Accordance Blog
Aug 8, 2016 Accordance Bible Software

UPDATE! Anchor Yale Bible Commentary Series

Anchor-Gen Cover No Accordance Library can be truly complete without the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary! Widely recognized as the flagship of American biblical scholarship, with a tradition of excellence and commitment to advancing biblical understanding in the 21st century, the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary, under the direction of General Editor John J. Collins, vigorously pursues the goal of bringing to a wide audience the most important new ideas, the latest research findings, and the clearest possible analysis of the Bible.

Decades in the making and now in a massive 90-volume collection, the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary is near completion in its coverage of the Old Testament, Intertestamental Books, and New Testament. Contributors come from Jewish, Catholic and Protestant backgrounds, but the project itself is not sponsored by any ecclesiastical organization and does not reflect the theological perspective of any particular faith tradition.

Anchor Revelation

Click/tap image above for a larger view of
the new Anchor commentary on Revelation by Craig R. Koester.

The Anchor Yale Bible is committed to producing commentaries in the tradition established half a century ago by the founders of the series, William Foxwell Albright and David Noel Freedman. It aims to present the best contemporary scholarship in a way that is accessible not only to scholars but also to the educated nonspecialist. Its approach is grounded in exact translation of the ancient languages and an appreciation of the historical and cultural context in which the biblical books were written supplemented by insights from modern methods, such as sociological and literary criticism.

With this release we are adding the following important volumes:

  • Joshua 1-12 by Thomas B. Dozeman (2015)
  • Judges 1-12 by Jack M. Sasson (2014) (currently in preparation; will be added to these modules in a free future update)
  • Ruth by Jeremy Schipper (2016)
  • Revelation by Craig R. Koester (2015)

 

Anchor_set
Anchor-OT
Anchor-NT

Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries:
OT, Apocrypha & NT

(90 volumes)
4 New Volumes!

Buy Now 2List Price $6081
Regular Price $1999

Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries:
OT & Apocrypha

(63 volumes)
3 New Volumes!

Buy Now 2List Price $4113
Regular Price $1499

Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries:
NT

(27 volumes)
1 New Volume!

Buy Now 2List Price $1868
Regular Price $799

 

With so many volumes available in this series, for the first time we are allowing Accordance users to purchase the Old Testament volumes in sections. This will allow gradual acquisition of the entire series in stages for those with limited budgets.

Buy Now 2Genesis through Deuteronomy (9 Volumes)
Regular Price $349


Buy Now 2 Joshua through Esther (15 Volumes) 3 New Volumes
Regular Price $499


Buy Now 2 Job through Song of Songs (8 Volumes)
Regular Price $249


Buy Now 2 Isaiah through Malachi (23 Volumes)
Regular Price $739


Buy Now 2 Apocrypha (8 Volumes)
Regular Price $239

 

Already own Anchor Commentaries? Save Now on Upgrades!

Buy Now 2 Upgrade OT/NT Set from 86 to 90 Volumes
Regular Price $179


Buy Now 2 Upgrade OT Set from 60 to 63 Volumes
Regular Price $129


Buy Now 2 Upgrade NT Set from 26 to 27 Volumes
Regular Price $59.90


 

May 9, 2016 Richard Mansfield

NEW! Pillar Commentary Update

The Pillar New Testament Commentary from Eerdmans, edited by D. A. Carson, has continued to be invaluable reference work for scores of Accordance users. Today we are announcing a significant update to our Pillar volumes in the Accordance Library with the following volumes:

  • The Gospel According to Luke by James R. Edwards
  • Romans by Colin G. Kruse
  • The Second Letter to the Corinthians by Mark Seifrid

Those who had purchased the original Romans volume by the late Leon Morris will still be able to access the older work as well as use it side by side with Kruse’s edition on Romans.

Pillar Luke iPhone-ds

Click/tap on the image above for a larger view of Edwards' commentary on Luke in Accordance Mobile on an iPhone 6s Plus.

The Pillar New Testament Commentary has long had a reputation for serious Evangelical scholarship that is also accessible to the widest audience possible. Scholars, students, pastors and serious laypersons continue to benefit from the research and insights in the Pillar series. Greek and Hebrew words are generally transliterated into English in the main body of the text, and the commentary itself interacts with modern translations as well as the author’s own.

Pillar 2 Corinthians

Click/tap on the image above for a larger view of Seifrid's' commentary on 2 Corinthians in Accordance 11 on a Mac.

Most volumes of the Pillar New Testament Commentary use the New International Version as a base text. Regarding the release of these newest three volumes, Edwards continues to use the 1978 NIV, and Kruse bases his commentary on the more recent 2011 edition. Seifrid takes a departure from the norm by opting to base his commentary primarily on the English Standard Version.

Pillar Romans iPad-ds

Click/tap on the image above for a larger view of Kruse's commentary on Romans in Accordance Mobile on an iPad Pro.

All specialized indexes are included in these volumes, too. For instance, Seifrid’s work on 2 Corinthians includes indexes on the following: Authors, Hebrew Old Testament, Greek Old Testament, New Testament, and Extrabiblical Literature.

Readers can now include all 16 of the current Pillar Commentary volumes in their personal Accordance Library. For those who prefer to have the entire set, upgrades are available from previous purchases. Alternatively, individual volumes are also available.

Pillar NTC-16

Pillar New Testament Commentary
(16 Volumes)

List Price $808
Regular Price $499

Buy Now 2

Upgrade

Upgrades Available


Buy Now 2Upgrade from Release 3
$99.90

 

Buy Now 2Upgrade from Release 2
$279

 

Buy Now 2Upgrade from Release 1
$299

 


 

May 9, 2016 Richard Mansfield

NEW! Additional JPS Commentary Volumes

JPS Torah Commentary For years, both Jewish and Christian Accordance users have benefitted from the JPS Torah Commentary (5 volumes). Last month, in time for Passover, we released the JPS Commentary on the Haggadah. Now we are pleased to announce three more volumes in the JPS Bible Commentary Series for the Accordance Library. Anyone who studies the Old Testament or is engaged in Jewish studies will want to add these titles to their digital shelves.

Already own the JPS Torah Commenary or the JPS Commentary on the Haggadah? Custom Upgrades to all 12 available are available!

Megillot

The Five Scrolls or Five Megillot (חמש מגילות) refer to the books of Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther. The JPS Commentary on the Megillot contains all but Lamentations, which is not yet published. This final installment will be added to Accordance after its release.

The four volumes that are included were written by an internationally recognized team of scholars, all experts on their individual subjects. The volume on Ruth was initially begun by Tikva Frymer-Kensky, who unfortunately passed away before the commentary could be completed. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi completes the volume attempting to use any of the initial author’s notes that were available so as to give her the primary voice of the writing. Other volumes include Adele Berlin’s commentary on Esther, Michael V. Fox on Ecclesiastes, and Michael Fishbane on Song of Songs.

JPS Megillot-ds

Click/tap the image above to see an excerpt of Berlin's JPS Commentary on Esther combined with the Hebrew Bible and JPS w/Strong's in Accordance for Windows.

Those already familiar with the JPS Bible Commentary Series through the five volumes on the Torah will instantly notice a familiar format of introductory material--often with brief essays going into greater depth about the book's theme, history of interpretation and intertextual issues--followed by insightful commentary with gleanings from rabbinic wisdom. Introductions provide not only what one would expect from a professional commentary, but also an exploration of rabbinic traditions on each text.

The commentary itself is extremely accessible as the English translation stands as the primary base with Hebrew phrases transliterated into English. Rabbinic wisdom can be found both in the commentary as well as sometimes in greater detail in the footnotes.

Buy Now 2 JPS Bible Commentary: The Megillot (4 Volumes)
$169


Haftarot

The haftarot (הפטרות) are an ancient part of Hebrew liturgy. These supplemental readings are excerpted from the Prophets (Nevi’im) and accompany each weekly Sabbath reading from the Torah as well as readings for special Sabbaths and festivals.

JPS Haftarot

Click/tap the image above to see an excerpt of Fishbane's JPS Commentary on Haftarot combined with Readings & Prayers for Jewish Worship, the Hebrew Bible and JPS w/Strong's in Accordance for Mac.

In the JPS Commentary on the Haftarot, noted Bible scholar Michael Fishbane introduces each haftarah with an outline and discussion of how that passage conveys its meaning, and he follows it with observations on how it relates to the Torah portion or special occasion. Individual comments, citing classical rabbinic as well as modern commentators, highlight ambiguities and difficulties in the Hebrew text, which appears in concert with the JPS translation. The haftarot are also put into biblical context by a separate overview of all prophetic books (except Jonah) that are excerpted in the haftarah cycle.

Buy Now 2 JPS Bible Commentary: Haftarot
$39.90


Jonah

As with the JPS Commentaries on the Torah and Meggilot, readers will find a familiar format in Uriel Simon’s treatment of Jonah. Simon provides a critical line-by-line commentary of the biblical text, which is presented in its original Hebrew, complete with vocalization and cantillation marks, as well as the JPS English translation. It includes a scholarly introduction, extensive bibliographic and critical notes, and other explanatory material.

JPS Jonah

Click/tap the image above to see an excerpt of Simon's JPS Commentary on Jonah paired with JPS w/Strong's in Accordance Mobile.

More than just giving comment, The JPS Commentary on Jonah also explores theological aspects of the minor prophet (see the section “The Theme of the Book and the History of Its Exegesis” as well as exploring literary aspects and canonical concerns.

Buy Now 2 JPS Bible Commentary: Jonah
$39.90


Haggadah

Last month, in time for Passover, we released the JPS Commentary on the Haggadah. The Passover haggadah enjoys an unrivaled place in Jewish culture, both religious and secular. And of all the classic Jewish books, the haggadah is the one most “alive” today. Jews continue to rewrite, revise, and add to its text, recasting it so that it remains relevant to their lives.

The product features an extended introduction by Tabory, the classic Hebrew haggadah text side by side with its English translation, and Tabory’s clear and insightful critical-historical commentary.

Buy Now 2 JPS Bible Commentary: Haggadah
$39.90


5-Commentary Set

The three new additions of the JPS Bible Commentary Series for the Hebrew Bible can be purchased by themselves at introductory pricing or in a new five-commentary set.

If you already own the JPS Torah Commentary and/or the JPS Commentary on the Haggadah, our Custom Upgrade feature makes certain you never pay twice for titles you already own!

  • JPS Torah Commentary (5 Volumes)
  • JPS Commentary on the Haggadah
  • JPS Bible Commentary : The Megillot (4 Volumes)
  • JPS Bible Commentary: Haftarot
  • JPS Bible Commentary: Jonah

Buy Now 2 JPS 5-Commentary Set
$399


 

Feb 8, 2016 Helen Brown

Updated NICOT and NICNT

NICOT_NICNT

Great news! Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. continues to expand their highly-rated New International Commentary series on the Old and New Testaments. As their website says:

This premier commentary series enjoys a worldwide readership of scholars, pastors, priests, rabbis, and serious Bible students. They eagerly consult its high-quality volumes to inform their preaching, teaching, and academic research, and they warmly welcome each newly published volume as they would an encounter with a stimulating new friend. Through the rigorous yet reverent study contained in these commentary volumes, readers hear afresh the voice of the living God speaking his powerful word.

Please see Darin Allen's earlier blog post on the NICNT and NICOT series in Accordance for a personal view of the value of this series.


Update February 2016

We are happy to add three new volumes to these series.NICOT-Psalms_120

The new NICOT set now comprises 25 volumes and adds:

The Book of Psalms
By Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford, Rolf A. Jacobson, Beth LaNeel Tanner

and

The Book of Judges
By Barry G. Webb

NICNT-1 Corin_120 The new NICNT set comprises only 18 volumes since it now includes the latest edition for each book of the New Testament (except 2 Peter and Jude which has not been published yet). The latest set adds:

The First Epistle to the Corinthians, Revised Edition
By Gordon D. Fee

The four older volumes (now out of print) are still available for individual purchase, as are all the other volumes. The older volumes that were included in our original NICNT and NICNT-18 sets (John, 1Cor, Hebrews, James) will be provided free of charge to owners of those sets so that they can continue to use them in parallel with the new editions.

The previous NICNT2 and NICNT2-3 modules are no longer needed, as the newer editions they contained are now included in the new NICNT18 module.

See the article on NICOT/NICNT for a more detailed listing of current volumes and previous sets.


Upgrades/Crossgrades

If you own any of the earlier sets you can upgrade to the current sets and pay only for the new volumes.

If you have previously purchased these commentaries on a different software platform, please see this page for details of the crossgrade options.


Transferring Highlights

If you have highlighted your present copy of NICNT or NICOT, you can transfer your highlights from the main old module to the new. However, NICNT highlights can only be transferred for the unchanged volumes. Here is a procedure for ensuring that all your highlights are preserved.

  1. Search for any highlights in the older volumes of NICNT-18 or NICNT, and manually reproduce them in the individual modules (optional).
  2. Transfer the highlights from NICNT-18 (or NICNT) to the new NICNT18. You can find instructions in the Help files at: Digging Deeper > Color Highlighting > Transfer Highlights to Updated Modules
  3. Search for any highlights in the NICNT2-3 (or NICNT-2), and manually reproduce them in the relevant volumes of NICNT18 (optional).
  4. Remove the old sets from the Library (NICNT-18, NICNT, NICNT2-3, NICNT-2)

 

Jan 25, 2016 Richard Mansfield

NEW! Fortress Commentary on the Bible

Fortress Commentary Covers with drop shadow These days, any new Bible commentary must find a way to distinguish itself. For those looking at the new Fortress Commentary on the Bible, released today for the Accordance Library, I can happily say that this commentary finds its distinctive place among the many other scholarly treatments of the Bible.

The Fortress Commentary on the Bible, originally published in two volumes in print and comprising around 1750 pages, is written by a broad diversity of scholars from Jewish, Catholic, Protestant and other traditions. Covering the Old Testament, Apocrypha, and New Testament, the Bible is broken up into sense units larger than treatments in traditional multivolume commentaries, and the writers provide information about each passage in answer to the following three questions:

  1. The Text in Its Ancient Context. What did the text probably mean in its original historical and cultural context?

  2. The Text in the Interpretive Tradition. How have centuries of reading and interpreting shaped our understanding of the text?

  3. The Text in Contemporary Discussion. What are the unique challenges and interpretive questions the text addresses for readers and hearers today?

Fortress Commentary screenshot with drop shadow
Click the above image for a full size product illustration

Personally, I appreciate this approach because so many commentaries neglect one or more of these categories. As I’ve stated elsewhere, in recent years those first two questions above have become primary concerns of mine when trying to understand a biblical passage and teach it to others. For my use, I could see turning to the Fortress Commentary first to gain an overview of the above three concerns before moving on to more technical commentaries that may or may not cover the same information.

In addition to covering Ancient Context, Interpretive Tradition, and Contemporary Discussion, the Fortress Commentary offers introduction to sections and books of the Bible as well as a number of articles on understanding and interpreting the Bible in the modern world.

Although originally published in print in two volumes, Accordance users will be glad to know that we have included both in one module. This allows for searching for words and concepts throughout the entire Fortress Commentary at once. Moreover, the Accordance developers have carefully scrutinized the text of the commentary and tagged all content according to one of the following search fields: Reference, Titles, English Content, Scripture, Greek Content, Hebrew Content, Transliteration, Bibliography, Authors, and Page Numbers. This kind of detailed tagging allows the Accordance reader to find the exact information needed quickly and efficiently.

Buy Now 2 Fortress Commentary on the Bible
$110


 

Dec 18, 2015 Richard Mansfield

Why You Should Consider Adding the Ancient Christian Commentary Series to Your Accordance Library

Confession: I used to totally ignore the Early Church’s interpretation of the Bible. I felt that it was pre-critical and not worth paying any attention beyond historical curiosity. I was simply a modernist snob. In the last decade or so, my way of thinking has been changed greatly as I've gained new appreciation for ancient faith and wisdom. Regardless of historical-critical insights, which I still value, I’ve come to appreciate the way the Early Church—those closest to at least the New Testament events—viewed the Bible.

In fact, when I am studying or preparing to preach or teach a passage, as part of my overall process, I first look at two kinds of commentaries before any others. First, I look at background commentaries to try to understand the context and cultural issues associated with the text (I’ll save discussion of this for a later blog post). Second, I look to see how the Early Church interpreted the passage. It doesn’t mean that I have to agree with the interpretation, but I want to see traditional understanding of a passage that is often neglected in modern historical-critical expositions.

ACCS_Gen_1 Years ago, if I wanted to see what the Church Fathers had to say about a biblical text, I had to consult multiple sources, scanning Scripture indexes. That changed with the introduction of editor Thomas C. Oden’s excellent Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (ACCS). These 29 volumes save me hours of time that would be spent scouring multiple sources, thanks to a cross-denominational team of scholars who have done the patristic research for me. With every passage of the Bible, I find the wisdom and insights of dozens of Early Church writers gathered in one place with sources appropriately cited in case I want to read the original context.

ACCS features the voices of nearly 200 individuals and anonymous documents from the first eight centuries of Christianity. Every source is hyperlinked to a section of “Biographical Sketches & Short Descriptions of Select Anonymous Works” which is helpful in keeping these ancient sources separate. Following the biographicsl sketches is a “Timeline of Writers of the Patristic Period” which helps in understanding the chronological context of the ancient contributors.

ACCS

If you don’t already have the Ancient Christian Commentary Series in your Accordance Library, I strongly urge you to consider adding it not only to your selections of commentaries, but also to your steps in preparation as well.

$308

Buy Now 2


Ancient Doctrine Related to ACCS are two other sources I’ll briefly mention. Ancient Christian Doctrine, which originally published in five volumes, is the most thorough examination of the Nicene Creed I’ve ever seen. To get a look at Ancient Christian Doctrine in Accordance, be certain to read Abram Kielsmeier-Jones’ review, "IVP’s 5-Volume Ancient Christian Doctrine in Accordance" at his website.

$199

Buy Now 2


 

Ancient Devotional Finally, as we are close to the beginning of another new year, we often take the time to renew our commitments to reading the Bible. For 2016, why not do something a little bit different by choosing Ancient Christian Devotional (3 volumes) to incorporate readings from the Bible with ancient wisdom from the Church Fathers. Designed as a weekly devotional rather than one for daily use, Ancient Christian Doctrine uses the readings and cycles of the Revised Common Lectionary with commentary from the Early Church. Meet the New Year with the Church Fathers!

$42.90

Buy Now 2


 

Nov 9, 2015 Richard Mansfield

NEW! Life Application Bible Commentary

LABC Hebrews A Commentary for Everyone

New for the Accordance Library, the 17-volume Life Application Bible Commentary (LABC) is one of the best all-around series for pastors, teachers, and laypersons who are simply interested in understanding or communicating the message of the Bible better. Previous knowledge of the Bible is not required for using the LABC, so it is perfect for the person who simply wants to gain practical understanding of the Scriptures. And pastors and teachers will discover illustrations, quotations, and insightful means for communicating the truths of God’s Word in practical terms to a modern audience.

No knowledge of Hebrew or Greek is required for using the LABC for study, but important original language words are sometimes transliterated in English. The commentary primarily uses modern translations such as the NIV, NRSV, and NLT, but interacts with other translations as well, often explaining why some translations differ from others.

A Commentary for the Layperson

Have you ever read a passage from the Bible only to come away thinking, “I just don’t know what any of that has to do with me!” If you have ever expressed that thought, the Life Application Bible Commentary Series is for you. The LABC bridges the gap of the ancient world to the modern context. Imagine one biblical reference source that provides explanation, background, and application for every verse in the New Testament.

A Commentary for Pastors & Teachers

Teaching a class or preaching a sermon? The Life Application Bible Commentary provides teaching notes and sermon ideas that apply biblical principles to the issues of today. Incorporate charts, diagrams, maps, and quotations from famous figures of history into your presentation slides or handouts. Everything in this series is designed to help you understand the Bible and equip you to communicate it to others.

An Example Passage

Take for example the LABC’s treatment of the uncomfortable subject of God’s discipline in Hebrews 12:1-13. The first section connects this chapter to the previous content of Hebrews by offering a thorough summary of what has come before. Hebrews 12:1 is presented from the NKJV with an explanation of the cultural context that the original hearers would have better understood than a modern audience.

Picking up on the idea of “the race that is set before us,” the writer provides “Three aspects to this ‘race’ […] set before all believers” to make a connection to the modern reader. These aspects are presented in three memorable alliterated points of Preparation, Participation, and Perseverance. Each of these three points includes an explanation that interweaves ancient practice with modern experience.

A callout passage that immediately follows the above is titled “Shedding Weight.” This section contains practical action steps for the modern believer:

To run the race set before us, we must train. Long-distance runners work hard to build endurance and strength. On race day, their clothes are lightweight and their bodies lean.

Since shedding “sin weight” is important to your spiritual run, how can you do it:

  • Choose friends who are also committed to the race. Wrong friends will have values and activities that may deter you from the course. Much of your own weight may result from the crowd you run with. Make wise choices.
  • Drop certain activities. That is, for you at this time these may be a weight. Try dropping them for a while; then check the results. If TV consumes precious time, try doing without it. If shopping is your stress relaxer, try something else.
  • Get help for addictions that disable you. If you have a secret “weight” such as pornography, gambling, or alcohol, admit your need and get help today.

Finally, there’s a quotation from Matthew Henry. And all of this is just for one verse of Hebrews 12!

The Accordance Difference

Accordance users will be glad to know that our developers have carefully analyzed the entire content of the Life Application Bible Commentary and have identified the following categories: Reference, Titles, English Content, Scripture, Transliteration, Translation, Bibliography, Quotations, Quoted Authors, Captions, and Table Titles. Such careful tagging of the text allows you to find the exact content you’re looking for quickly and efficiently.

Life Application Bible Commentary screenshot

 

Buy Now 2 Life Application Commentary (17 volumes)
$199

 


 

Jun 6, 2015 Richard Mansfield

Creating Ad Hoc Outlines in Accordance Mobile

Learn how to easily create on-the-fly outlines in Accordance Mobile.

Since the iPad in this video is in portrait mode, we recommend fullscreen viewing.


 

Apr 20, 2015 David Lang

Don’t Neglect the Classics

 

ClassicBooks

I love everything that’s old—old friends, old tunes, old manners, old books, old wine.

—Goldsmith (From Dictionary of Quotations From Ancient
and Modern, English and Foreign Sources
)

 

New, up-to-date commentaries and reference works are important, but older works still have their place. Here are a few reasons you should add old books to your library (followed by a few newly-released old books you should consider).

  1. When we read the biblical text, we are often quick to connect it to our immediate concerns, to focus too quickly on how it applies to the current news cycle or the latest theological controversy. Classic commentaries do not look at the text through those same lenses, so they can (paradoxically) help us to see the text from a fresh perspective.
  2. Classic commentaries also have the advantage of having been written by scholars and clergy whose works have stood the test of time. The fact that they’re still around is an indication that they contain insights which are timeless.
  3. Older works can also prove to be a rich source of sermon illustrations. Your people may well have repeatedly heard that joke or sappy story that’s circulating via the internet, and your use of it can therefore seem stale and outdated. On the other hand, an illustration that is a century old can (again paradoxically) come across as novel and informative. You want your people saying “Wow, I never knew that!” rather than “Yeah, I've heard that one before.”
  4. Finally, classic works are typically a great bargain. If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to expand your library, don’t neglect the classics.

 


Here are some newly released classics I’m really excited about. These works are being offered with introductory specials through April 27, 2015 (11:59pm EDT).


J. C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: A commentary on the gospels by the famous nineteenth century Anglican Bishop, Ryle’s Expository Thoughts were published in seven volumes. Ryle’s aim was to be “plain and pointed,” seizing on “the really leading points of the passage.” It is therefore both succinct and yet deeply devotional.

Ryle-Gospels

Expository Thoughts on the Gospels

List Price $80
Regular Price $39.90

Sale Price $29.90

Buy Now 2

 


A. T. Robertson’s Studies in the Epistle of James: Written by the renowned Baptist scholar who authored Word Pictures in the New Testament and a landmark grammar of New Testament Greek, this commentary demonstrates a depth of grammatical understanding combined with pastoral sensitivity. The commentary offers solid verse-by-verse exposition without getting bogged down in minutia.

Robertson-James

Studies in the Epistle of James

Regular Price $19.90
Sale Price $14.90

Buy Now 2

 

 

Dictionary of Quotations From Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources: I absolutely love this collection of quotations. The compiler’s aim was to select ancient and modern sayings “that seem to reveal an insight into” and “bear pertinently upon” life, literature, speculation, science, art, religion, and morals. Because of this emphasis on wisdom, I find that this collection of quotes contains far less dross than other collections. It’s packed with proverbs and maxims from various nationalities, like the Cornish proverb, “He who will not be ruled by the rudder must be ruled by the rock.” It contains quotes from ancient Greek and Latin authors in the original language as well as in translation. It includes the insights of church fathers and the pithy sayings of modern (prior to the 20th century) writers, politicians, and philosophers. It’s truly a rich vein to be mined.

Wood-Quotations

Dictionary of Quotations

Regular Price $19.90
Sale Price $14.90

Buy Now 2

 

 

Clergymen and Doctors: Curious Facts and Character Sketches: Another rich source of illustrations, this book is a collection of anecdotes about medical doctors and clergymen. Naturally, I find the clergy stories the most interesting. There are stories of famous preachers who dealt comically with sleeping listeners, and others who dealt cleverly with reprobate kings. For example, there is the story of a famous French minister who was told by Louis XIV: “Father, when I hear other preachers, I am very well satisfied with them; when I hear you, I am dissatisfied with myself.” That’s a critique any preacher might aspire to!

Clergymen & Doctors

Clergymen and Doctors

Regular Price $9.90
Sale Price $7.90

Buy Now 2

 


 

Dec 12, 2014 David Lang

Commentaries Go To 11, Part 2

In this series of posts, I’ve been talking about how the newest version of Accordance takes various features and ”turns them up to 11”. My last post discussed how the Info Pane makes it easier to discover which commentaries in your Accordance library actually discuss your current passage. I ended that post by promising to help you arrange your commentaries in the Library to get the most out of the Commentaries section of the Info Pane. Here goes:

How the Info Pane Displays Commentaries: The Info Pane displays your commentaries in the order they appear in your Library, except that it skips any commentaries which do not include a comment on the current verse. For example, let’s say I have an Old Testament commentary like Keil & Delitzsch at the top of my list of commentaries. As long as I am looking at a New Testament verse, Keil & Delitzsch will never appear in the Info Pane. If my first ten commentaries only cover the Old Testament, then my eleventh commentary will be the first to appear in the Info Pane whenever I am studying a New Testament verse.

Recognizing this can help you to arrange your commentaries in such a way that the Info Pane will present you with commentaries you might otherwise overlook. Below is a screenshot of my current system of organization—color-coded so you can see the relationship between the Library and the Info Pane.

OrganizedForInfo

From Narrow to Broad: Prior to the advent of the Info Pane, I tended to organize my commentaries so that those which covered the entire Bible came first, followed by partial or specialized commentaries. The problem with such a broad-to-narrow arrangement is that I never see those partial or specialized commentaries in the Info Pane, since all those complete commentaries appear in the first five, ten, or even fifteen spots. That’s a shame, because we have some really fantastic commentaries which only cover a small portion of the Bible.

For example, Bruce Waltke’s commentary on Genesis has quickly become my favorite commentary on that particular book. Likewise, I love Beale and Carson’s Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, which only covers a specific set of Old and New Testament passages. Since those commentaries will only appear in the Info Pane when they actually cover my current passage, it makes sense to move them toward the top of the list, ahead of all those commentaries that cover the entire Bible and will therefore always show up.

Using Folders: If you group your commentaries into folders, those folders will not show up in the Info Pane, but they will appear in the Library and as submenus in your Commentaries menu. Since I don’t want to scroll past every partial or specialized commentary to get to my mainstays, I created a folder named “Specialized/Partial” to contain them all. I then put that folder near the top of my commentaries for the reasons mentioned above. After that I have other folders grouping my more complete commentaries by type. A folder named “Expository” contains all those commentaries that give you a basic sense of a passage’s meaning without getting bogged down in too many technical discussions. Below that are my “Technical” commentaries: those thick-volumed sets that dig into every jot and tittle of the text. Further down the list I have “Background” commentaries, “Application” commentaries, “Patristic” and “Classic” commentaries, etc. These categories helps me find the commentaries that best suit my purpose at any given time.

Mixing Things Up: There’s one major downside to the way I’ve grouped my commentaries into these categories. In each category, I have a few favorite commentaries, followed by commentaries I don’t use as often. I might do better to add a Favorites folder to contain my favorites from each category. That way, the Info Pane might present me with a better mix of Expository, Technical, and Classic commentaries.

Starting With a Summary: When I’m studying a passage, I try to put off turning to commentaries as long as possible. It’s too easy to begin reading a passage through the lens of a commentary, so I try to wrestle with the passage on my own before consulting one. When I do turn to commentaries, I tend to look for as little help as possible, so I’ll begin with the more general “Expository” commentaries. Only when I am really struggling with an interpretive question will I delve into my more “Technical” commentaries. Because I like to get as little help as possible, I’ve placed Fee and Stuart’s How To Read the Bible Book by Book at the very top of my commentary list. It’s a helpful reader’s guide which gives a brief overview of each passage with hints of literary features to watch for. I often find that is all the help I need. If you don’t have that, you might consider starting with a Bible Handbook or a good set of Study Bible notes.

Speaking of Study Bibles: Study Bibles are basically super-concise commentaries, but they are now automatically placed in a separate Study Bibles folder in the Library. Nevertheless, they will show up in the Info Pane if you display enough commentaries. For me, I have to show about 35 book covers before the first Study Bible will appear. Of course, I could always move a few favorite Study Bibles up so they show up in the Info Pane sooner. I could either move them into the Commentaries folder somewhere, or I could create a Favorites folder that grouped my favorite commentaries and study Bibles together. The new Library gives you that level of flexibility, and the Info Pane offers a strong incentive to prioritize your favorite resources.

Personally, I’m still experimenting with how to organize my commentaries in order to get the most out of the Info Pane. I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful in developing your own system. By optimizing the way commentaries appear in the Info Pane, you can turn your commentaries “up to 11” and experience Bible study that really rocks.