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

Wednesday, August 30, 2006  

Details of the Library 7 Introductory Level

On Monday, I listed the new modules in the three levels of the new Library 7 CD-ROM. Over the next few posts, I want to explore each level in greater detail. Today, we'll look at the new stuff in the Introductory Level.

The new Introductory Level includes no less than 55 modules, 13 of which are new. Others, such as the KJVS and Creeds modules, have been updated significantly.

Let's start with the Bibles. The King James Version with Strong's Numbers (KJVS) has been enhanced with paragraph markers and red letter. (Don't worry, those of you who object to having the words of Christ in red can always turn it off using the one keyboard shortcut you absolutely must learn, command-T). The new KJVS also features improvements to the Key number tagging, so that, for example, in phrases like "lovest thou", the Key number for agapao is tagged to the word "lovest" rather than "thou." This should improve the Analysis of Key number searches.

God's Word, a modern English translation included in the Library 6 Intro, has been replaced with the NET Bible. The NET Bible is an excellent modern translation, but the thing that really makes it unique are its copious notes. Most Bibles include translator's notes which mention alternate readings or translations, but the NET Bible notes often give detailed explanations of why a particular rendering was chosen. The result is a reference tool which combines elements of a study Bible, commentary, and textual apparatus all rolled into one. Another nice feature of the NET Bible Notes is the inclusion of maps, including excellent satellite map images. These are, of course, static images, and can't begin to match the interactive capabilities of the Accordance Bible Atlas or Atlas Sampler, but they're nevertheless a nice resource to have.

The next resource I want to highlight about the new Introductory Level is Greek Parsing. Originally conceived as a New Testament counterpart to the Wigram's Hebrew Verb Parsings which has long been included, Greek Parsing has grown into much, much more. This reference tool lists every word of the King James Bible, along with its Strong's number and the Greek word which it translates, the dictionary form of that Greek word, and its parsing information. Grammatical terms are hypertexted so that you can simply drag your cursor over them to see what they mean.

This tool is great for pastors or those doing word studies who want to know more about the form of the Greek words behind the English. You can display it in a pane alongside the Bible text for a running parsing guide, and you can even do some pretty sophisticated searches. For example, you can search for every place where some form of "love" is used to translate the Greek verb agapao in the aorist tense. That's a tremendous amount of power for an Introductory package!

The Introductory Level resource I am most excited about is Bible Art, a collection of high-resolution images of great artwork depicting scenes from the Bible. Artists include such masters as Gustave Doré, Rembrandt, Rubens, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and others! There are also photographs of Byzantine and Renaissance mosaics, and even a couple of my own feeble sketches! (There's nothing more humbling than seeing your own work next to a Rubens painting or Doré engraving, but hey, where else am I going to get published!) ;-)

What good is there in a collection of Bible Art? Much in every way! You can use these images in multimedia presentations, documents, KeyNote slideshows, class handouts . . . you name it! At an average resolution of 1400 by 1100 pixels, you can even zoom in on minute details, drag a marquee around them, and then use Copy selection to get a detailed, cropped image.

Finally, the scope of these illustrations is tremendous. In addition to the Bible stories you would typically see illustrated, there are also illustrations of lesser known narratives such as Jeroboam setting up the idol at Bethel or the destruction of Sennacherib's army. Furthermore, since this module is arranged as a reference tool, you can view it in a pane alongside the Bible text and see the text illustrated! As you can probably see, I think this module is particularly cool!

Okay, on to the other new modules:

Bunyan: includes John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, Holy War, and Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners.

Christian Biography: a dictionary by Henry Wace of major figures and sects in the history of the church through the 6th century A.D.

Church History: J. C. Roberton's Sketches of Church History gives an overview of church history from the apostolic era to the eve of the Protestant Reformation.

Bird's Eye View: Bird's Eye View of the Bible is a survey course of the books of the Bible, designed to be used in Sunday Schools and adult education. It includes a User Tool Workbook for recording answers to study questions.

Faith's Checkbook: A daily devotional by Charles Spurgeon. Written after his classic Morning and Evening, the devotions in this volume are briefer and cover a wider variety of subjects.

Scougal: Puritan writer Henry Scougal's classic devotional work The Life of God in the Soul of Man is a deeply practical guidAn Introductory Bible study of the first chapter of Mark, designed to expose the user to a wide range of Accordance features.

KJV Preface: This module has been available as a free download for some time now, but we wanted to make sure it got included with our Library CD-ROM. It contains the original translators' preface to the KJV, in which they defend their reasons for producing a new translation, their principles of translation, etc. It's a fascinating read, and surprisingly applicable to today.

Study of KJV: This module, likewise, has been available as a free download for some time and has now been incorporated into the Library. Its full title is The Greatest English Classic: A Study of the King James Version of the Bible and Its Influence on Life and Literature. As its title suggests, it explores the historical, literary, and cultural impact the KJV has had.

With the addition of these new modules, the Library 7 Introductory level is, in my opinion, the best value in Mac Bible software in the sub-$100 price range. Next post, we'll look at the new modules in the Standard Level.

What's the idea behind Accordance's module update distribution? A new version of the bible unlock CD is $10. This implies to me that the updates to the modules are really free, if a user has already licensed that module, as $10 seems like a charge for the processing, CD media and copying and shipping. So, if I already have a module, and Accordance has an updated version of that module, and if the update is free (just charging for physical media and shipping), then why can't we just download the updated module, instead of sending away for a CD?

Example: I have licensed HCSB. The new AccUpdater says that I have version 1.1 of that module and that 1.2 is available, but only by getting a new Bible Update CD. So the widget makes me aware that there is an update, but there seems to be no way to download it.

I don't want any CDs. Why can't i just download this?

-- Alan Houtzer ([email protected])

It would be a major hassle for the user to have to download a separate updater for each of our over 400 modules. There has been quite a lot of discussion on the Forum on this topic:

and here

and while we are investigating the possibility of developing a download system that would be less hassle for the user and for us, right now the current system must suffice: if you want the updates you just pay for the CDs, and all your modules are updated at once.

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