Accordance Blog
Aug 23, 2016 Accordance Bible Software

Deals on Works by Renowned Writers

Renowned Writers

Renowned Writers & 20% Off Storewide Sale
Plus Free Bonus & Up To 60% Off Renowned Writers!

Occasionally, we hear from Accordance users who ask, “When are you going to put ______ on sale?” Well, if that’s you, your wait is over because this week, EVERYTHING is on sale! That’s right -- take 20% off any title in the entire Accordance Library. In fact, with the coupon code below, you can take 20% off your entire order! However, we’ve got even greater discounts on well-known writers from the last two centuries such as Bonhoeffer, Spurgeon, Lloyd-Jones, and more. Plus, don’t miss out on introductory pricing for Jim Wilson’s Fresh Illustrations series, new this week for Accordance!

Special sale prices on the products featured in this newsletter cannot be combined with other discounts and will end on August 29, 2016 at 11:59 pm EDT.

Fresh Illustrations-6_120 NEW with 50% Savings!
Fresh Illustrations by Jim L. Wilson (6 vols.)

One of the most powerful ways to connect biblical truths to audiences is not through old outdated and recycled materials but by using illustrations that are relevant and current for today. Through this diverse and practical collection of Fresh Illustrations, you now have access to hundreds of current illustrations on events, recognizable people, and more.  This is not only a great resource but also a perfect companion providing maximum impact for all who preach and teach.

Dr. Jim L. Wilson is an award-winning writer, Professor of Leadership Formation, and the Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

This set includes:

  • Fresh Illustrations: Forgiveness & Reconciliation
  • Fresh Illustrations: Family
  • Fresh Illustrations: Faith, Hope & Love
  • Fresh Illustrations: Evangelism & Missions
  • Fresh Illustrations: Sin & Salvation
  • Fresh Illustrations: Stewardship


Buy Now 2 Fresh Illustrations (6 Volumes)
Regular Price $39.90; Sale Price $19.90

Choose Your Own Favorite Resources with 20% Storewide Savings!

Click here to visit our store and browse the categories of the entire Accordance Library. During this limited time, YOU choose what goes on sale! Take this opportunity to expand your personal Accordance Library, improve your biblical study, and discover new and exciting modules.


Use coupon and enter the code 20-off-1-order at checkout to get a 20% discount on your entire order. You can even put the order on our payment plan for up to 12 months.

This exclusive sale does have special conditions:

  • The coupon is valid for only one use, but applies to the entire order.
  • Does not apply to sale items offered in this newsletter.
  • No additional discounts apply.
  • The coupon cannot be applied retroactively; it is for new purchases only.

Ben-Hur_120 Free Bonus with Any $50 Purchase!
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

Adapted for both the stage and motion picture productions, this novel by Lew Wallace, published in 1880, is considered "the most influential Christian book of the nineteenth century."

A classic of faith, fortitude, and inspiration, this is the story of a Jewish prince who seeks to find his family and avenge himself upon his childhood friend who had him wrongly imprisoned. Instead of revenge, he finds extraordinary redemption for himself and his family. This release is enhanced with illustrations and appendices by the author on the origin of the story.

With any purchase of $50 or more this FREE Bonus will be placed into your account after your order is processed.

Buy Now 2 Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Buy Now for $9.90

Great Offers on Influential Writers
... Up to 60% Discounts!

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the most influential Christian martyrs in history, bequeathed to humanity a legacy of theological creativity and spirituality that continues to intrigue people from a variety of backgrounds.


Works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (16 Volumes)

  • Print value of this 16-volume set is $715
  • Includes Volume 14 unavailable in other software

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, a 16-volume series, offers a fresh, critical translation of Bonhoeffer’s writings with introductions, annotations, and interpretations.

Buy Now 2Regular Price $449
Sale Price $299
(Save 33%)

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Martyn Lloyd-Jones was an immensely powerful and influential preacher in central London for almost 30 years in the mid-20th century.


Collection of 4 Volumes by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

This collection of four volumes (as originally published) will encourage and thrill every reader facing the challenges of today.

The following collections of sermons are included in this bundle:

  • The Gospel in Genesis
  • Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled
  • The Kingdom of God
  • Why Does God Allow War?

Buy Now 2Regular Price $49.90
Sale Price $34.90


Acts (Chapters 1-8)

Para: In this newly revised, three-volume collection of sermons, famed preacher Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains the message of the first eight chapters of Acts with clear language and pastoral warmth. From Peter’s bold preaching to the dramatic stoning of Stephen, Lloyd-Jones points readers back to the foundational figures and key events of the Christian faith, emphasizing the basic truths undergirding genuine belief.

Buy Now 2Regular Price $69.90
Sale Price $49.90


Preaching and Preachers

Preaching and Preachers

This 40th anniversary edition includes the original text of Preaching and Preachers along with essays by Bryan Chapell, Mark Dever, Kevin DeYoung, Ligon Duncan, Timothy Keller, and John Piper reflecting on the impact this book and the ministry of Lloyd-Jones had on their preaching. This is a book that will continue to speak to a new generation of preachers and teachers for years to come.

Buy Now 2Regular Price $22.90
Sale Price $17.90


Stanley Horton

A renowned scholar and prolific writer, Stanley Horton has been recognized as the premier Pentecostal theologian.


Stanley Horton: Add-on Bundle of 5 Books

This bundle of key works by Stanley M. Horton presents a solid Pentecostal perspective published by Gospel Publishing House.

The package includes:

  • Commentary on Acts - An in-depth look at the story of the Early Church complete with maps and bibliography
  • Commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians -  A study of the history, customs, word meanings, and contemporary application of Paul’s writings to the Corinthian Church
  • Systematic Theology edited by Horton - The authority on the theology of Pentecostal faith
  • Bible Doctrines by William W. Menzies and Stanley Horton - An examination of 16 major Bible doctrines
  • What the Bible Says About the Holy Spirit - A study that goes beyond the titles and symbols of the Holy Spirit to a Pentecostal perspective of his personality, deity, gifts, and fruits.

Buy Now 2Regular Price $99.90
Sale Price $39.90
(Save 60%)

N. T. Wright

Formerly Bishop of Durham in England, Wright is research professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. N. T. Wright is recognized as a prolific writer of both scholarly and popular books.


N. T. Wright Collection of Five Works from Fortress Press

This bundle contains five works by N. T. Wright published by Fortress Press:

  • Collection of 35 years’ worth of essays and articles on the Apostle Paul
  • The Christian Origins and the Question of God series which includes (4 vols.):
    • The New Testament and the People of God
    • Jesus and the Victory of God
    • Resurrection of the Son of God
    • Paul and the Faithfulness of God

Buy Now 2Regular Price $249
Sale Price $199


N. T. Wright Collection of Two Works from IVP

This bundle contains two works by N. T. Wright published by InterVarsity Press:

  • Evil and the Justice of God
  • Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision

Buy Now 2Regular Price $29.90
Sale Price $14.90
(Save 50%)


Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Renowned not only for his delivered and penned sermons but also for his insatiable desire to read and study, Charles Haddon Spurgeon remains one of the most highly influential among Christians of various denominations, among whom he is known as the "Prince of Preachers."

Spurgeon Sermons

Spurgeon Sermon Collection (63 volumes) -- 50% Discount!

This massive collection of over 3,500 sermons has a print value of over $1000, but Accordance adds even more value, making it easy to find a sermon by Scripture, by title or content, or by date, and easy to copy any excerpt with citation.

Buy Now 2Regular Price $79.90
Sale Price $39.90
(Save 50%)

Exploring Spurgeon

Exploring the Mind & Heart of the Prince of Preachers

Exploring the Mind and Heart of the Prince of Preachers is a compendium of over 5,000 illustrations and anecdotes sorted under more than 1,000 topical headings drawn from the sermons and writings of the most prolific Christian writer of all time.

Buy Now 2Regular Price $17.90
Sale Price $13.90

Save on Commentaries from Well-Known Writers!

Barclay NDSB

Under $100!
Barclay's New Daily Study Bible - New Testament

For almost fifty years and for millions of readers, the Daily Study Bible commentaries have been the ideal help for both devotional and serious Bible study. Now, with the release of the New Daily Study Bible, a new generation will appreciate the wisdom of William Barclay.

Buy Now 2Regular Price $179
Sale Price $99.90

Lenski NT Commentary

Save $100!
Lenski's Commentary on the New Testament

Pastors and students of the Bible who seek deep and detailed engagement with the text of the New Testament have long relied on R. C. H. Lenski’s classic text -- now available again. This esteemed 20-volume commentary, originally published in 1943, is based on years of meticulous Greek studies by R.C.H. Lenski.

Buy Now 2Regular Price $299
Sale Price $199

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Aug 22, 2016 Richard Mansfield

NEW! Fresh Illustrations

This past summer while visiting multiple countries in Asia, I was able to sit in on some local church services. In one of these church services, the pastor—an excellent communicator—used an illustration in his sermon that I had actually heard before. On the positive side, it was an illustration that crossed cultural boundaries. On the downside side, though, it was an illustration that I first heard at least two decades ago.

Some illustrations, of course, are timeless and will always hold great impact for communicating a biblical idea to a modern audience. However, every communicator at one time or another wishes for fresh illustrations. If that’s a thought you often have, you will be very pleased to learn of Jim Wilson’s 6-volume Fresh Illustrations Series.

Fresh Illustrations-Mac

Click/tap the image above for a larger view of Fresh Illustrations in Accordance 11.

The volumes in the Fresh Illustrations Series are focused by the following topics:

  • Volume 1: Forgiveness & Reconciliation
  • Volume 2: Family
  • Volume 3: Faith, Hope & Love
  • Volume 4: Evangelism and Missions
  • Volume 5: Sin & Salvation
  • Volume 6: Stewardship

These illustrations are based on current events and recognizable people or quotations from popular books and movies. These are not the same old stories that everybody has already heard and repeated a million times. They’ve been described as “hot-off-the-grill fresh.”

Many of the illustrations have links to originating articles on the internet. Illustrations from movies offer suggestions for when to start and stop clips as well as what points to emphasize. Scripture quotations from the Holman Christian Standard Bible related to the theme of the illustration accompany each entry.

Fresh Illustrations-Accordance Mobile As described in the author information, Jim Wilson began preaching at 17 and became a pastor when he was 18. Today, he is the Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program and an Associate Professor of Leadership Formation at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary where he teaches Leadership and Preaching Seminars to DMin Candidates.

Click/tap the image to the right for a larger view of Fresh Illustrations in Accordance Mobile.

Wilson is also an award-winning writer with hundreds of pieces in print in 60+ publications including some published by Christianity Today, Int., Focus on the Family, and Lifeway Christian Resources.

In Accordance, users can instantaneously find the information they need in the Fresh Illustrations Series by searching not only on topics, content, and sources, but by Scripture references as well. Fresh Illustration is an excellent resource to keep in Accordance Mobile for accessing illustrations on the go.

For a limited time, Accordance users can obtain all six volumes in the entire Fresh Illustrations Series at an incredible introductory discount.

Buy Now 2 Fresh Illustrations (6 Volumes) (Wilson)
Regular Price $39.90; Sale Price $19.90


Special introductory special listed above is good through August 29, 2016 (11:59pm EDT) and cannot be combined with any other discounts.


Aug 18, 2016 Richard Mansfield

Upcoming Accordance Events in Boston

Boston Public Library
Accordance representatives will be in Boston in the coming weeks, and if you're going to be in the area, we hope to see you there.
We will be participating in Gordon-Conwell's National Preaching Conference on September 8-9, followed by a free all-day Accordance Training Seminar on September 10. The training seminar is open to anyone, and if you would like more information about the preaching conference, follow the link below:
National Preaching Conference
Thursday and Friday, September 8-9, 2016
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
South Hamilton, MA Campus
Accordance Training Seminar
Saturday, September 10, 2016, 9 AM to 6 PM
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary 
130 Essex St., South Hamilton, MA 01982
Room: Pending


Aug 15, 2016 Richard Mansfield

Export Citations from Accordance (7 Strategies for Students #3)

In any student's hands, Accordance is an incredible mobile research library. Gone are the days of having stacks of books on the desk as you write your research papers. Instead, Accordance users have access to an immense number of journals, commentaries, monographs, and other reference works right on their own devices!

However, as any student knows, all sources must be cited. All modern commentaries in Accordance have bibliographic information at the beginning of titles that can be used in crafting a citation, but Accordance actually provides a much easier way to incorporate citation information in a paper.

Copy as citation

Click/tap the image above for a larger view of how to copy citation information in Accordance.

If you’re going to use a source from Accordance in your paper, simply highlight the content in the source, and from the contextual menu choose Copy As: Citation. Then, in a word processor such as Microsoft Word, paste your text. Three things simultaneously happen: (1) the content you copied is pasted into your document, (2) a footnote is added at the end of the copied text, and (3) a citation in proper format is inserted into the footnote section of the document. There may be some minor formatting tweaking you may have to perform, but the content you need is there, including the ever-important page number.

Citation in Word

Click/tap the image above for a larger view of a footnote inserted into MS Word from Accordance.

This method works even in titles with multiple authors such as a multivolume commentary--only the author and bibliographic data for the content you are using is correctly included in the footnote. Accordance users can choose between SBL and Turabian style guides, as well as other settings in Accordance Preferences: Bibliography.

Such easy methods for creating citations is just another way that Accordance delivers an efficient research experience and allow you to get your papers turned in with plenty of time to spare before the deadline!

RIS export Bonus tip: If you use a citation manager such as Endnote, Zotero, Bookends, and others, you can export citation information into a standard format RIS file that can then be imported directly into your citation manager. From your personal Accordance Library, choose Export Selected Data and provide a name for the resulting RIS file. If the Accordance module contains an entire commentary series with multiple authors, the RIS file will include information to create separate records for each volume.


Aug 12, 2016 Timothy Jenney

Customizing Workspaces (Lighting the Lamp Video Podcast #146)

Creating and saving custom Accordance Workspaces makes our study time more productive. Switching between projects is easier, we can develop a consistent workflow, and we can save a lot of time over the long haul. Join Dr. J as he explains the six steps to creating a custom Workspace.

See more episodes of Lighting the Lamp on our Podcast Page!


Aug 8, 2016 Accordance Bible Software

UPDATE! Anchor Yale Bible Commentary Series

Anchor-Gen Cover No Accordance Library can be truly complete without the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary! Widely recognized as the flagship of American biblical scholarship, with a tradition of excellence and commitment to advancing biblical understanding in the 21st century, the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary, under the direction of General Editor John J. Collins, vigorously pursues the goal of bringing to a wide audience the most important new ideas, the latest research findings, and the clearest possible analysis of the Bible.

Decades in the making and now in a massive 90-volume collection, the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary is near completion in its coverage of the Old Testament, Intertestamental Books, and New Testament. Contributors come from Jewish, Catholic and Protestant backgrounds, but the project itself is not sponsored by any ecclesiastical organization and does not reflect the theological perspective of any particular faith tradition.

Anchor Revelation

Click/tap image above for a larger view of
the new Anchor commentary on Revelation by Craig R. Koester.

The Anchor Yale Bible is committed to producing commentaries in the tradition established half a century ago by the founders of the series, William Foxwell Albright and David Noel Freedman. It aims to present the best contemporary scholarship in a way that is accessible not only to scholars but also to the educated nonspecialist. Its approach is grounded in exact translation of the ancient languages and an appreciation of the historical and cultural context in which the biblical books were written supplemented by insights from modern methods, such as sociological and literary criticism.

With this release we are adding the following important volumes:

  • Joshua 1-12 by Thomas B. Dozeman (2015)
  • Judges 1-12 by Jack M. Sasson (2014) (currently in preparation; will be added to these modules in a free future update)
  • Ruth by Jeremy Schipper (2016)
  • Revelation by Craig R. Koester (2015)



Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries:
OT, Apocrypha & NT

(90 volumes)
4 New Volumes!

Buy Now 2List Price $6081
Regular Price $1999

Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries:
OT & Apocrypha

(63 volumes)
3 New Volumes!

Buy Now 2List Price $4113
Regular Price $1499

Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries:

(27 volumes)
1 New Volume!

Buy Now 2List Price $1868
Regular Price $799


With so many volumes available in this series, for the first time we are allowing Accordance users to purchase the Old Testament volumes in sections. This will allow gradual acquisition of the entire series in stages for those with limited budgets.

Buy Now 2Genesis through Deuteronomy (9 Volumes)
Regular Price $349

Buy Now 2 Joshua through Esther (15 Volumes) 3 New Volumes
Regular Price $499

Buy Now 2 Job through Song of Songs (8 Volumes)
Regular Price $249

Buy Now 2 Isaiah through Malachi (23 Volumes)
Regular Price $739

Buy Now 2 Apocrypha (8 Volumes)
Regular Price $239


Already own Anchor Commentaries? Save Now on Upgrades!

Buy Now 2 Upgrade OT/NT Set from 86 to 90 Volumes
Regular Price $179

Buy Now 2 Upgrade OT Set from 60 to 63 Volumes
Regular Price $129

Buy Now 2 Upgrade NT Set from 26 to 27 Volumes
Regular Price $59.90


Aug 3, 2016 Richard Mansfield

UPDATE: 2016 ESV Permanent Text Edition

We are pleased to announce the release of the 2016 edition of the English Standard Version, also known as the “ESV Permanent Text Edition.” This is a free update for all Accordance users and is available now.

2016 ESV

Click/tap the image above for a larger view of the 2016 ESV.

The ESV Translation Oversight Committee has continued to fine tune the ESV since its initial release in 2001 with updates being released in 2007 and 2011. The 2016 released is being labeled as permanent because the committee plans to leave the text as is for the foreseeable future.

ESV Cross References In the past, we divided the ESV into three modules for use in Accordance: text, notes, and cross references. However, for the 2016 update, we have combined the cross references into the notes modules. This means you can safely remove the ESV Cross-references from your personal Accordance Library.

To remove the older ESV Cross-reference module, select it in your personal Accordance Library (in the Cross-references folder unless you moved it) and choose "Remove Item" from the contextual menu. When prompted, choose "Move to Trash" to delete it from the Accordance folders on your hard drive.

To update your copy of the English Standard Version to the 2016 Permanent Text Edition, run “Check for Content Updates from within Accordance (Windows: Utility menu; Mac: Accordance menu).


Aug 1, 2016 Richard Mansfield

NEW! AMG Illustrations Set (4 volumes)

AMG Illustrations In preaching or teaching settings, good illustrations are essential and with good reason: people tend to remember illustrations easier than other parts of a lesson or sermon. We see illustrations used throughout the Bible, from the Prophets to the teachings of Jesus. An essential part of any communicator’s “toolkit” is a good collection of illustrations, so today we are releasing the much-treasured AMG Illustrations Set comprising 4 volumes of over 4,000 illustrations on every topic from Actions to Worship.

The AMG Illustrations Set contains the following titles, each with over 1,000 illustrations per volume:

  • Illustrations of Bible Truths
  • A Treasury of Bible Illustrations
  • Practical Bible Illustrations from Yesterday and Today
  • Heartwarming Bible Illustrations

All of the illustrations were compiled from past issues of Pulpit Helps Magazine, so they have all been collected with the preacher and Bible teacher in mind.

AMG Illustrations

Click/tap the image above for a larger view of the AMG Illustrations Set.

This past weekend, I was teaching from 1 Samuel 18-20 which details the friendship between Jonathan and David. Searching for the topic “friendship,” I found a number of entries, including these two:

“A friend—a true friend—the first person who comes in when the whole world has gone out.”

Friend! What a precious word. Most of us concur wholeheartedly with William Shakespeare who said:

Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel.

One of the privileges of friendship is being able to speak frankly. Little by little, and day by day, we become accustomed to saying what we think we ought to say instead of what we really think. How comfortable and how pleasant it is to speak freely without having to be on guard. As the Arabian says, “A friend is one to whom we may pour out the contents of our hearts, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away!”

Another privilege of friendship is that of being understood. Perhaps it was this quality which caused George Eliot to write: “Animals are such agreeable friends. They ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.” Understanding is to be expected of friends. Total agreement and acceptance? Not necessarily! As one anonymous writer has said, “The strength and sweetness of friendship depends on sincerity tempered by sympathy.”

A third privilege of friendship is the privilege of silence. If one is but a mere acquaintance we feel that we must talk. So we turn to such exciting subjects as the weather, our ailments, and our latest surgery. But what a joy it is to have a friend that will even understand your silence and not say, “My friend is not my friend anymore because he is not talking.”

Friends have mutual interests. They enjoy doing the same kinds of things, and talking about their shared interests. That’s why there is such great camaraderie between fishermen, woodworkers, gardeners, authors, etc.

Friends are mutually devoted to each other. When you are in trouble, it is not merely your friend’s duty but his privilege to stand by. If he is in trouble, you count it a privilege to help.

Friendship is this… and a whole lot more. But it causes one to ask, “Are God and I friends?”

Each volume contains both a subject and Scripture index. Of course, because these titles are in Accordance, even the content is fully searchable, allowing the user to find information that may have been missed when the publisher compiled the original indexes.

Bonus Tip: Create a User Group for all of your illustration and quotation titles that allows you to search through all of them at once using the Research tool.

Illustrations Group

Buy Now 2 AMG Illustrations Set (4 Volumes)



Jul 29, 2016 Richard Mansfield

Use Accordance Editions of Textbooks (7 Strategies for Students #2)


Accordance Textbooks

These days, Accordance is a lot more than biblical texts—it’s an entire mobile reference library for biblical studies. And in case you didn’t know, there are also quite a few textbooks available in Accordance for Greek, Hebrew, biblical studies, theology, church history, and more!

What’s the advantage of having a textbook in Accordance instead of a print copy?

  • Textbooks in Accordance weigh a lot less than print textbooks. No more backaches from an overstuffed bookbag!
  • Accordance textbooks integrate with your entire personal Accordance Library for amplifying and searching through multiple titles. Also, it’s extremely convenient to have your textbooks and your entire biblical research library—journals, lexicons, commentaries, etc.—in one convenient workspace.
  • Taking notes in an Accordance textbook is a lot more practical than taking notes in a print textbook. For one thing, you’ll never have to worry about running out of room in the margins!
  • Highlighting text in Accordance textbooks can take advantage of our many highlighting styles and symbols. You can even create your own! Highlighting text in a physical textbook is always dependent upon which highlighters you remember to throw in your bookbag.
  • Searching for a word or phrase in an Accordance textbook is much more convenient than hoping the index in the back of a print textbook covers exactly what you’re searching for.
  • With a textbook in Accordance, you can answer workbook exercises or chapter questions in User Notes and then export them to turn in.
  • All those notes and answered exercises can be placed in parallel with the content of the textbook for easy study for the next exam.
  • Since Accordance can be installed on up to five devices (Mac or Windows laptops, iPads, iPhones, and eventually Android), never worry about accidentally leaving your textbook at home again (assuming you bring at least one of your other devices).
  • Need to quote your textbook in an assignment? Copy and paste is much easier than typing it all out!
  • Some of our Greek and Hebrew grammars include built-in voice annotations so that you can hear original language pronunciations. Print will never be able to do that!
  • The Accordance store is never closed! No more waiting for the store to open to get the books you need!

To paraphrase the ending of Ecclesiastes, “Of the writing of textbooks, there is no end…” so we may not have every textbook required for your classes in the next semester. Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if we offer quite a few of them.

Mounce Greek Workspace

In the example image above (click/tap for a larger view), Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek (3rd ed.) textbook is on the left. The corresponding workbook is on the right. A User Notes file has been created to answer the workbook exercises. These exercises can be exported to turn if the assignment requires it, but they're always right there with the text instead of in a separate place that may or may not be convenient to access at any time.

So, how do you find out if your required textbook is available for Accordance?

As soon as you find out your required textbooks for the semester, go to the Accordance website and enter each textbook title (one at a time) in the search field at the top right of the web browser. As a student, you’re eligible for an academic discount, but you may also want to check to see if your school or professor has worked out any group discounts for your class.

Know what books are necessary for next semester? Why not add them to your personal Accordance Library now and get a head start?

Workspaces BONUS TIP:

Create a workspace for each class that includes your textbook, textbook User Notes, and class notes User Tool. Add it to your saved workgroups for easy access from the Accordance toolbar.


Jul 28, 2016 Richard Mansfield

How Tall Was Goliath? 1 Samuel 17:4 in the LXX & DSS

David and GoliathAt church last Sunday, I taught from 1 Samuel 17, the chapter detailing the infamous battle between the young shepherd-boy-to-be-king, David, and the Philistine champion, Goliath. I’ve known the story since childhood. In fact, many who didn’t grow up attending religious services still know the basic story—that this young boy (probably an older teen in actuality) faced down this “giant” of an enemy and prevailed with no armor and only a sling in hand. Even today, we speak of facing down or overcoming “giants” when a seemingly impossible obstacle is before us.

Right: David Slays Goliath, Gustave Doré (1832–1883) from The Accordance Gallery of Bible Art.

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of Goliath: a giant, hulking big bad in the Bible. When I was young, I assumed David’s sling was the same as my slingshot, and I played in the backyard pretending to take down my own giants. Instead, I only managed to accidentally (really, Mom!) take out a window or two.

As an adult, I’ve occasionally pondered the size of Goliath mentioned in the Bible. In 1 Sam 17:4 the Hebrew text describes Goliath’s height as “six cubits and a span” (שֵׁשׁ אַמּוֹת וָזָרֶת). If a cubit is roughly 18 inches, and a span is roughly 9 inches, that puts Goliath at well over 9 and a half feet. I’d want that guy on my basketball team—he could dunk without even jumping!

At a height of over nine and a half feet, Goliath would have undoubtedly been seen as a “Big Unfriendly Giant” (BUG), even to modern people who are taller than our biblical predecessors. I’ve been unable to find the source, but I remember reading or hearing many years ago that the average male height in biblical times was a little over 5 feet tall. If King Saul was taller from the shoulders up than anyone else (1 Sam 9:2; 10:23), he was probably somewhere over 6 feet tall, which would have been very tall for his day, but not nearly as tall as the biblical description of Goliath.

Robert Wadlow, giant! Consider though, in modern times, the verified tallest person ever recorded is Robert Wadlow (1918 - 1940) who stood an impressive 8 feet, 11 inches, still shorter than the biblical Goliath. Of course, Goliath was a giant right? Well, actually, that’s questionable. That is, the Bible never directly refers to Goliath as a giant other than giving us his height, which would definitely seem to fall into the “giant” category. Even though giants are mentioned other places (2 Sam 21:16, 18, 20, 22; 1 Chr 20:4, 6, 8), there’s no direct connection in those passages to Goliath.

Left: Robert Wadlow standing next to his father, Harold Wadlow (source: Wikipedia)

The curriculum I teach from on Sundays uses the Holman Christian Standard Bible as its basis. I happened to notice a footnote in the HCSB to Goliath’s height that read, “DSS, LXX read four cubits and a span”—(DSS: א֯רבע[ א]מות וזרת and LXX: τεσσάρων πήχεων καὶ σπιθαμῆς). I found this very interesting because the lesser four cubits and a span would be a little over 6 and a half feet tall. If there’s no claim to Goliath being a giant, but rather just a very big imposing warrior, this lesser height would make much more sense.

Add to this that both the Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls predate the Masoretic Text that the Hebrew Bible is based on by roughly a millennium, and it starts to seem as if Goliath’s height might have become a bit exaggerated over the centuries. On Monday of this week, in my post on the Göttingen Septuagint, I wrote the following as a general principle for determining a correct reading:

Often when the LXX and and Dead Sea Scrolls agree together against the 10th century Masoretic Text, the older reading is seen as more original. Thus, no study of the Old Testament can be considered truly comprehensive unless the LXX is taken into consideration…

The issue of Goliath’s height is merely one example of this principle.

Last Sunday, I internally debated as to whether I should bring up the issue of the question surrounding Goliath’s height when I taught this passage to my class at church. I try not to get too technical in regard to textual issues, usually just leaving a passage as it is in its final form. However, a 6'9" Goliath seemed to make so much more sense to me! Plus, a shorter stature for Goliath doesn’t take away from the point that David defeated Goliath because his faith was in God and not in physical size or weapons (1 Sam 17:45) and as an example that the Spirit of the LORD was upon him (1 Sam 16:13).

1 Sam 17.4

Since the footnote in the HCSB gave me an opening, I went ahead and mentioned—in the most general terms—the difference in the readings regarding Goliath’s height. From what I could tell, the people in our class found it interesting and plausible, and no one accused me of “questioning the Bible” or being too technical.

In writing this post, I came across an article by J. Daniel Hays, “Reconsidering the Height of Goliath” [JETS 48 (2005): 701-715], that comes to the same conclusion. If you have the Theological Journal Library in your personal Accordance Library, I recommend checking it out.

Although 1 Samuel (1 Kingdoms) is not yet available, the Göttingen Septuagint is on sale through August 1 at unprecedented discount.