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DDT’s Top Ten Module Releases of 2012


NOTE: Every day through the end of 2012, I will update this blog, counting down to my #1 favorite module built and released in 2012. I hope you’ll come back every day to see what’s next!


There are lots of lists released at the end of every year: “best dressed,” “best mutual fund,” “best liberal radio talk show program” (are there any that would qualify as “best” and “liberal”...?). The list goes on forever. So, I thought, “why not add one more list to the list? It might be fun!” I thought for about 3 seconds, and came up with a list that fits right in with what we do here at DoctorDaveT’s Top Ten Module Releases for 2012.


My criteria are:


1. Modules must have debuted in 2012. Reformatted modules will not be eligible for this list.


2. Modules must have been released for both eSword and theWord.


3. Modules must be legally distributable.


4. Modules must be ones that I like & use; no ifs, ands, nor buts. After all... it is my list! (This criteria alone is going to make this list rather strange to most readers, I believe.)


5. Formatting counts! Modules on this list will be nicely formatted and “easy on the eyes.”


6. It doesn’t matter who built them, nor what site(s) they are available on. As long as #1-#4 all describe the module, then they qualify to be on the list.


It turns out that 2012 has been an excellent year for module building! I had to look through 700+ modules in my library that were built in 2012 to come up with this list. Wow. 2012 is going to be very hard to top in 2013 when it comes to conservative, evangelical module distribution!


Would you like to make a comment about the list? A friendly disagreement? Have I made an egregious error by leaving off your favorite module from 2012? Drop me a note. If your comment is substantive (and not, “you’re so stupid!”), I’ll include your note in the post.


One last note: if you’re looking for a module that is not hosted here, visit or to find these excellent modules.


So, without further adieu, let’s take a look at my DoctorDaveT’s Top Ten Module Releases for 2012.


#7-10 - Golden Nuggets Buried in The Richest & Most Underappreciated Module Type: The eBook.


I occasionally see the .topx/.gbk.twm module format disparaged. More than once, I’ve even seen it called “filler.” While the material may not be as easy to access as a commentary link or a dictionary word click, the resources found in the Digital eBook Module Type (eSword’s .topx format and theWord’s .gbk.twm format) are often second to none.


More than one lecturer in Bible college warned us “preacher boys” to be wary of wasting our book money on large commentary sets. “The commentary sets look great on a shelf; but the best commentaries are always the ones that are not in the sets.” A very similar statement can be made about digital modules: “The commentary sets are the easiest to access; but the best modules are always the ones that will be the hardest to automate.” Yep.


When I built my list, I didn’t intend for the first (last?) four to be all single book modules. It just worked out that way. These treasures are harder for eSword and theWord to find because they are not linked to specific verses (like the commentary sets) nor are they clickable with single words (like the dictionaries). But if you will download and read these books, you’re lives will be enriched. BETTER: if you will learn how to sort your libraries so these books can be accessed as reference materials, they will be as easy to access as the commentary and dictionary modules!


#10 - J. Vernon McGee’s The Tabernacle: God’s Portrait of Christ (12/22)


It’s not surprising that some of the modules that I have built will make this list. Some may find it surprising that this one did. After all, there are already several good modules on the Tabernacle available. Most of McGee’s titles that can be converted to digital modules are really only articles; single sermons converted to print. Well, this one is different.


Tabernacle is actually a full length book, originally published in 1986. You would think that a work like that would be guarded by the publisher for the full copyright period: through 2058 (McGee died in 1988). But it’s not! Thru the Bible ministries have granted permission for this one to be distributed. And the book is very well done.


So what you have here is: a full length book; about a doctrinally rich section of Scripture; written by a famous preacher who was biblical, evangelical, and conservative - not to mention a great communicator; beautifully formatted with graphics and footnotes (TW only). What’s not to like?!


For the rest of my life, every time my studies reference something about the Tabernacle, I will reference this module.


JVM’s Tabernacle can be downloaded on this page.


#9 - R.C. Trench’s Notes on the Miracles of Our Lord (12/23)


Several years ago, I downloaded a module that was supposed to be this one.  Not only was it a garbage “pump and dump” module - it wasn’t even Miracles. It was Trench’s Notes on the Parables of Our Lord (which is available, too).


Trench’s Miracles is a classic - worthy of a “blue ribbon” or “best of class” award in “miraclology”. So, I started trolling for it in late 2009, but was unable to find it. Late in 2011, or early in 2012, I started asking around again. I approached several users who are known module “collectors.” They thought they had it, but of course it was the wrong-titled pump and dump that I had already found (and deleted). We came to a conclusion: Miracles was never actually built as a module.


One of my eSword friends (James Rice, originally of OMLB and now a masterbuilder at got hold of a digital version of this book and went to work. I don’t know how long it took to bring to pass, but his finished project is beautiful! I took his eSword module and converted/adapted it for use with theWord. Now this masterful work is nicely formatted for both eSword and theWord.


Anyone who wants to take a look at a miracle of our Lord Jesus should start with Trench’s Notes on the Miracles of Our Lord.


#8 - Elmer Towns’ Eight Laws of Leadership (12/24)


OK, I admit it; I broke one of my own criteria in order to list this module: #2 -- it is not legally distributable as a TW module. Here’s what happened: when I asked Dr. Towns about building his .pdfs into digital modules, his gracious permission was “eSword specific.” So, all of Towns’ modules are legally distributable only in eSword format. However: converting them for personal use with theWord software is very easy to do. In fact, it is Towns’ eSword modules that gave me the idea of writing this blog about how to convert eSword modules for use with theWord. So, while I can’t distribute them for TW, you can convert them for TW. Close enough for me!


Towns is an excellent teacher, preacher, and academician. His practical books are a direct extension of good exposition and doctrine. You might think this a common practice; but unfortunately it is rather uncommon. The result is that Towns’ works are actually a rather rare breed in topical reference works. I’ve converted the best dozen or so of his .pdfs into eSword modules. While any one of them could have made my list, I’ve chosen just this one (representing Towns’ entire eSword library). It is his Eight Laws of Leadership.


Towns on leadership would be like “Daniel on prayer,” “Job on patience,” or “Nehemiah on wall building.” Towns has been successful at leadership in his life, so he is not communicating ethereal philosophy; it is very practical indeed. As I was building the module, I often found myself stopping to enjoy the book. It was a “slow build” because I was enjoying it so much! I highly recommend every minister (Sunday School teachers, deacons, small group leaders, big group leaders, preachers, along with janitors, secretaries, mechanics...) to read this book, oh! so slowly. It will change your life, if you’ll listen to Dr. Towns.


Who doesn’t want to be more influential for the cause of Christ?! You can download this book on this page (scroll down to “leadership”) and start enjoying it in about 60 seconds (or 180 seconds if you have to convert it to TW...).


#7 - Lamb and Lion - Tribulation Weblogs (12/25)


So, I've been very interested in Bible prophecy of late. During my search for quality biblical materials on eschatology, I found an extensive prophetic site hosted by Dr. David Reagan and his Lamb and Lion Ministries, Inc. Dr. Reagan is an evangelist, prophetic conference speaker, Television show host (Christ in Prophecy!), author, and web blogger. His blogs are very well done - and there are a truck load of them on his site. Dr. Reagan provided gracious permission to convert his blog posts into modules, and I was off and building.


Dr. Reagan has been blogging every day for years. Some of his best blog posts have been categorized by topic for easy reference. Based on these categories, I was able to build "weblog compilation books" of the writings of Dr. Reagan (with a few other writers thrown in as well). I've just about finished the equivalent of 19 volumes of books by Dr. Reagan and the nice folks of Lamb and Lion Ministries, Inc. The best of his blog posts are prophetic; but he also delves into doctrine, politics, exposition, and archaeology, among other things.


Dr. Reagan is not a baptist. The farther he strays from prophecy, the more I find myself in disagreement with his writings - occasionally vociferously. But on prophecy? Wow, is he good! He is interesting, fresh, contemporary, and thought provoking. Those not pre-tribulational & pre-millennial in their eschatology will be left wondering about their own beliefs.


While there are at least half a dozen of his "weblog compositions" that I could have put in this Top 10 list, I went with just one as representative of all his works. "Tribulation Weblogs" makes my Top 10 list because it includes the material that first drew me to Lamb and Lion to begin with. This title covers interesting topics like "Daniel's 70 Weeks of Years," "The Wars of the End Times," "Psalm 83 War," "Timing Gog-Magog," and a whole lot more. It really is riveting reading.


If you like this one module (click here and scroll down to "Eschatology, Tribulation Period" to download it {12/31 - broken link repaired!}), you'll want to check out the other ones, too. By the way: when all of the modules are complete (Lord willing - mid-January, 2013), they will be .zipped together and listed at "Famous Authors Complete Works."


#6 - The Book Module That Almost Wasn't And Will Not Be


How's that for a cryptic category?! This Top 10 module is in a  category all by itself.  I’ll explain why in a moment. And now, #6 is....


#6 - G. Campbell Morgan's The Parables and Metaphors of Our Lord (12/26)


First, this module almost wasn't because it is under copyright. The text is available online, but under copyright protection. So, I built the module for myself because the content is great - perhaps the finest work on Christ's parables in existence. I was quite happy to build it just for myself! Then, just a few months back, "David Psalms" of secured permission to put all of Morgan's copyrighted works in module format! Yeehaw! I was able quickly to make the final edits and get it posted for use. What a blessing!


Now, about the module itself: although it may appear dated (1940's), Morgan's Parables is simply one of the finest resources on Christ's parables ever written. John MacArthur includes it on his list of 850 recommended resources - and he has a penchant for modern works. The very fact that GCM's Parables makes this list is high praise indeed for it's contents.


The book has 63 chapters; each of them are very well done. It is organized loosely like a commentary; the parable appears under the gospel in which it is first recorded. Those studying the parables will find Morgan rich without being allegorical. It's a great resource that will be referenced as long as you use Bible software.


Download it here under "Parables and Miracles" in the "All Four Gospels" section. Once you've used it, you'll be so grateful you have it.


#2-5 - Dreams Do Come True for the New Testament Expositor


While at Bible college, I had access to a world class library. Whether it was for Greek class, research papers in English exposition, or sermon prep, I had access to free excellence in the area of Greek exegesis.


Then I graduated and was on my own. My personal exegetical library consisted of a Strong's concordance, a Vine's dictionary, Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament (which would be awesome as a module, by the way), a couple of small commentary sets (Robertson, Wuest & Vincent), BAGD, BDB, TWOT, and some one volume stand alone commentaries. I had been spoiled by the riches at my college library, that's for sure! My library worked; it just didn't give me the wealth and variety of information that I had become accustomed to.


Over the years, I collected - very slowly and expensively - a decent pastoral research library. It wasn't like sitting in a seminary library; but it was decent enough. And then there was this digital-revolution-thing. I switched to eSword, and started rebuilding my library. Except this time, it was a digital library.


Eventually the premium modules & third party modules for eSword, and especially theWord, gave me a good exegetical library. TW's excellence in Greek exegesis allowed me to leave my real world library behind and not feel abandoned when it came to Greek work. It wasn't "seminary library" quality; but it was good enough for pastoral sermon prep. By the end of 2011, my digital library had exceeded my real world library, both in quantity and quality of content.


And then came 2012. Holy cow!


In just the span of a few months, Greek exegesis for both eSword and theWord took a "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" leap forward. Four of my favorite Greek exegetical commentaries from my college days were released for eSword and theWord. Not one; not two; not three; four of them. They were initially released in chapter-by-chapter views; but by mid-summer, all four had been exquisitely reformated for verse-by-verse work.


I was one happy camper. You should be, too. A great big "thank you" goes out to Josh Bond of for making these treasures publicly available.


#5 - Henry Alford's The Greek Testament (4 Vols) (12/27)


You already know that #2-5 are NT commentaries that deal extensively with the Greek. So they are all very similar in content. I won't have an extensive amount to say about any one of them in particular, but will make just a few notes.


Alford did two different Greek commentaries on the New Testament: one was for English readers, and this one, with more emphasis on the Greek. While you don't need to know Greek to use this commentary, it will be very helpful indeed.


Of the four here in this list, this one is (obviously) my least favorite of the group. But that's kind of like saying that Dutch chocolate ice cream is my least favorite chocolate ice cream flavor! Yeah, right! By the way: MacArthur & Spurgeon both love this guy. That speaks volumes.


#4 - Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the NT (20 Vols) (12/28)


At 20 volumes, obviously this guy has the most to say in this group. Typically it's quite a bit more. Meyer is a little more Greek intensive than Alford. A working knowledge of the Greek language is just about a prerequisite in order to nicely profit from these volumes.


While it has never had the popularity of the other three Greek New Testament commentaries on this list, it is an excellent choice. (And as a free download, it certainly is more than worth the price!)


The fact that he is German makes me somewhat suspicious of his theology (in Meyer’s time period, most German Christians were either calvinisticly Lutheran or liberally Rationalistic). When using Meyer, I’m “carefuler” than with most of my other commentaries. And yet... There are some real treasures in his comments.  To say his comments are “helpful” is a bit of an understatement. He’s good. How good? He’s on MacArthur’s list of 850 works for the expositor. Any work 100+ years old on MacArthur’s list must be a classic - because he muchly prefers modern scholarship. And to make my list? Well, you know it’s got to be good!


For those with at least a little knowledge of koine Greek, this commentary will be a real blessing.


#3 - Johann Bengel’s Gnomon of the New Testament (5 Vols) (12/29)


To me, the distance between Meyer & Gnomon is a big leap; and there is very little separation between Gnomon and #2 (tomorrow’s post!). As good as Alford (#5) & Meyer (#4) are, Gnomon is just soo much better. How much better? Well, I’m glad you asked!


Gnomon was published in 1742. In that year, 10 year old George Washington was infamously chopping down a cherry tree; a 36 year old Ben Franklin was busy not getting killed by lightning bolts; and “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” was a freshly preached sermon shaking up America’s New England. And yet: Gnomon is still a highly sought after commentary set. Logos sells it for $125!


This is the commentary set famously quipped with these words: “. . . a modern writer observes, (ed. - Bengel) ‘. . . condenses more matter into a line, than can be extracted from pages of other writers.’” While that quote is often attributed to Spurgeon, it should be noted that Spurgeon was quoting Gnomon’s editor. However: it is the brevity of Bengel that makes his set so very valuable.


You see, in 1742, commentators loved to hear their own quills. (Ever been in a one way conversation with someone that loved the sound of their own voice?) Men would mention a verse, and then write pages of topical material that was completely irrelevant to exposition or exegesis, and then call that a commentary. Those books were really unrelated thematic sermons loosely based on a book of the Bible. Not Gnomon! He explains a Greek word as quickly as possible, and then moves on to the next important word. In the space some men would poorly expound a couple of verses, Bengel can expertly exegete an entire chapter. And the reader need not know Greek to understand what he just read! Thus Bengel’s commentary is different from other 1700’s works in that 1) it explains the text, not a topic in the text; and 2) it does so succinctly. Bravo!!


Gnomon closely follows the Greek text (he was an expert New Testament critic, by the way); yet he explains it in such common language that no Greek is needed for a full understanding of his words. It is the perfect NT commentary for someone who knows no Greek but desires to understand the nuance of the koine Greek New Testament.


#2 - William R. Nicoll’s The Expositor’s Greek Testament (5 Vols) (12/30)


After the high praise for Gnomon, you might wonder what is left for EGT?! Well, in my mind, here’s the difference:


Gnomon is a Greek reference guide written for those who know little or no Greek. EGT is a Greek reference guide written for those who are familiar with the Greek language. Gnomon is brief (on purpose), whereas EGT is still brief, but not so much that he leaves you occasionally guessing at his intent (like Bengel did with Gnomon, whether intentional or not).


EGT is just a little more advanced than Gnomon. For what I do, for how I study, it just feels better. (How’s that for being subjective?! After all, it’s my Top Ten List!) As good as Gnomon is (and it is great!), EGT is just a little better.


Let me put it this way: if Gnomon (#3 on my list) is several inches better than Meyer (#4 on my list), EGT is a millimeter or two better than Gnomon. Both are great.


In grad school, I took a 3 credit class in 1 Timothy (yep; it was intense). We did a complete exegesis of the entire Greek text. Every word. While I was required to use about a dozen different texts for my work, I found myself returning again and again to Gnomon and EGT first, because they were the most helpful. And now they’re available free for my Bible software. Whoa!


SURPRISE - There are two #1's!!


Ever heard of the Big 10? Did you know that an eleventh team was added to the Big 10 Conference in 1993, yet the conference did not change it’s name? So, I have good precedence for having 11 titles on my Top Ten List. Maybe I should have called it my “Big 10 List”! {This has nothing to do with this blog, but the Big 10 admitted a twelfth team in 2011, and it’s thirteenth and fourteenth teams for 2014. How “big” can the Big 10 get? Maybe next year I’ll have a bigger “Top 10 Modules” list....}


So, here they are, coming in at #1 (12/31):


#1 - John Peter Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical (25 volumes)


#1 - Stephanus Textus Receptus with Interlinear, Lemmas, Accents, Strong’s and Morphology (nicknamed “TRi”)


Lange’s Commentary


Let me discuss Lange’s commentary first. In my opinion, the vast majority of DDTers will not enjoy Lange. His writing style is technical and not devotional; his vocabulary is erudite, not simple; and his article/entry length is long, not short. To summarize: he writes more for the scholar than the disciple. And yet, with that said, he is rich. There is little fluff in these 25 volumes.


Now, if Lange had written only a NT commentary (like #2-5 on this list), Lange’s would not make my Top Ten list. It is his comments on the OT that propel Lange to the top.


Think about it: what other commentary sets are there that tackle the technical aspects of the Old Testament text? Keil & Delitzsch - but Lange is (much) better. Barnes & Clarke; but those guys don’t even write on the same plane as Lange - not even close. Pulpit Commentary (and the PC wannabees)? Well, I like the Pulpit Commentary; but it’s more sermonic; Lange is a commentator. Expositor’s Bible and Thomas Constable both come close; but Expositor’s Bible is occasionally (far) too liberal, and Constable doesn’t give as much depth.


Lange’s is the best there is currently available for both eSword and theWord when it comes to Old Testament exposition. In my opinion, Lange’s commentary on the entire Bible is the best single commentary set on the whole Bible currently available gratis for both eSword and theWord. So, duh! It gets #1 status!


Stephanus Textus Receptus

with Interlinear, Lemmas, Accents, Strong’s and Morphology (TRi)


But there was a Bible released this year that is awesome. So good it gets #1 ranking, too.


I’m a KJV guy (no apologies). Part of the reasoning for that has to do with God’s preservation of the Greek text through all ages; and not just since the 1880's. The Textus Receptus is the Greek text in constant use all throughout church history; how could it not be the preserved Word of God?


This year an excellent TR module of the NT was released that includes a ton of study implements to make original language work so simple, that even non-Greek students can greatly profit from it. It includes, right in the text of the Greek testament:


Interlinear - all of the Greek words have their English equivalent right next to it. (The English equivalent in foreign language work is called a “gloss.”) Even a non-Greek reader can see what Greek words go with the English of the KJV.


Lemma - a “lemma” is the root form of any particular word. Example: the “lemma” for “ran” and “running” is “run.” So if you are working in the Greek with a word equivalent to “running,” TRi knows to check the dictionaries for the word “run.” This really makes Greek work easy & powerful at the same time. This function alone propels the TRi right to the top of this list!


Accents - most Greek texts that are formatted for eSword and theWord have left out accents. Greek teachers and students know that occasionally, accents make all the difference in correct exegesis. Any serious language work must include accents (and breath marks - which are included in the accenting of this module).


Strong Numbering - Any text of the Bible (English, Greek, Hebrew, Outer Skabobian, whatever) if it is going to be useful, has to have Strong’s numbers as part of it.


Morphology - (what I wouldn’t have gladly paid for this in Bible College....) This is a simple blue code that tells you what part of speech the words are; from pronouns to participles, there is no more digging through Greek grammars trying to parse a word. Hallelujah!


Now, for many users, there is more here than necessary. But for anyone trying to delve into the original language, this module is absolutely awesome. Unless you’re one of those “Robert Dick Wilson” guys who has their devotions in 9 different Semitic languages, even those proficient in Greek will absolutely love how this module makes Greek work easier, faster, and more productive. Immediately. Wow.




Well, folks, there is my list of the Top 10 Best Modules released in 2012. Any discrepancies? Agreements? Disagreements? Drop me a note! If you have something to say, I’ll post it right here.




As this list comes to a close, I would be remiss not to mention the module builders of all of these fine modules.


James Rice is a fine Christian man from northern Ohio. He has built several important modules (including the “reborn” version of Pulpit Commentary), and is a quality module builder. Trench’s Miracles would never have been brought to life without a ton of painstaking work. Thank you so much, James.


“Raymond” is a pseudonym for an anonymous believer living in a very dangerous world. He has built several important modules this year. In my opinion, his TRi is just the best of many great modules he has churned out. Thank you, “Raymond,” and may God bless you and keep you, and make His face shine upon you!


Brent Hildebrand has produced a marvelous software program for module building affectionately known as “T4.” It is used to create a large portion of all of the third party modules you find everywhere on the web - including all of the books and commentaries on my list. T4 is the “eighth wonder of the world” and “The Swiss Army Knife” for digital module builders. Thank you, Brent, for sharing your eSword passion with all of us!


What can I say about Josh Bond? God has placed him uniquely in our world to do something others said couldn’t be done. If he just ran, he would be an amazing eSword man. But he also churns out the best free commentaries eSword and theWord have available at the same time. When God is ready to do something in the lives of people in the world, He raises up a man; not a committee, not a group, not even a family; a man. When it comes to the proliferation of quality digital modules for eSword and theWord, Josh is the man amongst men who are doing the work of God.


Of course all of this would be for nought if not for Rick & Costas (the engineers behind eSword and theWord). On behalf of an eternally grateful user base, thank you, gentlemen, for your continuing labors of love. Your personal ministry in my own life has been noted; and I give you my personal thanks for all that you’ve done for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.