January 2009

Contra Strongnosticism, Part 3

January 30, 2009 - David Lang — The past two Fridays, I've been preaching against the error I call "Strongnosticism": that is, the tendency to use tools such as Strong's numbers to look for "secret knowledge" in the original Hebrew and Greek. In my last post on this subject, I began teaching you how to use Strong's numbers to identify the Greek and Hebrew words behind an English translation, how to look those words up in a basic Strong's dictionary, and how to consult more in depth lexicons. I focused most of my attention on the Greek word translated "virgin" in Matthew ...

Catechising the Recent Convert

January 29, 2009 - David Lang — Last night I came across a blog post entitled "I've converted." In it the author explained that he had recently switched to Accordance from a Windows Bible program he had used for many years and been happy with. Once he had switched to Mac, he tried to keep running his Windows software under virtualization, but eventually realized he needed "an application that was actually designed for the [Mac] platform. After using Accordance for just over a week, he said he is already "impressed" and "more productive" with Accordance, though naturally he ...

P46 in Parallel

January 28, 2009 - David Lang — Yesterday, Peter Head of the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog discussed an intriguing textual variant at Philippians 1:11. A single Greek witness, P46, reads "to the glory of God and approval for me" instead of "to the glory and praise of God." Head explains that this reading should be understood as "eschatological" rather than "egotistical" and weighs whether it could really be the "original/Pauline reading." After reading that post, I switched to Accordance and looked up Philippians 1:11 in the tagged Greek New Testament (GNT-T). Then I ...

Getting an F in Verse Notation

January 27, 2009 - David Lang — The other night my wife asked me to look up Philippians 4:12-13. So I opened up Accordance, made sure it was set to search by verses, and typed "phil 4.12f". This brought up everything from Philippians 4:12 through the end of the chapter, and was easier to type than the full reference. Did you know you could do that? In standard verse notation, a single "f." after a verse indicates that you should look not only at the verse listed but also the verse immediately following it. Thus, "Phil. 4:12f." really means Philippians 4:12-13. If you see ...

The Mac Turns 25

January 26, 2009 - David Lang — This past Saturday marked the Macintosh computer's 25th birthday. Heralded as the most influential computer ever developed, the Mac popularized the graphical user interface, the mouse, WYSIWYG displays, and a long list of other innovations. Steve Jobs introduced the Mac at the Flint center near Cupertino on January 24th, 1984. This was a few days after the airing of the famous 1984 Super-Bowl commercial directed by Ridley Scott. You can find both Jobs' introduction and the Super-Bowl ad here. Compared to other people at OakTree, I'm a ...

Contra Strongnosticism, Part 2

January 23, 2009 - David Lang — Last Friday, I talked about the error I call "Strongnosticism": that is, the tendency to use tools such as Strong's numbers to look for "secret knowledge" in the original Hebrew and Greek. It is indeed a heady thing to be able to peek into the original languages of the Bible and pick up on details which may seem to have gotten "lost in translation." And while there is certainly nothing wrong with exploring the original Greek and Hebrew, we need to be sure that we know what to do with that knowledge. Otherwise, we can easily misinterpret the ...

Organizing Your Reference Tools

January 22, 2009 - David Lang — Last week, I went through my Library window and showed you how I organize my Text Modules, my English Tools, and my Greek and Hebrew Tools. I put off going into Reference Tools because there are so many different modules of different kinds. So today we'll tackle Reference Tools. Remember that these tools are called "reference" tools not because they are "reference works," but because they are organized by verse reference. In other words, Reference tools all follow the book, chapter, and verse order of the Bible or other Text module corpuses....

"Keep your Greek" with Accordance

January 21, 2009 - Rick Bennett — 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 ...

OakTree "Family" Dinner

January 20, 2009 - David Lang — Last Friday night, all the staff of OakTree software who are located here in the Orlando area, along with our spouses, enjoyed a company dinner together. As I mentioned in my A-Team post, only our sales and support staff works in a central office, while the application and module developers all work from their own homes. Consequently, these kinds of get-togethers help us connect with each other in ways we're not able to on a day-to-day basis. We don't really have any set schedule for these. We try to organize them at times when no one is ...

Free Online Accordance Training Videos

January 19, 2009 - David Lang — For some time now, we've been offering a Training DVD which features more than five hours of video instruction on how to get the most out of Accordance. Those who have purchased the DVD and used it have consistently found it extremely helpful. Now we're very excited to be able to make all of that material freely available online. I'd strongly recommend that every Accordance user view the segments on the Accordance interface. From there you can move on to searching, working with your search results, using tools, the Atlas, the Timeline, ...

Friday Rant: Contra Strongnosticism

January 16, 2009 - David Lang — I'll never forget the first time I was exposed to a Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. I was at a high school Bible study in which the Bible study leader decided it would be a good idea to teach us how to use a concordance. First he showed us how to look up a word in the concordance to find all its occurrences, and then he showed us the little numbers to the right of each occurrence. These, he explained, represented the original Greek or Hebrew word being translated. To find out more about that word, you simply turned to the back and looked up ...

More on Organizing Your Library

January 15, 2009 - David Lang — Yesterday I went through my Library window and showed you how I organize my Text Modules. Today I want to turn to Tools. In Accordance, we divide Tools into five different categories based on the tools' structure: English Tools, which are distinguished by the blue book icon with the English letter "A," are tools organized in English alphabet order. This includes English Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, topical resources, books of quotations, and our Bible Lands PhotoGuide. Greek Tools, which are distinguished by the blue book icon with ...

Organizing Your Library

January 14, 2009 - David Lang — A while back someone asked me to talk about how I organize my Accordance modules. I'm afraid I never did, because, frankly, I'm not that organized! When I posted an image of my Library window the other day, this user reminded me of his unanswered request, and now my guilt over not answering outweighs my reticence to show how imperfect my own system of organization is. Besides, you can learn from the flaws in my system just as readily as you can learn from its good points, so here it is, warts and all. For those of you who may not know what ...

Not Just for Slideshows

January 12, 2009 - David Lang — A user recently commented that while they appreciate the interface tweaks of Accordance 8.1, they would like to see us go further in minimizing the user interface elements and maximizing the screen space devoted to the text of the Bible. The thing is, we've already done that with our slide show mode. In the window menu, you'll find the "Slide Show" menu item. Selecting this menu item, or using the corresponding Keyboard Shortcut command-option-S, will turn any open workspaces into a series of slides (based on the tabs you have open), and ...

Most Memorable MacWorld Moments

January 08, 2009 - David Lang — Yesterday I did some general reminiscing about exhibiting Accordance at MacWorld for the past decade. Today I want to give you a report from the show floor and list, in no particular order, some of my most memorable MacWorld moments. The reports I'm getting from my coworkers are that traffic in the exhibit halls definitely seems to be down this year as opposed to previous years—not a big surprise considering the state of the economy, the cost of travel, and the recent announcement that Apple will no longer participate in MacWorld after ...

Reminiscing About MacWorld

January 07, 2009 - David Lang — MacWorld Expo started yesterday, and for the first time in years I'm not there. No, I'm not complaining. My absence this year is due to the fact that my wife is about to have a baby, so I'm happy to be home right now. Still, the recent news that Apple will no longer be participating in MacWorld has made me a bit nostalgic. It would appear that last year's MacWorld Expo may have been my last MacWorld Expo. We began exhibiting Accordance at MacWorld New York way back in the summer of 1998. I believe my first MacWorld was MacWorld San Francisco ...