BibleWorks 8 vs. Accordance 8

BibleWorks 8 vs. Accordance 8

Review by: Mike Meiser

There are two software packages that I would recommend for any scholar or serious student of the Biblical text to purchase.  These software packages are BibleWorks 8 and Accordance 8 Scholar’s Collection.  One of the common questions that we hear from students and customers in the store is “What is the difference between these two software packages?”  This is a very important question to ask due to the fact that both of these Bible software will be at or exceed the $150 mark.  Thus, it is imperative to make sure that you are buying the right program for you.

The primary difference between these two is the operating system for which each was built.  BibleWorks 8 is intended to be run on a Windows based system while Accordance 8 is built for Macs running OS X.  For most, this solves the issue.  If they own a PC, they buy BibleWorks.  If they own a Mac, they buy Accordance.  However, these software can be run across platforms with the help of emulators.  If this information settles the issue for you, feel free to stop reading now.  But if you are still interested in the differences between the two (either because you are just that curious or because your name is Richie Rich and you own both a PC and a Mac) I will elaborate upon them.  I will primarily focus upon cost, user-friendliness/aesthetics, functionality, and titles available.

I will begin with cost because, let’s face it, cost is typically the most important factor for almost all.  BibleWorks 8 will set you back $349.95.  This is quite a steep price, but one must take into account the amount of resources that you will receive with this package.  You can find the full contents of BibleWorks 8 here. Some resources of note included in this package are Dan Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, Waltke and O’Connor’s Biblical Hebrew Syntax, Gesenius’s Hebrew Grammar, and customizable Atlases and Timelines.

Accordance 8 Scholar’s Collection comes in 3 different options.  These are the Introductory Level, Standard Level, and Premier Level.  A list of the full contents of each of these can be found here.  These levels increase the amount of resources you receive, but also increase in price.  They are $119.20, $199.00, and $349.00 respectively.  At first look, Accordance appears to be less expensive than BibleWorks, but for the cost, you receive a lot less than you do with BibleWorks.  If you are simply looking for a package that has a Greek New Testament and a Hebrew Bible with not a lot of extra resources, then the Intro. Level is for you.  If you go with the Premier Level, you receive more resources, but at $349.00 you still are not receiving as much as you would from comparably priced BibleWorks 8.  BibleWorks 8 might have more resources in its base package than you would ever need, but as far as bang-for-your-buck is concerned, it is the better of the two.  Not to mention, the comparable Accordance modules (or add-ons) are often more expensive than its BibleWorks counterparts, e.g. Metzger’s Textual Commentary for Accordance and for BibleWorks.

As far as user-friendliness and aesthetics are concerned, Accordance is far superior to BibleWorks.  Accordance has a much more intuitive user interface than does BibleWorks.  After using both programs, I found that it was much easier to jump right into using Accordance than BibleWorks.  You tend to get bogged down in the clutter of BibleWorks’s user-interface.  There are far too many buttons, functions, and search bars to keep track of.

Accordance has a much cleaner look to it, and is much less intimidating than BibleWorks. However, this simplicity does not take away from Accordance’s overall power in grammatical searches and in-depth exegetical research.  If looks are a big deal to you, or if you are more interested in only doing simple grammatical searches and reading original languages quickly and easily, Accordance is the better option.

With functionality in view, both BibleWorks and Accordance are on quite similar levels.  Both have fully functional grammatically tagged Greek New Testaments and Hebrew Old Testaments, command line grammatical searches, graphical search engines, and countless resources to aid in studying the Biblical text.  After using both quite extensively, I cannot say that one is better than the other in terms of functionality.  Both are able to do the same types of searches and deliver the same results.  The way one goes about retrieving those results are different due to the different layouts of each program; however, one is not handicapped by choosing one of these programs over the other.

Accordance has far more titles available for its software package.  While BibleWorks comes with more modules in its initial package, it cannot stand up to the number of resources that Accordance provides.  Most notable of the modules available for Accordance that are not available for BibleWorks are the Word Biblical Commentary set and the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary set.  BibleWorks simply cannot compete with the number of resources that Accordance gives its users.  If you are looking to build more of an electronic library, Accordance is the way to go.

Ultimately, one’s software decision comes down to a matter of preference.  What are your interests and what are you going to be doing with your software?  I personally prefer the simplicity of Accordance over the complexities of BibleWorks.  However, I used BibleWorks quite extensively and found it to meet almost every one of my needs.  You really cannot go wrong with either one of these software packages.


For an Update on the newest features of both BibleWorks and Accordance, check out the link here.


11 thoughts on “BibleWorks 8 vs. Accordance 8

  1. Curious as to whether or not you have an opinion on Logos software? I herd good things about it and just ran across the accordance one the other day. I have E-sword which serves its purpose as of now but Was wondering if Logos was good for inductive study and if you had an idea of whether its worth the prices.



    • Hello David; The value of Logos depends on what you are trying to do. Logos is best for creating a Library of books in many different categories. It is helpful and the cost, though steep, has never stopped people from purchasing. It basically does what it says it can do and is one of the top software options today. However, sometimes other software is better. Accordance (for mac) and BibleWorks (for PC’s) is basically known for it’s language tools (Greek and Hebrew). It also provides other reference items in order to enhance your language study. It is better than Logos because it is more focused in this area of study. Logos has “Libronix,” which is good but not as strong as accordance (for mac) or Bibleworks (for PC’s). Still, Accordance or Bibleworks does not offer a Library with a numerous amount of electronic books in many different categories such as Logos. This is where Logos is superior. Other software may be good but they generally cannot compare to these top three. In summary, if your focus is Language study, BibleWorks or Accordance is your best option. Anything else, I would choose Logos. Hopefully this helped. If you have questions fell free to call or reply. Thank You. Bruce Riley II Bruce W. Riley II Lead Sales Associate

      Dallas Theological Seminary 3909 Swiss Ave. Dallas, TX 75204 (,+Dallas,+TX+75204&btnG=Search ) 214-382-3912 (o) 214-841-3620 (f) ( ) Teach Truth. Love Well.


  2. I have both Accordance and BibleWorks and Accordance is hands down the better program. It’s a little more pricey but well worth it in my opinion. The maps and presentation aspects of the program are nice. It is very user friendly, is cleaner and is much easier to navigate.

    I have never used Logos but I’ve heard good things about it. But between BibleWorks and Accordance, the latter is hands down better.

  3. It depends what you’re used to. I have been using Bibleworks for a long time and find it much more stable, intuitive, uncluttered, and simple compared to Accordance. My productivity with Accordance dropped significantly; it’s Bibleworks that keeps me from completely switching to Mac.

  4. @Bruce,

    It’s always fascinating to me to find people suggesting that BibleWorks and Accordance differentiate themselves from Logos by way of original language capabilities, whereas Logos is better if one wants a comprehensive digital library. Having nearly finished my MA studies, I’ve heard this line from quite a few classmates—it’s easy to remember/repeat but, from my experience, doesn’t quite hold up.

    For instance, Logos is the only Bible software program that can do syntax searching. BibleWorks and Accordance can only do morphology searches, for instance searching for a particular verb form within a certain distance of a particular noun form. Clearly a search like this will find good and irrelevant results that the user then as to weigh through. (i.e. “Yahweh said…” but also, “David said, ‘Yahweh…’”)

    With Logos, you can perform syntax searches, for instance searching for a noun of deity that performs a verb of communication. Your results will, necessarily be relevant at this point.

    This is just one Logos feature absent in BibleWorks and Accordance…and I don’t know of a single thing those two programs can do better than Logos when it comes right down to it.

    Anyway, I saw your comment and thought I might was well share from my experience. There are some very helpful short syntax videos linked to throughout this blog post…hope it’s helpful!

    • @ Stephen,

      Thanks for your post. We definitely appreciate your input. However, you are mistaken concerning BibleWorks and Accordance’s lack of syntactical searching. Yes, they do both search morphology, but both are able to do syntactical searches as well. In fact, these two programs were doing syntactical searches long before Logos ever implemented that feature into their software package. Logos has only just recently included the use of syntactical searching. While all three are now able to do these types of searches, Bibleworks and Accordance have traditionally been able to perform these searches at a faster pace than Logos was able to. That being said, Logos has definitely closed the gap with these two when it comes to speed and ease of use when doing original language studies. Instead of the difference in speed being light years, the difference has become noticeable to only the select few who use these programs on a regular basis. Logos has definitely made itself into a competitive software package for the student of the original languages, but in my honest opinion, it still has yet to catch up to Accordance with regard to speed, ease of use, or aesthetics.


  5. Logos Bible Software beats both of them on almost all grounds, especially resource contents, price and both user-friendliness and aesthetics. See I got Word Biblical Commentary from Logos for $300 only and far more aesthetic than both. And it was a download, not a CD-ROM box.

  6. Pingback: Review: Bibleworks 9 vs. Accordance 9 « The Book Blog

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