This is the third article in a series on how to effectively use your Bible resources. If you missed the first one, I’d like to recommend that you click here to be taken to an article on how to use your Study Bibles and Commentaries. Click here for the article on how to use the Strong’s Concordance.
Continuing to build on the previous articles in this series, today we’re going to cover Bible dictionaries. I was going to lump dictionaries and other reference books together but as I started to write the article I decided that there are unique properties with some of the reference books that I’d like to cover separately.
All of the Bible dictionaries work in the same manner and since we now offer the Easton’s Bible Dictionary for free, that’s the book I’m going to use for my examples. So, take your Easton’s off the shelf and we’ll get started.
For MyBible 5 users, in maximize mode, tap the 2nd or 3rd tab to activate the window. Tap the tab again to get your drop down menu. Select the top Change… option to get your list of books. Scroll down past your Bibles and select EBD.
For PocketBible 4 for Windows Mobile users with a touch screen, tap View and Add Book if you want to open a new window or select Change Book if you want to change a current window to Easton’s. You will find Easton’s listed under the category of Dictionaries. Tap EBD and tap OK.
For PocketBible 4 for Windows Mobile users without a touch screen, select Menu, Select Book, expand down on Dictionaries, and select EBD.
With PocketBible for Windows software for desktop PCs running Windows you need to select the option from the File menu to open a new dictionary set (or click the More tab if you already have a dictionary set open).
There are multiple ways that you can access the information in the dictionary. One way is to just browse by scrolling through the dictionary. You can find some interesting information just by browsing that you may not have noticed otherwise.
A second way is to use the Find feature. This feature is used to find ALL articles in that book containing a specific word or phrase. This means that it will find the dictionary definition (if it’s in that dictionary) as well as all other articles containing that word or phrase. This feature varies with each application so I will take them separately.
In MyBible 5, tap the tab to get your menu and select Find. Enter the word or phrase. You then need to select whether you want to find the exact match, any word, or all words. Exact match is self-explanatory. The Any word option means that if you have entered multiple words, it will search for all articles in which any of the words are in that article whether or not the other words are in that same article. The All words option means that all of the words that you have entered must be in that article in order to find a hit.
In PocketBible 4, touch screen, tap the magnifying glass icon or tap Edit, Find, Find. Enter the word or phrase for the search. Make sure that you do not have a bookmark category selected and that you do not have a highlighted color selected or it can skew your search results. Then tap OK. PocketBible has very powerful Boolean search features (AND, OR, XOR, etc) that will take up too much space to explain so I encourage you to tap the ? in the upper right corner of the Find screen to read more information. I guarantee that it will enhance the way you do searches in the future.
Another nice Find feature in PocketBible 4 (touch screen) is that you can press and hold your stylus on a word in the dictionary (or any book) and select Find from the drop down window.
In PocketBible 4, non-touch screen, select Menu, Find, Find.
In PocketBible for Windows, click the Find icon on the toolbar to open your personalization window if it isn’t already open. OR, you can do a right-click on a word and select Find right in the book window.
Once you have your search results list then select the article you want to read. Both MyBible and PocketBible will remember the most recent search. If you go back to Find in MyBible then the search list will still be there for you until you actually exit MyBible. Then the search list will be lost. In PocketBible 4 (touch screen) you can open and collapse the search list by tapping the icon that looks like a magnifying glass over a piece of paper or by tapping View, List, Find Results. If you are exiting PocketBible 4 properly then it will continue to remember your last search results so that it is still there for you when you resume your work later. For information on how to properly close PocketBible 4 tap the ? in the lower right corner of PocketBible and review How to… Exit PocketBible.
The third way to review the information in the dictionary is to go through the table of contents and select the word you want to review from the tree list view. In MyBible 5 tap the tab to get your menu. Tap the second Change…. Tap Back as many times as necessary to get to the main tree. Expand and collapse the tree as needed.
In PocketBible 4 (touch screen) tap the second icon from the left or tap Edit, Go To.
In PocketBible 4 (non-touch), select the upper-left navigational button and then expand down and select the information that is of interest.
In PocketBible for Windows, select the Go to icon in the toolbar to access the table of contents and make your selection.
The forth way to review information on a specific word is through the Lookup feature. You don’t need the dictionary open to use this feature. In MyBible 5, you must have your highlights feature turned off when using the Lookup in a Bible (Edit, Highligher on/off) Select the word that you want to look up by dragging your stylus over that word. Tap the book tab to get your menu and select Lookup Definition. If you have multiple dictionaries then it will look up the information in the dictionary that was most recently used. If it doesn’t find the word then it will give you a message letting you know that it was not found and then it will take you to the dictionary window. This will allow you to select a different dictionary in which to search if you have multiple dictionaries.
In PocketBible 4 (touch screen), press and hold your stylus on top of the word for which you want more information and select Lookup from the drop down menu. If you have multiple dictionaries then it will first look up the information in the dictionary you have set as your default. The default is found when you go to View, Options, More Options and select the Prefs tab at the bottom. If the word is not found in your preferred dictionary then it will search other dictionaries that you also have installed. If it can’t find the word at all then no response will occur except a beep if you have your sounds turned on. If you don’t have a dictionary installed then the Lookup option will be grayed out on your drop down menu.
In PocketBible 4 (non-touch), select Menu, Lookup, and enter the word you want to look up.
In PocketBible for Windows, right-click the word for which you want more information and select Lookup.
MyBible 5 has one more way to look up information in a Bible dictionary. Select Options, Dictionary. Select your preferred dictionary, enter the word and tap Lookup.
As you have found, there are many ways that you can utilize your Bible dictionary resource. You may find that you prefer one way over another or you may find that all are valuable depending on what it is that you want at the time. As you work with your resources you will become more comfortable and familiar with what is available to you.
This concludes the lesson for this week. You can place your dictionary back on the shelf. Next week we will cover Nave’s Topical Bible.
NOTE: If you are having trouble with your MyBible or PocketBible software, please do not post your technical support issues as a comment. Instead, you need to send an email to email@example.com for assistance. Be sure you’ve checked the Help Desk Knowledgebase before you request assistance. Thank you.