"Check It Out!" David Lang's Accordance 25 Story
“Someone's going to be demoing this new Bible program for the Mac during lunch. You should come check it out.” David (same first name as mine!) was one of the three other guys who had survived the high attrition rate of our seminary's “Academic Hebrew” class. He was also an avid Mac user who had been “evangelizing” me ever since I happened to mention that I was looking to buy a computer. What better way to convince me of the Mac's superiority than to show me a new Bible study program designed exclusively for Macintosh computers?
Our seminary had a “brown bag lunch” program where it would bring in guest speakers during the lunch hour. I hadn't brought a bag lunch that day, so attending that demo would mean going hungry. Like any twenty-something young man, a missed meal felt like an extreme sacrifice, but my friend's enthusiasm overcame my reluctance. I followed him across the atrium to another classroom, where this local software developer was busily setting up his equipment.
This was spring of 1992, so I'm a little fuzzy on the equipment used, but I think it was a PowerBook 170 hooked up to a 13 or 14 inch CRT monitor. It may even have been a Radius Pivot Display if anyone remembers those. Anyway, you can imagine how hard it would have been to see what was happening on that size screen from the back of a room full of seminary students.
Accordance was not released until February of 1994, so it had to be a very early prototype that was shown that day. Still, I remember seeing the English Bible and Greek New Testament displayed in parallel panes, grammatical searches of the Greek, and most impressive of all, Greek Construct searches.
If you're not familiar with the Construct window, it's a graphical interface which makes it easy to define complex grammatical and syntactical searches. It was absolutely revolutionary at the time, and its power and ease of use have yet to be duplicated to this day. As I watched the demo, I remember thinking to myself, “Now this is what I want to be able to do with a computer.”
I had to wait two years before Accordance 1.0 was finally released, but I did end up buying a Mac (a Performa 600) in the hope of one day being able to run it. Maybe a year after seeing that first demo, I began to grow impatient. I remember asking one of the professors who was beta-testing Accordance if I should keep waiting for Accordance or if I should just break down and buy a program called Mac Bible. He encouraged me to hang on for Accordance—it would be well worth the wait. A month or two after Accordance 1.0 was released, I finally purchased it.
That was twenty-five years ago, and I have been privileged to use Accordance just about every day since. That's more than 9000 days…and counting!
David Lang is Vice President of Development for Accordance Bible Software.
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