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Hidden Scripture links in User Tools (and Notes)


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#1 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 10:59 AM

I really appreciate the User Tools feature. I use it extensively in my sermon prep. One thing I would find very helpful would be the ability to create "hidden" Scripture links.

Every week paste in sentences and/or paragraphs for other resources in my primary sermon prep User Tool, to organize my exegesis. Many of these resources make references to Scripture passage that Accordance can't decipher.

For example, the following is from the TWOT:

A feminine noun from the root ‏חָקַק‎ “enscribe scribe” or “engrave.” ‏חֻקָּה‎ is used in the combination ‏חֻקּוֹת עוֹלָם‎ (perpetual statute) to designate an ordinance from God which is perpetually binding, e.g. the regulations of Passover (Ex 12:14), Unleavened Bread (12:17; cf. 13:10), Booths (Lev 23:41), Day of Atonement (16:29, 31, 34), the Aaronic priesthood (Ex 29:9), the perpetual light (Lev 24:3), the priest’s linen clothing (Ex 28:43) Blowing of trumpets (Num 10:8), laws for the sojouner (15:15), and laws of uncleanness (19:10, 21).


Within a User Tool, Accordance can't recognize the underlined references above, because the book name is missing. While I can go back and edit these paragraphs to include them, then I no longer have an exact quote, and in my notation of the source I have to add a note that I've edited the quote for Scripture references.

This isn't a horrendous problem for me since my focus is sermon prep. But if I were using a User Tool to organize items for a scholarly article or a seminary paper it would be. It's also proving to be an issue for folks who are creating User Tools from public domain works.

What I envision is a command that opens a dialog that asks for the text as it is to appear in the User Tool and then the properly formatted link. Accordance would then mark the text entry as a Scripture link, and store the proper link to use when the item is clicked, much as standard Accordance modules appear to do now.

Thanks for considering it,

Lorinda

As an aside, I don't know why the Hebrew in the quote above didn't line up properly. I have Accordance set to export Unicode. Maybe it's an issue with Firefox 3.

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#2 David Lang

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 12:16 PM

Lorinda, I pasted your quote into a user tool and made each of the references links without adding an explicit book name. It worked fine, and the references you underlined inherited the book name from the preceding context.

Are you perhaps thinking of user notes? I believe because user notes are not indexed, you do need an explicit book name there, but user tools should handle partial references just fine.

Hope this helps.
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#3 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 01:48 PM

What's that old saying about what happens when one assumes?

My guess is that I never tried formatting "bookless" links before, but it's possible I did try in User Notes; I tend to forget there are differences in how the two features work.

So I'm thrilled this possibility already exists. In playing a bit more, I even discovered that Accordance can handle verse-only references like this example from Chris Haslam's Study Notes:

The priest­ly role extends further: the animal is to be “roasted” (v. 8, not boiled), and it is to be completely consumed (v. 10): a perfect (“without blemish”, v. 5) and complete sac­ri­fice.


Unfortunately in my case that won't always solve my delimma, as frequently the antecedent full reference in my notes won't match the "partial" reference I want to create as a link, either because neighboring quotes in my User Tool are from different sources, or because of the conventions used by the author of one source.

Again, from Chris Haslam:

Verse 7: “blood”: The blood was God’s portion of the sacrifice: see Leviticus 1:5. [NOAB]
Verse 7: “on the two doorposts and the lintel”: The door was the holy place of the house: see 21:6 and Deuteronomy 6:4-9. [NOAB] Sprinkling the blood symbolizes both dedicating the household to God and the blood protecting the inhabitants from evil powers, “the destroyer” (v. 23), the angel of death: see also 2 Samuel 24:16 and Isaiah 37:36. [CAB] [NOAB]


If I format the 7 in the "Verse 7" phrase of the second line, Accordance will assume it means Leviticus 1:7, when the reference is actually to Exodus 12:7 (since Exodus 12:1-14 is the text being exegeted.)

As amazingly astute as Accordance is with Scripture links, I can't expect it to handle the wide variety of conventions, thus my idea of a "hidden link" option.

All that said, thanks for opening my eyes to the flexibility already written into the Scripture links. It will make what I'm doing easier, even if it's not quite all that I had in mind.

Lorinda

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#4 Sean R.

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 03:59 PM

I second Lorinda's suggestion for a hidden scripture link feature for User Tools and User Notes. Along with that, the ability to link to commentaries, lexicons, etc. and also other user-created modules would be a fantastic addition.
Sean Reed

#5 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 01:37 PM

Here's another test case, for reference. This is from Wesley's Notes on Exodus 12:3:

There was much of the gospel in this ordinance: (1.) The paschal lamb was typical. Christ is our passover, 1 Cor. v, 7, and is the Lamb of God, John i, 29. 2. It was to be a male of the first year; in its prime. Christ offered up himself in the midst of his days. It notes the strength and sufficiency of the Lord Jesus, on whom our help was laid. 3. It was to be without blemish, noting the purity of the Lord Jesus, a lamb without spot, 1 Pet. i, 19.


In the Accordance modules, the underlined references work just fine. But if I copy and paste this quote into a User Tool, then try to make links from these references, Accordance can't recognize them. (I did actually verify this before posting this time :) )

Lorinda

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#6 Helen Brown

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 03:00 PM

When we make tools we do add aliases for references like these that are not recognized by Accordance, but it's quite complicated to do it and so these are not supported for user tools, sorry!
Helen Brown
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#7 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 03:24 PM

Just to clarify: I know these kind of references aren't currently supported by user tools, and I do understand that you can't code for every possible variation of Scripture reference. That's why I'd like to see something like a "hidden link" feature available in a future version of User Tools. I was hoping it could be something as simple as BB Code syntax. For example:

[Link=1Cor 5:7]1 Cor. v, 7[/link]

would result in 1 Cor. v, 7, which, when clicked would take the user to 1Cor 5:7.

It would be even niftier if there could be a simple little dialog (similar to what the forums here use for insert link) that let the user enter the text to be formatted as a link and the correct reference.

All that said, I am in no position to know whether or not that's feasible to do. If it is great. If not, then I can certainly continue to manage as I am now.

Lorinda

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