Accordance Blog

January 2012 — December 2012

Are Study Bibles Obsolete?

May 17, 2012 - David Lang — This week we've been looking at the history of the study Bible format and some of the reasons for its popularity. Those reasons include (1) a desire on the part of readers for easily understandable interpretive guidance (especially during periods of religious controversy), (2) a desire on the part of religious leaders to popularize a particular understanding of the Bible, (3) a desire on the part of publishers to promote a particular translation, and (4) a desire on the part of some readers for ready help with a particular aspect of Bible ...

Why Are Study Bibles So Popular? Part 3

May 16, 2012 - David Lang — In this series of posts, I've been giving a brief sketch of the history of the study Bible. We began with the first English study Bible, the Geneva Bible of 1560, and considered the fact that it met needs that were keenly felt at that point in history. It was highly successful, but the sectarian nature of its marginal notes made it as unpopular as it was popular, and there was a bit of backlash against printing Bibles with explanatory notes. We next looked at the Scofield and Thompson Chain Reference Bibles, both of which were published near ...

Why Are Study Bibles So Popular? Part 2

May 15, 2012 - David Lang — Before there was Bible software, there were study Bibles—printed Bibles with brief commentary in the form of marginal notes. In this series of posts, we're looking at the history of study Bibles and the reasons for their ongoing popularity. In part 1 of this series, we looked at The Geneva Bible, which was almost certainly the first printed study Bible in English. Its explanatory marginal notes offered guidance in how to interpret the Bible at a time when many people were first beginning to read the Bible for themselves, and it became a ...

Why Are Study Bibles So Popular? Part 1

May 14, 2012 - David Lang — Before there was Bible software, there were study Bibles—printed Bibles with brief commentary in the form of marginal notes. Before Bible software put a whole library of material at your fingertips, study Bibles were the most convenient way to get concise help in reading the Bible. Yet even with the advent of Bible software, study Bibles remain hugely popular. Study Bibles are consistently some of the top-selling Accordance modules, and we just added a new one: The Reformation Study Bible. It's clear that the study Bible is here to stay, so I ...

Finding Your Highlights

May 11, 2012 - David Lang — The other day I showed how you can hide any highlighting you've done to avoid being distracted by it. Today I want to show you how to find any highlighted verses—even when you've chosen to hide the highlighting. To search for highlights, select Style from the Enter Command submenu of the Search command. Replace the selected question mark inside the Style command with the name of the highlight style you want to find. In my first post in this series, I defined a highlight style to tag verses with the label "Joy," so I'll simply type "joy" to ...

Three New IVP Dictionaries Available

May 10, 2012 - David Lang — I'm pleased to announce the release of three new Bible Dictionaries from InterVarsity Press: the Dictionary of Major Biblical Interpreters, Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch, and Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books. Each of these ground-breaking dictionaries weighs in at around 1000 pages in print, so carrying all three around would be an exercise in body-building! Loading the Accordance editions on your laptop or iPhone won't do nearly as much for your biceps, but you'll be much more likely to have them available when ...

Hiding Your Highlights

May 09, 2012 - David Lang — Have you ever highlighted extensively in a print Bible, then tried to re-read a passage you previously highlighted? I always found that once I had highlighted a passage, it became hard to see anything new in that passage. It was as though the highlighting permanently defined how I read that passage, and I began to find it distracting. If you highlight a print Bible and later find the highlights distracting, your only option is to buy another Bible. But if you highlight in Accordance, you always have the choice of whether to show or hide the ...

Use Verse Highlighting to Tag Verses, Part 2

May 04, 2012 - David Lang — In yesterday's post, I began to show how you can use verse highlighting to "tag" verses with specific categories, topics, etc. In that post, I showed how to create a new Highlight File and define the styles which represent your "tags." Today, I want to show how to apply those styles to specific verses. Once you've created a highlight style, applying it to a verse or a selection of words is easy: simply select the text you want to highlight, then click the desired style on the Highlight palette. To apply a highlight style to an entire verse, ...

Use Verse Highlighting to Tag Verses

May 03, 2012 - David Lang — We got an interesting suggestion today on our User Forums. Someone asked for a way to "tag" verses with information. For example, he wrote, "I may want to add the tag 'Joy' to a verse that speaks 'joy' to me, but doesn't have that word actually in the verse." While Accordance does not currently offer "tags" per se, one way to accomplish this right now is to use verse highlighting as a kind of tagging system. To use Accordance's highlighting feature, the first thing you'll need to do is open the Highlight palette. You do this by selecting ...

Comparing a Verse in All Translations

April 26, 2012 - David Lang — In yesterday's post, I examined the HCSB's translation of Matthew 6:9. Instead of "Hallowed be thy name," the HCSB has "Your name be honored as holy." In that post, I looked at the underlying Greek and discussed how the traditional rendering, while good in its day, is now a bit misleading to modern readers. I also discussed how our familiarity with the traditional rendering of well-known passages presents a challenge for translators. A few translations dare to improve the rendering of these favorite passages, but many just retain the ...

What Happened to "Hallowed Be Thy Name"?

April 25, 2012 - David Lang — As I've mentioned numerous times on this blog, I use the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) as my primary translation. It is a good "mediating translation" (watch Dr. J's podcast on Choosing a Translation for an explanation of that term) which I find offers good English readability without getting too far from the wording of the original text. One of the things about this translation which I both like and dislike is its willingness to break from traditional renderings of well-known passages. You see, one challenge translators face is that ...

Learn to Use the Copy As Options, Part 2

April 24, 2012 - David Lang — In my last post, I pointed out the usefulness of several of the options in the Copy As submenu of the Edit menu. In this post, I want to focus on two more Copy As options designed to be used with original language texts. Copy As Transliteration: Need to discuss Greek and Hebrew with folks who don't actually read it? The best way to do that is to transliterate the Greek or Hebrew text. When you transliterate a word, you replace its letters with the corresponding letters of another alphabet. So, for example, the Greek word ἄλφα is t ...

Learn to Use the Copy As Options, Part 1

April 19, 2012 - David Lang — A couple weeks ago, I blogged about how Accordance makes it easy to get text and images into other programs using drag-and-drop. Accordance offers all kinds of ways to get the information you need into other applications, and you'll find most of them in the Copy As submenu of the Edit menu. Here is a brief explanation of what the first three of those options do. Copy As No Superscript: Copies the selected verses as they are, except that it removes any superscripted footnote markers. Copy As Citation: Applies the format you set in the Citation ...

The BEST Resource for Help with Family Devotions

April 18, 2012 - David Lang — Yesterday, I discussed several Accordance resources which have helped me explain the passages we read during family devotions. Today, I want to point you to what I think may be the single best resource for help with family devotions. If you could use only one Accordance module other than the Bible text itself, which one should it be? For me, that honor goes to Fee and Stuart's Reading the Bible Book by Book. Designed to act as a kind of reader's guide to the entire Bible, this Accordance reference tool is easy to place in a parallel pane ...

Helpful Resources for Family Devotions

April 17, 2012 - David Lang — Over the past several posts, I've discussed the challenge of having a regular time of family Bible reading, and offered seven tips for successful family devotions (1-3, 4-7). In the process, I've revealed quirky things about my family, such as our tendency to shout out Hebrew words and our willingness to resort to violence in order to memorize Scripture. Today, I want to point you to some of the Accordance resources I've found particularly helpful during family devotions. Graphic Resources. The Atlas, Timeline, and PhotoGuide have all ...

7 Tips For Successful Family Devotions, Part 2

April 13, 2012 - David Lang — This week I've been discussing the challenges of having a regular time of family devotions. Many of us want to read the Bible with our families, but how do you actually make it work? Yesterday I offered the first three of seven tips for having successful family devotions. Those were: (1) Pick a regular time and make it a habit, (2) Follow a reading plan, and (3) Have everyone read. Here now are the final four: 4. Explain the passage. In our family, after we each take turns reading through that day's passage, I will go through the entire ...

7 Tips For Successful Family Devotions, Part 1

April 12, 2012 - David Lang — Yesterday I promised to offer some advice on how to have a time of devotional Bible reading with your family. Here are the first three of seven tips I hope you find helpful. I'll cover the final four tips in tomorrow's blog post. 1. Pick a regular time and make it a habit. Establishing a consistent time for family devotions is crucial. Without a regular time the whole family knows is reserved for devotions, it simply becomes too easy to let other demands crowd them out. Pick a time which is least likely to be interrupted by other activities ...

Help with Family Devotions

April 11, 2012 - David Lang — If you've ever attempted to have a time of devotional Bible reading with your family, you know it can sometimes be a heart-warming experience. You also know it can just as often be a hair-pulling experience. Young children can squirm and get disruptive. Older children may look like they would rather be anywhere else. Parents so often feel unequal to the task of teaching the Bible, and it is hard to know where to start. Much of the advice on how to have family devotions seems utterly impossible for "normal" families with imperfect children and ...

Don't Take Drag and Drop for Granted

April 09, 2012 - David Lang — Accordance offers tremendous advantages over other Bible programs—speed, flexibility, powerful features and valuable resources found nowhere else. Yet sometimes, in focusing on those big advantages, we lose sight of the many smaller advantages we all tend to take for granted. Recently, a reviewer was evaluating Accordance and pointed out an advantage that hadn't really occurred to us: the ability to drag and drop text and images. As this reviewer was working with Accordance, he arranged his screen so that Accordance was side-by-side with the ...

Learn to Study the Bible Better with Dr. J

April 05, 2012 - David Lang — If you haven't watched Dr. J's latest podcasts yet, you're really missing out. Episodes 69–71 all focus on teaching you how to study the Bible more effectively. Episode 69 teaches how to study a single book of the Bible, Episode 70 discusses how to choose the best translation for various Bible study tasks, and Episode 71 focuses on how to read the Bible better. In each of these podcasts, Dr. J shows how to create an Accordance workspace which will accommodate the Bible study methods he demonstrates. He also discusses how to choose the best ...

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