I discovered Gerald L. Stevens’ New Testament Greek grammar in the mid-nineties before I had heard of Accordance Bible Software. I found Stevens’ Greek grammar to be a breath of fresh air compared to a lot of the more intimidating grammars that were written by earlier generations. Those earlier grammars tended to be mostly text. They gave you the rules, inflection paradigms and vocabulary—all of which were to be memorized.
The personal computer changed education across every discipline, including biblical studies. Stevens’ grammar, much like the popular grammar by Bill Mounce that was first published roughly around the same time, was much more friendly than previous grammars. It included graphics, better tables, and frequency and statistical information derived from a computer program called Accordance.
By the late nineties, I was using Accordance myself, and I eventually added the second edition of Stevens’ grammar to my personal Accordance Library. The last time I taught New Testament Greek, I found the graphical richness of Stevens' grammar, along with the convenience of having it in Accordance, indispensable for examples that I could easily incorporate into classroom materials.
This week, we’re pleased to announce the release of Stevens Greek Workbook: A Companion to the Accordance Module. This title was released in print by Wipf & Stock earlier this year. As described by the publisher,
Stevens Greek Workbook complements the "Stevens Greek" module in the widely-acclaimed Accordance software program as a workbook of exercises keyed to this text. Features include illustrative charts and diagrams, English derivatives for assigned vocabulary aiding memory, a remedial English grammar review, an answer key, and eighteen beautiful images distributed throughout the workbook offering historical vignettes to illustrate the New Testament world and its language. Teaching New Testament Greek for almost thirty years, Stevens has traveled widely overseas to bring a rich knowledge of Greek, the New Testament world, and practical classroom pedagogy to the table to make this workbook an eminently useful tool for acquiring a working knowledge of New Testament Greek in its first-century context.
Accordance users have had access to Gerald Stevens’ New Testament Greek grammar for many years. It has been available separately as well as part of many of our language-centric Collections for quite a while. With the release of this additional volume, the grammar and workbook complement each other quite well, regardless of whether these texts will be used in the classroom, for personal study, or even as a means to review and brush up on one’s New Testament Greek. With both titles, user notes can be employed to write down answers to the exercises in the books. Students can even print or export these answers to turn in if the texts are being used in the classroom.
As I was looking over the new workbook, I felt that it was immediately familiar. It has the same inviting and friendly approach to New Testament Greek that Stevens’ grammar has always conveyed. Chapter numbers and titles in both volumes correspond to each other. If you have the grammar in your personal Accordance Library, you will definitely want to add the workbook as well.
Stevens Greek Workbook
Regular Price $29.90
Sale Price $19.90
Stevens New Testament Greek Grammar
Regular Price $29.90
Sale Price $19.90
The above sale prices are good through October 2, 2017 (11:59 pm EDT) and cannot be combined with any other discounts.
If you live within driving distance of the Orlando area (or even if you just happen to be there on vacation!), come join us for a free Accordance Bible Training Seminar on Saturday, October 7. This event is hosted by Florida Bible College and will be held at Circle Community Church.
Check out the details below:
Saturday, October 7, 2017
9 AM to 6 PM
Florida Bible College
As always, the seminar is free, but we do ask you to register at [email protected] so that we'll have a headcount. For more information about other upcoming events, please see our Seminars & Shows page.
One for all and all for one! Whether purchased individually or as a set, these favorite commentaries—both of which are part of amazing Publishers’ Special—will make a significant addition to your personal Accordance Library. We’ve now added three new volumes to the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, bringing this series to a total of 11, and three new Old Testament volumes in a separate set. We are also making the individual volumes available for the first time, and all at great introductory prices. Also, don’t miss adding the New International Version Application Commentary to your personal Accordance Library for only $9.90 per volume or get the OT or NT set as a whole!
Special sale prices on the products featured below cannot be combined with other discounts. The special offer on all products will end on Sept. 25, 2017 at 11:59 PM EDT.
The Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament & Old Testament is a modern commentary series designed to help pastors and Bible teachers understand the biblical text in its original environment. Each of the contributing evangelical scholars carefully consider factors such as grammatical detail, literary context, rhetorical flow, theological nuance, and historical setting in their interpretation. While primarily designed for those with a basic knowledge of original languages, this series is accessible for all who want to understand and teach the Bible.
Zondervan Exegetical Commentary - Old & New Testament Bundle (14 Volumes)
List Price $571
New in Accordance!
List Price $82.70
3 New Volumes Available!
Now includes Mark, John, 1-3 John
List Price $485.90
Upgrades Available from 8-Volume NT Set
Upgrade to the 11-volume NT set from the previously available 8-volume set (adds Mark, John, 1-3 John).
Upgrade to the 14-volume OT/NT set from the previously available 8-volume NT set (adds Ruth, Obadiah, Jonah; Mark, John, 1-3 John).
Zondervan Exegetical Commentary Individual Volumes
Up to 60% Off
The NIVAC is based on the NIV translation of the Bible making it exceptionally easy for non-specialist readers to follow the thoughts and direction of the commentator. While authors will, at times, work with the original languages, full descriptions about any such terminology are given in non-technical terms. Moreover, each author fluidly translates complex elements and interpretive matters into language the average lay person can fully understand and easily apply.
The NIVAC series is highly recommended as a guide for Bible teachers of all kinds, and is an excellent resource for research, preaching, gaining theological understanding, advanced devotional reading, and life application.
NIV Application Commentary Old Testament (22 Volumes)
List Price $745
NIV Application Commentary New Testament (20 Volumes)
List Price $615
Old Testament Set Upgrade from Prophets
Upgrade to the full Old Testament set from the previously available Prophets set (adds 14 volumes and contains the entire Old Testament except for the unpublished volumes of Ezra/Nehemiah and Psalms 73-150).
Regular Price $449
NIV Application Commentary Old & New Testament
Regular Prices up to $44.90
Over the past couple of summers, I've posted installments in a series of strategies students can use to fully engage their studies using Accordance Bible Software. The idea for this series originated with an Accordance presentation I gave at a seminary in which I was given an hour and a half to show students how Accordance could help them in their studies. Knowing that there was no way I could cover everything Accordance does in that short amount of time, I came up with the "Seven Strategies for Students" list as my outline.
Now that the posts are completed on the Accordance Blog, we will also be turning this series into a webinar, which means I'll have to get all this down to an hour-long presentation! The first Seven Strategies for Students webinar will take place on October 5. Feel free to sign up now.
Of course, students can use Accordance for a lot more than these seven topics, so I'm sure we will add to this list over time. For right now, though, here's the complete list of Seven Strategies linked in one place so that you don't have to search all over our website. I like to think of it as a "Complete Boxed Set"--at least for now!
In session 3 of this Accordance Bible Software Training Seminar, David Lang demonstrates the Search Window along with Greek and Hebrew searches. Filmed in San Antonio, Texas, on November 18, 2016.
As many of you know, the "headquarters" and office of Accordance are located in central Florida, just a little north of Orlando. Therefore, like millions of other Floridians, we are watching the skies and the news, and preparing for the arrival of hurricane Irma on Sunday and Monday.
Our servers are all safely located out of state so you should experience no interruption of access to the website, or to downloads of products. Emails to us and voicemails will be stored until we can access them. Online orders that are charged successfully can be installed without delay.
We plan to close the office on Friday afternoon, and to reopen next week as soon as we have power and internet there, and our staff can safely travel in. We will deal with orders and emails from our homes when possible, but we ask for patience until we are fully up and running again.
We appreciate your concern and prayers for the people of Florida, and the many other areas suffering from natural disasters at this time.
Sunday Sept 10, 7:30 a.m.
We are thankful that the projected track has moved west but we still expect dangerous tropical storm conditions tonight and tomorrow. We have prepared as well as we can, and now we put our trust in the Lord, and wait.
Monday Sept 11, 9 a.m.
Again we are thankful that Irma passed over us during the night. As far as we know, all our staff are safe at home, and some even have electric power. We have no idea yet whether we can open the office tomorrow. In the meantime those of our staff who have power and internet will attempt to answer your emails, voicemails, and orders.
Tuesday Sept 12, 10 a.m.
We have more staff online today, but there is a long way to go towards full recovery of services, and clean up of the mess left by Irma. We'll report again when our office is open and fully-staffed and we are able to provide LiveChat to our users.
Sunday Sept 17, 4 p.m.
Thankfully we can now report that we expect to open the office on Monday morning with full connectivity. This is our final update.
This last tip (for now) in our Strategies for Students series is a very basic one that I hope you’re already employing in your academic use of Accordance. If not, read on because your use of Accordance may be about to become much more efficient!
A while back, a user asked me for help in something he was trying to do in Accordance. He opened up his own laptop, launched Accordance, and began with, “This is something I do nearly every day.” Just to get to his question, he first had to build this very elaborate Workspace with multiple texts and reference works. After watching him do this, I said, “Wait—before we get to your question, let me ask you one. Do you create this Workspace every time you use Accordance?” He confirmed that he created this Workspace or one like it most of the time. Moreover, he started each launch of Accordance with his default Search Text. I introduced him to saved Workspaces and he still thanks me for it whenever I see him.
Every Accordance installation comes with five examples Workspaces: English Study, NT Study, Research, Simple Construct, Theme Sampler, and Translation Comparison. You can access these premade Accordance Workspaces from the Workspaces icon in the Toolbar, in the Library Pane under My Stuff: My Workspaces, or File menu: Open Workspace. Any Workspace you create in Accordance doesn’t have to be discarded when you're through with it. If it’s a Workspace you’re apt to use over and over, consider saving it. The easiest way to do this is to go to the Workspace icon in the Toolbar and select “Add Workspace.” Now your newly saved Workspace will appear under the Workspace icon in the Toolbar and in the My Workspaces folder.
Although every Accordance user can benefit from saving Workspaces, students will find this especially helpful. Consider that the way you use Accordance will be different in a preaching class than in a New Testament Intro course or beginner’s Hebrew. You’re going to use Accordance differently in every one of those situations, so why not save an Accordance Workspace for each class? This will save valuable time each time you sit down to study.
By default, all Workspaces are saved in Documents: Accordance Files on your computer’s main drive. These saved Workspace files will remain unchanged from the first time you saved them, unless you save them again from the File menu. That means you can change them as much as you want, but always start back at the same Workspace, unless you save those changes.
Accordance Bible Software has always been highly customizable. When you customize a specialized Workspace and then save it for repeated use, you've also made Accordance quite personal for your use. And saved Workspaces are something you can continue to use long after you finish school.
Bonus tip: Workspaces don't have to be saved in your Accordance Files folder. I have hundreds of Workspaces saved in folders dedicated to particular projects I was working on at the time. If I need to revisit a particular area of research, not only do I have my notes, I have my Accordance Workspace there, too!
Don't miss previous installments in our Strategies for Students series!
Accordance 12 added a new feature called “Paper.” It allows us to allows us to research and write without ever leaving Accordance. Paper is useful for writing sermons, lectures, articles, commentaries, even books. If you write a lot, you’ll find it just makes life easier. Want to know how? Join Dr. J for this comprehensive tour.
See more episodes of Lighting the Lamp on our Podcast Page!
If you were only going to purchase one title on Acts…
Well, Craig S. Keener may indeed have written “the last and final word” on the Book of Acts for this generation. In print, Acts: An Exegetical Commentary by Keener comes in four volumes for a total of an incredible 4640 pages. This is not just the most complete commentary on Acts currently available, it is arguably the longest and most thorough commentary on Acts ever written. Available, beginning today, for the Accordance Bible Software Library, Keener's Acts commentary is now much easier to carry with you wherever you go!
Click/tap image above for a larger view of Acts: An Exegetical Commentary by Craig S. Keener in Accordance 12.
Craig S. Keener, Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, is known to Accordance users through his numerous works available for the Accordance Library, especially the IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, which is available in a number of our Collections. If you’ve ever consulted Keener’s Background Commentary (I have it near the top of my Commentaries folder in Accordance so it always shows up in the InfoPane), you know the meticulous attention he gives to the cultural, historical, and literary context of the ancient world as it bears upon the New Testament. Imagine that kind of detail, magnified many times over, applied to one book of the Bible. That is what Keener’s Acts commentary is and much more.
Consider the extent to which Keener has researched the Book of Acts. His introduction alone is 638 pages long (yes, page numbers are included in the Accordance edition). The “Works Cited” section at the end of the fourth volume is over 300 pages and divided into primary and secondary sources. Sorry, I did not bother to count the total number of sources used; however, I am very impressed to see the sheer range of sources consulted. In an age that often values the new over the old, Keener’s commentary on Acts overflows with ancient sources on nearly every single page. Besides the immense number of ties to the ancient world found in the Book of Acts to which Keener refers, he also covers every significant (and some that might be considered insignificant) treatment of Acts over the last two millennia. No historical debate or interpretational school of thought is ignored. His coverage of each chapter in Acts, subdivided into smaller, more accessible sections, is the most detailed I’ve ever seen. For instance, over 250 pages are dedicated to Acts 2 alone.
Acts: An Exegetical Commentary is the recipient of the 2016 Christianity Today Book Award in Biblical Studies. Writing for CT, Gary Burge said this of Keener’s commentary on Acts:
Keener is a scholar with gifts that come along once every century, and here we see them employed in full force. Words like encyclopedic, magisterial, and epic come to mind when you examine 4,000 carefully argued pages on every aspect of the Book of Acts. Nothing like this has ever been done—and it’s doubtful that anything like it will be done for a long time. Keener has a grasp of the ancient world like few scholars anywhere, but he also has a heart for the church and its mission.
Keener’s four volume commentary on Acts has been described by David deSilva as “a one-stop resource on the book of Acts and the hundreds of issues/questions that have been raised in its interpretation.” If you were only going to purchase one title on Acts, I can’t imagine not pointing to Keener’s work. It represents a lifetime of research, and with its breadth of coverage, it may just take a lifetime to read and study—and that’s a good thing.
Acts: An Exegetical Commentary
Regular Price $269
In the 1990s I took a New Testament textual criticism class under John B. Polhill as an elective in my MDiv studies. Looking back, it remains in my recollection as one of the best classes I experienced during that time. I learned more about the origin and transmission of the New Testament in that course than in any other class I took. I found everything about the subject fascinating and still do.
At that time, although Accordance was newly available, this was still the early days for Bible software. There were biblical texts—both original languages and translations—as well as many of the standard lexicons and other reference works, but not too much beyond that. In my class, we primarily depended on the print works of scholars like Bruce Metzger as well as the immense knowledge of Dr. Polhill on the subject.
Although I trusted both Metzger and Polhill, that dependence I mentioned above was very real. We could ask questions in class and consult related reference works, but there wasn’t much more we were able to do on our own. In the previous Student Strategies blog post, I discussed using Accordance for doing one’s own research (as opposed to depending on the research of others) with the INFER search. In this post I’d like to introduce (or remind) students to the features in Accordance that allows them to do their own text critical work. While perhaps not the same as holding an ancient manuscript in your hand, Accordance’s text-critical resources may just be the next best thing.
I’m going to use the Greek New Testament for the examples that follow, but note that we also have resources for textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible.
Let’s assume you don’t want to reinvent the wheel by traveling all around the world and examining all extant manuscripts for yourself, allowing you to create your own eclectic text. More than likely, you would start with the apparatus for the UBS 5 or Nestle-Aland 28 New Testament. Perhaps then, from what you find in the apparatus, you might want to consult a particular manuscript yourself. Although we obviously can’t give you access to every extant manuscript, we do provide the tools for examining the major witnesses that form the basis of the NA/UBS New Testament.
If you want to see what the image itself looks like, you’ll want to check out the Greek MSS Images from CSNTM, which contains the following manuscripts: Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Sinaiticus, Codex 2882, Codex Vaticanus, and Codex Washingtonianus (note that for study of the Hebrew Bible, we offer images for the Dead Sea Scrolls, Leningrad Codex, and Codex Sinaiticus).
Above: Matt 1:19 - 2:2 from Codex Washingtonianus. This image was exported from Accordance at 2600 x 4000 pixels.
These manuscripts, reproduced at high resolution, allow you to zoom in and look closely at these ancient texts. This is especially helpful for debated readings. Rather than citing a third party, you can write in your class paper, “Having looked at a high-resolution facsimile image of the codex, I conclude… .” And you can also copy or export the images for illustration in your paper or in a presentation using software like PowerPoint or Keynote.
In addition to these images, Accordance also offers a set of fully digitized text, Codex Add-On, corresponding to the physical manuscripts. This set uses an uncial (capital) font designed specifically for the included manuscripts: Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Bezae, Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Vaticanus, Codex Washingtonianus, as well as a Greek New Testament Papyri module based on the 2nd edition of Comfort & Barrett’s The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts. The uncial font can be used in your work as well to represent the text of the ancient manuscripts.
Above: Codex Washingtonianus with spaces (left column) and without spaces (center column) in parallel with the NA28 Greek New Testament. Note Crossover Highlighting between all three texts.
These digitized texts are morphologically tagged and have line breaks corresponding to the end of the line in the original codices. There are even representations of the Nomina Sacra used these manuscripts. Moreover, spaces between words can be turned on and off. Since the earliest manuscripts did not include spaces between words, removing the spaces gives you a better idea of what the original readers viewed--but in a much more readable digital font! The images can be viewed and scrolled in parallel with the digitized texts, as well as the UBS or NA Greek New Testament. Since the uncial texts are morphologically tagged, crossover highlighting works between them the UBS/NA texts.
I’m still amazed to have this kind of access to ancient texts. Yes, all the standard reference works are indispensable, but there’s nothing quite like doing your own textual criticism and verifying readings for yourself (and it will impress your instructors, too!).
There are many more resources in Accordance related to textual criticism, including alternative apparatuses—too much content to go into here. However, check out Tim Jenney’s webinar from a couple of years ago, “Greek New Testament Textual Criticism,” to see some of these tools in action and to be introduced to some of the other text-critical resources not mentioned here.
Don't miss previous installments in our Strategies for Students series!