Accordance Blog
May 22, 2018 Accordance Bible Software

May the Source Be with You

MaySource_blog

“You are good, and the source of good; train me in your goodness” (Psalm 119:68, The Message).

As we head toward summer, Hollywood goes into high gear with new movies to entertain us. Of course, most of us like a good flick now and then—we’re not knocking that. But in the end, what’s exciting one moment seems to be forgotten the next. Deep down, we long for something more satisfying that will outlast the momentary buzz of the day. Many of us find this kind of fulfillment in our faith. We want a lasting connection to the ultimate Source of goodness and truth. If you’re tasked with communicating the faith and knowledge of the Source Who created all things, this week, we have blockbuster discounts for you on titles from Moody Press and others. Remember, the Source will be with you. Always.

Special sale prices on the products featured below cannot be combined with other discounts. The special offer on all products will end on Monday, May 28, 2018 at 11:59 PM EDT.


Moody Publishers Resources

Macarthur NTC-2

MacArthur New Testament Commentary Release 3 (33 Volumes)

Respected preacher and Bible teacher Dr. John F. MacArthur needs no introduction to the Christian community in North America. His popular New Testament Commentary series has been published over the years since 1984.

The main objective of the MacArthur NT Commentary is to explain and apply Scripture, focusing on the major doctrines and how they relate to the whole of the Bible. The current Accordance edition includes all 33 volumes of the commentary covering the entire New Testament.

Regular Price $599
Sale Price $299 (Save 50%)

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Moody Commentary_120

The Moody Bible Commentary

Imagine having a team of 30 Moody Bible Institute professors helping you study the Bible. Now you can with this in-depth, user-friendly, one-volume commentary. The Moody Bible Commentary is an all-in-one Bible study resource that will help you better understand and apply God's written revelation to all of life.

Regular Price $49.90
Sale Price $29.90 (Save 40%)

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Unger_sm

The New Unger's Bible Dictionary

A bestseller for almost 50 years, this time-honored classic is now more valuable than ever. Its 6,700-plus entries, reflecting the most current scholarship and over 1,200,000 words, are supplemented with detailed essays, colorful photography and maps, and dozens of charts and illustrations to enhance your understanding of God’s Word.

Regular Price $39.90
Sale Price $19.90 (Save 50%)

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ryrie study bible

Ryrie Study Bible Notes

The Ryrie Study Bible is especially designed ho help you study and understand the Bible—"the greatest of all books". A comprehensive single source for all Bible study needs, the Ryrie Study Bible includes detailed sections such as: A Synopsis of Bible Doctrine, The Inspiration of the Bible, Understanding the Bible, How We Got the Bible, The Meaning and Blessings of Salvation, Archaeology and the Bible, A Brief Survey of Church History.

Regular Price $29.90
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Other Preaching Resources

POSB Commentary_120

The Preacher's Outline and Sermon Bible: Commentary and Outlines (44 Volumes)

The Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible is a comprehensive resource that provides preachers and teachers with everything they need to prepare their messages. Each volume has commentary that provides important background information, thoughts for illustration, and other Scripture references. There are also discussion boxes that provide suggestions and information for deeper study. For pastors who are short on preparation time, but don’t want to cut corners on the quality of preparation, this is an excellent resource.

Regular Price $499
Sale Price $249 (Save 50%)

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Butler-Expositor_120

Analytical Bible Expositor (John G. Butler) (14 Volumes)

The Analytical Bible Expositor is a commentary series from pastor John G. Butler that covers the entire Old and New Testament. This unique set treats each chapter of the book under consideration using analytical tools to articulate the straightforward meaning of the text. This provides the reader with a clear and comprehensive understanding and application of the text. Especially helpful for ministers who are seeking to engage the text at a deeper level.

Regular Price $229
Sale Price $99.90 (Save 56%)

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Crossway5_120

Bundle of Five Preaching Resources from Crossway

This bundle includes a collection of resources from Crossway Books that provides practical pastoral helps and wisdom. Whether it is learning from heroes of the past or aids to more effective preaching, this collection is sure to benefit pastors, preachers, and teachers.

Regular Price $69.90
Sale Price $34.90 (Save 50%)

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Preaching by Ear_120

Preaching by Ear

For centuries, preaching has been shaped from a literary standpoint (i.e., reading, writing, outlining, and displaying sermons). But a pre-modern method of oral preparation and delivery largely has been forgotten. Preaching by Ear hearkens back to an earlier era when sermons were rooted inside the preacher and moved out in a natural and powerful way.

Regular Price $15.90
Sale Price $9.90 (Save 38%)

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Persuasive Preaching_120

Persuasive Preaching

Michael Duduit, executive editor of Preaching Magazine, writes in the foreword that "the reader will find in this book a valuable discussion of what persuasion really is, what the Bible has to say about it, how it is modeled in the New Testament, and what role persuasion should and should not play in our own preaching in the twenty-first century. The author has provided solid biblical content and practical guidance that will be a powerful resource for preachers and church leaders. He writes with clarity and—dare I say it?—persuasive power. I hope you will be as blessed by this book as I have been."

Regular Price $24.90
Sale Price $15.90 (Save 36%)

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Preaching Points_120

Preaching Points

This volume is a collection of some of the best of the hundreds of Preaching Points that the Haddon W. Robinson Center for Preaching at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary has produced. Preaching Points is a weekly podcast on iTunes U that features conversations on preaching by Haddon Robinson, Jeffrey Arthurs, Matthew Kim, and Patricia Batten all members of the preaching faculty of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton campus. This book offers diverse topics based upon on how they relate to preaching the preacher's spiritual life, the way to preach, the way to live life as preachers, their role as a preacher, considerations for listeners, and so forth.

Regular Price $9.90
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Faithful Preaching_120

Faithful Preaching

Faithful Preaching will teach you a clear and systematic procedure for developing expository sermons, from reading the text of Scripture to presenting the message before your congregation. Drs. House and Garland show ministers – those who are familiar with the original languages of Scripture and those who are not – how to prepare sermons that accurately and authoritatively preach the message God has given in the Bible.

Regular Price $29.90
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House-Hermeneutics_120

The Theory and Practice of Biblical Hermeneutics

How to gain the meaning and application of a text is paramount for anyone dealing with written documents, be they legal documents, sacred documents, personal letters, poetry, or any kind of literature. Though the genre of writings varies, each must be interpreted according to established rules that govern the conveyance of information within the human community. This is especially true in reference to the Bible, which claims to be the very words of God to humanity. The different authors of Scripture sought to communicate messages from the Creator to their audiences within the temporal and cultural setting in which they wrote, and did so through prophetic pronouncements, historical accounts, wonderful poetry, and personal and ecclesial letters.

Regular Price $26.90
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Spirit Hermeneutics_120

Spirit Hermeneutics

How do we hear the Spirit's voice in Scripture? Once we have done responsible exegesis, how may we expect the Spirit to apply the text to our lives and communities? In Spirit Hermeneuticsbiblical scholar Craig Keener addresses these questions, carefully articulating how the experience of the Spirit that empowered the church on the day of Pentecost can — and should — dynamically shape our reading of Scripture today.

Regular Price $32.90
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May 21, 2018 Abram Kielsmeier-Jones

Webinar: Accordance Sermon Preparation in Action

 

 

Join Pastor Abram Kielsmeier-Jones, in this previously-recorded webinar, as he walks you through the entire sermon process using Accordance from initial brainstorming to final preaching draft.

To take part in our multiple free webinar offerings throughout the week, please see our Accordance Webinars page. And to watch other previously-recorded sessions, check out our Webinar Archives.

 

May 18, 2018 Richard Mansfield

Upcoming Shows & Seminars in Chicago, Illinois & Sydney, Australia

This month, we've got both hemispheres covered with upcoming shows and seminars in both Chicago, Illinois and Sydney, Australia! And even better, the Training Seminars are all FREE!

NJ Training Seminar

Moody Pastors' Conference

Chicago, Illinois
Monday-Thursday
May 21-24, 2018
Moody Bible Institute
820 N. LaSalle Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60610

You do not have to attend the conference to attend the training seminar.

Free Accordance Training

Chicago, Illinois
Friday, May 25, 2018
9 AM to 1 PM

Moody Bible Institute
820 N. LaSalle Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60610
Building: George Sweeting Center / Room: 218
Program Title: Accordance 12 — Basics and Surprises!

Please register for the seminar at [email protected]


Sydney, Australia

NSW, Australia, Sydney
Saturday 26 May 2018
9 AM to 1 PM

Summer Hill Anglican Church
Corner of Smith and Henson Street
Upper Meeting Room, Church Hall
Introduction and Basic Accordance Usage

Please register for the seminar at [email protected]

 


For other upcoming events, see our Seminars and Shows page.

 

 

May 17, 2018 Richard Mansfield

UPDATE! Accordance Mobile for Android v. 1.1

When we released Accordance Mobile for Android v. 1.0 back in February, we knew it didn’t yet have all the regular features Accordance users have come to expect, but we didn’t want to delay it even one more day. At that time we promised that certain features would be added soon in an upcoming update. Well, today is the day we are releasing Accordance Mobile for Android v. 1.1 in the Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore for Android with the essential features we’ve all been waiting for!

AM Android 1.1 Samsung NA28 ICC Andy

There are three main new features in Accordance Mobile for Android v. 1.1. First up, Instant Details. Tap and hold a word in any Keyed or Tagged text to get more information about that word and how it’s used. Second, Hypertext links. Now there are visual indicators hyperlinks to Scripture references, footnotes, and more. Tapping on these links will either show you more information or take you to further information. Third, Picture thumbnails. Tapping on images will take you to an internal or Android picture viewer.

There are also quite a few other changes, so you’ll want to check out the complete list in the Android section of the Accordance Forums. And just know that when it comes to Android, we’re just getting started! We have lots of upcoming features in the pipeline for our Android version of Accordance that we can’t wait to show you in the days and weeks to come.

For more information about downloading and installing Accordance Mobile for Android v. 1.1, please see our Android page.

 

May 15, 2018 Accordance Bible Software

International Critical Commentary: NT (50% Off!!)

MayStudies

“Critical to have and affordable to own”—that kind of description can apply to many things in life. Sometimes it starts as a hope, such as with basic necessities for living, which are critical to have and hopefully, affordable. We like to think of Accordance Bible Software in the same way. Accordance is critical for your studies, research and preparation; and each week we enjoy bringing you these critical resources that are also affordable to own! Speaking of critical, we’re excited to release a number of the classic volumes in the International Critical Commentary Series at a—you guessed it—very affordable price. Plus, if you want to dig deep into text-critical and related studies, be certain to check out our other specials below!

Special sale prices on the products featured below cannot be combined with other discounts. The special offer on all products will end on Monday, May 21, 2018 at 11:59 PM EDT.


ICC NT_120 New! International Critical Commentary: New Testament (17 Classic Volumes)
Introductory Price: 50% Off

For over 100 years, the International Critical Commentary series has held a special place among works on the Bible. It has sought to bring together all the relevant aids to exegesis (linguistic and textual no less than archaeological, historical, literary and theological) with a level of comprehension and quality of scholarship unmatched by any other series. No attempt has been made to secure a uniform theological or critical approach to the biblical text: contributors have been invited for their scholarly distinction, not for their adherence to any one school of thought.

Note: The volumes included in this product are the original "classic" volumes of this series and not necessarily the latest versions. This module does not currently contain commentary on Acts.

Learn More

ICC New Testament (17 Classic Volumes)
Regular Price $179
Introductory Price $89.90

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NIGTC New International Greek Testament Commentary (13 Volumes)

This commentary series is established on the presupposition that the theological character of the New Testament documents calls for exegesis that is sensitive to theological themes as well as to the details of the historical, linguistic, and textual context. Such thorough exegetical work lies at the heart of these volumes, which contain detailed verse-by-verse commentary preceded by general comments on each section and subsection of the text.

NIGTC (13 Volumes)
List Price $800
Regular Price $549
Sale Price $249

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50% Off Upgrade and Individual Volumes

  • Upgrade from NIGTC or NIGTC-12 (Adds Romans) (Regular Price $59.90; Sale Price $29.95)
  • Matthew - John Nolland (Regular Price $79.90; Sale Price $39.95)
  • Mark - R. T. France (Regular Price $53.90; Sale Price $26.95)
  • Luke - I. Howard Marshall (Regular Price $60.90; Sale Price $30.45)
  • Romans - Richard Longenecker (Regular Price $71.90; Sale Price $35.95)
  • 1 Corinthians - Anthony C. Thiselton (Regular Price $69.90; Sale Price $34.95)
  • 2 Corinthians - Murray J. Harris (Regular Price $64.90; Sale Price $32.45)
  • Galatians - F. F. Bruce (Regular Price $39.90; Sale Price $19.95)
  • Colossians & Philemon - James D. G. Dunn (Regular Price $39.90; Sale Price $19.95)
  • Thessalonians - Charles A. Wanamaker (Regular Price $33.90; Sale Price $16.95)
  • Pastoral Epistles - George W. Knight III (Regular Price $48.90; Sale Price $24.45)
  • Hebrews - Paul Ellingworth (Regular Price $55.90; Sale Price $27.95)
  • James - Peter H. Davids (Regular Price $30.90; Sale Price $15.45)
  • Revelation - G. K. Beale (Regular Price $69.90; Sale Price $34.95)

Other "Critical" Resources

UBS Hand-Heb-cover

UBS Translator's Handbooks: NT (20 Volumes)

The handbooks in the UBS Handbook Series are detailed commentaries providing valuable exegetical, historical, cultural, and linguistic information on the books of the Bible. Over the years church leaders and Bible readers have found the UBS Handbooks to be very useful for their study of the Scriptures. Many of the issues Bible translators must address when trying to communicate the Bible’s message to modern readers are the ones Bible students must address when approaching the Bible text as part of their own private study and devotions.

List Price $599
Regular Price $199
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Omanson Text Guide_120

Textual Guide to the Greek New Testament

This edition is based on the widely known Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament by the late Dr. Bruce M. Metzger. It was especially designed for translators who have not received formal training in textual criticism. It enables them, and other people interested in the initial text of the Greek New Testament, to discover more easily the reasons that certain variant readings in the NT are more likely to be original than others. Therefore the notes of Metzger have been simplified and expanded.

Regular Price $39.90
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Tov-TCHB_120

Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (3rd Edition) (Tov)

Since its initial publication, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible has established itself as the indispensable authoritative textbook and reference on the subject. In this thoroughly revised third edition, Emanuel Tov has incorporated the insights of the last ten years of scholarship, including new perspectives on the biblical texts among the Dead Sea Scrolls, all of which have now been published.

Regular Price $89.90
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Tov-TCULXX_120

The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research (Tov)

This handbook provides a practical guide for the student and scholar alike who wishes to use the Septuagint (LXX) in the text-critical analysis of the Hebrew Bible. It does not serve as another theoretical introduction to the LXX, but it provides all the practical background information needed for the integration of the LXX in biblical studies.

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Greek MSS Images

Major New Testament Codices from the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (Greek MSS Images)

This group contains plates of the Major New Testament Codices from the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts.

The eight GNT Images modules include images of the following codex facsimiles: Alexandrinus (NT & 1-2 Clement), Sinaiticus (NT, LXX, and Epistle of Barnabas/Shepherd of Hermas), Vaticanus (pseudo-facsimile), Washingtonianus, and the original Codex 2882. These images can be compared side by side with the tagged Accordance text of each codex (available separately).

Regular Price $149
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Leningrad Codex

Leningrad Codex Images

The Leningrad Codex is the oldest complete manuscript (1008 CE) of the Hebrew Bible and the primary basis of modern editions such as Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia and the Biblia Hebraica Quinta. Working with the West Semitic Research Project, we have now incorporated nearly 1,000 images from the Leningrad Codex to be examined in parallel with any biblical text from within an Accordance workspace.

Regular Price $129
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Codex add-on

Codex Add-On (Set of Tagged Uncial NT Texts)

Complete set of 5 Accordance Greek NT MSS and the GNT Papyri. The texts are fully tagged, displayed in Uncial font with line lengths and the options to hide the spaces and compare the texts with one another.

Regular Price $199
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CNTTS Revised_120

CNTTS NT Critical Apparatus (Revised)

This textual apparatus is the work of the CNTTS (Center for New Testament Textual Studies). The module covers the entire New Testament with corrections and additional MSS expected to be added.

The module includes a full textual apparatus of the readings of various manuscripts (50 or more per NT book). Search capabilities of the apparatus include isolating the readings for a specific passage, a specific manuscript, several manuscripts at once, or even a specific type of variant (such as additions or omissions of text).

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May 14, 2018 Timothy Jenney

Study Bibles (Lighting the Lamp Video Podcast #164)

This podcast on Study Bibles provides helpful information on understanding, selecting, and using these resources. It also explains how to construct the best workspaces on both computers and mobile devices. Once the most popular of Bible study helps, Study Bibles are now more portable and efficient than ever in Accordance.

Check out more episodes of the Lighting the Lamp podcast!

 

May 14, 2018 Richard Mansfield

NEW! “Classic” ICC Volumes

ICC 17 New for the Accordance Bible Software Library: “Classic” New Testament volumes of the International Critical Commentary.

Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any commentary series other than the International Critical Commentary that was begun in the 19th century and is still being updated today. The original vision by editors Samuel R. Driver, Alfred A. Plummer, and Charles A. Briggs has remained the same: to produce a commentary series on the Bible with the highest level of scholarship, incorporating the latest “linguistic, textual, archaeological, historical, literary and theological” tools available for understanding the text, while allowing the writers to have the academic freedom to pursue these goals in any way they saw fit.

This allowance for diversity of method resulted in what often happens in any multi-author commentary series anyway: some volumes stand out and some have lesser value in the long run. Interestingly, over the last century and a half, as the publisher has continued to update the ICC series, some readers—even today—have preferred original volumes over their replacements; or at the very least, some Bible readers continue to seek out older editions due to their lasting value. And that is certainly the case with some of the original ICC volumes that we are offering today from scholars such as Alfred Plummer, R. H. Charles, James Moffat and other scholars, who remain popular today.

ICC Mac

Now, so that there are no elephants in any of the Accordance rooms, let’s be clear that what we are calling “classic” ICC volumes have been converted to the Accordance Bible Software Library from the volumes in the series that are now in the public domain. That means, yes, you can find these commentaries in some form on the internet and download them for free. But there’s a huge difference between what we are offering in Accordance for a low price to cover our development costs and what you might find on the web.

I’ve discovered two kinds of public domain ICC volumes online: OCR versions in text format and PDF scans (which often have an invisible OCR layer). From the samples I’ve seen, the OCR text editions are nearly unusable because they do not properly handle biblical languages, and anything originally in Hebrew or Greek results in gibberish. The PDF scans are better than the text file versions, but even these are lacking. The reader is forced to keep the same format that was constrained by the conventions of the printing press; and while the reader might be able to search for English words, searching for anything in biblical languages is nearly impossible.

ICC Search Here’s what the Accordance edition of the classic ICC commentaries brings with it that the free versions on the internet cannot possibly deliver: First, Accordance allows for searching for every word, regardless of language, by nine different categories. Our Accordance developers have analyzed all 17 volumes of the classic ICC series and have identified nine different kinds of content: primary commentary references, other Scripture references, section titles, English content, Greek content, Hebrew content, transliterated content, manuscripts, and bibliographies. So, if you want to search for a specific Greek word or phrase, you can find it easily. Want to narrow your search just to the bibliographies of other sources? Again, no problem.

Second, by integrating the ICC into Accordance, you can place the series in parallel with any biblical text (original language or translation) and have the commentary scroll smoothly in sync. Third, you can Amplify information to and from the ICC with any other titles in Accordance. You do know how to Amplify in Accordance, right? Fourth, you can include the ICC in the Research feature when you search for a word or phrase (English or biblical languages) in every work in your Accordance Library, just the commentaries, or in a group of titles you put together yourself.

And there are so many other benefits to having the ICC in Accordance. I’ve always said that you know a written work has tremendous value when people are still reading it long after the original writers are no longer with us. And that’s certainly true for the ICC. Consider adding this series to your personal Accordance Library at introductory pricing. We hope to continue to add other volumes to our offering in the future.

International Critical Commentary (17 Volumes)
Regular Price $179
Sale Price $89.90

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May 8, 2018

25% Off Storewide Sale

May25Off

We’re well into the month of May. And whatever you’re celebrating this week—Ascension Day, Mother’s Day, or even National Teacher Appreciation Day—we want to join in your festivities with a coupon for 25% off any one item in the Accordance Store. Pick your May Celebration and pick whatever title you need for your personal Accordance Library to make your festivities complete. We hope your May Celebrations—whatever they entail—will be ones to remember for the ages!

Special discount coupon featured here cannot be combined with other discounts. The special coupon offer will end on Monday, May 14, 2018 at 11:59 PM EDT.


Special Offerings for ALL with 25% Off Storewide Coupon

This week, you get to choose what goes on sale! So, take this opportunity to expand your personal Accordance Library, improve your biblical study, and discover new and exciting modules. To show our appreciation to our customers, and to celebrate this time of Spring, we invite you to visit the Accordance Store today to cash in on your savings! Pick any one item from the store (good for Collections, Upgrades, or any one Module you choose) and instantly save 25% using discount code PickOne5-18. Your savings will be applied to the most expensive regularly priced item in the cart. So, what's your choice?

PickOne5-18

The coupon can be used once and can be applied to any regular priced item including custom upgrades, but cannot be combined with any other offers. Remember this is for one week only and will expire Monday, May 14, 2018, 11:59 PM EDT; so happy shopping and savings.

This coupon does have special conditions:

  • The coupon is valid for only one use.
  • No additional discounts apply.
  • The coupon cannot be applied retroactively; it is for new purchases only.
  • Does not apply to non-discountable items (Crossgrades, Gift Cards, etc.)
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May 2, 2018 Richard Mansfield

UPDATE! Accordance 12.2.5 (Win/Mac)

12.2.5 Start your App Update engines because Accordance for Windows and Mac has been updated to v. 12.2.5! This FREE update brings a host of new features, changes and bug fixes. The list is actually quite long, but here are a few highlights:

  • Improved Greek Construct searches.
  • Improved ETCBC Noun and other syntax searches.
  • Improved Analytics functions.
  • Improved 3D rendering in the Accordance Atlas.
  • Enhanced ability to search for quotation marks.
  • Updated sample notes file.
  • Getting Started added to the Help menu.
  • Windows: Added support for Ctrl+Alt+A with Evernote. At this point a New notes is added to the Evernote notebook when using this function.
  • And lots more including a host of other changes and bug fixes!

There’s a lot more to this update, and you can see all changes in both the Windows & Mac versions of Accordance 12.2.5 update on our “New Features Since 12.0” page.

12.2.5 App Update - Win

Updating to the newest version of Accordance 12 is easy! In the Windows version of Accordance, go to the Utilities menu and choose Check for App Update. On the Mac, go to the Accordance menu, and choose Check for App Update.

 

Apr 30, 2018 Richard Mansfield

NEW! Bible Speaks Today: Old Testament (33 volumes)

We are pleased to announce the immediate release of The Bible Speaks Today series for the Old Testament, complete in 33 volumes, for the Accordance Bible Software Library.

Click/tap images below for larger views of the series in Accordance on various platforms.


Bible Speaks Today OT books at angle 1:1The most beautiful of Solomon’s songs.

2O to feel the deepness
of the kisses of your mouth!
Your gentle touch intoxicates,
your fondling strokes inflame,
a heady wine more potent
than any ancient vintage.

3The aroma of your presence,
the fresh fragrance of your name,
a wafted scent, a perfume sweet,
to shed abroad your fame.
With such a reputation
you are bathed in admiration,
by the virgin city maidens
who are eager for your love.

4My darling, take me with you.
Quick, make haste, let’s run.
My royal king has drawn me
to his inner private sanctum,
the haven for our love.

How we exult in you!
The memory of your fragrant love
shall never fade away.
The mellowness of smooth mulled wine,
lingering long, and there to stay.

Tom Gledhill, “a free paraphrase of the Song” from The Message of Song of SongsThe Bible Speaks Today (Old Testament)


BST-OT Android Back in the late nineties, I was asked to teach a six-week study for married couples on Song of Solomon. I called the series something like “Celebration of Love: A Study of the Song of Songs,” but word around church quickly spread that I was teaching “Song of Solomon: The Racy Version.” My goal had not been to teach an immodest version of Song of Songs, but I did want to teach a study of the book that avoided allegorical interpretations such as “God’s love for Israel” or “Christ’s love for his bride, the church.” I also wanted to teach a study that took the timeless principles of Scripture and had immediate impact on the couples attending the study and their marriages.

This is where Tom Gledhill’s book, The Message of Song of Songs: The Lyrics of Love, became my secret weapon for teaching the class. Gledhill’s commentary (I’ll come back to this term below) was not the only one I consulted, but I found his to be the most valuable for this context. Gledhill included both a literal translation of the Song and also a free paraphrase. I often transcribed both versions (there was no digital edition for copy and paste back then) and included them on the handout I used with the class. And in what became a highly anticipated introduction each week, I began each study by recruiting a married couple (often with great protestation after our first session) to come to the front and read aloud the male and female parts from Gledhill’s free paraphrase. There was never any need for any other ice breaker after our dramatic reading by the participants.

I use this extended recollection as a primary example of the kind of value brought by the entire Bible Speaks Today series. The editors refer to the series not as a commentary, per se, but as an exposition of the Bible with three goals: (1) to expound the biblical text with accuracy (2) to relate it to contemporary life, and (3) to be readable. As stated in the General Preface:

These books are, therefore, not "commentaries," for the commentary seeks rather to elucidate the text than to apply it, and tends to be a work rather of reference than of literature. Nor, on the other hand, do they contain the kinds of "sermons" that attempt to be contemporary and readable without taking Scripture seriously enough. The contributors to The Bible Speaks Today series are all united in their convictions that God still speaks through what he has spoken, and that nothing is more necessary for the life, health and growth of Christians than that they should hear what the Spirit is saying to them through his ancient—yet ever modern—Word.

Now, to be clear, I would personally say that at the very least, the volumes of the BST series are Bible commentaries. And in Accordance, they will appear in the Commentaries folder of your Library and you can place them in parallel with any biblical text as you can with any of our commentaries (note that you can also create a parallel Combined Tool consisting of both the Old and New Testament Bible Speaks Today series). Nevertheless, the series does seem to be something more. If you only place them in parallel with the Bible, you will miss out on some of the remarkably exceptional content found in these volumes that is not constrained by verse-by-verse references.

BST-OT Hosea Win-wm

I’ve already mentioned the literal and paraphrased translations in Gledhill’s work on Song of Solomon. But Gledhill also includes a set of discussion questions which he suggests could be used in marriage preparation classes. In David Firth’s volume on the Book of Joshua, he begins his introduction not with the usual date, authorship, and theme discussions, but with the words, “We should begin by noting the elephant in the room.” Here he jumps right into what is often seen as some of the most troubling aspects to modern readers about the violence in Joshua. And Firth is not afraid to interact with specific concerns by noted atheist Richard Dawkins about the biblical text of Joshua.

BST-OT Ex iPad

The Bible Speaks Today series very much lives up to its name in that the writers allow ancient Scripture to “speak” to the modern reader and the concerns of the world in which we live. Certainly not a technical commentary, the BST OT does not bog the reader down in minutia, but the writers also do not shy away from controversial subjects. And while this series can be treated as a commentary, there is also a distinct literary flavor which allows the volumes to be read from cover to cover, becoming much more than merely reference books for occasional consultation. In fact, I would challenge any Accordance user to download the BST OT series to your tablet or smartphone and just begin reading the content by itself like you would with any other book you intend to read from beginning to end. Don’t be surprised to find the series both inspiring and challenging at the same time.

BST-OT Daniel MBP

A knowledge of original languages is not needed to make use of the Bible Speaks Today series for the Old Testament. Although the writers do at times deal with the Hebrew and Aramaic languages, they use transliteration, thus opening up the series to a wide audience of students, teachers, pastors and other serious Bible readers. See the BST OT product page for a full listing of authors for individual volumes.

 

Bible Speaks Today: Old Testament (33 Volumes)
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Regular Price $249

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