Bibloi 8.0  
  Version: 8.0  
  Developer: Silver Mountain Software  
  Rub�n G�mez  
Overall Rating:  7.4
User Interface: Searching:
Ease of Use Features:
Help & Support: Modules:
Customization: Original Languages:
Speed: Price:

November 10, 2005

A review written by Rub�n G�mez, Bible software translator and beta tester. Copyright � 2005-2009 by the author. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce any part of this document without obtaining permission from the author.


This program, formerly known as Bible Windows [1] has been around for quite some time. In fact, the company that markets it (Silver Mountain Software) started to operate in 1985. In recent times it has gone to some length to make sure it can be used in synergy with other well established electronic and online resources, thus enhancing its original usefulness.

System Requirements and Installation

PC (preferably Pentium IV or equivalent) running Windows 95 or later, with at least 128 MB RAM (512 MB recommended), CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drive, and approximately 288 MB of hard disk space. The CD includes a 45-page manual.

The CD-ROM autoruns and its content is automatically installed on the hard disk, with virtually no intervention on the part of the user.

General Features

Bibloi presents a minimalist desktop interface, where every resource opens in its own window and can be moved around freely. These windows can also be tiled in the usual way via the Window menu, and scrolled simultaneously by clicking on the padlock icons that appear on the upper left hand side corner of each open window (underneath the Edit menu).

The main window (Figure 1) is the launch pad from where the various resources are accessed and/or searched.

Fig. 1 Bibloi's main window can be displayed in three different sizes: small, medium and normal (shown here in actual size).

Under Setup - Preferences - Language Display, users can choose to display original language Bibles in different legacy fonts or Unicode, as shown in Figure 2. Moreover, the Hebrew Bible (BHS) can also be displayed in English transliteration.

Fig. 2 Comparison between Bibloi's SGreek True Type Font (above), and Unicode display (below).

Grammatically tagged texts (BHS, LXX, and AGNT) can be displayed in full interlinear format (Figure 3) if the user so wishes.

Fig. 3 Bibloi's R2L Editor utility.

Bibloi includes a handy Unicode Type Assistant (Figure 4) that helps with the common typing and copying tasks. This tool can be invoked via the Tools - Unicode Type Assistant menu, and works only for Greek text.

Fig. 4 The Unicode Type Assistant.

There is also an R2L Rich Text Editor for Hebrew (Tools - Right to Left) that can be used for easily typing right-to-left Hebrew text and pasting it into a word processor (Figure 5).

Fig. 5 Bibloi's R2L Editor utility.

Most of the commonly requested features can be conveniently accessed via the right button menu, which is context-sensitive and contains the options we would generally use for the particular area of the program we might find ourselves in. Or, for those who prefer it that way, a fair number of these options can also be invoked with certain keyboard shortcut combinations.


Default searches in Bibloi are almost always double wild card searches. This means that the program will include any possible prefix or suffix to the search term(s) we specify. I find this behavior quite annoying and counterintuitive. Although it can be circumvented (see note [3]), I would like the program to look for the word exactly as I type it. Maybe this could be turned into an option under Setup - Preferences in a future revision. But the problem is that even this default setting is not applied consistently to all types of searches.

Back in 1994, Harry Hahne already noted that "BWin [Ed. R.G.: Bibloi] uses full word searches for grammatical searches and double wildcard searches for word and phrase searches. (In a double wildcard search, the search letters can be found anywhere within a word.) This inconsistent behavior in BWin can easily confuse users and result in erroneous searches." [2] I couldn't agree more!

As a point in case, in original language tagged texts, the contextual menu includes a "Search Word at Cursor" (F9) option which is used to perform a lexical search. For example, if we highlight ARCHE in John 1:1 and select that option, Bibloi will require us to choose a search range, then it will open the Greek Gram Search dialog box, and, finally, it will run the search and find every single inflected form of that Greek word (unless we have introduced any changes in that dialog). We would get the same behavior by choosing Search - Word Search - Analytical Greek New Testament in the program's main window and writing ">arxh<" [3] in the Search Word/Phrase dialog box. [4]

However, if we choose the "Gram Search at Cursor" (F12) option, the program will look for the dative singular forms rather than the lemma. This is the same as choosing Search - Gram Search - Analytical Greek New Testament in the Bibloi main window, or pressing the AGNT Search button (5 matches).

>Apart from that, one can perform pretty complex grammatical searches with Bibloi. These can be set by using the Greek Gram Search (AGNT and LXX) or BHS Search (BHS) dialogs. It does take a bit of time to master the various drop-down menus and checkboxes, and it is a good idea to go through the search examples and online help available before attempting to run searches on one's own.

Fig. 6 Main grammatical search dialog.

Parsing Information

Parsing information on any original language term is always one click away. Pressing Ctrl - P will open a window with full parsing details for the word under the cursor. A more detailed description of every word is to be found in the Hebrew and Greek dictionaries, which are displayed in their own window (Figure 7). From this window users can switch to any other lexicon or copy an entry and use it in their favorite word processor.

Fig. 7 Hebrew Dictionaries window.

Linking to Other Bibles and Reference Tools

Rather than taking the route of building a large library of texts and reference works, Bibloi has adopted a different approach altogether. By including a good selection of primary Bible texts and lexicons, and giving the user the flexibility to link to various other Bibles, Commentaries, Lexicons, etc., from within the program itself, it has become a very helpful and versatile tool.

Apart from the feature that allows us to jump to and look up the resources offered by other Bible programs (which we mention here only in passing) [5], there are other options worth exploring.

Working with the Analytical Greek New Testament (AGNT) it is possible to open Liddell-Scott-Jones Lexicon of Classical Greek at Perseus by simply clicking on the menu item (or pressing the keyboard shortcut Ctrl - E - See Figure 8). The Perseus tab on the Greek Dictionaries window can also be used to perform the same operation.

Fig. 8 Perseus powerful online resources can be easily access via the contextual menu.

It is equally possible to read an English, German or Spanish text in a Bible version not available in Bibloi by accessing it online at To do that, we can open, say, the RSV and, in its own window menu, choose Link - Internet Bible. We will be asked to select the radio button of the version we are interested in, and after clicking the OK button our browser will open our chosen version (e.g., NASB) to the same verse displayed in our Bibloi Bible. Very handy.

Finally, Bibloi also allows users to easily access the online version of the excellentNET Bible (Tools - Open NET Bible). That's all there is to it!

Building Concordances

One of the great things about Bibloi is the way one can concord any of the tagged original language texts. These concordances (Tools - Concord) can be built in a number of different ways, and the user can decide what information should be included or omitted in the final Rich Text Format file. Figure 9 shows the setup used to get a statistical count (Word list) of all the lemmas (Dictionary forms) found in the Greek text of Ruth (LXX).

Fig. 9 The Greek Concordance dialog box includes different checkboxes and radio buttons that allow the user to customize the content and layout of the concordance.

Importing Bibles

Bibloi includes a small utility, Bibloi Import, that allows users to import Bible texts from different sources and convert them to the Bibloi format. Among the compatible formats currently recognized by the program are Unbound Bible Texts, Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG) Beta Code texts,Online Bible texts, and Plain Bible texts.

I found out that importing text was a very slow process (even on a pretty fast Pentium IV with 1 GB of RAM), but the results were acceptable. Among the different options available, I decided to import the Westcott and Hort Greek New Testament with UBS4 variants that I had previously downloaded from the Unbound Bible website.

Fig. 10 Importing Westcott and Hort Greek New Testament with UBS4 variants for use with Bibloi.

My personal feeling is that this feature needs to be tweaked a bit, [6] and that a certain amount of computer expertise is necessary in order to use it. Apart from that, it can be useful if you happen to get hold of a certain Bible that you want to display and search in Bibloi.


Bibloi is a light-weight and low-cost research tool for those who need to study the Bible in its original languages. Its versatility makes it a fine complement to other electronic tools, online resources and digital libraries.


Tight integration with Logos, Libronix DLS and Online Bible resources, as well as Perseus website and various Internet Bibles
Ability to import Bible texts and convert them to the program's own propriety format


The User Interface looks a bit old-fashioned and somewhat non-standard
Searching could be improved and made more consistent
No highlighting or note-taking facility

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