Accordance Blog
Mar 24, 2016 Abram Kielsmeier-Jones

Webinar: Basic Biblical Hebrew Studies

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.

Taking part in our free Accordance Webinars is easy. Check out our Webinars page for more information or to sign up. See you online!

 

Feb 15, 2016 Richard Mansfield

NEW! Baker Handbooks on the Old Testament

For the past week, we have discounted our New International Commentary on the Old and New Testaments at our lowest offering ever (if you’re reading this blog post on the day I’m posting it, you have until midnight to take advantage of this phenomenal price). Although not often touted as a feature of the NICOT/NT, the fact remains that unlike many commentary series written by multiple authors, this one is uniformly good throughout. And for years, many Accordance users have benefitted from the first two volumes in the NICOT, which are Victor P. Hamilton’s thorough analysis and commentary on the book of Genesis.

If you’re someone who has benefitted from Hamilton’s NICOT commentary, you will be excited to know that today we are releasing all four volumes of Baker’s Handbook on the Old Testament series for the Accordance Library.

Baker OT Handbooks

Victor P. Hamilton, Professor Emeritus at Asbury University, published the first edition of his Handbook on the Pentateuch in 1982. Now, revised in its second edition, Hamilton’s coverage of the first five books of the Bible is not meant to replicate his verse-by-verse coverage in his NICOT volumes, but does work well as a complementary resource. In his Handbook, Hamilton does include commentary, but there is a greater emphasis on sections and themes and how they tie together. Much like a biblical theology, Hamilton focuses on the many intertextual connections that exist among the component sections of the Old Testament. Every chapter contains a bibliography of related works allowing the reader who wants to study further pursue additional avenues of research.

If you’re one of the many Accordance users who has benefitted from Hamilton’s work on Genesis, you will certainly want to read his treatments that go beyond the first book of the Bible. As he explores Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, Hamilton demonstrates not only his insights and knowledge of these books from a lifetime of study and teaching, he is also able to do so in a manner that is engaging without coming across stuffy or dry. Hamilton writes for the undergraduate- or seminary-level student, or even the serious layperson, who wants to gain a better grasp on the structure and themes of the Old Testament. Hebrew is transliterated, allowing access both to those who have studied biblical languages as well as those who have not.

Baker Handbook Pentateuch
Click or tap on the image above for a closer look at
Hamilton's Handbook on the Pentateuch.

With such a wonderful treatment of the Pentateuch, it would be a shame to stop with just the first five books of the Old Testament. Therefore, in addition to Hamilton’s original volume (now revised in its second edition), the entire Old Testament has now been covered using the same methods and style as in the original volume. Hamilton contributes a second volume to the series with his Handbook on the Historical Books, which begins with Joshua and concludes with Esther. Daniel J. Estes writes the Handbook on the Wisdom Books and Psalms, while Robert B. Chisholm Jr. delivers the Handbook on the Prophets.

Not only will students benefit from Baker’s Handbooks on the Old Testament series, but teachers and pastors will, too. Read the volumes to get a better understanding of the overall structure and thematic elements of a section, or simply read them through to gain greater insights into the Old Testament as a whole.

Baker Handbook Prophets
Click or tap on the image above for a closer look at 
Chisholm's Handbook on the Prophets

Baker’s Handbooks on the Old Testament series can be obtained individually or at greater discount when purchased together.

Baker Handbooks

NEW! Baker Handbooks of the Old Testament Set (4 Volumes)

This set includes the four (4) modules listed below (which are all available individually).

  • Pentateuch
  • Historical Books
  • Wisdom Books and Psalms
  • Prophets

$139

Buy Now 2

Hamilton-Pentateuch

NEW! Handbook on the Pentateuch, 2nd Edition
--
Victor Hamilton

A chapter-by-chapter journey through the Pentateuch, examining the content, structure, and theology with useful commentary on overarching themes and connections between Old Testament texts.

$34.90

Buy Now 2

Hamilton-Historical

NEW! Handbook on the Historical Books
-- Victor Hamilton

Hamilton details the events and implications of each book using rhetorical criticism, inductive Bible study techniques, published scholarship, archaeological data, word studies, and text-critical evidence for Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, Esther.

$37.90

Buy Now 2

 

Estes-Wisdom

NEW! Handbook on the Wisdom Books and Psalms
-- Daniel J. Estes

In this work, Daniel Estes introduces students to the Old Testament poetical books -- Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. Each chapter explores one of the five poetical books. Estes first summarizes some of the book's key issues. He then devotes the main portion of the chapter to an exposition of the book, interacting with major commentaries and recent studies. Each chapter concludes with an extensive bibliography, allowing for further exploration.

$35.90

Buy Now 2

Chisholm-Prophets

NEW! Handbook on the Prophets
-- Robert B. Chisholm Jr.

The prophetic books of the Bible contain some of the most difficult passages in the entire Old Testament and can prove especially confusing for those new to this corpus. Robert Chisholm guides students through the important and often complex writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. Rather than attempting to provide a detailed verse-by-verse commentary, the handbook focuses on the prevailing themes and central messages of the prophetic books.

$36.90

Buy Now 2

 

The Introductory Sale prices listed above are good through Tuesday, February 22, 2016 (11:59 pm EST) and cannot be combined with any other discounts.

 

Jul 16, 2015

Endorsement: Cleotha Robertson

Dr. Cleotha Robertson, Old Testament Professor at Alliance Theological Seminary in New York, discusses his use of Accordance in his studies and in the classroom. He also explains why he recommends Accordance and why it stands "head and shoulders" above other Bible software.

 

Jul 9, 2015 Timothy Jenney

Jonah (Lighting the Lamp Video Podcast #126)

The story of the prophet Jonah is a delight, filled with unexpected twists and turns. In this podcast, we’ll explore the way it turns the tables on its readers. Expecting judgment to fall upon others, we instead find judgement falling upon ourselves. Join Dr. J as he helps us “hear” the story of Jonah as its ancient Israelite audience would have when they heard it for the very first time. [Accordance 11: Study]

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

 

Jan 5, 2015 Richard Mansfield

More than Just Trivia! Old Testament Today

If you want to be your church’s Bible Trivia champ, you have to know your Old Testament: Which books are in the Pentateuch? Who was the left-handed judge? In what year did Samaria fall?

And yet, according to John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill, authors of Old Testament Today: A Journey from Ancient Context to Contemporary Relevance, the Old Testament should be understood as something much greater than a Bible trivia resource. The problem lies with the reality that many people today don’t know how to handle the Old Testament. How should it be understood? How should it be read in relationship to the New Testament?

OTToday

Answering these questions is the goal for Old Testament Today, and the emphasis is really on that word today. Walton and Hill want to move the reader of the Old Testament beyond biblical and historical trivia to greater understanding of the Old Testament’s message and significance for modern readers.

Walton and Hill state in the preface:

Our vision for this book is that we would be able to introduce students to the Old Testament by going beyond basic content to help them know just what they are supposed to do with it and what it is supposed to mean to them. Our hope is that this approach will remedy the all-too-frequent caricature of the Old Testament as little more than endless trivia, irrelevant history, and obscure prophecies only alleviated by some comforting psalms and models for living from the heroes and heroines of the faith. Students will not be overwhelmed by names and dates, but in contrast will be impressed with the way the Old Testament uniquely reveals the God of the universe. They will gain an appreciation for the central importance of this sacred text and in doing so will come to appreciate the literature, theology, and history for the contribution they make and, most of all, the role they play in the greater story of God’s plan for reconciling his creation to himself.

judges To accomplish these goals, Walton and Hill have stressed the coherence of the biblical texts by referring to several layers of the Old Testament’s connectedness:

  1. Each book of the Old Testament is coherent and has an inner connectedness.
  2. There is a connectedness between the books of the Old Testament.
  3. There is a connectedness between the Old Testament and the New Testament that we must understand in order to appreciate either one.
  4. There is a connectedness of believers across the millennia for which the Bible provides a foundation.
  5. There is a connectedness to all the levels of significance as the content serves as the basis for the message and theology, providing the foundation for our appropriation and application of the text’s teaching to our lives.

ImageWord Old Testament Today can be used as a textbook for group study or for personal reading to gain a better understanding of the Old Testament. There are four main sections to the work: The Pentateuch, Old Testament Narrative, Prophets and Prophetic Literature, and Wisdom and Psalms. In addition to going into the depths of each of these types of literature, each section begins with five common factors to understand the connectedness described above: Orientation, Yahweh Focus, Key Verses, Outline and Key Plotline Terms.

There are lots of hidden gems in Old Testament Today such as the appendix providing 150 of the most significant chapters in the Old Testament. That's a three-year plan for your weekly Bible study group right there! A glossary of terms is included so that unfamiliar terms can be easily looked up.

TIP: Add a bookmark for the glossary and leave the Library window open. Anytime you come across an unfamiliar word, you can double-click this bookmark in your Library window. A second tab will appear opened to the glossary, and you won’t lose your place where you were reading.

prophets From a personal perspective I can say that Old Testament Today is my favorite kind of title to have in Accordance. It is graphically rich with hundreds of images, tables, charts and maps. The images have captions, which means that they can be included in image searches in Research. Purchase of this title includes the license to use any of these images, tables, charts and maps in teaching or preaching settings.

Old Testament Today has been prepared for use in Accordance with the following search fields: English Content, Scripture, Transliteration, Bibliography, Captions, Image Credits, Table Titles, Sidebar Titles, Page Numbers.OT Today

Old Testament Today ia available now at the regular price of $39.90.

Buy Now

 

Dec 15, 2014 Richard Mansfield

3 New Releases from InterVarsity Press

We are pleased to announce for Accordance three highly-anticipated and requested titles from InterVarsity Press. The first two titles to mention are the final two volumes in the informally named “Black Dictionary Series.” These volumes on Wisdom, Poetry & Writings as well as the final installment on the Prophets bring IVP’s dictionary series to a total of eight volumes covering all of Scripture.

Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings
Edited by Tremper Longman III & Peter Enns

IVP-WisdomThis volume brings nearly 150 insightful new articles from 90 contributors covering Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Psalms, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Ruth and Esther. As with any of the installments in IVP’s dictionary series, the content of each should really be seen as more than mere dictionary entries. I’ve found the entries actually function more as insightful articles thoroughly covering the subject matter of the volume.

Take, for instance, the entry on “Ethics” by C. H. Bullock in the Wisdom, Poetry & Writings dictionary (I’ve posted a screen capture of a portion of the table of contents window  below, to the right). This outline alone immediately demonstrates the extent of analysis that Bullock gives to the subject and invites the reader in to explore the subject of ethics from its basis in the Image of God to its application in subjects like the Excellent Wife.

Dictionary of Wisdom, ethics article Since I am teaching through Esther at my church right now, I wanted to see what kind of coverage the book (and person) received in this dictionary. Often a Bible dictionary will include at least two articles on a subject such as Esther—one for the book of the Bible and another for the person for whom the book is named. Here, however, I was surprised to see six articles by three different authors treating the following subjects: (1) the book, (2) extrabiblical background, (3) history of interpretation, (4) additions to Esther, (5) Greek versions of Esther, and (6) the person of Esther. In fact, there is this same multiple-article approach to all of the biblical books covered in the Wisdom, Poetry and Writings volume.

The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings is not just a reference tool to be consulted occasionally when wanting to find out more information on the subjects it covers. Rather, it is the kind of book that makes me want to find a comfortable chair and spend some time reading these articles from my iPhone 6 Plus, iPad or a Windows tablet computer.

IVP Wisdom iPhone


Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets
Edited by Mark J. Boda & J. Gordon McConville

 

IVP-Prophets The Prophets volume of IVP’s dictionary series brings to the Bible student 115 new articles from both Jewish and Christian scholars devoted to significant subjects in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and the 12 Minor Prophets. As stated on the publisher’s website, "Each book's historical, cultural, religious and literary background is thoroughly covered, alongside articles on interpretation history and critical method.”

The dictionary covers other important topics, too, such as significant locations in the Prophets such as Babylon, Israel and Zion; and important subjects such as Cosmology, Dead Sea Scrolls and the Day of the Lord. The value of this dictionary series has always been found in the focus of each topic’s coverage that remains primarily under the overall subject umbrella of a particular volume. Therefore, the article on the Messiah by D. G. Firth does not try to trace the subject throughout all of Scripture, but primarily focuses on what is said about the Messiah in the Prophetic writings.

As with all reference works in Accordance, the IVP Dictionary covering the Prophets has been thoroughly tagged according to type of content allowing the reader to perform very specific searches. This volume contains the following specific search fields: Titles, English Content, Scripture, Hebrew Content, Transliteration, Bibliography, Authors, Captions, Table Titles, and Page Numbers.

Although the content of the volume is thoroughly searchable, the Scripture, Subject, and Article indexes have been included, giving the Accordance user access to all content found in the near 1000 pages of the print edition.

IVP OT Prophets screenshot

The Indelible Image: The Theological & Ethical Thought World of the New Testament
Ben Witherington III

Indelible Image Although Witherington initially set out to write a New Testament theology, what makes The Indelible Image different from other similar works is the attempt to keep the ethical dimension of the text intact with the theological message.

As Witherington states in his preface,

"Take the teaching of Jesus, for instance. All those parables, aphorisms, maxims and stories have both a theological and an ethical character, edge and punch line. It seems that Jesus does not want us to talk about belief without also talking about behavior, however uncomfortable that may make us."

In print The Indelible Image has been published in two volumes. The Accordance edition combines both volumes in the same module for easy searching of content throughout the entire title. The content has been carefully analyzed and tagged into one of the following searchable categories: Titles, English Content, Scripture, Greek Content, Transliteration, Manuscripts, Captions and Page Numbers.

Indelible definition As mentioned above, The Indelible Image is made up of two volumes: (1) The Individual Witnesses, and (2) The Collective Witness. Witherington attempts to start by first hearing what is said by the individual authors of the New Testament and Jesus. The second volume attempts to combine these individual voices together.

Witherington says of this approach:

"If this first volume is about closely analyzing the sheet music left to us by which each musician’s part is delineated, the second volume will attempt to re-create what it might have sounded like had they ever gotten together and performed their scores ensemble—to produce a single masterful cantata. Let those who have two good ears listen intently."

When reading reviews of The Indelible Image, the word creative is often used by the reviewer. Witherington has managed to create a serious work that is also a pleasure to read. In other words, this is not a dry, boring survey. His approach reflects his belief that the New Testament contains a message that is both important and relevant to today’s audience after first understanding how it was meant to be received by its original audience.

For one week only (through March 9, 2015), The Indelible Image is on sale for $62.90. For more information on this special pricing, see this sale announcement.

Indelible Image
Click on the above image for a full size product illustration.

 

 

Jul 29, 2014 Helen Brown

Does the New Testament Fulfill the Old?

OT-NT Blog

The relationship between the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the New Testament is immensely important yet often debated. If their relationship seems obvious to you, it may surprise you to learn that different Christian and Jewish groups have very different notions of how the two Testaments relate to each other:

  • Traditional Jewish Interpretation: The Hebrew Bible, together with the oral law later codified in the Mishna, are sacred. The New Testament springs from a sect of Judaism which accepted Jesus as Messiah and later split off from Judaism.
  • Traditional Christian Interpretation (including Reformed): The New Testament is the fulfillment of all the Old, and the Church supplants Israel as the people of God. Laws and promises given to Israel in the Old Testament now apply to the Church in spiritual ways.
  • More recent Christian Interpretation (including Dispensational): The New Testament springs out of the Old, but God works in different ways in each period and what is true of one period does not necessarily apply to another. Laws and promises given to Israel in the Old Testament may not apply to the Church and may still await fulfillment.
  • Messianic Jewish Interpretation: The New Testament reveals the fulfillment of God’s promises in the Old, particularly in the Messiah Jesus. The Old Testament laws and promises still apply to Jewish believers, and many Jewish practices are observed as they were by the first Jewish believers.

In practice most Christians in the West neglect the Hebrew Bible and are not familiar with the Jewish roots and background of their faith, which may limit their understanding of the New Testament.

Of course, there are widely divergent opinions within each group. Our intention is NOT to open up a discussion on our brief definitions or on the merits of each position. Our goal is to help you go deeper in your study of the relationship of the Old to the New Testament. Accordance offers a wide variety of resources from different viewpoints to assist each user to tackle these issues. Many of these are on sale with great discounts for one week only.

Check the Quotations of the Hebrew Bible in the New Testament

The OT in NT Parallel, included in all Mac and Windows versions of Accordance but not on iOS, lets you compare the texts in the original (two versions at once) with their quotations. This under-used resource is best accessed by opening it from the Library: Parallels section and entering the book and chapter you are studying. You can then select each passage in the list in the top right corner, and see the parallels. There are also a number of cross reference modules such as the ESV Crossrefs and the GNT Notes which can be used in parallel with the text to link to other passages relevant to the top verse in the pane.

Understand How the NT Uses and Quotes the OT

NT quotes may differ significantly from the original text as we have it today, and may seem to interpret it very differently from its context. Well-known scholars have authored the following books which help us to understand how the New treats and quotes the Old. These works give us different approaches to the principles of such interpretation, and tackle the passages themselves, and the challenges they present.

Beale-Carson

Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament
-- G. K. Beale, D. A. Carson, authors

Leading evangelical scholars G. K. Beale, D. A. Carson, and their distinguished team of contributors, have produced 1280 pages worth of commentary focused on the Old Testament quotations, allusions, and echoes that appear throughout the New Testament. This landmark reference employs contextual interpretation, informed by historical background, to present a unified understanding of Old Testament references in Matthew through Revelation.

Buy_Now
Only $59.90

Beale-Handbook

Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis and Interpretation
-- G. K. Beale, author

G. K. Beale developed this companion volume to the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament to present a methodological approach to the task of understanding how New Testament writers refer to the Old Testament. Scholars, pastors and serious students will appreciate the solid framework of interpretation and exegesis applied to understanding the continuity of all Scripture.

Buy_Now
Only $14.90

NT Use of OT

Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament
-- Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Darrell L. Bock, Peter Enns, contributors

Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Darrell L. Bock, and Peter Enns discuss how Old Testament texts relate to their New Testament references and allusions, allowing users to develop their own views on this important subject.

Buy_Now
Only $17.90


Read a New Jewish Commentary on the NT

This new Study Bible on the New Testament, written by Jewish scholars, sheds a unique light on the Gospels and Epistles, explaining to Jews what the text means to Christians while at the same time pointing out the Jewish customs and beliefs of the time that are implicit in the writings. Christians will not agree with every conclusion, but they will deepen their grasp of the meanings of the actions and teachings of Jesus and his apostles.

Jewish Annotated NT

The Jewish Annotated New Testament Notes
--Amy-Jill Levine, Marc Z. Brettler, editors

Renowned Jewish scholars Marc Z. Brettler and Amy-Jill Levine created the first ever Jewish Study Bible of the NT, designed to explain the text to Jews and the Jewish background to Christians. Thirty separate essays illuminate important topics for any reader.

Buy_Now
Only $34.90


Explore the Messianic Movement

Standing in the gap between traditional forms of Judaism and Christianity, the controversial Messianic movement attempts to return to the Jewish roots of faith in Jesus as Messiah, as described in the Gospels and book of Acts. The titles below enhance our study of the issues it raises.

Views-Messianic Movement

How Jewish Is Christianity?: 2 Views on Messianic Movement

Six authors interact on whether Messianic congregations are necessary or whether Jewish believers should instead be incorporated into the Gentile church.

Buy_Now
Only $16.90

Messianic Judaism

Introduction to Messianic Judaism: Its Ecclesial Context and Biblical Foundations
--David Rudolph, Joel Willitts, editors

Both Gentile Christian and Messianic readers will benefit from this balanced and accessible introduction to the diverse Messianic Jewish movement, its ecclesial context and biblical foundations.

Buy_Now
Only $26.90

a-bundle

Jewish New Testament Commentary & Complete Jewish Bible with Notes

David Stern revised the 1917 JPS Tanakh and translated the New Testament to show the close connections between the testaments. The commentary answers questions about the NT from his messianic perspective.

Buy_NowJNT Commentary
Only $34.90

Buy_NowComplete Jewish Bible
Only $14.90


Study Classic Works by Hebrew Christians

19th. century scholars from a religious Jewish background brought a new dimension of knowledge to the Christian world. Their understanding of Hebrew and of Jewish life informed and infused all their writings, many of which were widely circulated at the time and are highly regarded to this day.

Keil & Delitzsch

Commentary on the Old Testament
(Keil & Delitzsch) (10 volumes)

A triumph of rigorous scholarship from a Hebrew background, this remains one of the most popular Old Testament commentaries available, especially for in-depth analyses of the Hebrew text. (Included in the Advanced and Ultimate Collections.)

Buy_Now
Only $79.90

Bundle

Edersheim Group

Alfred Edersheim wrote extensively on the Jewish background to Christianity. This group (included in the Ultimate Collection) comprises four of his best known works on OT History, the Life of Christ, Temple worship, and Jewish Life.

Buy_Now
Only $49.90




 

Jun 27, 2013 David Lang

Accordance to Keynote, Part 1

In the probably-bit-off-more-than-I-can-chew department, I've recently begun teaching a Sunday School class on "Understanding the Old Testament." My intention in this class is to give folks a birds' eye view of the Old Testament, exposing them to parts of the Bible they rarely visit and often struggle to understand. To do this effectively, I can't afford to spend a lot of time going into depth on individual passages. So naturally, I've spent the last six weeks or so going through Genesis 1 and 2! At this rate, I may finish when I'm sixty!

My inability to skim the surface aside, I've been preparing a Keynote slide show each week to help focus my class's attention on the main points I want to get across. And since I tend to procrastinate, I'm thankful for great Accordance resources and a few simple tricks that make preparing this slide show a snap!

Keynote1

First, let me talk about some of the resources I'm using.

Bibles: As readers of this blog are probably aware by now, my preferred translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). It offers a good mix of readability and fidelity to the original languages, and is generally unafraid to offer a fresh translation of those well-known passages most translations are unwilling to modify (John 3:16, Psalm 23, Matthew 5-7, etc.). Of course, when I want to bring out an aspect of the text which is made clearer in another translation, I won't hesitate to use it. For example, when I want to bring out the structure of the underlying Hebrew text, I'll generally turn to the English Standard Version (ESV). When I wanted to discuss whether Genesis 1:1 should be translated "In the beginning God created" or "When God began to create", I used the Jewish Publication Society translation (JPS) as an example of the latter rendering.

Keynote2

Finally, while I don't show the underlying Hebrew text to my class, I do use the tagged Hebrew text in my own preparation to teach.

Commentaries: While I'm going into the first three chapters of Genesis in some depth, I am not doing a lot of verse-by-verse exposition. Rather, I'm focusing on bringing out the literary structure of these texts and the way they would have been understood by their original audience. Consequently, I don't often turn to expositional and critical commentaries when preparing for my class. Instead, I tend to go to background commentaries like the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary on the Old Testament (ZIBBCOT) and the IVP Bible Background Commentary on the Old Testament. I once read a review by a New Testament scholar I admire who panned the use of background commentaries because any more traditional commentary worth its salt will usually provide the relevant historical background information. While that's certainly true, the challenge is often finding those nuggets amid all the verse-by-verse exposition. I love these background commentaries because they're focused on the kind of information I most want to bring out.

For much the same reason, I often find myself turning to Study Bible notes before full-blown commentaries. Study Bibles like the ESV Study Bible often have concise but highly relevant information, as well as helpful charts and images that can easily be incorporated into a Keynote presentation.

Graphic Resources: Some of the commentaries and study Bibles already mentioned are a great source for visuals that can be dragged into Keynote slides. ZIBBCOT had a great illustration of the three-tiered cosmology which most ancient peoples assumed to exist, and it made such concepts as water above the sky much easier to explain.

Keynote3

The ESV Study Bible offered a concise chart of the days of forming and filling in Genesis 1 that helped me think through how to structure that particular slide of my presentation.

Another graphic resource I use heavily is The Accordance Gallery of Bible Art. Filled with great classic artistic depictions of various Biblical episodes, I tend to use the images in this tool to illustrate broad concepts and to add visual punch to title slides. While I'm still a little early in the Old Testament to make much use of the Bible Lands PhotoGuide, I did use the view of Israel from atop Mount Nebo to illustrate my slide that talked about the Old Testament being "The Story of a Land."

Keynote4

I likewise used an image of the high priest offering incense from Carta's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem for the slide on the Old Testament as "The Story of Redemption."

Keynote5

While I will turn to other Accordance resources from time to time, this combination of Bibles, background commentaries, study Bibles, and visual resources has served me well in quickly putting together my Keynote presentation each week. In my next post, I'll show you some of the tricks I use to get the information out of Accordance and into Keynote as quickly and painlessly as possible.

 

Sep 6, 2012 David Lang

IVP OT Dictionaries: A Personal Recommendation

IVP-PentateuchCover-sm When we first released the IVP Dictionary of the OT: Pentateuch and IVP Dictionary of the OT: Historical Books in May of this year, I blogged about how useful they are and how excited we were to be able to offer them. Since then, I've found myself turning to these dictionaries more and more in my own research, and I just wanted to offer a quick personal recommendation.

As I've been writing about various aspects of Old Testament narratives—worship practices, pagan religion, daily life, etc.—I've been looking up subjects that are not always easy to get clear information about. Many of these things are shrouded in mystery or clouded in the uncertainty of scholarly debate. General Bible dictionaries tend to focus on what we know for certain, which means they often lack the depth or detail I'm looking for. The larger, more encyclopedic dictionaries offer greater depth and detail, but even the most recent are typically several decades old. If I'm dealing with something that is still being debated or reevaluated in the light on ongoing discoveries, I want the most recent information I can get.

IVP-HistoricalCover-sm

That's where the IVP Old Testament dictionaries have proven really helpful. When I look up Canaan or Baal, for example, I find a concise summary of more recent discoveries and what they mean for the current state of the discussion. It's detailed enough that I feel I can understand and evaluate various arguments, yet concise enough that I don't get bogged down in the scholarly minutiae.

In short, I've been extremely impressed with how helpful these dictionaries are. If you're preaching or teaching through the Pentateuch or Historical Books and you want solid information about the people, places, events, and practices they mention, do yourself a favor and pick up these two dictionaries.

 

May 10, 2012 David Lang

Three New IVP Dictionaries Available

I'm pleased to announce the release of three new Bible Dictionaries from InterVarsity Press: the Dictionary of Major Biblical Interpreters, Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch, and Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books. Each of these ground-breaking dictionaries weighs in at around 1000 pages in print, so carrying all three around would be an exercise in body-building! Loading the Accordance editions on your laptop or iPhone won't do nearly as much for your biceps, but you'll be much more likely to have them available when you need them!

IVP-MajorInterpretersCover-sm The Dictionary of Major Biblical Interpreters introduces you to the principal players in the history of Biblical interpretation, their historical and intellectual contexts, their primary works, their interpretive principles and their broader historical significance. Many of the differences between religious traditions, academic schools of thought, and leading theologians are rooted in the assumptions and interpretive methods these people bring to the Bible. This helpful dictionary enables you to appreciate where these major interpreters were coming from so that you can better understand their conclusions.

The two volumes of the Dictionary of the Old Testament follow the same award-winning formula as IVP’s highly regarded New Testament dictionaries (which have long been available in our IVP Essential Reference Collection). They present you with an accessible summary of current scholarship in the “Pentateuch” (the first five books of the Bible) and the “Historical Books” (Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah). If you've already used IVP's New Testament dictionaries, you already know how useful these Old Testament volumes will prove to be. The wealth of New Testament commentaries and dictionaries make it relatively easy for us to interact with the current state of New Testament scholarship, but when we're studying or preaching through books of the Hebrew Bible it can be much more difficult to find information which is not already out of date. This series of dictionaries fills a much-needed void.IVP-PentateuchCover-sm

For example, I recently read Psalm 110, a Messianic psalm which mentions the priesthood of Melchizedek, an enigmatic figure mentioned in Genesis 14. Psalm 110's mention of Melchizedek later gets used by the author of Hebrews to argue that the priesthood of Christ is greater than that of the levitical priesthood. Since many New Testament dictionaries and commentaries seem to read the Genesis passage through the lens of these later passages, I was curious to see how a dictionary specifically focused on the Pentateuch would approach the subject of Melchizedek. The article on Melchizedek in Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch discusses each aspect of the Genesis description of Melchizedek, then examines how that passage had come to be associated with messianic expectations. It concludes by setting those later interpretations aside to consider the meaning of this passage in its original context of the narratives about Abraham. From there, I decided to see if this dictionary had an article on "Messiah" which specifically focused on messianic expectations in the Pentateuch. I was not disappointed.

Now through May 24, you can get all three of these dictionaries for a special bundle price of just $99.99. Once you've purchased them, they can be downloaded immediately through Easy Install.