Jul 1, 2013 David Lang

Accordance to Keynote, Part 2

In my previous post, I talked about the Keynote presentation I'm producing to teach a Sunday School class on "Understanding the Old Testament." In that post, I surveyed the Accordance resources I am mining for the content of my Keynote slides. In this post, I want to explain the techniques I use to get Bible text out of Accordance and into Keynote.

Whenever I want to copy some Bible text to paste into Keynote, I do not use the standard Copy command in Accordance. Instead, I use the Copy As Citation command in the Accordance Edit menu. The keyboard shortcut for this command is control-command-C. Copy As Citation will copy whatever Bible text you select and format it however you like. You can have Accordance enclose the copied text in quotation marks, remove superscript characters, include or remove the verse references in the actual text of the citation, and even create a summary reference for the whole citation. For example, in discussing the Sabbath, I wanted to show how the two passages which list the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5) give slightly different reasons for observing the Sabbath. Here's my selection of one of these passages in Accordance:

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If I do a standard Copy and paste this text into Keynote, I get this:

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Note how this gives the text as I saw it in Accordance, complete with the tabs for the poetic formatting, the superscript footnote markers (which unfortunately have lost their superscript style—it's on our to do list), and the individual verse references which only show the verse number rather than entire reference.

If I Copy As Citation, I get this instead:

Keynote8

Note how the entire passage is shown as a continuous paragraph without all the line breaks and indentations, how the footnote markers and individual verse references have been removed, and how quotation marks and a full, summary reference preceded by a long dash have been added at the end.

How Accordance formats the text when you Copy As Citation is determined by the Citation settings of the Accordance Preferences. Here are my current settings:

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You can see that I have opening and closing quotation marks in the Marker fields for the Content, that I have chosen to suppress poetry and hide superscripts, that I am omitting all the verse references within the content, and that I have a long dash appearing before the Citation Reference. That's why Copy As Citation formats the text as you saw in the previous screenshot.

Now, just as I use Copy As Citation rather than the standard Copy in Accordance, when I switch to Keynote I use the Paste and Match Style command rather than the standard Paste. One of the strengths of Keynote is all of its pre-formatted templates. Professional designers have carefully chosen fonts and styles which look right together, and I don't want to mess up that design by pasting in a different font or style from Accordance. By choosing Paste and Match Style, Keynote will ignore the font and style information that got copied from Accordance and will instead match the style of the Keynote template. Here's what I get when I use Paste and Match Style:

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The font here is actually pretty close to the one I copied from Accordance, so the difference isn't as obvious as it could be. It is easy to see however that the Keynote template uses a much larger font size than I copied from Accordance. By choosing Paste and Match Style, I can make sure the font, size, and style of text in all my slides remains consistent.

Those are the techniques I use to get properly formatted Bible text from Accordance into my Keynote slides. In my next post, I'll show you a slick way to get images from Accordance into Keynote.


 

Jun 27, 2013 David Lang

Accordance to Keynote, Part 1

In the probably-bit-off-more-than-I-can-chew department, I've recently begun teaching a Sunday School class on "Understanding the Old Testament." My intention in this class is to give folks a birds' eye view of the Old Testament, exposing them to parts of the Bible they rarely visit and often struggle to understand. To do this effectively, I can't afford to spend a lot of time going into depth on individual passages. So naturally, I've spent the last six weeks or so going through Genesis 1 and 2! At this rate, I may finish when I'm sixty!

My inability to skim the surface aside, I've been preparing a Keynote slide show each week to help focus my class's attention on the main points I want to get across. And since I tend to procrastinate, I'm thankful for great Accordance resources and a few simple tricks that make preparing this slide show a snap!

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First, let me talk about some of the resources I'm using.

Bibles: As readers of this blog are probably aware by now, my preferred translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). It offers a good mix of readability and fidelity to the original languages, and is generally unafraid to offer a fresh translation of those well-known passages most translations are unwilling to modify (John 3:16, Psalm 23, Matthew 5-7, etc.). Of course, when I want to bring out an aspect of the text which is made clearer in another translation, I won't hesitate to use it. For example, when I want to bring out the structure of the underlying Hebrew text, I'll generally turn to the English Standard Version (ESV). When I wanted to discuss whether Genesis 1:1 should be translated "In the beginning God created" or "When God began to create", I used the Jewish Publication Society translation (JPS) as an example of the latter rendering.

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Finally, while I don't show the underlying Hebrew text to my class, I do use the tagged Hebrew text in my own preparation to teach.

Commentaries: While I'm going into the first three chapters of Genesis in some depth, I am not doing a lot of verse-by-verse exposition. Rather, I'm focusing on bringing out the literary structure of these texts and the way they would have been understood by their original audience. Consequently, I don't often turn to expositional and critical commentaries when preparing for my class. Instead, I tend to go to background commentaries like the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary on the Old Testament (ZIBBCOT) and the IVP Bible Background Commentary on the Old Testament. I once read a review by a New Testament scholar I admire who panned the use of background commentaries because any more traditional commentary worth its salt will usually provide the relevant historical background information. While that's certainly true, the challenge is often finding those nuggets amid all the verse-by-verse exposition. I love these background commentaries because they're focused on the kind of information I most want to bring out.

For much the same reason, I often find myself turning to Study Bible notes before full-blown commentaries. Study Bibles like the ESV Study Bible often have concise but highly relevant information, as well as helpful charts and images that can easily be incorporated into a Keynote presentation.

Graphic Resources: Some of the commentaries and study Bibles already mentioned are a great source for visuals that can be dragged into Keynote slides. ZIBBCOT had a great illustration of the three-tiered cosmology which most ancient peoples assumed to exist, and it made such concepts as water above the sky much easier to explain.

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The ESV Study Bible offered a concise chart of the days of forming and filling in Genesis 1 that helped me think through how to structure that particular slide of my presentation.

Another graphic resource I use heavily is The Accordance Gallery of Bible Art. Filled with great classic artistic depictions of various Biblical episodes, I tend to use the images in this tool to illustrate broad concepts and to add visual punch to title slides. While I'm still a little early in the Old Testament to make much use of the Bible Lands PhotoGuide, I did use the view of Israel from atop Mount Nebo to illustrate my slide that talked about the Old Testament being "The Story of a Land."

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I likewise used an image of the high priest offering incense from Carta's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem for the slide on the Old Testament as "The Story of Redemption."

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While I will turn to other Accordance resources from time to time, this combination of Bibles, background commentaries, study Bibles, and visual resources has served me well in quickly putting together my Keynote presentation each week. In my next post, I'll show you some of the tricks I use to get the information out of Accordance and into Keynote as quickly and painlessly as possible.


 

Sep 14, 2012 David Lang

Highlights and Diagrams as a Teaching Tool

Yesterday I told you about the Sunday School class I'm teaching on Bible Study methods using the book of Colossians. I told you about the I See! So What? Hmm… method, and showed how I used a User Notes file as a convenient way to record the class's observations, applications, and questions about Colossians 1:3-8.

The next week we went over Paul's prayer for the Colossians in 1:9-14, and this gave me a great opportunity to talk about one particular kind of observation they should make when studying a passage. You see, when we read these verses, we typically think that Paul is praying for a long series of things: that the Colossians would be "filled with the knowledge of [God's] will," that they would "live a life worthy of the Lord," "bear fruit in every good work," "be strengthened with all power," and "joyfully give thanks to the Father." However, if we look carefully at the grammar and syntax of this passage, we observe that he really only prays for one thing.

Of all the translations I looked at in preparation for the class, the 1984 NIV brought out the structure of the passage most clearly. It reads, "we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding." Note the period. That's the end of Paul's prayer. He then goes on to say, "we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way:". At this point he is merely explaining his reasons for praying that the Colossians would be filled with the knowledge of God's will. His assumption is that if they are so filled, they will live in a way that pleases the Lord.

Now note the colon the NIV places after Paul's reason for his prayer. It is followed by a series of four participles, all of which explain what it looks like to live a life that pleases the Lord. Other translations often break this section up into two or more separate sentences, changing one of the participles to an independent verb to avoid a run-on sentence. Yet in so doing they obscure the relationship between this series of participles and what comes before.

Things get even more interesting in the Greek. When I looked at that, I found that there are indeed four Greek participles, just as the 1984 NIV translates. Yet these participles are organized into three clauses, each of which begins with a prepositional phrase. This latter structure even the 1984 NIV obscures, simply because it would be awkward to translate literally into English. A more wooden translation would read, "in every good work bearing fruit and growing…, with all power being strengthened…, and with joy giving thanks…".

To help my class see these subtle differences in structure, I used the diagram window to do a simple block diagram of the passage as translated by the 1984 NIV, as well as how it might be woodenly translated from the Greek. I also used highlight styles and colors in the diagram to help show the key elements (that is, the participles and prepositional phrases).

ColossiansDiagram

This simple combination of highlight styles and a diagram make it easy to see the structure of this passage. The 1984 NIV makes the four Greek participles transparent, and my modification of the NIV brings out the structure of the passage into three clauses beginning with prepositional phrases. After showing this to my class, I pointed out that the phrase "growing in the knowledge of God" is grouped with the prepositional phrase "in every good work." I then asked them to wrestle with the relationship between those two ideas.

My goal here was to show my class how observing grammatical and syntactical details can help them understand a passage, and that this is something they can easily do using a good translation. On the other hand, this passage also gave me a chance to show the benefits of being able to study the original languages. Translations will always obscure the grammar and syntax of the original, which is one reason pastors and scholars study the languages.

I'm obviously trying to walk a fine line with this last point. I don't expect my Sunday School class to go out and learn Greek and Hebrew, and I want them to feel that they can clearly understand the meaning of a passage using a good translation. On the other hand, I want them to see that those who study the languages are not engaging in useless sophistry, but are simply going a little deeper in their study of the Bible.

Whether or not they fully grasped those points remains to be seen, but I felt that the combination of highlighting and diagramming gave me an effective visual aid in trying to make those points as clearly as I could.


 

Sep 13, 2012 David Lang

User Notes as a Teaching Tool

For the past few weeks, I've been teaching a Sunday School class on Bible study methods using the book of Colossians. Rather than just giving a series of lectures about the Bible, I want to get people reading the Bible for themselves and learning some basic methods of interpretation.

I started by laying out a bare-bones inductive method: what I call the I See! So What? Hmm… method. The I See! step refers to making simple observations about the text being studied. The So What? refers to deriving simple life applications from the text. The Hmm… is just a reminder that if you have a question you can't answer right now, you should jot it down so you can consider it later on.

In addition to laying out this simple method, I encouraged the people in my Sunday School class to focus on paragraphs rather than verses. I explained that verse breaks, while useful for locating a passage, are not usually the best way to break up a passage of study. Making observations on paragraphs would give them a much better feel for that passage's flow of thought.

To help them see how this method works, I created a User Notes file and added notes to Colossians 1:1 and 1:2. I recorded simple observations, applications, and questions about each verse. I also added notes to the first verse of each paragraph in Colossians 1. In each of those notes, I pasted the headings I See! (Observation):, So What? (Application):, and Hmm… (Question):, with several lines of space between them. I then simply printed the resulting User Notes file and used that as a handout on which they could write their observations on each paragraph.

In class, I projected an Accordance workspace with my preferred translation in one pane and the User Notes file in the other. Like this:

UserNotesTeaching1

After explaining the method, I had each member of the class write down his or her observations, applications, and questions on Colossians 1:3-8. I gave them about ten minutes to do so, then asked them to share any observations they had made. When the first person shared an observation, I simply began typing it in the User Notes pane. This opened the User Notes Edit window and the entire class could see the observation that was shared. Other members of the class then shared their observations, and I did my best to enter them into the user notes file for everyone to see. We proceeded like this through a number of observations, applications, and questions, with me adding my own comments or prompting them with questions about the passage.

UserNotesTeaching2

By using the User Notes feature in this way, I was able to encourage class participation and praise them in their own efforts to unpack the passage. The class became less about what I had to teach about Colossians and more about all of us digging into the passage together. And of course, the class brought out aspects of the passage I might never have noticed on my own.

The class was so successful we didn't have time to get beyond verse 8! But that was okay. They had the printed handout I had given them, so I sent them home with the assignment to dig into the next several paragraphs using the I See! So What? Hmm… method. This, of course, is my ultimate goal: to get them studying the Bible for themselves and feeling confident about their own ability to do so.

The simple editability of Accordance User Notes made it easy to transform my Sunday School class from a lecture into a collaborative Bible study, and the ability to print my notes made creating a simple handout incredibly easy.


 

Jul 13, 2012 David Lang

Using Accordance to Teach a Bible Study, Part 5

This is the last in a series of posts on using Accordance's Slide Show feature. Part 1 explored how to set up a workspace with separate tabs for each Bible passage you plan to cover. Part 2 showed how to add a map. Part 3 demonstrated how to add a series of images from a resource like the PhotoGuide. Finally, Part 4 showed how to use the Search All window to search your entire library for just the right graphic. Once all the pieces of your slide show are assembled, all that's left to do is to present it. In this post, I'll explain how to do that.

Remember that the Slide Show feature takes every tab in a workspace and turns it into a separate "slide." The one caveat is that the workspace must have a single zone, so while preparing your workspace, you may need to drag the title bar of one zone into the tab area of another, thus combining all the tabs in a single zone. When finished, your workspace should look something like this:

SlideShow8

To start the Slide Show, simply select Slide Show from the Window menu, or use the keyboard shortcut command-option-S. Accordance's palettes, search interface, as well as the OS X dock will all be hidden and the current tab's contents expanded to fill the screen. Like this:

SlideShow9

A small slideshow control palette will fade in and out as you mouse over its location at the bottom of the screen. This palette includes buttons to go to the first slide, the previous slide, the next slide, or the last slide. The stop button will stop the Slide Show and return Accordance to normal operation. You can also press the escape key on the keyboard to exit the slide show, or use the command-option-S shortcut again.

In addition to these controls, the Slide Show palette also includes a pop-up menu listing the name of every "slide." You can quickly move to the slide you want, no matter where it appears in the sequence, by selecting its name from this menu.

SlideShow10

To make it easier to find the slide you want from this menu, it's always helpful when preparing a slide show to rename tabs to reflect their actual content. You can do that by control- or right-clicking the tab and choosing Active Tab Name… from the Set Tab submenu of the contextual menu.

When in Slide Show mode, the Instant Details box will appear whenever you mouse over an item with more information to display. Thus, when showing Bible text, you can mouse over a word in a Key number Bible to show its Greek or Hebrew equivalent. When showing an Atlas map, you can mouse over any point to show its elevation and coordinates. When you move your mouse off of this kind of content, the Instant Details box will once again fade away.

If you haven't used Accordance's slide show mode in a teaching environment, you really should give it a try. While it does not offer the effects and transitions you get with dedicated presentation software like Keynote, it has the advantage of offering dynamic Bible study-related tools in an attractive, full-screen view.


 

Jul 12, 2012 David Lang

Using Accordance to Teach a Bible Study, Part 4

In this series of posts, I've been relating how I used Accordance's Slide Show feature to teach a Bible study on the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. I began by creating separate workspace tabs for each passage I wanted to read. Next I added a tab with a map showing the location of Mount Carmel and the political boundaries at the time. Then I showed how to add a series of pictures from the PhotoGuide. In this post, I want to show how I did a broader search to find just the right image.

In addition to showing pictures of Mount Carmel from the PhotoGuide, I wanted an image that would show how Mount Carmel receives more annual rainfall than the surrounding areas of Israel. My point was that Elijah chose a site known for its rainfall and lush vegetation for a showdown between the God of Israel and Baal, the Canaanite god of the storm and fertility. In essence, he was giving Baal a kind of "home field advantage."

Hoping to find some map of annual rainfall in Israel, I opened a Search All tab, selected Caption from the Language pop-up menu, and entered "rainfall." Within seconds, I found several such maps, including this one from the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible.

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Using methods such as these, I was able to assemble a series of helpful visual aids in a matter of minutes. When it came time to teach the Bible study, I simply chose Slide Show from the Window menu and then accessed each "slide" in turn. I'll show how I did that in my next post.


 

Jul 10, 2012 David Lang

Using Accordance to Teach a Bible Study, Part 3

In this series of posts, I've been relating how I used Accordance's Slide Show feature to teach a Bible study on the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. I began by creating separate workspace tabs for each passage I wanted to read. Next I added a tab with a map showing the location of Mount Carmel and the political boundaries at the time. Today I want to show how I added tabs for the various images I wanted to display.

First, I wanted to show photos of Mount Carmel itself. The best place to find location photos is the Bible Lands PhotoGuide, and for me the best way to access the PhotoGuide is by double-clicking a place name on the map. (You can link the PhotoGuide to the Atlas in this way in the Map Tab Display settings of the Preferences.)

As I scanned the PhotoGuide article on Mount Carmel, I found several photos I wanted to show: a view of the summit, a photo of the Mukhraka monastery which commemorates Elijah's showdown there, an area below the summit where the people might have stood, etc. Clicking on one of the thumbnails will open a picture tab containing the full-size picture.

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Picture tabs are usually recycled, which means that if I go back to the PhotoGuide and click a second thumbnail, that same tab will be re-used to display the new picture. Recycling windows avoids a proliferation of unwanted tabs, but when you're preparing a workspace for a slide show, you want a separate tab showing each picture you want to display. You can turn recycling off in any tab by clicking the green recycle icon at the top right. So to open a number of separate Picture tabs, you could click a PhotoGuide thumbnail, disable the recycling of the tab, return to the PhotoGuide, click another thumbnail to open a new picture tab, disable the recycling of that tab, and so on.

Now, you know there's got to be a more streamlined workflow than that, right? Here's the shortcut: simply command-click a picture thumbnail to open it in a picture tab with recycling turned off. That way you can simply command-click multiple thumbnails in the PhotoGuide to open each picture in a separate tab. Using this trick, you can very quickly assemble the picture slides of your slide show. Give it a try.

In my next post, I'll show how I found additional pictures in other resources.


 

Jul 2, 2012 David Lang

Using Accordance to Teach a Bible Study, Part 2

In my previous post, I began showing how I taught a Bible study using the Slide Show feature of Accordance. This feature lets you present any workspace with tabs as a series of "slides," with each tab constituting one "slide." The only caveat is that all the tabs have to be in a single zone, so you may have to drag one into another before you use this feature.

In setting up the workspace I would present as a slide show, I began by assembling the various passages I would be reading. My main passage was the story of Elijah's showdown with the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18, but I also wanted to read a few related passages. I set each passage up in its own tab so I could quickly turn to each one without scrolling or navigating. Again, see my previous post for details on how to do that.

Next I wanted to add some visuals: a map showing the location of Mount Carmel (the setting of this story), photos of the location, images of Baal, etc.

To get the map, I simply selected the word "Carmel" in my main passage and clicked the Map button on the Resource palette. A map opened with Mount Carmel highlighted. Because this story took place during the period of the Divided Kingdom, I chose to overlay the Divided Kingdoms region layer on my map.

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Now, here's where I used a little power-user trick. Because I had searched for Mount Carmel, the name Carmel was highlighted on my map in red. When I added the Divided Kingdoms region layer, the kingdom of Israel was shaded pink, and the combination made the Carmel label difficult to read. So I decided to change the red text to black.

To do that, I simply chose Set Map Display from the Display menu. In the dialog that appeared, I chose Extra Region Names from the main pop-up menu, then changed the Color pop-up from Red to Black.

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By the way, the Extra Site Names and Extra Region Names in the main pop-up refer to site and region labels which have been added to the map as the result of a search. They are "extra" in the sense that they appear on the map regardless of whether or not they are actually included in the currently displayed map layers. Accordance gives you the ability to customize those extra labels independent of other map elements.

When I clicked OK to close the Map Display settings dialog, my map now looked like this:

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During the course of the Bible study, while I was presenting the map, I realized that I wanted to remove the Divided Kingdoms region layer so people could better focus on the topography. If I had anticipated that need, I could have set up a second map tab with a different set of layers and simply switched to it. Because I hadn't done that ahead of time, I had to exit Slide Show mode in the middle of the Bible study, tweak the map to look the way I wanted, and then enter Slide Show mode again. Fortunately, exiting Slide Show mode is as easy as hitting the escape key, and entering it again merely requires choosing Slide Show from the Window menu. The entire process only took a few seconds.

If you use the Slide Show feature a lot, you should also learn the keyboard shortcut command-option-S, which will toggle the Slide Show on and off.

In my next post, I'll demonstrate how I gathered the images I wanted to present in my slide show.


 

Jun 29, 2012 David Lang

Using Accordance to Teach a Bible Study

For a while now, I've been attending a Wednesday night Bible study which uses a DVD series showing sites in Israel and discussing the Biblical events which happened there. This past Wednesday, the normal teacher was out of town and I was asked to fill in. Rather than using the DVD series, I chose to teach a lesson of my own, but to maintain consistency I focused on explaining a Biblical passage with reference to its location. I chose for my text 1 Kings 18: the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel.

I wanted to bring out a number of interesting aspects of this story, such as why Mount Carmel was the perfect location for this showdown (see my blog post, Why Mount Carmel?) and how the name of Elijah is used as a motif throughout this story (see my post, "What's in a Name?"). Explaining the importance of Mount Carmel required giving some background information about the Canaanite deity Baal and the fact that Mount Carmel is the rainiest location in that part of Israel. I wanted to be able to show images of Mount Carmel and Baal, as well as a map of Israel, so I decided to use Accordance's Slide Show mode.

If you're unfamiliar with Accordance's Slide Show feature, it turns each tab in a workspace window into a separate "slide," expanding the content to fill the entire screen and hiding interface elements such as the search entry box, the various palettes, etc. You can activate it by choosing Slide Show from the Window menu.

The first step to creating a slide show is simply setting up the various tabs you want to display. The one thing to keep in mind when setting up your workspace is that Accordance's Slide Show feature does not yet support workspaces with more than one zone. So as you open maps, images, and various resources, they may open in additional zones, but you'll need to combine all those tabs into one zone before you start a slide show. This is most easily done by dragging the title bar of one zone into the tab area of another. When you release the mouse button, all the tabs from the dragged zone will be added to the destination zone.

I started with a tab containing my default Bible and navigated to 1 Kings 18. Realizing that I would need to explain the background of King Ahab's idolatry, I scrolled back until I found the passage on his accession to the throne: 1 Kings 16:29-33. Because I didn't want to scroll back to this passage during the Bible study, I decided to put it in a separate tab. That way, I would have another "slide" I could easily switch to. The easiest way to create a new tab with this passage was to select the verses I wanted and then click the Context button on the Resource palette. This opened a Text window showing the verses I selected in the context of the entire Bible. But I didn't want the surrounding context, so I just unchecked the Show all text checkbox. That left me with a tab showing just 1 Kings 16:29-33.

To make it easy to distinguish this tab during the course of the slide show, I right-clicked the tab itself and chose Active Tab Name… from the Set Tab submenu of the contextual menu. I then changed the name of that tab to "Ahab's Idolatry."

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Next I knew I had to summarize Elijah's role in the three-and-a-half years of drought which preceded the episode in 1 Kings 18. So I repeated these same steps for 1 Kings 17:1-10, naming that tab "Elijah No Rain". Finally, I wanted to read Jesus' reference to Elijah and the widow of Zarephath in Luke 4:23-30, so again, I created a new tab containing this passage and renamed it "Jesus in Nazareth." My resulting workspace now looked like this:

SlideShow2

I now had the passages I intended to use all ready to go. Next I needed a map and a number of images to show. I'll show you how I set that up in my next post.


 

Jan 12, 2012 David Lang

Know Your Enemies

AncientEnemies

My family has been reading through the Psalms together for the past few months, and the other day we read Psalm 83. Reading like a Who's Who of hostility, this psalm lists "Edom and the Ishmaelites", "Moab and the Hagrites," "Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek," "Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre", and "Even Assyria" in the space of a few verses.

In an attempt to give my family a sense of who these various enemies of Israel were, I opened the Accordance Bible Atlas and overlaid the Divided Kingdoms region layer. I clicked the plus icon to magnify that zone so that it filled my entire workspace, and then had one of my children read the list of enemies again. As she read each name, I pointed out its location on the map, so that my family could clearly see that Israel was surrounded by all these nations. I summarized by saying, "You see, it's not that the psalmist is paranoid; they really were all out to get Israel!"

ModernNations Showing all of these ancient nations naturally raised the question of where these places are today, so I merely switched the region layer pop-up from "Divided Kingdoms" to "Modern Nations" to show that Edom, Moab, and Ammon are now part of modern Jordan, ancient Philistia is now part of modern Israel, and ancient Tyre is in modern Lebanon.

This kind of geographical orientation was incredibly easy to do, and it helped make our discussion of the psalm much more engaging. If you're not using the Atlas as an impromptu teaching tool, you definitely should be!