The best free Bible study software


e-Sword is one of the most popular Bible study software packages, and it’s easy to see why. It’s free to download, and has 25 English bibles (including the ESV), plus dozens of commentaries (including Matthew Henry and Keil & Delitzsch), 14 dictionaries, nine volumes of the Church Fathers and several other books. All these are free, but you can also add some paid-for resources such as the NIV (£20), or NKJV (£10).

e-Sword is a little clunky, and if you have lots of resources the display can seem cluttered. Nevertheless, it’s hard to get lost, and everything works fairly intuitively. Unfortunately you can’t search all your resources at the same time, however, each has to be searched individually. On the plus side, there is a Windows Mobile version, so you can take your library with you if you have a Windows Mobile device. There are also several non-English language Bibles available, including the Revised New Welsh Bible.

Verdict: e-Sword is remarkable software. You get an awful lot for nothing, and have the added advantage of being able to purchase in-copyright books such as modern Bible translations for relatively little. If you can live with the dated interface, and only need a moderate number of resources, what are you waiting for?


  • The Word is very quick and has a nice interface. It has less resources than e-Sword, and no add-ons, but is slightly easier to use.
  • Bible Explorer is a cut-down version of WORDsearch (see below). It only comes with a handful of resources, but you can download hundreds more, also for free, or purchase WORDsearch modules. The quality of the free resources is quite mixed, however, and doesn’t include several resources you can get for free (or nearly-free) elsewhere, such as Calvin, Matthew Henry, Vine, etc.


  1. David Reimer says:

    I’m a bit surprised that the CrossWire Bible Society’s Sword Project isn’t here! See also their other tools, especially the very useful online Bible Tool (check out the “OT Scholar” preset from the “Parallel” tab!).

    Looking forward to the rest of the series!

  2. @David: Thanks for your comment. I’m trying to focus on the best of the packages, as there are so many. I mentioned three packages: one had the most resources, one was the easiest to use, and one had the best commercial expandability.

    My perception is that SwordProject has less resources than e-Sword, is harder to use than The Word, and is less expandable than Bible Explorer. Obviously you feel it has other strengths! What do you think they are?

    I am planning to mention The Sword when it comes to the best online study tools!

  3. _The Sword Project_ has at least two front ends that run on Linux. (GnomeSword and BibleTime.) MacSword is their offering for the Macintosh Platform. FireBible is the FireFox extension/front end for _The Sword Project_. (I think that _The Sword Project_ has more front ends, for more platforms, than any other Bible Study Software program.)

    _The Sword Project_ has slightly more “official” resources, than e-Sword. e-Sword probably has more user created resources than _The Sword Project_.


  4. pastor Glen B. Erwin says:

    please, teach me to download this software.. i need this software to teach people.. can you send this software free for me. this is my church adress. GSJA Kampung bahari, Jl. Kampung bahari V/24 Rt.009/01 Tanjung Priok Jakarta Utara INDONESIA

  5. Pastor Glen PAais says:

    i need this software. would you send this software to me… because i can’t download this software fulled by internet. thank you for your attention…God Bless you.

    it is my address: GSJA (Assembly of God Church) Kampung Bahari, jalan Kampung Bahari V/24 Rt.009/01 Tanjung Priok Jakarta Utara, 14310. INDONESIA.

  6. Hi! I wanted to add Online Bible 2.95 to your list. I’ve used it for 11 years. I’m sure the e-sword is wonderful but I’m used to the Online Bible. I’m sure it’s the same, everything is free except the newer versions require a nominal fee.

    Online Bible North America

    European Home

    God bless!!

  7. Abigail Sortberg says:

    I have been trying to download the bible 2.95 but the only one I could find was 2.99..

    Where can I find 2.95??

    Abigail, Denmark

  8. The Word 3.0 is hands down the best free Bible software. No comparison, it’s on a different level. Unless you try it out, you will not believe it –

  9. free bible programs says:

    i raely need documents that will moyivate me in this calling