Theophilos by Ivan Jurik

Last Page Update: Jan 2006
Ivan Jurik
Title: Theophilos
Version/Date: V3.16 (current Jan 2006)
Contact: Web Page: 
Description:   Theophilos is a very well done program, and the engine with several modules is available for free. A commercial CD-ROM with both NIV and NASB Bibles and an authoring tool can be purchased, along with a narrated New Testament by James Earl Jones. Some unique features of Theophilos is the ability to read and create HTML files that link to Theophilos modules, and the availability of the authoring tool to create custom modules. The free version does not provide Strong's numbers, and you must purchase at least the Student Edition CD-ROM for this support. 

Overall, the Theophilos interface feels very professional and provides many good features. The ability to download and try Theophilos before purchasing is great. As a free offering, the modules are a little too slim to be recommended. If you decide to purchase Theophilos, I would recommend at least the Student package to provide Strong's numbers and lexicon modules.

Screen Capture (click to view):

1. Installation:

Theophilos was installed from the downloaded program, update file, and several additional modules. For the most part, installation went without a hitch, but it seems that the Theophilos install directory has changed. The main program installs by default to a directory named theo30. A few extra modules, however, extract themselves to a directory named Theophil. I simply moved these files to the theo30 directory, although I suppose I should have tried them from the installed directory just to see if they would still be found.

2. Interface:

Theophilos offers a multi-window interface, each window can be sized and tiled. Theopholis features a Navigator window that generally resides on the left side of the screen. The Navigator lists all available modules in a tree format for easy selection. A Bible tab is available that lets you select Book, Chapter, and Verse to View. A Results tab displays the results of searches.

The default display is to use smart tiling, and this works well. When a new window opens, all the windows automatically resize to fit all the windows on a screen. This ensures that windows don't get obscured behind others.

Theophilos has a nice method to help reduce window clutter. A module can be dragged from the Navigator listing to the window of your choice. Instead of opening a new window, the text in this window will be replaced by the new module. Each window also has a history list, so you can quickly go back to the previous document if desired.

Windows are by default synchronized, and this can be turned off. Thus, if you have Matthew Henry's Commentary open and scroll the Bible text, the Commentary view will automatically update with the associated verse commentary.

Theopholis uses the left mouse button to select text, and also makes extensive use of the right mouse button. The right mouse provides the ability to switch version, go to compare version mode, go to a verse, search, look up a word in the dictionary, copy, and set bookmarks. Windows automatically resize as they are opened and closed. The top of the screen offers a toolbar and file menu.

Desktop settings can be saved, so that different users can have their own desktop, or you may have different desktops for various types of studies.

The Right Click Menu is used extensively in Theophilos, and the menu varies depending on the type of module clicked in. The types of operations that can be performed are to copy text, set sychronization on or off, set fonts, and begin a search.


The Theophilos help is well done and includes a Quick Guide to Theophilos to get you started. The help file does not use graphics, but is fairly comprehensive.

3. Modules:

Theophilos has grown quite a bit since its original development. For example, the NIV and NASB Bibles are now available, as well as a narration of the NT by James Earl Jones. Most of the dictionary and commentary works are the public domain modules found on many of the other programs. Theophilos provides the ability to create user generated modules, and also supports an HTML v3.2 viewer (see Editing features, below).

A few third party publishers have also published modules for Theophilos as well, although not to the extent of STEP and LDLS products.

Navigating in modules is good. Bibles can be scrolled through, you can go directly to a book, chapter or verse using the Navigator Bible Tree, or using the toolbar, or you can use the right click menu to move to another verse.

Most other modules contain their own index or topic list that appears at the top of the module window. You can use this list to move to the desired chapter, or to search for a particular topic such as in a dictionary.

4. Module Linking:

Double clicking any word will open a small dictionary window. If you have multiple dictionaries loaded, you can flip through the various definitions. The right mouse button can also be used to look up a selected word in any currently open dictionaries.

Similarly, double clicking a verse reference will bring up a small commentary window with any available commentary on the selected verse. You can also open a commentary and turn on synchronization so that the verse commentary tracks with the current Bible verse.

Windows can be synchronized so that you can keep two Bible versions in synch, for example. Theophilos offers both automatic and manual synchronization. In some cases, automatic sync might not work, because different Bible versions may not have the same verse numbering. In these cases, you can manually line up the verses and turn synchronization back on for each window, and they will be synchronized again.

The Bible view offers a compare mode, so that you can view parallel Bible versions line by line. You can also open multiple versions and compare them side by side by turning synchronization on.

5. Search:

Searching can be performed in all documents, even notes, topic books, or jumplists. You can also search all documents in the library at once. However, the non-Bible search is less than ideal.

The Finder search tool provides two tabbed windows: a Bible Search and a Library search. You can initiate the Finder tool from the Menu bar, tool bar, or from the right click menu. Using the right click menu on a highlighted word or phrase will use that highlight as the search reference.

The Bible search provides a window to enter a search string. You can use wildcards and the Boolean NOT operator. You can search for any word (OR), all words (AND), or a phrase. You can specify a range, and a proximity tool allows you to specify how many verses apart the words may appear. The results appear in a new window on the main screen, showing the full context of the found verses. A word list appears at the right hand side to show all the words existing in a particular Bible version. The Bible search works well.

The Library Finder allows you to enter one or more words, and select to find Whole Words Only and/or perform a Case Sensitive search. You can select to search the current document only, or select to search multiple documents. You can select the Dictionary, Commentary, or Writings selections to see a set of modules available in each category in the right window. Each module listing has a check box so you can select which modules you want to include in the search. The Results tab in the Navigator Window will then display which modules contain matches for your search criteria.

One of the unique features of Theophilos is that you can search the results list of a previous search. This may be very helpful if you find your search provided too many hits.

6. Search Results List:

Results of a Bible search appears in a new window. The total number or word hits and found verses appears at the bottom of the window. Each verse is listed, with the found words highlighted in red. Right clicking in the results window allows you to copy the verses to the clipboard, a file, or to print them. You can also send the verses to a Jumplist (Verse List). You can delete verses from the results before you do this if you like.

Pressing Enter on a verse will open that verse in the Bible View List.

You can also right click on the results list, and perform a second search on this results list. This can be handy when trying to narrow down a search that resulted in a large results list.

As mentioned above, the Library search results appear in the Results tab in the Navigator window. The Results provides a list of all module titles that contain at least one match to your search criteria. If you click on a module name, that book will open to the first search match. If the selected book is divided into chapters, the book is opened to the beginning of the chapter. You may have to scroll through the entire chapter before you find the highlighted word you were searching for.To see the next one, you need to press the F3 key, and so forth. If there are a lot of matches in a particular book, it could take some time to view them all. You then need to go to the next book to repeat the process.

It would have been more useful if the Navigator Results window could have displayed a tree of all found matches for each module. You would then have a good idea how many matches were found, and you could use the tree for faster navigation in each book.

Theophilos passed the eat AND meat search test, finding 35 occurences in the KJV Bible (see Evaluation Criteria article). 

7. Editing Features:

Theophilos supports colorized Bible text, such as displaying Christ's words in red. Color schemes can be customized and exhanged with other users.

Font settings for each window can be set independently.

Verse lists are supported in Theophilos as jumplists. Search results can be exported to jumplists, and can be appended to existing lists.

Up to 10 bookmarks are supported in the Bible text only.

Windows standard copy and paste tools are available.

A Copier tool is provided for advanced copy functions. You can select a range of verses, copy to clipboard, file, or printer, select a version, and select a format style for the verses to be copied. The verse range ability is provided for Bible and verse commentaries. If the document to be copied is a topical book, then a list of topics is presented for you to select from. HTML files can be printed, but not copied using this tool.

Verse Lists are supported in Theophilos and are called jumplists. A jumplist shows a verse reference, and then a title that you can edit as desired. Verses can be added or deleted from the list, and the list can be sorted by verse or description, or left unsorted. Clicking on an entry in a jumplist will open that reference in the Bible view. You can also merge jumplists.

Verse Notes can be easily added. With synchronization turned on, the Notes set will follow the Bible text as you scroll through it. If you want to add a note for a particular verse, you can simply click in the notes window and begin editing. You can have multiple notes files for use with different users or studies. There does not appear to be any special formatting tools in the Verse Notes editor.

The Topics editor lets you easily create topical studies. You can create multiple topical note files, each with a variety of topics. First, you create a new topics file, such as my topics. Next, you add a specific topic, such as angels. You can then type notes, copy verses, and so forth under this topic. You can create other topics in this same file, such as one on man. To move between topics, you can select from a pull down menu and press the look up button. As with the Verse Notes editor, no specific formatting tools are provided in the topics editor.

Users can quickly create HTML files that can be linked to other Theophilos library modules. Special HTML reference links are supported that allow you to, for instance, open Easton's Bible Dictionary by clicking on a link in an HTML document. HTML files can be viewed from a built-in viewer in Theophilos. This viewer can be used to view most other HTML files from the Internet as well, although advanced features in some HTML documents such as JAVA scripts will not be supported.

Theophilos offers a shareware program Scribe for Theophilos that allows you to create your own integrated modules for the program. Two versions are available: one for individual users and a more limited license for about $30, and a professional series for about $200. A web site has been created where users can share modules that are releasable to the public domain (see Christian Links page).

8. Greek and Hebrew Tools:

Theophilos does not include any Strong's numbers unless you purchase at least the Student Library set. The Bible Suite Library adds BDB and Thayer's Lexicons.

9. Graphics and Audio:

Theophilos supports both graphics and audio multimedia.

The CD version allows any/all verses to be narrated, and a demonstration of the narrated Bible is included in the download version. You can also record your own files from within Theophilos.

There are many graphics files that can be linked to verses, and you can use your own audio and graphic files as well. Theophilos supports MP3 and WAV audio file formats. Map files are available on the CD.

10. Cost and support:

Theophilos is available free with the KJV Bible, Matthew Henry's Commentary, and Easton's Bible Dictionary. A few other downloadable modules are also available, as well as many user generated modules.

The Theophilos Library 3 CD is available in three editions.

Scribe for Theophilos can be purchased separately with a single user license for $29.95, or a professional license for $199.95.

You can also download many of the modules if you only want the basic edition and a few other resources. For example, you could download the Bible Package 2 for $9.95, which would provide the KJV with Strong's and several other resources. 

The Bible Suite Library by Ready Marketing, LLC (, offers Theophilos in two packages: Gold ($59.95) or Platinum ($89.95). The Platiwith version adds the NIV, the NASB Bible, Jewish Bible and NT Commentary, and both versions feature narration of the NT by James Earl Jones.

Theophilos Audio Bible CD provides the Theophilos program with an Audio Bible narrated by Alexander Scourby. $49.95. The software is version 2.6, but includes Strong's numbers and Greek/Hebrew lexicon.


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