Editors use a variety of brackets in Bibles and Texts to indicate material that is missing, reconstructed, or whose authenticity is in doubt. This podcast surveys the different uses of brackets in Accordance’s most commonly-used texts—and how to adjust for them in searches and statistical analyses.
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The MT-LXX database displays every word of the Hebrew Masoretic text in parallel with its Greek LXX equivalent. Accordance offers two versions of this resource: the interlinear and the parallel. This podcast distinguishes between them and shows how to use both.
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Hebrew text criticism requires working with texts in multiple languages. Fortunately, Accordance Bible Software and its extensive original language resources makes that task easier. Join Dr. J in this episode as he tackles the age-old problem of Deut 32:34-45. Does it prophesy a Day of Judgment, as the Samaritans argue? Or is it a more general promise that God will avenge his people, as found in the Massoretic text? The textual variants in these verses make all the difference.
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Walther Eichrodt (1890-1978) taught at University of Basel (Switzerland) from 1921-1966 where Karl Barth also taught. Previously, he had received his education at Griefswald, Heidelberg and Erlangen where, like Gerhard von Rad, he studied under Otto Procksch. He was a close colleague to Adolf Schlatter with whom he often led Bible conferences.
In 1933, Eichrodt broke with many of his recent teachers and peers by publishing Theology of the Old Testament (now in its 5th edition, 1960), affirming that the Hebrew Scriptures were not a substandard religious document, an idea that was in conflict with the prevailing German cultural mindset of the time. Throughout his life, although he remained a proponent of his contemporary understanding of an evolutionary origin to the Pentateuch as presented in the Documentary Hypothesis, nevertheless, he retained a very reverent view of the biblical text.
For Eichrodt, covenant (Hebrew: בְּרִית/bᵉriyṯ; German: bund) is the central theme of the OT. He defined covenant as God’s self-revelation in choosing people and how they should live (see ch. 2, "The Covenant Relationship" in vol. 1 for much greater detail than my summary here). Eichrodt suggests that covenant involves personal obligation of two parties, but the peculiar thing about biblical covenants was that God obligated himself. God’s covenant was mediated to Israel through charismatic leaders of their religious system. Covenant was so central to later events, that Eichrodt believed Moses and the events at Sinai to be historical, unlike some of his contemporaries at the time. According to him, Israel existed for the covenant, not the reverse. However, Eichrodt never quite reveals his view of exactly what happened at Sinai.
In choosing covenant as a central theme, Gerald Bray has suggested that Eichrodt was able “to uphold the doctrine of divine revelation, and to explain how God had been at work in the history of Israel” (Biblical Interpretation Past & Present, 1996, p. 386). Elaborating on the meaning of covenant, Eichrodt's first explanation focuses on how the covenant delivered through Moses “emphasizes one basic element in the whole Israelite experience of God, namely the factual nature of divine revelation.” Eichrodt explains that “God’s disclosure of himself…[is understood]…as he breaks in on the life of his people in his dealings with them and molds them according to his will that he grants them knowledge of his being.”
For Eichrodt, textual development began with oral tradition. Behind these oral traditions were specific historical events. Then there was a pre-textual reflection on the events which led to the production of the written sources of the Documentary Hypothesis: JEPD. Eichrodt points out that words held more power in ancient times than in contemporary times. He writes of “the cosmic power of God.” For him, the word of God is linked to the Spirit of God.
As stated earlier, Eichrodt held to the central theme of covenant in his theology. Rather than using a book-by-book approach, Eichrodt uses systematic categories to discuss the theology of the OT. Having a central theme gives him a number of benefits. First, it offers an organizing structure to Theology of the Old Testament since everything in the OT must therefore—somehow—be related to covenant. This also allows him to relate very divergent texts to each other because they had the single common element of the covenant connecting them. Second, it stresses the unity of the OT, which could be seen as a work containing multiple sources focused upon the same theme rather than a work of divergent literature that only had nationality as a common element.
Of course, one could ask how to fit the ever-present issue of Wisdom literature to the central-theme approach. How does the Song of Solomon relate specifically to covenant? If Eichrodt focuses on one major theme, how well can he treat divergent themes in Scripture? To be fair, E. A. Martens writes that “Eichrodt did not ignore the diversity others saw in the Old Testament. However, he started with the notion of theological unity. Other scholars since Eichrodt’s time have been more enamored with theological diversity in the Old Testament.”
Regardless of the one's opinion of a one-theme approach for the Old Testament, Eichrodt brought fresh understanding and insight into OT scholarship that arguably can still be wrestled with today. His two volumes on OT theology display not only his ability to communicate well, sometimes even poetically, but also they display his sincere devotion to God.
[Note: this blog post has been adapted from a review of Eichrodt's Old Testament Theology that I wrote a few years ago.]
Dr. Roy E. Gane is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Languages in the Old Testament Department and Director of the Ph.D./Th.D. and M.Th. Programs at the Theological Seminary of Andrews University. Hear Dr. Gane describe his use of Accordance Bible Software for both classroom and personal use. He calls Accordance "the most indispensable tool for everything I do." Regarding other Bible software platforms, Dr. Gane says, "There is no comparison for how intuitive Accordance Bible Software is." Also, don't miss Dr. Gane's praise of the new ETCBC Syntax for the Hebrew Bible in Accordance. You can't miss Dr. Gane's excitement about Accordance. He says that he would never consider doing any serious Bible study without it, and he says that "Every serious student of the Bible--and even the non-serious ones--should get Accordance!"
Dr. Daniel Kim is Assistant Professor of Old Testament and Semitics at Talbot School of Theology. Dr. Kim describes his own use of Accordance for personal study and research as well as his use in the classroom. Hear how he stuns students with Accordance's speed, ease of use, and power for studying and learning Hebrew. This video was filmed in November, 2016, in San Antonio, Texas, at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society.
Have you discovered the ETCBC Hebrew Syntax in Accordance? The ETCBC Advanced database of the Hebrew Bible (formerly known as WIVU database), contains the scholarly text of the Hebrew Bible with linguistic markup developed by the Werkgroep Informatica at the Free University (WIVU) of Amsterdam and edited by Eep Talstra of the Eep Talstra Centre for Bible and Computer (ETCBC).
Check out this short video for an overview (we recommend viewing at full screen in HD).
If you’ve invested the time to learn Hebrew, Accordance is the Bible Software for you! We have a host of Hebrew texts and resources -- and an amazing set of search tools. In this podcast Dr. J covers the five basic kinds of Hebrew searches, modifying those searches with search commands and symbols, and how to type in Hebrew.
Join Abram Kielsmeir-Jones in this webinar recorded on March 2, 2016, as he discusses basic Hebrew resources available for Accordance. This webinar will show the user how to get started with studies in Accordance using the Hebrew Bible, how to do basic Hebrew word studies, how to go deeper with Hebrew word studies and how to save your Workspace for repeated use.
If textual studies are your area of interest, your Accordance Library will not be complete without Emanuel Tov’s Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible and The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research. Together, these volumes leave no stone unturned in looking at manuscript evidence and development of the Hebrew Bible and its first translation, the Septuagint.
What is Textual Criticism? Tov defines it this way:
Textual criticism deals with the nature and origin of all the witnesses of a composition or text, in our case the biblical books. This analysis often involves an attempt to discover the original form of details in a composition, or even of large stretches of text, although what exactly constitutes (an) “original text(s)” is subject to much debate. In the course of this inquiry, attempts are made to describe how the texts were written, changed, and transmitted from one generation to the next [Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, p. 1].
In the image at the left, Tim Jenney ("Dr. J") demonstrates for Emanuel Tov how his books on textual criticism integrate with the Accordance Library.
In the third revised and expanded edition of Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Tov emphasizes the significance of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the impact this had on textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible. And if anyone wants to dismiss textual criticism as a practical exercise, Tov gives significant attention to the impact upon biblical exegesis as well as literary criticism.
Click on the image above for a closer look at Tov's Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible
As the history of the Hebrew Bible and Septuagint are so historically and textually intertwined, The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research (also in its third revised and expanded edition) is invaluable for understanding the development of these two corollary texts. As with his volume on the Hebrew Bible, Tov emphasizes the importance of textual criticism upon exposition and literary analysis. However, for the individual who has not yet discovered how to integrate the Septuagint into biblical research, this volume serves as an excellent introduction for determining how the Hebrew and Greek biblical texts work together.
Click on the image above for a closer look at Tov's The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research
The Accordance Team has analyzed both of Tov’s works on textual criticism with meticulous precision. All content has been tagged according to the following fields for Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible: English Content, Hebrew/Aramaic Content, Greek Content, Transliteration, Manuscripts, Scripture, Bibliography, Table Titles, Captions, Image Credits, and Page Numbers. The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research receives the same kind of careful attention with content assigned these fields: English Content, Scripture, Greek Content, Hebrew Content, Transliteration, Manuscripts, Bibliography and Page Numbers. Such careful tagging of Tov’s works allows the Accordance user to find the exact content needed quickly and efficiently.
Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (3rd Edition) (Tov)
Regular Price $89.90
The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research (3rd Edition) (Tov)
Regular Price $42.90