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Not to be confused with The SWORD Project, a wholly unrelated API for Bible study software.
E-Sword 9 7 1 screenshot.png
Default setup for e-Sword 9.7.1 on Zenix-OS
Original author(s) Rick Meyers
Developer(s) Rick Meyers
Initial release April 2000
Stable release 10.2.1 / August 5, 2013
Development status Active
Written in Visual Basic (VB)
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Platform Windows 95, 98, Me, NT4, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7
Available in Afrikaans, Catalan, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Indonesian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish and Turkish. Partial support for Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Greek, Japanese.
Type Biblical software
License The e-Sword License (proprietary)
Website e-Sword homepage
e-Sword LT
Original author(s) Rick Meyers
Developer(s) Rick Meyers
Initial release 22 April 2013
Stable release 1.0 / 22 April 2013
Development status Active
Written in Objective-C
Operating system iOS
Platform iPhone
Available in English
Type Biblical software
License The e-Sword License (proprietary)
Website e-Sword LT Home Page

e-Sword HD
Original author(s) Rick Meyers
Developer(s) Rick Meyers
Initial release October 2012
Stable release 1.0 / 15 October 2012
Development status Active
Written in Objective-C
Operating system iOS
Platform iPad
Available in English
Type Biblical software
License The e-Sword License (proprietary)
Website e-Sword HD homepage
Pocket e-Sword
Original author(s) Rick Meyers
Developer(s) Rick Meyers
Initial release December 2003
Stable release 3.2.0 / 12 December 2009
Development status No longer developed
Operating system Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5
Available in English
Type Biblical software
License The e-Sword License (proprietary)
Website Pocket e-Sword homepage

e-Sword is a Bible study computer software package created by Rick Meyers and developed for Microsoft Windows, Pocket PC, the Apple iPad, and the Apple iPhone. The package aimed to supply basic operating system and older out of copyright content as freeware.[1][2]

e-Sword development started in January 2000. It has continually grown in popularity, reaching 25,000,000 downloads in January 2013.[3] The user interface is available in twenty seven different languages. Resources are available in over eighty languages.


Rick Meyers aspired to make Bible study freely available to anyone, while also providing power and depth to research. His theme verse is Matthew 10:8 "Freely you receive. Freely give". Rick Meyers states on the e-Sword homepage:

As a Bible student and teacher I have experienced the necessary work involved in searching the Scriptures for the competent preparation of a Bible study, Sunday school lesson, or a sermon. There are volumes of books available as study tools (and the Christian community is indebted to the various authors' perseverance and scholarship), but there is not enough time, money, or shelf space to properly take advantage of these resources. Computer software has changed the way we can study the Word of GOD. With a simple search or click of the mouse button, we now have access to these same volumes of scholarship within seconds![4]

Different versions[edit]

Pocket e-Sword 1.0 was released in December 2003. By May 2007 there had been 1,000,000 downloads of Pocket e-Sword.[3] This is the version that runs on the Pocket PC. Pocket e-Sword 3.0.1, released 17 May 2007, was the last version to be released for Pocket PC 2002, Pocket PC 2003, and Windows Mobile 5.0. Released in June 2009, Pocket e-Sword 3.1.0 runs only Windows Mobile 6.0 and higher. Released in December 2009, Pocket e-Sword 3.2.0 runs only Windows Mobile 6.0 through Windows Mobile 6.5. On 12 December 2009, it was officially announced that there would be no future development of Pocket e-Sword.

Development for e-Sword Live started in November 2007. It went public in May 2008. This is the web based version. Rick Meyers actively promotes this version for users of platforms other than Windows.

"e-Sword HD" was publicly released on 15 OCtober 2012. This is a port of e-Sword to the iPad. Version 1.0 supported English only.

"e-Sword LT" was publicly released on 22 April 2013. This is a port of e-Sword to the iPhone. Version 1.0 supported English only.

e-Sword Live Features[edit]

The web version can display Bibles, Commentaries, Dictionaries, Lexicons, and Topical Bibles

Pocket e-Sword Features[edit]

In addition to displaying Bibles, Commentaries, and Dictionaries, Version 3.1.0 offers the following components:

These components offer similar functionality to the e-Sword equivalents. Study Notes and Topical Notes are RTF text files, rather than a database.

e-Sword LT Features[edit]

In addition to Bibles, Commentaries, and Dictionaries, Version 1.0 offers the following components and functionality:

e-Sword HD Features[edit]

In addition to Bibles, Commentaries and Dictionaries, Version 1.0 offers the following components and functionality:

e-Sword Features[edit]

In addition to Bibles, Commentaries and Dictionaries, Version 10.0.5 offers the following components and functionality:

The program allows the user to view the text of the Bible, Bible commentaries, study notes and dictionaries. Through its customizable layout the user can chose which of these resources to view at once, or how they are arranged on the screen.[5]


This program was written for the Windows operating system. Official support is provided for

  • Windows NT 3.5 - up to e-Sword 7.x;
  • Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 95/98/ME - up to e-Sword 9.x;
  • Windows2000 and Windows XP - up to e-Sword 10.0.x;
  • Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.x - e-Sword 10.4.0;

Whilst not officially supported, e-Sword 10.0.x could run on Windows 2003, and Windows 2008.

e-Sword 9.x could run on ReactOS as a native application.

In November 2010, eStudySource partnered with CodeWeavers to provide better support for e-Sword when using CrossOver.

Using WINE as an emulator, it can be used on a Linux System.[6] The Ubuntu Christian Edition web forum[7] provides the most consistent support for Linux users of e-Sword.

Scattered reports of e-Sword on OpenSolaris, BSD, and OS/2 Warp 5.0, and other operating systems can be found.

The e-Sword License[edit]

The inspiration for the license used by e-Sword comes from Matthew 10:8. "Freely you receive. Freely give". The major intent of the license is:

  • e-Sword is to be distributed gratis;[8]
  • e-Sword and its modules are not to be distributed on any website;[9]

All documentation and modules fall under this license, unless the documentation or module creator has specified a different license. Most user created documentation uses the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial - Share Alike 2.0 License.

Starting with version 7.8.1, a PDF copy of the e-Sword license has been installed in the e-Sword directory, as part of the program installation. The license is also displayed from the Help Menu.


e-Sword provides several different types of resources, such as Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries, reference books and devotional and graphical resources.

Official Resources[edit]

Official resources are listed in the Resource Download Manager screen. This screen displays resources from both e-Sword.net, and eStudySource.

Prior to e-Sword 9.8.1, the resources were listed at http://www.e-Sword.net/downloads.html and eStudySource.com, respectively.

Commercial Resources[edit]

While eStudySource is the primary outlet of resources that must be purchased.,[10] other publishers, such as The Lockman Foundation, and Bible.org also sell e-Sword resources.


The projects of a small group of e-Sword activists are not officially sanctioned. The results of those projects have spurred the popularity of the program.

User Support Groups[edit]

e-Sword-users.org was the dominant web forum, providing support in six languages (English, Afrikaans, Dutch, German, Polish, Spanish, Czech, Slovak). Due to a malware issue, it was offline between 7 May 2010 and 19 July 2010. Due to management team issues, it ceased operations in May 2011.

Bible Support, replaced e-Sword-users.org on June 9, 2011. As of 1 August 2012, it offers 96 Pocket e-Sword Resources, 1,980 e-Sword 8.x resources, and 2,700 e-Sword 9.x/10.x resources. It celebrated one million downloads in July 2012.

Blind e-Sword provides support for accessibility features related to E-Sword.

User Created Utility Programs[edit]

Users have created a number of tools to ease the process of creating new resources.

The most popular utility programs are:

  • e-Sword ToolTip Tool, nicknamed "T3", originally used for converting Scripture references to e-Sword tooltip format, also enables one to edit and create resources for v9.x of e-Sword;
  • Ben's e-Sword Tool 2.0, used to import text files into different types of resources;
  • e-Sword User Module Conversion Utility v9.5.0, used to convert resources from e-Sword Resource Specification Format 1 to e-Sword Resource Specification Format 2;
  • e-Sword HotKey, a utility to aid in looking up scripture references in e-Sword when reading documents in a browser, word processor, PDF file, etc.

User Created Resources[edit]

The utility programs have made it easier for users to create, and distribute resources. The STEP format is the only resource type that users have not created content in.

Users have created over ten thousand resources [11] in over eighty different languages ranging from Zulu to Klingon. English and Spanish are the most popular modern languages. Hebrew and Greek are the most popular Biblical languages.

Locating Resources[edit]

Due to the absence of a centralized listing of user created e-Sword resources, there has been duplication of effort in creating resources. For example, there are five different versions of the Didache.

Reviews and Awards[edit]

Reviews of e-Sword[edit]

Reviews of Pocket e-Sword[edit]

Awards for Pocket e-Sword[edit]


For most of 2005, Bible software blog ran a survey on what Bible study Software was used. e-Sword garnered the most votes in the free/shareware category. It also had more votes than any of the Commercial programs.[12] It is top of About.com's top 10 bible programs, as "the best free Bible software program".[13]


  1. ^ Stephen Baker Relationship and Fellowship 2008- Page 89 "The following sources are available as free downloads at www.e-sword.net. Bunyan, John. The Pilgrim's Progress. Part of The John Bunyan Collection. E-Sword Download Category:
  2. ^ Paul D. Wegner Using Old Testament Hebrew in Preaching: A Guide for Students and ... 2009- Page 56 "The site does not include many lexicons, commentaries, or tools, but has powerful search capabilities. E-sword • (http://www.e-sword.net) This free software has approximately nine Bible translations and seven older research works."
  3. ^ a b "e-Sword History". Rick Meyers. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  4. ^ "e-Sword Homepage". Rick Meyers. 2007-01-31. Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  5. ^ "e-Sword Splitscreen". Rick Meyers. 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  6. ^ The first message in the thread How To Install E-sword with wine at http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=404042 includes scripts for downloading and installing e-Sword.
  7. ^ Ubuntu Christian Edition - Ubuntu Forums
  8. ^ Point 2: The e-Sword License.PDF. This document is installed in the e-Sword directory, in version 7.8.1 or higher. It is also viewable from the Help menu in the main screen.
  9. ^ Point 3: The e-Sword License.PDF.
  10. ^ New Company Makes Bible E-Content - 2/21/2007 - Publishers Weekly
  11. ^ Bible Support offers roughly a third of these resources. Most of the rest are being distributed in violation of copyright, or else the content copyright owner has strict restrictions on who may redistribute the resources, and where they may be distributed from.
  12. ^ Bible Software Survey 2005
  13. ^ Fairchild, Mary. "Top 10 Bible Software Programs". About.com. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 

External links[edit]