Accordance Blog
Aug 1, 2013 David Lang

Accordance to Keynote, Part 3

Last month, I began a series of posts on getting information from Accordance into a Keynote presentation. In part 1 of that series, I surveyed some of the resources I've been using most often in my development of a Keynote presentation for teaching Sunday School. Among the resources I highlighted were resources with lots of great visuals like the Carta books which are currently on sale. Now that we've released several titles from Rose Publishing, I'm now using those books as well.

In part 2 of that series, I showed you how to get formatted text from Accordance into Keynote using Copy As Citation in Accordance and Paste and Match Style in Keynote.

In today's post, I want to show you the easy way to get images from Accordance into Keynote.

First, let's look at how to find the right image for your Keynote presentation. Quite often, I'll just go looking in the Accordance Tool module I think is likely to have the image I want. For example, if I'm looking for a classic artistic depiction of a Bible story, I'll just open up Bible Art and turn to the passage in question. If I want an image of a Biblical place, I'll turn to PhotoGuide, or perhaps the American Colony collection. Browsing for images in the most likely places is slower than doing a library-wide search, but sometimes it leads me to stumble across images I hadn't thought to use. So never underestimate the value of browsing—provided, of course, you have the time for it.

Keynote11 When I'm in a hurry, I typically will enter a search term in the Search All field of the Workspace toolbar. By clicking on the magnifying glass at the left of the search field, I can choose to search by Image and confine my search to [All Tools], [Graphics Tools], or any custom group I happen to create. Because simple key word searches are usually lightning fast, I typically search [All Tools].

Right now, I'm teaching through Genesis 3, and I want to find an artistic depiction of Adam and Eve being driven out of the Garden of Eden. If I enter "expel" and hit return, Accordance searches all my tools for any image with some form of the word "expel" in the caption. This returns some results, but when I click on each module in the left panel to see the results in the panel on the right, I find that none of these has the image I want. Changing my search to "expulsion" finds even more results, and after scanning through each module I find two artistic depictions of the expulsion from Eden: one in Bible Art and the other in the Rose Guide to the Temple.


I decide I want to use the depiction by Gustave Doré in Bible Art. To use it, I can simply click the thumbnail in the preview pane of the Search All tab. This will open a Picture window and I can simply choose Copy Picture from the Edit menu (or use the keyboard shortcut command-C) to copy the picture at its full resolution. In Keynote, I would then simply select an image on a picture slide and choose Paste from the Edit menu (or use the keyboard shortcut command-V). This will replace the image I selected with the image I had copied from Accordance.

Another easy way to copy images from Accordance to Keynote is to drag an image thumbnail directly from Accordance onto an image drop zone in Keynote. Unfortunately, this can only be done from a Tool tab; not from the preview panel of the Search All tab. So in this case, where I've used the Search All tab to find an image, I have to take the intermediate step of opening Bible Art in a tab of its own. This is easily done by double-clicking the name Bible Art in the left panel of the Search All tab.


Now I can simply drag the thumbnail in the Bible Art tab over to Keynote and drop it on one of those image drop zones. This will copy the full-size image to Keynote and size it to fit the drop zone.


By using either of these methods, I can very quickly assemble a series of slides with great-looking visuals.


Oct 17, 2012 David Lang

Look for a Word in a Verse in Any Bible

The other day someone posted an interesting question on our user forums:

How would I find in which version of the Bible is "endurance" used in Hebrews 12:1?

In this age of multiple translations, this kind of question is becoming increasingly common. We may have heard a well-known verse in one translation growing up. Then we may attend a congregation which uses a different version of the Bible. We might also learn a worship song that sets that verse to music using yet another translation. The end result of all this is that we become unsure which Bible to consult for a particular wording of a familiar verse. We may even find that the wording we have in our heads is a conflation of two of more different translations.

So how can we search all our English Bibles to find the rendering of a familiar verse which matches the wording inside our heads?

We could enter a key word like "endurance" in the Search All field of the Toolbar, but that would search every verse of every Bible for the word endurance. How then can we narrow the search to a particular verse? Here's the solution a couple of our forum gurus came up with:

First, type the word "endurance" into the Search All field. Then choose the AND command from the Enter Command submenu of the Search menu (or use the keyboard shortcut shift-command-A). Next choose the RANGE command from the Enter Command submenu of the Search menu (or use the keyboard shortcut shift-command-R). Now, replace the selected question mark inside the Range command with Hebrews 12:1. Finally, click the magnifying glass icon inside the Search All field and choose [All Texts] from the menu that appears. This will limit the search to just your Bible texts so that your Tool modules are not searched.


When you hit Return, Accordance will find every Bible which uses the word "endurance" in Hebrews 12:1. These include the HCSB, ESV, NAS95, NKJV, and NLT. You can then compare all those versions to see which has the wording you had in mind.



Jun 26, 2012 David Lang

Tricking the Search All

In my previous post, I used Accordance to show that an internet meme claiming that the Bible has 365 occurrences of "Do not be afraid" is clearly mistaken. First I searched my default Bible using a series of OR commands to account for possible variations in the phrase. Then I used the Search All window to search all my English Bibles. At the end of that post, I pointed out something surprising: several popular English translations (such as the KJV, NRSV, and NASB) did not show up in the search results. I even offered a ten dollar Accordance credit to the first person who could explain why that was. In this post, I want to explain why the search failed for those translations and offer a workaround.

When you search an Accordance resource, the first thing Accordance does is check every word you entered against the word list for that resource. If one of the words is not found in the word list, Accordance will actually present you with the word list so you can pick another word. If you search the NRSV for the search I created in my last post (do not be afraid <OR> don't be afraid <OR> do not fear <OR> don't fear <OR> be not afraid <OR> fear not), you'll see immediately that the NRSV does not include the contraction "don't." Thus, the search as I've constructed it is invalid for the NRSV.


When you perform this search in a Search tab, you get instant feedback that a word you entered is not found, but in the Search All window, it would be irritating to be presented with a word list for each module that did not contain a word in your search argument. The Search All window therefore only returns results for the modules that contain the search terms entered. Thus, any Bible that does not have the word "don't" does not show up in our search results, even though it may contain the other phrases entered.

If you want to make sure this search returns results for those Bibles which do not have "don't" in their word lists, you have to resort to a little trickery. By replacing the "o" in "don't" with an asterisk wildcard, Accordance will accept the search, since these Bibles have plenty of words which begin with "d" and end with "nt" (Accordance ignores the apostrophe). Since words like "descendant" and "different" are not likely to be coupled with "fear" in a single phrase, this broader search returns few if any false hits. It simply satisfies Accordance's requirement that a search term match at least one word in a module's word list. With that requirement satisfied, the Search All will now return results for those Bibles which do not contain the word "don't", including the NRSV, KJV, and NASB.


In my next post, we'll examine this wildcard search more closely and see what, if any, false hits might have been found. Then I'll show you another trick to eliminate even those.


Jun 22, 2012 David Lang

A "Do Not Be Afraid" for Every Day of the Year?


Need a quick way to answer Bible questions all by yourself?

Accordance is Bible study software that is fast, flexible, and fun to use. With Accordance, you can do word studies, access commentaries, even explore an interactive Atlas and Timeline. As you learn more about God’s Word, you can highlight, make your own notes, add stuff to a research “stack”, and even put it all together into a sermon, lesson, or paper.

Try out Accordance for free by downloading our Lite version. Then, check out our various Collections, which are starting points for creating your own personal Bible library that can go wherever you go!

Accordance Bible Software: It’s Simply Brilliant.



InternetMeme1Okay, I admit it! I'm a bit of a skeptic when it comes to information I receive over the internet. In my mind, forwarded e-mails and social media posts which relate exciting, interesting, or shocking "truths" are always guilty until proven innocent by a little fact-checking. I regularly turn to to uncover internet hoaxes, and if I'm sent some fact about the Bible, I try to verify it using Accordance. Such was the case the other day when a friend posted something to Facebook which claimed that the phrase "Do not be afraid" appears 365 times in the Bible: a "daily reminder from God to live every day fearless."


While this is a nice sentiment, I couldn't help but switch to Accordance to see if it was true. I searched my default Bible, the HCSB, for "do not be afraid" and got just 29 hits! That didn't bode well for the internet meme.

Okay, so maybe the HCSB translates this phrase in other ways, such as "don't be afraid" or "do not fear". I added the OR command by using the keyboard shortcut shift-command-O and entered "don't be afraid." Then I added another OR command and typed "do not fear." While I was at it, I also added "don't fear," "be not afraid," and "fear not." Because Accordance accepts any group of words as a phrase, there is no need to enter quotation marks for this search, which now looks like this:


As you can see, even with all these different variations, the HCSB only returned 119 occurrences—far less than the 365 claimed by the internet meme.

Yet before I was ready to declare this myth "busted," I decided to search all my other English Bibles to see if some other translation actually had 365 occurrences of "do not be afraid." The easiest way to do this is simply to right-click (or control-click) the search entry field, then choose the group of modules you want to search from the Search All submenu. I've already predefined a custom group of modules containing my English Bibles, but if you haven't done this, you can simply choose [All Texts].


A Search All window will then open showing each English Bible and the number of times these phrases appear.


As you can see, none of them even comes close to the claimed number of 365 occurrences. I'd say the myth is busted, which either means we can only "live fearless" for about a third of the year, or, as I prefer to think, we don't need the Bible to say it 365 times in order to heed the message every day.

Before I leave this post, however, I want you to notice something about the results of my Search All: many popular translations, such as the KJV, NRSV, and NASB, are not represented at all! I have those Bibles installed, and surely they contain at least one instance of one of these phrases, so why weren't they found by my search?

I'll give you the answer in my next blog post, but in the meantime, I'll award a ten dollar Accordance credit to the first person who leaves a comment correctly explaining why the search failed for these Bibles. Be sure to include your first and last name and e-mail address when you post your comment so we can award you your credit. (Your e-mail address will not be seen by anyone but us.) Good luck, and have a great (dare I say "fearless"?) weekend!

This post is now closed to further comments.

Need a quick way to answer Bible questions all by yourself?

Accordance is Bible study software that is fast, flexible, and fun to use. With Accordance, you can do word studies, access commentaries, even explore an interactive Atlas and Timeline. As you learn more about God’s Word, you can highlight, make your own notes, add stuff to a research “stack”, and even put it all together into a sermon, lesson, or paper.

Try out Accordance for free by downloading our Lite version. Then, check out our various Collections, which are starting points for creating your own personal Bible library that can go wherever you go!

Accordance Bible Software: It’s Simply Brilliant.


Apr 26, 2012 David Lang

Comparing a Verse in All Translations

In yesterday's post, I examined the HCSB's translation of Matthew 6:9. Instead of "Hallowed be thy name," the HCSB has "Your name be honored as holy." In that post, I looked at the underlying Greek and discussed how the traditional rendering, while good in its day, is now a bit misleading to modern readers. I also discussed how our familiarity with the traditional rendering of well-known passages presents a challenge for translators. A few translations dare to improve the rendering of these favorite passages, but many just retain the traditional rendering because readers tend to balk when the wording of these passages is changed.

So which translations have been daring enough to change the traditional rendering of Matthew 6:9, and which have retained it? To find out, I'm going to use Accordance's Search All feature, but before I do, I want to create a custom group containing all of my English Bibles.

To create a custom group of modules, simply select the modules you want in the Library window, then choose [New Group] from the Add to User Group submenu of the Gear menu. A new folder containing all your selected modules will be added to the My Groups section of the Library window, and you can name it whatever you want. I named mine "English Bibles."


Now that I've created this group, I can search all the modules in that group at one time. In this case, I want to search these English Bibles not for a specific word, but for the verse Matthew 6:9. So I'll simply right-click the verse reference for Matthew 6:9 in my main Bible tab and choose the English Bibles group from the Search All submenu of the contextual menu.


This will open a Search All window and find Matthew 6:9 in all my English Bibles. By selecting all those Bibles in the browser pane of the Search All window, I can see how each one renders that verse by scrolling through the results pane.


Of all the English Bibles I have in Accordance, a great many of them use "hallowed be your name," departing from the King James translation only by replacing "thy" with "your." Given the fact that the word "hallowed" has largely fallen out of use, this is somewhat surprising, and it shows how loath most translators are to change an expression which is often recited from memory. It is interesting to note that of the NIV family of translations, only the New International Reader's Version (NIRV) makes a change here; the NIV, TNIV, and NIV11 all stick with "hallowed be your name."

Most of the other renderings of this verse try to bring out the fact that the verb indicates a petition (rather than a merely descriptive statement) by using some helping verb like "let" or "may." Many also try to make the idea of holiness explicit. These include "Your name be honored as holy" (HCSB), "uphold the holiness of your name" (CEB), "may your name be kept holy" (NLT second edition, WEB, CJB, BBE), "let your name be kept holy" (God's Word), "May your holy name be honored" (TEV), "May your name be hallowed" (REB), and "May your name be held holy" (NJB). The idea of God's holiness is probably also behind The Message's much more paraphrastic rendering: "Reveal who you are." A handful of other translations focus more on the idea of reverence and honor than on holiness per se: "may your name be revered" (Mounce), "may your name be honored" (NIRV, NLT first edition, NET), and "help us to honor your name" (CEV).

Right-clicking a verse reference to find it in all your English Bibles is a quick and easy way to make these kinds of comparisons, and doing so can help you better understand different aspects of the verse. Why does Jesus' model prayer include the petition, "Let your name be holy"? If God is holy, then his name is holy, so there is no need to ask for it to become holy. However, not everyone regards it as holy, so the force of the petition is to ask that God's name become universally honored as holy. This understanding accounts for why some translations focus on the concept of holiness while others focus on the need for honor. Skimming these translations reminds us to pay attention to both ideas in our own exegesis of the text.


Feb 22, 2012 David Lang

Finding the Pinnacle of the Temple

On Monday, I recounted a study of Psalm 91 I did with my family last week. During his temptation of Jesus, the devil quoted Psalm 91:11-12, so we also looked at the account of the temptation in Luke 4. There we discovered that the devil was using these verses to tempt Jesus to throw himself down from the "pinnacle of the temple."

Have you ever wondered what the "pinnacle of the temple" is? Here's how to stop wondering and find out: simply select the phrase "pinnacle of the temple," then choose PhotoGuide from the English Tools menu of the Resource palette. (I'm assuming, of course, that you have the PhotoGuide, because, well, why wouldn't you?)

The PhotoGuide shows the probable location of the pinnacle of the temple.

As I explained in a recent post, the value of the PhotoGuide is not just in its vast collection of photos, but in the detailed historical and geographical information it contains. If you want to know something about Jerusalem in general or the temple mount in particular, the PhotoGuide is one of the first places you should turn. Here we can see photos of the southeast corner of the temple mount, which is its highest point above ground level. We also see the model of what that location would have looked like in Jesus' day. The caption also discusses another possible identification of the "pinnacle" and points to another figure in that same article.

If you don't own the PhotoGuide, you could choose any other resource in your Accordance library, or even choose to search all your tools at once. To do the latter, simply select the phrase "pinnacle of the temple," then choose [All Tools] from the Search menu of the Resource palette. A Search All window will open displaying every occurrence of the phrase "pinnacle of the temple" in your entire Accordance library.

A library-wide search for

Now, it's certainly nice to be able to do such a broad search so quickly, but this particular example shows how problematic such searches can be. Browse the results, and you'll see that no Bible dictionary has an article on the pinnacle of the temple. Instead, almost all of the results come from the body text of articles focused on other things, such as the martyrdom of James or the account of Jesus' temptation. Click to read those articles and you'll find interesting information, but not much of it is focused on describing the pinnacle itself.

That's the challenge of library-wide searches: you get the results quickly, but then have to wade through them looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack. It doesn't take long for your Bible study to become bogged down looking for the answer to a simple question like "What is the pinnacle of the temple?"

In this way, it ends up being far more efficient to consult a resource like the PhotoGuide which specializes in illustrating such historical details. Remember to consult it, and you can usually find your answer quickly and get back to your passage of study.


Jan 5, 2012 David Lang

Looking for Resolutions

As a new year begins, many people seek to improve themselves by making New Year's resolutions. Some people see this practice as hopelessly legalistic, while others see it as a helpful spiritual discipline. Whatever your view, if you find yourself discussing the making and keeping of New Year's resolutions, it can be interesting to cull your Accordance library for mention of the word "resolutions."

To do this, open the Search All window and select [All Tools]. The easiest way to do this is to select [All Tools] from the Search drop-down menu of the Resource palette, then enter the word "resolutions" and hit return. In a few seconds every mention of "resolutions" in your library of Accordance tools will be listed for you.

By default, Search All results are sorted by Importance, meaning that hits in article titles will be listed first, followed by hits in the article contents. Sorted this way, we can see right away that the works of Jonathan Edwards, who is famous for his 70 resolutions, appears very close to the top.


As I went through the results, I found that I was more interested in looking in particular kinds of tools, such as collections of quotations, so I changed the sort to Alphabetical. Sure enough, there were a number of good quotes about resolutions in Gathered Gold and Quotations, as well as in the Quotations field of Webster's Dictionary. In addition to those, I found some interesting discussions of resolutions in John Piper's Sermons, the Select Works of John Wesley, the Life Application Study Bible, and the Puritan writer Henry Scougal.

Try doing this search yourself. If you've got a broad library of Accordance modules, you're sure to find some interesting gems.


Jul 22, 2011 David Lang

Group Activities

Yesterday I showed how easy it is to create a custom group of modules using the beefed up library search capabilities of Accordance 9.4. In today's post, I want to show you a few things creating these groups enables you to do.

Open every module in the group: Yesterday I created a group of every module containing books published by Zondervan. Having found all these modules and put them together in a convenient place, I could now just double-click the folder for my Zodervan group in the Library window to open every single module in that group! Each module will be opened in a separate tab, and you can use command-} or command-{ to cycle forward and back through all of those tabs. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with all the modules in a group.

Amplify to a specific module in a group: Let's say I'm reading about the battle of Gibeon in Joshua 10 and I want to read about Gibeon in the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible (ZEB). I can't remember which tool category it belongs to, but I know I put all my Zondervan resources together into a group. So I right- or control-click the word Gibeon in verse 1, then go to the My Groups submenu. As I drill down into the Zondervan group, I get a listing of all those modules. When I select ZEB, it opens right to the article on Gibeon.


Search all modules in a group: Let's say I want to see what all my Zondervan resources have to say about Gibeon. I can simply right- or control-click the word Gibeon, then choose my Zondervan group from the Search All submenu of the contextual menu. This will open up a Search All window and find every occurrence of Gibeon in every module in the group. The Search All window defaults to searching all English language fields, but if I wanted to search for images of Gibeon, I could change the language pop-up menu from English to Caption and re-run the search. That search finds maps and photos of Gibeon from ZIBBCOT, ZEB, Halley's Bible Handbook, and the Archaeological Study Bible.


These are just a few ways organizing your modules into groups can make an immediate difference in your studies.


Jul 18, 2011 David Lang

Finding Relevant Commentaries

Accordance offers a lot of commentaries, and their number is growing all the time. Some commentaries cover a single book, some an entire testament or the whole Bible, and some an odd assortment of books. Series like Pillar, MacArthur, NIGTC, etc. are missing volumes that have not yet been published, and it's hard to remember which of these commentaries includes a volume on Ephesians. Accordance makes it easy to jump from the text of the Bible to a commentary, but how do you know which commentary will have something on that passage?

The simplest way to find out is to select the reference for the passage you're working in, then choose the group of modules you want to search for that verse. For example, if I'm looking at Ephesians 2:10, I can simply double-click the reference to select it. Then I'll click the Search button of the Resource palette and choose the group of modules I want to search. If I haven't created any of my own custom search groups, I would just choose [All Tools], but since I've already created a group containing all my commentaries, I'll choose that.


A Search All window will now open listing every commentary which cites Ephesians 2:10. The default sort order of Importance will place every commentary which has Ephesians 2:10 in its Reference field at the top of the list, so I can see immediately which commentaries actually comment on Ephesians 2:10.


Now I can simply double-click any of the commentaries listed to open them right to Ephesians 2:10.

Another way to accomplish this is to right- or control-click the reference for Ephesians 2:10 in your Bible text, then choose the group you want from the Search All submenu of the contextual menu.



May 9, 2011 David Lang

Dining at the Table of Nations

The other day a user on our forums expressed a desire for a good map showing the distribution of nations described in Genesis 10. The Accordance Bible Atlas does not have a region layer showing what is commonly called the "Table of Nations" or "Family of Nations," so he had two options: (1) create a user layer of the Atlas showing that information, or (2) find an appropriate map image in one of his Accordance tools. Since creating a user layer can involve a fair amount of work, I suggested that he just use Accordance 9's new and improved Search All window to search his library for images of the Table of Nations. To catch either "Table of Nations" or "Family of Nations," I proposed this search: (table, family) of nations. By searching the Captions of All Tools, this search found a map of the Table of Nations in several resources, including ZIBBCOT and The Sacred Bridge.


In those rare instances when our interactive Bible Atlas doesn't include a map you need, don't forget to search your library for appropriate images.