What is ArabBible?
| ArabBible is a powerful and innovative software tool designed to assist and encourage those working in Arabic-speaking lands to convey the truth of God’s precious Word, the Bible, with the help of the Holy Spirit. You did not find this website by accident!
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world
for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
It seems clear that God’s heart longs for the reconciliation of all men unto Himself. Some of the harvest has been gathered, some yet remains. We find ourselves somewhere near the end of the harvest, but with much work remaining. Many parts of the world have responded to the Gospel, yet some areas of the field are still virtually untouched. The Islamic world is one of those. According to Jesus, however, it will not remain so. Since His Word is authoritative, we can take comfort in the certainty of it. But this leaves no room for inactivity on our part. Gathering the harvest is something like prayer, in that while God can do everything without us, He never intended it to be so. God expects us to join in His labor, along side Him, as enthusiastic participants:
“And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.”
Modern Arabic has 200 million speakers in more than twenty nations. The Arabic language is actually two different languages, and this is where the problem comes in. Arabic's two forms are a colloquial dialect spoken on the street, but varying from country to country, and a literary, or classical language that is easily understood all over the Arab world. This can create a real dilemma for those wishing to venture into Islamic/Arab nations. They are facing the daunting task of learning two similar, but very distinct, complex languages, in addition to a new alphabet. Often, many commonly used words are completely unrelated in the two forms of Arabic.
Questions eventually arise, “Why not just learn the regional street language, and be done with it?” or “Can’t I simply get by with the spoken language alone?” Since all written material, including God’s Word, the Bible, is available only in literary Arabic, it is not enough just to learn the street language. The Church could hardly be expected to grow without the Scriptures, yet imagine yourself having to learn two distinct sets of grammar and two sets of vocabulary that are just similar enough to be terribly confusing! Learning literary Arabic well can take many years. Most people who want to serve the Lord in Arabic-speaking countries do not want to spend years at book-learning, but would rather invest their time in direct fulfillment of their calling. What to do? From a practical point of view, people need to buy food in the market and wish to share their testimony, so the local dialect is chosen. Unfortunately, this usually comes at the expense of the Scriptures, the use of which is minimized or sometimes nonexistent. And even among those who do begin the arduous trek into classical Arabic, many never progress past a rudimentary grasp of it, with most giving up hope of ever mastering it. So how can you learn the Arabic of the Bible, and actually be confident in using it? Isn’t it all too overwhelming? What can you do about it?
In response to this desperate and untouched need, we have produced ArabBible. If used regularly, this software will surely cut the time needed to learn the Arabic Bible from many years down to perhaps a handful. The version that is now available contains the text of the entire New Testament. Grammatical support and audio recitation now cover the New Testament as well. This is a solid and tested way to learn the Arabic Bible, and you can do it!
ArabBible can enable you to be confident in using the Scriptures. We have a solemn obligation to those whom we are serving to handle the Scriptures in a responsible manner:
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (accurately handling)
the word of truth.”
II Timothy 2:15
So how can ArabBible help? The goal is to make it possible for you to fully understand the Arabic New Testament one verse at a time. With classical Arabic (alternately called Fus-ha or Modern Standard Arabic), bite-sized pieces are all one can handle, especially at first. One great feature of ArabBible is that it presents every word to you two different ways. First, the lexical features of a particular word are presented, as one would normally find in a dictionary. Such important items as definitions, plurals, and roots are presented. But in context. Contextual understanding is absolutely critical to word retention, and is something that even the best dictionary can never provide. ArabBible will walk you through it! Did you know that there are quite a number of words used in the Arabic Bible that you can’t find in your pocket dictionary? We have already done much of the footwork for you by having pored over a number of difficult-to-find dictionaries, grammars and lexicons. No more time need be wasted fumbling about your glossary, guessing at roots, trying to decipher that inexplicable idiom, and having to be content with limited understanding. ArabBible can help you really grasp what you are reading. Moreover, ArabBible provides coverage for every single word in the New Testament, all 109,324 of them!
Click picture below to take a 7 minute Tour of ArabBible...
Not only are individual words covered, but difficult verses are also dealt with in their entirety. A verse’s overall meaning and structures may be considered. Idiosyncrasies about the verse and difficult-to-remember rules may be presented, as well as important grammatical reminders. Explanations concerning Van Dyck’s word choice from the original Greek may be discussed, or perhaps a note touching on unfamiliar concepts, or even the usage of an unusual idiom. Alternative meanings within a verse may also be addressed. An included Bibliography is often referred to, so that you may look up a rule for yourself, or may pursue further study of a challenging topic.
Extensive grammar notes pop up as needed to provide you with detailed lexical and syntactical information for the word you have selected. Even the explanations are explained! Examples in Arabic are often included.
Another exciting feature of ArabBible is its ability to recite the verse out loud, as read by a native speaker of Arabic. You can easily play the verse over and over, without worrying about being humiliated by some impatient tutor berating you for your repeated attempts at reading aloud. You can also pause at any place during the recitation. And if normal recitation speed is too fast for your ears, you can slow the speaker’s voice down by 20%, thanks to some high-tech software used in the development of ArabBible! The speaker’s voice remains at normal pitch, and the slower voice gives you a bit of extra time to process what you are hearing. Repetition of a verse is critical to vocabulary retention, so this feature should prove beneficial. Finally, we have added a new feature that allows the entire chapter to be recited back to you without interruption. The text panel “knows” that the next verse is coming up and remains synchronized with the reading, so you get double reinforcement. This is beneficial for review as well, once you are familiar with the chapter. It’s thrilling to watch your own reading speed and comprehension being accelerated, as you use ArabBible on a regular basis.
To set the mood and get a bit of cultural exposure, we have also included a Background Music option that allows the simultaneous playing of a sample of beautiful, traditional Middle Eastern music!
As you get more familiar with the Arabic of the Bible, you will find the Concordance a feature that you will use often. Its ability to search out the New Testament for other occurrences of a word is vital for good Bible study. ArabBible features a “smart searcher” that does more than just find an exact match. This is especially critical in Arabic, as a word may include prefixes and/or suffixes, thus obscuring the actual word core being sought. ArabBible actually searches the Scriptures using a “Core Word Search Criteria”, or what remains once these appendages are stripped off. You end up searching for, what is in essence, the word's dictionary entry. But amazingly, the words it matches can appear in any form, making this Concordance uniquely indispensable! It provides for a much more comprehensive and accurate search than a typical word-search function. Results show up in a special window that displays the matches, sensibly organized for either a quick read-through or detailed inspection.
Related Word Search (Root Analyzer)
It is widely recognized that having a good understanding of words grouped by root will flatten the learning curve required for Arabic vocabulary acquisition. This is another area in which ArabBible can serve you well. Using any Arabic root (consisting of two, three, four, or even five letters, or radicals), ArabBible will compile a list of all related words used in the entire New Testament. The common root, along with its family members, can then be much more easily recalled. A new feature even allows you to type in any root you wish, using the custom on-screen keyboard.
A wonderfully helpful feature of ArabBible is its new Verb Conjugator. With the click of a button, the selected verb is conjugated for you. Verb conjugation can sometimes be difficult for the beginner to remember, and this kind of grammatical aid elucidates not only the verb in context, but also gives a quick reminder as to how a particular kind of verb is parsed. Even for an advanced-level student, an occasional visit to the Verb Conjugator can help, especially when investigating infrequently used verbs, uncommon forms (e.g. Form XI), or verbs that simply defy explanation. The current version of ArabBible only supports conjugation of strong or hollow triliteral verbs (Forms I through XV), while upcoming versions should support verbs of any type.
Our primary goal is not just for you to learn Arabic, but to do it in Jesus' name and for His glory. To that end we want to make this software as useful to you as we can. We will try to provide individual and personal support through the website and email addresses listed below. Any reasonable request for new features or improvements will be considered. Your feedback is essential to its development and growth. If this program proves to be a help to you, we would sincerely appreciate it if you would let us know. Finally, please pray for us.
With the Lord’s help, you will be able to use the Arabic Bible in your service to Him and others. Our ultimate objective, of course, is the same as that of Jesus:
“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit,
and so prove to be My disciples.”
We pray that you too will both know God and make Him known.
May the Lord Jesus enable you to bear much fruit!