March 2010

Cupertino Seminar and BibleTech Conference

March 31, 2010 - David Lang — Last week I traveled to San Jose, California to teach an Accordance training seminar and speak at the BibleTech Conference hosted by Logos Research Systems. The training seminar was hosted by Peninsula Bible Church of Cupertino, which is about a five minute walk from Apple headquarters. We had a very large group of attendees, many of whom were experienced Accordance users who kept me on my toes with questions. While I'm always happy to answer questions and adapt what I cover accordingly, I sometimes worry that if I change things up too much ...

The Holman CSB, Updated and Enhanced with Key Number Tagging

March 29, 2010 - Rick Bennett — Over the weekend we released the newest key number tagged-text in our arsenal, the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSBS). With this release, we now offer seven key number texts; the greatest number offered by any Bible software company. The HCSBS key number tagging was completed by its publisher, but optimized for use within Accordance to take advantage of Key Number highlighting with original language texts, and amplification to our dictionaries via triple-clicking. This text reflects the most recent revisions made by the translation ...

Word Clusters in Hebrew

March 22, 2010 - David Lang — Last week I showed how you could develop a construct search to find clusters of words. I then explained how that differs from using the INFER command, which is focused more narrowly on finding similar phrases. I also told of a support call in which this word cluster search had been just the thing a scholar had needed for his research. In his dissertation, this scholar had noted a pattern in which certain words are used at the beginning and end of a literary unit, a literary technique known as an inclusio. He had apparently found this by ...

A Greek Professor's Bible Software Exercise

March 19, 2010 - David Lang — I know I promised yesterday to continue my story about helping a scholar search for word clusters in Hebrew, but something has come up to cause me to interrupt that story. Recently, Professor Mark Hoffman of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg posted an exercise designed to teach his Greek students to accomplish certain searches in a Windows Bible program. He also issued a call for someone to show how the same things could be accomplished using Accordance. This post is meant to answer that call, as well as to be of help to other ...

Word Clusters vs. Inferences

March 18, 2010 - David Lang — Last week our main tech support guy (yes, that's singular!) asked me to contact a scholar who had called in with questions about using the INFER command. When I called, this scholar explained that he had purchased Accordance hoping to use the INFER command for his dissertation, but that he had been unable to get it to do what he wanted. He had ended up doing searches for individual words to finish his dissertation, but still wanted to be able to use the INFER command in his teaching and research. I gave him a basic tutorial on the use of the ...

Searching for Word Clusters, Part 2

March 16, 2010 - David Lang — In yesterday's post, I showed how you could use the Construct window to search for clusters of words which are found together. This is the Construct we came up with: This Construct looks for two occurrences of any of five key words taken from Exodus 34:6. These two occurrences must be within twenty words of each other, and must be different words. In other words, we don't want to find instances where one of these words is repeated twice, but where any two of these words are found together. We can extend this search further by specifying ...

Searching for Word Clusters

March 15, 2010 - David Lang — Last week someone posted an interesting question on our user forums. He referenced Exodus 34:6, which describes the LORD as "compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth." He then asked if there was a way to search for other places where those words or phrases are found together. I suggested he use the Construct window to create this search. To open a Construct window, start with a regular search window, click the Words button, and hit the tab key to select the entire search argument. Now go to ...

Just Released: Concise Dictionary of Classical Hebrew

March 12, 2010 - David Lang — We've had so many new module releases and program updates lately that I'm struggling to keep up with them all. Last week we released David Clines' Concise Dictionary of Classical Hebrew. Most Hebrew lexicons confine themselves to the vocabulary of the Hebrew Bible. The eight-volume Dictionary of Classical Hebrew is the first Hebrew lexicon to include all the words found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Hebrew inscriptions, Ben Sira, and other ancient Hebrew texts. The unabridged Dictionary of Classical Hebrew is still in the process of being ...

Just Released: Tyndale Commentaries

March 11, 2010 - David Lang — We're pleased to announce that the Tyndale Commentaries on the Old and New Testaments are now available for Accordance. Containing the equivalent of 49 print volumes of commentary on every book of the Bible, the Tyndale Commentaries were written by such notable evangelical scholars as Derek Kidner, Leon Morris, Bruce Waltke, F. F. Bruce, Wayne Grudem, John Stott, and N.T. Wright. The aim of the series is to help explain the meaning of the text and address major questions of interpretation without getting bogged down in technical minutiae....

Accordance 8.4.4 Offers Improved Dictionary Lookup, More

March 10, 2010 - David Lang — Accordance 8.4.4, a free update for users of Accordance 8, is now available for download. As with all such updates, 8.4.4 fixes a number of obscure bugs you likely didn't know existed, and includes several useful enhancements. These include: improved dictionary lookup when you hold down the command key and hover over a word to see its definition in the instant details box holding the shift key while triple-clicking a word in a key numbered text will now look up the English word in an English Tool rather than looking up the Key number in a ...

Just Released: Comfort NT Text and Translation Commentary

March 09, 2010 - David Lang — Ever run across a New Testament textual variant and wonder how in the world you're supposed to evaluate or understand it? You might have run across a footnote in your English Bible which indicates that "some manuscripts" have a different reading. Or you could be reading a commentary that suddenly launches into a discussion of a possible "homoeoteleuton" or perhaps a "harmonization" with a parallel passage. If you're not a specialist, how are you to understand these kinds of discussions and how do they make a difference in your exegesis of a ...

Inaugural Accordance Users Conference

March 08, 2010 - David Lang — When I was in college, I took three semesters of Russian. My first two semesters were taught by a Russian woman who had immigrated to the United States. It was great to learn from a native speaker and hear the language spoken without any non-native accent, but there were also things this native speaker had a hard time conveying. Russian has a vowel sound which is very difficult for non-native speakers to pronounce. When we would try to pronounce it, she would correct our poor pronunciation by saying it the way it is supposed to sound. To her, ...

On Being Accessible

March 05, 2010 - David Lang — Last night, I took my family to the local mall. My wife's stated goal was the children's clothing store, which meant that we had to pass by Bath & Body Works. As we passed through the perfumed atmosphere outside the entrance to the store, my sons and I continued our march toward the stated goal, only to realize that my wife and daughters were no longer with us. They had followed the siren smells into the girly-lotion store. Since my sons and I had no interest in Bath & Body Works, it was decided that we would proceed with the baby to the ...

Beloved, Let us Examine the Vocative

March 04, 2010 - David Lang — This morning I read the last chapter of 2 Peter, and I was struck by the fact that the author repeatedly addresses his readers as "Dear friends" (HCSB). Curious about which Greek word is being translated here, I opened a pane containing the ESVS (English Standard Version with Strong's numbers) and could see right away that it is αγαπητος, "beloved." This got me wondering if the various authors of New Testament epistles addressed their readers differently. Since Greek has a special case for words of address—the vocative—I simply ...

Appreciating the Parallelism of Hebrew Poetry

March 03, 2010 - David Lang — I have always been fascinated by the parallelism which characterizes Hebrew poetry. I remember taking a seminary course in which I learned about the various kinds of Hebrew parallelism and realized that it is far more than just saying the same thing twice. Last night, my oldest daughter helped reawaken that fascination. As we were about to conclude our family devotions, Bethany asked if she could read a passage from Proverbs that she had discovered earlier that day. It was Proverbs 6:16-19, which lists "Six things the LORD hates" and "seven" ...