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Accordance vs BibleWorks


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#1 robrecht

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 04:33 AM

Hi, all.

I'm getting ready to do a trial of BibleWorks, but I've been reading some very good things about Accordance. Can anyone point me to a list of advantages of Accordance over BibleWorks?

I've only ever used PCs, and I don't think I would like the disadvantages of using an emulator. If I were to buy a Mac laptop, what would be the advantages of Accordance over BibleWorks?

Here's what I've heard so far:

1. a much easier interface for searching

2. powerful "amplifying" from any selected word or phrase to any other resource in Accordance

3. a broader range of texts, commentaries and other study aids [I could also get this with Logos]

4. parallel panes which scroll together [also available on BW & Logos], cross highlight, dynamic interlinear, etc. [what is a dynamic interlinear?]

5. powerful analytic charts and lists for any search results

6. easily customizable purchases

I really don't want to any Mac v PC polemics. I'm also wondering if there are specific advantages of BibleWorks over Accordance, if this can be discussed without rancor.
I'm not really interested in subjective preferences, but more objective observations, eg, this type of search can be done on Accordance but not on BibleWorks.

Thanks for your time!

Robrecht

#2 James Tucker

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:29 AM

Robrecht:

To address your question in point 4 below, a dynamic interlinear is a customizable interlinear not limited to a static page. In other words, it's a interlinear that takes advantage of various and sundry bits of information—including, but not limited to morphological tagging, lemma, grammar, gloss, english translations, ancient versions—and aggregates and formats this information into, while making it easily readable, a user-friendly interlinear. Here a few screen shots:


Some options are contingent upon what exists in your library:
[attachment=2075:Screen Shot 2012-07-10 at 6.15.42 AM.png]

As you select various options, you alter the appearance of the text, like so:
[attachment=2076:Screen Shot 2012-07-10 at 6.17.11 AM.png]

I'll let others comment on your other questions.

#3 Fr. Rusty

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:52 AM

Dear Robrecht: I think it might be helpful if you could give a little info concerning your type of studies.
Accordance, like BibleWorks is incredibly powerful and customizable.
If you are doing scholar level work ( which it sounds like ) then I think you need to hear from those here who do the same type work.
So forth and so on.

For instance, I am a Parish Priest, thus my work is more in prep for sermons, teaching classes etc along with my personal growth, thus I use Accordance in a certain way. However, there are many here who use Accordance far and away much closer to it's true potential in Original Language studies and as a research tool.

My "guess" is that it is those more in the Academic world that you need to hear from.

One thing I will say is this: The UI and learning curve is much more fluid in Accordance than Bibleworks. Workflow ( for me) was much easier to establish because of this. Incredibly powerful software that does not lend itself to "easy memory" of workflow should be a thing of the past, sadly we often find that is not the case.
Reporting on that is always "somewhat" subjective, however, we do know some things about human interactions that we did not understand ten years ago.
Accordance has done a better job in this area than Bibleworks in my opinion. It's just easier to "remember" how to get around and set up your workflows and, remember "how" you set it up.

With that, I leave you to the true Academics.

Grace and Peace

#4 robrecht

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:49 AM

Thanks, James, that's very helpful!

Rusty, thanks for your question and comment about ease of use, I am mostly interested in direct study of the original texts and early translations, especially the LXX and the use of the Jewish Scriptures in the New Testament. Targums, Mishnah, and the Talmud are all of interest. Syntactic searches would be extremely interesting but this is a difficult area to discuss, with competing terminologies. What I can't do in BibleWorks, assuming I stay in the PC world, I may add on to the free Logos engine and purchase of some of their syntactic databases. Not sure how well this would work, actually, but it is something I am very interested in hearing about.

#5 Bret Hicks

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:11 AM

Robrecht,

I am a pastor rather than academic scholar, but I used BibleWorks for years, and have now been using Accordance for a little over a year. I would say that the power and capabilities of the two are very similar. I have not found much that I want to do that can be done in one but not the other. Some things I prefer in the way BibleWorks does things, but many things I prefer the way they are done in Accordance. Since this is an Accordance forum, but you asked for some BibleWorks advantages, I will let others give you Accordance advantages and will mainly focus on BibleWorks advantages. They are:

- Cost. It is much less expensive to get a robust set up of original language texts, lexical resources, grammars, and English texts in BibleWorks than either Accordance or Logos. However, BibleWorks has a philosophy that limits the amount of resources available. What you get is excellent and very inexpensive, but many resources available in Accordance simply are not (and probably never will be) available in BibleWorks.

- Export capabilities. BibleWorks is miles ahead here. They give you the ability to set up multiple export configurations that can be saved, and the things you can configure are more robust. However, this is more of a convenience thing, since you can always do the formatting after the sport is completed. Time consuming and repetitive, but it can be done.

- It runs on a PC. My honest opinion having used both programs quite a bit, is that if I really wanted to use a PC I would get BibleWorks, and if I wanted to use a Mac, I would get Accordance. I did run BibleWorks under Parallels (an emulator) on theMac for over 2 years, and it is really not worth it. If a friend wants original language bible research software, my first question is "What platform do you plan to run it on?" If the answer is Windows, I tell them go with BibleWorks. If the answer is Mac, I tell them go with Accordance. (I have used Logos on the PC but found it slow and bloated....)

So, I would say answer a few basic questions:

1. Which platform? If PC, I would go BibleWorks, if Mac, Accordance.

2. Which resources are really important to me? If what you mainly want is original language texts, lexicons, grammars, etc., but are not concerned with commentaries, dictionaries, etc. then BibleWorks is great. If your want those things, Accordance is better.

3. How much am I willing to invest? If you already own a lot of paper resources, and mainly want original language texts, lexicons, and grammars - and a lot of each - and want them inexpensively, BibleWorks is great. For less than $400 you can get pretty much all of the stuff you need for original language research of the Scripture. But if you want electronic versions of not only the text and lexical resources, but commentaries and dictionaries, and extra biblical original language items, and you have money to purchase these (again?) electronically, then Accordance is how I would go.

Others may view these things differently, but after using both for a good period of time, that is how I would answer the question. They are both wonderful programs, and my interactions with both companies was always great. Hope that helps.


In Christ,


Bret Hicks

#6 robrecht

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:43 AM

Thank you, Bret.

That is very helpful.

#7 Michael J. Bolesta

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 01:22 PM

Robrecht

I cannot comment on Bibleworks directly. A good friend and scholar I know loves it (PC user). He knows several Mac users who use Accordance and sing its praises (I have been using Accordance since version 1.1a, purchased late 1995 and have been adding modules steadily ever since).

Despite its growing sophistication, Accordance remains the fastest program I have ever had. Launching and searching are lightening quick. It is extremely rare to see the "spinning wheel" while it is working. Whole number upgrades (version 9 to 10 sometime in the future) will garner a nominal fee, but all interval upgrades (like 9.5 to 9.6) are free, and often include improvements other companies charge for.

I use a PC in certain work venues, and Windows has improved, but given a choice, I prefer the Mac. Accordance utilizes the Mac UI superbly.

There is a plus to Accordance if you have an iPhone or iPad: they have a free iOS Accordance app. Almost any (few exceptions like the Atlas and Timeline) module you have on your Mac would be accessible on your iOS device. This is incredibly portable and convenient. It is NOT as powerful as the desktop application, but very helpful for redeeming the time while you are in line, waiting rooms, traveling, etc.

Bret is correct: at root is the type of OS you wish to use. The points raised by him and others may help you in your decision.

The Lord bless you.
Michael

Edited by Michael J. Bolesta, 10 July 2012 - 01:23 PM.

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#8 robrecht

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 01:31 PM

Thank you, Michael. I have the Logos Android app but as yet only the free text modules. I do not think it is nearly as advanced as the Accordance app.

#9 Michael J. Bolesta

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:25 PM

It might also be useful for you to meet with an experienced user of each program and have each person put the program through its paces with searches you envision.
Michael
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#10 robrecht

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:02 PM

Thanks for the suggestion, Michael.

Unfortunately, I do not know anyone with this software here in the diaspora.

Perhaps you could indulge me? For example, how would you search on Accordance for four genitives (noun or adjective or participle) in a row?

Thanks, Robrecht

#11 Joel Brown

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:16 PM

I try to never directly compare Accordance with other software, as any comparisons are biased given my employment. However, I can easily answer questions about how to do things in Accordance!

That search is very simple, just search for:
[ANY gen] [ANY gen] [ANY gen] [ANY gen]

The [ ] brackets represent a commands within the search, in this time finding 'ANY' word that matches the subclass, which I specify as 'gen', short for genitive. (though you can type genitive as well). To search for 4 in a row, I just enter the command 4 times to represent 4 consecutive elements.
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#12 Julie Falling

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:31 PM

Hey -

Joel's search will give you 1032 hits. It will include articles, relative pronouns, etc. I set up a search using the Construct window and got 32 hits. Screen shot attached.

Julie in Tennessee

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#13 Julie Falling

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:37 PM

Robrect –

I don't know a thing about BibleWorks or Logos, never having used either program. I have watched a couple videos comparing the Logos and Accordance on YouTube, but that's about it. I can tell you, however, what I like about Accordance. I am not a scholar, just a serious Bible student who teaches youth Sunday school (to a bunch of really great and very smart young people). I have had four years of formal training in Biblical Greek at a local Christian college.

Searches in English and Greek are easy and very fast, basically instant results. I run Accordance on a 2008 unibody 15" MacBook Pro, not a brand new Mac, and the searches are still instant (unless I search every module I own at the same time). I don't do the more complex construct searches daily, but they're easy to set up and fine-tune. The podcasts offer excellent instruction, so when I become befuddled, I review. When I was working on improving my parsing skills while in school, I often did searches for a specific verb group (like alpha contracts) so that I could see the possibilities and quiz myself on identification. Accordance has been a huge asset for language learning and reviewing.

I like being able to set up and save custom workspaces for specific needs. I have one I use daily for my Bible reading program that I've used for years (screen shot attached). I like that I can customize the look and make it all easier on the eyes with color – the pastels are not nearly as hard on my eyes as bright white.

I use Accordance nearly every week in Sunday school. It makes much more efficient use of my study time, and, with the aid of a projector, enables our students to see multiple versions of the Bible side by side, see a location on a map, see pictures of the places using the Bible Lands PhotoGuide. I think Accordance enables us to make the best use of our class time.

The user tools, user notes, and user highlights are great. I add my own hyperlinked cross-references and all kinds of other stuff so that I don't have to keep covering the same ground. I use Accordance for my Prayer Journal. I highlight both texts and tools, making them even more useful for my needs.

The ability to amplify from a text or tool is such a time saver. It used to be that, when we wanted to learn more, we had to start pulling down a bunch of books, trying to find enough desk space, then table space – I would usually end up on the floor surrounded by books. And it was so time consuming that I often just didn't pursue the question until I had a bigger block of time. With Accordance, going from a text to a map, dictionary, commentary, or lexicon is so quick that I don't have to wait until I have more time or space.

One thing that really has made Accordance a bargain around here is that, since neither my husband nor I use Accordance professionally, we can use the same license. (My husband does not use any of the Greek texts or tools, nor does he spend as much time with Accordance as I do.) Neither of us takes a hard copy of the Bible to church anymore – we use our iPads. If one of us did use Accordance professionally/intensively, we could buy a family license for less than the price of two licenses. Another of the great deals Accordance offers is the family license that converts to an individual license as each child becomes independent.

Accordance has regular sales, often has reduced introductory prices, some discounts for buying multiple volumes from a commentary series. Some modules are just cheaper to buy at Accordance than elsewhere. I recently purchased the UBS NT Handbooks for $150, sale price, regularly $200; they're $400 at Logos (all prices rounded up to the nearest dollar).

The Easy Install for modules means you can buy a commentary at 2AM and install it immediately if you so desire. Wireless syncing of desktop/laptop with an iPad or iPhone is easy.

Customer support at Accordance is top-notch. I've screen-shared with Helen Brown when I messed something up and she got the problem solved quickly. When I've had questions about ordering, I always get just the info I need from people who are consistently pleasant and helpful.

Basically, without knowing much about the other Bible software offerings, I can tell you that I love Accordance, use it daily. Frankly, I'm addicted.

Julie in Tennessee

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#14 robrecht

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:47 PM

Thanks, Joel & Judy. Wow, that was easy! Julie, your story reminds me of when I taught Hebrew to my 6th grade Sunday school students!

#15 Fr. Rusty

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:33 PM

Dear Robrecht: I do not know if you got enough information to help inform your decision process or not, but thought I would post use in case you had not.
There are some pretty incredible Greek and Hebrew scholars associated with this forum that I feel sure could give you some direct comparisons and information. Some are Professors in Original Languages thus I would think they are pretty familiar with all of the better software platforms.
As you have not asked for anything negative I would not think making comparisons would violate ethical standards. If you need more info, I would be glad to e-mail some of them at their own sites to let them know about the thread.

I also think It would be beneficial to you if you contacted Accordance and spoke with Helen and or David Lang. Yes, they certainly love Accordance , however, these are extremely high quality folks and I have no qualms at all saying they would give you honest information to the very best of their abilities. in some areas they might not be able to give comparisons, but certainly able to tell you/show you how to do extremely complex high level work easily in Accordance.

If you need more info, please just let folks here know and, be as specific as possible, people will help.

Hope this helps,

Grace and Peace,

Rusty+

#16 robrecht

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 08:51 PM

Thanks, Father Rusty. This thread has been very helpful. I am impressed by the apparent ease of use of Accordance, but I think Bret and Michael have convinced me of what I already suspected, ie, that I should just stick with the OS platform that I've been using for so long. I've gotten three new laptops for home and work in the past 8 months, all PCs, and I don't really want to buy another one if I can do pretty much everything I need to do on a PC. Maybe it won't be as easy to use, but I won't have to travel with two laptops, either.

Thanks, everyone, for all your help!

#17 nicklaurence

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 09:05 AM

Having been a Bibleworks user for a few years on PC, I have recently moved to Mac and bought Accordance, looking for its greater expandability than Bibleworks. I have Bibleworks on my Mac, using Fusion as my emulator (people say it’s better than Parallels for running Bibleworks). I’m still pretty new to Accordance though.

My overall summary is that both programmes are great, and you’ll probably be entirely happy whichever option you end up going with. They’re quite different in their approaches to things, so I think you’ll find there’s a significant learning curve in getting to grips with both of them. Bibleworks comes with an enormous amount as standard, which makes it great value for money, and the add-on modules tend to be the cheapest around as well (e.g. BDAG and HALOT bundle comes on both: Bibleworks $212, Accordance $299.99). However, Bibleworks has very many fewer add-ons than Accordance, so if you know what you’re after, then there’s a better chance that you’ll find it on Accordance rather than Bibleworks. For Bibleworks, however, there are modules than have been created by users themselves (I get the feeling it’s easier to do this with Bibleworks than Accordance, but it’s a bit beyond my expertise) so you might find what you’re looking for there.

I find both programmes incredibly fast. I also find the support from both support teams to be very helpful, friendly and responsive. I do find Bibleworks a little limited for Hebrew bible studies; it seems to me that they concentrate on New Testament studies and haven’t put the same input into the Hebrew bible (the recent upgrade from Bibleworks 8 to 9 brought pretty much nothing for Hebrew bible studies, much more for NT; others have commented similarly, so perhaps they’ll rectify this in a future upgrade). Accordance has a vast array of Hebrew bible resources – but you’ll have to pay for them, as generally they don’t come in standard base modules.

I can’t resist one comment about the PC/Mac debate – I hope this doesn’t derail everything here! Having recently made the switch from PC to Mac, I’m like one of those new zealots that everyone hates (like ex-smokers who castigate smokers even more harshly than those who have never smoked)! Using Accordance on Mac is a delight, in no small measure, thanks to the advantages of Mac over PC. But if you’ve already made your investment in PC, I’ll try not to rub it in!

#18 Rod Decker

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:32 PM

No time for a long reply. Sorry. I'll make a few observations. First, BW has an interface that only a nerd could love.

(I own all 3 of the "big" programs, running BW under Fusion--though very rarely--and the Mac version of L--which I also very rarely use. There are one or two things in each that I don't have in Accord and it sometimes saves a 30 mile drive to the seminary to retrieve my paper copy. I never do any searching, etc. with anything byu Accordance.)

One last comment: you've not heard from anyone here who runs Accordance on a PC with the emulator. I really think you ought to evaluate that option before you make your final decision. I haven't used the emulator for a long time, but I understand that it runs quite well. There is a bunch of info on the Accord website about that route.
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#19 fmcfee

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 03:01 PM

Hi,

I have a comment about running Accordance on a PC emulator...I tried this for several months before switching to a MAC..it "hangs up frequently" and some of the cool features like 3D map do not work...I have no experience with any other major Bible software...I really like Accordance running on a MAC platform and would only buy the emulator package for "limited use"...One point I really like about Accordance is the on-going podcasts by Dr.J to explain features and different modules offered....to me this is invaluable!!!....

Frank

#20 Donovan R. Palmer

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 03:10 AM

I don't know a thing about BibleWorks or Logos, never having used either program. I have watched a couple videos comparing the Logos and Accordance on YouTube, but that's about it. I can tell you, however, what I like about Accordance. I am not a scholar, just a serious Bible student who teaches youth Sunday school (to a bunch of really great and very smart young people). I have had four years of formal training in Biblical Greek at a local Christian college.


I know this isn't a Logos vs Accordance thread, but I can echo Rod Decker's comments. I have an investment from my PC days that I still access using Logos and there are some things that aren't available in Accordance that I need. That being said, the biggest problem I have with Logos for Mac is that it just has never felt like it has been finished. Good concepts especially when you want a huge library, but bugs, crashes and speed issues. Logos might eventually get there, but it scares me to think that they will release version 5 when version 4 was never quite up to par IMHO.

I would tend to promote Accordance over BW particularly if you ever want to expand your library. I think that Accordance has some great capabilities outside of original language studies. The maps are second to none. There are some awesome commentary and journal resources. More is coming all the time. That being said, if you stick to being PC based, you may not find the benefits great enough to be running Accordance on an emulator.




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