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Biblical Hebrew: Greek/Hebrew Fonts

This guide aims to provide tools for beginning and advanced students in learning Biblical Hebrew.

File downloads (BibleWorks fonts)

Use these links to download the files you will need to configure Greek & Hebrew on your computer.

Unicode conversion tools

Use tools like this with caution! Success is not guaranteed.

Greek font vs. Unicode: What's the difference?

To use Greek and Hebrew in your documents, you can now choose between two different approaches:

  1. Use special fonts that display English letters as though they were Greek and Hebrew, such as the common fonts produced by BibleWorks: bwgrkl for Greek and bwhebb for Hebrew.
  2. Use Unicode to actually type Greek/Hebrew text alongside English. Many fonts support the full Unicode character set.

Whenever possible, use Unicode! Here's why:

  • Unicode is the international standard for handling characters for all foreign languages, not just Greek and Hebrew.
  • Unicode text will print more reliably.
  • Unicode is the only way to post Greek/Hebrew to the web (see the examples of 2 Timothy 2:15 below).
    Unicode
    σπούδασον σεαυτὸν δόκιμον παραστῆσαι τῷ θεῷ, ἐργάτην ἀνεπαίσχυντον, ὀρθοτομοῦντα τὸν λόγον τῆς ἀληθείας.
    BibleWorks font
    spou,dason seauto.n do,kimon parasth/sai tw/| qew/|( evrga,thn avnepai,scunton( ovrqotomou/nta to.n lo,gon th/j avlhqei,ajÅ
    (This line will not look like Greek unless you have the BW font on your computer.)

Try copying and pasting each of these verses into a plain text editor like Windows Notepad, and you should see the difference between the actual Greek characters used by Unicode and the masked English characters used by the BibleWorks font.

This page aims to help you install, configure, and use the biblical languages using either approach.

PDF printer for Windows

Especially if you use a non-Unicode Greek/Hebrew font (such as the BibleWorks fonts), you may encounter difficulties printing your assignments on different computers. One solution is to "print" your file as a PDF document, which will preserve your font settings everywhere.

There are a number of free PDF printers available for Windows. One such product is pdf995, which you can download from the links below.

Unfortunately, the installation process for pdf995 takes 2 steps.

Be certain you install both components (linked below):

Installing the BibleWorks fonts

Installing & configuring Unicode

Configuring Unicode in your Bible software (Windows)

BibleWorks supports Unicode for exporting Greek and Hebrew text into a word processor. You may/may not need to configure this in Bibleworks, depending on what version of BibleWorks you have.

  • BibleWorks 8: Exports Unicode by default. You do not need to configure anything unless you want to change the fonts that BibleWorks uses to export.
     
  • BibleWorks 7: You will need to configure Unicode in the BibleWorks settings. To do this, make your Options | Font menu look like the image below (click it to see a larger version).

You can set BibleWorks to export with any Unicode font: I use Gentium for Greek and Ezra SIL for Hebrew, the image below uses other fonts.

For more detailed information, see the post How Do I Use Unicode in BibleWorks? on the BibleWorks forums.

Configuring Unicode in your Bible software (Mac)

To configure Accordance to export Unicode, use these settings in the "Preferences" window (click the screenshot for a large version). This image is from Accordance 7.

Page Outline

  • Introduction
  • PDF printer for Windows
  • Installing BW fonts
  • Configuring Unicode on the OS
  • Configuring Unicode in your Bible software (BibleWorks for Windows)
  • Configuring Unicode in your Bible software (Accordance for Mac)

Acknowledgment

Use with permission frm J.S. Mack Library, Bob Jones University.