A Brief Review of STEP : Scripture Tools for Every Person
Joey Harris -- Augusta, Georgia, USA
The STEP Bible (STEP stands for “Scripture Tools for Every Person”) is a free digital Bible software project run by the Bible and religious book publisher, Tyndale House. The underlying software powering the project is based on the popular open source SWORD Project, managed by The Crosswire Bible Society. Many volunteers, publishers, Bible societies and others contribute to the STEP Bible by volunteering time and by donating translations, tools, commentaries, interlinears, dictionaries and other resources to the project.
There is a vast array of easy-to-access tools for scholars as well as the average Bible reader like you or me. There are dozens of English translations and commentaries, in addition to dozens of ancient language versions (great for the scholars among us). You can easily research multiple translations in modern languages (including both the NIV and ESV as well as many others), mouse hover Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic original words behind the translations, definitions, cross references, commentaries, original language grammatical help, interlinears, and concordances in original languages as well as modern languages. I was very impressed with how easy it was to use and with the extremely organized and well-designed user screens. There is generous use of popups so that you remain on the screen you’re already working on as much as possible. You can easily look up every instance of a Greek or Hebrew word in both directions (e.g., every time the word “love” is used and the different Greek and Hebrew words translated as “love” in your English translation OR every time the Greek word “agape” is used in English (even when it’s not translated into English as “love”).
All of this is available not only online (and works fairly well on a smartphone and very well on tablet browsers), but there are also free, downloadable apps available for Microsoft Windows™ and Apple Macintosh™ desktop computers. Finally, you can download the entire project onto a thumb drive and distribute it for free to people without an Internet connection.
I highly recommend the STEP Bible for all users, from those just beginning to study the Bible to veteran students and scholars of the Bible.