Accordance Blog
Dec 15, 2014 Richard Mansfield

3 New Releases from InterVarsity Press

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


 

Jul 29, 2014 Helen Brown

Does the New Testament Fulfill the Old?

OT-NT Blog

The relationship between the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the New Testament is immensely important yet often debated. If their relationship seems obvious to you, it may surprise you to learn that different Christian and Jewish groups have very different notions of how the two Testaments relate to each other:

  • Traditional Jewish Interpretation: The Hebrew Bible, together with the oral law later codified in the Mishna, are sacred. The New Testament springs from a sect of Judaism which accepted Jesus as Messiah and later split off from Judaism.
  • Traditional Christian Interpretation (including Reformed): The New Testament is the fulfillment of all the Old, and the Church supplants Israel as the people of God. Laws and promises given to Israel in the Old Testament now apply to the Church in spiritual ways.
  • More recent Christian Interpretation (including Dispensational): The New Testament springs out of the Old, but God works in different ways in each period and what is true of one period does not necessarily apply to another. Laws and promises given to Israel in the Old Testament may not apply to the Church and may still await fulfillment.
  • Messianic Jewish Interpretation: The New Testament reveals the fulfillment of God’s promises in the Old, particularly in the Messiah Jesus. The Old Testament laws and promises still apply to Jewish believers, and many Jewish practices are observed as they were by the first Jewish believers.

In practice most Christians in the West neglect the Hebrew Bible and are not familiar with the Jewish roots and background of their faith, which may limit their understanding of the New Testament.

Of course, there are widely divergent opinions within each group. Our intention is NOT to open up a discussion on our brief definitions or on the merits of each position. Our goal is to help you go deeper in your study of the relationship of the Old to the New Testament. Accordance offers a wide variety of resources from different viewpoints to assist each user to tackle these issues. Many of these are on sale with great discounts for one week only.

Check the Quotations of the Hebrew Bible in the New Testament

The OT in NT Parallel, included in all Mac and Windows versions of Accordance but not on iOS, lets you compare the texts in the original (two versions at once) with their quotations. This under-used resource is best accessed by opening it from the Library: Parallels section and entering the book and chapter you are studying. You can then select each passage in the list in the top right corner, and see the parallels. There are also a number of cross reference modules such as the ESV Crossrefs and the GNT Notes which can be used in parallel with the text to link to other passages relevant to the top verse in the pane.

Understand How the NT Uses and Quotes the OT

NT quotes may differ significantly from the original text as we have it today, and may seem to interpret it very differently from its context. Well-known scholars have authored the following books which help us to understand how the New treats and quotes the Old. These works give us different approaches to the principles of such interpretation, and tackle the passages themselves, and the challenges they present.

Beale-Carson

Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament
-- G. K. Beale, D. A. Carson, authors

Leading evangelical scholars G. K. Beale, D. A. Carson, and their distinguished team of contributors, have produced 1280 pages worth of commentary focused on the Old Testament quotations, allusions, and echoes that appear throughout the New Testament. This landmark reference employs contextual interpretation, informed by historical background, to present a unified understanding of Old Testament references in Matthew through Revelation.

Buy_Now
$59.90

Beale-Handbook

Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis and Interpretation
-- G. K. Beale, author

G. K. Beale developed this companion volume to the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament to present a methodological approach to the task of understanding how New Testament writers refer to the Old Testament. Scholars, pastors and serious students will appreciate the solid framework of interpretation and exegesis applied to understanding the continuity of all Scripture.

Buy_Now
$14.90

Bundle

Beale Commentary & Handbook Bundle

Buy both the Commentary and the Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament for just $49.90, a savings of over 37% off our regular low price.

Buy_Now
$79.80

NT Use of OT

Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament
-- Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Darrell L. Bock, Peter Enns, contributors

Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Darrell L. Bock, and Peter Enns discuss how Old Testament texts relate to their New Testament references and allusions, allowing users to develop their own views on this important subject.

Buy_Now
$17.90


Read a New Jewish Commentary on the NT

This new Study Bible on the New Testament, written by Jewish scholars, sheds a unique light on the Gospels and Epistles, explaining to Jews what the text means to Christians while at the same time pointing out the Jewish customs and beliefs of the time that are implicit in the writings. Christians will not agree with every conclusion, but they will deepen their grasp of the meanings of the actions and teachings of Jesus and his apostles.

Jewish Annotated NT

The Jewish Annotated New Testament Notes
--Amy-Jill Levine, Marc Z. Brettler, editors

Renowned Jewish scholars Marc Z. Brettler and Amy-Jill Levine created the first ever Jewish Study Bible of the NT, designed to explain the text to Jews and the Jewish background to Christians. Thirty separate essays illuminate important topics for any reader.

Buy_Now
$34.90


Explore the Messianic Movement

Standing in the gap between traditional forms of Judaism and Christianity, the controversial Messianic movement attempts to return to the Jewish roots of faith in Jesus as Messiah, as described in the Gospels and book of Acts. The titles below enhance our study of the issues it raises.

Views-Messianic Movement

How Jewish Is Christianity?: 2 Views on Messianic Movement

Six authors interact on whether Messianic congregations are necessary or whether Jewish believers should instead be incorporated into the Gentile church.

Buy_Now
$16.90

Messianic Judaism

Introduction to Messianic Judaism: Its Ecclesial Context and Biblical Foundations
--David Rudolph, Joel Willitts, editors

Both Gentile Christian and Messianic readers will benefit from this balanced and accessible introduction to the diverse Messianic Jewish movement, its ecclesial context and biblical foundations.

Buy_Now
$26.90

a-bundle

Jewish New Testament Commentary & Complete Jewish Bible with Notes bundle

David Stern revised the 1917 JPS Tanakh and translated the New Testament to show the close connections between the testaments. The commentary answers questions about the NT from his messianic perspective.

Buy_Now
$59.90


Study Classic Works by Hebrew Christians

19th. century scholars from a religious Jewish background brought a new dimension of knowledge to the Christian world. Their understanding of Hebrew and of Jewish life informed and infused all their writings, many of which were widely circulated at the time and are highly regarded to this day.

Keil & Delitzsch

Commentary on the Old Testament
(Keil & Delitzsch) (10 volumes)

A triumph of rigorous scholarship from a Hebrew background, this remains one of the most popular Old Testament commentaries available, especially for in-depth analyses of the Hebrew text. (Included in the Advanced and Ultimate Collections.)

Buy_Now
$79.90

Bundle

Edersheim Group

Alfred Edersheim wrote extensively on the Jewish background to Christianity. This group (included in the Ultimate Collection) comprises four of his best known works on OT History, the Life of Christ, Temple worship, and Jewish Life.

Buy_Now
$49.90





 

Jun 27, 2013 David Lang

Accordance to Keynote, Part 1

In the probably-bit-off-more-than-I-can-chew department, I've recently begun teaching a Sunday School class on "Understanding the Old Testament." My intention in this class is to give folks a birds' eye view of the Old Testament, exposing them to parts of the Bible they rarely visit and often struggle to understand. To do this effectively, I can't afford to spend a lot of time going into depth on individual passages. So naturally, I've spent the last six weeks or so going through Genesis 1 and 2! At this rate, I may finish when I'm sixty!

My inability to skim the surface aside, I've been preparing a Keynote slide show each week to help focus my class's attention on the main points I want to get across. And since I tend to procrastinate, I'm thankful for great Accordance resources and a few simple tricks that make preparing this slide show a snap!

Keynote1

First, let me talk about some of the resources I'm using.

Bibles: As readers of this blog are probably aware by now, my preferred translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). It offers a good mix of readability and fidelity to the original languages, and is generally unafraid to offer a fresh translation of those well-known passages most translations are unwilling to modify (John 3:16, Psalm 23, Matthew 5-7, etc.). Of course, when I want to bring out an aspect of the text which is made clearer in another translation, I won't hesitate to use it. For example, when I want to bring out the structure of the underlying Hebrew text, I'll generally turn to the English Standard Version (ESV). When I wanted to discuss whether Genesis 1:1 should be translated "In the beginning God created" or "When God began to create", I used the Jewish Publication Society translation (JPS) as an example of the latter rendering.

Keynote2

Finally, while I don't show the underlying Hebrew text to my class, I do use the tagged Hebrew text in my own preparation to teach.

Commentaries: While I'm going into the first three chapters of Genesis in some depth, I am not doing a lot of verse-by-verse exposition. Rather, I'm focusing on bringing out the literary structure of these texts and the way they would have been understood by their original audience. Consequently, I don't often turn to expositional and critical commentaries when preparing for my class. Instead, I tend to go to background commentaries like the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary on the Old Testament (ZIBBCOT) and the IVP Bible Background Commentary on the Old Testament. I once read a review by a New Testament scholar I admire who panned the use of background commentaries because any more traditional commentary worth its salt will usually provide the relevant historical background information. While that's certainly true, the challenge is often finding those nuggets amid all the verse-by-verse exposition. I love these background commentaries because they're focused on the kind of information I most want to bring out.

For much the same reason, I often find myself turning to Study Bible notes before full-blown commentaries. Study Bibles like the ESV Study Bible often have concise but highly relevant information, as well as helpful charts and images that can easily be incorporated into a Keynote presentation.

Graphic Resources: Some of the commentaries and study Bibles already mentioned are a great source for visuals that can be dragged into Keynote slides. ZIBBCOT had a great illustration of the three-tiered cosmology which most ancient peoples assumed to exist, and it made such concepts as water above the sky much easier to explain.

Keynote3

The ESV Study Bible offered a concise chart of the days of forming and filling in Genesis 1 that helped me think through how to structure that particular slide of my presentation.

Another graphic resource I use heavily is The Accordance Gallery of Bible Art. Filled with great classic artistic depictions of various Biblical episodes, I tend to use the images in this tool to illustrate broad concepts and to add visual punch to title slides. While I'm still a little early in the Old Testament to make much use of the Bible Lands PhotoGuide, I did use the view of Israel from atop Mount Nebo to illustrate my slide that talked about the Old Testament being "The Story of a Land."

Keynote4

I likewise used an image of the high priest offering incense from Carta's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem for the slide on the Old Testament as "The Story of Redemption."

Keynote5

While I will turn to other Accordance resources from time to time, this combination of Bibles, background commentaries, study Bibles, and visual resources has served me well in quickly putting together my Keynote presentation each week. In my next post, I'll show you some of the tricks I use to get the information out of Accordance and into Keynote as quickly and painlessly as possible.


 

Sep 6, 2012 David Lang

IVP OT Dictionaries: A Personal Recommendation

IVP-PentateuchCover-sm When we first released the IVP Dictionary of the OT: Pentateuch and IVP Dictionary of the OT: Historical Books in May of this year, I blogged about how useful they are and how excited we were to be able to offer them. Since then, I've found myself turning to these dictionaries more and more in my own research, and I just wanted to offer a quick personal recommendation.

As I've been writing about various aspects of Old Testament narratives—worship practices, pagan religion, daily life, etc.—I've been looking up subjects that are not always easy to get clear information about. Many of these things are shrouded in mystery or clouded in the uncertainty of scholarly debate. General Bible dictionaries tend to focus on what we know for certain, which means they often lack the depth or detail I'm looking for. The larger, more encyclopedic dictionaries offer greater depth and detail, but even the most recent are typically several decades old. If I'm dealing with something that is still being debated or reevaluated in the light on ongoing discoveries, I want the most recent information I can get.

IVP-HistoricalCover-sm

That's where the IVP Old Testament dictionaries have proven really helpful. When I look up Canaan or Baal, for example, I find a concise summary of more recent discoveries and what they mean for the current state of the discussion. It's detailed enough that I feel I can understand and evaluate various arguments, yet concise enough that I don't get bogged down in the scholarly minutiae.

In short, I've been extremely impressed with how helpful these dictionaries are. If you're preaching or teaching through the Pentateuch or Historical Books and you want solid information about the people, places, events, and practices they mention, do yourself a favor and pick up these two dictionaries.


 

May 10, 2012 David Lang

Three New IVP Dictionaries Available

I'm pleased to announce the release of three new Bible Dictionaries from InterVarsity Press: the Dictionary of Major Biblical Interpreters, Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch, and Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books. Each of these ground-breaking dictionaries weighs in at around 1000 pages in print, so carrying all three around would be an exercise in body-building! Loading the Accordance editions on your laptop or iPhone won't do nearly as much for your biceps, but you'll be much more likely to have them available when you need them!

IVP-MajorInterpretersCover-sm The Dictionary of Major Biblical Interpreters introduces you to the principal players in the history of Biblical interpretation, their historical and intellectual contexts, their primary works, their interpretive principles and their broader historical significance. Many of the differences between religious traditions, academic schools of thought, and leading theologians are rooted in the assumptions and interpretive methods these people bring to the Bible. This helpful dictionary enables you to appreciate where these major interpreters were coming from so that you can better understand their conclusions.

The two volumes of the Dictionary of the Old Testament follow the same award-winning formula as IVP’s highly regarded New Testament dictionaries (which have long been available in our IVP Essential Reference Collection). They present you with an accessible summary of current scholarship in the “Pentateuch” (the first five books of the Bible) and the “Historical Books” (Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah). If you've already used IVP's New Testament dictionaries, you already know how useful these Old Testament volumes will prove to be. The wealth of New Testament commentaries and dictionaries make it relatively easy for us to interact with the current state of New Testament scholarship, but when we're studying or preaching through books of the Hebrew Bible it can be much more difficult to find information which is not already out of date. This series of dictionaries fills a much-needed void.IVP-PentateuchCover-sm

For example, I recently read Psalm 110, a Messianic psalm which mentions the priesthood of Melchizedek, an enigmatic figure mentioned in Genesis 14. Psalm 110's mention of Melchizedek later gets used by the author of Hebrews to argue that the priesthood of Christ is greater than that of the levitical priesthood. Since many New Testament dictionaries and commentaries seem to read the Genesis passage through the lens of these later passages, I was curious to see how a dictionary specifically focused on the Pentateuch would approach the subject of Melchizedek. The article on Melchizedek in Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch discusses each aspect of the Genesis description of Melchizedek, then examines how that passage had come to be associated with messianic expectations. It concludes by setting those later interpretations aside to consider the meaning of this passage in its original context of the narratives about Abraham. From there, I decided to see if this dictionary had an article on "Messiah" which specifically focused on messianic expectations in the Pentateuch. I was not disappointed.

Now through May 24, you can get all three of these dictionaries for a special bundle price of just $99.99. Once you've purchased them, they can be downloaded immediately through Easy Install.


 

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.