Preachers and teacher of the Bible are sitting on a wealth of useful documents that they could import into their Bible software, search and create hyperlinks to things like Bible verses and references to take advantage of their Bible software. Upon hearing that readers might ask two questions. What do I have and how do I import it?
Answer one: Sermons, Bible studies or papers written in seminary or college make great tools for future study. Use what you taught or wrote previously to inform your future study.
Don’t underestimate the interest people have in your past writings. You’d be surprised to find that church members, friends and family would enjoy reading a collection of your past sermons, especially if you repurpose sermon preaching notes into prose and create a book based on a series of sermons preached through a book or on a given topic. Did you preach about the family last year for six weeks? Turn that into a mini book. Got a great series on Ephesians? That’s a devotional book or commentary.
Now for the harder question. How do I turn my sermons, Bible studies or papers into a book that others can read? Or how do I put it in my Bible software program so I can use it when I study passages in the future? That depends on the Bible software and how much work users want to do. They could just copy and past a sermon into a Note file attached to a passage. However, it’s also possible to create an e-Book that your congregation, friends, family or colleagues would find useful.
We’ll look at some of the most popular Bible software and point you to the details on how to create books or modules for those programs that you could then share with others who also use the program.
Bibleworks 9 Build Module
Under Tools, Importing/Exporting Information choose Build Module Index. This opens a dialog box that lets the user point the program to the user-created HTML files. That means the author must either know how to write in HTML or own a program that will create them. Microsoft Word and Corel WordPerfect both export to this file format.
Learn more about building custom modules for Bibleworks 9 by opening the Help window. Choose Help, Bibleworks Help Contents and then click on the Search tab. Search for Build and the second item listed on the right will give you all the details on how to build custom modules. This involves creating the HTML file, tagging it using special coding that points Bibleworks to the links, and then import it using the above dialog box.
This can take a long time for large documents. It can be worth it for the right content. Head over to the Bibleworks help forums to find books other users created (http://bit.ly/18fqiq0). These folks created the HTM files already and all the user needs to do is import them using the dialog box.
Laridian PocketBible BookBuilder
Unfortunately, Laridian doesn’t include custom book building in their software. People who plan to build a lot of books for personal use can get their BookBuilder for $19.99 (http://www.laridian.com/catalog/products/PCDBBSTD.asp). People who want to distribute books to others will need the professional version for $49.99 (http://www.laridian.com/catalog/products/PCDBBPRO.asp). That may seem like a lot compared to free, but their software and books on average cost a lot less than other programs.
We don’t have room to spend time discussing the building of the books, but BookBuilder uses HTML files as well.
Logos Personal Books
Logos includes the function to create personal books in Logos. They don’t offer an easy way to share them, but it’s simple to import the right kinds of files and they will sync with the Logos server so a user can access them on their other machines.
Like Bibleworks, Faithlife (the new name for the company that makes Logos Bible Software) hosts a forum for sharing personal books (https://community.logos.com/forums/66.aspx). Learn how to create books compatible with Logos in the Logos Wiki (https://wiki.logos.com/Personal_Books).
Once a user creates the book, inside Logos click on Tools, Personal Books. This opens the Personal Books library. In that window a user can add a Personal Book by clicking on Add Book. The link to the Wiki above will show users how to fill out the form in the resulting dialog box. Make sure to hit the Upload button in order to sync Personal Books to other machines.
To create a custom book in WORDsearch 10 click on Tools and then either New Document or New User Book. A document behaves like a WORDsearch note file only it’s not tied to a specific passage in the Bible. That’s the simplest way to create files to use inside WORDsearch. To get more features, create a book instead of a document.
The resulting dialog box asks the user which kind of User Book they want to create. The three options include:
- Verse – tags it with verses like a commentary
- Words – creates a dictionary-style book
- Date – use this for user created devotionals or journals
The book builder will let the user add articles by clicking the New article button. Enter a title with a Bible verse, a word, or a date depending on which the three kinds of books you’re creating. Enter the text on the right side like you would with a word processor.
Once finished, they will show up in the User Books section of WORDsearch at the bottom of the list on the left. The user can’t search user created books in WORDsearch 10.
Accordance Bible Software
In Accordance Bible Software users can create simple documents using the User Tool feature. Click on File, User Files, and New User Tool. Then, create the document like you would in your word processor.
There’s a Sample Tool that you can read to get tips for how to create them. Open the Sample Tool from the My Stuff section of the library list that shows up along the left. If yours isn’t showing, click on the library tool in the toolbar. These differ from notes because they’re not tied to verses of the Bible.
A passionate and active community of e-Sword users gather at www.BibleSupport.com for sharing user-created modules for use in the program. Learn how to create modules using a tutorial posted the forums at Bible Support (http://bit.ly/1GJNfAq).