Oct 3, 2008 David Lang

The Not-So-Awkward In-Between Stage, Part 2

Earlier this week, I talked about the bundles designed to help those in-betweeners who may want to consult the original language texts and tools included on the Scholar's Collection, yet whose primary focus will typically be the English Bible study resources included in the Library Collection. I also promised to show how you can piggy-back off the Strong's number resources of the Library in order to explore the in depth Greek and Hebrew materials of the Scholar's collection. That will be the focus of this post.

The various levels of the Library each contain at least one English Bible tagged with Strong's numbers: the King James with Strong's (KJVS) is included with all levels, while the New American Standard 1995 Update (NAS95S) and the English Standard Version (ESVS) are included with the Standard and Premier levels. These texts let you pass your cursor over an English word to see its original language equivalent, search by Strong's number, etc. But used in conjunction with other original language resources, they become even more powerful.

Let's say that I have the ESVS in parallel with the tagged Greek New Testament (GNT-T), and I'm looking at John 21:15. I'm curious to know about the words translated "love" in this verse, so I drag my cursor over the first occurrence of love. Since I have a Key numbered text in parallel with a tagged Greek text, and Key number highlighting (a new feature in version 8) is turned on, when I drag over "love" in the ESV, the Greek word agapao is highlighted in the GNT-T. When I drag over the second "love" in this verse, the Greek word phileo is highlighted. In this way, I can see immediately the relationship between the Greek text and the English translation.

Now, what if I want to search for all occurrences of the Greek word agapao? One way to do it is to select the first "love" in John 21:15, hold down the option key, and choose GNT-T from the Resource palette. By holding down the option key, I tell Accordance not to search for the English word I have selected, but to search instead for the Greek word represented by the Strong's number which has been tagged to that English word. In other words, if I select "love" and just choose GNT-T from the palette, Accordance will tell me that the language of the text I've chosen is inappropriate: I'm trying to search a Greek text for an English word. But if I hold down the option key, I tell Accordance not to search for the English word, but the Greek word it translates! In this way, I can search for the Greek word agapao without having to type a single letter of Greek!

This option-key trick will work for any Accordance resource containing Greek text. So, for example, if I wanted to search the tagged Greek Pseudepigrapha or Apostolic Fathers for agapao, I just need to select "love" in the ESVS and hold down the option key while selecting them from the palette. If I want to look up agapao in a Greek lexicon like Louw & Nida or BDAG, the same technique can be used. If I want to search all my commentaries for the Greek word agapao, I can simply option-select a Tool set or Search All group containing all my commentaries.

By using an English Bible with Key numbers as an entry-point for exploring the original Greek and Hebrew, "in-betweeners" such as the beginning seminary student, the pastor whose language skills are rusty, or the layperson who wants to dig deeper, can easily delve into high-level resources without having to know which key on the keyboard produces a Psi.

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