Accordance Blog
Feb 17, 2014 David Lang

Can I Just See the Pictures?

Have you noticed that Bible reference books are getting more and more graphically rich? It used to be that even "illustrated" Bible dictionaries only featured a relatively small illustration every twenty pages or so. Today, no doubt prompted by our constant exposure to multiple forms of media, it is rare to see a Bible reference book which does not feature lots of illustrations, charts, tables, and sidebars. In Accordance, we now have lots of graphically rich study Bibles, dictionaries, atlases, and photo collections. In fact, Dr. J recently produced an entire podcast explaining how to purchase and use these resources. If you haven't watched it yet, be sure to check it out.

Now, let's say you purchase one of these graphically-rich modules in Accordance. Once you've installed it, one of the first things you'll want to do is skim through all the images to see which ones really jump out at you. But in a large resource with lots of text—say for example, the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible—scrolling through the entire resource just to see all the pictures would be prohibitively time-consuming. Wouldn't it be nice if you could view only the images and scroll through those?

One obvious way to do this is to click a picture thumbnail to view that image in a large picture window. Then you can click the right and left arrows at the sides of the picture window to view the previous or next image.


The problem with this approach is that you have to click to cycle through each picture, and because the picture window changes to match the size of each image, you likely will need to keep moving the mouse to click the right or left arrow. The problem of the moving arrows can easily be overcome by pressing the right and left arrow keys on your keyboard, but you still have to press a key each time you want to go to the next image.

Here's a trick I use to scroll quickly through all the picture thumbnails of an Accordance tool module:

First, I choose the Captions field in the Tool window search bar, and then I enter ?*. That's a question mark followed by an asterisk, and this combination of search symbols will search for every word in the Captions field.


Now that I've done my search, I can tell Accordance to show me only those paragraphs which contain a search hit, effectively hiding all the other information in the tool. To do this, I simply choose Paragraphs from the Show Text As submenu of the tool's Gear menu.


Voila! My tool window now shows only the captioned images in the tool, and I can simply scroll to skim all of these thumbnails.


I use this trick whenever I'm doing final checks on a tool module prior to its release, but it works just as well for those of you who want to look at all the pictures in your latest Graphics Tool purchase.


Jul 22, 2013 David Lang

Using the MT-LXX Parallel, Part 2

In a previous post, I introduced you to the MT-LXX Parallel, a specialized Reference tool which offers a word-by-word comparison of the Hebrew Bible and the Greek Septuagint. In that post, I showed how to use the MERGE command to piggyback off a search of the tagged Hebrew Bible and tagged Greek Septuagint. This allowed us to search the Hebrew Bible for every occurrence of the lexical form tselem ("image")—no matter what its inflected form—and to see those results displayed in the MT-LXX parallel. We then searched the tagged Septuagint for every occurrence of the Greek lexical form eikon, and used the MERGE command with the MT-LXX parallel to find every place the LXX translates the Hebrew word tselem by some form of the word eikon. The result of that search looked like this:


Now, to explore each of these results in context, I can click the Mark arrows at the bottom of the MT-LXX to jump from one hit to the next. But wouldn't it be quicker if we could just scan the relevant lines of the MT-LXX without having to wade past all the other words? Of course it would! Fortunately, this can easily be done by going to the Gear menu at the top left of the pane containing the MT-LXX and choosing Add Titles from the Show Text As… submenu.


The result looks like this:


Now, to understand what just happened, let's review what the Show Text As… submenu does. When you do a search in a Tool module, Accordance defaults to showing your search results in the context of the entire tool. This is the All Text setting in the Show Text As… submenu. You can, however, choose to show only those Articles or Paragraphs which contain a hit. In the MT-LXX, each verse is an article and each line is a paragraph, so choosing Articles would show each hit verse in its entirety, while choosing Paragraphs would show only the lines containing each hit word. Because showing only the hit paragraphs in a tool is often too concise, you also have the option to Add Titles. This shows the hit paragraphs as well as the titles of the articles in which they appear. In the MT-LXX, choosing Add Titles shows the hit paragraphs together with the verse references.

This more concise view makes it easy to see that there are a couple cases where tselem in the Hebrew column does not have a corresponding eikon in the Septuagint column (or vice versa). In Genesis 1:27, the first instance of tselem is left untranslated, and in Daniel 2:31, eikon is part of a phrase used to translate an entirely different Hebrew word. Why those two "false" hits?


The reason we got those two cases where both words are not found on the same line is that Accordance defaults to looking for words within the same article rather than the same paragraph. For example, if you were to search the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary for Moses <AND> Aaron, you might find a long article where Moses is in the first paragraph and Aaron is in the fifth paragraph. In a tool like MT-LXX where each verse is an article and each line is a paragraph, Accordance's default behavior will find any verse that has tselem in the Hebrew and eikon in the Greek, even if they are on different lines and so do not exactly correspond.

To make this search more accurate, we can refine it by specifying that all words must be found within the same paragraph rather than the same article. To do that, click on the magnifying glass on the left side of the search field. At the bottom of the menu that appears, choose Paragraph.


Then hit Enter to re-run the search.


Here you can see that the false hits have been removed, and we now have only 49 hits rather than 52.

In this post, we've gone a little further in our use of the MT-LXX Parallel to see how you can tweak the display of the search results and how you can specify that the Hebrew and Greek words must appear on the same line. In my next post of this series, we'll go even further.