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Bible Desktop is free Bible Study software. It is actively improved with releases every few months.

Bible Desktop is based upon JSword, a Java implementation of the SWORD C++ Engine. As such Bible Desktop works with all SWORD Modules.


Bible Desktop has the following distinctive features:

  • You can run Bible Desktop on Windows, Mac and Unix. This is especially attractive for you if you use more than one of these.
  • You can view an unlimited number of Bibles in parallel.
  • You can view differences between Bibles in the same language.
  • You can do rich searching of Bible text, Strong's Numbers, Notes, Headings, and Cross References.
  • You can view search results in the same window that you view Bible passages.
  • You can expand the context of all or selected search results.

Web Start Bible Desktop

If you have Java SE installed, this includes the Java Web Start technology called javaws. In Windows, to launch the Bible Desktop nightly build using Web Start, without having to open a browser, create a Windows command file containing the following line.

@start javaws

Save this with a suitable filename, such as BD_WS.cmd and then create a Windows shortcut to it. To go the whole hog, you may wish to optionally change the shortcut properties, such that the command window starts minimized, and even apply a suitable icon, such as the one found in BibleDesktop.exe

Java 7 64-bit

The wrapper that runs BD insists on a 32-bit Java and if it's not present, currently it will offer to download and install it. Yet BD itself doesn't care whether it uses 32-bit or 64-bit Java. A workaround for Windows 7 users to run BD when you have only the 64-bit version installed is described below:

  • Create a Windows CMD file containing the following single line, and save it as BD.cmd into the same folder where BD is installed,
@"C:\Program Files\Java\jre7\bin\javaw.exe" -classpath "bibledesktop-1.6.jar;commons-codec-1.3.jar;commons-httpclient-3.1.jar;commons-logging-1.1.1.jar;commons-net-1.4.1.jar;javatar-2.5.jar;jdom-1.0.jar;jlfgr-1_0.jar;jsword-1.6.jar;jsword-common-1.6.jar;jsword-common-aqua-1.0.6.jar;jsword-common-swing-1.6.jar;lucene-analyzers-2.3.2.jar;lucene-core-2.3.2.jar;lucene-snowball-2.3.2.jar" org.crosswire.bibledesktop.desktop.Desktop
  • Create a shortcut to BD.cmd and save it to your desktop, and rename it to whatever you like, e.g. BibleDesktop (Java 7 x64).
  • Edit the shortcut properties to run Minimized, and optionally change the Icon to the one in BibleDesktop.exe


  1. DM plans to look into the wrapper problem when he does the next release.

External links

You can read more at the Bible Desktop home page