR (Any Word), and string (Exact Phrase) options, are possible.  However, the program lacks the NOT and XOR operators. The Power Search feature (Search Center dialog shown below in Figure 8) allows the user to constrain the search by selecting any given range and Bible version. As is the case with simple searches, the main drawback is that it is not possible to prevent the program from performing the default double wildcard searches already mentioned. I tried everything I could think of (since there is no help available on this particular matter), but could never work around what to me is a less than optimal default setting.

Fig. 8 Overview of BiblePro's Search Center.

Topical searches can also be carried out by choosing the Search Reference tab (Figure 9). As we type our key word, a  list of all the available terms is displayed below, while all the reference works containing relevant entries are displayed to the right. Clicking on any of these references will take us to the appropriate location in the References window.

Fig. 9 Topical search feature.

Commentary searches are very similar to Bible searches, and include the same options we have been discussing before (Figure 10).

Fig. 10 Commentaries are also fully searchable.

The difference lies in the fact that the hits are not immediately displayed in the Search window. Rather, a link below each Bible passage commented allows the user to jump to the beginning of that chapter in the chosen commentary (Figure 11). This behavior, plus the fact that hits are not highlighted, make it difficult and time consuming to actually spot the word that is being searched for.

Fig. 11 Clicking on each hyperlink ("Com") opens the book in the Commentaries window.

Finally, there is a tab for specifically looking up Strong's numbers (Figure 12). One can search for a word, in which case BiblePro will display all the different numbers attached to it, or directly look for the number and get a list of the terms used to translate the underlying Greek or Hebrew word. However, this features needs to be fixed, since many numbers are missing (e.g., Greek Strong's 2717 to 3999 are missing altogether!). Since results do not link directly to any Bible text (only to the Dictionary definition), it would be good to add some statistical information on the usage of each one of the different words/numbers.  However, this information can be accessed by clicking on a word in the KJV coded with Strong's number (KJV#) or, having turned on the Commentary and Reference Links option (View menu or Ctrl+L), clicking on the STR hyperlink, in which case, the Reference window will display all the numbers appearing in that particular verse.

Fig. 12 Search Strong's Numbers tab in Search Center.

Compare Versions

This feature lets the user choose any two Bible texts and have them display side by side, perfectly aligned (Figure 13). Two drop-down lists available on the Toolbar can be used to easily change any of the versions.

Fig. 13 Two versions shown in Compare Bible Mode.

InterFaith Explorer

This easily overlooked item includes texts from five different non-Christian religions (Bah�'� Faith, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Zoroastrianism), as well as a search box (Figure 14). Again, unless you choose to search for a phrase or a word that cannot be commonly found with prefixes or suffixes (or be part of a larger word), you will get an unruly amount of hits.

Fig. 14 BiblePro's InterFaith Explorer.

Personal Notes

If you find a passage you want to add a comment to, you can use the Personal Notes feature (Figure 15). It offers all the basic formatting features of a text processor, but you can open your note in Word too, in case you want to compose it there and save it as a .doc file. These notes are not version-specific.

Fig. 15 Personal notes editor in BiblePro.

Gospel Comparison Tool

This tool is designed to show at a glance different pericopes in the four Gospels for comparison purposes. A green tick mark indicates that the passage shown in the Navigation pane is found in that Gospel, and a red X that it is not available. It would be good if each Gospel could be displayed side by side. As it turns out, they can only be accessed by clicking on its tab.

Fig. 16 One of the passages found in all four canonical Gospels.

Concluding remarks

BiblePro is an interesting and inexpensive tool for those who want to have a wide range of public domain Bibles, commentaries and dictionaries, and who only need to do very basic searches. It is quite fast and customizable, but there are certain areas where it can clearly be improved. The web version of the program is a nice addition that looks promising.


Broad collection of resources (including maps)
Web version available
Flexible export options


Search engine too limited to be really useful
Scanty help
Rudimentary support for Greek/Hebrew texts.

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