Significant for Pastoral Work: Colin Cushman's Accordance 25 Story
I started using Accordance one and a half years ago. I was originally very hesitant to use Bible software. It seemed too expensive and I thought I could do what I needed to for free. However, upon starting to use Accordance, I have found myself using it daily.
I do not use Accordance for all of the uses that it is billed for. For example, I do not find much use in my own work of doing in-depth original language work; nor do I use complex English search functions very often. These are just not the types of data that I find useful for my own work.
However, I find some of its other features incredibly useful. These help me to get more than I did before starting with it. I use Accordance as a central hub for my sermon prep and teaching prep. I use it for reading the Bible passage, taking detailed notes and highlighting as I do so (which are then usefully right there when I come back to the passage in the future). I have access to parallel texts with different translations and the original language texts, which are very useful for answering textual questions. The instant details panel allows me to instantly understand the original language words, and the crossover highlighting makes it clear which words correspond to one another. And then much more in-depth information from lexicons is just a click away to look deeper into an original language word. Or it’s very easy to just triple click and look up an English word in my favorite Bible dictionary. And then Stacks helps me to capture the interesting tidbits so that I can come back later to look at them all together.
One of the most useful features for my own workflow has been the Info Pane. I am instantly able to see the pericope boundary, themes, and cross references. But most important to me is the ability to search through my resources by passage reference. It is amazing just to be able to search for the relevant passage, and Accordance pulls out every reference to that passage in any of my resources. This is something that I am unable to do with paper books and which makes it so much easier to see what resources are available for my research on a specific passage.
While I am not particularly interested in some of the modules that are bundled in the Collections, I have found a core set of modules that are the right ones for what I need, that provide me the resources to help me best answer my exegetical questions in a more fulsome manner. By and large, I have been successful with making the program what I need it to be.
As a pastor, Accordance has become thoroughly integrated into my workflow. Sure, I would definitely be able to do my job, and do it well, without Accordance. But Accordance creates significant efficiencies and makes things possible that would be tedious if not impossible with printed resources. In my context, I have greatly appreciated Accordance and am thoroughly smitten with it. If I were to travel back a year ago, I would most definitely choose to stick with Accordance!
Colin Cushman is Pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Sedro-Wooley, Washington
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