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Why is Accordance so expensive?

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#1 mriggs



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Posted 14 August 2005 - 12:13 AM

Hello...I have just recently been looking for decent Bible study software for the Mac. Unfortunately, there is not a lot available (especially when compared to those available for the PC). I recently came upon some software available only for the PC that my pastor recommended called "Power Bible" (more info can be seen here: http://www.powerbible.com/). I compared the features of Accordance and "Power Bible" and even though Accordance seems to be more powerful overall, it is not by much and "Power Bible" is only $19.00! :huh:

Please understand my post is not a slam nor am I trying to stir up trouble, but I simply don't understand why Accordance is so much more expensive than a program like "Power Bible". Not that it matters, since I am using a Mac and "Power Bible" is only available on a PC. Although the amazing thing is I could purchase PC emulation software AND "Power Bible" and it would still be cheaper than Accordance.

So, to re-sate my original questin, why is Accordance so expensive?


#2 David Lang

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 09:01 AM


If I'm not mistaken, PowerBible looks to be a repackaging of the Online Bible for Windows. I could find nothing on the web-site you linked to that listed the program's features, so I'm hard-pressed to understand your assessment that Accordance is "not much" more powerful. It does offer a great deal of public domain content for $19 (though the modern translations available bring the price up to $56), but again, most of that content appears to come from the Online Bible, which relies on volunteers working for free to develop most if not all of its content.

We, on the other hand, invest a great deal of money, time, and energy into the development of the software engine itself, as well as the development of Accordance modules. We do our best to offer Accordance at a fair and competitive price, and if we're charging too much for certain packages or modules we're certainly willing to review those and reduce them where we can. I'm afraid we'll never match the prices of shareware-type programs like PowerBible, though.

By the way, you mention that you could buy PowerBible and Virtual PC and it would still be less expensive than Accordance, but you don't mention which Accordance package you're comparing it to. You can buy the program itself for $39 and download a free Starter package. Or you can buy the Introductory Level of the Library CD-ROM on sale for $59. That's quite a bit less than the price point you're alluding to.

I hope this helps. I actually wrote an editorial piece for the Christian Macintosh Users Group dealing with issues of price which you may find interesting.
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#3 stoessel



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Posted 14 August 2005 - 09:03 AM

Let me begin my comments with a disclaimer: I am a long time Accordance user, not a developer or in any way connected other than as a happy user since the first day.

I would think of this in three parts: (1) the application software capabilities; (2) availability and price of comparable texts the application can access; (3) the integration of (1) and (2). For the purpose of answering your question, it would be nice if the components were priced separately, but they are not. Both products come with an application and a bundle of texts.

When I compared the information available on the Power Bible web site with Accordance "Introductory Level" software and modules, it seemed to me that similar amounts of texts were available, though differently selected. The price comparison would be $59 for Accordance Introductory Level versus the Power Bible $19. The $40 difference would take a fair amount of investigation to explain and hardly seems worth the effort. Maybe PC emulation software can be purchased for that price, but I thought it was more expensive than that.

From what I could tell, the Power Bible CD can be expanded by purchasing three additional English texts for $37. That seems to be the top of the line. That would come to $56 for the max Power Bible software and text bundle. The Accordance library of available texts is huge in comparison.

Without actually running the two packages together in the hands of an experienced user, it is not easy to say that the two have similar functionality. If all you want to do is bring up texts one at a time and read them, do quick, simple searches, etc. it won't make much difference what software tool you use. It was not for this purpose that Accordance was developed. The application itself (1) has capabilities that stretch well beyond the capabilities I could see described on the PB site. Accordance was developed for serious study of biblical texts in ancient languages. The interface is easy enough for a novice user to get going quickly, with capabilities comparable to PB. The difference comes into play when you want to go beyond the beginnings. The software is designed with a "concordance" concept in which multiple texts are linked together seamlessly. This is what I meant when I referred to item (3), integration.

What makes Accordance seem "expensive" is not the price of the software, which would be cheap at $59 even without any texts. It is the cost of copyrighted texts. I don't think you will see much difference in the costs of those, when comparing like for like texts.

When a user is ready to step up to the next level of computer-based Bible-related studies, Accordance has a large library of texts and the integrated software tools to meet the challenge. And one more thing: It runs on any Mac.

Link to GIF edited.

Edited by Helen Brown, 14 August 2005 - 01:08 PM.

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#4 mriggs



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Posted 14 August 2005 - 10:19 PM

David and Stoessel...Thanks much for the thoughtful and detailed responses. I do know that you (David) have put in an enormous amount of work into Accordance, so please don't misunderstand me. I am certainly not trying to get something for nothing, but simply get the most for my dollar. All I am looking for is a Bible software package that allows me to do essentially what "Power Bible" does for the same price (or close to it). I really don't want a lot of the "bells and whistles" that Accordance offers. I am in complete agreement that Accordance is a very powerful piece of software, but some users, especially laymen (like myself), just don't need that kind of power. A program like "Power Bible" is really all I need. If after all is said and done it simply ends up being a matter of shareware vs. commercial pricing, then I totally understand that you can't compete with that (nor would I expect you to). Unfortunately, not many of the free/shareware Mac Bible programs seem to have the capability of Power Bible. And yes, I have either investigated them thoroughly or attempted to use them. I say attempted because MacSword actually locked-up my Mac for the first time EVER. I have had my Mac for almost 3 years and it has NEVER locked-up on me (to be expected with a Mac, especially with OS X). I almost fainted. Software has to be pretty bad to cause a person to re-boot their Mac :o Needless to say that MacSword has since been deleted from my Mac.

By the way, I have seen Power Bible in action (pastor and elders in my church use it), and it is impressive. Don't want you to think I am just going by their website for info (which I would certainly agree is lacking in details).

Maybe part of the problem is that it is very confusing (at least to me) as to exactly how I would put together a "layman" package consisting of what I need. The Accordance website is not very intuitive and confusing (to me) in this regard. A chart like Logos has done (http://www.logos.com...info/comparison) would be helpful. By the way, compared to Logos, Accordance is a bargain (I have to give ya' that one :D ). So, would it be possible to do a chart like this, or could you recommend an Accordance package that would give me equal capability of that which "Power Bible" gives?

Finally, one thing I really like about "Power Bible" is it's ability to display the English and Greek (or English and Hebrew in the case of the OT) texts in a linear fashion (I believe this is called interlinear?). Can the $59 Accordance do this? I am not sure what I am getting for $59 because the website is difficult to follow. I see Library 6 Intro for this price, but don't you need the basic software (is this included in only the Starter Package or does it come with Library 6?)? In case you couldn't tell, I am a bit confused by the Accordance website ;-) It could be that Accordance has everything I need and for a reasonable price, and hence I am then making a mounatin out of a mole hill, wouldn't be the first time ;) , but I am not certain of this. Please end my confusion and convince me to purchase Accordance :D

Kindest regards...Mike

#5 Joel Brown

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 10:54 PM

I can't go into the exact specifics of the packages and what they offer, but I can give you some insight.

When you buy any package, it includes the full Accordance software, no limits applied (though certain packages come with slightly older versions due to CD printing). If you buy the cheapest Starter Pack, you have the exact same capabilities as someone who owns every module we make. What you don't have are the *resources*. Different packages come with different sets of resources, or specific add-on modules. For example, the Scholars package comes with texts and tools designed for what a scholar might want, the Library package comes with a wide range of texts and tools applicable to anyone, while something specific like the Atlas or Photoguide are on their own. Arguably, without the Atlas cd, the functionality of it isn't there, just like without Greek texts, the functionality of working with Greek isn't there. Its just rather that nothing is disabled. Technically you *can* use the Atlas, you just don't have an Atlas to use :-)

I hope thats making sense. Basically, when looking for a package, don't think you are buying cheaper or limited versions of Accordance. Rather, know you are getting full Accordance and all of its capabilities in every option, just you are simply picking the right resources for what you need. I'll leave the exact descriptions to someone more knowledgable with that.
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#6 Joe Weaks

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 11:23 PM

I think Joel settled most of your question. I wanted to make sure you understood one point you raised. Every CD has the Accordance application on it. So, if you buy Library 6, you don't also need to buy a separate application CD. Same applies if you're only interested in a specialty CD such as the Atlas or the Anchor Bible Dictionary.
I think it would help if you'd list your basic requirements. For one, you mentioned interlinear Greek. Accordance puts the texts side by side, but not "interlinearly" (a format we routinely shun on the Biblical Greek email list). Feel free to list other things you're looking for.

#7 Wayne Brissette

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 06:34 AM

As a "short timer" compared to most of the people around here, I thought I would share a few things with you.

There are less expensive Mac OS packages available. They do tend to lack a few of the features that Accordance has built-in. If your goal is to keep your costs down, you might take a look at a few of them. David provides a great overview in the link he provided.

I recently started using Accordance in a group setting bible study and have found it to be a wonderful tool to helping me get more out of the classes. I only wish I had done this sooner.

One of the main features I like about accordance is the ala cart design. I knew there were a couple of translations of the Bible that I wanted to have, but almost none of the other versions have them. Because we use the NIV as the main translation, I had to have that version, but since I also grew up with the NJB, I wanted to have that version, but I also like the no-nonsense way the NLT translation was put together (you're not going to find that combination in too many packages) . I have been able to customize my selections and have them side by side as I read passages. That makes this a truly unique product.

Accordance really is more than just text on the screen, and as others have pointed out there are ways of getting the cost down by purchasing the starter set and then you can build as you go along.

Anyhow, these are just my thoughts on why I recently chose Accordance over the other packages.


#8 Helen Brown

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 07:03 AM

Maybe part of the problem is that it is very confusing (at least to me) as to exactly how I would put together a "layman" package consisting of what I need.  The Accordance website is not very intuitive and confusing (to me) in this regard.  A chart like Logos has done would be helpful.  By the way, compared to Logos, Accordance is a bargain (I have to give ya' that one  :D ).  So, would it be possible to do a chart like this, or could you recommend an Accordance package that would give me equal capability of that which "Power Bible" gives?


We do have a comparison chart which can also be reached from the modules and packages index pages. Believe me, our site is much better than it was, but I agree that it can still be hard to work out what you need. A lot depends on whether you really want to study Greek and Hebrew. If you do, you should not settle for anything less than the Scholar's Collection Core Bundle, since the grammatical tagging of the original languages opens a whole new world of understanding and searching the text. The demo for Greek and Hebrew, and the free downloadable working demo, let you see and try out these capabilities before you decide.

If you are using Strong's numbers to study the Greek and Hebrew, you can add untagged Hebrew and Greek for $30 each, but those texts are mainly for reading rather than searching.

The website is only meant as an introduction, please feel free to call our toll-free order line 877-339-5855 for personal help to put together a starting package that works for you.
Helen Brown
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#9 Freddie L

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 07:46 AM

I have to chime in here for a secoond. Mr. mriggs I was at first shocked at the price of accordance. I was a eBible(by Logos) user on my PC before I switched to a Mac and i need it comparable software for my Mac.
So I bought Accordance anyway and I was upset at first because it was so different from Ebible. Now you have to keep in mind that I still have a PC with Ebible on it. But the the more I used it I saw how much better accordance was and easier to use. In the other programs I could not keep a flow of study going.Let me explain:

I would look up a verse in the NKJV, then I wanted to define a certain word in english dictionary but also look up its Greek meaning and see the scripture in another translation at the same time see what the commentary has to say about the scripture.
With Logos and other Bible programs this was a long and tiring process of closing windows and not being able to go back to the first thing I started. Once I got to the point of looking at the commentary, If I wanted to look back the original text I looked up at first I would have to do another search for it and once that was done I needed to look up all the oter information that I had on the screen because it would be lost at that point.

This is not so with accordance. Tabs keep you information right in reach. Also displaying your different text and commentary on the same screen is perfect all while you are still searching you library for different information. Try that with Power Bible.

Edited by Freddie L, 30 August 2005 - 07:46 AM.

#10 BrianBowman



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Posted 01 September 2005 - 01:52 AM


Great post! You have graciously distilled the reasons why so many of us love Accordance and hestiate to use any other Bible Software.

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