Accordance Blog

January 2011 — December 2011

Overcoming Blind Spots: Get Perspective with Commentaries

February 18, 2011 - David Lang — For the past several posts, I've been discussing how we can overcome our blind spots when it comes to reading the Bible. By "blind spots," I mean those things we gloss over or simply fail to see because of our preconceptions about what the text says. I've discussed how reading and comparing multiple translations can help to alert us to aspects of the text we might have missed, and I've compared The Message translation to a convex mirror which can bend our gaze so that we can see around our blind spots. Today, I want to talk about how ...

See Accordance 9.2 in Action

February 17, 2011 - David Lang — Curious to see the new features of Accordance 9.2 in action? Dr. J's latest podcast shows you how to use Magnify Zones and image browsing, including tips on helpful keyboard shortcuts you may not be aware of. Be sure to check it out.

Overcoming Blind Spots: The Convex Mirror Bible

February 16, 2011 - David Lang — For the past couple posts, I've been discussing how we can overcome our blind spots when it comes to reading the Bible. By "blind spots," I mean those things we gloss over or simply fail to see because of our preconceptions about what the text says. In my last post I discussed how reading and comparing multiple translations can help to alert us to aspects of the text we might have missed. Today, I want to talk about one particular translation which can help us overcome our blind spots. On many cars these days, the driver side rearview mirror ...

Overcoming Blind Spots: Compare Translations

February 15, 2011 - David Lang — In last Friday's post, I talked about how we sometimes have blind spots when it comes to reading the Bible. By "blind spots," I mean those things we gloss over or simply fail to see because of our preconceptions about what the text says. Over the next several posts, I want to talk about some ways we can overcome those blind spots. In life, the only way to overcome a blind spot is to change your perspective. If you're driving a car, you make sure nothing is in your blind spot by quickly turning your head to see what you could not see in your ...

The Bible Can't be Saying THAT!

February 14, 2011 - David Lang — When I began reading the Bible as a teenager, I struggled to find a good place to start. I tried starting in Genesis, but soon got derailed. Then I tried starting in Matthew, but again, soon got off-track. Finally, I decided to read Ecclesiastes. Why Ecclesiastes? Well, I liked the song "Turn, Turn, Turn" by the Byrds, and I had learned from the movie Footloose that those words came from the biblical book of Ecclesiastes. I began reading Ecclesiastes in the King James and was surprised to find it chock full of phrases like "all is vanity and ...

Overcoming Blind Spots

February 11, 2011 - David Lang — When I was in college, I read a feminist scholar's exegesis of Genesis 1-3 for a class I was taking. I've read this scholar a few times since, and have always found her to be a gifted exegete with the kind of literary acumen I've been discussing over the past few weeks. She tends to unpack the text in a way that helps you appreciate its literary artistry and see dimensions you might previously have missed. Unfortunately, she also self-consciously reinterprets these texts from the standpoint of her own ideology. Rather than merely correcting ...

For your Reading Pleasure

February 10, 2011 - Rick Bennett — After we updated our website and blog, I wrote a post offering some tips on subscribing to and navigating the blog. If you're new to the whole blogosphere and find some of the terms are confusing, I recommend checking it out. Since then we've continued to experience a growing number of subscribers, to whom we're thankful for continuing to read and interact with David's hidden gems of Accordance as well as our various updates and promotions. In this post I'd like to follow-up with some more tips on subscribing to the blog, and reading it on ...

Accordance 9.2 Adds Magnify Zones and Image Browsing

February 09, 2011 - David Lang — Accordance 9 introduced the concept of "zones," areas of a workspace which automatically display different kinds of resources side by side. Most users of Accordance 9 have loved this feature, but what do you do when you open a bunch of different resources and end up with several tiny zones? What if you're viewing a map, timeline, or picture in a small zone and you want an easy way to enlarge it? With Accordance 9.2—now available for free download to all users of Accordance 9—you simply click the new plus icon near the top left corner of the ...

All Day with Accordance at Asbury

February 08, 2011 - David Lang — What can get a bunch of Minnesotans to spend an entire Saturday indoors—even when it's a balmy 30° F outside? A free Accordance training seminar of course! As a Florida native, I was bundled up and glad to be inside, but they were all sacrificing a day of fun in the sun just to be there! Maybe they were just being nice, but everyone seemed to feel it was a worthwhile way to spend their Saturday, including the gentleman who flew in from Rhode Island just to attend. If folks in Minnesota were willing to give up enjoying their January thaw, how ...

Worth Checking Out

February 07, 2011 - David Lang — Here are a few things I think you'll find worth checking out: Dr. J's latest podcast offers a helpful comparison of our two most extensive Holy Land Photograph collections: the Bible Lands PhotoGuide, and the new American Colony and Eric Matson collection from Bibleplaces.com. Not only does he compare the strengths of each of these resources, he gives you a brief sampling of some of the photos they contain. In pointing his readers to Dr. J's podcast, Todd Bolen of Bibleplaces.com included a comment from a user who had great things to say a ...

Didn't Know You Had Them? Christian Classics

February 04, 2011 - David Lang — At the recent Desiring God Pastor's Conference, we were demonstrating Accordance at a table in the conference "bookstore." When most of the attendees were in a session, I had time to browse the stacks of books for sale in the Exhibit Hall. Because John Piper makes a point at this conference of introducing attendees to classic Christian authors and their works, there were a great many older books in hardcover or paperback. A few I can remember seeing are E.M. Bounds' The Necessity of Prayer, the two volume edition of The Works of Jonathan ...

Cutting Prices on the Cutting Edge

February 03, 2011 - David Lang — Long before Biblical scholars write books, dictionary articles, or commentaries, they publish their findings in professional journals for review by their peers. Journals are therefore where you'll find the cutting edge of Biblical scholarship. Unfortunately, subscriptions to print journals are often expensive, and finding the information you need is rarely easy. That's why the best way to experience cutting edge scholarship is with cutting edge technology. In Accordance, mining decades worth of journals is incredibly easy, relatively ...

The Story of Halley's Bible Handbook

February 02, 2011 - David Lang — Over the past couple weeks, I've been writing about the importance of reading biblical passages as unified literary works rather than as collections of atomistic Proverbs. I've argued that biblical exposition begins with reading and that exegetical sermons ought to derive their outlines from the literary structure of the passages they exegete. It is therefore timely that we've just released Halley's Bible Handbook, a Christian classic born out of one man's passion for exposing people to the text of the Bible. Henry Hampton Halley was a pastor ...

Deriving Your Sermon Outline from Scripture

February 01, 2011 - David Lang — Last night I demonstrated Accordance to a bunch of pastors at the Desiring God Pastor's Conference. Since I don't get too many opportunities to preach to pastors about sound exegetical method, I decided not to give a drink-from-the-firehouse-here's-everything-Accordance-can-do demonstration. Instead, I showed how you can use the tools in Accordance to exegete a particular passage. After a brief overview of the interface, I opened 2 Samuel 11—the story of David and Bathsheba—and began unpacking the text using a variety of Accordance tools. I ...

A Flexible Interface

January 31, 2011 - David Lang — At the training seminar I taught on Saturday, I pointed out how the Accordance search window gives you the flexibility to interact with the text of the Bible however you need at any given moment. Many Bible programs use different windows or views for different functions: the results of a search may be given in one window, but to see those hits in context you have to go to a different window. Viewing a string of discontiguous verse references may require a separate verse list window. Comparing multiple translations may require yet another v ...

Exposition Begins with Reading

January 28, 2011 - David Lang — Last week I wrote a couple of posts in which I said it is more important to read English well than to know Greek and Hebrew. I was, of course, deliberately being provocative by setting up a false dichotomy. It is not as if reading well is somehow incompatible with knowing Greek and Hebrew. My point was certainly not that Greek and Hebrew are unnecessary to good exegesis. Rather, it was that good exegesis begins with effective reading. If you know how to read texts well—a skill learned in one's native language—then you can easily apply that ...

Reading Revelation with Accordance

January 27, 2011 - David Lang — Last night my family and I read the first chapter of Revelation for our family devotions. I'm not quite sure how things will go with the rest of the book, but we had a great time discussing the first chapter. That's because I was able to use the Atlas and PhotoGuide to show my family the location of Patmos and the seven churches, as well as a few photos of the island of Patmos. I can't wait to get to each of the letters to the seven churches, simply because I want to see their reaction to some of the photos of those cities. For example, I ...

Accordance in Minneapolis and San Jose

January 26, 2011 - David Lang — Today I spent a little time with my two-year-old at a local park while two of his siblings were at their music lessons. It was a glorious day: the sun was shining, it was a little on the blustery side, and it was just warm enough to be comfortable without a jacket. The park we went to is situated under a canopy of oak trees which still have most of their leaves. As I enjoyed chasing my son around the playground, I found myself wondering why I'm leaving all this to go to Minneapolis, Minnesota this weekend. As a native Floridian, I don't even ...

Purchasing Commentaries Podcast

January 24, 2011 - David Lang — January is quickly coming to a close, and that means you only have another week to take advantage of our Curl Up with a Commentary Sale. To help you choose the commentary that will best suit your needs, Dr. J's latest podcast offers a simple, three-step process for making a wise commentary purchase. Along the way, he shows where you can go for accurate information about the various commentaries, lists the different kinds of commentaries available, and wisely encourages you to buy what you can use today rather than what you think you might be ...

Not Dissected, but Digested

January 21, 2011 - David Lang — Yesterday I waxed philosophical about how it is more important to read English well than to know Greek and Hebrew. My point, in brief, was that the best exegetes are those with literary acumen and a firm grasp of how people communicate through the spoken and written word. That skill is developed in one's native language and, once acquired, can easily be applied to the original languages. Conversely, no amount of learning in Greek or Hebrew can overcome the lack of that skill. If we are to exegete the Scriptures well, we need to be deliberate ...

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