Jun 29, 2012 David Lang

Using Accordance to Teach a Bible Study

For a while now, I've been attending a Wednesday night Bible study which uses a DVD series showing sites in Israel and discussing the Biblical events which happened there. This past Wednesday, the normal teacher was out of town and I was asked to fill in. Rather than using the DVD series, I chose to teach a lesson of my own, but to maintain consistency I focused on explaining a Biblical passage with reference to its location. I chose for my text 1 Kings 18: the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel.

I wanted to bring out a number of interesting aspects of this story, such as why Mount Carmel was the perfect location for this showdown (see my blog post, Why Mount Carmel?) and how the name of Elijah is used as a motif throughout this story (see my post, "What's in a Name?"). Explaining the importance of Mount Carmel required giving some background information about the Canaanite deity Baal and the fact that Mount Carmel is the rainiest location in that part of Israel. I wanted to be able to show images of Mount Carmel and Baal, as well as a map of Israel, so I decided to use Accordance's Slide Show mode.

If you're unfamiliar with Accordance's Slide Show feature, it turns each tab in a workspace window into a separate "slide," expanding the content to fill the entire screen and hiding interface elements such as the search entry box, the various palettes, etc. You can activate it by choosing Slide Show from the Window menu.

The first step to creating a slide show is simply setting up the various tabs you want to display. The one thing to keep in mind when setting up your workspace is that Accordance's Slide Show feature does not yet support workspaces with more than one zone. So as you open maps, images, and various resources, they may open in additional zones, but you'll need to combine all those tabs into one zone before you start a slide show. This is most easily done by dragging the title bar of one zone into the tab area of another. When you release the mouse button, all the tabs from the dragged zone will be added to the destination zone.

I started with a tab containing my default Bible and navigated to 1 Kings 18. Realizing that I would need to explain the background of King Ahab's idolatry, I scrolled back until I found the passage on his accession to the throne: 1 Kings 16:29-33. Because I didn't want to scroll back to this passage during the Bible study, I decided to put it in a separate tab. That way, I would have another "slide" I could easily switch to. The easiest way to create a new tab with this passage was to select the verses I wanted and then click the Context button on the Resource palette. This opened a Text window showing the verses I selected in the context of the entire Bible. But I didn't want the surrounding context, so I just unchecked the Show all text checkbox. That left me with a tab showing just 1 Kings 16:29-33.

To make it easy to distinguish this tab during the course of the slide show, I right-clicked the tab itself and chose Active Tab Name… from the Set Tab submenu of the contextual menu. I then changed the name of that tab to "Ahab's Idolatry."


Next I knew I had to summarize Elijah's role in the three-and-a-half years of drought which preceded the episode in 1 Kings 18. So I repeated these same steps for 1 Kings 17:1-10, naming that tab "Elijah No Rain". Finally, I wanted to read Jesus' reference to Elijah and the widow of Zarephath in Luke 4:23-30, so again, I created a new tab containing this passage and renamed it "Jesus in Nazareth." My resulting workspace now looked like this:


I now had the passages I intended to use all ready to go. Next I needed a map and a number of images to show. I'll show you how I set that up in my next post.

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