I copied tinjaw's original post to another forum where they do a lot of political & religious debating, from all kinds of angles, perspectives, and a broad range of beliefs (and non-beliefs).
It had 2 replies so far:
The thread already discusses the xian ones I have found useful.
I used the http://www.onlinebib...e.net/downloads.html for a long time. Much of it is free, but there are versions of the bible under copyright, those can be bought and unlocked relatively cheap ($5-$12).
Some christians I know swear by http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html , but I found it a bit light.
The UI for e sword is a bit friendlier, but it is capable of less.
As far as other texts, I have not found them united under one program.
There are various Qurans etc, but my experience using them was typically little more than basic searching and reading.
Another great resource for comparative studies of the multiple versions of the bible is Bible Gateway.
Alternatively, if you want to delve back to the ancient Greek and Hebrew, an excellent resource is HtmlBible.com which contains Strong's Dictionary and Hebrew and Greek Concordance.
While neither of these sources provide software, they are exhaustive and functional nonetheless.
If you would like to keep an eye on the thread there, I have to warn you first that it's in a free speech forum that most here would probably find offensive beyond belief and it's definitely NSFW
. I have asked them to please 'behave' in that thread, but there are no guarantees that they will, or for how long. I will not be responsible if you read or see anything there that you find offensive, especially if you wander around that forum outside that thread.
That being said...
Now my thoughts...
I think the biggest problem for a good application/resource that incorporates all the major texts, religions, and philosophies is that no believer of any particular one will want to present any other point of view in the same way that they would present the one they believe in, and generally aren't willing, capable or knowledgeable enough in what they don't believe in to present it properly, completely, and without bias.
And most scholars seem to concentrate only on one area of specialty.
I think ultimately, to get the kind of software that tinjaw and others want, it would end up being the life's work of many groups of people and scholars.
I think if a serious open source educational project was started now, by those qualified and educated enough in what it will cover & require, maybe we could see a decent application by the time our grandchildren are old enough to understand it enough to get some benefit from it.
This seems like the kind of thing that would probably be best done as a university research project.
I think the closest anybody has ever come to it was The Great Books Foundation
and Encyclopaedia Britannica's Great Books of the Western World
, which I purchased almost 20 years ago.
It's not just religion though...it's fiction, history, poetry, natural science, mathematics, philosophy, drama, politics, economics, and ethics, too.
If you have about 10 years to devote to reading, research, & discussion, there are a few yahoo groups you might be interested in, related to this book set.
If you would like to know more, this page has quite a bit of info on the whole reading plan, including where you can access many of the books for free
(you don't need to spend $1200
to get them all):http://www.angelfire...egathink/greatbooks/