Accordance Blog

August 2009

Negating Grammatical Characteristics

August 31, 2009 - David Lang — All last week, we saw how Accordance enables you to search grammatically-tagged original language texts without having to learn an arcane set of codes or commands. First, we saw how Accordance uses an easily understandable and transparent search syntax, so that you can just type the grammatical characteristics you want to find. Next we looked at Accordance's simplified dialog box interface which lets you choose the grammatical details you're looking for. Rather than a confusing array of checkboxes and options, Accordance presents you with a ...

Knowing When to Bend the Rules

August 28, 2009 - David Lang — As a writer, I'm something of a stickler for proper grammar, correct punctuation, and good sentence structure. However, I'm also of the opinion that the truly skillful writers know when to bend or even break the rules. A slavish adherence to rules many readers aren't even aware of can actually hinder communication, and when that happens, no one will care that you avoided dangling prepositions (like the one I used in the previous clause). The goal of good writing is effective communication, even when it means bending a few grammatical rules. ...

The Hannah Montana of Bible Software

August 27, 2009 - David Lang — Our children and the children of my wife's sister are roughly the same age, so sleepovers are usually arranged such that all the boy cousins stay at one house while the girl cousins stay at the other. This past weekend, our boys spent the night at their cousins' house while one of the girl cousins spent the night with our girls. I generally prefer to have the boys, because when we have all girls, I am forced to watch movies I might otherwise avoid. This time, it was The Hannah Montana Movie. If you're not familiar with Hannah Montana, i ...

Simplifying Greek and Hebrew Searching

August 26, 2009 - David Lang — In my previous post, I said that Accordance spares you having to learn a computer programming language in order to search grammatically-tagged Greek and Hebrew texts. That's a very good thing considering how many real human languages pastors- and scholars-in-training are expected to tackle. Accordance's search syntax is transparent and understandable even to the first semester student of Greek, something which is not necessarily true of other programs. But perhaps that's no big deal, since most programs offer some kind of simplified ...

Which Languages Should You Know?

August 24, 2009 - David Lang — As the back-to-school season begins, pastors- and scholars-in-training are embarking on the daunting task of learning new languages. Many seminary students are already taking their first courses in Biblical Greek and Hebrew, while Ph.D. students may be adding French, German, Latin, and any of a number of ancient Semitic languages. Learning the languages is important, which is why Accordance spares you the added burden of having to learn a programming language. For example, if you want to find all Greek verbs in the present tense, you ...

Interview with Helen Brown

August 21, 2009 - David Lang — Over the years, I've talked with users who told me they had called to place an order or for technical support and that they had talked with "the nicest lady with a British accent." When they tell me that, I know right away that they've dealt with Helen Brown. Helen doesn't answer phones nearly as much these days, but she still interacts extensively with Accordance customers. You may have conversed with her by email, and if you're active on our user forums, Helen's name will be immediately recognizable to you. Many users marvel at how quickly ...

Tip: Zooming in on a Map, Timeline, or Image

August 20, 2009 - David Lang — Accordance Map, Timeline, and Picture windows all include In and Out buttons so you can zoom in and out on these graphics. But there's a slicker way to zoom which you may not have discovered. If you want to zoom in on a particular region of the map, timeline, or an image, simply drag a selection rectangle around that area and then double-click inside the rectangle. The area you selected will now fill the window.

New American Commentary Now Available

August 19, 2009 - David Lang — A couple weeks ago, I announced the release of the 43-volume Hermeneia commentary. I'm very pleased to announce that we have also just released the New American Commentary (NAC) by Broadman and Holman publishers. This commentary contains 38 volumes, including two volumes previously unavailable in electronic form. NAC is written from a conservative evangelical perspective and is aimed at the pastor, teacher, and Bible student. While it deals with current interpretive debates and issues, it is not overly technical, presenting solid ...

Sneak Peek at Accordance 8.3

August 13, 2009 - David Lang — Yesterday I hinted that a new update to Accordance is coming soon. It's in beta-testing now, and the list of enhancements is extensive. Here is a sneak peek at a few of them, but I'm not going to tell you what they are. You need to look at the screenshots, compare them with the current version, and tell me in the comments what's different. Fair enough? The screenshot below shows two new features. You can't see it, but I have the mouse hovered over the first occurrence of "father" in Matthew 1:2 of the ESVS. I also have the command key ...

The Upgrade that Isn't

August 12, 2009 - — Back in 2005, a Windows Bible software developer delivered on its promise to release a Mac version of its software. Wanting to know what kind of competition this program would present to Accordance, I bought a copy and tried it out. Since that initial evaluation, this program has sat unused for years. Recently, for a writing project I've been working on, I needed to give a brief description of this software. So I launched it and tried to open one of its electronic books. Nothing happened. Somehow, in a few years time it had broken and ...

If you have any doubt

August 10, 2009 - Helen Brown — Rubén Gómez is taking a well deserved vacation, but on his Bible Software Review Blog last week he noted: I have just posted a new review of Accordance 8, an amazing piece of software that offers everything a student of the biblical texts may have hoped for, and all of it within the context of a superb user interface. Do check it out! This link should encourage you both to read the review and pass it on to any friends who are still in doubt. It also allows you to post any comments here, since you cannot comment on Rubén's ...

Bible Figure Smackdown

August 05, 2009 - David Lang — Abraham. Moses. David. Three figures from the Hebrew Bible face off in a clash of titans. Abraham asks, "Who's your daddy?" Moses promises, "I'm gonna lay down the law!" David shouts, "This is my house, and I rule!" It's a Bible figure smackdown! Who will be left standing when the dust settles? Okay, maybe I've seen one too many commercials for professional wrestling, but this Bible figure smackdown of mine is my answer to a serious question. In a recent speed comparison of Mac Bible software programs, Rick Mansfield did a ...

Rabbinics-Ancient and Modern

August 04, 2009 - Helen Brown — It's a great joy to be exhibiting at the 15th World Congress of Jewish Studies at hebrew University, Jerusalem. There are thousands of scholars from all over the world, and of course from Israel itself. We have many users among the attendees. We met a Hebrew scholar from Japan who has used Accordance since version 1 (and upgraded through the years), and an Israeli who teaches Bible in japan and bought Accordance last year. There's a lot of interest in our new Hebrew Introductory Bundle: just $119. In conjunction with the Congress, ...