Jan 9, 2012 David Lang

Bible Study Without Angst

Angst Have you ever experienced this? You're feeling stressed, uncertain about something, frustrated, or full of doubt, so you decide to read the Bible. You open to a random passage and start reading, only to experience a wave of peace and calm come over you. In the midst of overwhelming and confusing circumstances, the simple act of reading the Bible brings comfort—like a dependable anchor in the midst of a storm-tossed sea.

As a tool for studying the Bible, one would hope that Bible software would help facilitate such moments of comfort and serenity. Unfortunately, I see a surprising amount of angst among Bible software users these days.

Much of this angst comes from the fact that Bible study apps are not merely programs but platforms, and "Choosing a platform involves a level of commitment which is greater than that involved in choosing a program." (For more on Bible software as a platform, see Which is the "Best" Bible Software?)

Buying into a Bible software platform involves risk, and that's largely the cause of the angst I've seen. What if your platform of choice goes out of business or stops innovating? It has happened to a number of Bible software developers over the years, and when it does the users who have invested in those platforms suffer as a result. When I first started with Accordance, there were at least half a dozen commercial or quality shareware Bible programs for the Mac, but over the years most of them disappeared or became irrelevant. Many current Accordance users came to us when these other platforms were no longer viable. Hoping to avoid losing their investment in those platforms, they had tried to hold on for long-promised improvements that never came. When they finally switched to Accordance, they would typically express their regret that they hadn't done so sooner.

Then there's the angst experienced by those whose platforms of choice prove unreliable or frustrating. Instability, bugginess, poor performance, erroneous results, failure to adapt to changing technologies, and updates which break more than they fix are shockingly common. When you consider that most people who invest in Bible software depend on it for their work, ministries, and academic studies, such ongoing unreliability becomes even more troubling.

At Accordance, our goal is to offer a Bible study experience without angst. For us it's a simple matter of trust. You trust us to provide you with a reliable platform you can count on for years to come, and we're determined to keep that trust. Ultimately, it comes down to this: if the Bible is where you should turn for relief from angst, your Bible software ought to be as angst-free as possible.

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