Accordance Blog
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).


 

Jan 31, 2012 David Lang

Is Ephesians Really So Divided?

Some other members of the team and myself are currently in Minneapolis demonstrating Accordance at the Desiring God Pastor's Conference. Since the exhibit hall is basically deserted during the main teaching sessions, I slipped out last night and listened to the first speaker. Early in his message, he made an oft-repeated observation about the book of Ephesians: namely, that it is clearly divided into two parts. The speaker asserted that in the first three chapters, Paul uses verbs in the indicative mood—that is, verbs that make a statement or convey information. In the last three chapters, Paul switches to imperative verbs. Thus, he moves from theology to application, from instruction to exhortation.

It's certainly an interesting point, but is it accurate? Is the book of Ephesians really so clearly divided between indicatives and imperatives? I'm glad you asked! Because it is just these kinds of patterns that Accordance is perfectly designed to reveal.

If you have a tagged Greek New Testament such as the GNT-T or the new NA27-T, click the Words button, then hit the tab key to select the contents of the search entry box. Now go to the Search menu and choose Verb… from the Enter Tag submenu. In the dialog box that opens, select indicative from the Mood pop-up menu, then hold down the shift key and choose imperative. (Holding the shift key enables you to select multiple items within the same category.) When you're finished, click OK to dismiss the dialog and return to the Search tab. You'll notice that Accordance will insert the proper search syntax for you.

DividedEphesians1

Before we run this search, let's limit it to the book of Ephesians by selecting Define Range… from the range pop-up menu at the top of the Search tab (the pop-up that usually reads [All text]). In the dialog box that appears, click the New button, then set both the Range Name and the Range Definition to "Ephesians." When you click Update and close the dialog, your new Ephesians range will be selected in the Range pop-up. (Of course, if you've previously defined an Ephesians range, you only need to select it from the pop-up menu without having to go through the Define Ranges dialog.)

DividedEphesians2

When you hit Return to perform this search, Accordance finds every indicative and imperative in the book of Ephesians. Now we just need to analyze the distribution of these two forms throughout the book. To do that, click the Graphs and Stats menu to the left of the Compare checkbox and choose Analysis Graph.

The Analysis Graph lets you choose the criteria you want to have graphed from the pop-up menu at the bottom right. Choose Mood from this pop-up to see a comparison of indicatives and imperatives.

DividedEphesians4

The Analysis Graph graphs the frequency of occurrence in a particular sample size. The default sample size is hits per 1000 words, which is perfect for a large range like the entire New Testament, but too large for a small range like the book of Ephesians. To see more detail, we'll need to customize the graph to use a smaller sample size. While we're at it, we'll also customize the look of the graph to make it a little slicker.

To customize the look of anything in Accordance, you can always use the keyboard shortcut command-T. With the Analysis Graph selected, use command-T to open the Set Analysis Display dialog. In that dialog, change the Words per hit to 100, select Areas rather than Bars, Overlay rather than Stack, and check the Use black background.

DividedEphesians5

When you click OK, your Analysis Graph should now look like this:

DividedEphesians6

From this we can see that it's true that imperatives don't really begin until the latter half of Ephesians. However, it's not as if indicatives drop out completely. In fact, the highest concentration of indicatives comes right in the middle of the imperative section, and at that point the imperatives drop off dramatically. What point is that in the text? It's the instructions to husbands and wives at the end of Ephesians 5. You would think this section would include lots of imperatives, but there are really only two, followed by a long discussion of the relationship between Christ and the church.

The graphs and statistical breakdowns Accordance provides are designed to enable you to see patterns like this in all their complexity, including the parts which run counter to the general trend.

What other interesting observations can you make from looking at this graph?


 

Jan 30, 2012 Rick Bennett

New Titles from the German Bible Society

We are happy to announce that our ongoing partnership with the German Bible Society (GBS) brings a new selection of the world's finest scholarly Bibles and original language texts to Accordance. The first round of these releases was announced just two weeks ago with the first installment of the BHQ, then last week with the long-awaited Nestle-Aland (27th ed.) tagged Greek text with sigla, and the critical apparatus. These are just the first of several new releases planned in the coming weeks.

UBS

In addition to the NA27, we will also offer the UBS Greek New Testament (4th ed.) with tagging and critical apparatus. On the Old Testament side we will have the BHS tagged text with sigla and apparatus, the apparatus for Rahlf's Septuagint, and the apparatus for the entire Vulgate.

We will also have the Gospel of Thomas, Coptic and Greek text with English and German translation, and commentary, and the revised Barclay Newman Greek-English dictionary (typically included in the back of the UBS Greek text).

For those with a passion to study the original texts of the Bible, these are sure to be must-have resources for your Accordance library. In order to see the full breakdown on these new titles and their pricing, check out our news announcement, and stay tuned to the blog for future posts on the availability of these new titles with more 'first look' videos.

 



 

Jan 21, 2009 Rick Bennett

"Keep your Greek" with Accordance

In the third installment of his blog series, “Keep your Greek,” author and professor of NT at Moore Theological College Con Campbell, addresses some potential issues when using Bible software. To summarize, here are his main points:

a. When you’re doing your 10-30 minutes per day of Greek reading, do not have an English translation open on the screen.

b. Be slow to move that cursor. The risk of using software is that you can short-cut the learning process, just as you will with an interlinear.

c. A problem with software is that it doesn’t tell you which words you should already know. You think you don’t know a word, so you get the quick answer, then think, ‘oh yeah, I knew that.’

During my studies I’ve had to combat the same dangers that Con talks about here, so I thought I would share some of the ways I’ve used Accordance to do so successfully.

First, I’ll address the third point Con made. To do this you need to identify the words that you are not familiar with. The traditional Greek courses in college or seminary typically make students responsible for all words occurring 10 times or more in the Greek New Testament. However, the word lists get pretty large the closer you get to 10, so it’s likely that anything in that range will become fuzzy after a while. To identify all words occurring 20 times or less, perform the following word search:

[COUNT 1-20] <AND> [RANGE Rom]

You’ll notice that I added an additional Range command for my example, which you can customize to your needs, or constrain the search for verbs only, etc. Next, I created a highlight style simply titled, ‘less occurring.' If you shift + click on any style in your highlight palette it will only highlight the hits (in my style I used a double-underline so as not to completely obstruct the text). Now, you can simply change your search to verses, i.e. Rom 5 and you will get the full text of Romans 5, but it will have all the words occurring 20 times or fewer highlighted.

Also, if you want to help yourself resist the temptation of moving your cursor over words and displaying the parsing information in the Instant Details box, hit cmd + option + 3 to temporarily hide it (repeat to show it again).

Parse DetailsLet’s take this one step further, and create a customized workspace that will mimic some of the strengths of the Greek Readers that have become popular as of late (a topic that Con promises to cover in an upcoming post). In the same workspace as above, click the History button and bring up our Count search, but let’s constrain it to a smaller portion: [COUNT 1-20] <AND> [RANGE Rom 5].

Now, click anywhere in the text, and hit cmd + A to select all the text. Next, click the Parse icon in the Resource Palette. This will open up a separate tab in your workspace displaying the parsing information for the text you selected. However, we want to limit this to the words highlighted. Hit cmd + T, and select ‘Hit Words Only’ from the Parse drop down menu (I also unchecked the option to display Root, and English Transliteration, but you can customize to your needs). To further customize this you can detach the parsing tab (cmd + option + T), then tile the two alongside each other (cmd + I). You could even add an advanced lexical tool such as the New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the GNT (GNT Key) in parallel with the Greek text, but that may be a little too much help.

 

GNT Workspace

 

As you can see, this gives you a nice way to customize a Greek reading workspace to your specific needs so that you can "Keep your Greek"… with Accordance.