Yesterday, I had the privilege of spending a little time with Dr. Peter Williams, who is the Warden of Tyndale House in Cambridge, UK. Tyndale House (not affiliated with the publisher of the same name) is a study center for biblical scholarship, with an extensive library and facilities for hosting a variety of scholars and pastors right on the doorstep of the University of Cambridge. Tyndale House has a mission of raising up a new generation of orthodox biblical scholars and I really enjoyed talking with Peter and hearing about their work (also considering that as a possible sabbatical location someday!).
One of the things that Peter talked about, however, was a Tyndale House-created online resource for students of the Bible. It’s called the STEP (Scripture Tools for Every Person) Bible site (stepbible.org). It’s a very flexible resource that allows scholars, pastors, and students of the Bible to do quick word studies, cross references, concordance and lexicon work, and original language work all for free. The STEP Bible site will bring up interlinear English and Greek or Hebrew passages, as well as interlinears with a variety of world languages that interface with the original languages of Scripture (ever seen an interlinear Bible in Chinese?). Need to know what an English word is in the Greek? Just hover over it and the site will pop up a quick lexical definition of the Greek equivalent. It’s a marvelous tool that enables people from a variety of backgrounds and locations to access tools for biblical study that may be too expensive or too unavailable to them depending on where they are in the world.
I have used LOGOS Bible software for study for several years, but it’s obscenely expensive and upgrading makes it cost prohibitive. While LOGOS and other similar Bible programs may have more detail (like Kittel and commentaries available for word searches), they aren’t available to everyone. The STEP Bible is a resource I will definitely use for quick passage lookups, interlinear, and other applications when I don’t feel like wading through all the LOGOS screens.
Currently, the STEP Bible is only available in a few English translations (ESV and NASB, for example–they are trying to get NIV as well), but the tool is well-worth using and sharing with fellow pastors or people in the congregation who are doing more in-depth Bible study. I highly recommend it!