Accordance Blog
Dec 28, 2015 Richard Mansfield

A Closer Look at Emanuel Tov's Books on Textual Criticism

If textual studies are your area of interest, your Accordance Library will not be complete without Emanuel Tov’s Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible and The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research. Together, these volumes leave no stone unturned in looking at manuscript evidence and development of the Hebrew Bible and its first translation, the Septuagint.

What is Textual Criticism? Tov defines it this way:

Textual criticism deals with the nature and origin of all the witnesses of a composition or text, in our case the biblical books. This analysis often involves an attempt to discover the original form of details in a composition, or even of large stretches of text, although what exactly constitutes (an) “original text(s)” is subject to much debate. In the course of this inquiry, attempts are made to describe how the texts were written, changed, and transmitted from one generation to the next [Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, p. 1].


In the image at the left, Tim Jenney ("Dr. J") demonstrates for Emanuel Tov how his books on textual criticism integrate with the Accordance Library.

In the third revised and expanded edition of Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Tov emphasizes the significance of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the impact this had on textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible. And if anyone wants to dismiss textual criticism as a practical exercise, Tov gives significant attention to the impact upon biblical exegesis as well as literary criticism.

Tov's Textual Criticism Hebrew Bible screenshot

Click on the image above for a closer look at Tov's Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible

As the history of the Hebrew Bible and Septuagint are so historically and textually intertwined, The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research (also in its third revised and expanded edition) is invaluable for understanding the development of these two corollary texts. As with his volume on the Hebrew Bible, Tov emphasizes the importance of textual criticism upon exposition and literary analysis. However, for the individual who has not yet discovered how to integrate the Septuagint into biblical research, this volume serves as an excellent introduction for determining how the Hebrew and Greek biblical texts work together.

Tov's Text-Criticial LXX

Click on the image above for a closer look at Tov's The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research

The Accordance Team has analyzed both of Tov’s works on textual criticism with meticulous precision. All content has been tagged according to the following fields for Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible: English Content, Hebrew/Aramaic Content, Greek Content, Transliteration, Manuscripts, Scripture, Bibliography, Table Titles, Captions, Image Credits, and Page Numbers. The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research receives the same kind of careful attention with content assigned these fields: English Content, Scripture, Greek Content, Hebrew Content, Transliteration, Manuscripts, Bibliography and Page Numbers. Such careful tagging of Tov’s works allows the Accordance user to find the exact content needed quickly and efficiently.


Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (3rd Edition) (Tov)

Buy now for $89.90

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The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research (3rd Edition) (Tov)

Buy now for $42.90

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Aug 10, 2015 Richard Mansfield

New & Updated Titles for Biblical Language Study!

Qumran MSS When I took a masters-level textual criticism class under Dr. John Polhill in the early nineties, everything we studied was in books about the subject. We read about various textual traditions, but we weren't really able to look at them side-by-side. We learned about important manuscripts and codexes, but there was simply no easy way for us to examine these documents for ourselves. We were at the mercy of trusting those who had written about them.

The advent of Bible software has taken personal textual criticism to an entirely new level. For instance, Accordance allows me to place a modern eclectic Greek New Testament text and a Greek text from the Byzantine tradition side by side to discover the differences myself. I can go even further by examining high-resolution images of the original manuscripts and codexes and draw my own conclusions. Perhaps it's not quite the same as having direct access to an important textual source, but with the ability to zoom in on a page and examine these early handwritten documents myself, I am able to draw my own text-critical conclusions instead of having to merely depend upon the evaluations of others.

Accordance has had a long tradition of bringing important manuscript traditions and image collections for the use of the individual deeply interested in textual issues. And today, we both update a few of our previous offerings as well as deliver some entirely new titles to our users.

Orthodox Greek New Testament Set

We are pleased to announce two new morphologically tagged Greek New Testaments from the Byzantine family of manuscripts.

The first is the GNT-Family 35, a new scholarly edition of the Greek New Testament from the Center for the Study and Preservation of the Majority Text (CSPMT). Also known as the Byzantine Greek New Testament (not to be confused with the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine Textform 2005), this text, compiled from a consensus of readings from the Byzantine Kr or Family 35 textform, is the most current Greek text of its kind. The CSPMT plans for an eventual critical apparatus to accompany this Greek text.

Orthodox NT
Click the image above for a full size product illustration.

In addition, this set comes with the more well-known GNT-Ecumenical Patriarchal Text, also known as the Antoniades Text. This is the official Greek text published by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1904, incorporating corrections in the printed edition of 1912.

The Patriarchal Text was developed by a team led by Basil Antoniades, consulting numerous manuscripts of the Byzantine tradition and following the writings of John Chyrsostom whenever variants among the manuscripts existed.

Buy Now 2 Orthodox Greek New Testament Set

Leningrad Codex Images

The Leningrad Codex is the oldest complete manuscript (1008 CE) of the Hebrew Bible and the primary basis of modern editions such as Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia and the Biblia Hebraica Quinta. Working with the West Semitic Research Project, we have now incorporated nearly 1,000 images from the Leningrad Codex to be examined in parallel with any biblical text from within an Accordance workspace.

Leningrad Codex

Click the image above for a full size product illustration.

Few readers of the Hebrew Bible would be able to journey to St. Petersburg, Russia, to examine the pages of the Leningrad Codex for themselves. However, having access to the codex images in Accordance allows the user to examine the pages in high resolution. Moreover, the images are fully exportable from Accordance. In a sample export, the image of one leaf from the codex measured 3673 x 4090 pixels.

Buy Now 2 Leningrad Codex Images
Regular Price $129; Sale Price $129

Greek MSS Images

Accordance users who are seriously involved in Greek studies and textual criticism have long valued our New Testament MSS Images bundle. Now, in partnership with the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, we're greatly expanding this set with the introduction of additional texts and a new name: Greek MSS Images. This collection of images includes all previous titles and will now add the Septuagint from Codex Sinaiticus, as well as 1-2 Clement from Codex Alexandrinus. The Septuagint from Codex Alexandrinus will be added later at no additional cost. Several titles in the previous NT MSS Images have also been updated with links to high-resolution online images.

Click the image above for a full size product illustration.

A discounted upgrade price is available for Accordance users who previously purchased NT MSS Images.

Buy Now 2 Greek MSS Images from CSNTM


Buy Now 2 Upgrade from NT MSS Images

Dead Sea Scrolls Index Update with Image Links

Our DSS Index has been updated to include hyperlinks to images housed at the Israel Museum as well as the Accordance Dead Sea Scrolls Images. The Index also includes the latest content updates from Dr. Martin Abegg. This is a free update to the DSS Index; a paid upgrade from the older Qumran Index. No actual images are stored or loaded in this module; links are provided for reference only.

DSS Index


Buy Now 2 Index of Dead Sea Scrolls Manuscripts


Buy Now 2 DSS Index upgrade from Qumran Index
Buy Now for $20.00



Aug 1, 2014 Richard Mansfield

Video: Dan Wallace on Accordance Bible Software

In this video, Dan Wallace discusses his history with Accordance (he has been using Accordance since the first beta!). He also names what he considers to be the "must have" Accordance titles needed for textual criticism.

Dr. Wallace is professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary and founder and executive director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM).


Dec 8, 2009 Rick Bennett

The Search for ‘Sacred Names’

Last year, almost to the day, I wrote a blog post on our release of Comfort and Barrett's, The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts. In that post I highlighted some of our enhancements to the book, which included creating a separate corpus of morphologically-tagged Greek texts that are contained in the book (collated in canonical and manuscript order).

As soon as I became aware of this project I started thinking of ways in which this resource could be used to contribute to the field of New Testament textual criticism. At the SBL Annual Meeting in Boston I ran some of these ideas by a friend in the field and received a positive response. So, I drafted them up as a paper proposal for the International Meeting in Rome, which was subsequently accepted.

At the meeting in Rome I presented on how this resource can be used to search for and analyze the distribution and form of nomina sacra (Latin for "sacred names") in early New Testament papyri. The scribal convention of writing certain words in an abbreviated form with a supralinear stroke is one of the visible distinctions of Biblical manuscripts, and has long captivated the attention of scholars in this field. My paper set out to show the chain of research on this phenomenon, and how the Accordance version of Comfort and Barrett's work makes it possible to analyze, in one place, all the occurrences of nomina sacra in New Testament papyri up to the 3rd century.

One of the other highlights of my paper was that I revealed a further enhancement of the Accordance edition of Comfort and Barrett's work, namely the inclusion of five new papyri not included in the print edition: 𝔓118-121, and 𝔓123. During the Annual Meeting in Boston I was able to show Philip Comfort our work, and asked him to consider creating new transcriptions of papyri that had been discovered since his work was published that fit within his date criteria (up to c. 3rd century). This he graciously agreed to do. In Rome I was working with a prototype of this module with the new papyri, but wasn't able to announce this new enhancement until our official release (now included as a free update of the module). The new papyri added by Philip Comfort have been grammatically tagged, and recent updates to Accordance offer enhanced searching for nomina sacra-two developments that were indispensible for my research.

Because I showed how this tool was able to meet a perceived need in the field of textual criticism instead of merely giving a demonstration of its general features, I believe it was well received. In the discussion that followed we were also able to identify an error in the transcription in the first edition of one of the papyri. You can see some additional details on my paper, along with others in the Working with Biblical Manuscripts section, at the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog

While I have attended various SBL meetings during the last several years, it was a privilege to be able to present for the first time at the International Meeting in Rome. I would like to thank both Accordance and Reformed Theological Seminary for this unique opportunity.

Those interested in studying the text of the earliest manuscripts of the New Testament can now do so in an unparalleled fashion, including access to these additional papyri with the unlock of this module on the Primary 8.4 DVD.


Apr 10, 2009 Rick Bennett

Maximizing your Hebrew Potential, II

In my last post, I discussed the Hebrew workspace I use in my Hebrew Syntax class, and how you can use Accordance to enhance your Hebrew experience. In this post we'll continue working through the tabs in that workspace.

Hebrew Workspace

The second tab (from the left) is used to display the results of word searches. Since I'm addicted to right-clicking (old habits die hard), I use that method to do word searches within the text I'm working on. You can also use the drop down menu, or resource palette to accomplish the same task.

BHS Word Search

By clicking on the details of the search, I can quickly view the distribution of hits across the Bible. In my prefs (cmd ,), I've set it to display the Table everytime I access the details of a search. In the Table you can see that this word occurs primarily in the Psalms. In the Hits Graph, I can triple-click on the part of the graph representing the hits in the Psalms and my search results will drop down down to those hits.

Search Window Prefs

Table of Hits

The next tab, labeled 'TC', is setup to display some text-critical resources available in Accordance.

Text-Critical Resources

One thing I've done to save from having to re-enter the verse reference I'm working in is Tied the contents of this tab to my main BHS tab.

Tie Tab

One could probably write an entire article on what is going on in this verse, but I'll restrict my discussion here to a brief description of the resources displayed, and in the following post I will describe how to interpret some of the data that can be mined from this workspace.

At the SBL Annual Meeting in 2007 we unveiled the Dead Sea Scrolls Biblical Manuscripts modules (see announcement here, and article on the importance of these texts here). This represents the first (and still only available) morphologically-tagged edition of the Biblical finds from Qumran. In addition, we also have the English translation, and Notes (DSSB-E).

In this tab I have the DSSB-C (a collated module of all the fragments in canonical order) displayed in parallel with the BHS text, and the LXX. Below that I have the Notes for the DSS English translation, the BHS apparatus (see the previous post for a description), and the Revised CATSS MT-LXX Parallel Database. Just like I've done with the BHS Apparatus, I have set the DSSB-E Notes module to display all Scripture refs in the DSSB-E text. By hovering over any link in the Notes, it will display the verse in the Instant Details box.

Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

In this workspace tab you can clearly see the wealth of information that is readily accessible in Accordance. In the case of the Dead Sea Scrolls Biblical manuscripts, and the Revised MT-LXX Parallel Database, these resources are not available anywhere else. In my next post I will explain in more detail the textual features and variants of this passage using the compare text feature, and the other resources.