Accordance Blog
Jul 1, 2020 Richard Mansfield

A Closer Look at the Accordance Timeline Expanded Edition

The previous Accordance Timeline was impressive, but the new Expanded Edition is truly unparalleled. Certainly there is an emphasis on biblical and religious history, but I don't know of any tool like this, whether in Bible software or something else. And considering you can add your own events to the 3,000 items already in the Timeline, this becomes a dream tool for both the amateur and professional historian alike.

What's new in the Accordance Timeline Expanded Edition?

  • the ability to amplify to the Timeline from a Scripture reference
  • more than 2,000 new items
  • descriptions of every item
  • a new Religious Leaders item category
  • 5 new regions (Africa, Arabia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and World)
  • 1,500 additional years of history (from the fall of Rome to the present day)
  • Church history (Catholic, Orthodox, Celtic, Nestorian, Protestant)
  • Jewish history (rabbis, writings, movements, and persecutions)
  • Islamic history (caliphates, scholars, writings, and warfare)
  • major manuscripts and Bible translations
  • James Ussher’s chronology of the Antediluvian Period
  • Accordance history!

Now, the Accordance Timeline Expanded Edition requires the just-released Accordance 13.1.2 for Windows or macOS. Also, it will not (yet) run on any of our mobile platforms. For a limited time, it is available for introductory discounted pricing and an upgrade from the first Accordance Timeline is available.

In June, David Lang, the primary designer and developer of the Accordance Timeline Expanded Edition gave a "first look" during one of our eAcademy sessions. Here is the video from that presentation.

 

Timeline Expanded Edition
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Upgrade from the Original Timeline
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Sale prices listed above are good through Monday, July 6, 2020 (11:59 PM EDT) and cannot be combined with any other discounts.

 

Jun 30, 2020 Accordance Bible Software

Spectacular Summer Sale Celebration

Spectacular Summer

Special pricing listed below is good through Monday, July 6, 2020 (11:59 PM EDT) and cannot be combined with any other discounts.


Timeline Expanded NEW and WOW! Accordance Timeline Expanded Edition

Visualize the sweep of history with the Accordance Timeline Expanded Edition. Much more than just dates on a timeline, the new expanded Timeline presents a colorful tapestry of the rise and fall of civilizations, the spread of world religions, and the wider context of biblical history.

With more than 3,000 historical periods, people, and events charted across 13 major geographical regions, you can see what was happening in each part of the world at any given time.

Note: Not supported on Mobile or Lite versions of Accordance.

Timeline Expanded Edition
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Jun 15, 2020 Richard Mansfield

New Titles for Patristic Studies!

Studies in Patristics (the writings and history of the Early Church) continue to grow in popularity. It’s one thing to read about the writings of the early Christians, but it’s something else entirely to read these writers in their own words—whether in original languages or translations. Today, we’re adding to our Patristic offerings for Accordance with a Greek and English set of the Desert Fathers as well as the first installments in the Popular Patristics Series adapted for the Accordance Library. If you have never read the Church Fathers, these works from SVS Press, with introductions and notes, are an excellent place to start!

Desert Fathers - 3D Desert Fathers Set: Morphologically-Tagged Greek, English, Notes

This set contains the Greek Desert Fathers (also known as the Apophthegmata Patrum). The Greek text is based on the 1864 Migne edition in Patrologiae Graecae (vol 65). The Greek text was morphologically tagged by Dr. Rex Koivisto of Multnomah University.

The content of the Desert Fathers includes sayings and stories of over a hundred men (and a few women) who lived as ascetics in the desert of Egypt, from the fifth century AD and later. These ascetics were often sought out for spiritual counsel or advice, either in an ongoing way by disciples who attached themselves to a given ascetic, or by outside visitors who venerated the spirituality and wisdom of these ascetics and sought their wisdom and counsel. They were originally spoken and written in the Egyptian Coptic language, and only later recorded as Greek text.

Desert Fathers - Acc 13 - macOS
The Desert Fathers in Greek and English in Accordance for macOS.
Click/tap for a larger view.

Give Me a Word: The Alphabetical Sayings of the Desert Fathers, translated by John Wortley. It will be available separately as an English module for Accordance, but will not be linked to the Migne due to the expansions into copyrighted Greek texts unavailable to us.

The Desert Fathers
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Popular Patristics Series (Release 1) (5 Volumes)

Release 1 is available in a group of all five titles or individually.

Give Me a Word - 3D Give Me a Word: The Alphabetical Sayings of the Desert Fathers

Translated by John Wortley

When Christians first began living as monks in the Egyptian desert at the beginning of the fourth century, they had few books and almost no learning. As they gained experience, they concentrated that experience in the form of an oral tradition of tales and sayings (apophthegmata). Apart from the Scriptures (also learned by heart) this was the only training manual they had. Consequently, when the onslaught of barbarians drove many monks out of Egypt early in the following century, they found it better to preserve their oral tradition in writing.

Thus, towards the end of the fifth century there eventually emerged a codification of this monastic lore. It was in two parts: one in which the items were arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the monk who either authored the saying or was characterized in the tale; the other in which all the remaining “anonymous” material was arranged under various heads. The present volume is an attempt to provide the reader with an effective translation of the first of those parts.

Give Me a Word - iPad Pro

Give Me a Word: The Alphabetical Sayings of the Desert Fathers
in Accordance for iPadOS.
Click/tap for a larger view.

Give Me a Word
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Divine Images - 3D Three Treatises on the Divine Images: St. John of Damascus

Translated by Andrew Louth

Is all Christian art fundamentally blasphemous? That was the question posed aggressively by the Christian iconoclasts of the eighth century in a bitter controversy. The resounding answer “no” from John of Damascus helped to secure the future of art in the service of Christ. Without his brilliant defense, both profound and at times earthy, we might well have had no icons, murals, and mosaics in churches to elevate and enrich our spirits and to enhance our worship. This fresh and complete translation, by a distinguished patristic scholar, of John's three treatises on the divine images shows us the issue at stake both then and now.

Divine Images - Acc 13 - Win

Three Treatises on the Divine Images
in Accordance for Windows.
Click/tap for a larger view.

Three Treatises on the Divine Images
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Four Desert Fathers - 3D Four Desert Fathers: Pambo, Evagrius, Macarius of Egypt & Macarius of Alexandria

Translated by Tim Vivian

The four desert Fathers who gave their names to this volume—Pambo, Evagrius, Macarius of Egypt, and Macarius of Alexandria—were well known some 1600 years ago in Alexandria and the monastic communities of Lower Egypt. They were most famous, perhaps, because the monk (and later bishop) Palladius recounted their Lives—preserved in the Coptic Palladiana—in his Lausiac History.

The introduction describes the relationships among Palladius and Evagrius, Origenism, the spiritual and theological ramifications of the Anthropomorphite controversy, and subsequent effects on the Lausiac History and the four Coptic Lives of this volume. This work is a companion volume to Saint Macarius the Spirit Bearer, which contains the translations of three ancient texts: The Sayings of Saint Macarius of Egypt, The Virtues of Saint Macarius of Egypt, and The Life of Saint Macarius of Scetis. These three texts provide insight into one of the most venerated saints of the Coptic Orthodox Church and into life in the Egyptian monastic communities of the fourth century.

Four Desert Fathers - iPhone

Four Desert Fathers
in Accordance for iOS.
Click/tap for a larger view.

Four Desert Fathers
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St. Macarius St. Macarius the Spiritbearer: Coptic Texts Relating to Saint Macarius the Great

Translated by Tim Vivian

This important work features three seminal texts which provide insight into one of the most venerated saints of the Coptic Church and into the life of the Egyptian monastic communities of the fourth century: The Sayings of Saint Macarius, The Virtues of Saint Macarius, and The Life of Saint Macarius of Scetis.

Macarius the Great (also referred to as Macarius of Egypt or Macarius the Egyptian) presided over a loosely knit scattering of ascetic monastic communities in the fourth century Egyptian desert. He enjoyed great respect during his lifetime and his fame was further spread after appearing in Palladius' Lausiac History. This work is a companion volume to Four Desert Fathers, also published by SVS Press, which features the lives of Macarius the Spiritbearer, Macarius of Alexandria, Pambo and Evagrius. The two volumes together, introducing the thought and practice of these desert dwellers through their Sayings, Virtues and Lives, offer the best access to their world.

St. Macarius - Android - DeX

St. Macarius
in Accordance for Android (in DeX mode).
Click/tap the image for a larger view.

St. Macarius the Spiritbearer
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Lord's Prayer - 3D On the Lord's Prayer: Tertullian, Cyprian, & Origen

Translated by Alistair Stewart-Sykes

These are the only three existing ante-Nicene treatises on the Lord's Prayer, and they became the starting point for many other commentaries. Of the three, however, only the discourse of Cyprian is an address to catechumens. Tertullian's treatise contains additional material on the conduct of worship and on prayer in the assembly, and Origen's commentary is a vast work on the whole subject of prayer, as much suited to advanced learners in the school of Christ as to those preparing for baptism.

On the Lord's Prayer - Android phone

On the Lord's Prayer
in Accordance for Android.
Click/tap for a larger view.

On the Lord's Prayer
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Popular Patristics set 5-Volume Popular Patristics Series (Release 1)

Get all five volumes of Release #1 of the Popular Patristics Series!

5-Volume Popular Patristics Series
Regular Price $99.90

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All of the Popular Patristics titles have been thoroughly analyzed by our developers, identifying specific content to make research fast and efficient. Hyperlinks to other titles in the Accordance Library have been created when possible. The volume Give Me a Word contains a glossary of terms, which have been hyperlinked within the text throughout the title.

For a brief time, Accordance users can add all these titles to their personal libraries at introductory discounts.

 

May 18, 2020 Richard Mansfield

New Backgrounds, Hermeneutical & Literary Studies from Eerdmans

We understand the Bible through many approaches. Two that are essential for unlocking ancient documents are background, cultural, and literary studies of ancient times as well as hermeneutical methods. This week, we are releasing six titles from Eerdmans publishing that you will want for enhancing your study in Accordance. Five of these titles are from famed Old Testament Yale University professor John J. Collins, and one selection is from Laura Zucconi of Stockton University.

As these new releases are all monographs with hyperlinks to Scripture and other references, they will make perfect reading on your favorite mobile device.

Screenshots are presented at the bottom of the post as they would look on mobile devices.

Collins, Bible after Babel - 3D The Bible after Babel: Historical Criticism in a Postmodern Age (John J. Collins, 2005)

Biblical scholars today often sound as if they are caught in the aftermath of Babel -- a clamor of voices unable to reach common agreement. Yet is this confusion necessarily a bad thing? Many postmodern critics see the recent profusion of critical approaches as a welcome opportunity for the emergence of diverse new techniques. In The Bible after Babel noted biblical scholar John J. Collins considers the effect of the postmodern situation on biblical, primarily Old Testament, criticism over the last three decades. Engaging and even-handed, Collins examines the quest of historical criticism to objectively establish a text's basic meaning. Accepting that the Bible may no longer provide secure "foundations" for faith, Collins still highlights its ethical challenge to be concerned for "the other" -- a challenge central both to Old Testament ethics and to the teaching of Jesus.

The Bible after Babel
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Collins, King & Messiah King and Messiah as Son of God: Divine, Human, and Angelic Messianic Figures in Biblical and Related Literature (Adela Yarbro Collins & John J. Collins, 2008)

This book traces the history of the idea that the king and later the messiah is Son of God, from its origins in ancient Near Eastern royal ideology to its Christian appropriation in the New Testament.

Both highly regarded scholars, Adela Yarbro Collins and John J. Collins argue that Jesus was called “the Son of God” precisely because he was believed to be the messianic king. This belief and tradition, they contend, led to the identification of Jesus as preexistent, personified Wisdom, or a heavenly being in the New Testament canon. However, the titles Jesus is given are historical titles tracing back to Egyptian New Kingdom ideology. Therefore the title “Son of God” is likely solely messianic and not literal. King and Messiah as Son of God is distinctive in its range, spanning both Testaments and informed by ancient Near Eastern literature and Jewish noncanonical literature.

King and Messiah as Son of God
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Collins, The Scepter & the Star The Scepter and the Star: Messianism in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls (John J. Collins, 2nd ed., 2010)

John J. Collins here offers an up-to-date review of Jewish messianic expectations around the time of Jesus, in light of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

He breaks these expectations down into categories: Davidic, priestly, and prophetic. Based on a small number of prophetic oracles and reflected in the various titles and names assigned to the messiah, the Davidic model holds a clear expectation that the messiah figure would play a militant role. In sectarian circles, the priestly model was far more prominent. Jesus of Nazareth, however, showed more resemblance to the prophetic messiah during his historical career, identified as the Davidic "Son of Man" primarily after his death.

In this second edition of The Scepter and the Star Collins has revised the discussion of Jesus and early Christianity, completely rewritten a chapter on a figure who claims to have a throne in heaven, and has added a brief discussion of the recently published and controversial Vision of Gabriel.

The Scepter and the Star
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Collins, Beyond the Qumran Community - 3D Beyond the Qumran Community: The Sectarian Movement & the Dead Sea Scrolls (John J. Collins, 2010)

With the full publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls, fresh analysis of the evidence presented can be -- and indeed, should be -- made. Beyond the Qumran Community does just that, reaching a surprising conclusion: the sect described in the Dead Sea Scrolls developed later than has usually been supposed and was never confined to the site of Qumran.

John J. Collins here deconstructs "the Qumran community" and shows that the sectarian documents actually come from a text spread throughout the land. He first examines the Community Rule or Yahad, and then considers the Teacher of Righteousness, a pivotal figure in the Essene movement, discovering that he was probably active in the first century BCE rather than in the Maccabean era. After examining the available evidence, Collins concludes that it is, in fact, overwhelmingly likely that the site of Qumran housed merely a single settlement of this widespread movement.

Beyond the Qumran Community
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Collins, Apocalyptic Imagination - 3D The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature (John J. Collins, 3rd ed., 2016)

One of the most widely praised studies of Jewish apocalyptic literature ever written, The Apocalyptic Imagination by John J. Collins has served for over thirty years as a helpful, relevant, comprehensive survey of the apocalyptic literary genre.

After an initial overview of things apocalyptic, Collins proceeds to deal with individual apocalyptic texts — the early Enoch literature, the book of Daniel, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and others — concluding with an examination of apocalypticism in early Christianity. Collins has updated this third edition throughout to account for the recent profusion of studies germane to ancient Jewish apocalypticism, and he has also substantially revised and updated the bibliography.

The Apocalyptic Imagination
Regular Price $37.90

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Zucconi, Ancient Medicine - 3D Ancient Medicine from Mesopotamia to Rome (Laura Zucconi, 2019)

This book by Laura Zucconi is an accessible introductory text to the practice and theory of medicine in the ancient world. In contrast to other works that focus heavily on Greece and Rome, Zucconi’s Ancient Medicine covers a broader geographical and chronological range. The world of medicine in antiquity consisted of a lot more than Hippocrates and Galen.

Zucconi applies historical and anthropological methods to examine the medical cultures of not only Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome but also the Levant, the Anatolian Peninsula, and the Iranian Plateau. Devoting special attention to the fundamental relationship between medicine and theology, Zucconi’s one-volume introduction brings the physicians, patients, procedures, medicines, and ideas of the past to light.

Ancient Medicine from Mesopotamia to Rome
Regular Price $99.90

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These titles are available for reduced introductory pricing for a limited time. Special pricing is good through Monday, May 25, 2020 (11:59 PM EDT) and cannot be combined with any other discounts.

 


Collins & Collins, King and Messiah

Collins, King & Messiah - Android phone


Collins, The Scepter and the Star

Collins, Scepter & Star - iPhone


Collins, Beyond the Qumran Community

Collins, Beyond Qumran - Android tablet


Collins, The Apocalyptic Imagination

Collins, Apocalyptic Imagination - 3D


Zucconi, Ancient Medicine

Zucconi, Ancient Medicine - iPad

 

May 11, 2020 Richard Mansfield

A Closer Look at the Complete Biblical Library

Last week, we released The Complete Biblical Library: Old & New Testament Study Bibles with Hebrew & Greek Dictionaries for Accordance Bible Software. The print version, originally comprising 37 volumes, was the result of 20 years of biblical scholarship from over 500 individuals (see full list of contributors).

You can read about the contents of the CBL on our product pages, but we wanted you to see it for its comprehensive approach to Bible study. Therefore, we have put together a 10 minute video covering the highlights of this work.

 

 

The Complete Biblical Library can be purchased as a complete set or separately by Old or New Testament. If you have already purchased the CBL from a competing Bible software platform, we also have discounted Crossgrade pricing available!

And don't miss Kevin Purcell's in-depth review!

Sale prices listed below are good through Monday, May 18, 2020 (11:59 PM EDT) and cannot be combined with any other discounts.

Old and New Testament Study Bibles
with Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries

List Price $638
Regular Price $449

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CBL OT Study Bible_120

Old Testament Study Bible
with Hebrew-English Dictionary

Regular Price $339

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CBL NT Study Bible_120

New Testament Study Bible
with Greek-English Dictionary

Regular Price $299

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May 6, 2020 Richard Mansfield

Accordance eAcademy: May 12, 2020

eAcademy Carousel May 2020

Our recent one-day eAcademys have been so successful (we had over 600 distinct registrations for the one in April) that we're making them a regular event! Next week on May 12, we will offer three sessions with distinctive focus: Designing Workspaces, Biblical Archeology, and Intermediate Greek.

This Accordance eAcademy offers live, web-based teaching that strives to focus on distinctive and practical topics, presentation of beneficial resources, and training on how to study more effectively using Accordance!

As with other eAcademy events this year, participation is absolutely FREE. However, you do need to register for individual sessions. To get a full lineup of sessions, list of presenters, and to register, please visit our May 12 Accordance eAcademy webpage.

 

Apr 6, 2020 Richard Mansfield

One Day Only: eAcademy, April 14

 

eAcademy 2020.04.14 temp banner

We had such an incredible turnout for our March eAcademy that we're offering a special one-day eAcademy event to be held on April 14!

TITLE/THEME: “Power Searching and Extra-biblical Resources in Accordance!”

This Accordance eAcademy will offer live, web-based teaching on many extra-biblical resources found in Accordance including what they are and how to use them!  We’re also presenting training on how to study more effectively in Accordance using “Power Searches” to find what you are looking for more efficiently!

EVENT: Live web-based Accordance eAcademy event!

DATE: Tuesday, April 14, 2020

LOCATION: Live Webinars; all you need is internet access. (Attend from Home or Anywhere You are!)

COST: FREE!

SPECIALS: Affordable and Deeply Discounted Accordance Specialty Starters
for 1st timers, or Academic Purchase Programs for students.  Plus, savings on all of the recommended titles from the presenters.

TOPICS COVERED:

  • Find What You are Looking For --“Power Searching” in Accordance!

  • Targums? Talmud? What are the Hebrew resources in Accordance?

  • Using Accordance with the Church Fathers!

For more information, a list of presenters, and descriptions of topics, and to register, please see our April 2020 eAcademy page.

Registration is free, but space is limited, so sign up today!

 

Mar 23, 2020 Richard Mansfield

Yes! We Are Open!

 

open for business

The worldwide COVID-19 crisis we all find ourselves in is unprecedented in our lifetime. In the midst of all the uncertainty, we just wanted to reassure you that we at Accordance are here and open for business. Having offices in central Florida (right in the hurricane zone) for over 25 years has taught us how to prepare and carry on during emergency situations.

So please don’t hesitate to call (407-339-5855), email, or chat (top right of page) with us just as you normally would. Our awesome customer service, sales, and support teams are ready to help you in any way we can. And rest assured, we are continuing to work with publishers to bring you the lowest prices possible on content for your Accordance Library, especially for those of you that might be under “stay-at-home” or “shelter-in-place” protocols.

And if you didn’t see it the other day, please check out “7 Strategies for Accordance Users during the COVID-19 Crisis.” Let us hear from you! If you find yourself with extra time, how are you spending it? How has Accordance been helpful to you during this time?

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!

(Psalm 27:13-14, NKJV)

 

Mar 16, 2020 Richard Mansfield

7 Strategies for Accordance Users during the COVID-19 Crisis

COVID-19

To the church at Ephesus, St. Paul wrote,

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
(Ephesians 5:15–16 NIV)

Perhaps if he were in our context today, Paul might also tell us to make the most of every opportunity because of the contagions that are surrounding us!

Due to Covid-19, our lives and social interactions with others are starting to come to a crawl if not an all-out standstill. While none of us asked for this kind of interruption in our lives, that doesn't mean we can’t put our extra time isolated from each other and in our homes to good use. And I don’t mean binge-watching Netflix or putting in extra hours playing on the Xbox.

Over a month ago, we received a note from an Accordance user in China where the coronavirus first began to get worldwide attention. He wrote the following:

My reliance on Accordance has just increased a whole new level with the outbreak of the virus in China. I am currently at home with my family, stockpiled food and not going outdoors. Sitting with Accordance in this current situation is a true blessing.

Anyone who knows me knows that I was an Accordance user long before I worked for the company. I’ve always been grateful for my digital library that can be accessed anywhere and at any time. That got me thinking this past weekend of all the ways we can make use of the “extra” time that none of us asked for.

Although I’m primarily focusing on ways that Accordance users can benefit from our software during this time, I’m not writing this as a sale piece. These are some suggestions for what we can do to make use of our time, primarily involving Accordance (since this is the Accordance blog), but a few other ideas, too. And we welcome your ideas in the comments.

So what can you do with your extra time? Here are a few ideas.

1. Pray.

Many of us often give the excuse that we don’t have enough time to pray, although we ought to be too busy not to pray, as the saying goes. Now many of us will have that additional time. We may have a list of sick friends and family that will keep growing over the coming days. We will pray for them as well as our own protection. We will pray for the doctors and scientists working on a vaccine and that one can be found as quickly as possible. We will pray for the medical staff taking care of those who are sick right now. We will pray for our clergy as they minister to their parishioners and congregants in this challenging time.

We can also pray the prayers given to believers by the Holy Spirit: the Psalms. This is the original prayer book, first to the Jews and then used by the Church. Pray through one psalm a day or find a plan for praying through the entire book in a week as many monks do. When we pray the Psalms, we should personalize the words to our own situations. Often someone will ask, “How do I personalize the imprecatory psalms? Normally, you can make the enemies of Israel into your own struggle or sin. In our current situation, we can pray that God will “break the teeth” (Psalm 3:7) of the coronavirus!

2. Read/Study the Bible.

There is so much that can be done here. We have lots of different reading plans in Accordance for reading through the Scriptures. Read through the Bible in a different translation or in an original language text if you’ve had studies in Greek or Hebrew. Spend more time in reflection of what you’ve read. Write your thoughts down in Accordance Notes or keep a separate handwritten journal. Work your way through a book of the Bible with a commentary or other reference book. If you’ve never read the Intertestamental writings, use the time to explore those. Even if you don’t consider them as canon, they were written by believers (like other books in your library that you read!) and are crucial for understanding the social context of the New Testament.

3. Learn or Brush Up a Biblical Language.

Many who study original languages in seminary gradually lose those skills over time. This is the perfect time to work through a Hebrew or Greek grammar. Or translate one or more verses a day, exploring in detail those portions that prove difficult. I often hear people who have never studied biblical languages say they would like to learn them. Learning Greek or Hebrew on one’s own is not easy, and I don’t normally recommend doing it outside a classroom setting, but many have learned on their own in the past, so it’s certainly possible.

When I was in seminary, I learned about a professor from a previous generation, who studied his New Testament Greek while in a prison camp. I can’t remember his name, and I can’t remember whether this was a WWII or Korean prison camp, but I’ll try to find out and update this post. Anyway, he had been carrying a Greek New Testament and A. T. Robertson’s big Greek grammar in his backpack. For whatever reason, his captors let him keep these two books. He later said that part of what kept him sane during his captivity was looking up every reference in Robertson’s grammar in his New Testament. Now, being confined for extra time to our homes is not anywhere near the difficulty of being in a prison camp, but that’s not to say that we can’t take on a large study project such as what I’ve described here to keep us focused.

4. Read that Book, Commentary, Journal You’ve Been Putting Off.

If you’re like me, between print and digital, you’ve probably got more books to read than you can realistically get to in your life. Sometimes I buy books thinking I’ll get to them later. Well, now it’s later, and you may finally have the time!

I would also like to point out that we often read reference works like commentaries incorrectly. When I was in college, I was asked to teach a Sunday School class, and this prompted me to purchase my first commentary. It was Judges and Ruth by Arthur E. Cundall and Leon Morris in the Tyndale series. Although I was only teaching Judges, I read both sections of the commentary from beginning to end, and found it quite rewarding! Later, when I went to seminary, I discovered that most people (unfortunately) don’t read commentaries this way. We often consult commentaries a section at a time. But doing so misses out on thematic arcs that are present in books of the Bible as wells as overarching points that a commentator is trying to make. Put your commentary and the biblical text side by side and study both books from beginning to end. Don’t skip the introduction in the commentary either because it sets the stage for everything coming afterwards.

And let me say that the above applies to more than just commentaries. Often journals have themes for individual issues. And if monographs are consulted only as reference, the reader is really missing out. Once I even heard of someone who had read the "Little Kittel" an article at a time devotionally and had eventually worked the entire way through the volume!

5. Transfer All Those Marginal Notes from Your Print Bible to Accordance.

I’ve done this before and found the process quite rewarding. For years, I prized wide-margin print Bibles for writing notes directly adjacent to the biblical text. But realistically, this is very limited because there’s only so much space in the widest margin of a Bible. Fortunately, Accordance provides virtually unlimited “margins” through the use of User Notes. And I’ve actually taken print Bibles and begun the process of retyping previously handwritten notes from a print Bible into Accordance User Notes. The process itself is quite rewarding because it allows re-reflection upon thoughts and insights that seemed important at one time. I’ve even discovered in some cases that I didn’t want to transfer a particular note to Accordance because perhaps I had changed my mind or what I once thought was important now seemed trivial.

6. Take Your Accordance Skills to the Next Level.

How many times have I heard, “I’m pretty sure I’m not using Accordance to its full potential.” If you find that you have some extra time over the next few weeks, check out our webinar schedule, watch some of the videos we’ve posted online, and work systematically through the new Tutorial system in Accordance 13. We’ve designed Accordance with the goal of making your study of the Scriptures more productive. The better you know the program, the better you will be able to engage in serious study of the Bible.

7. Spend Time with Your Loved Ones.

All this extra time to study the Bible will be wasted if you keep it to yourself. If others are present in your household, spend time in discussion instead of just watching the television together. Go on walks and say hello to your neighbors, even if you have to practice social distancing. If you live alone or far away from loved ones, call them on the phone or through video-chat—not just to check on them but to have the meaningful conversations we often had more of in the past before quick texts and social media memes became the norm.


I've often found that I can hear God's voice most clear in the times when I've slowed down--whether by purpose or circumstance. There are lots of opportunities for us to listen for Him now.

2020 will certainly be a year we will remember for the rest of our lives, but it doesn’t have to all be negative. We didn’t ask for this situation, but we can certainly do our best to make the most of the circumstances in which we’ve found ourselves, knowing that Someone greater is still in control.

The LORD is king,
He is robed in grandeur;
the LORD is robed,
He is girded with strength.
The world stands firm;
it cannot be shaken.

(Psalm 93:1, JPS)

What about you? What are your plans for extra time that you may now have? Leave your ideas in the comments—regardless of whether they have anything to do with Accordance or not!

 

Mar 13, 2020 Richard Mansfield

Register NOW for the Spring 2020 Accordance eAcademy

 

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Last year we held our first-ever Accordance eAcademy. This was a series of online workshops—different from our regular weekly webinars—that featured a variety of presenters, including biblical studies authority, Craig Evans. This first eAcademy was so well-received that we’ve decided to make it a regular event. And we’re not even talking once a year, but multiple times throughout the year. And here’s the best part: our next eAcademy on March 24 & 25 is free! That’s right—there is no entrance fee this time around!

This year’s theme is “Students of the Word” and students is being used in the sense of anyone who studies the Scriptures. Our Spring eAcademy will feature guest speakers Dr. Roy Brown and Dr. H. Wayne House. With our guest presenters and others leading workshops, we have over eight sessions on a variety of topics covering all levels of Accordance proficiency. Attendees will have the ability to ask questions and get answers in real time from the presenters in these live presentations.

Want to see the full roster of speakers and subjects? Head over to our Accordance eAcademy 2020 webpage, and sign up for the sessions you want to attend. Remember registration is free, but space is limited. There are no overlapping sessions this time, so sign up for any and all of the workshops while there's still space!

eAcademy Register Now