Why the Holman Bible Commentary?

Convenient, flexible, and concise, The Holman Bible Commentary now joins the ever-swelling library of commentaries available for Accordance Bible Software. The twenty-volume Old Testament set and twelve-volume New Testament set were produced by Broadman & Holman with the express purpose of providing “the church with the food to feed the spiritually hungry in an easily digestible format.” The Accordance release of the NIV-based Holman Bible Commentary augments that aim with superior searchability and usability, increasing its value to the pastor or layperson in need of concise biblical reference materials.

Convenient Format

Each volume of the Holman Bible Commentary is organized into chapters, each of which follow a consistent outline:

  • Introduction
  • Commentary
    A verse-by-verse explanation of the chapter.
  • Conclusion
    An overview of the principles an applications from the chapter
  • Life Application
    Melding the chapter to life
  • Prayer
    Tying the chapter to life with God
  • Deeper Discoveries
    Historical, geographical, and grammatical enrichment of the commentary
  • Teaching Outline
    Suggested step-by-step group study of the chapter.
  • Issues for Discussion
    Zeroing the chapter in on daily life.

Readers familiar with the structure of the outline can quickly find the kind of information they are searching for. Accordance users will be able to survey the outline of a chapter and its subheadings by using the browser.

Flexible for Different Settings

The Holman Bible Commentary lends itself well to several different uses. Pastors in need of illustrative materials for sermon preparation will benefit from the quotes preceding each chapter as well as the anecdotes in the chapter Introduction. Laypeople preparing lessons on particular biblical books may want to consult the Teaching Outline for help in organizing their thoughts. Small groups and Sunday School classes wishing to use the Holman Commentary to study a particular book of the Bible will find the Issues for Discussion a helpful springboard to conversation and personal application. The Conclusion, Life Application and Prayer sections of each chapter will prove invaluable for readers wishing to use this commentary for devotional reading. “Deeper Discoveries” will take readers who want to investigate issues raised in the commentary further in their study of the Bible. Whatever the situation, Accordance allows for customization of the presentation of the text. Fonts, background colors, text colors, and highlighting are all available at the user’s fingertips.

Concise When Time is of the Essence

The main body of the Commentary can be read in detail when one has time to proceed verse-by-verse through the biblical text. As always, readers can open their favorite Bible, open a Reference pane, and the Holman Commentary will scroll along in synch.

When devotional or preparation time is brief, however, the Holman Bible Commentary quickly summarizes key points in the text in two ways. “In a Nutshell” offers readers a summary of the events or key themes of a chapter before its Introduction. “Main Idea” and “Supporting Idea” statements found in grayed text boxes throughout the Commentary sections sum up smaller portions of biblical text. Formatting within Accordance distinguishes these from the body of the Commentary, closely mirroring the print text.

Also in Accordance

Accordance also allows the reader instantaneous access to any Reference entry covered by the Holman Bible Commentary. Searching for comments on an individual verse or a lengthy passage is simple and readers can scroll through relevant hits at their leisure. Mouse over a hyperlinked verse and the Instant Details box displays the passage in the reader’s Bible of choice.

Citation of the text or following along with others in a group is made simple by the Page Number field. Captions for maps and Table Titles can likewise be searched for graphical aids. Each volume also features a Glossary which can be accessed easily by means of hyperlinks throughout the text, which display the relevant definition in Instant Details. The full Holman Commentary boasts over 800 hyperlinks to other Accordance tools, including Hymns, Schaff’s Church Fathers, NIDNTT, and Word Biblical Commentary, to name but a few. And of course, amplifying to another Accordance module (such as the Atlas or Photoguide for additional context for a place name) is as simple as selecting the text and choosing from the Library.


Accordance makes the accessibility of the Holman Bible Commentary even more accessible by building on its strengths of convenience, flexibility and conciseness. To paraphrase the series’ tagline “The more precious your preparation time, the more essential The Holman Bible Commentary (in Accordance) is to your success.”

The entire set is available in the following modules:

See details of the volumes.

(Article images updated September 2013)