May 22, 2017 Richard Mansfield

Update! Biblical Archaeology Review 1975-2016

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Software version available only in Accordance

I first got my hands on Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) in 1986. I was a senior in high school, and my English teacher had a year’s worth of issues in a desk drawer (yes, this was a public high school). She asked me if I wanted them, and I enthusiastically said I did, even though I wasn’t actually familiar with the magazine before that day. She described it to me as a kind of “National Geographic of Bible Times.” We could debate how accurate that description was, but all I know is that I devoured those issues. I read them cover to cover and then again.

BAR 2010.Jan-Feb My knowledge of archaeology at that time was limited to what I had seen in Raiders of the Lost Ark. If I had been expecting articles by the likes of Indiana Jones-types, I suppose I would have been disappointed in BAR. However, even though I found something much different, I was certainly not disappointed. After devouring the six or so issues my teacher handed me, I had a very different idea about the nature of biblical archaeology--and archaeology in general, for that matter. Through BAR, I began to understand archaeology as a discipline that required time, persistence, and much patience to be done right.

BAR makes great reading on the go! Click/tap the image to the right to see BAR on Accordance Mobile.

When the initial collection of BAR issues spanning 1975-2003 was released for the Accordance Bible Software Library, I bought it immediately. In fact, having all those issues of BAR integrated into Accordance became my motivation to give away all my print issues just as had been done for me nearly two decades earlier (although I had quite a few more at that point than just a year’s worth). Over the years, I’ve turned to BAR in Accordance time and again to find out archaeological information about a biblical site, ancient custom, or other information about life in biblical times. I’ve also drawn from the absolute treasury of images time and again in teaching and preaching situations. It’s great to have those images in print, but it’s even better to have them digitally so that I can copy them from Accordance and paste them into presentation software.

Admittedly, it’s been a long while since BAR has been updated for Accordance. That wasn’t deliberate; sometimes such things can be complicated on a number of levels. In the past few years, I began subscribing to BAR on my own again, just to get the newest issues, especially after the BAR iPad app was released. However, today we’re pleased to announce the first update to BAR for the Accordance Library in almost a decade and a half. And today’s release updates BAR for all issues through 2016.

I’ve always appreciated BAR because while it is purposefully not overly-technical, it does treat archaeology quite seriously. If you’re not familiar with BAR, you should know that it covers both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. The editors refer to it as “non-sectarian” in that it tries to reach a wide variety of readers interested in the Bible with content written by those from diverse backgrounds as well. There have also been a number of controversies over the years that the writers and editors have not shied away from for even a moment. That also means that no reader, myself included, will agree with all viewpoints in BAR all of the time. But from the time I was a senior in high school, that never bothered me. BAR gave me content I couldn’t find anywhere else.

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Click/tap the image above for a larger view of Biblical Archaeology Review in Accordance 12

Having 41 years of BAR issues in Accordance is amazing. I was comparing the initial March 1975 issue to the November/December 2016 release. The first issue was completely in black and white and contained only 7 complete articles, if you count the introduction of BAR itself. The most recent issue contained in today’s release is in full color and has roughly 19 articles and a number of other features including reader feedback.

BAR 1975 - 2016

That most recent issue in the Accordance edition has an article on the Deir ‘Alla Inscription (aka “The Balaam Inscription”), an essay addressing the question of why so many pig bones are found throughout excavations in Palestine, a very timely response to the question of what the Bible says about tattoos, and much more to keep you reading for hours on end. Of course, issues regularly include book reviews, movie reviews (on the occasional film tied to the ancient past), cartoon caption contests, and as always, the very latest in archeological information about the Bible. And what separates a periodical like BAR from other magazines and journals? The history of the Bible is just that--history--so even past issues contain relevant information.

Biblical Archaeology Review is not the only periodical in existence dedicated to excavations of the biblical world, but it is definitely the one with the broadest reach aimed at the widest audience. And in Accordance, you can access the content of BAR in ways that can’t be duplicated anywhere else. Accordance developers have thoroughly analyzed all issues from 41 years of BAR and tagged content according to the following fields: article titles, general content, Scripture, Greek content, Hebrew content, transliteration, authors, image credits and captions. Find the exact content you need quickly and efficiently. Get the exact image you need for your lesson, lecture, or sermon with full article support behind it.

After all these years, it’s great to have an update to BAR in Accordance, still the only Bible software platform to offer it. With this new release, you can access thousands of articles and nearly 15,000 breathtaking photos, maps, drawings, and charts. And, in case you were wondering, we are honoring the investment of previous purchasers with upgrade pricing!

Biblical Archaeology Review (1975-2016)
Regular Price $129.90

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Upgrade from 1975-2003 Release
Regular Price $79.90

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