May 14, 2018 Richard Mansfield

NEW! “Classic” ICC Volumes

ICC 17 New for the Accordance Bible Software Library: “Classic” New Testament volumes of the International Critical Commentary.

Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any commentary series other than the International Critical Commentary that was begun in the 19th century and is still being updated today. The original vision by editors Samuel R. Driver, Alfred A. Plummer, and Charles A. Briggs has remained the same: to produce a commentary series on the Bible with the highest level of scholarship, incorporating the latest “linguistic, textual, archaeological, historical, literary and theological” tools available for understanding the text, while allowing the writers to have the academic freedom to pursue these goals in any way they saw fit.

This allowance for diversity of method resulted in what often happens in any multi-author commentary series anyway: some volumes stand out and some have lesser value in the long run. Interestingly, over the last century and a half, as the publisher has continued to update the ICC series, some readers—even today—have preferred original volumes over their replacements; or at the very least, some Bible readers continue to seek out older editions due to their lasting value. And that is certainly the case with some of the original ICC volumes that we are offering today from scholars such as Alfred Plummer, R. H. Charles, James Moffat and other scholars, who remain popular today.


Now, so that there are no elephants in any of the Accordance rooms, let’s be clear that what we are calling “classic” ICC volumes have been converted to the Accordance Bible Software Library from the volumes in the series that are now in the public domain. That means, yes, you can find these commentaries in some form on the internet and download them for free. But there’s a huge difference between what we are offering in Accordance for a low price to cover our development costs and what you might find on the web.

I’ve discovered two kinds of public domain ICC volumes online: OCR versions in text format and PDF scans (which often have an invisible OCR layer). From the samples I’ve seen, the OCR text editions are nearly unusable because they do not properly handle biblical languages, and anything originally in Hebrew or Greek results in gibberish. The PDF scans are better than the text file versions, but even these are lacking. The reader is forced to keep the same format that was constrained by the conventions of the printing press; and while the reader might be able to search for English words, searching for anything in biblical languages is nearly impossible.

ICC Search Here’s what the Accordance edition of the classic ICC commentaries brings with it that the free versions on the internet cannot possibly deliver: First, Accordance allows for searching for every word, regardless of language, by nine different categories. Our Accordance developers have analyzed all 17 volumes of the classic ICC series and have identified nine different kinds of content: primary commentary references, other Scripture references, section titles, English content, Greek content, Hebrew content, transliterated content, manuscripts, and bibliographies. So, if you want to search for a specific Greek word or phrase, you can find it easily. Want to narrow your search just to the bibliographies of other sources? Again, no problem.

Second, by integrating the ICC into Accordance, you can place the series in parallel with any biblical text (original language or translation) and have the commentary scroll smoothly in sync. Third, you can Amplify information to and from the ICC with any other titles in Accordance. You do know how to Amplify in Accordance, right? Fourth, you can include the ICC in the Research feature when you search for a word or phrase (English or biblical languages) in every work in your Accordance Library, just the commentaries, or in a group of titles you put together yourself.

And there are so many other benefits to having the ICC in Accordance. I’ve always said that you know a written work has tremendous value when people are still reading it long after the original writers are no longer with us. And that’s certainly true for the ICC. Consider adding this series to your personal Accordance Library. We hope to continue to add other volumes to our offering in the future.

International Critical Commentary (17 Volumes)
Regular Price $179

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