The Interactive Bible Study Guide
The Interactive Bible Study Guide (Cinerom, Inc.) suffers from a split personality. The majority of this CD-ROM presents biblical history as the absolute truth, questioning nothing. But the small reference section, which utilizes Barron’s Bible Notes, takes a critical look at issues of literary form, authorship, and the differing versions that appear as canon in various religions. The sum of these divergent interpretations, which make no effort to acknowledge each other, is confusing at best. Bring up the “Bible Timeline,” for instance, and humans are shown as being created by God in 6500 BC. Never mind all those pesky Australopithecine skeletons that have been carbon dated to hundreds of thousands of years earlier – apparently this disc considers them a bunch of monkey’s uncles. The timeline also shows Moses receiving the word of God direct from the source, as it were. But flip to the reference section, and its a different story. Only “devout believers” think God gave Moses the Bible directly? “modern scholars” have attributed authorship to a number of people, the writings of whom have been edited and combined numerous times. These dichotomies of opinion come up again and again, without reference to each other; integrating them would make the program vastly more interesting (and useful). Beyond these issues of interpretation, the Bible Study Guide doesn’t offer much. Only one version of the Bible (the King James) is available, along with a “Lessons and Inspiration” section and a variety of pictures, slide shows, and video. All the multimedia elements are kept separate from one another, and most of them are pretty mediocre, consisting of touristy photos and video cut out of that church-school standby, “The Living Bible.” It is, overall, a supremely uninspirational experience.
– April 1996