Accordance Blog
Dec 19, 2014 Richard Mansfield

Dr. J's Bible Study Methods

DJBSM cover If you have upgraded to Accordance 11, you may have noticed a new title in your Accordance Library: Dr. J’s Bible Study Methods. To acquaint our users a bit better with this brand new resource, I spent some time with Dr. J (our very own Tim Jenney) to ask him about it. Through the course of our conversation, I discovered that the Bible Study Methods book is an outgrowth of his passion to see people better understand the Bible, honed by decades of interaction with his students.

Here is a portion of our interview.

What gave you the desire to write a book on Bible study methods?

I’ve felt for a long time my overall call is to teach people to be able to feed themselves the Word of God—to teach God’s people, actually. I never intended to go into academics per se; what I intended to do was to find out how to study the Bible and pass that on. I’ve been doing it for many, many years, beginning as a campus minister way back in graduate school in 1978.

Since that time, I’ve taught Bible study methods in a variety of seminars and formats; I’ve taught theological research methods on a graduate level. I’ve taught Bible study methods for almost a decade to undergraduates. Along the way, I sort of cobbled together my own method, and it was an opportunity to try it out on students year after year.

Exactly what is Dr. J’s Bible Study Methods?

I’ve written it as something to be easy enough for a novice to understand—somebody who is interested in the Bible and would like to start studying it, but has no idea whatsoever how to begin. Bible Study Methods defines the tools, explains the methods, and it even tells them what kinds of books to get. It defines what a Bible dictionary is, what a commentary is, what a concordance is.

Traditional methods have begun with learning Greek or Hebrew first, and then you learn exegesis. The trouble is, if you do it that way, and you “lose” your languages, then you lose your exegetical skills as well. So long, long ago, New York Theological Seminary had this program to teach exegesis to people in their native language—English in our case. They had people study exegetical method first, and then move on to biblical languages and apply those methods there. They actually began the inductive Bible study method program, which has a long and distinguished history.

While my Bible study method incorporates inductive Bible study method, it’s quite a bit more than that. My method definitely maintains that you should go to the original text first, and I don’t mean Greek or Hebrew, but the primary text: the Bible. You wrestle with it, you think about it, you observe, you write down as much as you can, you come to some initial conclusions; and only then you begin checking the work of other people. And you test your conclusion and initial ideas against that. You don’t simply go to a commentary and slavishly adopt whatever it is that person says.

ch2BSM

Where does your book stand in the tradition of similar books on Bible study methods?

When I started teaching Bible study methods, I tried to use Fee’s New Testament Exegesis and Stuart’s Old Testament Exegesis. Now Stuart is a much clearer writer than Fee is, but the bottom line is my students were intimidated by both of them. Fee and Stuart were just much, much higher than they were able to handle. On the other hand, my students were very comfortable with the book that Fee and Stuart wrote, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth.

So my goal in teaching Bible study methods, and now finally writing it down, is to have something that’s at that level [that of How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth] but with the kind of step-by-step approach those guys used with their books for seminary students.

Some people may say that I’ve dumbed it down. I don’t encourage people to translate the text for themselves. As a matter of fact, I don’t have people verify to see if there is a textual variant in the passage or some sort of textual issue. I skipped all of that. I think the translations—if you’re using a good translation, I believe most people just need to put their trust in that translation. If there’s an important enough issue, then some of the secondary sources they consult will bring that out.

BSMTO

How can someone take your method, and using Accordance, end at some kind of practical result when studying the Bible?

As Accordance has moved into the more popular market, we are realizing that people are coming to us, and they’re buying Bible software expecting this is going to help them study the Bible. And, of course, we provide them wonderful resources, but in and of itself, what we have been offering hasn’t been directed at teaching them how to study the Bible. We’ve just offered them the resources.

So, we’ve done several things with Accordance 11. My Bible study methods book is available now; it’s included with every collection. Also, there’s Mounce’s BiblicalTraining.org, which I was thrilled to see. My Bible Study Methods is designed for anyone who has bought the Starter Collection, and then I suggested buying those four How to books from Zondervan.

Basically, if somebody starts with a very small set of resources like I just described and my Bible Study Methods, they can work through the methods step-by step. Here’s how to build a library, here’s what the different tools do, and here’s an assignment: work through this epistle. Each chapter of Bible Study Methods is illustrated with how that technique would look in Accordance; it’s actually tuned for Accordance users.  So, if I say, “Search," and you’re going to look up a parallel text, I’ll show that parallel text so you’ll know you’re doing it right. Or when discussing inductive Bible study methods, I’ll show where those symbols are in Accordance. Each chapter ends with a practical assignment or two and a series of 10 to 15 review questions.

BSM Practical Application

At each step, as someone works through the book, they get something from each chapter. Even if they read no further than chapter one, they now know something, and they can do something. The same thing with chapter two. Ideally, once they’ve finished the book, they will actually go through all eight steps with every Bible passage. For instance, they will do an inductive Bible study; then they will go ahead and investigate the event. They will analyze in detail and then define the words. That winds up being a very nice exegetical path.

Is Bible Study Methods complete now, or is it still in progress?

It’s still in progress. Five chapters are complete and published. It will have eight chapters in the end with the last titled “Putting It All Together.” It ought to be complete first quarter of 2015, if not much sooner.

It sounds to me like you’ve created a “practical guide to using Accordance.”

Yeah, that’s a good way to put it.

When we have training seminars, we go through the different things Accordance will do and offer some examples; but what you’ve done is show how to go from point A to point B, using Accordance to get there.

Right. Mine is more Bible-centered and less Accordance-centered. I’ve discovered in my teaching that it’s really important for people to have take-aways today. Not everyone has the critical thinking skills that it was assumed people had a generation ago. People need to see something in action. Not everyone can easily take a general concept and apply it to their studies, integrated into whatever task they’re doing. And that’s what I’ve tried to address with Bible Study Methods.

BSM in action


“Dr. J,” Timothy P. Jenney, holds a Ph.D. in Ancient and Biblical Studies (University of Michigan, 1993) and additional advanced degrees in History, Biblical Languages, and Near Eastern Studies. He has served as a pastor, campus minister, college professor, and (most recently) producer of the Lighting the Lamp podcast series for Accordance Bible Software. A published author, Dr. J is also an adjunct at Regent University, School of Divinity. He and Gloria, his wife of thirty-eight years, live in Central Florida.

Dr. J's Bible Study Methods now comes with every Accordance 11 Collection.

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Dec 17, 2014 David Lang

Picturing David and Goliath

Our current Light Up the Holidays Sale includes a number of visual resources like the Graphics Bundle, the Bible Times PhotoMuseum, and photographic explorations of various churches and archaeological sites in Israel. The best way to understand the value of these resources is to see them in action, so I made a video demonstrating how they can be used to help us understand the story of David and Goliath. Check it out!

 

We recommend watching this video at full screen.

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Dec 16, 2014

Light Up the Holidays Sale

HolidayLights_large

 

Welcome to Week 3 of some tremendous holiday ideas!! For this week's specials, Accordance shines a light on some wonderful new additions as well as special pricing on Jewish study resources for a great Hanukkah gift. We have also put some great prices on some attractive Graphics modules. So don’t delay; the lights go out on this sale December 22nd.

Check out this blog post for more information on the three new releases from this week.

New Titles from InterVarsity Press

IVP-Prophets

Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets

This 2012-published volume includes recent scholarship in its coverage of all aspects of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and the twelve Minor Prophets.

Regular Price: $47.90
Sale Price: $35.90

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IVP-Wisdom

Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings

More than ninety expert contributors make this an authoritative volume for researching all of the important literary aspects of Job, Proverbs, Psalms, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Ruth and Esther.

Regular Price: $47.90
Sale Price: $35.90

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Indelible Image

The Indelible Image: The Theological and Ethical Thought World of the New Testament (Volumes 1 and 2)

This two-volume set examines the theological and ethical thought world of the New Testament. The first volume looks at the individual witnesses, while the second examines the collective witness.

Regular Price: $79.90
Sale Price: $59.90

Buy Now 2Learn_More

 

Jewish Study Tools

JSB

Jewish Study Bible Notes

Regular $34.90
Sale Price: $26.90

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Jewish Annotated NT

Jewish Annotated New Testament

Regular $34.90
Sale Price: $25.90

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JPSS1

JPS Tanakh with Strong's Numbers
(Jewish Publication Society)

Regular $19.90
Sale Price: $14.90

Buy Now 2

JPS Torah Commentary

JPS Torah Commentary

Regular $199
Sale Price: $139

Buy Now 2

 

Outstanding Graphics Modules

PhotoMuseum_120

Bible Times PhotoMuseum

Regular $59.90
Sale Price: $44.90

Buy Now 2

Churches in Israel_120

Churches and Monasteries in Israel

Regular $49.90
Sale Price: $39.90

Buy Now 2

100 Israel Sites

100 Archaeological Sites and Biblical Landscapes in Israel

Regular $99.90
Sale Price: $79.90

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Graphics Bundle

Graphics Bundle (Atlas, PhotoGuide3, Timeline)

Regular $149
Sale Price: $109

Buy Now 2

Please note that these sale prices expire December 22, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST and cannot be combined with other discounts.

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Dec 15, 2014 Richard Mansfield

3 New Releases from InterVarsity Press

Going on sale tomorrow with introductory pricing, we are pleased to announce for Accordance three highly-anticipated and requested titles from InterVarsity Press. The first two titles to mention are the final two volumes in the informally named “Black Dictionary Series.” These volumes on Wisdom, Poetry & Writings as well as the final installment on the Prophets bring IVP’s dictionary series to a total of eight volumes covering all of Scripture.

Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings
Edited by Tremper Longman III & Peter Enns

IVP-WisdomThis volume brings nearly 150 insightful new articles from 90 contributors covering Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Psalms, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Ruth and Esther. As with any of the installments in IVP’s dictionary series, the content of each should really be seen as more than mere dictionary entries. I’ve found the entries actually function more as insightful articles thoroughly covering the subject matter of the volume.

Take, for instance, the entry on “Ethics” by C. H. Bullock in the Wisdom, Poetry & Writings dictionary (I’ve posted a screen capture of a portion of the table of contents window  below, to the right). This outline alone immediately demonstrates the extent of analysis that Bullock gives to the subject and invites the reader in to explore the subject of ethics from its basis in the Image of God to its application in subjects like the Excellent Wife.

Dictionary of Wisdom, ethics article Since I am teaching through Esther at my church right now, I wanted to see what kind of coverage the book (and person) received in this dictionary. Often a Bible dictionary will include at least two articles on a subject such as Esther—one for the book of the Bible and another for the person for whom the book is named. Here, however, I was surprised to see six articles by three different authors treating the following subjects: (1) the book, (2) extrabiblical background, (3) history of interpretation, (4) additions to Esther, (5) Greek versions of Esther, and (6) the person of Esther. In fact, there is this same multiple-article approach to all of the biblical books covered in the Wisdom, Poetry and Writings volume.

The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings is not just a reference tool to be consulted occasionally when wanting to find out more information on the subjects it covers. Rather, it is the kind of book that makes me want to find a comfortable chair and spend some time reading these articles from my iPhone 6 Plus, iPad or a Windows tablet computer.

IVP Wisdom iPhone


Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets
Edited by Mark J. Boda & J. Gordon McConville

 

IVP-Prophets The Prophets volume of IVP’s dictionary series brings to the Bible student 115 new articles from both Jewish and Christian scholars devoted to significant subjects in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and the 12 Minor Prophets. As stated on the publisher’s website, "Each book's historical, cultural, religious and literary background is thoroughly covered, alongside articles on interpretation history and critical method.”

The dictionary covers other important topics, too, such as significant locations in the Prophets such as Babylon, Israel and Zion; and important subjects such as Cosmology, Dead Sea Scrolls and the Day of the Lord. The value of this dictionary series has always been found in the focus of each topic’s coverage that remains primarily under the overall subject umbrella of a particular volume. Therefore, the article on the Messiah by D. G. Firth does not try to trace the subject throughout all of Scripture, but primarily focuses on what is said about the Messiah in the Prophetic writings.

As with all reference works in Accordance, the IVP Dictionary covering the Prophets has been thoroughly tagged according to type of content allowing the reader to perform very specific searches. This volume contains the following specific search fields: Titles, English Content, Scripture, Hebrew Content, Transliteration, Bibliography, Authors, Captions, Table Titles, and Page Numbers.

Although the content of the volume is thoroughly searchable, the Scripture, Subject, and Article indexes have been included, giving the Accordance user access to all content found in the near 1000 pages of the print edition.

IVP OT Prophets screenshot

The Indelible Image: The Theological & Ethical Thought World of the New Testament
Ben Witherington III

Indelible Image Although Witherington initially set out to write a New Testament theology, what makes The Indelible Image different from other similar works is the attempt to keep the ethical dimension of the text intact with the theological message.

As Witherington states in his preface,

"Take the teaching of Jesus, for instance. All those parables, aphorisms, maxims and stories have both a theological and an ethical character, edge and punch line. It seems that Jesus does not want us to talk about belief without also talking about behavior, however uncomfortable that may make us."

In print The Indelible Image has been published in two volumes. The Accordance edition combines both volumes in the same module for easy searching of content throughout the entire title. The content has been carefully analyzed and tagged into one of the following searchable categories: Titles, English Content, Scripture, Greek Content, Transliteration, Manuscripts, Captions and Page Numbers.

Indelible definition As mentioned above, The Indelible Image is made up of two volumes: (1) The Individual Witnesses, and (2) The Collective Witness. Witherington attempts to start by first hearing what is said by the individual authors of the New Testament and Jesus. The second volume attempts to combine these individual voices together.

Witherington says of this approach:

"If this first volume is about closely analyzing the sheet music left to us by which each musician’s part is delineated, the second volume will attempt to re-create what it might have sounded like had they ever gotten together and performed their scores ensemble—to produce a single masterful cantata. Let those who have two good ears listen intently."

When reading reviews of The Indelible Image, the word creative is often used by the reviewer. Witherington has managed to create a serious work that is also a pleasure to read. In other words, this is not a dry, boring survey. His approach reflects his belief that the New Testament contains a message that is both important and relevant to today’s audience after first understanding how it was meant to be received by its original audience.

Indelible Image


All three of these books will go on sale at introductory pricing beginning on Tuesday, December 16.

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Dec 12, 2014 David Lang

Commentaries Go To 11, Part 2

In this series of posts, I’ve been talking about how the newest version of Accordance takes various features and ”turns them up to 11”. My last post discussed how the Info Pane makes it easier to discover which commentaries in your Accordance library actually discuss your current passage. I ended that post by promising to help you arrange your commentaries in the Library to get the most out of the Commentaries section of the Info Pane. Here goes:

How the Info Pane Displays Commentaries: The Info Pane displays your commentaries in the order they appear in your Library, except that it skips any commentaries which do not include a comment on the current verse. For example, let’s say I have an Old Testament commentary like Keil & Delitzsch at the top of my list of commentaries. As long as I am looking at a New Testament verse, Keil & Delitzsch will never appear in the Info Pane. If my first ten commentaries only cover the Old Testament, then my eleventh commentary will be the first to appear in the Info Pane whenever I am studying a New Testament verse.

Recognizing this can help you to arrange your commentaries in such a way that the Info Pane will present you with commentaries you might otherwise overlook. Below is a screenshot of my current system of organization—color-coded so you can see the relationship between the Library and the Info Pane.

OrganizedForInfo

From Narrow to Broad: Prior to the advent of the Info Pane, I tended to organize my commentaries so that those which covered the entire Bible came first, followed by partial or specialized commentaries. The problem with such a broad-to-narrow arrangement is that I never see those partial or specialized commentaries in the Info Pane, since all those complete commentaries appear in the first five, ten, or even fifteen spots. That’s a shame, because we have some really fantastic commentaries which only cover a small portion of the Bible.

For example, Bruce Waltke’s commentary on Genesis has quickly become my favorite commentary on that particular book. Likewise, I love Beale and Carson’s Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, which only covers a specific set of Old and New Testament passages. Since those commentaries will only appear in the Info Pane when they actually cover my current passage, it makes sense to move them toward the top of the list, ahead of all those commentaries that cover the entire Bible and will therefore always show up.

Using Folders: If you group your commentaries into folders, those folders will not show up in the Info Pane, but they will appear in the Library and as submenus in your Commentaries menu. Since I don’t want to scroll past every partial or specialized commentary to get to my mainstays, I created a folder named “Specialized/Partial” to contain them all. I then put that folder near the top of my commentaries for the reasons mentioned above. After that I have other folders grouping my more complete commentaries by type. A folder named “Expository” contains all those commentaries that give you a basic sense of a passage’s meaning without getting bogged down in too many technical discussions. Below that are my “Technical” commentaries: those thick-volumed sets that dig into every jot and tittle of the text. Further down the list I have “Background” commentaries, “Application” commentaries, “Patristic” and “Classic” commentaries, etc. These categories helps me find the commentaries that best suit my purpose at any given time.

Mixing Things Up: There’s one major downside to the way I’ve grouped my commentaries into these categories. In each category, I have a few favorite commentaries, followed by commentaries I don’t use as often. I might do better to add a Favorites folder to contain my favorites from each category. That way, the Info Pane might present me with a better mix of Expository, Technical, and Classic commentaries.

Starting With a Summary: When I’m studying a passage, I try to put off turning to commentaries as long as possible. It’s too easy to begin reading a passage through the lens of a commentary, so I try to wrestle with the passage on my own before consulting one. When I do turn to commentaries, I tend to look for as little help as possible, so I’ll begin with the more general “Expository” commentaries. Only when I am really struggling with an interpretive question will I delve into my more “Technical” commentaries. Because I like to get as little help as possible, I’ve placed Fee and Stuart’s How To Read the Bible Book by Book at the very top of my commentary list. It’s a helpful reader’s guide which gives a brief overview of each passage with hints of literary features to watch for. I often find that is all the help I need. If you don’t have that, you might consider starting with a Bible Handbook or a good set of Study Bible notes.

Speaking of Study Bibles: Study Bibles are basically super-concise commentaries, but they are now automatically placed in a separate Study Bibles folder in the Library. Nevertheless, they will show up in the Info Pane if you display enough commentaries. For me, I have to show about 35 book covers before the first Study Bible will appear. Of course, I could always move a few favorite Study Bibles up so they show up in the Info Pane sooner. I could either move them into the Commentaries folder somewhere, or I could create a Favorites folder that grouped my favorite commentaries and study Bibles together. The new Library gives you that level of flexibility, and the Info Pane offers a strong incentive to prioritize your favorite resources.

Personally, I’m still experimenting with how to organize my commentaries in order to get the most out of the Info Pane. I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful in developing your own system. By optimizing the way commentaries appear in the Info Pane, you can turn your commentaries “up to 11” and experience Bible study that really rocks.


 

Dec 11, 2014 Richard Mansfield

BiblicalTraining.org Partners with Accordance

BT Logo Many Accordance users are already well acquainted with the resources for spiritual growth at BiblicalTraining.org. However, if you’re not, you will discover a wealth of material at the BiblicalTraining website. As described at the site,

BiblicalTraining.org is a complete resource of free Bible classes along with a library of over 14,000 articles on biblical topics. All Bible classes are taught by world-class Bible instructors. Whether it’s a single Bible class or a curriculum of Bible classes that interest you, our online Bible classes are free of charge and at your fingertips.

Now, BiblicalTraining and Accordance Bible Software are partnering together to integrate some of the best of BiblicalTraining content directly into Accordance. All who have upgraded to Accordance 11 now have the new BiblicalTraining.org Biblical Studies Collection in their Accordance Library (check the Biblical Studies section).

In keeping with the vision of Dr. Bill Mounce to bring quality Christian education to all believers, the Biblical Studies Collection in Accordance is divided into two primary sections: Foundations and Institute.

BTss2 Foundations is designed as a 12-week curriculum for a new believer, but even longtime Christians will find content that is of benefit to their spiritual growth. The Institute section will take you to a much deeper level of biblical understanding by offering surveys of both the Old and New Testaments, explorations into the principles of sound hermeneutics, as well as going deep into systematic theology. There are also sections on worship and leadership to round out one’s course of study.

The purpose of BiblicalTraining.org is to equip believers by creating and distributing world-class educational resources for discipleship.

This title contains a number of biblical training courses complete with class outlines and hyperlinks to the BiblicalTraining.org audio and video recordings of the actual training sessions taught by some of the best academics in the world.

The module also contains the course outlines and hyperlinks for the following courses:

  • Life is a Journey (Dr. Bill Mounce) - This 12-week curriculum provides the foundational truths for all disciples of Jesus, and it encourages mature believers to mentor younger ones (6 hours)
  • Bible Survey: A Big Screen Perspective (Dr. Bert Downs) - For some of us our knowledge of the Bible is like a refrigerator door covered with unrelated post-it notes. For some it’s like reading a dictionary; important pieces of information but no thread to the story. This course will help you make sense of all those pieces (5 hours)
  • Understanding the Old Testament (Dr. Paul House) - An overview of the content and themes in the Old Testament (12 hours)
  • Understanding the New Testament (Dr. Craig Blomberg) - An overview of the content and themes of the New Testament (10 hours)
  • Bible Study Methods (Dr. Mark Stauss) - This course will introduce you to the basics questions of how to study your Bible. (6 hours)
  • What Every Christian Should Believe (Dr. Gerry Breshears) - This class was designed specifically for church leadership, what they should understand theologically and practically about their faith system (15 hours)
  • Dynamics of Christian Spirituality (Dr. Glen Scorgie) - This class will help those who are at the beginning stages of the spiritual journey. It talks about the dynamics of spiritual growth, how to become more like Christ (11 hours)
  • Essentials of World Missions (Dr. Timothy Tennent) - The "others" that we are to love are not only those around us — our family, neighborhood, and church.
  • Essentials of Worship (Dr. Gary Parrett) - This class will help you understand not only Sunday morning but how you should be responding to God on a constant basis (3 hours)
  • Old Testament Survey (Dr. Douglas Stuart) - This course is an overview of the Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi.
  • New Testament Survey - Gospels (Dr. Robert Stein) - This is the first part of an introductory course to the New Testament, covering the books Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. (21 hours)
  • New Testament Survey - Acts to Revelation (Dr. Robert Stein) - This is the second part of an introductory course to the New Testament, covering the books from Acts to Revelation.
  • Biblical Hermeneutics (Dr. Robert Stein) - This course is an introduction to the principles and practice of biblical interpretation.
  • Systematic Theology I (Dr. Bruce Ware) - The main subjects covered are an explanation of and rationalization for systematic theology, description of some of the major protestant theological systems, and the doctrines of scripture, God, humanity and sin.
  • Systematic Theology II (Dr. Bruce Ware) - The second of a two semester class on Systematic Theology.
  • Worship (Dr. Gary Parrett) - This course is an introductory level course in worship.
  • Principles of Effective Leadership (Dr. John Johnson) - This is a core leadership course designed for those who intend to be future leaders in ministry.

Coming Soon: An upcoming update to the BiblicalTraining.org Biblical Studies Collection in Accordance will add complete transcripts of the included audio and video lectures. With the ability to take notes on any title, added in Accordance 11, users will be able to incorporate their own personal reflections, insights and applications to the lectures by the world-renown scholars listed above.


 

Dec 10, 2014 David Lang

Commentaries Go to 11

In this series of posts, I’ve been talking about how the newest version of Accordance takes features like the Library and triple-clicking and ”turns them up to 11”. In today’s post, I want to focus on how commentaries now “go to 11.” I also want to offer some tips for how to organize your commentaries to get that “extra push over the cliff.”

Accordance has long enabled you to view commentaries in parallel panes that scroll alongside the Bible, or to open them in separate tool tabs to browse and search them. Unfortunately, short of doing a global search for a verse reference, there was no way to tell which commentaries actually included a comment on your passage of study. You therefore always ran the risk of opening a commentary that wasn’t relevant to your current study.

Accordance 11 has now introduced the Info Pane to solve that problem. The Info Pane acts as a clearing-house of information about your passage. To open it, simply select Info Pane from the Add Parallel pop-up menu.

InfoPaneMenu

The first section of the Info Pane shows you the covers of the first five (or more, depending on your settings) commentaries which contain a comment on the verse at the top of the window. As you scroll through the text, the information in the Info Pane will update to reflect the current verse.

InfoPane

Previewing and Opening Commentaries: If you hover your mouse over one of the commentary book covers, you’ll see a preview of the comment in the Instant Details box. That way, you can quickly skim through your commentaries to see which are most helpful. Once you find one you want to explore further, simply click the book cover to open that commentary in a parallel pane. Hold down the shift key while clicking a cover to force the commentary to open in a vertical pane, or hold down the command key (on Mac) or Ctrl key (on Windows) to open the commentary in a separate tool tab.

Customizing the Info Pane: You can customize how your commentaries appear in the Info Pane by selecting Set Info Pane Display from the Gear menu.

InfoPaneSettings

In the dialog that opens, you can set the size of the covers and text, hide the covers altogether, and specify how many commentaries you want to appear when you first open the Info Pane. Once you’ve made your changes, be sure to click the Use As Default button to make the changes permanent.

Organizing Your Commentaries for Best Results: This is where I’m going to show you how to get that “extra push over the cliff” I promised. Unfortunately, this post is already getting long, so it will have to wait. In my next post, I’ll give you advice for how you can arrange your commentaries in the Library to get the most out of the Commentaries section of the Info Pane. Stay tuned…


 

Dec 9, 2014

"Simply Brilliant Gifts" Sale

 

Brilliant Gifts-large

 

We continue our celebration of the holidays with a second week of great deals! This week we offer a broad selection of Zondervan resources to enhance biblical studies. Many of these titles are also ideal for study on the go with iOS devices. Additionally, resources by and about the early Church Fathers make brilliant gifts.

Please note that these sale prices expire December 15, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST and cannot be combined with other discounts.

See the new blog post on three of the Zondervan titles.

Zondervan Modules

ZEC-NT

Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Regular Price: $329
Sale Price: $199

Buy Now 2

EBC-R

The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Revised Edition

Regular Price: $459
Sale Price: $349

Buy Now 2

NIV Commentary

Expositor's Bible Commentary (Abridged Edition)

Previously sold as the NIV Commentary.

Regular Price: $59.90
Sale Price: $39.90

Buy Now 2

Zondervan Atla

Zondervan Bible Atlas

Regular Price: $39.90
Sale Price: $24.90

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ZEB

Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible

Regular Price: $259
Sale Price: $159

Buy Now 2

a-tool

The New International Bible Dictionary

Regular Price: $29.90
Sale Price: $17.90

Buy Now 2

Streams in Desert

Streams in the Desert

Regular Price: $15.90
Sale Price: $9.90

Buy Now 2

Zondervan Reference

Zondervan Quick-Reference Series

Regular Price: $49.90
Sale Price: $29.90

Buy Now 2

Zondervan Preaching Collection

Zondervan Preaching Collection

A collection of six (6) preaching resources.

Regular Price: $149
Sale Price: $99.90

Buy Now 2

 

Wisdom of the Fathers

ACCS

Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture
(Complete 29-volume Set)

Regular $308
Sale Price: $199

Buy Now 2

a-bundle

Church Fathers – Scaff Series with Church History
(14 + 8 volumes)

Regular $129
Sale Price: $89.90

Buy Now 2

Fathers-Worship-cover

Worshiping with the Church Fathers

Regular $19.90
Sale Price: $14.90

Buy Now 2

Fathers-Theology-cover

Learning Theology with the Church Fathers

Regular $17.90
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Catena Aurea

Catena Aurea (The Golden Chain)

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Apostolic Fathers

Apostolic Fathers (Lightfoot)
-- Greek and English

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Dec 8, 2014 Richard Mansfield

3 Zondervan Titles You Shouldn't Miss!

As the availability of titles you can add to your Accordance Library grows, you may find it difficult at times to keep up with the works available that can inform your study of the Bible. In this post, I’d like to shine the spotlight on three Zondervan reference works that you may or may not have considered for your Bible study toolkit.

ZEC_NT Zondervan Exegetical Commentary Series: New Testament

Have you discovered the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary Series: New Testament (ZECNT for short)? It’s so new (the volume on James has the earliest copyright date, 2008) that you may not have noticed it yet. If you spend some time with the series, though, you will immediately see that it is different from many other commentary series. Imagine if some of the top Evangelical scholars were to write exegesis papers—not stuffy ones, but ones you actually wanted to read—over every passage in the New Testament. This is what the ZECNT is like!

Though not complete yet, the ZECNT is an ongoing commentary project that takes every New Testament passage and analyzes it by the following categories:

  • Literary Context—a concise discussion of how the passage functions in the broader literary context of the book.
  • Main Idea—a one- or two-sentence statement of the big idea or central thrust of the passage.
  • Translation and Graphical Layout—perhaps the greatest distinction of the series, the purpose of this diagram is to help the reader visualize, and thus better understand, the flow of thought within the text.
  • Structure—the commentator describes the flow of thought in the passage and explains how certain interpretive decisions regarding the relationship of the clauses were made in the passage.
  • The Exegetical Outline—the overall structure of the passage is described in a detailed exegetical outline.
  • Explanation of the Text—the emphasis on this section of the text is to convey the meaning of the passage.
  • Theology in Application—a reflection of the theological contribution of the passage.

This series is ideal for the person who has had one or two years of Greek, but may or may not be a little bit rusty. The ZECNT is not as technical as the Word Biblical Commentary or the New International Greek Testament Commentary as it is designed for a broader audience. If the reader has not had any training in biblical Greek, the series is still accessible because all Greek text follows English translation.

Volumes available so far:

  • Matthew by Grant R. Osborne (2010)
  • Luke by David E. Garland (2012)
  • Acts by Eckhard J. Schnabel (2012)
  • Galatians by Thomas R. Schreiner (2010)
  • Ephesians by Clinton R. Arnold (2010)
  • Colossians & Philemon by David W. Pao (2012)
  • 1-2 Thessalonians by Gary S. Shogren (2012)
  • James by Craig L. Blomberg and Mariam J. Kamell (2008)
ZECNT-ds
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ZEB PNG Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible

Perhaps you are a longtime user of the now classic Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible. Did you know it has been thoroughly revised and improved? Now known as the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible (ZEB), this work has become one of my favorite Bible reference works.

I admit up front that I tend to be a very visual person. I gravitate toward the works in my Accordance Library that have a good selection of photos and illustrations. The ZEB has a caption search field, so in addition to simply looking up and reading about subjects, I can actually search for images of a particular subject. I often use these pictures when I am teaching at church or in the classroom by inserting them into a Keynote (Apple’s equivalent of PowerPoint) presentation.

The original ZPEB was edited by Merrill C. Tenney, and the ZEB revision has been edited under the care of Moisés Silva. The completely new work contains the following features:

  • The equivalent of more than 5,000 pages of vital information on Bible lands and people
  • More than 7,500 articles alphabetically arranged for easy reference
  • Hundreds of full-color and black-and-white illustrations, charts, and graphs
  • 32 pages of full-color maps and hundreds of black-and-white outline maps for ready reference
  • Scholarly articles ranging across the entire spectrum of theological and biblical topics, backed by the most current body of archaeological research
  • 238 contributors from around the world

Tip: Make the ZEB your default Bible dictionary for triple-clicking in the Amplify section of Accordance’s preferences.

ZEB-ds
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Zondervan Atlas Zondervan Atlas of the Bible

Here is another fantastic update to an established reference work. Perhaps you wore out your print copy of the 1999 Zondervan NIV Atlas of the Bible by Carl. G. Rasmussen. Well, if so, you’ll be glad to know that this title has been completely revised as the Zondervan Atlas of the Bible, and it is now available in Accordance to integrate with your other Bible study tools.

Frankly, you simply cannot understand the Bible’s story without understanding the land in which it takes place. Although there are a number of quality Bible atlases available for Accordance in addition to our own dynamic atlas, the Zondervan Atlas of the Bible is now a standard work indispensible for study of biblical geography.

The atlas has two primary sections. The first covers the general region of the Middle East to give context to the next section, a thorough exploration of biblical geography from Eden to the Seven Churches of Revelation. With the print equivalent of over 300 pages, the Zondervan Atlas of the Bible includes the following features:

  • Thoroughly revised edition of the Gold Medallion Award-winning Zondervan NIV Atlas of the Bible
  • Innovative 3D imaging technology
  • Over one hundred images to bring the biblical world to life with unprecedented clarity
  • Over one hundred full-color, multidimensional maps trace the progression of Old and New Testament history

Use the Zondervan Atlas of the Bible as a reference to which you can amplify locations straight from the biblical text, or study through it chapter by chapter as a means of better understanding the biblical story.

ZAB-ds(Click the above image for a full-size product illustration.)

 


All three of the above-mentioned titles will go on sale Dec 9-15, 2014 at discounted prices. It is also worth mentioning that any of these titles make great add-ons to our iOS versoin of Accordance if you have never bought a standard Accordance collection for Macintosh or Windows computers.

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Dec 8, 2014 Richard Mansfield

Accordance vs. Print Books & Ebooks

You're ready to buy a new book. Have you ever wondered--what's the difference between a book in Accordance format or a regular ebook? Or is it best just to buy the book in print? If you are ever torn between these choices, here are some thoughts to consider.

Book Stack Accordance vs. Print. I know, I know.. new books smell great. They feel good in the hand. You can read them in the bathtub. But is this enough?

Think about this: The Zondervan Exegetical Commentary Series contains only eight volumes so far. But would you want to carry all eight physical volumes around with you? What about the 38-volume Church Fathers? Having these reference works in Accordance means you can always have them with you, and they don’t weigh any more than your laptop or mobile device. The library used to be a place we went to; now the library goes with us!

Finding content in Accordance is much faster than thumbing through page after page of a reference work or looking in an index, hoping that what you’re looking for will be there. With Accordance, you can search for any subject in a variety of ways and find it at near-instantaneous speeds. Hold that thought, though—I’ll come back to it in a moment.

Accordance also future-proofs your library. Physical objects (such as print books) are subject to physical harm. Heaven forbid this happen to you, but fire, flood or any other kind of natural disaster can wipe out a personal library created from decades of investment in print books. I’ve known people to whom this has happened. Once you purchase titles for your Accordance Library, however, they are yours—period. If your laptop or mobile device is lost, damaged or stolen, you don’t actually lose your Accordance Library. It can be downloaded again on a replacement device.

Kindle Bible Accordance vs. Ebooks. Some people think of the many titles you can add to Accordance simply as ebooks, but they’re much more than that. Occasionally, someone will point to a sale Amazon is having on a Kindle title that we also have in Accordance and ask if we are going to match prices. This question, however, misunderstands the distinction between books in Accordance and regular ebooks.

The kinds of ebooks you might read on a Kindle or Nook device are great, but they are what I consider “dumb” texts. Yes, you can search through them, but you can only search all text at once, and only in one language. Accordance titles are “smart.” That is, Accordance texts have been thoroughly analyzed by our developers who have painstakingly tagged different kinds of text.

search fields In the search window of every Accordance title is a dropdown menu that shows various search fields. These fields represent the kind of searches that can be done in any given title. They include everything from bibliographic text in a commentary to words in other languages such as Greek or Hebrew. These search fields will vary from title to title based on the kind of content in it. For instance, on the left you see the search fields available in the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible. It contains Greek and Hebrew search fields, but the Zondervan Atlas of the Bible does not because the Atlas doesn’t contain Greek or Hebrew. Here’s what it comes down to: you can’t run those kinds of searches in a Kindle book. In fact, you can’t get “normal” Hebrew text in a Kindle title at all.

At one time many ebook apps and readers had one advantage over Accordance—the ability to add notes. But now with the release of Accordance 11, you can take notes on any title in your Accordance Library! Add that to the very specific search fields in any title, and Accordance has suddenly become the best tool available for reading the Bible or books about the Bible. This is also why we are continuing to add an ever-increasing body of subject specific works in addition to the reference works we were focusing on in the past.

Finally, to each his own; but for me, I love the smell of new Accordance books!

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