Reviews by Jonathan Huber
April 26, 2013  |  6:53 PM  |  Good (4)
There is great benefit in using commentaries from different eras of Christian history, and you can't really go back much further than the Church fathers! For those who want to learn from the great teachers and preachers of the Church's earlier years, the commentary contained in these volumes helps reconnect us with those men.

This set does have its limitations: it does not necessarily provide a consensus interpretation on a Bible passage nor even a comprehensive review of various ...
There is great benefit in using commentaries from different eras of Christian history, and you can't really go back much further than the Church fathers! For those who want to learn from the great teachers and preachers of the Church's earlier years, the commentary contained in these volumes helps reconnect us with those men.

This set does have its limitations: it does not necessarily provide a consensus interpretation on a Bible passage nor even a comprehensive review of various interpretations, and the comments are necessarily of limited length. This set does, however, help us see some ways passages have been understood in the past. In addition, though the commentary doesn't contain a lot of exegetical discussion, it does offer plenty of spiritual encouragement and exhortation along with devotional insights to meditate on.

The format works nicely, with paragraph-sized quotations from multiple authors assembled together into a verse-by-verse commentary (there is also a summary of the content at the beginning of each section). Furthermore, each quotation is cited so you can look up the full context of the quote if desired. The commentary is great to use in parallel with the passage you're studying, but this digital version also makes it easy to trace a particular author's comments through a book.

I really like this commentary and definitely recommend it.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
January 24, 2013  |  6:56 PM  |  Fantastic (5)
This atlas is a pleasure to read. I was using it for the maps while reading 1 Maccabees and ended up reading all of the text in the atlas as well. It's very well written, which is particularly impressive since it's presenting a broad range of scholarly research. There are many references to primary and secondary literature, all appropriately hyperlinked in Accordance when possible, and relevant quotations are often included directly in the atlas itself. I expected this atlas to be helpful; I ...
This atlas is a pleasure to read. I was using it for the maps while reading 1 Maccabees and ended up reading all of the text in the atlas as well. It's very well written, which is particularly impressive since it's presenting a broad range of scholarly research. There are many references to primary and secondary literature, all appropriately hyperlinked in Accordance when possible, and relevant quotations are often included directly in the atlas itself. I expected this atlas to be helpful; I didn't know it would be so enjoyable. Highly recommended.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
March 1, 2012  | 12:00 AM  |  Good (4)
There is great benefit in using commentaries from different eras of Christian history, and you can't really go back much further than the Church fathers! For those who want to learn from the great teachers and preachers of the Church's earlier years, the commentary contained in these volumes helps reconnect us with those men.

This set does have its limitations: it does not necessarily provide a consensus interpretation on a Bible passage nor even a comprehensive review of various ...
There is great benefit in using commentaries from different eras of Christian history, and you can't really go back much further than the Church fathers! For those who want to learn from the great teachers and preachers of the Church's earlier years, the commentary contained in these volumes helps reconnect us with those men.

This set does have its limitations: it does not necessarily provide a consensus interpretation on a Bible passage nor even a comprehensive review of various interpretations, and the comments are necessarily of limited length. This set does, however, help us see some ways passages have been understood in the past. In addition, though the commentary doesn't contain a lot of exegetical discussion, it does offer plenty of spiritual encouragement and exhortation along with devotional insights to meditate on.

The format works nicely, with paragraph-sized quotations from multiple authors assembled together into a verse-by-verse commentary (there is also a summary of the content at the beginning of each section). Furthermore, each quotation is cited so you can look up the full context of the quote if desired. The commentary is great to use in parallel with the passage you're studying, but this digital version also makes it easy to trace a particular author's comments through a book.

I really like this commentary and definitely recommend it.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
November 30, 2011  | 11:52 PM  |  Good (4)
I have only recently begun using the HCSB regularly, but I generally like this translation. The HCSB describes itself as using an "optimal equivalence" approach, which sounds gimmicky, but it really just means that it's a formal translation when it can be (occasionally more literal than the ESV) and a more functional translation when required for natural English (for example, "highly admired" instead of "exalted" in Luke 16:15). Thus, in the range of formal-functional equivalence, the HCSB ...
I have only recently begun using the HCSB regularly, but I generally like this translation. The HCSB describes itself as using an "optimal equivalence" approach, which sounds gimmicky, but it really just means that it's a formal translation when it can be (occasionally more literal than the ESV) and a more functional translation when required for natural English (for example, "highly admired" instead of "exalted" in Luke 16:15). Thus, in the range of formal-functional equivalence, the HCSB falls between the ESV and the NIV, though a bit closer to the ESV. A second benefit of this translation is that it's completely new and doesn't retain "legacy" wording. As beautiful as "paths of righteousness" sounds in the KJV-ESV tradition, "right paths" is the better translation. Unfortunately, the translators did follow the KJV by including many of the Textus Receptus textual additions (albeit in brackets).
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
November 30, 2011  | 11:23 PM  |  Okay (3)
This book contains an exhaustive collection of figures of speech. The entries are organized into three broad categories (figures involving omission, addition, or change) and then subdivided into figures affecting words and figures affecting meaning. All of the figures are indexed, of course, so this is a great resource for anyone interested in information about specific figures of speech. Even better, the book is also indexed by scripture and contains nearly 8000 examples from the OT and NT, ...
This book contains an exhaustive collection of figures of speech. The entries are organized into three broad categories (figures involving omission, addition, or change) and then subdivided into figures affecting words and figures affecting meaning. All of the figures are indexed, of course, so this is a great resource for anyone interested in information about specific figures of speech. Even better, the book is also indexed by scripture and contains nearly 8000 examples from the OT and NT, which makes the book a great reference for Bible study. I've used a print copy of this book in the past, and having this resource in Accordance makes searching by reference much, much easier.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
November 29, 2011  |  4:28 PM  |  Fantastic (5)
Before getting this resource, I had two concerns. 1) Would it be useful to me even though I'm not a Greek expert? 2) How much subjective interpretation would it presume to do for me? Well, there was no need to fear. Syntactical tagging adds a whole new layer of functionality to the Greek text just like the morphological tagging. Without syntax you can find all of the places where θεοσ is a nominative, but the syntax tagging will help you also find the other places where θεοσ is the subject but ...
Before getting this resource, I had two concerns. 1) Would it be useful to me even though I'm not a Greek expert? 2) How much subjective interpretation would it presume to do for me? Well, there was no need to fear. Syntactical tagging adds a whole new layer of functionality to the Greek text just like the morphological tagging. Without syntax you can find all of the places where θεοσ is a nominative, but the syntax tagging will help you also find the other places where θεοσ is the subject but not nominative. These simple searches are useful for someone with limited Greek training, but of course the module is capable of much more sophisticated searches. Futhermore, while any tagging (even morphological) can be subjective, this module aims at the structure of a sentence rather than the meaning. For example, it will not tell you whether την αγαπην του θεου means a man's love for God or God's love for him, but it will tell you that θεου is an adjunct to αγαπην. The tagging scheme does take some time to learn, but it’s worth the investment.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
November 29, 2011  |  3:49 PM  |  Fantastic (5)
This is one of my favorite commentaries. It doesn't wrestle with the text in quite the same way as a modern exegetical commentary (like WBC or Tyndale), though Calvin is nonetheless a good exegete. This commentary reads more like a collection of sermons, which is refreshing and uplifting. I also like to read commentaries from different eras of Christian history, so this fits nicely between the writings of the church fathers and modern commentators. This series doesn't cover the entire Bible, ...
This is one of my favorite commentaries. It doesn't wrestle with the text in quite the same way as a modern exegetical commentary (like WBC or Tyndale), though Calvin is nonetheless a good exegete. This commentary reads more like a collection of sermons, which is refreshing and uplifting. I also like to read commentaries from different eras of Christian history, so this fits nicely between the writings of the church fathers and modern commentators. This series doesn't cover the entire Bible, but when it does it's always worth reading.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
November 29, 2011  |  3:31 PM  |  Fantastic (5)
I use these tools (but mainly the BDAG) daily and they're indispensable for work in the original languages, even just for word studies. In addition to covering different uses for a given word, these lexicons include an extensive list of scripture references for each usage. Accordance makes these features even more powerful by taking you directly there when you triple-click on the word in the text, which makes the workflow much faster and more efficient. The BDAG focuses on "the New Testament ...
I use these tools (but mainly the BDAG) daily and they're indispensable for work in the original languages, even just for word studies. In addition to covering different uses for a given word, these lexicons include an extensive list of scripture references for each usage. Accordance makes these features even more powerful by taking you directly there when you triple-click on the word in the text, which makes the workflow much faster and more efficient. The BDAG focuses on "the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature" and doesn't cover all of the words in the septuagint. When that happens and I need to pull my print Liddell-Scott lexicon off of the shelf, I'm always amazed how much longer it takes compared to using the lexicons in Accordance.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
November 24, 2011  |  1:14 PM  |  Good (4)
Compared to Brenton's translation of the septuagint, the NETS translation offers more up-to-date English and a more formal translation approach. It does have some surprising word choices (such as the "pestiferous" people in Psalm 1:1), but I don't really mind since I use it mainly for LXX study, not for church use or devotional reading.
November 22, 2011  | 10:30 PM  |  Fantastic (5)
I have not used the full 4-volume set and can't compare the two (though see this example http://www.accordancebible.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=6759), but this volume reportedly retains all the essential information yet costs significantly less. Each entry groups together Greek words that are based on the same root and tracks the meaning of the words from classical Greek and the OT (useful for the Septuagint) to the NT. It's awesome for Greek word studies and is a really good value at this ...
I have not used the full 4-volume set and can't compare the two (though see this example http://www.accordancebible.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=6759), but this volume reportedly retains all the essential information yet costs significantly less. Each entry groups together Greek words that are based on the same root and tracks the meaning of the words from classical Greek and the OT (useful for the Septuagint) to the NT. It's awesome for Greek word studies and is a really good value at this price.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
November 22, 2011  | 10:11 PM  |  Fantastic (5)
This series has triggered reviews elsewhere from people who found the format of the commentary difficult to use or the quality of the volumes somewhat uneven, but I have been very happy with it. The layout basically divides each section (such as a chapter or group of verses) into multiple parts: bibliography/translation/translation notes/form&structure/comment/explanation. This format takes a little more scrolling/page flipping, but it also keeps the material organized and is not difficult ...
This series has triggered reviews elsewhere from people who found the format of the commentary difficult to use or the quality of the volumes somewhat uneven, but I have been very happy with it. The layout basically divides each section (such as a chapter or group of verses) into multiple parts: bibliography/translation/translation notes/form&structure/comment/explanation. This format takes a little more scrolling/page flipping, but it also keeps the material organized and is not difficult to navigate. This commentary is very detailed and somewhat technical, but it's still perfectly usable even if you don't know the original languages. Many of these volumes are outstanding (see bestcommentaries.com for a comparison with other sets), and this has quickly become one of my favorite commentaries.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
November 22, 2011  |  9:33 PM  |  Fantastic (5)
The IVP black dictionaries are great, but I think the breadth covered by the other bundled books give this package a lot of value. In particular, the OT/NT background commentaries often add a lot to my understanding of a passage, and the atlas is a nice reference. I've also been pleasantly surprised by the helpfulness of the pocket dictionaries module. One drawback of dividing all of this great material into many separate modules (in contrast to one big dictionary like the Anchor Yale) is the ...
The IVP black dictionaries are great, but I think the breadth covered by the other bundled books give this package a lot of value. In particular, the OT/NT background commentaries often add a lot to my understanding of a passage, and the atlas is a nice reference. I've also been pleasantly surprised by the helpfulness of the pocket dictionaries module. One drawback of dividing all of this great material into many separate modules (in contrast to one big dictionary like the Anchor Yale) is the extra steps needed to search them as a search all group (which limits your ability to search multiple fields simultaneously) or individually (enough said). This is even more true on iOS, at least for now. However, whenever I have a question, this collection usually has the answer somewhere.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
November 22, 2011  |  9:12 PM  |  Good (4)
The main purpose (and real value) of this volume is to explain the reasoning of the committee that edits the GNT. It obviously doesn't address every decision, but it does cover the major variants. As an extra plus, it includes the A-D grading system that rates the surety of the decided reading, which is most helpful for people that don't have a textual apparatus. This volume nicely complements the Comfort text commentary, though I think that book provides a more helpful range of information ...
The main purpose (and real value) of this volume is to explain the reasoning of the committee that edits the GNT. It obviously doesn't address every decision, but it does cover the major variants. As an extra plus, it includes the A-D grading system that rates the surety of the decided reading, which is most helpful for people that don't have a textual apparatus. This volume nicely complements the Comfort text commentary, though I think that book provides a more helpful range of information and is probably the one I would choose if you could only get one.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
November 19, 2011  |  3:43 PM  |  Fantastic (5)
This review is aimed at people wondering if the language tools will be helpful for those with limited training or some rust. The scholar bundle is the main reason I first bought Accordance software. It was recommended to me by my Greek professor in college and I finally got it as part of an effort to revive my language skills. This software has helped me use the Greek much more than I did before and the language is slowly coming back. It's also helping me begin to pick up Hebrew. If these are ...
This review is aimed at people wondering if the language tools will be helpful for those with limited training or some rust. The scholar bundle is the main reason I first bought Accordance software. It was recommended to me by my Greek professor in college and I finally got it as part of an effort to revive my language skills. This software has helped me use the Greek much more than I did before and the language is slowly coming back. It's also helping me begin to pick up Hebrew. If these are your goals, then this software will be helpful. These bundles don't contain any fluff, but do consider which level you need as the cheaper levels may fit your needs. This bundle does not include the standard BDAG or HALOT lexicons, but the included theological lexicons and Louw/Nida lexicon are great. The included grammars are ok, though I prefer the Basics of Biblical Greek/Hebrew volumes.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
November 19, 2011  |  3:21 PM  |  Fantastic (5)
This is my go-to commentary. It covers every book of the Bible at a meaningfully detailed level, yet it's sufficiently introductory that I use it instead of a study Bible module. The overall quality of the volumes is consistently good (from my conservative, reformed , evangelical perspective) and some of the volumes are outstanding, especially in the OT. It's an exegetical commentary, not particularly devotional or pastoral, but it's not overly technical either. It makes a great companion to a ...
This is my go-to commentary. It covers every book of the Bible at a meaningfully detailed level, yet it's sufficiently introductory that I use it instead of a study Bible module. The overall quality of the volumes is consistently good (from my conservative, reformed , evangelical perspective) and some of the volumes are outstanding, especially in the OT. It's an exegetical commentary, not particularly devotional or pastoral, but it's not overly technical either. It makes a great companion to a more technical commentary like the WBC.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
November 19, 2011  |  3:06 PM  |  Good (4)
I really like this Bible, though it has its limitations. It's wonderful for hearing the sounds and structure of the underlying Hebrew (none of the names sound like the versions in a typical English translation!), which does bring out some meaning that would otherwise be lost, but consequently it's not the easiest to read. It also covers only Genesis-Deuteronomy, which is unfortunate since I would enjoy having this kind of work for the entire OT.
November 19, 2011  |  2:15 PM  |  Fantastic (5)
This is a very approachable discussion of major NT textual variants and would be useful for a pastor/teacher who doesn't know Greek but wants to understand the reasons behind translation differences. It also has lots of good information for people who do know Greek (I actually use it as my primary "apparatus" of sorts if I don't have my printed NA27 with me.) Although it's somewhat similar in concept to the Metzger textual commentary, the Comfort volume is more comprehensive and definitely the ...
This is a very approachable discussion of major NT textual variants and would be useful for a pastor/teacher who doesn't know Greek but wants to understand the reasons behind translation differences. It also has lots of good information for people who do know Greek (I actually use it as my primary "apparatus" of sorts if I don't have my printed NA27 with me.) Although it's somewhat similar in concept to the Metzger textual commentary, the Comfort volume is more comprehensive and definitely the one I'd recommend if you can only get one.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
November 17, 2011  |  8:26 AM  |  Fantastic (5)
These tools take you back in time by giving visual answers to the "who? what? when? where?" questions. It's one thing to read in a dictionary that something happened in 722 BC, but it's so much more helpful to grasp from a dynamic visual timeline that Micah's prophecy began before the Assyrians carried away Samaria into captivity but he and Isaiah continued preaching to Judah during Sennacherib's invasion and siege of Jerusalem. If you can understand that context, then the subsequent questions ...
These tools take you back in time by giving visual answers to the "who? what? when? where?" questions. It's one thing to read in a dictionary that something happened in 722 BC, but it's so much more helpful to grasp from a dynamic visual timeline that Micah's prophecy began before the Assyrians carried away Samaria into captivity but he and Isaiah continued preaching to Judah during Sennacherib's invasion and siege of Jerusalem. If you can understand that context, then the subsequent questions of "why? how?" become easier to answer. The interactivity of these tools enable you to ask much more detailed questions than you can answer with the charts in the back of your bible or even a good printed atlas. This is an outstanding addition to any Accordance library.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
November 6, 2011  | 11:21 PM  |  Fantastic (5)
This package is an amazing deal with a wide assortment of texts, commentaries, dictionaries, Greek/Hebrew grammars and lexicons, and a couple of other writings. Some of these are my favorite Accordance modules. The commentaries by Eadie, Lightfoot, Westcott and Hort are somewhat equivalent to Logos' "Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament". The NIDCC covers everything from Jesus to Bultmann, Essenes to Mormonism. One caveat is that a couple of modules (Mounce BBG and the ZPEB) either ...
This package is an amazing deal with a wide assortment of texts, commentaries, dictionaries, Greek/Hebrew grammars and lexicons, and a couple of other writings. Some of these are my favorite Accordance modules. The commentaries by Eadie, Lightfoot, Westcott and Hort are somewhat equivalent to Logos' "Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament". The NIDCC covers everything from Jesus to Bultmann, Essenes to Mormonism. One caveat is that a couple of modules (Mounce BBG and the ZPEB) either have been or will soon be out of date as new versions come out, but this package is still worth the money. I don't know how Accordance and Zondervan can offer this disk at this price, so get it while you can! Highly recommended.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]

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