Accordance Blog

March 2011

More Questions About Questions

March 31, 2011 - David Lang — This week, I've been taking a search for all the questions in the Bible and showing how you can use various graphs to visualize important aspects of the results. In Monday's post, we used the Hits Graph to see the predominance of questions at the end of the book of Job. In Tuesday's post, we used the Table Bar Chart to see which books have the greatest frequency of questions. In this post, I want to modify the Table Bar Chart to see which books have the largest number of questions. The Table Bar Chart we looked at Tuesday plotted ...

Newspaper Story about the CNTTS Apparatus

March 30, 2011 - David Lang — The CNTTS Apparatus is an ambitious database of New Testament textual variants which is being developed by the Center for New Testament Textual Studies at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Accordance users were the first to be able to access this database even while it was still being developed. This newspaper article does a good job of summarizing the development of this database.

More Answers About Questions

March 29, 2011 - David Lang — In yesterday's post, I showed how you can use the period symbol to search for all question marks in an English Bible. I then showed how to use the Hits Graph to see where the greatest concentration of questions occurs. The end of Job, where God fires a series of questions at Job, was the clear winner. Today, I want to look at another way to visualize the results of this search: namely, the Table Bar Chart. Having searched an English Bible for .?, choose Table Bar Chart from the Details pop-up menu to the right of the Context Slider. You ...

Any Questions?

March 28, 2011 - David Lang — At the Ligonier national conference this past weekend, one of the speakers mentioned the fact that the first question in the Bible is asked by the serpent in Genesis 3:1. In doing a demo to someone after that session, one of my colleagues showed how you can use Accordance to search for question marks and other punctuation. The method is ridiculously simple. Just enter a period followed by whatever single character you want to find. If you want to find all question marks, just enter .?. If you want to find all quotations, just enter .“. ...

Look for us at the Ligonier National Conference

March 23, 2011 - David Lang — If you'll be at the Ligonier National Conference in Orlando this weekend, be sure to stop by the Accordance exhibit to say hi. We'll also be doing a few demonstration sessions between the major sessions, and those will provide a great opportunity to see Accordance in action. Hope to see you there.

Avoiding the Multi-Task Malaise

March 22, 2011 - David Lang — Much of what passes for multi-tasking today is little more than a coping mechanism. That's the conclusion I've come to from observing my own multi-tasking behaviors. I find that I am most likely to switch between a variety of tasks when I'm having to wait for each of those tasks to complete. I'll check e-mail, and while waiting for the messages to download, I'll switch to Safari and visit some website or other. If the website is taking a while to load, I may open a new tab and check another website, or I may turn back to my e-mail and begin ...

How is an Accordance Demo Like a Court of Law?

March 21, 2011 - David Lang — This past Saturday I co-taught an all-day Accordance training seminar in Palmyra, New Jersey (near Philadelphia). Our host, Pastor Wes Allen of Central Baptist Church, went above and beyond the call of duty and freed us from having to worry about nearly every logistical detail. (He even lent us his brand new iPad 2!) Wes somehow also found the energy to preach the next morning, and I'm hopeful he managed to get some well-earned rest Sunday afternoon. Whenever I teach seminars, I joke that doing a software demonstration is a bit like ...

Simply Powerful, Powerfully Simple

March 18, 2011 - David Lang — I once saw a Bible software discussion in which someone wanted to search for Hebrew verbs which did not have a pronominal suffix. I was absolutely dumbfounded by the eventual solution that was offered, because it required a string of programming language gobbledygook which I found impossible to decipher. Puzzled, I fired up Accordance to see if I could construct the search. The solution I came up with was very similar to one of the English searches I've been discussing in the last two posts. I simply entered [VERB] [SUFFIX]. Unless ...

Contents Command to Compare

March 17, 2011 - David Lang — In yesterday's post, I talked about how you can use search commands to narrow your search results and avoid superfluous hits. The example I used was a search for "mercy" that would exclude hits for "mercy seat," and I demonstrated two approaches: mercy mercy seat and mercy seat. I explained that because the first search will eliminate any verse containing the phrase "mercy seat," it might eliminate valid hits, while the second search would find references to "mercy" even if it occurred in a verse which also contained the phrase "mercy ...

Use Commands to Narrow Your Search Results

March 16, 2011 - David Lang — Suppose you're looking for verses that talk about "mercy." Do a word search for "mercy" in many English Bibles and you'll find a great many references to the "mercy seat." How do you weed out all the occurrences of "mercy seat" so that you can just concentrate on the references to mercy by itself? You do it by using search commands. Search commands let you group and exclude items from a search in a variety of ways, and you'll find them all conveniently listed in the Enter Command submenu of the Search menu. One simple way to ...

Using ff in the Range Command

March 15, 2011 - David Lang — You would think that having seen Accordance developed since 1.0, having written and narrated the first Accordance training videos (in the days before Dr. J's excellent podcasts), and having taught more Accordance seminars than I can count, I would know everything there is to know about Accordance. But Accordance is so deep and powerful that I still discover things I never realized it was capable of. Such was the case this morning when I read this post to our user forums: I know I can search for a set of verses by typing in the r ...

What's in a Name?

March 14, 2011 - David Lang — So often we use Accordance for in depth Bible study, academic research, or to find the answers to theological questions. But you never know when it will be of use in meeting far more simple needs. While in Israel, I had the opportunity to order necklaces for my wife and two daughters showing their names in Hebrew letters. Most tourists simply spell out a name in English and the craftsman substitutes roughly equivalent Hebrew characters, but I wanted them to have real Hebrew names where possible. That would have been easy if their names ...

Eyes Tired?

March 11, 2011 - David Lang — In this series of posts, I'm offering some simple tips to make your Bible study easier. Here's one you'll find helpful at the end of the day: Option-click to resize all panes in a window. It's the end of a long day, and your eyes are getting tired. You have a window with five panes open and you want to bump the text size up for easier reading. You know you can increase the text size of each pane by clicking the large "A" above it, but how can you increase the text in all panes at one time? Simply option-click the large "A" above ...

Why Didn't I Think of That?

March 10, 2011 - David Lang — In yesterday's post, I talked about how our Bible Lands PhotoGuide (currently on sale) could be loaded on an iPad or iPhone and used as a tourist guidebook on steroids. It was Tim Jenney, known to most of you know as Dr. J, who first hit upon this idea as we began touring the ruins of ancient Chorazin. He observed that we had all been consulting the PhotoGuide on our iOS devices, much as one might thumb through a tourist guidebook. It was a simple observation that got us all thinking about the PhotoGuide in a whole new way. That's just ...

A Tourist Guidebook on Steroids

March 09, 2011 - David Lang — When we first developed the Bible Lands PhotoGuide, we envisioned it as a reference work and teaching tool. If Accordance users wanted to find out more about a site, they could look it up in the PhotoGuide and get an in depth description and photos with detailed captions. If they wanted to put together a slide presentation, they could do so simply by dragging the image thumbnails onto a Keynote drop-zone. With the advent of the iPad, we've discovered a new use for the PhotoGuide: as a tourist guidebook. If you travel in Israel, Turkey, ...

In Israel with Accordance on my iPad

March 08, 2011 - David Lang — As I mentioned a little over a week ago, my wife and I are currently touring Israel with some other members of the Accordance team. I've already described how I created custom maps of each day's itinerary to help my kids follow along with where we'll be each day. The maps include representative images from each site, together with a list of Scripture references. I printed each of those maps out and taped them to a wall in our home. As soon as I finished those maps, I realized I would like to have quick access to them myself. So in ...

Join Me in Jersey, Not Far From Philly

March 07, 2011 - David Lang — A week after I get back from Israel, I'll be heading up to Palmyra, New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to teach an all-day Accordance training seminar. It will be held at the Central Baptist Church of Palmyra, and you can find all the details, including how to register, here. In addition to being an enthusiastic Accordance user, Wes Allen, the pastor of that church, teaches a method of using visuals in sermons which he calls "sermon painting." Wes was kind enough to let me use him as an example of effective ...

Command-D to Duplicate

March 04, 2011 - David Lang — Here's another quick Accordance tip that can save you a lot of time: Need to Modify an existing search? Duplicate your search window. Let's say you're doing your sermon prep and you have your workspace all set up the way you need it, when you get an emergency call from a member of your congregation seeking counsel. You want to look up a passage you think he'll find encouraging, but you don't want to lose your existing sermon prep setup. Simply use command-D to duplicate your search window and then look up the passage in the new ...

Can't Go To? Use the Context Slider

March 03, 2011 - David Lang — Accordance power users know there are lots of little tricks, shortcuts, and niceties which make studying the Bible quick and effective. In this series of posts, I'm offering some simple tips which can save you time and effort. Here's another one: Can't Go To? Use the Context Slider. In yesterday's post, I showed how you can hit Tab twice to select the contents of the Go To box so you can enter a verse reference (in a Text) or article (in a Tool) to navigate there quickly. As I explained yesterday, the Go To box is a navigational ...

Hit Tab Twice to Go To

March 02, 2011 - David Lang — In this series of posts, I'm offering some simple tips which will help streamline your Bible study. Here's another one: Hit Tab twice to Go To. In the past two posts, I've discussed how hitting the Tab key automatically selects the contents of the argument entry box. Using this shortcut lets you immediately type a new search argument or open a Construct window and have it automatically linked to your Search window. Hitting the Tab key twice selects the contents of the Go To box at the bottom of the window, enabling you to ...

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