Accordance Blog
Dec 4, 2015 Richard Mansfield

iPad Winner!

iPad Air 2 Congratulations to Pastor David Denbek of Insight for Living for winning our 2015 ETS/SBL 64 GB iPad Air 2 giveaway! David told us that "space gray" was his color of choice. His iPad is being shipped to him this week and should arrive in a few days.

We would like to offer our thanks to everyone who came by our demonstration area on the exhibit floors at this year's Evangelical Theological Society and Society of Biblical Literature meetings in Atlanta. Be on the look out for future offers and event appearances in 2016!


Dec 2, 2015 Richard Mansfield

2015 ETS/SBL Reflections, Part 2

Seven Kinds of Accordance Users

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been participating in the Accordance “discovery space” (see part 1 of my reflections) at the annual Evangelical Theological Society and Society of Biblical Literature meetings for a few years now. And in all this time, I never get tired of meeting and interacting with Accordance users of all kinds. With each year’s conference, I’ve discovered that some Accordance users can fit into a handful of categories, which I’d like to share here. Perhaps you see yourself in one of these groups (don’t worry—they’re all good!).

ETS-SBL booth
  1. The Neophyte. There are actually two kinds of persons who fall into this category. The first kind is the person who has simply never heard of Accordance. Perhaps it’s because for so many years we were Mac-only, but we still have people who will walk past our booth, pause and stare for a few seconds, and then say, “Are you a new company?” Then we can tell them we’ve actually been around since 1994 and invite them to have a seat for an Accordance test drive.

    My favorite kind of Neophyte, though, is the person who is simply new to the idea of Bible software in general. It’s fun to give these folks a basic demonstration of what Accordance can do for their studies and then sit back as the virtual light bulbs begin to go off over their heads as they realize all the time they could save with Accordance as opposed to time-consuming page-flipping in their research.

  2. The Seeker. This is the kind of person who is either frustrated with another Bible software platform or trying to determine which to invest in as a first-time purchase. The seeker always begins with this question: “What’s the difference between Accordance and [other Bible software brand]? I’ve always felt that when given a fair comparison, Accordance stands on its own without having to say anything negative about other companies. My strategy in this kind of situation is to say something positive about that other brand and then simply show off Accordance’s strengths. In these situations, Accordance sells itself.

  3. Tov The Groupie. Some Accordance users just want to come and hang out; and, of course, we welcome that. Accordance has top-level biblical scholars among its users, so the Accordance booth is the place to be at a conference like ETS or SBL. Sometimes, an Accordance Groupie’s eyes will go wide and say, “Oh my—there’s Dr. [Well-Established Biblical Scholar]! I didn’t know s/he used Accordance, too!”

  4. The Challenger. I like to remind people that Accordance is extremely versatile and used by a wide variety of people each day. Occasionally, users who are deep into their research has become stuck because they can’t figure out how to do something. I tell them my first rule is to always assume Accordance can do it—it’s just a matter of figuring out how. When I first started working these conferences, I was intimidated by the idea of the Challenger. What if someone asked me how to do something I don’t know how to do? This actually happens now and then, but it’s not a big deal. All of us demoing Accordance have our own specialties and interests. If I don’t know how to do something, I can bring someone else in to help.

    This year, I didn’t have to get help for the main challenger who sticks out in my mind. I had a user who needed to know whether or not the non-biblical texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls had any connection, or perhaps even influence, on a particular section in Leviticus. This is not a problem for a program like Accordance. Simply narrow down to one section of Leviticus in the Hebrew Bible and run an Infer Search from the Qumran non-biblical manuscripts. This challenger told me he had prayed that I would be able to give him the answer, and fortunately, I could!

  5. The Remediator. Some users who have had Accordance for a while, for whatever reason, forget how to perform certain tasks. Their introductory statement is usually something like, “I’ve had Accordance for a few years, but do you have a few minutes to give me a basic refresher?” We’re happy to do this, of course.

    My favorite Remediator memory has to do with a a well-known biblical scholar a few years back who had been tasked by his publisher with revising his volume a very popular Bible commentary series. He had owned Accordance for a while, and he knew the exact kind of tasks he would need to do as he brought his commentary up to date. I sat with him and was able to show him everything he asked as he hurriedly wrote down notes on everything I showed him. A couple of years later, when his revised commentary was released, I was thrilled to see it available for the Accordance Library; and I even felt like I had been able to make a small anonymous contribution.

  6. The Hungry. This type of Accordance user is immediately recognizable by the questions, “What’s new in Accordance?” This kind of user often knows our software inside and out but is excited to hear about new features or new titles available for the Accordance Library. Although we release new features and new resources all year long, ETS and SBL often become a primary time to “catch up” on what’s new with Accordance. And those of us in the Accordance booth get to show off new features and newly available works.

    ETS-SBL booth 2

  7. The Elder. This is the most exclusive group of Accordance users. I began using Accordance around version 3.x, so I will never be an elder. This group often comes under the guise of being a Challenger or one of the Hungry. Somewhere in the process of talking to them, though, they will will make the statement (with a certain level of reserved modesty), “You know, I’ve been using this software since version 1.” I find myself in awe of these individuals because I wish I had been using Accordance long before I actually discovered it.

    And there’s actually one subgroup of the elders. A very exclusive part of this group will tell you they were handed a copy of Accordance on a floppy disk somewhere between 1992 and 1994, when it was in its initial beta before the first version was released. Even in this early form of the software, these individuals will tell you they knew their biblical studies would never be the same.

So, these are my seven kinds of Accordance users whom I often come across at conferences like ETS or SBL. Do you fall into one of these groups? If so, let us know in the comments!

Tags: ETS , SBL


Nov 27, 2015 Richard Mansfield

2015 ETS/SBL Reflections, Part 1


Creating a space for exploration, learning, and discovery.

I'm sitting in seat 31B at 30,000 feet, iPad Pro (yes, it's really nice) on my knees, reflecting on another successful November marked by the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society and Society of Biblical Literature. We had a great week meeting with longtime Accordance users and introducing new customers to the best Bible software for the serious explorer of the ancient texts.

Now, I should clarify that when I say booth, I mean something that's actually on a far grander scale. Many vendors at these conferences have a booth—a 10 x 10 space usually consisting of a backdrop, long table, maybe a couple of chairs and often lots of physical books and/or informative literature. When we set up our space to demo Accordance, we create an environment for exploration, learning, and discovery.

SBL 2015

The Accordance area actually takes up about four standard booth spaces together in one big square. We bring in multiple tables, chairs, and computers of all kinds. There's a projector running all week, displaying a slideshow of our newest titles and best deals of the year.

We’ve designed an environment made for much more than selling software. Rather, we want to build relationships with our customers--have them sit down and tell us about their research--so that we can help them tailor the incredibly flexible Accordance engine to their specific scholarly pursuits related to biblical studies. The Accordance area is staffed by a dozen or so Accordance professionals--mostly employees, but often a couple of power users, too--who can help users regardless of their questions or needs.

Now, I only began working in the Accordance booth around 2008, so I'm somewhere between rookie and old pro compared to some of my fellow Accordance professionals. Nevertheless, in my time spent demoing Accordance at these two scholarly conferences, I've come to recognize a few common types of individuals who frequent our booth.

In the second part of my 2015 ETS/SBL reflections, to be posted early next week, I'll describe the SEVEN types of Accordance users who frequent our booth. Maybe you'll see yourself in one of these descriptions.

Tags: ETS , SBL


Nov 21, 2015 Richard Mansfield

7 Reasons to Visit AAR/SBL Booth #903

If you're attending the AAR/SBL Meeting in Atlanta, be certain to come by Exhibitor Booth #903 to experience everything new related to Accordance Bible Software! Our booth is humming with activity, and if you haven't had a chance to stop by, don't miss the opportunity to be a part of the excitement!

ETS 2015

Here are SEVEN reasons you should drop everything and come by the Accordance booth right now:

  1. If you've never used Accordance, you need to see it in action!
  2. If you've never purchased Accordance, you can get the incredible Essential Collection for 40% off at the conference!
  3. Whether you purchase Accordance or not, you can register to win a FREE 64 GB iPad Air 2!
  4. Learn about our conference-only discounts, including reduced prices on everything in the catalog!
  5. Come see our new titles for the Accordance Library released only yesterday!
  6. Discover the incredible new features in Accordance 11.1!
  7. Hang out with Accordance employees and fellow users--it's one big celebration going on in booth #903!

See you soon!


Nov 9, 2015 Richard Mansfield

Come See Us at ETS/SBL to Win a 64 GB iPad Air 2!

iPad Giveaway The annual November Bible conferences are fast approaching, and as always, Accordance will be there! These days, thanks to modern technology, attendees at academic conferences no longer have to leave their research tools behind; instead, their libraries travel with them wherever they go!

This year, we're giving away a 64 GB iPad Air 2 so that if you're the winner, you will be able to carry your entire Accordance Library wherever you go in the palm of your hand! The current iPad Air 2 is the most powerful and up-to-date tablet from Apple in this size range. And 64 GB of storage is more than enough space to carry a theological library with you at all times that would rival personal libraries of generations past!

And if you win the iPad, we'll even let you pick the color!

During either conference, simply register for the drawing at our booths (ETS #29 & SBL #903) from November 17-24 or at the Accordance Training Seminar (November 20).

Please, only one entry per registered attendee please.


Nov 5, 2015 Richard Mansfield

FREE Accordance Training Seminar in Atlanta!


Training seminar

If you're planning to be in Atlanta later this month for the meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society or Society of Biblical Literature, consider joining us for a FREE all-day Accordance Training Seminar.

Our seminar will take place on Friday, November 20, from 9 AM to 5 PM. Whether you are a new user or experienced Accordance veteran, come learn how to take your Bible study and research to the next level.

Location for the meeting:

Candler School of Theology at Emory University
Rita Anne Rollins Building, Room #252
1531 Dickey Dr., Atlanta, GA 30322

For more information, including driving directions, please see our Seminars and Shows page.

Although the seminar is free, we do ask that you register at [email protected]. And if you register by Tuesday, November 17, you will qualify for $20 worth of Accordance credit!

Note also that if you live in the area or within driving distance, you do not have to attend ETS or SBL to join us for our seminar.


Apr 3, 2014 David Lang

Throwback Thursday: Demoer and Demoee

In my last Throwback Thursday post, I talked about the development of the very first Tool modules for Accordance 2.0. Although version 2.0 was not yet ready for release in November of 1995, we were planning to offer a preview of all the new features to attendees at the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) in Philadelphia. I did not accompany my employers to ETS, since it was a smaller conference and they could manage the booth without me. I flew in to join them for the start of the larger SBL meeting. I had used that extra time at home to whip out a couple more prototype modules, so I arrived at SBL with some Accordance tools to demonstrate which my employers hadn't even seen yet.

Today when we attend a conference, we bring laptops and relatively portable flat-screen monitors. Back in 1995, laptops were not nearly as ubiquitous as they are today. They were expensive, and they had significant drawbacks such as tiny screens or limited speed compared to desktop computers. Fortunately, airline passengers could check more baggage back then. I had to lug my desktop Mac in one box and my 14-inch CRT monitor in another, along with my suitcase, to the airport and hope it all made it to Philadelphia without getting broken, lost, or stolen. Then I had to schlep all that stuff to the hotel and exhibit hall to get it set up. Once it was all set up, I had to be without my computer for the duration of the show.

At that time, we exhibited Accordance under the auspices of the GRAMCORD Institute, which served as the exclusive distributor of Accordance. Basically, we formed the Macintosh side of the GRAMCORD booth.

I actually found an old photo on the GRAMCORD website of Dr. Rex Koivisto, our associate Greek scholar (right), demonstrating Accordance 2.0 to Frederick Danker (the D in BDAG, center) at that very conference. If you look closely at the background, you can see me seated with my back to the camera, demonstrating Accordance to someone else. This was my very first time demoing Accordance to the public, and it was fun to be able to show scholars and students some of the cool stuff we had been working on.

Today when I demonstrate Accordance at ETS and SBL, I can only show a tiny portion of what Accordance can do. It is therefore rare that we offer a sneak peek at any not-yet-released features. Back then, however, we were the new kid on the block, doing our best to show people Accordance's potential as a Bible study platform. In those early days, we would demonstrate what the current version of Accordance could do, then offer a look at what was coming in the next version.

In the evenings, I got to be part of meetings where we would discuss new feature ideas or new resources we hoped to license, such as the massive Anchor Bible Dictionary. It was all pretty heady stuff for a young kid still in seminary.

One of the most memorable moments of this conference was when I got to tag along to a meeting with a gentleman who had high-resolution atlas data of Israel. As with laptops, such data was far less ubiquitous back then, and this gentleman was looking to establish partnerships to develop computer applications that could utilize his data. This gentleman did not have a booth in the exhibit hall. Instead, he had booked a hotel suite where he was meeting with potential partners. I remember entering his suite and seeing a Silicon Graphics workstation on the desk. Beside it was a large set of goggles. It was in this meeting that I went from the demoer to the demoee. The gentleman handed me the goggles and joked that I should be careful not to drop them, since they cost a substantial amount of money. If I remember correctly, it was somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000. Needless to say, I was very careful not to break them!

Looking through the goggles I saw a three-dimensional image of some portion of Israel. These days I might actually recognize it, but back then it was just an unfamiliar series of hills and valleys. If I remember correctly, it was just a wireframe image, but it was at a resolution that required some serious computing power to generate. Next I was shown a simulated 3D flyover. This was done without the goggles, and I seem to recall that it used actual satellite imagery rather than a mere wireframe. This felt snappier than the wireframe image as well, but that was because it was essentially a pre-rendered animation rather than a 3D image being rendered on the fly. The downside of this was that you couldn't really navigate the flyover to go wherever you wanted; you merely went where the animator had decided to take you.

This was all very cutting-edge stuff, and I must have seemed like a kid in a candy store. Our discussions centered around how we might use this data to provide Mac users with a 3D Bible Atlas. After all, there were far more people with Macs than with graphics workstations. Apple had recently begun incorporating 3D technologies into the Mac operating system, so the possibilities were tantalizing, but we also knew it would be challenging to deliver acceptable 3D performance on a personal computer.

That meeting helped get us thinking about adding an Atlas component to Accordance, but that wouldn't actually happen until Accordance 3.5 was released in July of 1998. I'll tell you the rest of the story behind the Accordance Bible Atlas in a future Throwback Thursday post.

I returned home from that first SBL Conference exhausted but excited about the future of Accordance. At that point I was still only working for Accordance part-time, but I was now officially hooked. I was getting to be a part of the creation of something truly cutting edge, and I had seen how Accordance was changing the lives of its users. Since 1995, I have exhibited Accordance at SBL every year except 1996 (when my second son was born). To this day, I return home from SBL each year both exhausted and excited about the future.

How about you? Were any of you at the 1995 SBL or ETS meetings in Philadelphia? If so, did you stop by for a demo of Accordance?


Dec 3, 2013 David Lang

Thankful for my Remarkable Accordance Family

Last week, we brought our largest team ever to the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). While Accordance is based in Orlando, Florida, many key members of the Accordance team—including trainers, developers, marketing personnel, and associate scholars—are scattered across the United States and even throughout the world. These folks all telecommute really effectively, but we decided to use ETS/SBL as a pretext for getting many of them together in one place. For that reason, we actually brought more people to work the conferences than we really thought we would need.


I was a little worried that with so many hands on deck, we would have Accordance staff standing around our booth with nothing to do, but the Accordance booth was so consistently busy that boredom was never a problem. I did lots of demos to new Accordance customers, many of whom were Windows users excited about finally having access to Accordance without the need for an emulator. The demos I enjoy the most are the ones where a Ph.D. student comes with a specific research need, or a professor comes with a new class they're preparing to teach, and they want to see if Accordance can help them. When they see what Accordance is capable of, it is not uncommon for their jaws to drop, their eyes to light up, or even for them to laugh involuntarily.

One of my favorite things about working the Accordance booth is the way our team of demonstrators works together to meet people's needs. It is quite common for one of us to begin a demo and then get asked a very specialized question: "Can you show me the new Hebrew Masora Thesaurus?"; "Is there a way to do this search using the MT-LXX Parallel?"; "Can you teach me how to create my own custom maps with the Atlas?" If this question is one that could better be answered by someone else on our team, the demonstrator will not hesitate to ask for help. The scholar with the MT-LXX search had three of us working on his problem before we finally came up with a solution, and he left feeling very well taken care of. The thing I love about this dynamic is the complete lack of ego among our team members. No one is afraid to ask for help. No one is tempted to try to fake their way through a demo. Everyone's focus is on finding the solution the customer needs, and I think people leave our booth knowing we truly care about the work they do.


On the last night of SBL, our entire team enjoyed a wonderful company dinner at a restaurant in Baltimore's Little Italy. After dinner, we each said a few words about how we thought the conferences had gone. As I listened to each person's comments, I was struck by the degree to which each speaker was praising other members of the team—including team members who hadn't come to the conference. When someone mentioned that this year's brochure was really helpful, several people began praising the behind-the-scenes team members who had prepared it. When we discussed the excitement among some scholars over our new Masora Thesaurus, we were told about the remarkable scholar who had produced it, and the incredibly talented developer who had compiled the module. I never cease to be amazed at how quick my coworkers are to praise one another.

A few days later, I was back home with my family enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving. Among the things I'm most thankful for is the fact that I get to work with such amazing people who function more like a family than a mere company.


Nov 13, 2012 David Lang

Headed to Milwaukee and Chicago

It's that time of year again! This week the Accordance team will be converging on the cities of Milwaukee and Chicago for the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). While I'll be missing ETS for the first time in many years, I'll head to Chicago later this week to teach an Accordance training seminar and to help out at SBL.

If you'll be at those conferences or in those cities, there are several opportunities to meet Accordance staff and to learn from Accordance experts. Here's a rundown of where we'll be and what we'll be doing:

ETS Conference (Nov. 14-16): Look for us in Exhibit Hall B of the Frontier Airlines Center in Milwaukee. We'll be in booth #238.

Free Training Seminar in Chicago (Nov. 16): On Friday, while the rest of the team is breaking down the ETS booth and driving down to Chicago, I'll be teaching a seminar at Moody Bible Institute. If you're in the Chicago area and would like to attend, we'll be in room 319 of the Sweeting Building from 9 am to 5 pm. As with all our seminars, you're welcome to come and go as your schedule permits. To register for the seminar, e-mail us at seminars(at)accordancebible(dot)com. I hope to see you there.

SBL Conference (Nov. 17-20): You'll find us in Exhibit Hall F2 of the McCormick Place Convention Center’s West Building. We'll be in booth #539. As always, our booth is sure to be both large and extremely active.

The Accordance Booth at SBL 2010

Accordance Reception (Nov. 18): Want to come socialize with us in a more relaxed setting? We'll be hosting a reception in Suite 1879 of the Chicago Hilton from 7:30 to 9:30 pm on Sunday, November 18. Eager young students are finding that this is a great opportunity to network with top scholars—and just think how impressed they'll be that you're already using Accordance!

So there you have it. We have a busy week ahead of us, but it's always fun to put faces to names and help people get the most out of Accordance. If you can join us at any of these events, we look forward to seeing you!


Nov 29, 2010 David Lang

"Trusted by Scholars" Is More Than a Slogan

On every page of the Accordance web-site, you'll see the slogan "Designed for Mac. Trusted by Scholars. Right for You." As anyone who visited our booth at the recent annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) can attest, our claim to be "Trusted by Scholars" is anything but marketing hype.

For years now, the Accordance booth at ETS and SBL has been a hotbed of activity. In fact, we now have other exhibitors telling us they request booth space near us because they know we'll draw traffic past their own booths. We always book a large open booth and pack it with demo stations. At SBL we had no less than eight demo stations and three sales stations, yet even that was sometimes not enough to accommodate everyone.

The Accordance Booth at SBL 2010

Why is the Accordance booth always so busy? I think it's because over the years the scholars who attend those conferences have come to trust us to provide them with cutting-edge features and resources found nowhere else. It's not uncommon to have an Accordance user drag a student or colleague into the booth and tell them, "You've got to see this." Neither is it uncommon to have someone sit down for a demo and say, "I've been following you guys for years, but I've finally got a Mac so I know I need to get Accordance." The scholars and students who enter our booth at ETS and SBL don't need to be convinced of their need for Accordance; they come knowing that Accordance will save them time, advance their research, and aid them in their teaching.

"Trusted by Scholars" is more than just a marketing slogan. It's a reputation for excellence among the users whose needs are the most difficult to satisfy. Judging from the activity at this year's ETS and SBL, that trust remains strong, and we're committed to keeping it so.