Accordance Blog

February 2011

Hit Tab Then Type

February 28, 2011 - David Lang — Accordance power users know that there are lots of little tricks, shortcuts, and niceties which make studying the Bible quick and effective. In this series of posts, I'll offer some simple tips which can save you a great deal of time in your study. Here's the first: Hit Tab Then Type. Pressing the tab key in Accordance automatically selects the contents of the front window's search entry box. So rather than going up to the top of the window, dragging with the mouse to select the current search argument, hitting the delete key to ...

The Israel Wall

February 25, 2011 - David Lang — Yesterday, I talked about how my wife and I will be touring Israel with a tour which includes several other members of the Accordance team. While we're away, I wanted my children to have a way to know where we would be each day and share in what we'll be learning. So I used the Accordance Atlas to create a series of custom maps showing where we would be each day. Here's one example: First, I created some Custom Site Layers containing every site we'll be visiting. There were so many sites that I had to create two custom site l ...

Seeing What I've Written About

February 24, 2011 - David Lang — When I was in seminary, I took an Old Testament survey course with Dr. Elmer Smick. During his lectures, he would sometimes establish the setting of a biblical narrative by describing its location in Israel. I vividly remember him gazing into the distance as though picturing the places he had visited, describing how this hill overlooked that valley, how that valley was an important trade route, and so on. It awakened in me a desire to travel there myself some day. A number of years later, I was tasked with creating our Bible Lands ...

Use Magnify Zones to Hide Stuff While Teaching

February 23, 2011 - David Lang — In the past couple of posts, I've talked about how I'm trying to teach Greek to my children. I described how I'm using Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek in Accordance and how I did a simple search to find plenty of examples they could practice parsing. In the process of doing that exercise, I stumbled across another helpful use for the new Magnify Zones feature: it's a great way to hide stuff you don't want your students to see. When I did the search described in this post, I already had a zone open displaying the paradigm chart from ...

Teaching "Grick" to my Children, Part 2

February 22, 2011 - David Lang — In my previous post, I explained how I've been teaching my children Greek (or "Grick" when I impersonate the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding). After protesting too much that I'm not really one of those overly ambitious homeschool dads, I described how we're currently learning Mounce's first noun paradigm chart. This chart covers the nominative and accusative singular and plural endings for second declension masculine and neuter nouns, and first declension feminine nouns. The example nouns it uses are λόγος, γραφή, ὥρα, and ἔργον. In order ...

Teaching "Grick" to my Children

February 21, 2011 - David Lang — As a homeschool dad, I've prided myself on not being one of those fanatical homeschoolers who tries to overdo things: you know, the ones who want their babies to be reading Aristotle, their toddlers to be concert violinists, and their kindergartners to be experts at pre-algebra. I've largely succeeded, but I do have a confession to make: I am trying to teach my children Greek. Yes, it sounds like I'm one of those smart-alecky fathers who wants his kids to know the original languages of the Bible better than their pastor does, but honestly, my ...

Overcoming Blind Spots: Get Perspective with Commentaries

February 18, 2011 - David Lang — For the past several posts, I've been discussing how we can overcome our blind spots when it comes to reading the Bible. By "blind spots," I mean those things we gloss over or simply fail to see because of our preconceptions about what the text says. I've discussed how reading and comparing multiple translations can help to alert us to aspects of the text we might have missed, and I've compared The Message translation to a convex mirror which can bend our gaze so that we can see around our blind spots. Today, I want to talk about how ...

See Accordance 9.2 in Action

February 17, 2011 - David Lang — Curious to see the new features of Accordance 9.2 in action? Dr. J's latest podcast shows you how to use Magnify Zones and image browsing, including tips on helpful keyboard shortcuts you may not be aware of. Be sure to check it out.

Overcoming Blind Spots: The Convex Mirror Bible

February 16, 2011 - David Lang — For the past couple posts, I've been discussing how we can overcome our blind spots when it comes to reading the Bible. By "blind spots," I mean those things we gloss over or simply fail to see because of our preconceptions about what the text says. In my last post I discussed how reading and comparing multiple translations can help to alert us to aspects of the text we might have missed. Today, I want to talk about one particular translation which can help us overcome our blind spots. On many cars these days, the driver side rearview ...

Overcoming Blind Spots: Compare Translations

February 15, 2011 - David Lang — In last Friday's post, I talked about how we sometimes have blind spots when it comes to reading the Bible. By "blind spots," I mean those things we gloss over or simply fail to see because of our preconceptions about what the text says. Over the next several posts, I want to talk about some ways we can overcome those blind spots. In life, the only way to overcome a blind spot is to change your perspective. If you're driving a car, you make sure nothing is in your blind spot by quickly turning your head to see what you could not see in ...

The Bible Can't be Saying THAT!

February 14, 2011 - David Lang — When I began reading the Bible as a teenager, I struggled to find a good place to start. I tried starting in Genesis, but soon got derailed. Then I tried starting in Matthew, but again, soon got off-track. Finally, I decided to read Ecclesiastes. Why Ecclesiastes? Well, I liked the song "Turn, Turn, Turn" by the Byrds, and I had learned from the movie Footloose that those words came from the biblical book of Ecclesiastes. I began reading Ecclesiastes in the King James and was surprised to find it chock full of phrases like "all is v ...

Overcoming Blind Spots

February 11, 2011 - David Lang — When I was in college, I read a feminist scholar's exegesis of Genesis 1-3 for a class I was taking. I've read this scholar a few times since, and have always found her to be a gifted exegete with the kind of literary acumen I've been discussing over the past few weeks. She tends to unpack the text in a way that helps you appreciate its literary artistry and see dimensions you might previously have missed. Unfortunately, she also self-consciously reinterprets these texts from the standpoint of her own ideology. Rather than merely correcting ...

For your Reading Pleasure

February 10, 2011 - Rick Bennett — After we updated our website and blog, I wrote a post offering some tips on subscribing to and navigating the blog. If you're new to the whole blogosphere and find some of the terms are confusing, I recommend checking it out. Since then we've continued to experience a growing number of subscribers, to whom we're thankful for continuing to read and interact with David's hidden gems of Accordance as well as our various updates and promotions. In this post I'd like to follow-up with some more tips on subscribing to the blog, and reading it ...

Accordance 9.2 Adds Magnify Zones and Image Browsing

February 09, 2011 - David Lang — Accordance 9 introduced the concept of "zones," areas of a workspace which automatically display different kinds of resources side by side. Most users of Accordance 9 have loved this feature, but what do you do when you open a bunch of different resources and end up with several tiny zones? What if you're viewing a map, timeline, or picture in a small zone and you want an easy way to enlarge it? With Accordance 9.2—now available for free download to all users of Accordance 9—you simply click the new plus icon near the top left ...

All Day with Accordance at Asbury

February 08, 2011 - David Lang — What can get a bunch of Minnesotans to spend an entire Saturday indoors—even when it's a balmy 30° F outside? A free Accordance training seminar of course! As a Florida native, I was bundled up and glad to be inside, but they were all sacrificing a day of fun in the sun just to be there! Maybe they were just being nice, but everyone seemed to feel it was a worthwhile way to spend their Saturday, including the gentleman who flew in from Rhode Island just to attend. If folks in Minnesota were willing to give up enjoying their January t ...

Worth Checking Out

February 07, 2011 - David Lang — Here are a few things I think you'll find worth checking out: Dr. J's latest podcast offers a helpful comparison of our two most extensive Holy Land Photograph collections: the Bible Lands PhotoGuide, and the new American Colony and Eric Matson collection from Bibleplaces.com. Not only does he compare the strengths of each of these resources, he gives you a brief sampling of some of the photos they contain. In pointing his readers to Dr. J's podcast, Todd Bolen of Bibleplaces.com included a comment from a user who had great ...

Didn't Know You Had Them? Christian Classics

February 04, 2011 - David Lang — At the recent Desiring God Pastor's Conference, we were demonstrating Accordance at a table in the conference "bookstore." When most of the attendees were in a session, I had time to browse the stacks of books for sale in the Exhibit Hall. Because John Piper makes a point at this conference of introducing attendees to classic Christian authors and their works, there were a great many older books in hardcover or paperback. A few I can remember seeing are E.M. Bounds' The Necessity of Prayer, the two volume edition of The Works of Jonathan ...

Cutting Prices on the Cutting Edge

February 03, 2011 - David Lang — Long before Biblical scholars write books, dictionary articles, or commentaries, they publish their findings in professional journals for review by their peers. Journals are therefore where you'll find the cutting edge of Biblical scholarship. Unfortunately, subscriptions to print journals are often expensive, and finding the information you need is rarely easy. That's why the best way to experience cutting edge scholarship is with cutting edge technology. In Accordance, mining decades worth of journals is incredibly easy, relatively ...

The Story of Halley's Bible Handbook

February 02, 2011 - David Lang — Over the past couple weeks, I've been writing about the importance of reading biblical passages as unified literary works rather than as collections of atomistic Proverbs. I've argued that biblical exposition begins with reading and that exegetical sermons ought to derive their outlines from the literary structure of the passages they exegete. It is therefore timely that we've just released Halley's Bible Handbook, a Christian classic born out of one man's passion for exposing people to the text of the Bible. Henry Hampton Halley was a ...

Deriving Your Sermon Outline from Scripture

February 01, 2011 - David Lang — Last night I demonstrated Accordance to a bunch of pastors at the Desiring God Pastor's Conference. Since I don't get too many opportunities to preach to pastors about sound exegetical method, I decided not to give a drink-from-the-firehouse-here's-everything-Accordance-can-do demonstration. Instead, I showed how you can use the tools in Accordance to exegete a particular passage. After a brief overview of the interface, I opened 2 Samuel 11—the story of David and Bathsheba—and began unpacking the text using a variety of Accordance tools. ...