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Regarding Online Bible and macOS

More than 25 years ago, the late Ken Hamel, who loved his Lord and His Word, was prompted to create a Macintosh software version of the Bible. Being a Macintosh programmer he embarked on what became a long-term commitment to create quality Bible software.

Building on Larry Pierce's Windows Online Bible, Ken developed Online Bible for Mac. Its distribution is based firmly on the principle of grace not greed which, as in all areas of his life, was Kenneth's philosophy of service. Along with many others who have worked on this project, he did so with a desire to make God's Word readily available to Mac users in a form that would enhance their Bible study.


Probably the one thing that most amazes those who knew him personally, is the tremendous effort he had gone through during the last two years of his life to develop the Universal application of Online Bible for Mac, considering the debilitating health problems and pain he was suffering. Just as the work was being completed, he was able to pass the torch to us who are blessed with the privilege of carrying on his vision and ministry.

We have been able to support and update this native Mac version since taking over in 2009 but unfortunately the file structure and programming it was built on has gradually received less support as Apple continues to update the Mac-OS. By the release of High Sierra we have had serious problems, in particular with the new Apple File System (APFS) that has been forced on computers having Solid State Hard Drives. It is extremely possible that with the release of Mojave that traditional Hard Drives will also be automatically converted to APFS. This along with Apple choosing to no longer maintain OS compatibility with applications that were developed for 32 bit operating systems means that the Online Bible app that we have been able to maintain for 25 years will become less stable and eventually unusable.

Unfortunately we will not be able to do the complete rewrite required to build a new application for Apple's vision of Macintosh app development.

But God's Word is not reliant on the efforts and abilities of one person or group.

Although it is always difficult to change from an old comfortable application (my go-to word processor is 22 years old), there are many other options for Mac users now available. There are a number of web based Bible Reader apps but not as many Bible Study options. Some Bible Study apps that have been recommended are Accordance, Blue Letter Bible, Logos and Olive Tree. Depending on your needs and budget you could consider one of these.

Many Mac users who are comfortable with a Windows look and feel are using Our Windows Online Bible DVD which has much more material than our Mac app and runs under a WINE emulator that we have included or in virtual machines such as Parallels, Virtual Box or Fusion. Check it out at http://www.onlinebible.us/winonlinebible.html

The newest alternative is a Mac app that has been developed by our European distributors based on their previous iOS and Android apps. This is available by downloading directly from the Mac App store into your iMac. It has a new look and feel different from either of our previous desktop versions of Online Bible but more in line with Apple's development guidelines. The free Starter Pack is easily downloaded from the App store by searching for Online Bible (or looking through the Reference section of the store). Once you have installed the Starter Pack you can download more free and paid modules.

One major capability that they have is an Advanced Function ($24.99 US or $34.99 CA) that will allow you to copy all of the material from our Windows DVD to your Mac which will give you an enormous library that has not been available previously on a Mac. This function works for Mac OS and Android but not iOS tablets or phones. Of course you also need the Windows DVD (which has an extra cost) to take advantage of this function.

If you wish to use the Windows version either running under WINE or with the new app from the Mac App Store, we have a special price for owners one of our Mac CDs.

Click on this link to go to the Macintosh section of our store and you will find these at the bottom of the page.