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

Tuesday, May 01, 2007  

Finding the Right Match

Yesterday my wife and I celebrated our thirteenth wedding anniversary, and we both agree that we are far too young to have been married that long. I guess the fact that the years have flown by so quickly (as opposed to dragging by interminably) is a good indication that we were the right match for one another.

Sometimes the right match can be tough to find, and that's true of Bible software as well as marriage. Many people don't realize that various Bible texts and translations follow different versification schemes. For example, Psalm 13:1 in the New International Version reads as follows:

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

Now consider Psalm 13:1 in the Jewish Publication Society's Tanakh:

For the leader. A psalm of David.

Then there's Psalm 13:1 in Brenton's translation of the Septuagint:

The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They have corrupted themselves, and become abominable in their devices; there is none that does goodness, there is not even so much as one.

Do you see the problem? The same verse number represents three different passages in these three different translations. I'm not completely sure of the history behind all these different verse numbering systems, but I do know that they go back to the Hebrew Bible, the Greek Septuagint, and the Latin Vulgate, which are all numbered differently in certain places.

The good news is that Accordance automatically keeps all of this straight for you. This is one of those unsung features which few people ever notice, but which make all the difference in the world when you're comparing multiple translations. Consider the following screenshot, for example:

As you can see, here I've got the NIV, JPS, and Brenton in parallel, and although the verse numbers don't agree, the text of each parallel verse obviously corresponds. When we develop an Accordance Bible text, we go through a rather tedious process of making sure that verses line up with other Bible texts according to their content, regardless of how they happen to be numbered.

Whenever you display other Bible texts in parallel with your Search text, the parallel Bibles will all conform to the versification system of the search text. For example, in the screenshot above, I've got the NIV-G/K as my search text, so when I enter Psalm 13 in the Go To Box, I get the NIV-G/K's Psalm 13, and the parallel panes each display the verses which correspond. If I switch my search text to Brenton and go to Psalm 13, I'll get Brenton's Psalm 13, and the other panes will show the verses which correspond to it. Compare the screenshot below:

In this way, Accordance always finds the right match for the verse you're looking at, no matter how it happens to be numbered. I'd be willing to bet that many of you have been enjoying this feature for years without even realizing it, and that's as it should be. Users shouldn't have to worry about those kinds of things. The only time you should have to worry about versification schemes is when you are the actual developer of an electronic Bible text.


I noticed that the bottom of your window is different than mine... book, chapter, verse and most importantly "Prior"

are you using a different version ;)

Hmmm. Noticed that, did you? ;-)

You wrote, "...Accordance always finds the right match...."

It might be better to write, "...Accordance almost always finds...."

There are still incorrect links in BDAG, etc. to the LXX.


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