If you regularly teach or preach the Bible, Accordance is an excellent resource for illustrating your content! Any of the graphics in the titles of your personal Accordance library can be legally used in non-commercial, fair-use contexts like the classroom or church setting. This short video demonstrates how to export images from the Accordance Bible Times PhotoMuseum (or any other graphical resource in the Accordance Library) to popular presentation software like PowerPoint and Keynote.
Note: fair use does not include posting images on a website. Permission should be obtained from the copyright holder for this kind of use.
Our release of Accordance Mobile 2.3 in February was a major update that took full advantage of new iOS 9 features. One of the major updates we featured was iOS Split View that allows Accordance to run side-by-side with another app on the devices that can support this.*
In February, I showed off a screenshot of Accordance Mobile on the left and the Mellel word processor on the right. In Mellel, I displayed a paper I wrote years ago for a class (click or tap the image to the right to see a larger view) as a kind of "proof of concept" for how a a user might employ Split View. Using Accordance in Split View with word processing programs such as Mellel and Microsoft Word or note-taking apps like Evernote and Apple’s Notes seemed like a natural combination. And of course, it is.
Just recently, Clay Norwood, pastor of Superior Avenue Baptist Church in Bogalusa, Louisiana, told me of how he uses Accordance and Evernote in Split View for his sermon preparation:
I have really enjoyed doing my commentary work in Accordance using the new split screen feature. It is great having the Scripture text and a commentary open alongside of Evernote. Sections of the commentary that might be useful in outlining or drafting a sermon are easily copied and pasted into Evernote. The iPad Pro (12.9") provides ample screen space for both Accordance and Evernote.
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Clay Norwood's sermon prep in Split View.
Regular readers of the Accordance Blog know that those of us who work for Accordance, perhaps more importantly, are users of Accordance ourselves. In recent weeks, I’ve discovered a couple of other ways that Accordance Mobile can be used in Split View, which I’d like to share with you.
I’ve been using Keynote on an iPad to teach an adult Bible study at my church since 2010. I use Lifeway’s Explore the Bible curriculum and prepare slides each week with content combined from their leader materials and my own study of the passage in Accordance. Keynote has been my teaching tool of choice because, until recently, it was the only presentation tool I could find on the iPad that had a true Presenter View that displayed both the current slide and my teaching notes while projecting the slide alone on the external screen. Last year, Microsoft released PowerPoint for the iPad that also has a Presenter View.
Once Accordance worked in iOS 9’s Split View, I had a thought: What if I could put Accordance in Split View with Keynote? That way I could have access to the biblical text, my personal notes that I’ve added to Accordance, and the Presenter View in Keynote. At first, I had difficulty getting it to work. Although I could get Accordance on the left and Keynote on the right in Split View, I couldn’t get Keynote to project to the screen by itself. Then I decided to switch the side each app was displayed. Voila! It worked once Keynote was on the left. Although I would prefer Accordance to be on the left, Keynote would only project if it was in what iOS considers the primary application pane—the one that is on the left side.
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PowerPoint and Accordance Mobile in Split View.
I decided to see if PowerPoint would do this, too. So, I exported my Keynote file to PowerPoint and it worked like a charm. I also discovered that PowerPoint has a much nicer Presenter View (PowerPoint is shown in the images in this blog post). I hope that Apple will update the Presenter View in Keynote; but if not, I may have to give PowerPoint another try after abandoning it well over a decade ago.
All pastors and teachers should take note of this. This kind of split screen functionality for presentation software is something I cannot replicate on a traditional laptop because going into presentation mode in either Keynote or PowerPoint takes over the entire screen. I can only do this on my iPad. In Keynote or PowerPoint, a pastor could have a sermon text or outline in presenter notes adjacent to the current slide while using Accordance to display a biblical text plus a parallel text, personal notes, or commentary--all on one iPad screen. Classroom teachers could make use of this kind of setup as well.
Speaking of teaching Bible studies, it’s rare that I get to sit in on someone else lead a study, but I so greatly enjoy doing so when I get the chance. A few weeks ago, we were visiting family back home, and I decided to sit in on an old friend’s Bible study class. To my surprise, he was also using Lifeway’s Explore the Bible curriculum. Since I already had all the lessons in PDF format on my iPad in GoodReader, I simply put Accordance on one side of the screen, and the Sunday School lesson on the other side. I was even able to use my Apple Pencil to take a few handwritten notes on the lesson PDF.
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Accordance Mobile and the Bible study lesson in Split View.
This was a bit of a revelation, too. If I were regularly taking part in a class like this, Split View really creates an ideal learning experience. Although the number of iPad models that can support Split View are limited at the moment,* I assume every new iPad released in the future will support it. What a great way for participants in a learning setting to make use of both Accordance and third party curriculum!
What about you? Have you discovered new ways to use Accordance thanks to Split View or other new features in iOS 9? If so, feel free to share them in the comments, or email me at [email protected] along with a screenshot, and perhaps I will feature your idea in a future blog post.
*Note: Currently, Split View is only available on iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, and iPad Mini 4.
Did you know thumbnail images in Accordance Mobile can be viewed fullscreen? Even better, you can export them to use in your teaching and preaching materials! This week's Accordance Mobile Minute shows you how!
This post continues our look at ministers who use Accordance. If you would like to share your story, please email [email protected].
I work full time at a campus ministry on the University of Kentucky campus, where one of my primary roles is teaching, specifically when it comes to the intellectual side of faith. In addition to that, I am also a full time seminary student at Asbury theological seminary. So I use Accordance in 3 primary ways:
Teaching and Preaching
I commonly get students coming to me and asking me questions about certain sections of scripture--Accordance is incredible in these situations. I can quickly access the best commentaries and dictionaries, as well as the original language. This is enormously helpful for the sometimes obscure questions students can ask about a given text.
My routine is this for any teaching or preaching scenario I find myself in for a text: Preaching preparation user tool--I created a user tool full of great quotes and resources to prepare my heart and soul for communication. This includes scripture, prayer, and quotes. I read the text in different translations. I make user notes along the way that include initial thoughts and notes. I put the text in context, clear up any confusions about certain words or themes found in the text. Then I consult commentaries. Using Evernote, I brainstorm a structure for a sermon and do my writing there. Finally, I copy and paste to a user tool.
I use Accordance whenever possible in seminary. Any of my school books available in accordance I purchase there. It's extremely helpful for my original languageand exegesis classes.
I read the Bible every morning on Accordance. I use a combo of the New International Version and New Testament for Everyone (NT Wright) for New Testament study. I use the New English Translation and New American Commentary for Old Testament study.
And I'm currently using GNT and BDAG to read through the Sermon on the Mount. Sometimes I'll also mix in other resources, such as Learning Theology with the Church Fathers.
Lead Staff at Christian Student Fellowship
University of Kentucky
In my previous post, I talked about the Keynote presentation I'm producing to teach a Sunday School class on "Understanding the Old Testament." In that post, I surveyed the Accordance resources I am mining for the content of my Keynote slides. In this post, I want to explain the techniques I use to get Bible text out of Accordance and into Keynote.
Whenever I want to copy some Bible text to paste into Keynote, I do not use the standard Copy command in Accordance. Instead, I use the Copy As Citation command in the Accordance Edit menu. The keyboard shortcut for this command is control-command-C. Copy As Citation will copy whatever Bible text you select and format it however you like. You can have Accordance enclose the copied text in quotation marks, remove superscript characters, include or remove the verse references in the actual text of the citation, and even create a summary reference for the whole citation. For example, in discussing the Sabbath, I wanted to show how the two passages which list the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5) give slightly different reasons for observing the Sabbath. Here's my selection of one of these passages in Accordance:
If I do a standard Copy and paste this text into Keynote, I get this:
Note how this gives the text as I saw it in Accordance, complete with the tabs for the poetic formatting, the superscript footnote markers (which unfortunately have lost their superscript style—it's on our to do list), and the individual verse references which only show the verse number rather than entire reference.
If I Copy As Citation, I get this instead:
Note how the entire passage is shown as a continuous paragraph without all the line breaks and indentations, how the footnote markers and individual verse references have been removed, and how quotation marks and a full, summary reference preceded by a long dash have been added at the end.
How Accordance formats the text when you Copy As Citation is determined by the Citation settings of the Accordance Preferences. Here are my current settings:
You can see that I have opening and closing quotation marks in the Marker fields for the Content, that I have chosen to suppress poetry and hide superscripts, that I am omitting all the verse references within the content, and that I have a long dash appearing before the Citation Reference. That's why Copy As Citation formats the text as you saw in the previous screenshot.
Now, just as I use Copy As Citation rather than the standard Copy in Accordance, when I switch to Keynote I use the Paste and Match Style command rather than the standard Paste. One of the strengths of Keynote is all of its pre-formatted templates. Professional designers have carefully chosen fonts and styles which look right together, and I don't want to mess up that design by pasting in a different font or style from Accordance. By choosing Paste and Match Style, Keynote will ignore the font and style information that got copied from Accordance and will instead match the style of the Keynote template. Here's what I get when I use Paste and Match Style:
The font here is actually pretty close to the one I copied from Accordance, so the difference isn't as obvious as it could be. It is easy to see however that the Keynote template uses a much larger font size than I copied from Accordance. By choosing Paste and Match Style, I can make sure the font, size, and style of text in all my slides remains consistent.
Those are the techniques I use to get properly formatted Bible text from Accordance into my Keynote slides. In my next post, I'll show you a slick way to get images from Accordance into Keynote.
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!
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
Yesterday I told you about the Sunday School class I'm teaching on Bible Study methods using the book of Colossians. I told you about the I See! So What? Hmm… method, and showed how I used a User Notes file as a convenient way to record the class's observations, applications, and questions about Colossians 1:3-8.
The next week we went over Paul's prayer for the Colossians in 1:9-14, and this gave me a great opportunity to talk about one particular kind of observation they should make when studying a passage. You see, when we read these verses, we typically think that Paul is praying for a long series of things: that the Colossians would be "filled with the knowledge of [God's] will," that they would "live a life worthy of the Lord," "bear fruit in every good work," "be strengthened with all power," and "joyfully give thanks to the Father." However, if we look carefully at the grammar and syntax of this passage, we observe that he really only prays for one thing.
Of all the translations I looked at in preparation for the class, the 1984 NIV brought out the structure of the passage most clearly. It reads, "we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding." Note the period. That's the end of Paul's prayer. He then goes on to say, "we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way:". At this point he is merely explaining his reasons for praying that the Colossians would be filled with the knowledge of God's will. His assumption is that if they are so filled, they will live in a way that pleases the Lord.
Now note the colon the NIV places after Paul's reason for his prayer. It is followed by a series of four participles, all of which explain what it looks like to live a life that pleases the Lord. Other translations often break this section up into two or more separate sentences, changing one of the participles to an independent verb to avoid a run-on sentence. Yet in so doing they obscure the relationship between this series of participles and what comes before.
Things get even more interesting in the Greek. When I looked at that, I found that there are indeed four Greek participles, just as the 1984 NIV translates. Yet these participles are organized into three clauses, each of which begins with a prepositional phrase. This latter structure even the 1984 NIV obscures, simply because it would be awkward to translate literally into English. A more wooden translation would read, "in every good work bearing fruit and growing…, with all power being strengthened…, and with joy giving thanks…".
To help my class see these subtle differences in structure, I used the diagram window to do a simple block diagram of the passage as translated by the 1984 NIV, as well as how it might be woodenly translated from the Greek. I also used highlight styles and colors in the diagram to help show the key elements (that is, the participles and prepositional phrases).
This simple combination of highlight styles and a diagram make it easy to see the structure of this passage. The 1984 NIV makes the four Greek participles transparent, and my modification of the NIV brings out the structure of the passage into three clauses beginning with prepositional phrases. After showing this to my class, I pointed out that the phrase "growing in the knowledge of God" is grouped with the prepositional phrase "in every good work." I then asked them to wrestle with the relationship between those two ideas.
My goal here was to show my class how observing grammatical and syntactical details can help them understand a passage, and that this is something they can easily do using a good translation. On the other hand, this passage also gave me a chance to show the benefits of being able to study the original languages. Translations will always obscure the grammar and syntax of the original, which is one reason pastors and scholars study the languages.
I'm obviously trying to walk a fine line with this last point. I don't expect my Sunday School class to go out and learn Greek and Hebrew, and I want them to feel that they can clearly understand the meaning of a passage using a good translation. On the other hand, I want them to see that those who study the languages are not engaging in useless sophistry, but are simply going a little deeper in their study of the Bible.
Whether or not they fully grasped those points remains to be seen, but I felt that the combination of highlighting and diagramming gave me an effective visual aid in trying to make those points as clearly as I could.
For the past few weeks, I've been teaching a Sunday School class on Bible study methods using the book of Colossians. Rather than just giving a series of lectures about the Bible, I want to get people reading the Bible for themselves and learning some basic methods of interpretation.
I started by laying out a bare-bones inductive method: what I call the I See! So What? Hmm… method. The I See! step refers to making simple observations about the text being studied. The So What? refers to deriving simple life applications from the text. The Hmm… is just a reminder that if you have a question you can't answer right now, you should jot it down so you can consider it later on.
In addition to laying out this simple method, I encouraged the people in my Sunday School class to focus on paragraphs rather than verses. I explained that verse breaks, while useful for locating a passage, are not usually the best way to break up a passage of study. Making observations on paragraphs would give them a much better feel for that passage's flow of thought.
To help them see how this method works, I created a User Notes file and added notes to Colossians 1:1 and 1:2. I recorded simple observations, applications, and questions about each verse. I also added notes to the first verse of each paragraph in Colossians 1. In each of those notes, I pasted the headings I See! (Observation):, So What? (Application):, and Hmm… (Question):, with several lines of space between them. I then simply printed the resulting User Notes file and used that as a handout on which they could write their observations on each paragraph.
In class, I projected an Accordance workspace with my preferred translation in one pane and the User Notes file in the other. Like this:
After explaining the method, I had each member of the class write down his or her observations, applications, and questions on Colossians 1:3-8. I gave them about ten minutes to do so, then asked them to share any observations they had made. When the first person shared an observation, I simply began typing it in the User Notes pane. This opened the User Notes Edit window and the entire class could see the observation that was shared. Other members of the class then shared their observations, and I did my best to enter them into the user notes file for everyone to see. We proceeded like this through a number of observations, applications, and questions, with me adding my own comments or prompting them with questions about the passage.
By using the User Notes feature in this way, I was able to encourage class participation and praise them in their own efforts to unpack the passage. The class became less about what I had to teach about Colossians and more about all of us digging into the passage together. And of course, the class brought out aspects of the passage I might never have noticed on my own.
The class was so successful we didn't have time to get beyond verse 8! But that was okay. They had the printed handout I had given them, so I sent them home with the assignment to dig into the next several paragraphs using the I See! So What? Hmm… method. This, of course, is my ultimate goal: to get them studying the Bible for themselves and feeling confident about their own ability to do so.
The simple editability of Accordance User Notes made it easy to transform my Sunday School class from a lecture into a collaborative Bible study, and the ability to print my notes made creating a simple handout incredibly easy.
This is the last in a series of posts on using Accordance's Slide Show feature. Part 1 explored how to set up a workspace with separate tabs for each Bible passage you plan to cover. Part 2 showed how to add a map. Part 3 demonstrated how to add a series of images from a resource like the PhotoGuide. Finally, Part 4 showed how to use the Search All window to search your entire library for just the right graphic. Once all the pieces of your slide show are assembled, all that's left to do is to present it. In this post, I'll explain how to do that.
Remember that the Slide Show feature takes every tab in a workspace and turns it into a separate "slide." The one caveat is that the workspace must have a single zone, so while preparing your workspace, you may need to drag the title bar of one zone into the tab area of another, thus combining all the tabs in a single zone. When finished, your workspace should look something like this:
To start the Slide Show, simply select Slide Show from the Window menu, or use the keyboard shortcut command-option-S. Accordance's palettes, search interface, as well as the OS X dock will all be hidden and the current tab's contents expanded to fill the screen. Like this:
A small slideshow control palette will fade in and out as you mouse over its location at the bottom of the screen. This palette includes buttons to go to the first slide, the previous slide, the next slide, or the last slide. The stop button will stop the Slide Show and return Accordance to normal operation. You can also press the escape key on the keyboard to exit the slide show, or use the command-option-S shortcut again.
In addition to these controls, the Slide Show palette also includes a pop-up menu listing the name of every "slide." You can quickly move to the slide you want, no matter where it appears in the sequence, by selecting its name from this menu.
To make it easier to find the slide you want from this menu, it's always helpful when preparing a slide show to rename tabs to reflect their actual content. You can do that by control- or right-clicking the tab and choosing Active Tab Name… from the Set Tab submenu of the contextual menu.
When in Slide Show mode, the Instant Details box will appear whenever you mouse over an item with more information to display. Thus, when showing Bible text, you can mouse over a word in a Key number Bible to show its Greek or Hebrew equivalent. When showing an Atlas map, you can mouse over any point to show its elevation and coordinates. When you move your mouse off of this kind of content, the Instant Details box will once again fade away.
If you haven't used Accordance's slide show mode in a teaching environment, you really should give it a try. While it does not offer the effects and transitions you get with dedicated presentation software like Keynote, it has the advantage of offering dynamic Bible study-related tools in an attractive, full-screen view.
In this series of posts, I've been relating how I used Accordance's Slide Show feature to teach a Bible study on the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. I began by creating separate workspace tabs for each passage I wanted to read. Next I added a tab with a map showing the location of Mount Carmel and the political boundaries at the time. Then I showed how to add a series of pictures from the PhotoGuide. In this post, I want to show how I did a broader search to find just the right image.
In addition to showing pictures of Mount Carmel from the PhotoGuide, I wanted an image that would show how Mount Carmel receives more annual rainfall than the surrounding areas of Israel. My point was that Elijah chose a site known for its rainfall and lush vegetation for a showdown between the God of Israel and Baal, the Canaanite god of the storm and fertility. In essence, he was giving Baal a kind of "home field advantage."
Hoping to find some map of annual rainfall in Israel, I opened a Search All tab, selected Caption from the Language pop-up menu, and entered "rainfall." Within seconds, I found several such maps, including this one from the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible.
Using methods such as these, I was able to assemble a series of helpful visual aids in a matter of minutes. When it came time to teach the Bible study, I simply chose Slide Show from the Window menu and then accessed each "slide" in turn. I'll show how I did that in my next post.