Full Reviews

Full Reviews

Movieguide®
Movieguide discovered Accordance® Bible software while visiting a Bible translation team at a major Christian Bible publishing house. Accordance was the software the translators were using to help their translation. It was exciting to find out that the software was available not just to theologians and Bible translators, but also to the average consumer. The Accordance software is a comprehensive way to unlock the scriptures in Greek, Hebrew, and English. The photo guides, maps, and supplementary materials are the most helpful that Movieguide has found in Bible software.

The tools that come with the software allow you to plot the frequency of use of words, diagram the passage, and unlock the different meanings of the text. Pretty spectacular.

All in all, Accordance software is highly recommended. The only caveat is that it is designed for Mac computers, but it can be run on a PC using a Mac emulator. Even so, it is worth buying a Mac just to be able to run it as it should be run.

—Ted Baehr
MOVIEGUIDE®
www.movieguide.org
October 2003


The Perfect Bible Software

As a student of Scripture for twenty-five years I've continually been searching for the perfect Bible Software." I have never been more pleased than I am with Accordance. I use it not only for preparing talks, but I use it during my live national talk radio show. In a fast paced morning show I need information quickly and efficiently, and Accordance does just that. I also host a live national TV show and I can't tell you the number of times that Accordance has helped me just minutes before going on the air. Thank you for a simple, powerful and intuitive software package."

—Jeff Cavins
"Morning Air" Radio Show
"Life on the Rock" TV show on EWTN
September 2003


Asbury Journal Vol. 66, no. 1; pp. 134-37 Spring 2011

Accordance.  Scholars Collection.  DVD-ROM and CD-ROM, version 8.
2008.  OakTree Software, Inc.  $149 (Introductory), $249 (Standard), $349 (Premier)

Reviewed by Michael D. Matlock and Jason R. Jackson

Accordance 8 (Acc8) is a premier Bible study software program allowing seminarians, Church leaders who teach Scripture, and advanced Bible students an assortment of fine exegetical resources.  In this review, we focus our attention more specifically upon the Scholars Collection of Accordance because it contains foundational original language texts and tools for Bible study.  Acc8 is designed specifically for a Macintosh operating system (10.1 or higher).  Windows and Linux users can obtain a free Mac OS emulator to run Acc8, but there is a slight loss of functionality in the areas of printing, copying Hebrew and Greek fonts, and viewing maps.

Acc8 is the kind of product Mac users expect: fast, reliable, and easy to use.  This latest version features a universal binary format that runs natively on the new Intel-based Macs.  Acc8 provides frequent free upgrades, exceptional online (podcasts and training videos) and toll-free technical support, and a vibrant discussion forum with frequent staff interaction. There are three levels in the Scholars Collection: Introductory, $149; Standard, $249; and Premier, $349.  Scholar’s Premier contains the Greek and Hebrew texts and lexicons in the Standard and Introductory levels, but also includes Rahlfs’ revised Septuagint with the Kraft/Taylor/Wheeler morphology and two fine theological dictionaries:  Jenni-Westermann for the OT and Spicq for the NT.  Acc8 may be purchased with a group discount (for students, faculty, domestic and international ministers, et al.) such as the twenty-five percent discount currently offered to Asbury Theological Seminary students coordinated by a language teaching fellow.

While nothing new for Accordance, the Acc8 interface design continues to make studying and searching the Bible central to the overall program and is remarkably simple to operate.  This is evident from the opening of the main window, the “workspace,” which is an integrated search and display window built on the “what you see is what you get” principle.  For example, the workspace window is divided into three sections.  At the extreme top, there is a tab section to organize and utilize each resource opened; this tab organization system resembles a physical file folder system.  Directly under the tab section, the “search entry box” is located.  Here, users can select which language and/or version of the Bible to search and choose if they want to search for words or verses.  If users are interested in searching the category of words, they can perform basic search options such as simple word or phrase searches and also sophisticated grammatical searches. Bible students have the option to: 1) limit their search to a particular boundary (e.g. clause, sentence, etc.) within a user-definable range (e.g. Matthew, Gospels, New Testament, etc.); 2) highlight textual variants; and 3) choose to view a range of verses surrounding the result verses. The results are instantly displayed under the search entry box in the third and largest portion of the workspace (the “search results” window), and the results can be viewed in a variety of ways.

Advanced searching options are astounding in Acc8, and users may harness the power by utilizing a set of memorizable commands and symbols, all of which may also be accessed through a convenient drop-down search menu or keyboard shortcuts.  The commands are organized into connecting commands (e.g. AND, NOT, FOLLOWED BY, WITHIN # WORDS, etc.) and stand-alone commands, including two new powerful commands.  The INFER command allows searching within a passage for quotations from and allusions to another passage, and the FUZZY command searches for inexact phrases.  Acc8 also offers a “construct search” or graphical search option in English, Greek, and Hebrew, which enables users to find specific grammatical constructions more visually.  There is also a “search all” function that allows users to search for occurrences of a word, verse, phrase, etc. throughout their library of resources.  Finally, Acc8 provides an additional “details” option for every type of word search which will graph, chart, and analyze the search results and supply the user with a basic concordance.

A user may also expand the display portion by adding Bible study resources to the current workspace by opening additional panes containing other comparable texts or translations, reference tools (e.g. commentaries), or user-created notes.  Within a particular workspace, panes may be arranged vertically or horizontally; dragged into a new position; customized with regard to colors, sizes, and highlights; and saved for future reference.  In addition, other research tools such as lexicons, dictionaries, commentaries, maps, and timelines may be added to the workspace through the tab system or opened in a new workspace for concurrent viewing with other workspaces.  Users are thus able to create their own unique uncluttered workspace.

In addition to the primary workspace window, Acc8 features three auxiliary windows:   1) an instant details box, 2) a searchable library providing easy access to modules, and 3) a resource palette.  The instant detail box shows the basic parsing information, transliteration, key number, and primary gloss(es) for every word in a tagged text simply by scrolling the mouse over a word.  Advanced information can be obtained by ‘triple-clicking’ on a word within any tool. The library window, which is fully searchable, allows user access to every tool within their library.  Users may choose to open a new tool or look up a word or phrase selected within the current display in a new tool.  The resource palette provides access to  more detailed information of many resources in Acc8.

In the remaining balance of the review, beyond the impressive concordance features of the program, we will call attention to some of the more important exegetical features of the program for seminarians and other Bible students who understand original biblical languages.  Users can click on the speech tool to hear the original languages read. In terms of syntactical analysis, users can construct their own grammatically color-coded sentence diagrams making grammatical analysis of texts more understandable; with one click on the “syntax” icon, Acc8 creates a syntax function chart for any passage which users can also conveniently fill out and print.

In terms of Greek reference grammars, Scholars Premier comes with Robertson’s A Grammar of the Greek New Testament and Burton’s Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in New Testament Greek; Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics may be purchased as an add-on.  As for biblical Hebrew reference grammars, buyers can purchase add-ons:  Gesenius-Kautzsch-Cowley’s Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, Joüon-Muraoka’s revised A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew, and Waltke-O’Connor’s An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax.  For the Septuagint, Conybeare-Stock’s Grammar of Septuagint Greek comes standard with Scholars Premier.

In the area of biblical Greek language lexicons, Thayer’s and Louw-Nida’s lexicons as well as Newman’s Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament come standard; Bauer, Danker, Arndt, and Gingrich (BDAG, 3rd ed.), Liddell and Scott’s intermediate lexicon (L & S) and Lust, Eynikel, and Hauspie’s (LEH) lexicon for the Septuagint are available for an additional cost.  As for biblical Hebrew and Aramaic lexicons, program users can utilize the abridged Brown, Driver, and Briggs’ (BDB) lexicon; the unabridged BDB, The Concise Dictionary of Classical Hebrew (CDCH), and Koehler-Baumgartner’s (HALOT) lexicon are obtainable as add-on modules.  With Scholars Premier, the user receives the following theological dictionaries:  Jenni-Westermann’s Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament, Harris-Archer-Waltke’s Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, and Spicq’s Theological Lexicon of the New Testament.

With regard to exegetical commentaries, students have several good options for purchase including the Word Biblical, Hermeneia, Pillar New Testament, New International Greek Testament, JPS Torah, and several other sets.  The scholarly six-volume Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, the one volume Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, and the IVP black NT dictionaries can be purchased separately.  When Bible study students need to compare parallel passages in the Bible, there are a host of options such as several Gospel modules, an Epistles version, Old Testament passages, and Old Testament texts found in the New Testament.  For those Bible students interested in the study of Early Judaism, Early Christianity, and Rabbinics, there are a plethora of excellent add-on original language texts (including many morphologically tagged) and translation resources.  Lastly, we should mention that the (add-on) Graphics DVD includes excellent Bible maps, timelines and photos for personal and instructional uses.

With a portable computer, Bible students can conveniently tote what would be an otherwise massive hard copy library; in just a couple of months, the Acc8 app for the iPhone/iPad will be available making Bible study on the go even more convenient.  We close our review by noting a couple of areas of improvement or items that buyers should realize.  First, more Unicode support is needed for Acc8.  The ability to import html documents with Unicode non-Latin languages (e.g. Chinese) into the Accordance user tools as well is not currently possible.  Moreover, the ability to export Unicode Hebrew fonts to word processors such as MS Word is problematic although fault lies with MS Word not Accordance.  Second, even though Acc8 does have the option to display texts and background tools such as maps and timelines in a parallel pane if two workspaces are opened, the reviewers would welcome an option to have the parallel panes in the same tab so that the user does not have to open a new workspace and resize both workspaces to view them side by side.  Finally, in terms of pricing, we would prefer a slightly more generous amount of modules in the various levels of the program.  Nevertheless, the reviewers highly recommend this program for seminarians and others with higher level Bible study education.

Michael D. Matlock is an associate professor of Inductive Biblical Studies and Old Testament and Jason R. Jackson is a Hebrew language teaching fellow at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky


The Emmaus Journal, Volume 18 (2009) pages 234-236

Accordance Bible Software®: A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew by Paul Joüon, S.J.–T. Muraoka, Subsidia Biblica 27
Second edition. Oak Tree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, http://www.accordancebible.com. (877) 339-5855, Macintosh Format. $75.
A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew, Subsidia Biblica 27
By Paul Joüon, S.J.–T. Muraoka, 2nd ed. Roma, Pontificio Instituto Biblico, 2006, 772 pages, $80 (hardcover).

The Hebrew grammar of Paul Joüon originally appeared in 1923 and has been recognized by OT scholars as an outstanding work. In the 1960s Bruce Waltke began to translate the syntax section for his students at Dallas Theological Seminary. But it was not until 1990 that it finally appeared in English translated and revised by T. Muraoka. Muraoka has continued the work of revision in the second edition which came out in 2006, and the original edition of Joüon which was described as an intermediate Hebrew grammar has been considerably expanded and is now the only complete, up-to-date, advanced Hebrew grammar in English. Muraoka has retained most of Joüon’s original work but has thoroughly revised most of the text. He has changed many of the footnotes and has brought the discussion of Hebrew grammar to the point of reflecting the current discussion. This is a considerable achievement, since there has been so much advance in the understanding of the Semitic languages during the twentieth century.

Until the appearance of Muraoka’s translation the only advanced Hebrew grammar in English was that of Gesenius-Kautzsch-Cowley, which appeared in 1910. The additional work of Bruce K. Waltke and M. O’Connor, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (Eisenbrauns, 1990), gives the student of the Old Testament three outstanding reference tools for the study of biblical Hebrew. What is especially helpful is the fact that all three are now available in electronic form. I have been using the Accordance edition of all three and appreciate the ease of use which is found in this format. Most students will not read through these grammars from beginning to end. They will use them as reference tools when seeking help on individual problems. All three grammars can be searched simply by clicking on the verse which one is studying.

Each of the three grammars has its own value. GKC is the most complete grammar with the largest index. In looking for help on an unusual or difficult construction, I am rarely disappointed. Joüon-Muraoka is of great value for the clarity of its discussion of morphology and its help in understanding the different forms. Waltke-O’Connor has the most thorough discussion relating to Hebrew syntax and the different points of view which have been suggested.

The most difficult issue in Hebrew syntax is the use of the tenses in the Hebrew verb. The perfect tense with a waw consecutive seems to be the equivalent of an imperfect, and the imperfect with a waw consecutive seems to be the equivalent of a perfect. More perplexing is the situation in poetry where parallel lines will have different tenses with seemingly the same meaning. In Psalm 8:6 (v. 7, MT) says, “You have made him to have dominion (תַּמְשִׁילֵהוּ, impf.) over the works of Your hands; You have put (שַׁתָּה, pf.) all things under his feet.” In Psalm 18:7 (v. 8, MT) David describes his perilous situation. “Then the earth shook (waw consecutive and imperfect) and trembled (waw consecutive and imperfect); The foundations of the hills also quaked” (imperfect). In Psalm 18:17 (v. 18, MT) he says, “He delivered me (imperfect) from my strong enemy, From those who hated me, For they were too strong (perfect) for me.” Waltke and O’Connor have said that “Hebraists have been something like the proverbial five blind men examining an elephant. Each of them has described portion of the beast accurately, but they differed in their conclusions because they tried to describe the whole by generalizing from a part” (p. 457).

The most thorough discussion is to be found in Walke-O’Connor which begins with a survey of the different theories and then argues for an aspectual theory. Joüon-Muraoka argue that the proper value of tense forms is to be found in prose narrative (p. 326). In poetry, they argue, the writer has greater license and the forms do not have as precise a use as in prose. This does not mean that there is complete freedom even in poetry to interchange the tenses, for that would result in chaos. They do argue for different aspects in different tenses, but they are willing to say on the basis of empirical observations that with the waw consecutive the perfect is converted to the imperfect and the imperfect to the perfect. (They prefer the term “inverted”.) Their discussion is helpful, but the question of the tenses still remains.

Students of the Old Testament are indebted to T. Muraoka for the fine work he has done in the production of this very helpful grammar. His thorough study of the literature is reflected in the footnotes. The electronic version of Accordance (or one of the other electronic programs) makes it easily and instantly accessible to the Hebrew student in his exegesis of the Old Testament.

John H. Fish III


Journal of Jewish Studies to be published 2009 2nd issue

Accordance 8 Bible Software. Jewish Collection. Oak Tree Software, 2008. $89.00 (Introductory Level), $259.00 (Advanced Level), $509.00 (with Kaufmann Hebrew Mishna [tagged], Jewish study Bible and JPS Torah Commentary).

Accordance’s Jewish Collection comprises a number of text resources that can be displayed, compared and searched by the Accordance program that comes with the CD-ROMs. There are two levels. The Introductory package includes the King James Version Tanakh with Strong's Hebrew Dictionary, the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (untagged), the Jewish Publication Society (JPS) Tanakh, Tanakh Parallels, Tanakh Outlines, the JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, Wigram's Hebrew Verb Parsings, and Readings and Prayers for Jewish Worship all for $89. The Advanced package contains all the Introductory level resources, but in addition has the Schocken Bible: The Five Books of Moses, Josephus and Notes in English, The Mishnah: A New Translation by Jacob Neusner, the Mishna (Eshkol Edition, untagged), a tagged BHS, and Brown-Driver-Briggs Abridged Hebrew Lexicon. It is also possible to add the Kaufmann Hebrew Mishna (tagged), Jewish Study Bible and JPS Torah Commentary for an additional $250.

One advantage of electronic versions is their portability; carrying around a hard copy of all these different texts would prove a challenge. However, it is the functionality of the Accordance software itself that is the major difference from using traditional printed formats. The program makes it easy to find the section of text you are interested in, display different versions (e.g. Hebrew and English translations) and search for specific words or phrases. You can create reference lists, notes, save text to separate files and export Hebrew text in Unicode. For most people purchasing a biblical software program, it is the search facilities that are of greatest interest; several of the electronic texts are freely available on the internet, so purchasing them just to read is unnecessary. Accordance has some exceptionally powerful search features. As expected, simple word or phrase searches are easy to set up. More complex searches, for example looking for words in one section that are not used in another, require a little more effort, but for those put off by having to specify search commands using specific syntax, there is a graphical search option which is far more intuitive. Accordance also includes a ‘fuzzy’ search command for occasions when an exact phrase to be searched for cannot be recalled and another facility that enables allusions from one text to another to be identified. Although useful for exploratory work, researchers are unlikely to rely on Accordance’s own built-in algorithms for identifying related passages.

The collection is keyed to Strong’s numbers for users who are not familiar with Hebrew, but this feature is not applicable to non-biblical texts where English searches are necessarily translation dependent. Users with even fairly basic Hebrew will get far more out of the software and are likely to want to have the Hebrew resources available in the Advanced options. The availability of morphologically tagged texts not only is an aid to the student, but opens up the field of stylometric analysis to Jewish studies scholars. In this regard, those familiar with Hebrew may wish to consider adding the Dead Sea Scrolls modules to the collection. The Dead Sea Scrolls Biblical Manuscripts ($150), edited and tagged by Martin Abegg, provide the earliest texts of much of the Hebrew bible, and the Qumran Sectarian Manuscripts ($80) are an invaluable resource for Second Temple Jewish studies. Other modules that may be of interest include tagged Hebrew Inscriptions, Samaritan Pentateuch, Targums, Josephus, Philo, Septuagint and New Testament. It is with these resources that the search facility of software programs such as Accordance really comes into its own. Moreover, Accordance makes importing of both English and Hebrew texts (e.g. in HTML format) with Unicode fonts easy. It downloads texts into a ‘user tool’ which can then be used as the basis to search Accordance modules. This facility enables scholars with an interest in more modern periods to link texts they are studying to the ancient texts provided by Accordance.

Accordance is specifically designed for Mac users and those with a Macintosh computer need not think any further about whether to choose an alternative biblical software package. But for people who primarily use a PC the choice is harder. There is no PC-specific version of Accordance, but it can be run on a PC using an emulator. The BasiliskII emulator is available from Accordance together with installation instructions for the nominal sum of $10, but it is also freely available from the internet. Since the latest version of the emulator was released in 2001, using it is like running Accordance on a very old system, though with the speed of a modern computer (any recent computer will be fast enough and have enough storage to run Accordance). For everyday use, there is no real difference in speed between Accordance on Mac or PC. A few of the useful, but not essential, features of Accordance are thus lost such as the ability to print directly from the program. Institutions considering purchasing Accordance for multiple users should be aware that the software needs write/modify rights, not ideal in a shared environment. This also means that if one user sets preferences, these can be lost if another user changes things. This problem is not unique to Accordance, however, as similar issues arise with Bibleworks.

PC users will wish to consider Bibleworks and Logos as alternatives. Bibleworks was originally developed as a bible translation aid and has excellent Greek resources, but it does not have many of the specifically Jewish modules available in Accordance nor does it have the Dead Sea Scrolls Biblical Manuscripts. Logos Bible Software has a similar Christian bias with none of the Jewish resources available. A PC user who wants the wealth of material offered by Accordance has three options. First, import texts from the internet as a resource into their software package. This is possible, but not for tagged texts, and not all texts are freely downloadable. Secondly, run Accordance using an emulator. This is practicable, but as the software evolves to take advantage of ever-improving Macintosh operating systems, the user is liable to miss out on changes that derive from the sophisticated Macintosh interface. Thirdly, buy a Macintosh and partition it so that it runs like a PC, for example using VMware Fusion. Files can be shared across the partition, Accordance will run beautifully and all the vulnerabilities of relying on a PC will be eliminated.
—John Starr and Timothy Lim
University of Edinburgh


Canadian Evangelical Review, No. 95 (Spring 2009), pp. 95-107.

A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, by Bruce M. Metzger. 2nd ed. Stuttgart: United Bible Societies/Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1994. Digitalized Accordance Software Module for Mac OS. $35.00 (USD).

Recently, the classic companion to the fourth edition of the United Bible Societies’ The Greek New Testament (UBS4), Bruce Metzger’s A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament has been digitalized and released by Accordance. It is also available from Logos Bible Software. This review treats the version available from Accordance—the difference being the way in which the respective versions have been tagged so as to allow particular search capabilities. The first question that might be asked, however, is why one should bother with a digital version in the first place? There are several reasons: first, if you regularly use a digital version of the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (UBSGNT), why not integrate it digitally with its companion volume in order to facilitate your study and work? Secondly, the digital version opens up a world of search possibilities that can enhance the use of this valuable resource. Thus, apart from general text-critical guidance equivalent to the printed version, the search capacity of the digital version allows for more detailed exploration of various aspects relating to the extensive work of the UBSGNT committee. Finally, the digital version will be particularly useful when scholars want to find representative examples of various textual phenomena—representative examples since the commentary contains a very limited selection of variants in the first place—to the extent that one agrees with the explanations and definitions of the committee. In the Accordance search fields for this module one can search in the following categories: “Reference” (the passages discussed), “Titles” (words in the titles), “English Content”, “Scripture”, “Greek Content”, “Hebrew Content”, “Transliteration”, “Manuscripts”, “Syriac”, “Certainty”, and “Uncial Greek”. These can be combined in advanced searches (with “AND”, “OR”, “NOT” commands). The following review will briefly go through some of these categories with selected examples of possible searches.

We start in the “Reference” category, in order to identify all the passages discussed in the commentary, as distributed book by book. Below we have counted only the main references (in a few cases a discussion of a certain passage extends to another passage):

Matthew (181) 1 Cor (91) 1 Thess (19) Hebrews (49) 3 John (3)
Mark (150) 2 Cor (50) 2 Thess (11) James (26) Jude (15)
Luke (191) Galatians (38) 1 Timothy (25) 1 Peter (46) Revelation (92)
John (184) Ephesians (43) 2 Timothy (15) 2 Peter (26)
Acts (545!) Philippians (29) Titus (10) 1 John (39)
Romans (97) Colossians (33) Philemon (7) 2 John (9) Total: 2028 passages

The very large number of passages in Acts (over 1/4 of the passages) is of course due to the significantly different “Western” text of Acts as represented by Codex Bezae.
We next turn to a discussion of the English Content search field, and more specifically the issue of theological motivation behind textual alteration.

As is well-known, the committee frequently refers to possible theological motivation behind textual variants. The digital version facilitates a closer look at such places in the commentary. In order to identify them, we have used several relevant keywords such as “Christological”, “theological”, etc within the English Content search field. We have only included references that are relevant in relation to scribes (i.e. not a reference to, for example, an author’s theology or the like). In a few cases the keywords overlap or occur more than once in the same passage. Apparently, in one case theological motivation is explicitly rejected (i.e. in Phil 2:7 where the variation is described as “non–doctrinal”). The keyword “theological” renders 12 hits concerning the following ten passages: Luke 2:38, 11:4, 16:12, 24:51, 24:53; Acts 2:41, 5:32, 9:22; Rom 9:4; and 1 Pet 1:22. In Acts 2:41, for example, “The substitution in D of pisteu,santej for avpodexa,menoi was doubtless motivated by theological concern that faith in, and not merely reception of, the word preached by Peter is prerequisite to receiving baptism.” Of the ten passages, four receive an A-rating, two a B-rating, and four are left unrated.

The keyword “pious” (copyists/scribes/glosses etc) renders 11 hits as found in Luke 23:43; John 8:8; Acts 15:29, 28:31; 1 Cor 6:11; 2 Cor 4:6, 14; Phil 3:12; 2 Thess 2:8; 1 Tim 6:5; and Rev 22:21. In John 8:8, for example, “In order to satisfy pious curiosity concerning what it was that Jesus wrote upon the ground, after gh/n several witnesses (U Π 73 331 364 700 782 1592 armmss) add the words e[noj e`ka,stou auvtw/n ta.j a`marti,aj (‘the sins of every one of them’).” Codex Π, by the way, does not contain John 8:8, so this is an error both in the digital and printed version of the commentary. Four of the eleven passages receive an A-rating, one a B-rating, two a C-rating, and four are left unrated.
The keyword “piety” renders two hits in Gal 1:3 and 2 Pet 1:2. The comment on the latter passage states: “Other readings incorporate various amplifications reflecting the piety of copyists.” One passage received an A-rating, and the other a B-rating. The keyword “doctrine” renders 3 hits in Luke 2:33, 41 and 43, all relating to the doctrine of the virgin birth. For example, the comment on Luke 2:33 reads, “In order to safeguard the doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus, o` path,r was replaced by  vIwsh,f in a variety of witnesses….” One passage receives a B-rating, while two are left unrated.

The keyword “doctrinal” renders 9 hits in eight passages, including Matt 24:36, 28:20 (footnote 6); Luke 1:46, 24:53 (in footnote 21); Acts 1:2, 9:20; Phil 2:7 (“non-doctrinal”); and 1 John 5:20. In Matt 24:36, for example, the comment reads, “The omission of the words [ouvde. o` ui`o,j] because of the doctrinal difficulty they present is more probable than their addition by assimilation to Mk 13.32.” Out of the eight passages, four have an A-rating, one has a B-rating, and three are left unrated. The keyword “Christological” renders 2 hits in Luke 24:53 and John 3:13. In both cases the members of the committee were split in their opinion. For example, in Luke 24:53 qeo,n {A} it states that, “During the discussions a sharp difference of opinion emerged. According to the view of a minority of the Committee, apart from other arguments there is discernible in these passages a Christological-theological motivation that accounts for their having been added…. On the other hand, the majority of the Committee, having evaluated the weight of the evidence differently, regarded the longer readings as part of the original text.” One passage receives an A-rating, and the other a B-rating. This is of course strange considering the stated “sharp difference of opinion”.

The keyword “Christocentric” renders 1 hit in Luke 8.3 where it is written, “The plural [auvtoi/j] is supported by good representatives of the Alexandrian and the Western text-types; the singular (compare Mt 27.55; Mk 15.41) appears to be a Christocentric correction, due perhaps to Marcion.” The passage receives a B-rating. The keyword “reverence” renders 3 hits in Luke 24:53; John 11:33; and Acts 4:24. For example, the comment on Acts 4:24 reads, “The shortest form of text appears to be the oldest; the additions were doubtless made in the interest of heightening the apostles’ reverence in prayer.” Two of the passages have a B-rating, while one is left unrated. And finally, the keywords “in the interest” (followed by reference to theological motive) occur in Luke 2:41 (see above), 23:42; Acts 1:14, 4:1, 19, 24 (see above), 32, 6:10-11, 9:31, 12:2, 15:32; 1 Cor 7:5; and Gal 1:3. For example, in Gal 1:3 one reads that, “The apostle’s stereotyped formula was altered by copyists who, apparently in the interest of Christian piety, transferred the possessive pronoun so it would be more closely associated with ‘Lord Jesus Christ.’” Two of the passages receive an A-rating, four a B-rating, whereas seven are left unrated.

These preliminary search results cover this aspect of the commentary rather well, broadly speaking, at least for this brief review (the passages in question would need more analysis and detailed categorization). Certainly, there are more examples and, in fact, it is very difficult in many cases to define and identify “theological motivation”. Nevertheless, the impression is that these passages, where the committee is rather explicit on the matter, are very few in number as compared to the total of over two thousand passages contained in the commentary. In addition, we find that passages in Luke and Acts are overrepresented, and this is clearly due to the many references to the “Western” text of Codex Bezae (D05) in Luke and Acts with its “theological tendency”. To conclude this section, we note, to our surprise, that the keywords “intentional” render only two hits, and “consciously” only one hit, neither having anything to do with theologically motivated alteration.

We turn now to palaeographic explanations for variant readings, wherein the next search looks for any examples where two variant readings that both make sense in the context are written similarly in Greek uncial script so that palaeographic confusion could easily occur. One of the variants could then possibly be explained as a “meaningful misreading”, governed more or less by the scribe’s expectation for sense as the reader (or listener). In order to find such examples, we decided to search for the keywords “palaeographical”, “palaeographically”, and “palaeography”. This search rendered 14 hits in the actual commentary (apart from the introduction and footnote references) for “palaeographical”; 5 hits for “palaeographically”; and 2 hits for “palaeography”. For example, in Luke 2:14 there is the variation between euvdoki,a and euvdoki,aj. The genitive is the more difficult reading and the committee explains the rise of the nominative as either “an amelioration of the sense or as a palaeographical oversight”. My point is that both factors come into play, palaeographical similarity and sense expectation on the part of the scribe.

Another example is found in Acts 7:36. The witnesses of both readings, gh/| Aivgu,ptou and gh/| Aivgu,ptw|, unite in their support of gh/| against th/|. On the other hand, the present passage probably alludes to LXX Exod 7.3 which reads gh/| and the committee normally preferred readings that depart from the Septuagint. In this case however, they conclude that “the palaeographical possibility that scribes misread ghaiguptw for the more usual (and therefore more to be expected) thaiguptw was regarded as the probable explanation for the emergence of scattered witnesses attesting th/|.” Our third example is found in 2 Cor 5:3 between the variation of evndusa,menoi and evkdusa,menoi. The former reading has stronger external attestation, but the latter is considered “paradoxical” by the committee (“inasmuch as we, though unclothed, shall not be found naked”). The former reading is more to be expected, and therefore more likely to arise as a meaningful misreading. A third reading with very slim support, evklusa,menoi, is explicitly attributed to palaeographical confusion by the committee.

Our discussion now turns to the differing opinions among the UBSGNT committee members. The next brief survey in the English Content search category relates to places where the committee members were in disagreement. We first look at those specific places where individual members express their minority opinion explicitly by indicating their initials (when, as explained in the preface, they felt that “the majority had seriously gone astray”). Since the possibility to search is limited to a list of individual search words, probably due to some technical reason, this type of search (for initials) demanded special search strings like “B * M” (for Bruce M. Metzger), where * in this case stands for the period. The search gave the following results: Bruce Metzger (B.M.M.) twenty-six passages (two of which were A-rated; five B-rated; twelve C-rated; two D-rated; and five left unrated); Allen Wikgren (A.W.) twelve passages (five of which were B-rated; five C-rated; one D-rated; and one left unrated); Kurt Aland (K.A.) three passages (two of which were C-rated; and one D-rated); Carlo M. Martini (C.M.M.) one passage (which was B-rated); Matthew Black (M.B.) no indicated passages. As we suspected (but had not verified) from our experience with the printed version, Bruce Metzger most often expressed his different views (more than the other members in total). As a side note, we came to understand in the Metzger memorial session at the annual Society of Biblical Literature Meeting in San Diego that C. M. Martini frequently served as the mediator when there was disagreement among the members, so that a decision could finally be reached in spite of heated discussions (aside from an irenic nature, one can suspect that Martini’s pastoral experience and good command of German and English helped in this regard).

Secondly, we look for the keywords “majority”, “minority”, and “member(s)” wherever they refer to the majority, minority, or member(s) of the committee. When there is explicit reference to an alternative view of a “minority”, this generally indicates a stronger disagreement between members than the simple reference to the “majority” view or decision (which of course always supports the printed reading). The keyword “minority” occurs in the following twenty-two passages: Matt 6:33 (C-rating); Mark 5:21 (C); Luke 10:32 (unrated, but square brackets); 22:17-20 (B); 24:3 (B); 24:6 (B); 24:40 (B); 24:51 (B); 24:52 (B); 24:53 (A); John 3:13 (B); 5:2 (C); 8:16 (A); 10:26 (B); 13:2 (B); 13:22 (B); 1 Cor 1:2 (unrated); 2 Cor 7:8 (C); Col 1:20 (C); 2:23 (C); 1 John 5:10 (B); and Rev 12:10 (unrated). We think it is remarkable that two of these passages receive an A-rating.

The keyword “majority” occurs roughly 400 times in reference to a majority of the committee. We can infer that in most of the other approximately 1600 passages, the committee was unanimous in their decision. Nevertheless, the keyword “member(s)”, referring to different opinions among the members of the committee, occurs at several places (where we have excluded those passages listed above wherein other keywords occur): Mark 2:4 (“one member”); John 16:28 (“most members”); Acts 7:13 (“some members… others”); 7:35,  (“some members… other members”); 15:25 (“one member”); Rom 9:5 (“some members… others”); and 16:7 (“some members… others”).

We next discuss the Manuscripts search field, wherein it is possible to search for all textual witnesses (MSS, versional, and patristic evidence) cited in the commentary, which extend well beyond the GNT apparatus itself (a list of all cited evidence is available within the module). It should be noted, however, that this function is not suitable for any general statistics of textual affiliation because of the selective nature of included passages and manuscript citation. Nevertheless, this search function might aid in the search for particular examples. A search for some examples of single witnesses renders the following results. P45 is cited 61 times in the commentary (in somewhat fewer passages, since it may occur more than once in a discussion—the same extending for most examples below); P46 is cited 269 times; P66 is cited 75 times; P72 is cited 68 times; P75 is cited 71 times; a is cited 1114 times; A is cited 778 times; B is cited 926 times; C is cited 621 times; D is cited 1103 times (both D05 and D06); 1739 is cited 344 times; Ambrose is cited 12 times; and bomss is cited 37 times. The search for particular papyrus witnesses requires a space between the “P” symbol and the number. The reason for this is because the special papyrus symbol is a different font, and is thus treated as a separate word from the number following, since Accordance does not support multiple font types for the same word. Additionally, it is possible to find combinations of manuscripts supporting a reading (i.e. a A B C D occur in 23 passages). It is more difficult when first hand/corrector are involved, or when one wants to find other “non-successive” manuscript combinations (i.e. all passages where B agrees with 1739). Then one can use a search string like B <WITHIN 15 Words> 1739, but it requires a lot of extra work, since the list may include passages where B and 1739 have competing readings.

The last search field to be discussed in this review deals with certainty. In this category one can search for the letter-ratings A, B, C, or D. As scholars know (and often regret), there is a related but distinct system with square brackets for uncertain words in the printed text. Thus, it would have been useful if the software had allowed searches for square brackets in this category. However, it is still possible to find those places (approximately 250 passages) by searching for “square brackets” in the English Content category. The resultant search for specific letter-ratings produces the following results: A (507 passages); B (538 passages); C (368 passages); and D (9 passages, including Matt 23:26; Mark 7:9; John 10:29; Acts 16:12; Rom 14:9; 1 Cor 7:34; 2 Peter 3:10; Jude 5; and Rev 18:3). These figures differ slightly from those indicated several years ago by Kent D. Clarke. However, Clarke indicates the number of ratings in the edition (A: 514; B: 541; C: 367 and D: 9) and not the commentary. If we look at a specific book and combine a search for “certainty” with “reference”, one finds that the software indicates 32 A letter-ratings in Matthew, whereas Clarke indicates 34. In order to explain the discrepancy, we compared the printed commentary with the printed edition, and saw that in Matt 5:44 there are two A letter-ratings, whereas there is one comment on the verse which is marked with "bis" (twice). On the other hand, we spotted an error in Matt 28:6 in the printed commentary, where an A letter-rating present in the edition is missing (e;keito). The digital version, of course, is most likely to contain all such errors and typographical mistakes found in the printed version (e.g. “Origin” for “Origen” in Rom 12:2), which may be fine as it could create confusion if the digital version attempted to correct the printed version. Since we know that there are about 2030 passages discussed (see above), we may assume that approximately 600 passages were unrated (and these are not cited in the apparatus of UBS4). One might add that it may have been of further benefit, at least for the sake of completeness, to be able to search for the term “unrated” in the certainty category.

In conclusion, the digital version of Metzger’s A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament will not only save time for many students and scholars, but it is also likely to lead to new ways of using this standard reference work. The search capacity of the digital version does not allow any detailed studies of the textual affiliation of the witnesses since the commentary, due to its nature, is highly selective. Nevertheless, it does allow a more detailed exploration of various aspects relating to the work of the committee. Moreover, the digital version will be particularly useful when scholars want to find representative examples of various textual phenomena. We can be grateful to the United Bible Societies and the software companies who have made this fine resource available to us in a different format.

—Tommy Wasserman, Lund University, Sweden
Cf. my article on the subject at http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/vol07/Wasserman2002/Wasserman2002.html.
Kent D. Clarke, “Textual Certainty in the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament”, Novum Testamentum 44 (2002): 113.


INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF BIBLICAL STUDIES
Internationale Zeitschriftenschau für Bibelwissenschaft und Grenzgebiete
ADDRESS: Universität Paderborn, N3/IZBG, Warburger Str. 100, D-33098 Paderborn, Germany

The following abstracts or reviews have been published in vol. 53:2006/07

161    Scholar’s Collection 7.1 (Accordance Bible Software)
The Hebrew text of the Old Testament (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia), the Novum Testamentum Graece (27th edition), the Septuagint (Rahlfs), the Vulgate, and a few English translations of the Bible (including the Apocrypha): this will always be the “core bundle” a biblical scholar needs on his desk. In the “Accordance” core bundle, all of these texts are included, and much more – such as several other Greek New Testaments (the textus receptus, for example), and the very detailed notes of the New English Translation (known as the NET Bible). And you klick on any word of the Hebrew Bible to see, at the lower margin of your screen, a full morphological analysis. Several other helpful tools are also included in the “core bundle”: the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (ed. by R.L. Harris, 1980), a glossary of biblical Aramaic, a grammar of the Septuagint (F.C. Conybeare et al., 1905), and a Latin dictionary. The surface is well organized and always tidy. Especially designed for Macintosh users, this software package may, within minutes, become your favorite Bible software. Much can be added to it, if you buy additional “unlock codes” for items such as the texts of the Mishnah or the works of Philo and Josephus. It is also not difficult to add, for example, the German Luther Bible (complete with notes), for an additional fee. The reviewer recommends the inexpensive “Training Seminar DVD” which gives a good basic introduction to practically all the features of the Accordance software. – More information can be found on the web; www.accordancebible.com. – One compact disk; the reviewer recommends it with enthusiasm.
Accordance; OakTree Software, Altamonte Springs, Flor. (2006) (BL)

162    Die Mac Studienbibel: Stuttgart Original Language Collection
All the essential tools for bible study are included in the “standard” version of this software package: texts – Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (complete with apparatus), the Septuagint (ed. Rahlfs), the Greek New Testament (Nestle and Aland, 27th ed., complete with critical apparatus), Vulgate; modern versions – King James Version (with Apocrypha), American Standard Bible; NET Bible (with notes that amount to being a full commentary); – dictionaries: Wörterbuch zum Alten Testament (with all items translated into German and English), Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint (ed. J. Lust et al.), dictionary of New Testament Greek (in German by R. Kassühlke, in English by B.M. Newman). The entire package is specially designed for Macintosh users, and has all the virtues – tidiness of the screen, easiness of use, scholarly reliability of the texts and tools – for which OakTree’s “Accordance” software is already well known. This software package is highly recommended. It can be perfected by the purchase of a code that will unlock a few more items already installed on the compact disk; however, another option is to buy not this package but the slightly more expensive, but more comprehensive “Scholar’s Collection 7.1”, also by OarkTree. For those working on the Macintosh, “Accordance” is the trade mark that guarantees quality if not perfection. – For more information, consult www.scholarly-bibles.com. – One compact disk, highly recommended.
OakTree Software, Altamonte Springs, Flor.; Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart (2006) (BL)

165    LUDWIG KOEHLER ET AL., The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament
Known as HAL or HALOT, this is the standard Hebrew-English dictionary of the Old Testament, known for its emphasis on etymology, explanation of rare forms, and indication of relevant bibliography (though often a little dated now – but in Hebrew linguistics, progress is not as quick as in other fields of biblical research). The printed version of HALOT, in Brill’s study edition of 2001, comes in two volumes (CXII/1–906, and XIV/907–2094), but as soon as you wish to approach it with very technical questions, it is far from easy to consult. The HALOT Compact Disk produced by OakTree Software and published under the label “Accordance” is specially designed for Macintosh users. It is installed easily and can be used without complications. The first thing the reviewer noticed when opening HALOT on the screen was the clarity and legibility of the Hebrew characters – they are actually better legible than in the printed version. The most basic operations are: searches for specific Hebrew words and word forms (that the user types into a window, using the normal keyboard for Hebrew characters – the equations are quickly learned), searches for biblical passages (and the system has a high degree of tolerance of the forms used to abbreviate biblical books), and, very useful indeed, English words. Mention should also be made of the possibility to link HALOT to other modules of the Accordance series, especially to an edition of the Hebrew Bible. Once you have installed HALOT on your Macintosh computer, you are likely to use it very frequently. This excellent tool saves you much time and makes your lexical research more efficient than ever. – Information can be found on the web; www.accordancebible.com. – One compact disk.
Accordance; OakTree Software, Altamonte Springs, Flor. (2006) (BL)

166    FREDERICK WILLIAM DANKER (ED.), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature. Based on Walter Bauer’s Wörterbuch
Walter Bauer’s Greek-German dictionary went through many editions, the last one being published in 1988 in a revision directed by Kurt and Barbara Aland. Danker’s English version, known as BDAG (Bauer/Arndt/Gingrich/Danker), is not simply derived from the 1988 edition; rather, it represents much independent lexicographic and bibliographic work here incorporated; so even the German user will not fail to benefit from consulting Danker’s 2000 edition, here offered in digital form. For the history of the English edition, see F.W. Danker, Multipurpose Tools for Bible Study, 1993, 117–120, who also points out that the German 1988 edition is not free from errors. BDAG, put on one compact disk by OakTree Software in this firm’s “Accordance” series, is easily installed on the Macintosh (for which it is specially designed) and works well. In fact, only those who use the digital version will be able to make full use of the treasures embodied in BDAG. Let the reviewer add that the search option, when he tested it, was very tolerant of all kinds of misspellings and inaccuracies – a tool, in other words, that is quite friendly even to beginners. OakTree is to be congratulated on the production of this fine and inexpensive tool. – More information can be found on the web; www.accordancebible.com. – The one compact disk stores not only BDAG, but also two fully searchable bibles in English: King James Version and American Standard Bible.
Accordance; OakTree Software, Altamonte Springs, Flor. (2003) (BL)

—Dr. Bernhard Lang, editor
International Review of Biblical Studies


Toronto Journal of Theology, Volume 22/1 (2008)

Accordance 7.4.2. Altamonte Springs, FL: OakTree Software, 2007. CD-ROM, Starter Package, US$39.00; Scholar's Collection Core Bundle, US$249.00; Scholar's Collection Complete Unlock, US$2499.00.

The latest version of the dominant Bible search software for the Macintosh was tested on a Titanium PowerBook 550mHz G4 (early 2002) with 1GB of RAM running OS X 10.4.11. A previous version of Accordance was already installed. Updating of the programme and the installation of modules went without incident. Even on a six-year old laptop, this latest upgrade proved to be a nimble performer.

First appearing in 1994, Accordance is an expandable software package for searching biblical- and modern-language texts. With the addition of optional map, timeline and image modules, the package becomes a powerful tool for background study and for preparing Powerpoint presentations to enhance sermons and lectures. Accordance 7 takes full advantage of the ease of use of the Macintosh platform and the features of its operating system, OS X. With OS X 10.4.x and above, for example, users have the benefit of two helpful widgets. The first, "AccUpdater," features a single button which, when selected, searches the user's hard drive for modules for which updates are available and reports back with upgrade options. Periodically running this small, but helpful, feature makes keeping Accordance up-to-date an effortless task. The second, "Accordance," widget allows users to enter a biblical or other reference and instantly have access to text for copying and pasting into other applications. Users new to Accordance will appreciate the tutorial and explanation of basic features available via "Help" > "Accordance Help" or by selecting "command-?" Veteran users can acquaint themselves with the new features of version 7 by clicking on the appropriate link in the "What's New?" sidebar of this same help page. (Streaming video tutorials for standard users and scholars are available from the Accordance website.)

Accordance's greatest strength lays in its ability to construct and perform complex lexical and grammatical searches with ease and speed. Searches for verses or words and phrases may be conducted using the command line of the "Search Window." While many users might tend to use this window solely for basic searches, the command line does support the use of Boolean operators such as AND, OR, NOT etc. Grammatically specific searches are easily constructed here through the "Search" > "Enter Grammatical Tag" pull-down menus. Search results appear in a text window below the command line. Multiple texts are displayed as parallel panels each featuring handy buttons to close panels, resize text or select manuscripts. The ability to instantly resize text is an especially welcome feature for those who must read vowel pointing or diacriticals on a laptop screen. Adding additional texts is achieved by clicking on an "Add Pane" button and selecting texts from the pull-down menu. This menu is customisable so that frequently accessed texts can be placed at the top of the list. Over time, users of Accordance can easily accumulate scores of texts to which they require ready access. Such access is enabled by a floating, customisable "Resource Palette," which organises texts, tools, background resources etc. using colour-coded icons or text buttons. The "My Notes" button on this palette is a particularly helpful feature, giving users the ability to add notes to biblical texts—an asset for storing ideas for writing projects, musings on odd textual features, observations to share with students etc.. While scrolling through a text, the presence of a note is indicated by a red dot beside the verse reference.

In the results window, search hits are bolded and in red for ease of recognition. If another term in a text window happens to pique interest, it too may be searched by highlighting the word and selecting a text from one of the Text buttons in the Resource Palette. Additional searches conveniently appear as tabs at the top of the workspace, eliminating the need to burrow through stacked windows to find previous searches. When working with tagged texts, running the cursor over a term in the Text window reveals parsing information in a floating "Instant Details Box."

Complex searches are carried out using a "Search Construct Window" which is linked to a "Search Window" where the results are displayed. The "Construct Window" allows users to drag and drop search items and, using pull-down menus, to specify the specific grammatical features they would like to search. By means of this graphical interface, users can easily construct complex searches without the need to create a long and confusing search string of arcane symbols or cryptic abbreviations.

Version 7 includes more new features than can be covered in a review of this size. What follows is a partial list of those items that are likely to be of interest to scholars. With the appearance of an "Arrange Modules" window, users who have accumulated multiple tools and texts are now able to customise menus so that frequently used items are easily accessible. Selecting "Compare Texts" in the Search Window now enables users to compare the same passage in different texts. Differences between manuscripts are indicated by a cyan strikethrough for replaced items, blue underlining for inserted items and red vertical lines for deleted items. This feature will undoubtedly appeal to researchers with text critical interests who can now compare readings between, for example, the Masoretic Text and the Qumran biblical manuscripts simply by clicking a box. The rigour with which texts are compared can be modified via the "Compare Texts" preference panel. The suitability of Accordance for in-depth textual analysis is reflected in the "Details" button of the "Search Window"—enhanced in version 7. Clicking this button following a search instantly produces a window offering access to various graphs and charts of word frequency, statistical summaries and even a concordance of the search term. The ability to instantly reformat searches (Window > Slide Show) for use with an LCD projector is a new feature that makes Accordance a flexible tool in the classroom setting. The "Import Bible Texts" feature now allows users to import out-of-copyright texts or their own translations for synchronised scrolling with other Accordance Bible modules.

Developer OakTree Software (www.accordancebible.com) makes Accordance available in several packages; many users, however, will want to purchase the basic programme and add modules individually as suits their scholarly interest. The starter package includes the KJV and eight other public domain texts and resources and is geared to those who do not expect to make use of original language texts. Purchasers in this category would likely wish to add a contemporary translation of the Bible—most of which start at US$30.00. The Scholar's Collection Core Bundle features twenty unlocked modules including English Bible translations, Greek and Hebrew Bibles and lexicons and other resources and provides access to dozens of additional texts which may be unlocked on an à la carte basis with the purchase of an access code. Most seminary students and faculty will find that this package provides a good balance between economy and coverage. For those without financial restrictions, the Scholar's Collection Complete Unlock gives access to over 70 texts and lexical resources relating to Biblical, Intertestamental and Rabbinic literature. Modules not included on the Scholar's Collection CD may be purchased directly from OakTree as CDs or downloadable files.

Users who were hoping to see Unicode fonts in Version 7 will have to wait a little longer. While Accordance can export to Unicode, the default Helena and Yehudit fonts are still standard TrueType ones. Nonetheless, Accordance 7.4 is a worthy successor to earlier versions of the programme. It continues to amaze that OakTree is able to add significant functionality and still retain the stability and ease of use that makes this programme a standout. For Macintosh users (and Windows users willing to run it with an emulator), Accordance is a wise choice for those who need a powerful search tool that can take them from the study to the pulpit or classroom.

—Brian P. Irwin
Knox College
Toronto School of Theology


The Emmaus Journal, Volume 16 (2007) pages 109-115.

The Zondervan Scholarly Bible Study Suite for Macintosh®
Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, 2006.
Oak Tree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, (877) 339-5885, $149.99.

Accordance Bible Software®: Library 7 CD-ROM Premier Level
Oak Tree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, (877) 339-5885, $279.

In previous issues of The Emmaus Journal I have reviewed the Accordance Bible Software program for studying and searching the Bible. Accordance has always been the best of the electronic search programs in terms of the power of its search capabilities, its ease of use, and its provision of some of the best Greek and Semitic texts and tools for the scholarly study of the Bible. One can do complex searches quickly and easily that involve a combination of words or grammatical constructions. These abilities are invaluable for the Bible student.

There are an increasing number of secondary works which relate to Bible study that are available for Accordance, and I would like to review two of the packages that are now available. The first is The Zondervan Scholarly Bible Study Suite and the second is Library 7, Premier Level which is put out by Oak Tree Software, the company that has designed and sells Accordance.

The Zondervan Scholarly Bible Study Suite contains some of Zondervan Publishers' basic tools for Bible study. The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible is a five volume work edited by Merrill Tenny and originally published in 1975. It is an outstanding work of evangelical scholarship and the articles and pictures are very easily accessible when using Accordance. Two other dictionaries are included, The New International Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology, edited by E. M. Blaiklock and R. K. Harrison and The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, edited by J. D. Douglas. The latter is especially helpful in obtaining brief information to identify individual in the history of the Christian church.

Zondervan has developed some of the best tools in recent years for the study of New Testament Greek and many of these are included. These include William Mounce's first year textbook, Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar, as well as a more advanced work, The Morphology of Biblical Greek. The latter work is especially helpful in enabling the student to understand how Greek words are formed. An additional work, The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament, parses every word in the New Testament, but it is really unnecessary since the parsing of all Greek words is found in the tagged texts of Accordance. The advanced grammar of Daniel Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, is the best work on the subject for the student who has completed the basic grammar of Mounce. It is very readable and understandable and can be searched either by topic or by verse from Accordance. There are also books for Greek and Hebrew that list the vocabulary of both testaments by word frequency. These are useful for memorizing the vocabulary of Greek or Hebrew.

There are also two fine volumes on biblical introduction written by evangelical scholars, An Introduction to the Old Testament by Raymond B. Dillard and Tremper Longman III, and An Introduction to the New Testament by D. A. Carson and Douglas J. Moo. These books deal with matters like the author, date, historical background, literary analysis, and message of a biblical book. In the last two hundred years it is in these areas that many of the attacks against the Bible have come. These works are good defenses of the evangelical faith. A more advanced work on hermeneutics is that of Kevin Vanhoozer, Is There Meaning in the Text? Much modern literary analysis assumes that meaning is determined by the reader or the community of interpreters. Vanhoozer argues that the biblical text has a meaning that is independent of the reader.

The Value of Old Books

What I would like to concentrate on in this review is the value of older Christian books. There are some who think that only the most recent commentaries and the most recent theologies are of value. I remember a student telling me that at the school he attended he was not allowed to cite in his bibliography any work more than twenty-five years old. There is a kind of hubris evidenced in that attitude. Only what is new is good; anything old is worthless. Now there are certain areas where we do want what is the most recent and up-to-date. In the field of medicine I want the benefit of the latest research, not treatment based on the medical knowledge of the 1950s. In the areas of biblical archaeology and historical background, there have been many advances in recent decades, and older works are likely to be antiquated. But in the areas of theology and biblical interpretation there is much of great value in many older Christian writers. As Brevard Childs said in a work which surveyed and recommended Old Testament books for pastors and teachers, "Good exegesis is good exegesis" regardless of when it was written. C. S. Lewis has an essay "On the Reading of Old Books" in which he says that some of the best theological material is found in older Christian books. In fact he recommends that "after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones."1 In some cases the older books explore biblical subjects in much more depth than is found in modern writers. Another factor mentioned by Lewis is that each age has its own prejudices. We are often able to see the blindness of Christians in areas of their weaknesses (for example, the blindness of some nineteenth century Americans to the evils of slavery), but we are unable to see our own areas of blindness and prejudice. Reading Christians from a different era often forces us to see things from a different perspective and exposes our own sins and weaknesses.

These two packages, The Zondervan Scholarly Bible Study Suite and Library 7, Premier Level by Accordance, contain a wealth of valuable older Christian works. The Zondervan package has a number of classic commentaries on the Greek text from the nineteenth century. I am particularly referring to the commentaries of Westcott, Lightfoot, Hort, Godet, and Eadie. These are some of the best commentaries ever written. Many of them are unavailable now, although they have been republished from time to time.

Westcott, Lightfoot, and Hort were known as the Cambridge trio. They were brilliant scholars who collaborated together in the study of the New Testament during the latter part of the nineteenth century. They defended the basic reliability of the New Testament and so influenced British scholarship that New Testament studies in Britain remained positive in its basic assessment of the New Testament while German scholarship at the time became so radically negative. They divided the New Testament among themselves and proposed to write a commentary on every book. It was a work that was never completed, but the commentaries in The Zondervan Scholarly Bible Study Suite give us the works they did write, Westcott completed full commentaries on the Gospel of John, Ephesians, Hebrews, and the Epistles of John. Lightfoot wrote classic works on Galatians, Philippians, and Colossians. A fourth volume of Notes on the Epistles of St. Paul contains the beginning notes on the Thessalonian epistles, 1 Corinthians, Romans, and Ephesians. Hort, who was considered the most brilliant of the three, began work on Romans, Ephesians, 1 Peter, and Revelation. None of these commentaries was ever completed, but these incomplete notes have been very influential.

Frederick Louis Godet, a Swiss reformed scholar, is one of my favorite commentators. His commentaries on Romans, 1 Corinthians, Luke, and John have stood the test of time and are models of what a good commentary should be. Some authors skip difficult problems. Godet does not. He is especially good at tracing the argument of a book, dealing with interpretational differences, and discussing the theology.

John Eadie was a Scottish scholar who wrote on the epistles of Paul—Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. He also wrote on the Thessalonian letters, but this commentary has unfortunately not been included in the Zondervan package. Greek students have found Eadie's commentaries especially helpful because they are so thorough. He deals with lexical studies, syntax, interpretations, and theology with great insight. Spurgeon said of Eadie on Ephesians, "This book is one of prodigious learning and research. The author seems to have read all, in every language, that has been written upon the Epistle. It is also a work of independent criticism, and casts much new light upon many passages."2

This Zondervan package gives us nearly twenty classic commentaries on the New Testament which are worth the price themselves. They can still be read alongside the best of the newer commentaries, not as antiquated relics, but as equals.

The Accordance Library 7, Premier Level contains a much broader range of older books, many of which are of incredible value. There are theological works, commentaries, English Bibles, Bible study tools, historical works, and devotional works. There are nearly 150 modules included, some of which are multivolume works themselves.
First there are a number of theological works. My favorites are the Systematic Theologies of Charles Hodge and Augustus Strong as well as the three volume Creeds of Christendom by Philip Schaff, the large two volume Works of Jonathan Edwards, and the older translation of Calvin's Institutes. Hodge taught first Old Testament and New Testament and then Systematic Theology at Princeton Seminary in the nineteenth century. He was a great defender of the Christian faith in general and the Reformed faith in particular, and many consider his Systematic Theology to be the best ever written by an American. A. H. Strong was a Baptist theologian who taught at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. Students always remember his Systematic Theology as a large volume with fine print, but it is especially of value for its illustrative quotes in the area of theology. Jonathan Edwards may have been the most brilliant of any American theologian, but he was also greatly used by God for evangelism during the first great awakening in the United States during the eighteenth century. Edwards writes with great depth and insight and has been called the last of the Puritans.

The theological works included in this package are not just from one particular perspective. There is the Arminian Lectures on Theology of Charles Finney, the Roman Catholic Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas, and the Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church by Heinrich Schmidt. There are a number of Puritan works as well as selected writings of Luther, Whitefield, Wesley, and Warfield. I am not sure that I would want to read any of these works on my computer, but I am especially glad to have them. First, it would be very expensive to buy all of them in book form. Secondly, I can search on the computer for quotes or key words. For instance, I was interested in seeing what Charles Hodge said about Jonathan Edwards on a particular subject and was able to find the discussion easily by searching under Edwards in Hodge's Theology.

There are also quite a few commentaries included in Library 7, Premier Level. Calvin's commentaries are still quite valuable even though they were written four hundred years ago. Spurgeon said of them, "It would not be possible for me too earnestly to press upon you the importance of reading the expositions of that prince among men, John Calvin. I am afraid that scant purses may debar you from their purchase, but if it be possible procure them.…"3 The commentary set by Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown was considered by one of my old teachers, Charles Feinberg, to be one of the finest commentaries ever written. Spurgeon said of it, "Of this I have a very high opinion…: indeed it contains so great a variety of information that if a man had no other exposition he would find himself at no great loss if he possessed this and used it diligently."4 Many preachers have found Matthew Henry's commentary to be very helpful for the application of biblical truth. Spurgeon said, "Every minister ought to read Matthew Henry entirely and carefully through once at least. I should recommend you to get through it in the next twelve months after you leave college.… You will acquire a vast store of sermons if you read with your note-book close at hand; and as for thoughts, they will swarm around you like twittering swallows around an old gable toward the close of autumn. If you publicly expound the chapter you have just been reading, you people will wonder at the novelty of your remarks and the depth of your thoughts, and then you may tell them what a treasure Henry is."5 Spurgeon's own Treasury of David, a large exposition of the Psalms, is valuable not only for Spurgeon's exposition, but also for his quotes from many other writers. Alexander Maclaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture contains a complete collection of one of the finest Scottish expositors of the nineteenth, or for that matter, any century.

Let me mention two authors whose writings on the Jewish background of the New Testament are especially valuable. One was Alfred Edersheim, a Jewish Christian, born in Vienna, who was educated in Scotland and who had a though knowledge of the Mishna, the Talmud, and other Jewish writings. His four major writings are included here. Best known is his Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, which is a commentary on the life of Christ emphasizing the Jewish background. He wrote separate volumes on The Temple: Its Ministry and Services and Sketches of Jewish Social Life. A fourth volume is Biblical History: Old Testament.

Less well known is A Commentary on the New Testament From The Talmud And Hebraica by the seventeenth century English scholar and member of the Westminster Assembly, John Lightfoot. This work is a condensation of his six-volume work. There is nothing like this in English today, and so it is very valuable for explaining Jewish customs and institutions that relate to the New Testament.

There are also a number of works that I would classify as devotional writings. The choicest of these would be the daily readings of Charles Spurgeon Morning and Evening. Well-known classics are The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence and The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis. On the subject of prayer are the Selected Works on Prayer by E. M. Bounds and The Kneeling Christian by an unknown author. Although it was not intended to be a devotional work, Christians have been greatly stirred over the years by the faith and steadfastness of believers who have given their lives for Christ as told in Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

Reading books on the computer is something that the younger generation finds more suitable than I do. I still like to sit down with a hard copy of a good book and savor the experience of reading it. But I do appreciate having all of these works on my computer. It is expensive to build a great library, but there is no greater investment for the person who will spend his life studying, teaching, and preaching the Scriptures. One of the antidotes to the shallowness of contemporary evangelicalism is the reading of great Christian books. With these two packages, The Zondervan Scholarly Bible Study Suite and Accordance Bible Software: Library 7, Premier Level, you can have a very good library at a reasonable price. I would still want to get a good collection of the newer writings, but I find much that is rewarding in these older ones. An additional advantage of having these books in Accordance is that they are searchable, both for scriptural passages, key topics, or authors.


1 C. S. Lewis, "On the Reading of Old Books," in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970), 201-202.
2 Spurgeon, p 177.
3 Spurgeon, 4. Note that the forty-five volumes which Spurgeon says are so expensive are just one item in the Library 7 package.
4 Spurgeon, 20.
5 Spurgeon, 3-4.

—John H. Fish III


The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology vol 10.4 (Winter 2006)

Accordance 6.9. Scholars Collection CD. By Oak Tree Software, Inc. 2006.

As a professor of Greek and a member of the first generation to grow up regularly using computers, I have long taken an interest in Bible software programs. I have led training seminars on Bible software at my seminary and have written several reviews on PC-based Bible study software. For the PC, I favor BibleWorks for original language search capabilities, intuitive utility, and speed .... I have, however, always heard Apple users brag about the excellent Accordance Bible software. I jumped at the recent opportunity of surveying this product. I had to run the Accordance software with a "Macintosh Emulator" program on my PC laptop, so the software ran slower than on a Mac. Also, my PC initially lacked the Apple Quicktime software necessary to run the training DVDs. And, while I used a Macintosh in college and seminary, I found that the past ten years on a PC have caused me to forget some of the peculiarities of the Macintosh operating system. I used to find the Mac more intuitive than Microsoft Windows. I see, however, that there would be a learning curve to return to Apple. These initial hurdles give me pause in suggesting this software to any PC users. Based on what I have seen, I still recommend BibleWorks to all PC users. For Apple users, however, I think the story is quite different.

Unquestionably, the Accordance software is well-designed with an intuitive interface that allows multiple Bible texts and translations to be compared, as well as the quick referencing of lexicons and other tools. Before watching any of the training DVD, I found myself able to access the texts and lexicons with little difficulty. After a few DVD training sessions, my ability with the program increased dramatically. This is a good reminder that no matter how intuitive a software program claims to be, there is always a period of learning. The more time initially spent in learning the peculiarities of a program, the more intuitively-accessible and useful it will be in the long-run.

Included in the program's core bundle ($199) are morphologically-tagged NA27 and BHS texts, Louw & Nida, Thayer, BDB, and one modern Bible translation. This core bundle costs $199. Additional lexicons, texts, and reference works can be unlocked individually, or one can unlock the entire staggering array of Scholar's Collection resources for $1,799! (I am reviewing only the "Scholar's Collection," but Accordance also has other Bible study resources available on a multitude of additional CDs.)

I was surprised at the excellent selection of optional texts available to Accordance users. Of all the Bible study software I have seen, Accordance likely offers the most extensive collection of ancient primary documents and scholarly tools. In addition to standard critical editions of biblical texts in Greek and Hebrew, available morphologically-tagged texts include the Apostolic Fathers, the Apocryphal Gospels, the Greek Pseudepigrapha, Josephus, Philo, Qumran Sectarian documents, the Targums, the Mishnah, and early Hebrew Inscriptions. These add-ons come at a price, but are no more expensive than the hard texts would be.

If I had an Apple computer, and, thus, were familiar with the Mac operating system peculiarities, I would most likely be using Accordance. I am impressed with the program—especially the excellent selection of scholarly texts and tools. For readers who have Apple computers, I add my voices to the chorus of endorsements for this fine software program.

—Robert L. Plummer


The Emmaus Journal, Winter 2006, Book Reviews p289 ff

Accordance® Bible Software: Josephus Tagged Greek
OakTree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, 2005. http://www.accordancebible.com. (877) 339-5855. Macintosh Format. $80.

Accordance® Bible Software: Philo Tagged Greek
OakTree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, 2005. http://www.accordancebible.com. (877) 339-5855. Macintosh Format. $100.

Accordance® Bible Software: The Apocryphal Gospels
OakTree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, 2005. http://www.accordancebible.com. (877) 339-5855. Macintosh Format. $50.

The wealth of primary Greek texts is are now becoming available to students of the Greek New Testament is wonderful. The ability to search these texts lexically and grammatically enables the student to find relevant material for his studies quickly and easily. Accordance® Bible Software, which continues to provide the ability to do the most complex searches with the greatest simplicity and ease, has three new works of tagged Greek texts: the complete works of Flavius Josephus, all of the Greek texts of Philo, and the Greek apocryphal gospels. (Grammatically tagged texts of the Septuagint, the Apostolic Fathers, and the Pseudepigrapha have been already available.)

To put this in perspective, we need to realize that the New Testament is a relatively small work. There are a considerable number of words that are only found a few times in the New Testament, and it is sometimes difficult to determine their meaning from the references we have. It is helpful to consult other Greek writers to determine how they used these words. The same can be said about their grammatical usage. The nearer one writer is to another in time, geography, and culture, the more likely he will be to have a similar linguistic usage. We recognize this when we read English writers of the nineteenth century such as Charles Dickens. Dickens wrote English, but his vocabulary and style are very different from ours today. The classical Greek writers wrote five hundred years before the New Testament. Their Greek is not nearly as useful to us as the Greek of Josephus and Philo who were both Jewish writers of the first century AD. The amount of material in the three works under review is significant. The writings of Josephus are 3.4 times as large as the New Testament, Philo is 3.2 times larger than the New Testament, while the Apocryphal gospels are about half the size of the Synoptics—Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In all, the size of these Greek writings is 6.7 times the size of the New Testament. They are invaluable to us linguistically as we seek to study the New Testament itself.

The second area of value for these writings is in their contribution to our understanding of the historical and cultural background of the New Testament. The writings of Josephus are especially important here. Flavius Josephus was a Jew born in AD 37, grew up in Jerusalem, was a Pharisee, participated in the war of the Jews against Rome which led to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, spent time in Rome, and wrote to explain the Jews and Judaism to the Greeks and Romans. Someone has said that without the writings of Josephus our Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias would be very small. Adolf Schlatter in the earlier part of the twentieth century wrote some very valuable New Testament commentaries in which he drew heavily on the writings of Josephus. Without Josephus our knowledge of Herod the Great, Antipas, Pilate, Ananias, Herod's temple, the sects of Judaism, the Jewish War, etc. would be considerably diminished. These electronic texts can be easily searched to find references to individuals such as John the Baptist, Jesus, and James, the brother of John.

The Greek text of Josephus is the 1890 public domain edition of Niese which has been tagged by Jean-Noel Aletti and A. Gienusz of the Pontifical Biblical Institute and Michael Bushell of BibleWorks. There is also an English translation with notes available for $40. (The Greek and the English Josephus can be purchased together for $100).

The writing of Philo have always been well-known in the scholarly community, but have never been as wide spread among general Bible students as those of Josephus. Philo was a prime example of the Hellenistic Jews of the diaspora. These were the kind of Jews that Paul met in the synagogues on his missionary journeys throughout the Greco-Roman world. The dates of Philo are not fixed, but are somewhere between 20 BC and AD 50, making him a contemporary of Jesus and Paul. He lived his entire life in Alexandria, which was noted as a brilliant center of learning and was the intellectual center for the Jews of the dispersion.

Philo sought to explain Judaism to the Gentiles by showing that the highest truths of Greek philosophy were already found in the Jewish Scriptures. He was able to reconcile Greek philosophy with the Old Testament by using the allegorical method of interpretation. Indeed, he was the chief example of this method before Origen. Going beyond the literal meaning of the text, he was able by allegorizing to see a deeper and higher meaning which contained all of the profundities of Greek philosophy. His writings thus give us a glimpse of some of the thinking found in the Hellenistic world among the Jews.

The Greek text of Philo is that which was developed by the Norwegian Philo Concordance Project with extensive revisions by Rex Koivisto. There is an English translation available for $50. (The Greek and the English Philo can be purchased together for $125).

The New Testament apocrypha were non-canonical writings which were supposed to give additional information about Christ or the apostles. The New Testament apocrypha need to be distinguished from the Old Testament apocrypha wich were Jewish writings of the intertestamental period and which are found in the Roman Catholic Bible. The New Testament apocrypha began to be written in the second century AD in Egypt and Syria and continued on until the middle ages.
In recent days many have become aware of the existence of these apocryphal gospels through some of the claims of The DaVinci Code and through other writers who assert that the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, and other apocryphal gospels were genuine competitors with the four gospels found in the New Testament. Such is far from the truth. Some were attempts to satisfy curiosity in areas where the New Testament was silent—the infancy, boyhood, and silent years of Jesus before the beginning of his public ministry. Others were heretical documents, many of then Gnostic, which attempted to introduce secret or innovative teachings by claiming the authorship and authority of one of the apostles. No one seriously believes that any of them was actually written by an apostle or go back to the first century (although some have claimed that there are genuine sayings of Christ in the Gospel of Thomas that are not found in the New Testament). These apocryphal writings are of no historical value regarding the actual life or teachings of Jesus. Their value for us is both linguistic and for the background of some of the early centuries of the Christian church. Some of this background is important for us in the study of the transmission of the Greek text in our study of textual criticism.

The Greek text was prepared electronically by Craig Evans and tagged by Rex Koivisto. An English translation is included with the Greek text.

These valuable texts are a welcome addition to the body of searchable, electronic Greek texts, and we look forward for more to follow.

—John H. Fish III


The Emmaus Journal, Winter 2006, Book Reviews p292 ff

Accordance® Bible Software: Die Mac Studienbibel: Stuttgart Original Language Collection
Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft. OakTree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, 2005. http://www.accordancebible.com. (877) 339-5855. Macintosh Format.

The main resources in this collection of tools for the study of the Bible in the original languages are the Nestle-Aland 27th edition of the Greek New Testament and the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS). Neither text is tagged, but both come with apparatus markers and the accompanying apparatus of variant readings. These are the two standard text of the Greek and Hebrew Bible and are the tools most will use for identifying the variant readings in both testaments.

There are two standard critical editions of the New Testament used today—the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament (UBS) and the Nestle-Aland 27th edition (NA27). The actual text in both is identical, the difference being in the apparatus which lists variant readings from the New Testament manuscripts and versions. The UBS text is designed for translators and only lists variants which are judged by the editors to make a difference in meaning. The NA27 includes a much more comprehensive listing of variants in a very compact format. It does so by a very efficient system of marks in the text which signify whether a word or phrase is to be added, omitted, replaced, or transposed. Until recently the computer editions of the New Testament have included all of the text with grammatical markers, but have not included the variant readings.

Now one can have the Greek text with the variant readings either in a parallel column or at the bottom of the screen. The variants are actually easier to distinguish on the computer than in the printed text since each variant begins on a separate line. In the printed text they run together and can be hard to find. A further advantage of the electronic version is that the manuscripts listed are hypertexed. Putting the cursor over a particular manuscript shows details as to the date of the manuscript, its location, and the specific portions of Scripture contained in it.

The same is true for BHS. It does not include the Masorah which are found in the margins of the printed editions, but it does include the full textual apparatus. For both the NT and the OT each apparatus can be searched for Greek or Hebrew content (not by lexical or grammatical form as you can do with a tagged text), manuscripts, or verse references.

Die Mac Studienbibel has a number of others resources which can be helpful. Most have been previously available. Included are the abriged BDB lexicon of the Old Testament which all readers of the Hebrew Bible will be glad to have (even if they have HALOT), as well as the LEH lexicon of the LXX. These two works are sold separately for $30 and $70 respectively, but are included in the price. There is also the Concise Greek-English Dictionary of Barclay Newman which is often bound with the UBS New Testament, and the German equivalent, Die Kleines Wörterbuch zum Neuen Testament. These are small dictionaries which are very useful when bound to the Greek text so that text and dictionary can be carried together. They are useful for reading, not study, and it is unlikely that anyone would ever use them on the computer if he had the electronic BDAG lexicon. There is a similar Hebräisch/aramäisch-deutsches Wörterbuch zum Alten Testament which includes both German and English glosses. Finally there is an untagged Rahlfs Septuagent text and the Latin Vulgate.

It is of course the critical apparati along with their respective texts which are the most valuable part of this collection. All students of the Greek or Hebrew Bible will be glad that they are finally available.

—John H. Fish III


The Emmaus Journal, Winter 2004, Book Reviews p308 ff

The Biblical World in Pictures
Biblical Archaeology Society, 4710 41st St., NW, Washington, DC 20016, http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org, ©2003. Libronix DLS Format. $179.95.
OakTree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, ©2004, http://www.OakSoft.com. (877) 339-5855. Macintosh Format, Accordance compatible, $179.
Biblical Archaeology Review: The Archive 1975-2003
Biblical Archaeology Society, 4710 41st St., NW, Washington, DC 20016, http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org, ©2003. Libronix DLS Format. $124.95.
OakTree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, ©2004, http://www.OakSoft.com. (877) 339-5855. Macintosh Format, Accordance compatible, $125.

In 1978 I was able to visit Israel and Greece and took hundreds of slide photographs. Unfortunately they have gathered dust in boxes since then, and I have rarely used them. First, I am not a professional photographer, and that was all too evident in many of the pictures. Second, the conditions were not always good for taking the pictures: the air was hazy, or maybe the sun was in my eyes, or people were blocking the scene, etc. Third, I would sometimes forget what the picture was showing. In 1982 the Biblical Archaeology Society began producing sets of slides which relate to the biblical world. I realized immediately how attractive they would be. Their top quality slides were taken by professional photographers and were accompanied by explanatory captions written by biblical scholars. But slides are still inconvenient. They must be sorted through and equipment must be set up.

That problem is now solved with the convenience of modern technology. The full ten sets of the Biblical Archaeology Society slides have now been put on one CD-Rom. They include over 1300 photographs of biblical scenes and sites, maps, artifacts, manuscripts, and inscriptions. There are sets for the Hebrew Bible, New Testament Archaeology, Galilee, Jerusalem, Egypt-Sinai-Negev, Mesopotamia, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Biblical Archaeology, Archaeology and Religion, and Ancient Inscriptions. The slides can easily be copied into Power Point and displayed on your computer or projected onto a screen. These are ideal resources for illustrating a Bible lesson in the pulpit or classroom. The material for a course in Bible geography is available here. Small groups and studies will benefit from the vividness of these pictures. They can even be used in personal study. As you study your Bible you can visit Rome, Ephesus, Corinth, Hebron, Dan, or Caesarea. You can look at the ruins of an ancient Jewish synagogue, see fishermen in a boat on the Sea of Galilee, look at coins used for the payment of the temple tax, or see a farmer threshing his wheat by tossing it into the air. Each picture is accompanied by an explanatory paragraph which explains its significance and cites relevant biblical passages.

While I would recommend these photographs in either the Accordance format for the Macintosh or the Libronix format for the PC, there were two striking differences between them which clearly show the superiority of Accordance. First, there is a dramatic difference in picture quality between the two formats. The very first picture shows a northern Galilee valley strewn with poppies in late springtime. In Accordance these red flowers are bright and vivid. A snow capped Mt. Hermon can be seen in the background. The colors of the same picture in the Libronix format seem dull and muted. The mountain is barely visible. The difference was striking enough that I wondered if the problem was in the computer screen. I tried it on a new computer which had an excellent screen, with the same results. The pictures in Accordance are clearly superior.

The second advantage of Accordance is convenience in searching for slides. When I was looking for the city of Corinth in Accordance, I found eight pictures. When I searched for Corinth in Libronix, I got all of the references to Corinth in the text captions as well as the pictures of the city.

The second CD-Rom has even more resources available. This is the archives of Biblical Archaeology Review, a magazine founded in 1975 on the subject of biblical archaeology. From the beginning, BAR adopted a unique approach. The journals devoted to biblical archaeology at the time were very technical and detailed. Even biblical scholars who did not have some expertise in archaeology could get lost in the technicalities. Although written by experts, BAR was designed to present the latest discoveries in the field of biblical archaeology in understandable language for the general audience of those interested in the Bible and the biblical world. Through the years it has sought to present the latest discoveries in an interesting way. It has not shunned controversy and often presents articles on the same subject by authors who have opposing viewpoints. While evangelicals have welcomed BAR and the many discoveries of archaeology that have supported the accuracy of the Bible, BAR itself does not have a doctrinal agenda and will often include viewpoints which oppose the accuracy of the Bible.

BAR became popular soon after it began publication. Starting as a small magazine with little color in 1975, it became a major work. This CD-Rom, which contains all of the issues from 1975-2003, includes over 9000 photographs, maps, drawings, and charts. There is even more here than in the Biblical World in Pictures CD-Rom. In addition there are over 1700 articles.

An elder from the church in New Jersey where I came to know the Lord received the first issue and then read BAR faithfully until he went home to be with the Lord twenty years later. He was not a biblical scholar, but he became highly educated in biblical archaeology and was current with the latest discoveries in the field. This magazine is the best resource for the average student of the Bible to learn the archaeology of the Bible.

Of course everything said above about the value of the Biblical World in Pictures CD-Rom applies here. The photos, maps, illustrations, and drawings can all be copied onto Power Point and used to illustrate Bible studies. Archaeology is a field which begs for photographs and illustrations. BAR has excelled in its pictures through the years. All of these are now available to us in the CD-Rom.

—John H. Fish III


JETS March 2005

Accordance Version 6.4. Oak Tree Software.

Since its release in 1994, Accordance has had its enthusiastic followers. Now the software, developed and distributed by Oak Tree Software (www.OakSoft.com), is available also for the PC user through the inexpensive Macintosh Emulator device. The Scholar's Collection CD-ROM offers a selection of Greek and Hebrew texts as well as scholarly reference works and translations. The unlock system makes it possible for each user to add specific tools of his or her choice. Critical for the serious Bible student is access to grammatically tagged Greek and Hebrew texts. The Accordance leads the way in making available tagged texts of the Mishnah, the Pseudepigrapha, the Targums, Inscriptions, Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus, and the Apostolic Fathers. Other specialized research tools include the MT/LXX Parallel and the Qumran Index, as well as many lexicons (see further below).

At least at present, Accordance is designed only to run on the Macintosh operating system. PC users, however, may acquire the Basilisk II software program that emulates a Mac environment for Windows. Once installed, one becomes immersed in the Mac OS world and will discover a virtual exegetical goldmine in form of the Accordance program. Those not accustomed to the Mac OS, however, may want to take some time to acquaint themselves with the program in order to get the most out of their research. Once they gain proficiency in navigating through both the Mac environment and Accordance, they will discover their overall user-friendliness.

The main utility of the Accordance program is that it enables the serious Bible student to conduct detailed searches in a variety of Greek, Hebrew, and English texts. Amid the basic drop-down menus and floating dialogue boxes the search entry box allows the user to search verses, words, phrases, and even grammatical constructions with ease and accuracy. Advanced syntactical studies are made possible by Accordance's graphical searches. The Greek construct window, for example, furnishes several lexical elements that can be connected by an arch that delimits items such as agreement or disagreement between words separated in the text. Thus, one could search for the anarthrous aorist infinitive followed by a dative or accusative within five words.

As mentioned, the distinguishing aspect of the Accordance program is most apparent in the massive databases of primary texts (if unlocked). It includes the fully tagged Hebrew Bible, Greek NT (in the case of the Gospels, also the GNT text-critical apparatus), LXX, and all the major English translations. More significantly, it also includes the fully tagged Dead Sea Scrolls (as well as the Qumran Index), Apostolic Fathers, Josephus, Targums, the Mishnah, the Samaritan Pentateuch, Hebrew Inscriptions, and the Greek OT Pseudepigrapha. In addition, the Apocryphal Gospels will be available in the near future. These primary texts are searchable in their original languages, and in most cases also in English translation. Thus scholars may conduct first-rate, cutting-edge research in a highly accessible format. Those interested in the use of the OT in the NT now have the tools at their disposal to investigate rather quickly how a given OT passage was interpreted during the Second temple period.

Another distinctive feature of Accordance relates to the abundant reference and analytical modules available. Accordance contains a number of lexical resources such as BDB, HALOT, Liddell & Scott, Thayer, TNDT, Louw and Nida, BDAG, and Wallace's Greek grammar (in the case of grammatically tagged texts, but not in the reference and analytical lexicon modules, the full parsing is revealed by moving the cursor over a given word). One also finds parallel MT/LXX databases, Synoptic parallels in Greek or English, and perhaps most notable of all, the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, the most extensive collection of ancient Greek texts from about 800 BC to the present. However, the TLG must be purchased separately and then imported into Accordance. Aside from these lexical tools, Accordance also references a variety of OT and NT commentaries, including the Anchor Bible Dictionary, The Essential IVP Reference Collection (including such volumes as the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels), and the Theological Journal Library. Finally, one can make use of a number of maps, charts, and statistical details on word usage.

Hours of laborious study are now reduced to a fraction of the time it would have previously taken to conduct them owing to the arsenal of texts and tools available through this technological marvel. A network of searches, cross-references, comparatives studies, semantic field analyses, and syntactical data maximizes one's time and energy. All research may be saved, printed, and exported into a word processing program. Simply by pressing Alt-Tab one can switch back and forth between the Mac OS and another program such as MS Word. Those who primarily use a Windows-based word processor can easily incorporate the results of the Accordance research. However, the Basilisk II emulation program does place a strain on one's system resources, so that it is best not to have too many programs running at once.

As any other program, Accordance 6.4 requires frequent and consistent use before the user is fully able to enjoy all of its many functions. Depending on their computer savvy, it may take some longer than others to learn how to use this program. Although Accordance is user-friendly overall, the abundance of options and features may prove overwhelming to some. The User Guide provides step-by-step instructions for operating the software, but this also demands time and patience for the user if he or she is to derive maximum benefit. Accordance is primarily marketed for scholars and pastors, though the software is also marketed to lay users in form of a different Library series with English-only works, whose cost is significantly less than for the Scholar's CD. The program does require a certain measure of familiarity with using software; those not committed to serious and intensive study may want to find a less sophisticated program.

Such a high-powered program translates into a high-cost purchase. In order to have access to most of the distinctive modules that makes this program so amazing, one must be willing to spend close to fifteen hundred dollars. Although the "Core Bundle" costs about two hundred dollars, this only contains very basic Bible databases (a little less than BibleWorks). Therefore, most individuals may have to start with the "Core Bundle" and gradually add more modules as their finances allow. This said, Accordance stands head and shoulders above their competitors as the most comprehensive and versatile Bible program on the market. All those dedicated to world-class biblical studies will benefit greatly from the resources offered by this program.

—Andreas J. Köstenberger
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC


The Emmaus Journal, Winter 2003, Book Reviews p330 ff

Accordance® 6.0 Bible Software CD-Rom Library 6 and
Accordance® 6.0 Bible Software CD-Rom Scholar's Collection 6

OakTree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, 2003. http://www.OakSoft.com. (877) 339-5855. Introductory Level, $69. Standard Level, $169. Premier Level, $269. Scholars Collection, $49 for Accordance module program and CD ROM+ grammatically tagged NA27 Greek New Testament, $50; BHS Hebrew Old Testament with Westminster Morphology, $60; grammatically tagged Greek LXX (Rahlfs) revised, $80; Apostolic Fathers, $100; Greek Pseudepigrapha, Vol. 1, $100; Qumran Sectarian Manuscripts, $80; Hebrew Inscriptions, $50; Kaufman Mishna, $100; Targums, $100. Other modules $20-$399. Macintosh format.

There are three areas to consider in choosing an electronic search program for biblical studies: the search capabilities of the program, ease of use, and the texts and tools that are available for the program. Several programs all claim to be the best. Compared with other programs, Accordance 6.0, the latest version of Accordance, ranks at the top in the first two areas and is becoming stronger and more competitive in the third.

Electronic searches have effectively made my old concordances obsolete. Extremely complex searches involving combination of words, phrases, or grammatical constructions that previously might have taken hours, days, or even months can now be done in seconds. There are four programs that are capable of the most advanced searches: Accordance 6.0 on the Macintosh platform, and BibleWorks 6, Logos Series X, and Gramcord, on the PC platform. While Accordance has been the leader in advanced search capabilities, the other three have been catching up.

Where Accordance still has the advantage is in ease of use. I have been working with Accordance for a number of years and have found it easy to learn and intuitive to use. At a recent convention where all of these programs were demonstrated, I examined BibleWorks and Logos for some advanced grammatical searches in the Greek text. While they were capable of such searches, compared to Accordance, they seemed clumsy and more complicated to use. They required memorizing or looking up more codes or key strokes and therefore took more time to set up the search.

Most of the new features in Accordance 6.0 are designed to make it still easier to use. The feature that I have found most helpful is the creation of a workspace with access to open windows through clearly visible tabs at the top of the screen. Instead of switching from one window to another through the pop-up menu at the top, you can simple click on the tab. I usually have several windows open at the same time—the main passage that I am studying, a window with search results, another window for quickly looking up verses, and a Greek or Hebrew lexicon. It is now easier and faster to switch from one to another by using the tabs. Other command buttons have also been streamlined to simplify use.

There are some reference tools that are extremely helpful to have on the computer to enhance Bible study, and there are some works that are not as helpful. The texts and reference tools available for Accordance are more selective than what is available for BibleWorks or Logos, but include most of the works that are needed. Logos advertises that with its Libronix format there are over 3000 works available. BibleWorks includes many different translations and books in its package. The numbers, however, are not that meaningful. The average person will not use most of these books or translations. The numbers are inflated with older authors whose works are available as shareware. More significant is the fact that I do not want to read most books on my computer. I don't want to read ten pages of any work on the computer; I would much rather have the book. On the other hand, reference works are much easier and faster to use on the computer. Lexicons can be instantaneously consulted with a click rather than the cumbersome and time consuming process of looking up each word. The study of the text often requires specific information on background or other pieces of information found in Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, and atlases. The instant access to this material on a computer and the ability to switch from one tool to another saves a great deal of time.

There are two kinds of original texts or translations available electronically: those that are tagged and those which are not tagged. For the English Bible, Accordance has tagged texts for the King James Version and the New American Standard and the New International Version. Each word is keyed to the Strong's number system so that the English reader can search the text according to the original Greek or Hebrew word. Specialized language tools, such as lexicons and theological dictionaries, can also be opened to the Hebrew or Greek word, even if you do not know the original languages or their alphabets. All of the competing programs have tagged texts of the Greek New Testament, the LXX (the Greek Old Testament), and the Hebrew Old Testament. Accordance also has tagged Greek texts of the Apostolic Fathers and half of the Pseudepigrapha. These are very helpful to the student of the New Testament in understanding the usage and grammar of Greek. With one command you can search the New Testament, the LXX, the Apostolic Fathers, and the Pseudepigrapha, just by changing the text to be searched. Tagged texts of the Apostolic Fathers and the Pseudepigrapha are exclusive for Accordance. For the Hebrew student, original language texts of the Qumran sectarian manuscripts, Hebrew inscriptions, the Targums (early Aramaic translations of the Hebrew Bible), and the Mishna are also available. English translations are available for all of these except the Targums.

The first reference tools that one would like for the computer in addition to the original texts would be lexicons and theological dictionaries. The standard lexicons are all available for Accordance as well as for BibleWorks and Logos X: BGAD (the standard lexicon for the New Testament), LEH (the only full lexicon for the LXX), the intermediate Liddell and Scott (classical Greek), HALOT (the standard lexicon for the Old Testament). New Testament theological dictionaries include Colin Brown's NIDNTT, Spicq's Theological Lexicon of the New Testament, and the abridged TDNT (little Kittel). Accordance does not have the complete Liddell and Scott or the complete Kittel, which are available on the other programs. For the Old Testament, Accordance has Van Gemeren's NIDOTTE, the TWOT edited by Harris, Archer, and Walke, and the Jenni-Westerrmann Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament. These essential OT reference works are available for the different programs. None of them have the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, which is now up to thirteen volumes and growing. An important advantage for Accordance over its competitors is that all of these tools do not work as extra add-ons, but are fully compatible with and integrated into the main program.

A second category of reference tools includes advanced and intermediate grammars. These have not been put in electronic format as quickly as some other works. Accordance has Wallace's Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, but does not have Waltke and O'Connor's Biblical Hebrew Syntax. This Hebrew grammar occupies first place on my wish list of new works I would like to see available for Accordance. I understand that it should be released later this year.

A third type of tool that is especially helpful to have on the computer includes Bible dictionaries and Bible encyclopedias. They contain a wealth of information that relate to almost every area of Bible study. Some involve one volume works with brief articles. Others are multivolume works of thousands of pages. They are bulky volumes which I have shelved on the other side of my office. On the computer I can click from the biblical text to the Bible dictionary and can quickly switch from one dictionary to another in order to compare the discussions. There are several standard works available: the New Bible Dictionary, Eerdman's Bible Dictionary, the Anchor Bible Dictionary, the original ISBE, and a series of major works in The Essential IVP Reference Collection.

There are two other reference works which are unique to Accordance and which are helpful for personal Bible study. One is the Accordance Bible Atlas, which allows you to click on a place name in the biblical text and open a map with that place highlighted. A new tool is the Accordance Bible Timeline. Highlighting a person's name and clicking on the timeline opens a graphic presentation of the people and events of that period. Both of these items have been produced by Oak Tree Software.

A fifth type of work that is available in electronic form includes biblical commentaries. Logos X is built on the Libronix format in which thousands of books are available, including many commentaries. If I were a missionary or traveled a lot and wanted to take my library with me, I would find this very convenient. But I only use a commentary on my computer if I want to consult it for a particular point in a particular verse. I do not like to read extended sections of a commentary on the computer. I much prefer the book itself.

Comparing costs of the different competing programs can be difficult because all have introductory packages which are relatively inexpensive and additional add-ons which can become very expensive. You have to decide on the different texts, tools, and features you want in order to compare. For the English reader, the Standard level of Accordance Library 6 includes the NAS95 with Strong's numbers along with a number of English Bibles, reference works, and tools for $169. The Scholar's Collection 6 has a core bundle which includes the Greek New Testament, NA27, the Hebrew Old Testament, BHS, along with two Greek lexicons and one Hebrew lexicon for $199. BibleWorks 6 sells for $299. Logos Series X has an Original Languages Library which includes original tagged texts along with many tools and costs $499. Their Scholar's Library costs $699.

—John H. Fish III


The Essential IVP Reference Collection
OakTree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, 2001. http://www.OakSoft.com. (877) 339-5855. Macintosh Format. $180.

Reference works are some of the best kinds of tools to have in electronic form on the computer. They are usually works which are not read from cover to cover, but are used to learn more about a particular subject. With the computer, a topic is easily accessed along with related subjects that are cross referenced. In recent years InterVarsity has published some of the best up-to-date reference works in the form of dictionaries and commentaries on various subjects. Those relating to biblical and theological studies have now been collected on one CD, which is an outstanding bargain. There are seventeen books, which together contain 13,120 pages and list in book form for a total of $570. On the CD they sell for $180. Moreover, most of these books are large volumes with double columns. There are few places where one can get so much information at such a reasonable price.

It is beyond the bounds of this review to consider each volume separately. The New Bible Dictionary and the New Bible Commentary have become standard tools for the last forty to fifty years. The former was originally published in 1962 and is now in its third edition, while the latter appeared in 1953 and is in its fifth edition. I have always found the New Bible Dictionary to be one of the most helpful of the single volume Bible dictionaries. The three volumes of the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, the Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, and the Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments, which have all appeared since 1992, are the contemporary equivalent of the well-respected Hastings Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels and Hastings Dictionary of the Apostolic Church, which appeared at the beginning of the twentieth century. The New Dictionary of Theology and the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology have received good reviews. Even more significant may be the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery edited by Leland Ryken, James Wilhoit, and Tremper Longman III. It deals with the images, symbols, motifs, metaphors, and literary patterns found in the Bible. Discussions of this type of material have been scattered in articles, commentaries, and individual books, but have not been collected in a single volume like this. It is a very helpful work.

There are four works which specifically deal with Bible backgrounds. The Dictionary of New Testament Background deals with subjects in alphabetical order, while The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament and The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament go through the Bible chapter by chapter discussing the background material. I was recently reading through Isaiah and found this work very helpful. The New Bible Atlas contains text interspersed with maps and pictures. The maps, which are quite good in displaying the geography of the Bible for different periods and events, can be enlarged by clicking on them.

A series of four books entitled Hard Sayings of the Bible have been collected together in one volume and deal with some of the difficult biblical passages. The final series of books includes four Pocket Dictionaries: Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms, Pocket Dictionary of Biblical Studies, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics and Philosophy of Religion, and Pocket Dictionary for the Study of New Testament Greek. These are helpful works that give the student a brief definition of terms he may be unfamiliar with when reading works related to the Bible or theology.

One of the first goals of a young student seeking to build a biblical and theological library should be to get a series of books that would cover, in a basic way, the whole spectrum of biblical studies. The IVP Essential Reference Collection goes a long way in accomplishing this. This collection, along with a good systematic theology and a good commentary on every book of the Bible, would complete this preliminary goal. The IVP Essential Reference Collection is available for the PC but is not integrated into the search program as it is with Accordance.

—John H. Fish III


Accordance® Bible Software: Greek Pseudepigrapha, Vol. 1
OakTree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, 2001. http://www.OakSoft.com. (877) 339-5855. Macintosh Format. $100.

The Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament refer to a collection of Jewish writings written during the intertestamental period, which were not a part of the canonical Old Testament or the Apocrapha. Their name comes from the fact that many of the writings were published under assumed names. Rex Koivisto, who previously tagged the Greek text of the Apostolic Fathers, has continued his work, this time with the first half of the Greek writings of the Pseudepigrapha. The tagged text can be searched lexically and grammatically, just like the New Testament, the LXX, and the Apostolic Fathers.

This work contains the Greek text of eight pseudepigraphical books: 1 Enoch, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, 2 Baruch (the Greek fragments), 3 Baruch, 4 Baruch (the Paraleipomena Jeremiou), the Testament of Abraham (both Recension A and Recension B), The Letter of Aristeas, Joseph and Aseneth, and The Lives of the Prophets. There are 2,935 verses in all, which is slightly less than the number of verses in Luke-Acts (3,029), slightly more than in the Synoptic Gospels (2,890), and near 50 percent more than all of the Pauline epistles (2,031).

There are two great values of this material for the study of the New Testament. Linguistically, it gives us additional material in Hellenistic Greek for the study of the vocabulary and grammar of the New Testament. It is not inspired and so does not have the doctrinal authority of the Old Testament, but it does help us understand the meaning of words and the usage of Greek near the time of the New Testament.

This material is also of great importance for the background of the New Testament times. For instance, Hebrews 11:37, in the record of some of the heroes of the faith, says, "they were sawn in two." The first chapter of the book, The Lives of the Prophets, says that "Isaiah was from Jerusalem. He died under Manasseh, having been sawn in two." The pseudepigraphical book tells us who this unnamed "hero of the faith" was who is mentioned in Hebrews.

I welcome this work produced by Professor Koivisto. It is very helpful to me in my biblical studies, and I pray that God will give him the strength to give us more tagged Greek texts like this one.

—John H. Fish III


The Emmaus Journal, Winter 2002, Book Reviews p319 ff

New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology
Ed. Colin Brown, 4 vols., translated, with additions and revisions from the German Theologisches Begriffslexikon zum Neuen Testament, ed. by Lothar Coenen, Erich Beyreuther, and Hans Bietenhard. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986. $169.99. CD-Rom Edition, Windows compatible, $119.99. CD-Rom Edition, Macintosh Version, Accordance Compatible. Oak Tree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, 2002. http://www.OakSoft.com. (877) 339-5855. Sale price $119.99.

The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (NIDNTT) which originally appeared in 1975 has proven itself as a very helpful tool for students of the New Testament. It is now available in electronic form. The particular format used by this reviewer has been the Accordance compatible version which is for the Macintosh. There is also a Windows compatible version available from Zondervan at the same price.

Many readers of The Emmaus Journal have used the dictionary in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance or Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words for help in understanding the meaning of Greek words found in the New Testament. Vine, who was an excellent Greek scholar, is especially helpful for the English reader, who can look up the English words of the New Testament but still get the meaning of the underlying Greek words.

At the other end of the spectrum for word studies is the massive, ten-volume Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT) edited by Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich. The studies in Kittel are often long and technical. For years it has been a standard work for biblical scholars. It is organized according to the Greek words themselves.

Colin Brown's New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (NIDNTT) is a helpful tool for Bible students who want more than is found in Vine's, but not so much as is found in Kittel. Like Vine's it is organized according to the English words, but its articles are longer and more complete. It contains the same kind of material as is found in Kittel, but in a more compact form.

Most articles in NIDNTT are organized in three sections. The Greek word is given in the Greek alphabet, then transliterated, then defined. The usage in classical and secular Greek is then discussed. The second section discusses the word as it is found in the Old Testament. This includes the use in the Septuagint (LXX), which was the Greek translation of the Old Testament, as well as the meaning of the Hebrew words behind the Greek. This section also includes the rabbinic writers, Qumran, and other Jewish writers such as Philo and Josephus. The third section discusses the word in the New Testament. A bibliography is usually included of works in German and English.

The articles in NIDNTT are shorter than in TDNT. For instance, the article on pais ["child" or "servant"] in TDNT (including other words for "child" like paidion, paidarion, teknon, teknion, brefos), and the related pais theou ["servant of God"] takes eighty pages. The similar article in NIDNTT has eleven pages. There are fifty-three pages on sarx ("flesh") in TDNT, but eleven pages in NIDNTT. The shorter format is actually more useful to the student who is interested in preaching or teaching a Bible class. Many of the articles in Kittel are just too long to wade through unless one is a specialist in biblical studies. Most students will find NIDNTT adequate for their needs.

There is another feature of Colin Brown's work which will be considered an advantage to evangelical students. TDNT was written by a large number of scholars who had widely differing viewpoints concerning the criticism and theology of the New Testament. It would be naive to think that their theological viewpoint did not affect their interpretation. NIDNTT in its original German form was produced by scholars who were on the whole theologically more conservative than those who produced Kittel's. In addition NIDNTT was translated and edited in English by evangelicals. If there is a conclusion in the original German work which is incompatible with a high view of inspired Scripture, there will often be an additional note by Colin Brown which suggests an alternate possibility.

This is one type of book that I actually prefer in the CD-Rom form over the hard copy. First, there is instant access to the word on the computer. You don't have to go through the four volumes looking up the word. Second, there is instant access to the Greek word, not just the English word. From my Greek text I can click on NIDNTT and go directly to the discussion of the Greek word I am studying. Third, the Greek words are directly accessible to the Bible student who does not know Greek through the Goodrick/Kohlenberger number system. This system, which works similarly to the numbering system of Strong's Concordance, was produced by Edward Goodrick and John Kohlenberger III for Zondervan's Exhaustive Concordance of the NIV in 1990. It attempts to deal with Hebrew homonyms in a better way than Strong's. My text of the New American Standard Bible in Accordance is tagged with this Goodrick/Kohlenberger number system. For example, in Romans 12:1, ("Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship"), if I highlight the word "mercies" and press the option key when I click on NIDNTT, I am taken directly to the article on oiktirmos.

—John H. Fish III


New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis
Ed. Willem A. VanGemeren, 5 vols. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997. $199.99. CD-Rom Edition, Windows compatible, $149.99. CD-Rom Edition, Macintosh Version, Accordance Compatible. Oak Tree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, 2002. http://www.OakSoft.com. (877) 339-5855. Sale price $149.99.

Theological dictionaries for Old Testament students who do not know Hebrew have historically not been user friendly. The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis (NIDOTTE) attempts to bridge that gap by giving transliterations of all Hebrew words, by using the Goodrick and Kohlenberger numbering system, and by the inclusion of extensive indices. It is, however, still a work which is primarily for those who have had some Hebrew and are serious students of the Old Testament. While it is meant to be a sequel to Colin Brown's New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology reviewed above, it is organized alphabetically by the Hebrew words and not according to the English. In the 5759 pages there is a wealth of rich material which can be of great help for the study of the Old Testament Scriptures.

The heart of the work is the discussion of the vocabulary of the Hebrew Old Testament. The article begins with the Goodrick/Kohlenberger number, the Hebrew word, a transliteration, and a brief definition of the word. This is followed by a section ANE which gives the meaning of cognate words found in the Semitic languages of the Ancient Near East. The most extensive discussion is under the section OT where the usage in the Old Testament is presented. There may be a section P-B [an abbreviation which is unexplained but which stands for Post-Biblical writings] which includes the LXX, Qumran, and the rabbinic writers. There may also be a section of the use in the New Testament. There is an index at the end of the article which refers to other words in the same semantic field that are discussed elsewhere in NIDOTTE. This is extremely useful in exploring related ideas in the Old Testament. There is also a bibliography for longer entries.

There seem to be only a small number of Christians today who are serious students of the Old Testament. There is little systematic preaching from the Old Testament. Yet this is inspired Scripture. It is God's revelation to us. The Old Testament was the entire Bible of the original church and still constitutes seventy-five percent of our Bible, which also includes the New Testament. Tools like NIDOTTE make available to us the fruits of the labor of those who have spent a lifetime in the study of this portion of God's Word. It is hoped that it will stimulate more of us to ponder over the great passages of Scripture found in the Old Testament.

There are three other sections found in NIDOTTE which make it different from other works of the same type. First, it begins with a two-hundred-page Guide to Old Testament Theology and Exegesis. This has been published separately by Zondervan and is a guide to hermeneutics and the study of the Old Testament. Second, the fourth volume contains almost 1000 pages of topical studies. This includes studies of individuals like Abraham and David, subjects like Clean and Unclean, Education in the Old Testament, Genealogy, and also a presentation of the theology of each Old Testament book. These are subjects which could easily be overlooked in a strict discussion of individual words. Volume five is a volume of indices. There is a Scripture index so that individual verses can be looked up. There is also a subject index. But perhaps the most useful index is the Index of Semantic fields. This is similar to what is found at the end of many of the articles, but it is more extensive.

Here again is a tool where the CD-Rom is easier to use than the hard copy. Instead of going to five different volumes, everything is accessible on the computer screen. Articles can be found with a click of the mouse. For the English reader there is the same ease of use in finding an article from the tagged NASB text as was mentioned in the above review of NIDNTT. This is an outstanding work.

—John H. Fish III


The Emmaus Journal, Summer 2002, Book Reviews p117 ff

The Anchor Bible Dictionary
Ed. David Noel Freeman, et. al., 6 vols. New York: Doubleday, 1992. $ 360. CD-Rom Edition, Macintosh Version, Accordance Compatible. Oak Tree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, 2002. http://www.OakSoft.com. (877) 339-5855. Sale price $299.

Books are not usually reviewed which are ten years old. What is new with The Anchor Bible Dictionary is its availability now on a CD-Rom. It is a recent addition to the library of resources available for Accordance Bible Software. [1] This is the kind of work which is particularly suited to use on the computer. With Accordance everything is available on one screen with just a click of the mouse. The Anchor Bible Dictionary is a massive work. There are six large volumes which contain over 1100 double-columned pages each. Instead of constantly pulling different volumes off of the shelf and looking up the article, everything is instantly available. There are hyper links to related articles, to verses cited in the articles, to information about the authors, and to abbreviations. My own preference would be to read the long articles in the printed version. But the shorter articles are especially good for the computer. During the past year I have constantly consulted The Anchor Bible Dictionary for information on names of people and places, and for searching for historical and archaeological information.

The Anchor Bible Dictionary is targeted for scholars. It is the modern counterpart of Hastings Dictionary of the Bible (1898-1904) and the Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible (1962, supplementary volume 1976). It aims to be "the essence of critical scholarship." Each of the over six thousand articles is written by an expert on the subject. The Anchor Bible Dictionary excels in matters that relate to history and archaeology. There is much less emphasis on word studies and theological studies. Most of the articles contain thorough bibliographies which enable you to do further research.

There are certain things that you need to be aware of and expect when using this kind of work. Most of the authors do not believe in the inspiration and complete historical and factual accuracy of the Bible. They would say, for example, that Ephesians was not written by Paul. Daniel was a legendary figure, not a historical person, and the book of Daniel was not written in the Babylonian period (6th century bc), but in the 2nd century bc, so that what purports to be prophecy in the book of Daniel was actually written after the fact. There is no single article on the book of Isaiah but four separate articles by the four supposed different authors of Isaiah. The Pentateuch is also the composite of several different sources from different eras of the Old Testament period. If you are looking for a critical presentation of the latest views in biblical scholarship, The Anchor Bible Dictionary is very useful.

It is particularly useful for all Bible students in its historical and archaeological information. It is hard to keep up with all of the new archaeological discoveries. Here is a good place to find out about the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as the more recent discoveries in biblical lands. Articles on countries like Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon are particularly good introductions for the student of the Bible. (You expect dictionary articles to be introductions to a subject, but it is surprising how thorough some of them are). There are comparatively few illustrations in this work. Those included consist of black and white maps and drawings which are accessible in the computer edition by clicking on the figure.

The goal of Accordance is to make the best resources available for the scholarly study of Scripture. The Anchor Bible Dictionary is one of those tools.

[1] I continue to be very enthusiastic about the Accordance Bible Software program. For my latest review of AccordanceTM CD-Rom Library 5 see The Emmaus Journal 10 (Winter 2001): 281-283. There is also a CD-Rom version of The Anchor Bible Dictionary compatible with the Logos Library System.

—John H. Fish III


The Emmaus Journal, Winter 2001, Book Reviews p281 ff

Accordance® Bible Software CD-Rom Library 5 and
Accordance® Bible Software CD-Rom Scholar's Collection 3

OakTree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, 2001. http://www.OakSoft.com. (877) 339-5855. Introductory Level, $59. Standard Level, $139. Premier Level, $239. Scholars Collection, $59 for Accordance module + Gramcord NA27 Greek New Testament, $80; Gramcord HMT-T Hebrew Old Testament, $80; Gramcord Greek LXX (Rahlfs) revised, $100; Qumran Sectarian Manuscripts $80; Apostolic Fathers $100. Other modules $20-$399. Macintosh format.

The best Bible study software continues to improve and expand its capabilities with the latest version of Accordance Bible Software, CD-Rom Library 5 and CD-Rom Scholar's Collection 3. Readers of The Emmaus Journal will know how enthusiastic I am about this program. It is by far the best Bible study software available. It is the one program on my computer that I use everyday without fail. The advantage of Accordance is that it can perform complex searches in the Hebrew and Greek text of the Old Testament and the New Testament. This includes not only searches for words and combinations of words. It also includes complex grammatical searches. For the English reader who does not know the original languages there are texts of the New American Standard Version and the King James Version which are tagged with the Strong numbering system so that the general reader can do word searches on the basis of the original languages instead of a translation.

Some of the new features of Accordance 5.0 and 5.1 are as follows. First you can now search part of a tool which you are using. For instance when using Koehler-Baumgartner's Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament it is often difficult to find a specific verse in a long article. Now the individual article can be searched for a specific verse or for any Greek, Hebrew, or English word.

Another feature which makes Accordance even easier to use is a new button which allows you to open a Reference tool or User notes as a new pane on the main search window. For instance I like to study a passage with my Greek or Hebrew text in the left pane and one or two English texts parallel to it. Now you can have a commentary such as Keil and Delitzsch or The Expositor's Bible Commentary at the bottom of the window. All of the panes are tied together so that they scroll in unison.

There is a new "history" button which allows you to go back to earlier searches. Yesterday, for instance, I was doing a study where one search led to another. At one point I wanted to see a number of verses that I had collected earlier but had erased from my screen. The history button allowed me to return instantly to the earlier results. There is a new hits command which allows you to compare the vocabulary of different books or different passages. This is especially helpful if you want to find out what words are unique to a specific book. For instance, what words are found in the Epistles of John that are not in the Gospel. Or what is the distinctive vocabulary that Paul uses in Romans or the Pastorals which is not in the rest of his writings. These results sometimes reveal the distinct emphases of a book.

There is a new color highlighting feature. Many Christians underline their Bible, even marking it with different colors. This can now be done in Accordance. In fact there are many different colors and styles that can be
used to highlight a word, or a phrase, or a passage. You can then search the passage for that distinctive style which you have highlighted. I recently went through a number of verses where I wanted to keep four different things distinct. I highlighted one in yellow, another, in red, a third in blue, and a fourth in green. It was very convenient and helpful.

Finally, there are an expanding number of texts and tools which can be used in conjunction with Accordance. There are six tagged texts which include the Hebrew Old Testament, the Greek New Testament (Nestle-Aland27, and the TR), the LXX, the Apostolic Fathers, and Qumran. There are over twenty English Bible texts and twelve modern foreign language Bibles. There are also ancient texts such as the Latin Vulgate, the Mishna, the Samaritan Pentateuch, Josephus, and the Anti-Nicene and Nicene Church Fathers. The Lexica include the LEH Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint, the Lowe and Nida Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains, Liddell & Scott's Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, BDB's Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (abridged), and the new Koehler-Baumgartner The Hebrew & Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (unabridged). The Theological Dictionaries include NIDNT, NIDOTTE, Spicq, and Jenni-Westerman. Wallace's Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics is available as well as a number of commentaries which include The Expositor's Bible Commentary and Keil & Delitzsch. Also should be mentioned are The Anchor Bible Dictionary, The Accordance Bible Atlas, and Accordance Bible Lands PhotoGuide. The one item that is conspicuously lacking on this list is the new BDAG, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature (third edition). I have recently learned that OakTree Software has signed a contract with the publishers and that this work will be available with Accordance in the future.

I should note one criticism. While I have never found any errors in the English Bible texts or in the tagged text of the Greek New Testament, I have found occasional errors in the tags for the Hebrew Old Testament text. These are being corrected, but it is an ongoing process. For instance earlier versions analyzed the interrogative particle as the article when the vowel was either a pathach or a seghol. This problem has not been completely cleared up. In some twenty-six examples where the interrogative has a pathach or a seghol listed in Gesenius-Kautzsch-Cowley eighteen have been corrected, but there are eight examples which have not (Gen. 18:17; 27:38; 30:15; 37:32; Judges 12:5; Jer. 8:19; Micah 2:7; Neh. 6:11).

—John H. Fish III


Accordance® Bible Software: The Apostolic Fathers Module
OakTree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, 2001. http://www.OakSoft.com. (877) 339-5855. $100.

The term Apostolic Fathers is used to designate the earliest Christian writings outside the New Testament. These include writers like Clement of Rome, Ignatius, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Didache, and Barnabas. These are the "other early Christian literature" in Bauer-Danker's A Greek Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature.

The edition of the Apostolic Fathers which is used in this Accordance module is that of Michael W. Holmes published by Baker in 1992 and revised in 1999. Working with the edition of the Apostolic Fathers originally published by J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer in 1891 entitled The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations of their Writings, Holmes has revised the Greek and Latin texts and the translations and has updated the introductions, bibliographies, and notes. The distinctive feature of the Accordance version is that the Greek text has been fully tagged just like the New Testament and LXX texts by Rex Koivisto, professor of Greek and New Testament at Multnomah Bible College. Therefore, they can be searched lexically and grammatically with all of the capabilities of Accordance. This is of tremendous value for students of the New Testament and of the early history of the church.

There are several ways in which the student of the New Testament can use these writings.

1. They are of great value for linguistic studies since the Greek is similar to that of the New Testament. In Accordance after searching for a particular word, combination of words, or grammatical construction in the New Testament, you can perform the same search in the LXX and also now in the Apostolic Fathers simply by changing the text. This gives additional breadth to ones studies.

2. This is Greek which is helpful for the New Testament student to read outside the New Testament. There is a great similarity to the New Testament in subject matter, vocabulary, and grammar. Yet it is different from the New Testament so that students who are familiar with their English Bibles cannot rely on their memory of the text. They are forced to understand the Greek. But with Accordance they also have the parsing and translation which will help them with some difficulties. Teachers of Greek will find the Apostolic Fathers a good collection from which to get sentences for classroom translation. Accordance enables them to find the particular construction that they want to emphasize.

3. Those who are students of the early history of the Church will welcome this edition because of the ease with which they can now search for words, themes, and ideas. This important body of Christian literature can now be studied more easily.

—John H. Fish III


Accordance® Bible Lands PhotoGuide
OakTree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, 2001. http://www.OakSoft.com. (877) 339-5855. Macintosh format. $39.

Roy Brown, the developer and programmer of Accordance, loves the biblical lands, especially the land of Israel. He learned Hebrew in Israel, he met his wife there, and he frequently returns there to teach the Bible. The Accordance Bible Atlas reflects some of the expertise that he has developed in his studies there. Roy has produced Accordance Bible Lands PhotoGuide, a companion tool to the Atlas, which contains numerous pictures of Biblical sites. There are over six hundred and forty photographs from Israel, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

Traveling to the biblical lands is the best way to get a feel of the country and a more vivid impression of the biblical narrative. Next best is to have good photographs which let you see the country. Most of the photos in Accordance Bible Lands PhotoGuide were taken by Roy Brown himself. Others were by Hanan Isachar and by George Gerster. They are all of very good quality, but those taken by Hanan Isachar are particularly superb. Furthermore, while Accordance Bible Lands PhotoGuide is a stand alone program, it is also integrated with Accordance. Thus when reading a passage you can go directly from a place mentioned in the Bible text to the PhotoGuide. When reading about the Negev, clicking on the PhotoGuide takes you to a brief article describing the region and mentioning a number of passages where the Negev is found in Scripture. This is followed by ten pictures of this region. You can see what a dry, barren, rocky, hilly area it is. Under "Israel" there is an overview with pictures of the different regions of the country (e.g. the coastal plain, the Shephelah, the hill country of Judah and Ephraim, the wilderness of Judah, Galilee, the Negev, and the Arabah). There are additional pictures of each of these areas under the specific location. I was surprised to find so many pictures of places outside of Israel. There are numerous pictures areas in Greece, Rome, and Turkey (the Asia of Paul's journeys). The article on Rome has seventeen pictures including the Coliseum, the Arch of Titus, the Mammertine prison where traditions says that Peter was held, and an early Christian carving of a fish in one of the catacombs.

This is one of those programs where you will want to peruse it for a couple of hours at first just enjoying the pictures. Afterwards it will be very helpful in the normal course of your Bible study to look at the major sites which are mentioned in your Bible study. The cost is reasonable. If you took six hundred pictures, the cost of film and processing would be $200-300, and the pictures would not be nearly as good.

—John H. Fish III


The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament: The New Koehler-Baumgartner in English
By Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner. Subsequently revised by Walter Baumgartner and Johann Jakob Stam. Translated by M. E. J. Richardson. 5 vols. Leiden, New York, Köln: E. J. Brill, 1994-2000. 2094 pages. $495.
CD-Rom Edition, Macintosh Version, Accordance Compatible. OakTree Software, Inc. 498 Palm Springs Drive, Suite 100, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701, 2001. http://www.OakSoft.com. (877) 339-5855. $400.

Hebrew lexicography, especially for English readers, has long been in need of an up-to-date, first-rate work which would take the place of Brown, Driver, Briggs, A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (BDB), which was published in 1907. The first edition of Koehler-Baumgartner (K-B) was published in 1953 with translations of Hebrew words in both English and German. This work, however, failed to receive widespread scholarly acceptance. The second edition dropped the English translations, and BDB has continued to be widely used in the English world.

The new Koehler-Baumgartner is finally complete in five volumes and is now the definitive Old Testament lexicon. (There is a project at the University of Sheffield headed by David A. Clines which has produced four volumes of an anticipated eight, A Dictionary of Classical Hebrew).

The first four volumes are the lexicon of the Hebrew portions of the Old Testament, while the fifth is the Aramaic. The greatest advantage of K-B3 comes from its inclusion of the tremendous amount of lexical study that has been done in the last century. Furthermore, the Hebrew texts from Qumran have increased our corpus of ancient Hebrew literature and also our understanding of many Hebrew words.

One of the problems of Hebrew lexicography is the limited amount of ancient Hebrew literature. There are many rare words in the Old Testament which are obscure. Ancient translations can be of help here, and cognate Semitic languages are often consulted, a practice which is hermeneutically weak, but sometimes there is no other choice. K-B3 gives a rather detailed presentation of the meaning of related roots in cognate languages. The foreign scripts which traditionally plague the student who does not know four or five Semitic languages have been romanized. Only Greek and Hebrew words are given in their traditional scripts.

K-B3 is attractively laid out and is arranged with words in alphabetical order. BDB was laid out according to the Hebrew roots, and this frequently makes it difficult for the student to find words. K-B3 is much easier to use.

There are two drawbacks to K-B3. The first is the price. With the cost at $400-500 many students will long for the luxury of this tool which they cannot afford. They will continue to choose BDB at $62.95 from Oxford or $35 from Hendrickson Publishers. Fortunately there will be an unabridged two-volume student edition for $160.

The other difficulty with a large multi-volume lexicon like this one is the continual switching between volumes as you look up words. Fortunately this problem has been solved with the CD-Rom edition. In the Accordance version you only need to click on the word in the Hebrew text and you are taken directly to the word in the lexicon. The electronic version is identical to the book edition and is extremely helpful. Currently the CD-Rom covers the first four volumes or the entire Hebrew lexicon. Volume 5 is the Aramaic lexicon and an eighty-five page bibliography which includes all of the secondary sources referred to in the lexicon. This will be included in an updated CD-Rom and should be available by the time of the publication of this issue of The Emmaus Journal.

K-B3 is now a primary and indispensable tool for all serious study of the Hebrew Bible.

—John H. Fish III