I have a software recommendation for all Christian believers who take seriously the Apostle Paul’s admonition to ‘Study earnestly to present yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.’ (2Ti 2:15) I imagine for most Berean types, their adventures in Cyberspace have probably already landed them on the piece of virtual real estate known as E-sword.net. For those who may not be in the know, I cannot recommend this website enough. It is an incredible resource for serious Christian study. E-Sword is a bible software program that is remarkably diverse. You can download a multitude of various components; everything from commentaries and devotions to bible translations and dictionaries. The best part of it all… it’s ABSOLUTELY FREE!!! Well, most of it is free. Some components will cost you a handful of change, but there are so many free resources available, you just won’t have time to enjoy it all anyway. The program was created by a gentleman named Rick Meyers. He has done a magnificent work in helping to further the kingdom of God. It is apparent his driving motivation is not monetary profit but spiritual profit for the Body of Christ.
Permit me to insert a discernment warning, however. Many resources are available for your study but perhaps not all of them are beneficial. Before downloading components from teachers you aren’t familiar with, do a Google search and investigate the orthodoxy of their teachings. Although I realize on the internet every single teacher and preacher of God’s word is labeled a heretic or an apostate by some, please make the effort to plow through the rhetoric to verify the reliability of your sources. Keep your discernment radar active at all times!
Now, the real reason I wrote this post is to lead you to some valuable add-ons to the E-Sword program. In addition to all the fantastic resources available on E-sword’s website I have stumbled across a true treasury of scriptural knowledge through a post on ReformationTheology.com. The article links to a download site stocked with several E-sword files filled with categorized scriptural references on a variety of biblical topics. I believe credit is due to Nathan Pitchford, a Reformation Theology contributor. Here’s the full list of available resources:
- Categorized Scripture – Doctrines of Grace
- Categorized Scripture – Knowing God
- Categorized Scripture – Knowing Ourselves
- Categorized Scripture -Trinity
- Categorized Scripture – Dispensationalism
- Catechisms and Confessions
You can download the files HERE. I simply moved the files directly inside my E-sword folder. It is located at C:\Program Files\e-Sword. Open up E-sword and click on the Topics tab. You can select the file you wish to open with the drop-down arrow box at the bottom of the Topics window.
The file that most excited me is the Catechisms and Confessions. This little gem contains the confessions of the early church such as the Apostles creed. But most noteworthy (and I believe most profitable) are the thorough and systematic catechisms forged from the fires of the Reformation. The Baptist Confession of Faith, The Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechism are included along with the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dort – which were a primer on the Doctrines of Grace. Catechisms were used to unify the reformers by summarizing the central teachings of the bible. Many are in the format of questions and answers. These teachings were often used by parents to train up their children in the theology of the bible. They memorized the questions and answers along with the scripture references that supported them. Catechizing has fallen on hard times in the modern church. In fact, up until two years ago, I had never heard of a catechism! For shame! I am now determined to study through these great historical documents and commit to memory as much as my poor little brain will hold. And I plan on teaching my children from the Westminster Shorter Catechism in the near future.
If all that doesn’t whet your appetite for the things of God, I have yet another resource to recommend. My brother in the Lord over at Spice Mines of Kessel has become an avid reader of Charles Spurgeon as of late. E-sword has his book All of Grace featured as a download. I had read the book through E-sword’s reader a couple of years ago and I urged my friend to read it as soon as possible. Well, he did and loved it so much he decided to convert the book into PDF format for easier readability. He also labored to produce a table of contents and an index. This superior version can be downloaded HERE. If you haven’t read this book, you absolutely must. It is short and very easy to digest. Spurgeon, as with all his writings, has many memorable things to say about the doctrine of redemption. A big thank you goes out to my good friend for this fine work!