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News, How-tos, and assorted Views on Accordance Bible Software.

Friday, February 17, 2006  

To Search or Not to Search

Sometimes the quickest way to find something in Accordance is not to perform a search, but to consult the right resource. In yesterday's post, I cited 2 Samuel 8:1-18, which summarizes most of David's various conquests. It's been a while since I've read 2 Samuel, so I'd forgotten that all of those conquests were listed in a single chapter. I thought that the details of David's subjugation of the Moabites, Edomites, Philistines, etc. might be scattered throughout the book, in which case it would have taken me a fair amount of time to assemble all the Biblical references.

Since I'm naturally lazy, I decided not to construct a series of searches for Moab*, Edom*, Ammon*, etc. and then sift through the various hits. Instead, I just opened up the Outlines module (included with every level of our Library CD-ROM) and scanned the literary outline of 2 Samuel. I figured the outline would give me a convenient list of headings such as "David's Conquest of the Moabites" and "David's Wars with the Ammonites" along with the corresponding references. Sure enough, I quickly found the heading "David's Military Conquests (8:1-18)". I then clicked the link to view that passage, and quickly saw that it contained all the information I needed.

Now, if you're really wanting to study the events of David's reign, I wouldn't recommend taking such shortcuts. It's far better to take the time to study a passage in depth. But when you're trying to find a passage quickly, it's often easiest to consult resources such as the Outlines, the various Topical Bibles, etc., rather than doing a series of searches. Best of all, many of these kinds of resources are included in our most affordable packages, so you probably already have them.

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