Accordance Blog
Jun 25, 2016 Timothy Jenney

Scripture to Sermon Part 1 (Lighting the Lamp Video Podcast #143)

Many pastors struggle to create sermons from scratch, with moving from a passage of Scripture to a finished sermon. In this podcast Dr. J details the entire process, step-by-step, showing the decisions that one must make, the points at which prayer and reflection are especially important, and how to integrate Accordance effectively into one’s workflow.

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Jun 24, 2016 Richard Mansfield

Accordance Adventures in Hong Kong

Earlier this week, we began our month-long Accordance Tour of Asia. Over the next four weeks, we are making multiple presentations in Hong Kong, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan. I am giving various Accordance seminars in these areas along with my trusty sidekick, Ryan Mudge who offers sales and support.

Hong Kong Seminar

Above: Accordance Training Seminar at Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary

Our first stop was Hong Kong. On Monday of this week, we held an all-day Accordance Training Seminar at Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary. Anyone from the area could attend, and it was exciting to interact with pastors, students, professors and others who joined us. Monday’s seminar coincided with the Accordance release of a traditional and simplified version of the Chinese Union Version tagged with Strong’s Key Numbers.

CUV w/Strong's

Click/tap the above image for a closer look at both Traditional and Simplified versions of the Chinese Union Version with Strong's Numbers in parallel with the Hebrew Bible.

In the days prior to the seminar, I wasn’t certain how much I could demonstrate with what we’ve been calling “Chinese Strong’s.” Since I don’t speak Chinese--let alone read or write it--I figured that I’d show it off at the beginning of the seminar and perhaps refer back to it now and then. However, early on, I realized that because there were Strong’s numbers in the CUV text, there was actually quite a lot I could demonstrate, including Key Number Searches and resulting Analysis Charts and Graphs.

We had a bit more free time in Hong Kong than we will have at our future stops, so we took advantage of our opportunities to see some local sites. Ryan and I went off the beaten path and ventured into what is called a “wet market.” Here we found lots of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as all kinds of seafood and other meats—some more exotic than others! The fish were still flopping, and frogs were attempting (unsuccessfully) to hop out of their final caged confines. Death row crabs were thoroughly bound to keep them from harming their human captors. Shoppers would make their selections while the workers scaled and cleaned the fish right on the spot. You simply can’t get fish any fresher than that!

Friends in Hong Kong

New friends in Hong Kong (from left to right):
Edmund, Ryan, Me, Amy & Jimmy in front of Victoria Bay and the city of Hong Kong.

On Tuesday night, we traveled with some new local friends to the Victoria Peak Tram Station that overlooks downtown Hong Kong and Victoria Bay. From this vantage point, we got an even better idea of how immense—and beautiful—this city really is! After dinner, we gazed out on the city at night, all lit up like millions of stars misplaced from their assigned heavenly positions.

Hong Kong at Night

The nighttime Hong Kong skyline as seen from the top of Mt. Victoria.

We had a wonderful time in Hong Kong. The people there were so gracious and hospitable. As I write this, Ryan and I have left Hong Kong and are on a Philippine Airlines flight headed for Manila. We look forward to new adventures and friends that await us there.


 

Jun 21, 2016 Accordance Bible Software

Kick Off Summer with Hot Deals

Kick Off Summer

1-Week Only -- Huge Discounts on Popular Works!

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Summer’s here! It’s time to take a break and kick back. When you make out your checklist before you head to the beach (or wherever you plan to vacation), don’t forget Accordance! Maybe enjoying God’s creation while sitting under a beach umbrella with Accordance Mobile on your favorite tablet will prove to be your most productive study time of the year. Summer may bring the heat, but it will also bring the Hot Deals on popular titles for the Accordance Digital Library. Check out the incredible offers we have for you below!

Sale prices listed below are good through June 27, 2016 (11:59pm EDT) and cannot be combined with any other discounts.


UB Commentary_OT_NT Scorching 80% Off!
Understanding the Bible Commentary
(36 volumes)

Get this exceptional commentary on the entire Bible now for ONLY $99

Each volume in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series breaks down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers. They present a careful section-by-section exposition of the biblical books with key terms and phrases highlighted and all Greek transliterated. Notes at the close of each chapter provide additional textual and technical comments for those who want to dig deeper. Pastors, students, and Bible teachers will find in this series a commitment to accessibility without sacrificing serious scholarship.

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Regular Price $449; Hot Sale Price $99


Bible Speaks Today-NT HOT $49.90 Special
Bible Speaks Today: New Testament
(22 Volumes)

The Bible Speaks Today series has been widely acclaimed for its accurate exposition, contemporary relevance, and readability. The module includes all 22 best-selling New Testament volumes with their helpful study guides. All who preach and teach the Word of God, or who study it earnestly, will benefit from these superb studies. This series of commentaries is characterized by what Stott calls a “threefold ideal...to expound the biblical text with accuracy, to relate it to contemporary life and to be readable.”

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50% Off Bible Study Collection Sizzling 50% Savings
Accordance 11 Bible Study Collection!

Back for the start of summer! A Premier Bible Software platform for Mac, Windows, and iOS mobile devices. An amazing digital library you can take anywhere to use anytime -- Valued at over $4500 -- all at a remarkable price of just $99!

Church and ministry teams including staff and volunteers, Sunday school teachers, Bible study leaders, those who participate in regular studies, or any members who want to dig deeper into the Scriptures using their computers or iOS mobile devices will appreciate this outstanding offer.

This collection is robust and offers a wealth of resources with links to the original Greek and Hebrew words of the biblical texts.

  • 31 English and Foreign Bibles including ESV, NIV, HCSB, NKJV, NASB, and KJV -- many with Strong's Numbers
  • 19 Commentaries including IVP New Bible Commentary, Bible Knowledge Commentary, and Tyndale Commentary Series (49 volumes -- list price $788)
  • Over 100 Additional Resources from Dictionaries to Devotionals including The Life Application Study Bible, Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, Greek and Hebrew Key Dictionaries, and more
  • Extra Bonus: BiblicalTraining.org and Accordance have partnered to offer great classes taught by world-class Bible instructors. The purpose of BiblicalTraining.org is to equip believers by creating and distributing world-class educational resources for discipleship

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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

General Editor: James Orr

Text of 1915 version published by Howard-Severance Co

Almost 10,000 entries in the illustrated encyclopedia cover every significant Bible subject, person, and place, along with the major doctrines of the Bible and the important details of Bible history, biography, customs, literature, art, and more. Nearly 200 internationally-distinguished scholars contributed to this classic reference tool.

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On Fire!
Full Life Study Bible Notes & Student Fire Bible Edition

FireBible-cover-sm Fire Bible: Notes of the Full Life Study Bible

The Fire Bible is the name for the international language editions of the Full Life Study Bible, one of the few Pentecostal Study Bibles that exist today.

This Bible has often been referred to as a one-book Pentecostal library. It contains 77 theme articles, a subject index, 45 maps and charts, introductions to each book of the Bible, and Pentecostal study notes.

Note: While this module does not contain the biblical text, it is formatted to run in parallel with any Accordance Bible translation.

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FireBibleStudentEdition_120 Fire Bible Student Edition Notes

The Fire Bible: Student Edition (FBSE) is a study Bible based on the original notes in The Full Life Study Bible and is a prime resource for campus missionaries. With the added tool of the Campus Missions Connections module, the FBSE can help users develop an intentional strategy to impact others for Christ at school, work, home, and anywhere within their sphere of influence. The Campus Missions strategy involves five key disciplines (pray, live, serve, tell, and give) with commentary provided throughout the module that links scripture to practical application of those disciplines.

Note: This module does not include the biblical text of the printed version, however, it is formatted to run in parallel with any Accordance translation.

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Jun 13, 2016 David Lang

Of Apes and Ethics

THE AGE IN WHICH WE LIVE

We seem to live in an age of moral outrage—at least judging from the amount of moralizing we see on our social media feeds. It seems that every day I see a new outrage-du-jour: a politician says something foolish, political demonstrators behave badly, a rapist gets a scandalously light sentence, or an endangered gorilla is shot to protect the life of a child who climbed into its zoo enclosure. Each source of outrage then gets debated in staccato 140-character bursts. In the case of Harambe, the aforementioned gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, I saw people second-guessing the zoo's decision to kill rather than tranquilize the gorilla, demanding "justice for Harambe," publicly crucifying the child's parents for their lack of supervision, and offering their own analysis of whether or not the child was really in danger. Everyone seemed to have an opinion about what was fundamentally an ethical question: namely, when a choice must be made between a human or animal life, which should we choose?

On the one hand, it seems odd that there should be so much moral outrage in a culture which is drifting away from the traditional "Judeo-Christian ethic" which was once its generally agreed upon standard of morality. How can there be such moral outrage when moral standards are in such a state of flux? Then again, perhaps it is precisely this lack of ethical common ground which has people shouting at each other in order to be heard. Combine that with the fact that social media now gives us all a ready platform for disseminating our various ethical viewpoints, and the current level of cacophony becomes easier to understand.

THE NEED FOR A COMMON LANGUAGE

When two people speak different languages, each is tempted to speak loudly in his own language in the hope that the other will somehow understand what is being said. Yet it is only when they begin to speak a common language that meaningful communication becomes possible. In the same way, if we are to have less moral outrage and more meaningful ethical discussion, we need to learn to understand the ethical "language" being spoken.

Dict of Scripture & Ethics cover w/drop shadow This is where a new Accordance resource, The Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics can prove extremely helpful. This dictionary "aims to provide a map that will locate and orient conversations about the relation of Scripture and ethics." It does this by offering introductory essays on "ethics within Scripture, historical perspectives on the place of Scripture in moral theology, and methodological issues concerning the relevance of Scripture to contemporary moral theology" (Introduction, p. 2). These foundational articles are then followed by an alphabetical listing of articles on various ethical topics.

APPLICATION TO CURRENT EVENTS

Looking for perspective into the ethical controversy surrounding the killing of Harambe, I decided to consult this dictionary's article on "Animals." The discussion I found there began with a critique of an "anthropocentric" approach to Scripture which the author traced back to "Western European Enlightenment rationality":

In place of the classic scriptural nexus "Creator/creatures/creation," then, modern Western Christians think in terms of the categorically different nexus of "God/humans/animals/nature."

As I read this critique, I found myself questioning the author's interpretive lens. At times it seemed he had simply swapped an anti-anthropocentric lens for an anthropocentric one. Nevertheless, his critique did lead me to question how much I read Scripture through an anthropocentric lens and gloss over passages which affirm the common creatureliness of animals and humans.

The author went on to survey three "non-anthropocentric" approaches to interpreting the Bible, which was also helpful in understanding the perspectives of those who are most troubled by the zoo's decision to kill a gorilla to save a child.

While I found the "Animals" article helpful, I was surprised that it featured almost no discussion of the Scriptural teaching that mankind was created in the "image of God." So I turned to the "Image of God" article, which was longer and more comprehensive than the article on animals. Once again, I found that the author of this article seemed to be using an interpretive lens that is different than my own. Yet again, that was a good thing. I didn't necessarily agree with the conclusions he came to from his survey of the relevant biblical texts, but I did feel that he had challenged some of my assumptions and given me further food for thought.

Dict of Scripture & Ethics screenshot
Click/tap on the image above for a larger view of The Dictionary of Scripture & Ethics

A HELPFUL AND CHALLENGING REFERENCE WORK

The articles in the Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics helped me think about the implications of various biblical texts for a specific ethical dilemma, while challenging me to identify and question my own interpretive assumptions. In short, they helped me become conversant in other interpretive and ethical "languages." Any time I do that, I become less likely to shout my own ethical viewpoints at those who aren't even speaking my language. In a pluralistic society where ethical norms are in a state of flux, that is a very helpful corrective.

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Regular Price $54.90


 

Jun 10, 2016 Timothy Jenney

Introducing Construct Searches (Lighting the Lamp Video Podcast #142)

Construct Searches are a unique, Accordance-exclusive graphical interface for complex searches. Once we understand the concept, they are actually easier to use than regular searches! In podcast, Dr. J introduces this feature for those interested in searching Bibles and texts, including Greek and Hebrew grammatically-tagged texts. [Accordance 11.2: Intermediate]

See more episodes of Lighting the Lamp on our Podcast Page!


 

Jun 6, 2016 Richard Mansfield

NEW! (Relatively Speaking) The Living Bible

The Living Bible If you’re old enough, you remember the unmistakable dark green padded hardcovers of the Living Bible. My father had one; my grandmother had one, too. For a generation or so, they seemed to be everywhere; and they were distinctive when read aloud back in a day that was still dominated by the King James Version. Long-requested by our users, we’re pleased to announce the Living Bible available for the Accordance Library beginning today. It's about time!

The Living Bible was the brainchild of Kenneth Taylor who created the paraphrase from the 1901 American Standard Version of the Bible, primarily as a means of making the Bible easier to understand to his children. The Living Bible was published in its entirety in 1971 and transformed Tyndale House into a major Christian publisher.

When I was a child, my grandmother gave me a copy of The Children’s Living Bible for Christmas, 1975. It was the same text as the Living Bible, but with occasional pictures spread throughout the volume. I carried it with me to church up until the point a buddy of mine made fun of my carrying a Bible with the word “Children” in the title. After that, I went back to the King James Version for a while.

I still remember sitting in a Sunday School class one day as we studied Romans 7:14-25. I was reading from the KJV, but frankly even my friends who had the NIV or NASB were having difficulty. Out of respect, I’d like to assume my Sunday School teacher understood the passage, but the rest of us definitely did not. By itself, the lesson was not that fruitful on that day.

However, when I got home, I pulled my copy of the Living Bible that my grandmother had given me off the shelf. I looked up the passage in Taylor’s paraphrase; and suddenly, the words of the Apostle Paul made sense to me! Feel free to compare the two versions for yourself from the screenshot below. From that point forward, I still didn’t carry my “Children’s” edition of the Living Bible with me to church, but I confess that I did often refer to it when I got home—especially for the passages that were difficult to follow.

KJV-Living Parallel

Click/tap the image above for a larger view.

The stated purpose of the Living Bible is to say as exactly as possible what the writers of the Scriptures meant and to say it simply, expanding where necessary for a clear understanding by the modern reader.

This text requires Accordance 11.2 with the new missing verse feature.

Buy Now 2 The Living Bible
$14.90

 

Photo of the Living Bible courtesy of E. L. Orren.


 

Jun 6, 2016 Richard Mansfield

NEW! The Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible

POSB Binder Available, beginning today, for the Accordance Library, the highly acclaimed Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible (44 volumes) is a comprehensive resource for expository and topical preaching!

Popularly identified simply as POSB, this well-known resource provides an extensive verse-by-verse outline and commentary of the entire Bible, organizing key points of Scripture passages in a systematic outline form, along with content synthesized from 200+ Bible commentaries, language sources, and reference works.

Each volume of the Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible contains a year’s worth of sermon material including inspirational sermon points, practical life applications, and dozens of supporting scriptures in every section! An invaluable tool not only to save time in sermon preparation, but also to inspire, encourage, and challenge us as only God’s Word can!

The Accordance edition of POSB contains separate modules for outlines and commentary. This allows both to be set side by side with one or more biblical texts in parallel panes or tab ties. An advantage over the print edition, the Accordance version of POSB has thousands of hyperlinks to Scripture and between the outlines and commentary.

POSB in Accordance
Click/tap the image above for a larger view.

Although designed primarily as a tool for the pastor in sermon preparation, POSB is also an ideal resource for anyone wanting to study the scriptures in a systematic manner. Over the years, many pastors and serious laypersons have filled their shelves with the binders or softcover editions of the Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible. These were extremely valuable to own, but no one would cart all 44 volumes down to the local coffee shop to plan next Sunday’s sermon! Now with the Accordance edition, the entire POSB series fits conveniently on a laptop, tablet, or even an iPhone for easy access. And the entire series can be searched at once—an extremely convenient means for finding every instance of a word or topic.

For a limited time, get this invaluable preaching resource at an introductory discount of 20% off the regular price.

Note: The current POSB set lacks only volume 3 of Psalms, but we expect to add it within three months at no additional charge. This will complete the set for the entire Bible.

Buy Now 2 Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible (44 Volumes)
$499


 

Jun 3, 2016 Accordance Bible Software

Free Accordance Webinars for June 6 - 8, 2016

Webinars - large Have you discovered our free interactive Accordance Webinars? Throughout the week you can participate in live Accordance training in hour-long sessions that cover just the content you need.

Here are the free Accordance webinars for the week of June 6 - 8, 2016:

Beginner's Basics Part 1: Getting Started
Monday, June 6, 1:00 - 2:00 PM EDT

Join us for this hands-on class with step-by-step instruction while working in your own Accordance program. This webinar includes tutorials in the following subjects: Using the Library; Navigating the Bible; Using the Contextual Slider; Adding Bookmarks; Adding a Parallel Bible, Commentary or Study Bible; and Creating a Group or Collection.

Taught by Linda Perry


Searching Fundamentals in Accordance
Tuesday, June 7, 4:00 - 5:00 PM EDT

Learning the fundamentals of searching Bibles and other books in your Accordance Library. This webinar will cover the following subjects: the Search Window, searching by Verses, searching by Words and Phrases, creating and using Search Ranges, working with Key Numbers, and using Stand-Alone Commands.

Taught by Mark Allison


Basic Greek Word Study and Workspace
Wednesday, June 8, 1:00 - 2:00 PM EDT

Discover the many Greek resources available for Accordance. Plus, learn how to read the Greek New Testament in Accordance, how to perform basic word study, how to save your workspace, how to search Greek at the word level, and how to use Parsing for a “Reader’s Guide” workspace.

Taught by Abram Kielsmeier-Jones


Taking part in our free Accordance Webinars is easy. Check out our Webinars page for more information or to sign up. See you online!


 

May 30, 2016 Richard Mansfield

RELEASED! Accordance 11.2 (Windows/Mac)

 

Accordance 11.2

Fire up App Update! Accordance 11.2 is here for Windows and Mac! Version 11.2 is a significant update that is free to users who have already upgraded to Accordance 11. There are over 50 new features, changes and fixes in this release! Here are a few of the major ones:

  • New "Accordance" font
  • Export of Bibliographic Data to Endnote, Zotera, Bookends and others
  • Citation of paragraph numbers for older titles without page numbers
  • Multiple Undo/Redo in text entry windows
  • Startup by Favorite Workspace
  • Unicode Search in Research
  • Visual improvements to 3D Map
  • Authors of articles are now displayed in the pane title and included in citations
  • Mac-only updates: Split View in El Capitan, Library items can be added to the toolbar, and Accordance is now fully-Cocoa, Support for OS X Dictation

For more details on the above, see our New Features in 11.2 page. For a complete list of what's new in Accordance 11.1, see our New Since 11.0 page!

Accordance users who have v. 11 already installed can launch Check for App Update from the Accordance menu on the Mac and the Utilities menu in Windows. Users of earlier versions can check Upgrade section for their options.


 

May 30, 2016 Richard Mansfield

NEW! Goldingay's The Old Testament for Everyone

Daily readings of the Bible have a long history in Jewish and Christian traditions. We even facilitate daily readings in Accordance if you want to practice this discipline digitally. Many daily reading plans of the Bible seek to have the reader complete the Scriptures in a year, and some aim for an even shorter time period. I sometimes wonder, “What’s the rush?”

Of course, there’s a difference between reading the Bible and studying the Bible. The latter takes a bit more effort and goes at a slower pace. Few will have the time to study (let alone reflect and act on) the entire Bible in a year. In the 1950s, William Barclay released a series of New Testament commentaries aimed at the “ordinary reader.” Although the series was titled The Daily Study Bible, it was not a study Bible in the sense of what we think of today. It was not a thick Bible with commentary at the bottom of the page. Rather, it would become 17 volumes of Barclay’s own translation and commentary of the New Testament, divided into short enough segments so that each could be studied in one sitting. Barclay’s work is known for its accessibility through explanation of key original language words and memorable stories and illustrations. This series is available in Accordance as The New Daily Study Bible.

OT for Everyone - JeremiahAlthough N. T. Wright never mentions Barclay or The New Daily Study Bible in his series, The New Testament for Everyone, when I saw it, reminded me immediately of the pattern: Wright’s own translation and commentary, broken into short segments, with explanations and stories aimed at the “average” modern reader. Having had the two previously mentioned series in Accordance for some time, today we are releasing the companion to Wright’s series with John Goldingay’s The Old Testament for Everyone.

Next Sunday, I am teaching on verses from 1 Samuel 1 at my church, so I was naturally interested in what Goldingay had to say about the passage in The Old Testament for Everyone. I should point out that Goldingay breaks ch. 1 into five separate readings. Remember what I said about going at a slower pace when studying the Bible as opposed to just reading it? Five days in 1 Samuel 1 is a healthy pace in my opinion.

Goldingay's Old Testament for Everyone screenshot

Click/tap the image above for a larger view of The Old Testament for Everyone.

Goldingay’s approach to Hannah’s anguish (which Goldingay described as “fretful in the sense of offended and angry”) was one that attempts to offer more empathy than either her husband Elkanah or high priest Eli gave her. Goldingay is both personal and contemporary in his approach. Of Elkanah, he comments,

So Elkanah finds himself living with permanent tension in the household and with deep depression in the soul of the woman he loved first and best. The poor man does his best to handle the situation, but we guys are clueless about understanding women. “Am I not better to you than ten sons?” Actually, Elkanah, no. Don’t apply a Band-Aid to the wound. Get her to talk about it some more.

And after Eli realizes that Hannah’s prayer at the Tabernacle is not the result of having had one too many, he knows that he has to respond to her "pastorally." Goldingay writes,

Eli desperately tries to regroup and remember what they told him in seminary about dealing with distraught and angry women, and he manages to get his act together. Various stories in the Old Testament illustrate the dynamics of prayer in this connection, and this is an example. As the word pleading suggests, when the Old Testament refers to prayer it doesn’t have in mind something like meditation or reflection, something designed to change us. Prayer is something more like the relationship of a child to its father or mother. When a child is hurt or scared, it comes to its parents to get them to do something about it, and (hopefully) they assure the child that they will. Eli knows that his job as a pastor in this connection is to bring God’s response to Hannah’s prayer.

I appreciated Goldingay’s wording above. Obviously, Eli didn’t go to seminary as in the modern sense, but using dry humor, Goldingay is making connections for the reader between the ancient world and the modern.

Each section of The Old Testament for Everyone can be studied in one sitting. The translation is Goldingay’s own. He uses the context of the commentary “to stick closer to the Hebrew than modern translations often do when they are designed for reading in church” (Genesis 1-16, “Acknowledgements”). This translation method includes using Yahweh for the divine name instead of the traditional “Lord.” This name--along with other significant words such as peace, Israel, Philistines, covenant, and many more--are hyperlinked throughout the commentary. These hyperlinks connect the reader to more detailed explanations that can be viewed easily in Instant Details or by clicking and going to that point of the text.

NOTE: Currently, the Accordance edition of The Old Testament for Everyone contains 15 volumes but lacks Lamentations-Ezekiel (vol. 16) and Daniel-Malachi (vol. 17). However, we expect to add them within three months at no additional charge, and these final installments will complete the set.

Why not begin in Genesis now (you’ll have plenty of time before getting to Lamentations!) and study your way through the Bible as opposed to simply reading through it. Studying the Bible will take you longer, but the benefits will be greater, too. Afterwards, you can transition right into N. T. Wright’s New Testament for Everyone!

Buy Now 2 The Old Testament for Everyone (17 volumes)
$199