Many pastors and teachers, who study the Bible in depth as a major part of their work, will have purchased a commercial Bible software package, such as BibleWorks, Accordance, or Logos. I have used BibleWorks for more than twenty years, since I began to teach New Testament studies, and I can testify that it is a quite remarkable resource. When I started to teach in the mid-1990s, a software package of this kind was a huge benefit to my teaching and virtually essential. But it was also quite expensive. My wife and I had to think long and hard about making that initial investment.
Now, students of the Bible who might not be in a position to afford an expensive software package (including many in parts of the world where resources are particularly scarce) have access to a wonderful tool that can accomplish many of the tasks done by the commercial absolutely free of charge: the STEP Bible.
‘STEP’ stands for ‘Scripture Tools for Every Person’. It is an initiative of Tyndale House in Cambridge and therefore comes with the assurance of academic credibility and careful scholarship associated with that institution.
The STEP Bible offers access to Hebrew and Greek (NT and LXX) biblical texts, several major English Bible translations (including the ESV and the NIV), plus numerous Bible translations in other languages. It is also possible to search for specific words and to access dictionary definitions. If you do not know Hebrew or Greek (or you are not confident in using them), this program can help by linking the words in the original texts with the equivalent words in certain translations.
A series of tutorial videos is available to help new users find their way around.
Those who have sufficient resources to afford a commercial software package will certainly find some features in them (such as additional books) that are not available in the STEP Bible, and they may still decide to purchase one of them.
But the STEP Bible offers a quality resource that will enable students and preachers with limited resources all across the world to read and interpret the Bible more accurately. That is a great gift to the Church.
If you have not tried the STEP Bible, I encourage you to do so.