Nov 26, 2014 Rick Bennett

NIV 2011 with Enhanced Goodrick-Kohlenberger Key Numbers & Phrase Tagging

Rick Bennett, Director of Content Development for Accordance Bible Software, demonstrates the unique features of the recently released NIV 2011 with Enhanced Goodrick-Kohlenberger Key Numbers & Phrase Tagging.

This video can be best viewed full-screen.


 

Apr 22, 2014 Matt Kenyon

Workspace Wednesday

We at Accordance believe that our software is so much more than just a tool to study the Bible. It's a means of community and creativity. We've created Workspace Wednesday because we want to give you a chance to show us your creative workflow in Accordance.

Watch the video to find out how you can participate:

Join us on social media to post your workspace:

FacebookIconTwitterIconGoogle+YouTube icon

How it works:

  • Take a screenshot of your workspace
  • Post the screenshot to the comments section of our Workspace Wednesday post every Wednesday
  • Hashtag the post with #work_wed
  • Eagerly await sweet victory

How to take a screenshot of your desktop:

Mac users: the keyboard shortcut ⌘Cmd+Shift+3 will take a screenshot of your screen and place the image file on your desktop. If done correctly, you should hear the sound of a camera taking a snapshot.

Windows users: the keyboard shortcut ⌘Win+PrntScrn will take a screenshot of your screen and automatically save it in the Screenshots folder within your pictures folder.

For more information on how to take screenshots with earlier versions of Windows, follow this link.

May the best workspace win!


 

Aug 12, 2013 David Lang

It Was the Serpent!

In preparing for a Sunday School class, I was reading the account in Genesis 3 of God's interrogation and sentencing of Adam, Eve, and the serpent. I've read this passage many times before and am pretty familiar with it, but the English translation I was reading helped me notice something new. After Adam lays the blame for his sin on Eve ("the woman") and even on God ("You gave to be with me"), Eve likewise blames her sin on the serpent. However, most translations render Eve's confession as a simple statement of fact: "The serpent deceived me and I ate." Thus, while Adam comes across like a cornered child defensively casting about for a scapegoat, Eve seems more calm and up front about her sin. That is, until you read the HCSB's rendering: "It was the serpent. He deceived me, and I ate." It's not a huge difference, but by splitting Eve's statement into two sentences, the first of which simply points the finger at the serpent, the HCSB makes Eve's response sound closer in tone to that of Adam.

Because I was so used to the typical rendering of this verse, the HCSB's rendering caught me by surprise and led me to ask, "Is that really what the Hebrew says?"

By the way, this is why it is always helpful to use a variety of translations when studying a familiar passage. When a translation departs from what you're used to, it can expose you to nuances in the text you may have missed before. At the very least, it may prompt you to dig deeper.

For me, digging deeper meant opening the Hebrew text in a parallel pane and examining Eve's response. Cross-highlighting between my English Bible with Strong's Numbers and the tagged Hebrew made identifying the corresponding Hebrew words incredibly easy.

Serpent1

The Hebrew simply has the noun "the serpent" followed by the verb "deceived" with the direct object "me", which would seem to justify the typical translation of "The serpent deceived me." How then, I wondered, could the HCSB justify rendering this simple sentence as two sentences? Were the translators taking liberties with the text?

Then I remembered that in Hebrew, the subject typically follows the verb. In cases like this, where the subject comes before the verb, the subject is generally being emphasized in some way. So the HCSB is not taking liberties with the text, but is bringing out a subtle nuance of the Hebrew which typically gets lost in translation: Eve's emphatic pointing to the serpent as the one to blame.

Now, that naturally got me wondering where else the subject appears before the verb in the Hebrew Bible. In my next post, I'll show you how to use the Construct window to find other occurrences of that construction.


 

Jul 22, 2013 David Lang

Using the MT-LXX Parallel, Part 2

In a previous post, I introduced you to the MT-LXX Parallel, a specialized Reference tool which offers a word-by-word comparison of the Hebrew Bible and the Greek Septuagint. In that post, I showed how to use the MERGE command to piggyback off a search of the tagged Hebrew Bible and tagged Greek Septuagint. This allowed us to search the Hebrew Bible for every occurrence of the lexical form tselem ("image")—no matter what its inflected form—and to see those results displayed in the MT-LXX parallel. We then searched the tagged Septuagint for every occurrence of the Greek lexical form eikon, and used the MERGE command with the MT-LXX parallel to find every place the LXX translates the Hebrew word tselem by some form of the word eikon. The result of that search looked like this:

MTLXXHowTo7

Now, to explore each of these results in context, I can click the Mark arrows at the bottom of the MT-LXX to jump from one hit to the next. But wouldn't it be quicker if we could just scan the relevant lines of the MT-LXX without having to wade past all the other words? Of course it would! Fortunately, this can easily be done by going to the Gear menu at the top left of the pane containing the MT-LXX and choosing Add Titles from the Show Text As… submenu.

MTLXXHowTo8

The result looks like this:

MTLXXHowTo9

Now, to understand what just happened, let's review what the Show Text As… submenu does. When you do a search in a Tool module, Accordance defaults to showing your search results in the context of the entire tool. This is the All Text setting in the Show Text As… submenu. You can, however, choose to show only those Articles or Paragraphs which contain a hit. In the MT-LXX, each verse is an article and each line is a paragraph, so choosing Articles would show each hit verse in its entirety, while choosing Paragraphs would show only the lines containing each hit word. Because showing only the hit paragraphs in a tool is often too concise, you also have the option to Add Titles. This shows the hit paragraphs as well as the titles of the articles in which they appear. In the MT-LXX, choosing Add Titles shows the hit paragraphs together with the verse references.

This more concise view makes it easy to see that there are a couple cases where tselem in the Hebrew column does not have a corresponding eikon in the Septuagint column (or vice versa). In Genesis 1:27, the first instance of tselem is left untranslated, and in Daniel 2:31, eikon is part of a phrase used to translate an entirely different Hebrew word. Why those two "false" hits?

MTLXXHowTo10

The reason we got those two cases where both words are not found on the same line is that Accordance defaults to looking for words within the same article rather than the same paragraph. For example, if you were to search the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary for Moses <AND> Aaron, you might find a long article where Moses is in the first paragraph and Aaron is in the fifth paragraph. In a tool like MT-LXX where each verse is an article and each line is a paragraph, Accordance's default behavior will find any verse that has tselem in the Hebrew and eikon in the Greek, even if they are on different lines and so do not exactly correspond.

To make this search more accurate, we can refine it by specifying that all words must be found within the same paragraph rather than the same article. To do that, click on the magnifying glass on the left side of the search field. At the bottom of the menu that appears, choose Paragraph.

MTLXXHowTo11

Then hit Enter to re-run the search.

MTLXXHowTo12

Here you can see that the false hits have been removed, and we now have only 49 hits rather than 52.

In this post, we've gone a little further in our use of the MT-LXX Parallel to see how you can tweak the display of the search results and how you can specify that the Hebrew and Greek words must appear on the same line. In my next post of this series, we'll go even further.


 

Jul 9, 2013 David Lang

Using the MT-LXX Parallel

When you display the Hebrew Bible and Greek Septuagint in parallel panes of a Search tab, the parallel verses are displayed side-by-side, but it is not immediately apparent which Hebrew word a particular Greek word is translating. For example, in Genesis 1:1, the Greek word ouranon corresponds to the Hebrew word Shamaim. I can see that by dragging my cursor over each word in the Hebrew and Greek to find out which words mean “heaven,” but other than that, there is no easy way to see the relationships between these two texts.

MTLXXHowTo1

That’s where a specialized Reference Tool called the MT-LXX Parallel comes in. This tool, developed by renowned Hebrew and Septuagint scholars, places each word or phrase of the Masoretic Hebrew text in parallel with the corresponding Greek words from the Septuagint.

One obvious use of the MT-LXX Parallel is to place it in parallel with the text of the Hebrew Bible and Greek Septuagint. As a reference tool, the MT-LXX Parallel will automatically scroll along with the biblical text, enabling you to see word-by-word connections for each verse.

MTLXXHowTo2

For example, if we scroll to Genesis 1:26, we can see that the Hebrew word for "image" (tselem) is translated by the Greek eikon (from which we get the word "icon").

To search the MT-LXX Parallel, we need to view it in a separate Tool tab. As with other Tools, the MT-LXX Parallel is divided into different fields of content. To search for all occurrences of the Hebrew word tselem, our natural impulse would be to set the search field to Hebrew and enter that lexical form.

MTLXXHowTo3

Since the Hebrew text of the MT-LXX is not grammatically tagged, our search only finds the 27 instances when tselem appears in that exact form. When we search for tselem in a tagged Hebrew Bible, we get 34 hits because every inflection of tselem is found.

MTLXXHowTo4

Fortunately, we can overcome this limitation of the MT-LXX Parallel by piggy-backing on the tagging of the Hebrew Bible. We do this through the use of an advanced search command called the MERGE command. By merging the MT-LXX Parallel with the tab containing the BHS-W4, the results of my lexical search of the Hebrew Bible are reflected in the MT/LXX. Notice that now the MT/LXX displays 36 occurrences of tselem. (The extra two occurrences are notes or reconstructions in the MT-LXX database.)

MTLXXHowTo5

Using the MERGE command in this way makes for some very powerful searches. For example, suppose I want to find every place where the LXX translates the Hebrew word tselem by some form of the word eikon. To do this, I’ll open a new Search tab containing the Septuagint, and I’ll do a search for eikon. This search finds 40 hits.

MTLXXHowTo6

To see which of these occurrences of eikon correspond to the Hebrew word tselem, I’ll go back to my MT-LXX Parallel, add an AND command, and then add a second MERGE command. This time, I’ll Merge with the tab containing the LXX.

MTLXXHowTo7

This search turns up 52 hits, and I can see that both the Hebrew word tselem and the Greek word eikon are highlighted. Divide the number of hits by two, and we end up with around 26 places where tselem is translated as eikon.

I hope you can see from this brief example how powerful the MT-LXX Parallel database is. In my next post, I'll examine these results in more detail and offer a few more tips for using this powerful resource.


 

Jun 18, 2013 David Lang

Finding Sentences with Every Letter of the Alphabet

Not long ago I stumbled across a post on a Bible software forum that taught me a new word: "pangram." I had to Google it to find out that a pangram is a sentence that includes every letter of the alphabet. A classic example is that odd sentence used to display all the characters of a typeface: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." The forum post I read cited Deuteronomy 4:34 and Zephaniah 3:8 as examples of pangrams in the Hebrew Bible, then asked how to find a pangram in the Greek New Testament or Septuagint.

Now, I have no idea why the person who wrote the post wanted to find such sentences in Greek, but I could certainly see it being useful in an introductory Greek course. As students are trying to learn the Greek alphabet, the instructor could assign a few sentences to read which would force them to deal with every letter.

Of course, regardless of whether such a search has any practical value, it is an interesting challenge, and it got me wondering how such a search could be constructed using Accordance. Here's what I came up with:

pangram1

By using the asterisk wildcard on either side of each letter of the alphabet, I told Accordance to look for any word containing each letter. By joining those together with the AND command, I told Accordance it must find a verse containing at least one word with each letter of the Greek alphabet. Note also that I've enclosed each search term in quotation marks to make sure I am searching inflected forms (the words as they appear in the text) rather than lexical forms (the dictionary form of each word).

This search finds two verses in the New Testament which contain all 24 letters of the Greek alphabet: Matthew 5:30 and Revelation 2:10. However, Revelation 2:10 does not contain a true pangram, since the entire alphabet is contained in two sentences rather than just one. To make sure we find all the places where a single sentence contains all the letters of the alphabet, we simply need to click the plus icon to the right of the search field, then set the first pop-up to Scope and the second pop-up to Sentence.

pangram2

When you hit return to run the search, Revelation 2:10 is eliminated, while a number of long sentences spanning more than one verse are added.

pangram3

By the way, when I ran a similar search on the Hebrew Bible, Accordance found 17 verses, including Deuteronomy 4:34. However, it did not find Zephaniah 3:8, the second example given in the original post. The reason is that Zephaniah 3:8 has all the letters except sin. Since it does contain the letter shin, whether or not you consider Zephaniah 3:8 as a pangram depends on whether you treat sin and shin as one letter or two.

So there you have it. If you ever need to find sentences with every letter of the alphabet (and who doesn't?), Accordance can do it easily and accurately.


 

Feb 28, 2013 David Lang

Hebrew Students Need Extra Credit Too

In yesterday's post, I offered you Greek students a method for garnering extra credit from your professors: Approach them on Friday and ask for extra credit if you spend the weekend finding all the hapax legomena in the Greek New Testament. Then do a simple search in Accordance, open an Analysis tab, and print! (Be sure to look tired and disheveled when you turn it in on Monday.)

Now, you Hebrew students could use extra credit too, so far be it from me to leave you out. Here's a search that is sure to impress your first semester Hebrew prof. In Hebrew, there's a class of verbs known as geminates. These are verbs in which the second and third letters of the lexical form are the same. Perhaps the most famous example would be הלל, "to praise." Why not ask your professor if you can spend the weekend putting together a list of every geminate verb in the Hebrew Bible? It sounds appropriately difficult—like the kind of thing only the most ambitious Hebrew student would attempt.

Now, to define this search, start by entering three question marks in the search entry box. The question mark, like the asterisk, is a wildcard symbol which can stand for any letter or number. Yet where the asterisk can represent any number of characters, the question mark can only represent a single character. For example, if I do an English search for love*, Accordance will find any word that begins with "love," no matter how many other letters it has: words like "loves," "loved," "lover," "lovers," "lovely," etc. If, on the other hand, I search for love?, Accordance will find only words that have a single letter after "love", such as "loves" and "lover." See the difference?

Because each question mark stands for a single character, whatever that character happens to be, entering three question marks into the search field means you want to find only three-letter words.

Now we need to specify that the third letter must be the same as the second letter. To do that, place parentheses after the third question mark. (Be sure to enter the right parenthesis followed by the left, since everything is reversed in Hebrew). Inside the parentheses, place an equals sign followed by the number 2. Your search argument should now look like this: (2=)???.

Placing parentheses after a question mark lets you specify which characters that question mark can be. For example, b?(ae)t will find "bat" and "bet," but not "bit" or "but," since we have specified that the question mark can only be an "a" or an "e." Returning to our Hebrew search, placing (2=) after the third question mark means that it can be any character, so long as it is the same character as that found by the second question mark. In other words, the second and third letters can be any letter, but they must be the same.

Now all we need to do is specify that the word we're searching for must be a verb. To do that, make sure the cursor is blinking to the right of the search argument, then choose Verb… from the Enter Command submenu of the Search menu. A dialog will appear enabling you to select specific grammatical details, but since we want to find any verbs, just click OK to dismiss the dialog. Accordance will then add the Verb tag to your search argument, and all you need to do is hit Return to perform the search.

HebrewEC1

As sophisticated as this search is, your results should be instantaneous. Now just choose Analysis from the Stats and Graphs icon to get an alphabetical list of all the geminate verbs in the Hebrew Bible, and print it out!

HebrewEC2

Just be warned: while this search may help you garner some extra credit, it may also raise your prof's expectations for you. You might find that he now treats you as a star pupil. And we all know what that means: you can probably count on getting called on more often in class!


 

Jan 11, 2013 David Lang

Become a Searching εἰς, Part 2

In yesterday's post, I wrote that if you know how to search for εἰς, you're well on your way to being a searching "ace." It was an admittedly nerdy pun, since the Greek word εἰς is pronounced like the English word "ace." I'm feeling a little less nerdy today, however, since someone made the even nerdier observation that my pun only works for the artificial Erasmian pronunciation scheme as opposed to other systems!

Whether or not my joke works in your preferred system of Greek pronunciation, my point is that searching for εἰς offers a great opportunity to learn some important aspects of searching in the original languages. As I pointed out yesterday, a search for epsilon-iota-sigma actually finds both εἰς and εἷς, two words which are spelled the same but have a different breathing mark. Yet even when we included a smooth breathing mark to search specifically for εἰς, our search still gave us both εἰς and εἷς. That's because Accordance actually ignores breathing marks, accents, vowel points, and even upper or lowercase for purposes of searching.

SearchEIS3

But what if you don't want those things to be ignored? What if you really want to be able to find εἰς without also finding εἷς?

Here's the secret: whenever you want Accordance to pay attention to breathing marks, accents, vowel points, and case, simply enter an equals sign (=) before the word you're searching for, like this:

SearchEIS5

Notice that with the equals sign before εἰς, the number of hits drops from 2112 to 1767. Likewise, the Analysis shows that εἰς is the only lexical form that was found, and εἷς has been excluded.

So to become an ace at original language searching, remember the lesson of εἰς: use the equals sign to make Accordance pay attention to breathing marks, accents, vowel points, and case.

In my next post, we'll try to search for εἷς, and I'll give you a few more ace searching tips.


 

Jan 10, 2013 David Lang

Become a Searching εἰς

Εἰς in the title of this post is a Greek preposition which is pronounced like the English word ACE. It's an admittedly nerdy joke, but searching for εἰς helps to illustrate several important aspects of original language searching in Accordance. In other words, if you know how to search for εἰς, you're well on your way to being a searching "ace."

So if you have a tagged Greek New Testament text, open it up, select Words from the Words/Verses token, and type the letters "e, i, s." When you're finished, hit return to perform the search. Your search tab should then look like this:

SearchEIS1

Notice that we didn't have to enter the smooth breathing mark or any accents for this search to work. All we needed to do was enter the letters.

So far things have been pretty simple, but there's more to this search than meets the eye. To see what I'm talking about, click the Stats and Graphs icon (the one that looks like a bar chart just to the right of the number of hits) and choose Analysis.

SearchEIS2

An analysis window will open listing all the words that were found by our search:

SearchEIS4

Note that this search for words spelled epsilon-iota-sigma actually found two words: εἰς (with a smooth breathing mark and pronounced like 'ace') and εἷς (with a rough breathing mark and pronounced like 'hace'). These are two very different Greek words which, with the exception of the breathing mark, are spelled exactly the same way. Because we didn't enter the breathing mark, Accordance found both.

But what if we only want to find εἰς without also finding εἷς? Well, let's try just including the breathing mark in our search entry to distinguish the one from the other. The easiest way to do this is to copy εἰς from the Analysis window (the second word listed) and then paste that into the entry box of our Search tab. When you do that, you get the following result:

SearchEIS3

Do you see the difference? That's right, there isn't one. Even though we included the breathing mark in this second search, Accordance still found both of these homographs (a fancy term for words which are written the same way).

So here's the first thing you have to understand about Accordance original language searches: even if you enter a breathing mark, an accent, or a vowel point in Hebrew, Accordance totally ignores them. It's the same way with capital letters and apostrophes in English. Accordance ignores those details to give you the words that match the letters you entered.

Why would we ignore things like breathing marks, accents, vowel points, and case? Primarily because we don't want to require you to get that level of detail right in order to perform a successful search. A new student of Greek would be lost if a search failed because he or she entered a grave accent rather than an acute. Heck, even an expert in the languages might get annoyed if they had to show that level of care in entering a search argument. So Accordance simply ignores all those details unless you specifically tell it to take them into consideration. In tomorrow's post, I'll show you how to do just that. That way you'll know how to distinguish εἰς from εἷς, and be well on your way to becoming an Accordance searching 'ace.'


 

Oct 11, 2012 David Lang

Searching for a Group of Hebrew Words

The other day I was researching idolatry, so naturally I started with an English Bible search for "idol." After just a few minutes of scanning the results in a Bible with Strong's numbers, I realized that there are quite a few Hebrew words translated "idol," as well as a number of other related words, such as "image," "household gods," etc. I wanted a quick way to find all the passages which spoke about idols, but how could I be sure I was searching for every relevant word?

At some point, I looked up the word "Idol" in Anchor Bible Dictionary, and was delighted to find that it listed all the relevant Hebrew words. Unfortunately, it used transliteration for the Hebrew, so I couldn't just select each Hebrew word and search for it. How then could I find every occurrence of all those words?

I decided to open a tab containing the tagged Hebrew Bible (HMT-W4), then chose Enter Lexical Forms… from the Search menu (actually, I just used the keyboard shortcut command-L). This opened a dialog listing every lexical form in the Hebrew Bible.

HebrewList1

The first word in the article was transliterated as pesel. Ignoring the vowels, I typed p-s-l in the Go to box to scroll the word list to the appropriate section. Then I could immediately see from the English glosses which Hebrew word to click. When I clicked the word I wanted in the word list, that word was added to my list of Words to enter.

I then simply worked my way through the rest of the article in Anchor, typing the consonants of each transliterated word into the Go to box and then clicking the right word in the word list to add it my list of search terms. As I proceeded, my Select Lexical Forms dialog began to look like this:

HebrewList2

When I finished, I simply clicked OK to dismiss the dialog and insert all the words I had selected into my search argument.

HebrewList3

Note how Accordance automatically supplied the proper search syntax, placing my list of words inside parentheses and separating them with commas to indicate that I want to find any of these words. At that point, all I needed to do was hit Return to perform the search.

On those occasions when you need to search for a series of Hebrew words and you want to make sure you pick exactly the right ones, be sure to take advantage of the convenience offered by the Select Lexical Forms dialog.