Accordance Blog

January 2010 — December 2010

A Greek Professor's Bible Software Exercise

March 19, 2010 - David Lang — I know I promised yesterday to continue my story about helping a scholar search for word clusters in Hebrew, but something has come up to cause me to interrupt that story. Recently, Professor Mark Hoffman of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg posted an exercise designed to teach his Greek students to accomplish certain searches in a Windows Bible program. He also issued a call for someone to show how the same things could be accomplished using Accordance. This post is meant to answer that call, as well as to be of help to other ...

Word Clusters vs. Inferences

March 18, 2010 - David Lang — Last week our main tech support guy (yes, that's singular!) asked me to contact a scholar who had called in with questions about using the INFER command. When I called, this scholar explained that he had purchased Accordance hoping to use the INFER command for his dissertation, but that he had been unable to get it to do what he wanted. He had ended up doing searches for individual words to finish his dissertation, but still wanted to be able to use the INFER command in his teaching and research. I gave him a basic tutorial on the use of the ...

Searching for Word Clusters, Part 2

March 16, 2010 - David Lang — In yesterday's post, I showed how you could use the Construct window to search for clusters of words which are found together. This is the Construct we came up with: This Construct looks for two occurrences of any of five key words taken from Exodus 34:6. These two occurrences must be within twenty words of each other, and must be different words. In other words, we don't want to find instances where one of these words is repeated twice, but where any two of these words are found together. We can extend this search further by specifying that ...

Searching for Word Clusters

March 15, 2010 - David Lang — Last week someone posted an interesting question on our user forums. He referenced Exodus 34:6, which describes the LORD as "compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth." He then asked if there was a way to search for other places where those words or phrases are found together. I suggested he use the Construct window to create this search. To open a Construct window, start with a regular search window, click the Words button, and hit the tab key to select the entire search argument. Now go to ...

Just Released: Concise Dictionary of Classical Hebrew

March 12, 2010 - David Lang — We've had so many new module releases and program updates lately that I'm struggling to keep up with them all. Last week we released David Clines' Concise Dictionary of Classical Hebrew. Most Hebrew lexicons confine themselves to the vocabulary of the Hebrew Bible. The eight-volume Dictionary of Classical Hebrew is the first Hebrew lexicon to include all the words found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Hebrew inscriptions, Ben Sira, and other ancient Hebrew texts. The unabridged Dictionary of Classical Hebrew is still in the process of being ...

Just Released: Tyndale Commentaries

March 11, 2010 - David Lang — We're pleased to announce that the Tyndale Commentaries on the Old and New Testaments are now available for Accordance. Containing the equivalent of 49 print volumes of commentary on every book of the Bible, the Tyndale Commentaries were written by such notable evangelical scholars as Derek Kidner, Leon Morris, Bruce Waltke, F. F. Bruce, Wayne Grudem, John Stott, and N.T. Wright. The aim of the series is to help explain the meaning of the text and address major questions of interpretation without getting bogged down in technical minutiae. In ...

Accordance 8.4.4 Offers Improved Dictionary Lookup, More

March 10, 2010 - David Lang — Accordance 8.4.4, a free update for users of Accordance 8, is now available for download. As with all such updates, 8.4.4 fixes a number of obscure bugs you likely didn't know existed, and includes several useful enhancements. These include: improved dictionary lookup when you hold down the command key and hover over a word to see its definition in the instant details box holding the shift key while triple-clicking a word in a key numbered text will now look up the English word in an English Tool rather than looking up the Key number in a ...

Just Released: Comfort NT Text and Translation Commentary

March 09, 2010 - David Lang — Ever run across a New Testament textual variant and wonder how in the world you're supposed to evaluate or understand it? You might have run across a footnote in your English Bible which indicates that "some manuscripts" have a different reading. Or you could be reading a commentary that suddenly launches into a discussion of a possible "homoeoteleuton" or perhaps a "harmonization" with a parallel passage. If you're not a specialist, how are you to understand these kinds of discussions and how do they make a difference in your exegesis of a ...

Inaugural Accordance Users Conference

March 08, 2010 - David Lang — When I was in college, I took three semesters of Russian. My first two semesters were taught by a Russian woman who had immigrated to the United States. It was great to learn from a native speaker and hear the language spoken without any non-native accent, but there were also things this native speaker had a hard time conveying. Russian has a vowel sound which is very difficult for non-native speakers to pronounce. When we would try to pronounce it, she would correct our poor pronunciation by saying it the way it is supposed to sound. To her, ...

On Being Accessible

March 05, 2010 - David Lang — Last night, I took my family to the local mall. My wife's stated goal was the children's clothing store, which meant that we had to pass by Bath & Body Works. As we passed through the perfumed atmosphere outside the entrance to the store, my sons and I continued our march toward the stated goal, only to realize that my wife and daughters were no longer with us. They had followed the siren smells into the girly-lotion store. Since my sons and I had no interest in Bath & Body Works, it was decided that we would proceed with the baby to ...

Beloved, Let us Examine the Vocative

March 04, 2010 - David Lang — This morning I read the last chapter of 2 Peter, and I was struck by the fact that the author repeatedly addresses his readers as "Dear friends" (HCSB). Curious about which Greek word is being translated here, I opened a pane containing the ESVS (English Standard Version with Strong's numbers) and could see right away that it is αγαπητος, "beloved." This got me wondering if the various authors of New Testament epistles addressed their readers differently. Since Greek has a special case for words of address—the vocative—I simply switched my ...

Appreciating the Parallelism of Hebrew Poetry

March 03, 2010 - David Lang — I have always been fascinated by the parallelism which characterizes Hebrew poetry. I remember taking a seminary course in which I learned about the various kinds of Hebrew parallelism and realized that it is far more than just saying the same thing twice. Last night, my oldest daughter helped reawaken that fascination. As we were about to conclude our family devotions, Bethany asked if she could read a passage from Proverbs that she had discovered earlier that day. It was Proverbs 6:16-19, which lists "Six things the LORD hates" and "seven" ...

Hard Sayings and Bible Difficulties

February 24, 2010 - David Lang — As I mentioned in a previous post, my family has been reading through 1 Peter recently. During our family devotions, I'll teach from my laptop while my wife and kids all follow along with their print Bibles. They'll each take turns reading portions of the passage, and then I'll read through it again offering commentary and explanation. I rarely prepare ahead of time, and so I sometimes find myself scrambling for answers. That was the case the other day when we read 1 Peter 3:18-22: For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the ...

Who Wants an Office?

February 23, 2010 - David Lang — When I started as OakTree Software's sole employee, the company was run completely out of a home office, and I worked at my own home using my own computer. As we added new staff members, the ability to work at home was both a practical necessity and a major perk. Once we began hiring our own sales staff and selling directly (before that all sales had been handled by another distributor), we decided that we would need a dedicated office for sales. Since the office we got was bigger than the sales staff needed at that time, the rest of us were ...

Accordance: Don't Write Books Without It

February 22, 2010 - David Lang — As I mentioned in a previous post, I've written a book entitled Macs in the Ministry which is now available. I'm blogging about the book at macsinministrybook.com, so if you're interested in learning what this book is all about, you can find out more there. In this post, I want to underscore how indispensable Accordance was to me in the writing of the book. Obviously, Accordance was the place I turned to find passages of Scripture to cite. One of the aspects of the book I'm proudest of is the fact that it's more than just a straight t ...

Orlando Training Seminar with Me and Dr. J

February 19, 2010 - David Lang — A week from today at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, we'll be offering a free all-day Accordance training seminar. Both Dr. J and myself will take turns doing the training, and while one is teaching the other will be available to help anyone who is having a hard time keeping up. If you're in the Orlando area, be sure to register now. Not in Central Florida? We've got other seminars coming up in Kentucky, California, Illinois, Missouri, Atlanta, and Massachusetts! Dr. J and I won't be at all those locations, but they'll be lead by ...

Interactive Atlas vs. Static Maps

February 18, 2010 - David Lang — The Accordance Bible Atlas is not a series of static maps, but a completely interactive atlas which delivers the information you need in whatever form you require. If you look for a place name, it appears highlighted on the map regardless of whether that place name is included in any of the layers you currently have displayed. It's simple, quick, and just works. Many other programs simply offer their users a series of static maps to choose from. What do I mean by static maps? I mean that they are essentially images of pre-drawn maps. They may ...

Where Does That Quotation Come From?

February 17, 2010 - David Lang — As I mentioned last week, my family and I have been reading through 1 Peter in our family devotions. Last night we ran across 1 Peter 3:10-12, which the HCSB prints in bold type. The HCSB uses that style to indicate a quotation from the Old Testament, but how can you find out which Old Testament passage is being quoted? One way to find the source of a quotation is to open a parallel pane containing the notes for your translation. Many translations indicate the source of a quotation in footnotes, so by displaying the Notes in parallel with y ...

Who Was Emperor When 1 Peter Was Written?

February 12, 2010 - David Lang — As I've mentioned many times on this blog, my family's devotions have centered around the chronological reading plan in the Daily Readings module. It's supposed to take a year, but I think we've been working on it for going on four years now! Anyway, we're now in 1 Peter so we may just finish before the start of year five. In our devotions, my wife and kids will take turns reading portions of the passage, and then I'll read through it again offering commentary, explaining the historical background, ripping off tidbits I've heard from various ...

Why We Are Not at MacWorld Expo This Year

February 11, 2010 - David Lang — We began exhibiting Accordance Bible Software at MacWorld Expo in New York way back in the summer of 1998. We've been to every expo since then both in New York and San Francisco. The only expos we missed were the two summer shows held in Boston after Apple announced it would not participate in a Boston Expo. Our decision not to exhibit at those shows proved to be the right one. Without Apple, the summer Expo died out quickly, leaving only the winter Expo in San Francisco. Last year, Apple announced that it would no longer participate in the ...

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