January 2010 — December 2010

It's in the Bible, so I Guess It's Important

November 08, 2010 - David Lang — Anyone who has ever tried to read through the entire Bible has inevitably found it to be an uneven experience. Some portions, like the Old Testament narratives or the Gospels and Acts are engaging, easy to read, and thoroughly entertaining. Other portions, like the New Testament epistles, Psalms, and Proverbs, are rich in theological discussion, inspirational poetry, and practical wisdom. But then there are those portions which are difficult to read and hard to get excited about: the genealogies in Genesis and Chronicles, the intricate plans ...

From Accordance to Accordance: The Sacred Bridge Comes Full Circle

November 05, 2010 - David Lang — Yesterday we announced the release of thirteen new Atlases and books of historical geography from Carta. The centerpiece of that collection is without doubt The Sacred Bridge: Carta’s Atlas of the Biblical World. Flip through a few pages of the print version and it immediately becomes apparent that The Sacred Bridge is like no other Bible Atlas ever produced. Most Bible Atlases are aimed at the every-day student of the Bible who merely wants some basic background information. They tend to be long on colorful images and maps but relatively ...

The Carta Collection: Better to See Once Than to Hear 100 Times

November 04, 2010 - David Lang — When former American president Ronald Reagan visited Moscow at the close of the Cold War, Mikhail Gorbachev greeted him with the words of a Russian proverb: "It is better to see once than to hear 100 times." In the Bible, we hear repeatedly about people, places, and practices which are foreign and unfamiliar to us. The Bible may describe the course of a battle by mentioning a few place names, but unless we are familiar with the terrain we cannot understand who held the high ground or whether the attack consisted of a frontal assault or ...

Swish, Swish, Swish! Z is for Zondervan

October 28, 2010 - David Lang — When I was a kid, I loved watching old black-and-white episodes of Zorro, the swashbuckling hero of Spanish California. After foiling some plan of the corrupt Spanish governor or defeating outlaws of every conceivable stripe, Zorro would carve the letter Z into a nearby wall or tree or—most satisfying of all—into the clothing of his now disarmed and cowering enemy. The mark of Zorro struck fear into the heart of bullies and brigands while promising freedom and justice to the people. In the (hopefully!) less violent world of Biblical ...

Don't Look Now, But This is Our "Quiet" Season

October 26, 2010 - David Lang — Every November, we exhibit Accordance at the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). We typically unveil a whole host of new scholarly resources at those shows, which means we're working feverishly throughout the month of October to pull all those releases together. Yet while the months leading up to November are generally frantic periods of development, we typically don't release a lot of new modules during that time. From your perspective, this time of year could be regarded ...

Soar on the Wings of My JBL-batross

October 22, 2010 - David Lang — The albatross is among the largest of flying birds, capable of soaring across vast expanses of ocean. But thanks to Coleridge's famous Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the albatross has also become symbolic of heavy burdens which are difficult to escape. In that poem, an albatross begins following a ship across the sea—an event regarded by mariners as a good omen. But the poem's main character shoots the albatross with a crossbow, and the ship's good fortune dies with the hapless bird. In an attempt to atone for what they believe to be a curse ...

Accordance 9: Revamped Search All

October 21, 2010 - David Lang — Accordance has always offered lightning fast searches and incredibly convenient ways to interact with your search results . . . with one notable exception. The Search All window let you search every module in your library at once, but it didn't exactly break any speed records. What's more, it showed you where the results were found, but you still had to open each resource separately to examine the results. That approach was okay when the Search All feature made its debut in Accordance 3, but now Accordance offers hundreds of modules containing ...

The Greek Grammarians' Choice?

October 19, 2010 - David Lang — Yesterday I was in a bookstore looking for the companion workbook to William Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek. I found what I was looking for in a stack of Greek grammars, readers, and interlinears. As I looked through this stack of books, I was immediately struck by the fact that the vast majority of them—roughly 80%!—were written by Accordance users. Most of these authors actually mention Accordance in the acknowledgements and describe it as indispensable to their work. Among the books I was looking through were the most popular ...

Accordance 9: Limiting the Number of Zones

October 14, 2010 - David Lang — In my previous two posts I've discussed the new zones feature of Accordance 9. Zones lets you open different kinds of Accordance resources in different areas of your workspace. But what if you find the proliferation of zones to be a little too much? On a 27-inch iMac screen, you can view a half-dozen or more zones quite comfortably. But on a thirteen-inch MacBook screen, too many zones can quickly become unwieldy. That's why we let you limit the number of zones which Accordance can open. If you go to Preferences, the first item in the ...

Accordance 9: Hone Your Zones

October 13, 2010 - David Lang — Yesterday I described the new Zones feature of Accordance 9. Zones are areas of a workspace which can each contain multiple tabs. You might have a zone with tabs containing Bible texts, another zone with tabs containing dictionaries, and a third with tabs containing commentaries. Or you might divide your resources among zones completely differently. Zones are designed to let you work however you like. Today I want to explain how new zones are created and how Accordance attempts to guess which zone you're going to want a new resource to ...

Accordance 9: Bible Study "in the Zone"

October 12, 2010 - David Lang — Yesterday I was at the library of the local seminary doing final checks on a major new Accordance module. I removed twenty-six thick volumes from the shelves and spread them across the table in order. As I found errors I needed to check against the print copies, I would locate each volume in turn, returning it to its place when I was done. That way, I could easily find that volume the next time I needed it. Of course, no process of study is ever that neat and linear, so despite my best intentions, I soon had several open volumes spread ...

Accordance 9: Search Window Changes

October 08, 2010 - David Lang — One aspect of the Accordance interface which is most changed in Accordance 9 is the Search window. We rearranged things a bit to save on screen real estate and to make certain features easier to access. Here are a few of the changes that were made. First, we got rid of the More options section of the window and made the controls it contained more accessible. For example, the search field and range pop-ups, which only apply when searching by words, now appear to the right of the Words/Verses buttons when Words is selected. When Verses is ...

Seminary Survival Video Contest Winners

October 06, 2010 - David Lang — A while back I blogged about the Friday night dinner at which we gave the sales staff a in-depth demonstration of Accordance 9. What I didn't tell you in that previous post was that we also took the opportunity to vote for the winners of our Seminary Survival Video Contest. We're now ready to announce the winners and show you their work. Our runner-up was Kris Litman-Koon's The Accor-Dance, a spoof of The Safety Dance by Men Without Hats. That was my favorite song when I was in the sixth grade, which I'm afraid doesn't say much for my ...

Accordance 9: What You See and What You Don't

October 05, 2010 - David Lang — Okay, so Accordance 9 was released two full weeks ago and I have yet to describe the new features in detail. Frankly, I've been too busy attending the users' conference and teaching training seminars to talk up Accordance 9 properly. What's more, our sales staff have been so overwhelmed just trying to keep up with all the orders that I've been a little hesitant to promote Accordance 9 any more than we already have. I'm afraid things haven't really let up for them, but if I don't talk up the features of 9.0 soon, I'm afraid I might lose my ...

Is Bible Software Primarily About the Library?

October 04, 2010 - David Lang — In preparation for a comparative review, a Mac reviewer recently asked users of another Bible program how they thought it compares with Accordance. The answers were all interesting, but one of the more notable responses came from one of that developer's former marketing employees. He wrote, in part, that "both programs are, in essence, about accessing information in a library." He then went on to say that because the other program has a larger overall library, it is the better Bible software choice. He continued: "That's a big point for those ...

Reflections on the Users' Conference

September 29, 2010 - David Lang — The Inaugural Accordance Users' Conference is now over, and like the other attendees, I'm still trying to process all the cool things I learned and experienced. First, let me apologize that my live-blogging of the conference ended after the first two sessions. As I was doing it I found myself thinking, "I didn't take this many notes in seminary!" Beyond that, the sessions were all so interesting I didn't want to miss anything while trying to blog about them. My spotty reporting aside, those who were interested in what was going on were ...

Live-Blogging the Users' Conference

September 24, 2010 - David Lang — I don't do much live blogging, but I'm going to give it a try while at the inaugural Accordance Users' Conference. Check back here throughout the day for brief updates. Note: You may need to hit the refresh button to see the latest comments. We're in the introductory session right now. We've got a great crowd. Our company president is introducing each of the Accordance staff members. Getting the Most Out of Accordance Commentaries In Greg Ward's session on "Getting the Most Out of Accordance Commentaries." He started working with ...

Users' Conference Starts Tomorrow

September 23, 2010 - David Lang — The Accordance team has arrived safely in Mesquite, Texas and is making final preparations for the Accordance Users' Conference. If you're in the area, you can still register at the door to attend one or both days. Attendees will get a jump start on learning to use all the new enhancements in Accordance 9, and will be among the first to see the upcoming Accordance app for iOS. It's not finished yet, but it's really shaping up and we're excited to show it off. Whether you're able to attend or just interested to know what's going on, we've ...

Attend One Day, Pay for One Day

September 21, 2010 - David Lang — Want to come to the Accordance Users Conference but can't commit to both days? I've got great news for you. You can now register to attend one day at half the full registration price. And since Saturday is a shorter day, registering to attend Saturday also entitles you to attend Dan Wallace's plenary session and the open discussion time on Friday evening. To take advantage of this single day registration offer, simply register at the door Friday morning (for all day Friday), Friday evening (for that evening and all day Saturday), or Saturday ...

Accordance 9 is Here!

September 21, 2010 - David Lang — Accordance 9 is here! If you're already convinced you need it, stop reading this blog post right now and go get it. If you'd like to see Accordance 9 in action, stop reading this blog post right now and watch Dr. J's excellent video demo at the bottom of this page. If you need to have all the new features and improvements of Accordance 9 spelled out for you, stop reading this blog post right now and check out the list of new features. If you want more detail about why Accordance 9 is the best Bible study software ever, watch for future ...

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