Oct 15, 2009 David Lang

Accordance 8.3.3 and BDB Complete

Last week, we released yet another Accordance update. Accordance 8.3.3 fixes several minor bugs and cleans up corruptions in User Notes modules. There are no new features to report this time . . . or, are there?

Okay, so we can't seem to resist adding at least one new feature in every update, and this is one most people will never notice. Right now you'll only experience this feature if you use BDB Complete, which has recently seen major improvements. Eventually, you'll see it in other modules as well. Before I describe this new feature, let me show why it is needed.

Brown-Driver-Briggs' classic Hebrew lexicon remains a standard reference work alongside newer lexicons such as HALOT. Unfortunately, in electronic format BDB has had a bit of a checkered history. A popular family of freeware programs originally developed versions of "Thayer's" for Greek and "BDB" for Hebrew which were actually nothing more than Strong's number dictionaries with glosses taken from those two lexicons. Someone eventually created an actual electronic text of BDB, yet without all the Scripture references and cognate language information. Because it was the best e-text available, we made this abridged BDB available in our base Scholar's packages, where it is included to this day. Last year we were finally able to release an unabridged version of BDB, complete with Scripture references and cognate languages.

Most of the cognate languages in BDB complete are displayed in their respective scripts and fully searchable, but some of the more obscure languages are displayed as images. Since in Accordance you can display images at a variety of thumbnail sizes, as well as resize text on the fly, using images to display obscure languages and symbols has always been problematic. It was just too easy to end up with the text and the image thumbnail appearing at radically different sizes. Accordance 8.3.3 therefore adds the capability to scale such image thumbnails so that they always appear the same size as the surrounding text. As new features go, that's not a huge deal, but it should make users of BDB Complete happy.


Another thing that is making users of BDB Complete very happy is the fact that we've painstakingly broken the text up into subarticles and paragraphs. BDB was printed in the days when printers tried to save on printing costs by using up nearly all the available space on a page. White space was a waste of money, and it wasn't the printer's problem if the average Hebrew scholar slowly went blind and insane. If you've ever tried to use a printed BDB you know exactly what I mean. Finding the relevant information meant scanning huge columns of text with few visual cues as to where each new section begins. By breaking the text of BDB Complete up into clear sections and paragraphs, we've done our part to eliminate eyestrain and madness.

These "minor" changes will make a major difference in your experience of working with BDB Complete, so be sure to download the updates to that module and to the Accordance program.

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Archived Comments

J. P.

October 15, 2009 1:38 PM

For what it's worth, the "someones" who created the abridged BDB electronic text were graduate students at Princeton Seminary supervised by Prof. J. J. M. Roberts.


October 19, 2009 10:49 PM

THANK YOU! May millions of BDB users rise up and bless you!  :)

I was one of those who was slowly going blind from scanning the small print looking for the relevant information. I always resisted looking at BDB because of this if I could afford to, but now I'll have another resource to use happily!