Accordance Blog
Jul 3, 2015

Pastor Spotlight: Wes Allen

This post continues our look at ministers who use Accordance. If you would like to share your story, please email blog@accordancebible.org.


Wes Allen I love to study, learn, and grow. I feel fidgety when I don’t have a book to read and grow anxious when I can’t explore new avenues. This is one of the reasons I love Accordance so much!

Accordance allows me to narrow in on a singular passage and to explore whatever level of depth I can afford at the time. When I need to explore a similar idea in another part of the Bible, commentary, or even a map, I simply open a new tab and dive in. Even better, my rabbit trails are easy to mark. Saved workspaces narrow my study focus, user notes highlight study I’ve already done on individual verses, and user tools store my personal refections on the passages I end up studying.

Using Accordance means I never have to feel I need to include every detail in a sermon or lesson, because I can always get back to my thoughts. It allows me to go deep over the long-term, and is a tool which has helped me become a better student and preacher.

Wes Allen
Pastor, Central Baptist Church of Riverton-Palmyra, New Jersey
http://www.centralbaptistpalmyra.org/

Associate Regional Pastor and Communications Coordinator
The American Baptist Churches of New Jersey
www.abcnj.net

Blog: Painfullyhopeful.me


 

Way back in 2011, Wes Allen wrote an installment of our Pastor's Study series. Still just as relevant, see his post, "Gathering Thoughts in User Tools."


 

Jul 2, 2015 Helen Brown

Amateur Archaeology: Shiloh

I have been privileged recently to visit some lesser-known sites in Israel, and would like to share a few with you in a short series of posts.

Currently a small religious settlement above a green valley, Shiloh was once central to the faith of Israel. A few days ago we wandered over the historic site, taking in the Jewish rock-cut tomb, Byzantine church mosaic floor, and the Mosque, all bearing witness to successive waves of occupation. Further on we climbed the hill to see the museum and multimedia display, and explored the ruins and walls of early Israelite and Canaanite settlement. Beyond the excavations we came to a large platform defined by low rock walls running East-West which enjoys stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Now adorned with flags, this is thought to be the place on which the tabernacle was erected.

Shiloh-South boundary
South Boundary of the Tabernacle Platform
Click for full image

 

Shiloh-North boundary
South Boundary of the Tabernacle Platform
Click for full image

We could only imagine the tabernacle standing there, surrounded by priests and levites, the air filled with the smell of incense and the sounds of the animals to be sacrificed, and the people of Israel making their way up the hill from all corners of the land. It was the focus of worship throughout the period of Joshua, Judges, and the first kings of Israel. Here Eli the priest ministered to the people but failed his own sons who went on to lose the Ark of the covenant in battle. Here Hannah came and prayed in desperation for a child, and here she dedicated Samuel to the Lord with one of the great songs in the Bible. Here God made Himself known in shekinah glory.

 

Shiloh-Oil Press
Oil Press at Shiloh
Click for full image

 

Shiloh-Food Preparation
Food Storage and Grinding Area at the Tabernacle Platform
Click for full image

 

Well worth the extra effort to visit, I commend this beautiful site to anyone with a spare half-day in central Israel. Those who cannot go in person can still explore it in the PhotoGuide 4

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Jun 30, 2015

Sizzling Summer Deals

SummerDeals

Summer Deals Shine on Great Savings!
We're Bringing the Heat with Great Deals on Favorite Titles
from the Accordance Library

Summer is officially here! But summer doesn't mean lazy days. In fact, we're just gearing up to bring you incredible deals on titles that deliver strength and clarity to biblical understanding. These deals begin with our sale on the NAS Group, a name synonymous with accuracy, clarity, and understanding. In addition, we are offering time-tested reference works that deliver quick access to everything from topics to text using the Accordance engine to deliver the information you need when you want it. Access all these tools wherever you may be this summer with our mobile app, designed to bring information literally to your fingertips.

The sale prices listed below are good through July 6, 2015 (11:59 PM EDT) and cannot be combined with any other discounts.


NAS GroupSimplify Bible Study with the
NAS Group from the Lockman Foundation

The Lockman Foundation has four goals for their publications: 1. These publications shall be true to the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. 2. They shall be grammatically correct. 3. They shall be understandable. 4. They shall give the Lord Jesus Christ His proper place, the place which the Word gives Him; therefore, no work will ever be personalized. This group is also included in the Bible Study, Essential, and higher Collections for version 11.

The following titles are included in the NAS Group:

  • Original New American Standard Bible (NASB 1977) (includes cross-references and notes)
  • Updated New American Standard Bible (NASB 1995) with Strong's (includes cross-references and notes)
  • NAS Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries - Organized by a modification of the Strong's numbering system, the dictionaries are the ones found in the back of the New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance.
  • Spanish La Biblia de las Américas (LBLA) - Follows the same principles of translation set for the NASB (includes cross-references and notes)
  • Spanish The Nueva Biblia Latinoamericana de Hoy (NBLH) - LBLA was the basis for The Nueva Biblia Latinoamericana de Hoy (includes cross-references and notes)
  • NAS Topical Index - Contains over 19,000 topics and sub-topics cross-referenced to over 50,000 verses

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MounceExperience Vivid Translations with the
Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament and Dictionary

A new translation by Robert H. Mounce and William D. Mounce, the Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament also has detailed tagging with G/K numbers including phrase tagging. The entire phrase highlights with more intense color on the main word.

This module is included in the Original Language and higher Collections for version 11, and comes with the revolutionary Concise Greek-English Dictionary.

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ISBE Revised Your Comprehensive Bible Guide is Here!
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Thoroughly Revised from the Original ISBE

First published in 1915 by the Howard-Severence Company, this product has been completely revised in this 1988/1995 edition. This set contains over 9,000 topics and 3,500 cross-references, including an article on every name of a person or place mentioned in the Bible. ISBE is also an exegetical tool because it provides a brief discussion of problem texts under the English keywords with guides to other scholarly resources. This is a must-have for any biblical scholar.

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AnchorAnchors Aweigh!
Save $70 on the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (6 Volumes)

The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary is a six-volume state-of-the-art dictionary of the Bible, six years in the making, offering the most up-to-date and comprehensive treatment of biblical subjects and topics. This is an unprecedented interfaith exploration of the Bible illustrated throughout with easy-to-find references. The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary allows readers to explore a richness of information unequaled in the history of biblical studies.

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HalleyDiscover Concise Bible Commentary in
Halley's Bible Handbook Revised 2007

Developed by Henry Hampton Halley in the 1920s and expanded throughout his lifetime, Halley's Bible Handbook has been treasured by generations of Bible readers for its clarity, insight, and usefulness. Written for both mind and heart, this expanded twenty-fifth edition features brilliant maps, photographs and illustrations, practical Bible reading programs, and fascinating archaeological information.

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NIBC Vol 01 coverA Summer Splurge!
The 12-Volume New Interpreter's Bible Commentary
is a Praiseworthy Investment

Guided by scholars, pastors, and laity representing diverse traditions, academic experience, and involvement in the Church, this entirely new collection of writings is specifically prepared to meet the needs of preachers, teachers, and all students of the Bible. The 12-volume NIB features numerous visual aids including illustrations, maps, charts, and timelines to enhance understanding and ease of use.

Learn_More

 

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NIB One VolAn All-in-One Resource
The New Interpreter's Bible One-Volume Commentary

This excellent one-volume commentary contains the same top-tier scholarship that has become a hallmark of other New Interpreter's Bible resources. The portability, accessibility, and affordability of this commentary will appeal to professors, students, laypersons, and pastors. In addition to covering the entire OT and NT, the NIB One-Volume Commentary also covers every book of the Apocrypha, making it the only complete and truly affordable commentary to do so. This commentary is designed for anyone who wants an accessible and trustworthy resource for deeper Scripture study.

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Jun 29, 2015 Richard Mansfield

8 Tips for Running Accordance on Windows Tablets

Accordance for Windows Tablets

As many already know, Accordance Mobile on iOS is an incredible way to take one's entire Accordance Library, or even a smaller subset of it, on the go. And yet as great as Accordance Mobile is, sometimes we wish we had the full power of Accordance 11 in a tablet form. Well, that actually exists! Many don’t realize that it’s possible to run the full Windows version of Accordance on any Windows tablet.

I’ve installed Accordance on a number of different Windows tablets—everything from the more powerful Microsoft Surface Pro series to a low-end HP Stream 7 with only 1 GB of RAM. Here’s the good news: Accordance will run on any* off-the-shelf Windows tablet you buy, regardless of specs. However, tablets in general can bring on their own set of challenges, especially lower-end tablets that may have limited space on the internal drive.

In this blog post, I’d like to give you the benefit of experience and experimentation in running Accordance on Windows tablets. I’ve found that the experience can be quite rewarding, but a little bit of tweaking here and there will make the experience even better.

Note: It has to run on Windows 8, not Windows RT or Android systems.


1. Get a Windows tablet that supports an active/digital stylus.

stylus As I said, Accordance will run on any Windows tablet. However, it is a desktop application and not one designed as touch-first. A number of Windows tablets include an active digitizer in the screen that react to what’s called an active or digital stylus. I suggest taking a look at this maintained list of these tablets with active digitizers at TabletPCReviews. Personally, I would not use any Windows tablet if it could not be found on this list.

Why is this a big deal? As mentioned, Accordance is a desktop application, and some of the smaller touchpoints can be more difficult without a dedicated stylus. Some Accordance interface elements, such as Magnify and Exit buttons in zones, will not even show up when just using a finger (or those mushy-tipped capacitive styluses).

What separates the kind of stylus from the rest is their ability to interact with the screen without even touching it. The tablet knows the stylus is in proximity. For instance in Microsoft Word, if you bring an active stylus within a half inch or so of the screen (on tablets with active digitizers), a new tab will pop up on the Ribbon labeled “Pens."

And if you really want to see an amazing Windows-only trick (sorry, Mac users!), use a digital stylus to effect crossover highlighting in keyed/tagged texts without even touching the screen. As you bring the stylus in proximity to the parallel panes in Accordance, you will see the software come alive in response. I’ve found this creates a whole new way of interacting with biblical texts in the software.


2. Adjust Text Size in the Windows Control Panel.

Having spent a good bit of time with both Windows and Macintosh computers, it is my opinion that currently, Windows doesn’t universally handle HiDPI (what is called “Retina” on Apple devices) as well as the Mac does. While many Windows tablets use these high resolution HiDPI screens, some programs adapt well to it, and others make me squint to see menus and other interface elements.

Windows Display Settings

If you’re not having problems with this, leave things alone; but if you are, consider changing the default text settings. Go to the Control Panel: Display and then check the box that reads, "Let me choose one scaling level for all my displays." Experiment with new settings for a day or two. You may find that not only Accordance is easier to use but many of your other programs as well.


3. Only install the titles you need.

Many Windows tablets still have only 32 GB of internal drive space, with less than 20 GB left available for other content because of the space that Windows itself takes up. Most Accordance installations don't take up much space, but if you find yourself short on room for your content, you have the ability to install only the titles you really need or want.

Install

During the installation process, only check the boxes of titles you want to install. Click the triangle on Collections or Bundles and select the individual titles you want to download. As mentioned, Accordance doesn't take up that much space, and you may find that you can go back later and install the titles you originally chose not to download.


4. Install titles in batches.

I have a large number of titles in my Accordance Library. On most Windows computers, I've had no trouble installing all of them during an Accordance installation. However, I've noticed on some less-expensive Windows tablets an occasional lock-up during installation. While Accordance does not have a heavy RAM requirement to run the software, my hunch is that less RAM can cause problems when installing large libraries.

If that happens to you, try installing your titles in batches. Click on the triangles to reveal all your titles and just check a few at a time. If everything is going well, you can get a bit more brave and select more the next time. It's a bit more time consuming to do this, but better than having to restart installation if the installer crashes.


5. Move your Accordance titles over to the MicroSD, but leave the executable on Drive C:\

I don't know of any current Windows tablet that doesn't come with a MicroSD slot (if only Apple would do the same on the iPad!). This is another tip for those who are feeling cramped on a too-small internal drive.

As might be assumed, the internal drive is always faster than a MicroSD, so it's best to leave files there if you can. However, moving titles over to the MicrosSD (usually Drive D:\) is an option.

Support Files Technically, you can choose to put the Accordance executable on another drive during installation, but I don't recommend doing that. The Accordance executable file actually doesn't take up that much space by itself--only about 7 MB. When possible, it's always faster and better to leave the executable on Drive C. However, Accordance gives you the option to move your titles (support files) over to another drive.

To do this, go to the Utilities Menu and select "Choose Support Files Location." I recommend you create a folder here (this has to be done manually in the Windows Explorer), such as simply "Accordance" and then your files will be moved over. From this point on, when you download new titles for your Accordance Library, or even updates, they will go to the new drive location.


6. Change the Accordance Theme.

You may find the default Accordance visual theme to be difficult to read on some screens--especially on less-expensive tablets. To change to something that might display text better, go to Edit: Preferences: Text Display (and Tool Display). Drop the list down to see a number of alternative themes. I recommend starting with "Readability" and then customizing from there. One quick way to increase the contrast of text in Accordance is to make certain that text is actually set to a true Black (it often defaults to what is a dark gray--fine for some screens, but not all).

7. Increase Browser and Quick Entry Font Size.

Making the Browser text larger in Edit: Preferences: Appearance will not only make the titles in the Library larger, but also in the browser (Table of Contents) of individual titles, too. While you're there, you might as well make the Quick Entry text larger, too.

browser


8. Use Portrait Mode for reading.

Having Accordance on a tablet that can be turned in any direction brings new capabilities. Try turning your tablet into portrait mode and even setting it to reading mode (click the action button in any active pane and select "Enter Reading Mode") for a whole new way to experience Acordance.

What about you? Do you have a Windows tablet tip of your own not mentioned here? Feel free to leave it in the comments!


 

Jun 26, 2015

Pastor Spotlight: Matt Smith

 

Matt Smith

I have used Accordance since the founding of our church. I use it daily as an app on my phone to look up biblical verses I may be asked to comment on.  I use it also to stay sharp, reading a sentence or two in the original language each day right from my smartphone. When I teach mid-week, I often use Accordance as a teaching tool, utilizing Apple TV and my phone to illustrate technical nuances of passages relevant passages on the big screen.  Our church is used to having it and I cannot imagine ever doing without it.

For sermon preparation I use Accordance to look up the various verses I want to reference all at once and for a quick look at the languages. Having used each of the various Bible software programs, I can confidently say that Accordance is--without a doubt--the fastest and most effective program for use in working with the original languages.  

The cause of Christ at Barabbas Road Church has been furthered because of Accordance and I would highly recommend it to any pastor.


Matt Smith
Senior Pastor of Barabbas Road Church
San Diego, California 
Barabbas.com


 

Jun 22, 2015 Richard Mansfield

Playing Audio in Accordance Mobile

 

Accordance Mobile is made for Bible Study on the go, but did you know that it’s great for audio, too? In this week’s Accordance Mobile Minute, we will take a look at playing audio files from Accordance.

Want to know more about Michael Card's Biblical Imagination Series? Check out these other posts:

Bullet 2Dr. J's Lighting the Lamp video podcast #125: Biblical Imagination

In the podcast, Dr. J mentions a few other links, and these can be found here:

Also, check out the Accordance Blog post on Michael Card's Biblical Imagination Series.


Biblical Imagination Series All four volumes of The Biblical Imagination Series by Michael Card come with their musical complements.

$99.90

Buy Now 2

 


 

Jun 22, 2015 Timothy Jenney

Biblical Imagination Series (Lighting the Lamp Video Podcast #125)

In the latest Lighting the Lamp podcast, Dr. J takes a look at The Biblical Imagination Series from Michael Card. This is a delightful study of each the four Gospels, enhanced by four albums of his signature music. This Accordance module includes both his commentaries and his albums, with links in the text to the tune that goes with each passage. Card is an accomplished musician and writer—and these Gospels commentaries are as fresh and engaging as his music. [Accordance 11: Resources]

In the podcast, Dr. J mentions a few other links, and these can be found here:

Bullet 2 Playing Audio in Accordance Mobile

Also, check out the Accordance Blog post on Michael Card's Biblical Imagination Series.


 

Biblical Imagination Series All four volumes of The Biblical Imagination Series by Michael Card come with their musical complements.

$99.90

Buy Now 2

 

 

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Jun 22, 2015 Richard Mansfield

NEW! Michael Card's Biblical Imagination Series

Is there a line between biblical scholarship and biblical faith? When I was younger and began pursuing seminary studies, studying biblical languages opened up the world of technical commentaries. For years I tended to gravitate toward these kinds of volumes and pay less attention to volumes that didn’t require a working knowledge of Greek and Hebrew.

However, as I’ve grown older, and perhaps as my own faith has grown, I have had a growing hunger for treatments of Scripture that go beyond the technical. Nevertheless, I’ve found myself in a bit of limbo at times because many commentaries written at the popular level do now always treat the Bible—in my opinion, mind you—seriously enough. There are some exceptions. I would point to commentary series by both Barclay and Wright that attempt to reach both mind and heart.

Michael Card And now, I believe I’ve found another series to add to this “in-between” category. The Biblical Imagination Series by Michael Card is unlike anything ever before released for the Accordance Library. This series attempts to “engage the text at the level of the informed imagination” (Biblical Imagination: Matthew, p. 9). What does this mean? Well, Card is attempting to create a commentary that appeals to the mind—it takes the text seriously—but it also appeals to the heart through experience and imagination.

Many are more familiar with Michael Card from the realm of Christian music. However, some may not realize that Card also has Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Biblical Studies from Western Kentucky University. This means that his treatment of the Scriptures is an informed one.

The Biblical Imagination Series consists of commentaries on the four Gospels. In addition to the commentaries, Card has used his musical talent to produce four accompanying albums of ten or more songs each. Normally, the books and CDs have to be purchased separately, but in the Accordance version of these titles, text and music have been combined into one coherent collection.

The text can be referenced as a commentary in the normal way. Or, because most sections are of a consistent length, The Biblical Imagination Series can also be used as a daily reading (note: that is not to imply that it is incorporated into the Accordance Daily reading feature because it is not dated). As the user reads through the commentary, he or she will come across musical content.

Biblical Imagination - Mark

In the example above (red circle added), the first icon, when clicked upon, will display the cover of the CD from which this particular musical selection originates—in this example, from the album, Mark: The Beginning of the Gospel. The second item, hyperlinked text that reads “The Beginning of the Gospel,” takes the user to the lyrics for the musical selection. The third icon, a sound icon, will launch the Accordance audio player, and the user can hear the musical selection. There is also a section near the end of each volume that contains all musical selections together or listening to all at once.

I can only imagine (pun may be intended) that Accordance users will find a variety of ways to explore Michael Card’s Biblical Imagination Series—whether as a standard commentary, devotional, or personal or group Bible study. Users will be pleased to know that the Accordance developers have carefully analyzed the content of this series and have identified the following search fields: References, Titles, English Content, Scripture, Transliteration, HCSB Excerpts, Bibliography, Lyrics, and Page Numbers. These fields will allow Accordance users to search for very specific content in their use of this series.

To find out more about Michael Card’s Biblical Imagination Series, be certain to check out the following resources:

Bullet 2 Dr. J’s Lighting the Lamp Podcast #125: Biblical Imagination

Two reviews recommended in the podcast:

Bullet 2 Playing Audio in Accordance Mobile

 

Biblical Imagination Series All four volumes of The Biblical Imagination Series by Michael Card come with their musical complements. This series will normally sell for $99.90, but through June 29, it can be obtained for the introductory price of $79.90.

Regular Price $99.90
Sale Price $79.90

Buy Now 2

 

 

Sale price listed above is good through June 29, 2015 (11:59 PM EDT) and cannot be combined with any other discounts.


 

Jun 19, 2015 Richard Mansfield

NEW! Trent Butler's Judges (Word Biblical Commentary)

WBC-Judges The Old Testament Book of Judges is known for its cycle of sin, oppression, and deliverance. When the people cry out to God, he sends them a judge to rescue them from their oppressors.

Although we don't believe any sin has been involved, we have definitely heard our users crying out for Trent Butler’s Word Biblical Commentary on Judges! After a delay much longer than what we would have wanted, we are pleased to announce that that Judges (WBC vol. 8) is finally available for the Accordance Library!

Having met Trent Butler at conferences in the past, I was delighted to hear the “voice” of this gentle scholar in the pages of his commentary on Judges as I read through portions on it. While the Word Biblical Commentary has a reputation for being somewhat technical at times (knowledge of Hebrew and Greek is assumed), I found Butler’s Judges volume to be immensely readable and inviting.

As an example of this, Butler begins his preface with the question, “Should fun be the first word that comes to mind when describing the writing of a commentary?” And fun is exactly what I seemed to feel at somewhat of a subtext level as I read Butler’s exposition. He seems to be expressing both wonder and delight as he chips away at the peculiarities of this Old Testament historical book.

Butler gives great attention in his Judges commentary to literary elements of irony, satire, and humor, which he says greatly characterize this book. He sees the Book of Judges as something of a riddle, which he invites readers to help him solve:

Commentary readers are invited to join in the detective work as we seek to solve these riddles and many more rampant in the pages of this book. Is it really beset with an unsettled text, narrated without historical base, plagued with untenable theology, prepared only to be preached against, and so subtly designed that its structure and purpose must remain mysteries? I hope to be able to show in the following explanation of the text that efforts to understand Judges are not quite as impossible as they might appear (Introduction, p. xxxix)

Accordance users will be glad to know that our developers have carefully examined the text of Trent Butler’s commentary on Judges and have identified the following content types: References, Titles, English Content, Greek Content, Hebrew Content, Scripture, Transliteration, Translation, Translation Notes, Bibliography, Page Numbers, Author, Table Titles, and Captions. These various kinds of content have been tagged according to these designations which allow the reader to make very specific searches based on these fields which have been identified.

A couple of points of clarification: There has been some confusion recently regarding a 2009 edition of Butler’s Judges commentary and another edition with a 2014 date. Accordance users should know that the content of both of these editions is the same. The book was originally released in 2009 and then reprinted in 2014, but there is no internal difference between these two. To be clear, the 2014 edition is not a revision. The content in the WBC Judges commentary in Accordance is the most up-to-date edition available.

Second, we are initially releasing Butler’s Judges commentary only as a stand-alone volume. At a later date, it will be incorporated into the larger WBC commentary sets (Old Testament set and OT/NT set). At that time users who have purchased the individual Judges volume will not have to pay for it again.

WBC Judges screenshot
Click on the image above for a fullsize screenshot of
Trent Butler's WBC Judges commentary.

 


Buy Now 2 WBC Volume 8: Judges
$54.90

 


 

Jun 18, 2015 Richard Mansfield

Pastor Spotlight: Bryan Catherman

This post continues our look at ministers who use Accordance. If you would like to share your story, please email blog@accordancebible.org.


Catherman I'm a guy who loves paper books, especially thick ones. I have shelves full of them in my study. But they don't do me much good when I'm at the coffee shop, on visitation, or in a hurry.

Books are especially difficult when I'm not even sure where to start my research for a sermon or doctoral paper. Accordance and Accordance Mobile are not only lifesavers, they make me a better pastor.

I use Accordance to prepare for sermons and conduct research for papers. It's also my source for devotional study and curious rabbit trails. I could do almost everything I do on Accordance with paper books (if I owned such a huge paper library), but it would take me much longer, it wouldn't be as fun, and it would be a serious drag hauling so many books around in my trunk.

Thanks for all you do Accordance! Keep up the great work.

Pastor Bryan Catherman
Redeeming Life Church
Salt Lake City, Utah

www.RedeemingLifeUtah.org
www.SaltyBeliever.com