Friday, August 11, 2006

eBible Beta Review

I received an invitation from Dave back in May to join I played with it for a while, but soon lost interest. Earlier this week, I stopped back by, and I am very impressed with the improvements made on the website. It is still a beta website, but it has become a much more useful tool.

You can now browse the Bible by tags, much like technorati tags. On the main page you see a list of popular tags. The more popular tags are in a larger, darker font. A lot like technorati tags. You can of course view the tags. I reviewed the tag evangelism, and I have the option to see the verses that I tagged evangelism, verses tagged evangelism by members of my group, or all verses tagged evangelism. I looked at everyone's tags, and saw a list of verses. With each verse, it shows all the tags for that verse. For example, Acts 26:28 "And Agrippa said to Paul 'In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?'" is tagged believers, conversion, decision, names, persuasions, and titles. Users can assign their own tages to verses.

I drilled down on Acts 26:28 and it brought up Acts chapter 26, with verse 28 highlighted. Mine brought up the English Standard Version. There is an option to see two translations side by side. I could select from the New Century Version, The Message, King James Version, New American Standard Bible, and King James Version. I chose to see the Message version next to my English Standard Version. I really like the side by side comparison.

On the left hand column, there is an outline where you can easily skip to diffent sections. For example, Pauls Defense before Agrippa (Acts 26:1-32) and Paul's Voyage to Rome (Acts 27:1-44). The outline is expandable, and you can expand any book of the bible, see an quick outline, and jump to any portion of scripture. I drilled down on the Book of Romans, and jumped to the section Justification by Faith Explained (Romans 3:21-31) and it brought up the passage with the ESV and Message side by side.

At the bottom of the screen there is a new feature message. You can now right click any verse to bring up a commentary on the verse (Believer's Bible Commentary, King James Bible Commentary, Matthew Henry's Concise Bible Commentary, Jon Courson's Application Commentary, and Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary.) The believers commentary popped up by default. Rather than opening a new web page or opening a new window, it is a small unobtrusive box that is easy to read. It is a really neat feature. You also have the option of bookmarking a verse for yourself, your group, or everyone, and also adding user notes and customized tags.

I did some more digging, and there is a place to set your default preferences such as Bible Version, Bible Dictionary, Encyclopedia, and Commentary. You can choose from six Bible translations, and all are available. However, when you get to other settings, such as commentaries, the Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary is the only one that can be selected as a default. Other commentaries are available, but there is a link to purchase them. I selected the Matthew Henry Commentary and was taken to a link to purchase the hardcover for $25.99. I did not see an option to add it my eBible library where I could choose it electronically. I went back to a verse and right clicked to bring up the commentary. I had the same selection I had earlier. When I selected the Matthew Henry Commentary, I got a brief 3 line display, then a message that I did not have access to the commentary. It had a buy now link, but it did not open a window. I assumed that it would take me to the link to purchase the book.

There seem to be a lot of other options as well. I started with a tag and moved around quite easily. It was very user friendly. There are also options to search by a subject or by verse. There is an Answers section where you can put in a keyword and it brings up a list of resources (books mostly) related to the search. There is a Products section where you can search. I don't know yet what the difference is between an search in the Answers section and a search in the Products section, I get to figure that out later.

I am pretty pleased with what I found, and I don't think I will lose interest like I did last time. One feature that I would like to see (I'm sure it's coming) is the ability to link from my blog directly to a verse on eBible. When referencing a verse I currently link to If I link to eBible, a user would have to create an account (currently by invitation only) and sign in.

I had 3 invitations to hand out, and they are gone. I will be giving away invitations as I receive them. If you are interested in one, leave a comment here and I will give them out in order as I receive them.



  1. Anonymous said...
    I sent you an email. If you would please be so kind as to send me an invitation.
    Eddy said...
    I'd love an invite:
    Richard said...
    I prefer
    Brett said...
    I like as well. When I reference scriptures, I provide a link there since links to Ebible won't work unless you sign in. Ebible is working on features not available in Biblegateway. I like the built in commentaries and bible dictionaries, as well as the ability to have two translations of a passage side by side.

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