In expository preaching circles, the name of Dr. Sidney Greidanus has become synonymous with the idea of preaching Christ from the Old Testament. He has been able to put his experience as both pastor and professor to good use in his series of books on Preaching Christ from the Old Testament. We’re pleased to offer his complete series of five volumes for the Accordance Library, beginning today. These volumes may be purchased together as a set or individually.
Greidanus calls the methodology used in his books a “redemptive-historical Christocentric method.” He has developed a 10-step method for going from the biblical text to the sermon. These steps are included in every book. Context and literary features are essential early steps for understanding the passage. That is, Greidanus emphasizes that no passage in the Old Testament can be looked at from a Christocentric perspective before it can be understood in its original setting.
Each of the four volumes on specific Old Testament books are means of giving further concrete explorations of the methods in the first book upon specific writings of the Old Testament. The final volume focuses on the 22 psalms found in The Revised Common Lectionary for reading in Year A of the Christian year. Each chapter of these books walks the reader through the issues related to Greidanus’ 10 steps of sermon preparation. These chapters are not sermons themselves but explorations of methodology related to specific passages. Sample sermons following Greidanus' methods, preached by the author himself at actual churches, can be found in the appendices of the books.
Although initially written for classroom use, Greidanus states that he has preachers, seminary students, and Bible teachers in mind as the target audience of these volumes. Scripture quotations are most often from the New Revised Standard Version.
Preaching Christ from the Old Testament (5 Volumes)
Regular Price $169
Here is a brief overview of the individual volumes.
This is the volume that started it all! When Dr. Greidanus began teaching preaching classes at Calvin College, he wanted to offer a course on Christocentric preaching in the Old Testament. To his surprise, he couldn’t find a suitable textbook; so he wrote his own.
Greidanus outlines an overview of this book in his preface:
We are about to embark on a journey of discovery. Our voyage will take us from the necessity of preaching Christ to the necessity of preaching from the Old Testament (Chapter 1), to the necessity of preaching Christ from the Old Testament (Chapter 2), to the struggles in church history to attain this requirement (Chapters 3 and 4). We expect to learn from the failures as well as the triumphs. Meanwhile, we will have to sort through many fundamental issues on which there is no agreement among contemporary scholars. For example: What do we mean precisely by preaching Christ? Is God-centered preaching of the Old Testament sufficient, or should preachers aim for explicitly Christ-centered sermons? Is the Old Testament a sub-Christian, a pre-Christian, or a Christian book? Should the Old Testament be interpreted in its own context, in the context of the New Testament, or both? Does or does not the Old Testament witness to Christ, and, if so, how? Is typological interpretation in the same league with allegorical interpretation? Is the New Testament use of the [p. xiv] Old Testament normative for preachers today, or is this “precritical” interpretation outdated (Chapter 5)? And how, specifically, does one go about preaching Christ from the Old Testament in a responsible manner (Chapter 6)? We will conclude our journey by suggesting specific steps for moving from Old Testament text to Christian sermon (Chapter 7) and by providing concrete examples of ways of preaching Christ from the Old Testament (Chapter 8).
Preaching Christ from the Old Testament
Regular Price $33.90
From the publisher:
Packed with unique features, Preaching Christ from Genesis
- uses the latest scholarly research to analyze twenty-three Genesis narratives
- presents the rhetorical structures and other literary features of each narrative
- discloses the message for Israel (theme) as well as the author's likely purpose (goal)
- explores various ways of preaching Christ from each narrative
- offers sermon exposition and commentary in oral style
- suggests relevant sermon forms, introductions, and applications
Including helpful appendixes -- "Ten Steps from Text to Sermon," "An Expository Sermon Model," and three of the author's own Genesis sermons -- this volume will be an invaluable resource for preachers and Bible teachers.
Preaching Christ from Genesis
Regular Price $37.90
From the publisher:
A respected expert in both hermeneutics and homiletics, Greidanus does preachers a great service here by providing the foundations for a series of expository sermons on Ecclesiastes. He walks students and preachers through the steps from text to sermon for all of the book's fifteen major literary units, explores various ways to move from Ecclesiastes to Jesus Christ in the New Testament, and offers insightful expositions that help the preacher in sermon production but omit the theoretical and often impractical discussions in many commentaries.
Preaching Christ from Ecclesiastes
Regular Price $29.90
From the publisher:
In Preaching Christ from Daniel Sidney Greidanus shows preachers and teachers how to prepare expository messages from the six narratives and four visions in the book of Daniel. Using the most up-to- date biblical scholarship, Greidanus addresses foundational issues such as the date of composition, the author(s) and original audience of the book, its overall message and goal, and various ways of preaching Christ from Daniel. Throughout his book Greidanus puts front and center God's sovereignty, providence, and coming kingdom.
Preaching Christ from Daniel
Regular Price $33.90
From the publisher:
Beginning with a general introduction on how pastors can interpret and preach from the biblical psalms — and why they should — Greidanus proceeds by discussing twenty-two psalms in the Revised Common Lectionary, Year A, supplying the building blocks necessary to preach from Psalms at Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, and other major days and seasons of the church year. In addition to laying out basic homiletical-theological approaches suitable for each selected psalm, these chapters also provide verse-by-verse exposition, bridges to Christ in the New Testament, and ideas for placing the psalmist's words into contemporary context.
Preaching Christ from the Psalms
Regular Price $39.90
For even more information, check out this review.
This podcast is for the ministry professional: the rabbi, pastor, clergy, or priest who delivers one or more sermons a week. Whether you are self-taught or seminary-trained makes a difference in how you prepare your sermons—and what resources you probably use to do so. Fortunately, Accordance offers resources for both groups, making building your own pastoral library a breeze.
Check out more episodes of the Lighting the Lamp Podcast!
Teachers (and preachers, for that matter) will definitely want to take a look at this week’s new Accordance releases from B&H. We have a commentary, illustration resource, and a guide to pronouncing names and places. All three are available for introductory pricing for a limited time.
This incredibly valuable resource from W. Murray Severance offers pronunciation for over 7,000 names in the Bible, including place names and names of God. Each name includes a phonetic spelling as well as an icon that lets you hear the pronunciation. Some entries have more than one suggested means of saying the name.
Will everyone agree with the pronunciations in this guide? Of course not. Disagreement was anticipated as stated in the introduction:
No two scholars in any field agree 100 percent. In fact, no two persons agree totally on any subject. Differences of opinion are a clear indication of individuality. People don’t think alike, speak alike, look alike, or do anything else exactly alike. The author of this guide recognizes that distinctiveness. He realizes that all of those seeking to pronounce biblical names or terms will not agree with the conclusions set forth in this book. It is a guide, not the final authority. Usage is! Britishers spell the same word differently from Americans. Southerners pronounce words unlike Westerners. Heritage, environment, era, and other factors influence the pronunciation of words in any language.
Most of these are Americanized pronunciations, but whether or not you agree with each particular entry, you will find the resource of tremendous value.
Tip: In Preferences: Amplify, change your English Triple-Click Default to That’s Easy for You to Say. Then links to any applicable entries will appear under the Topics section.
That's Easy for You to Say
Regular Price 14.90
Herschel H. Hobbs, Clyde T. Francisco, Landrum P. Leavell, Wayne E. Ward—growing up Southern Baptist, these were names I regularly saw in Sunday School literature, January Bible studies, and yearly doctrinal studies. These names appear among the 25 writers who contribute to The Teacher’s Bible Commentary, described as “a concise, thorough interpretation of the entire Bible designed especially for Sunday School teachers.”
When first released, The Teacher’s Bible Commentary was the first book of its kind ever prepared with the direct help of Sunday School teachers. This is one of several features that make this a distinctive work. It seeks to answer the actual questions that lay readers have about the meaning of the Bible.
For each section there is first a brief summary of the main content or purpose of the passage. This enables the reader to grasp the meaning of the whole passage quickly. Usually following this is a discussion of special points—problems in the meaning of particular words, concepts, events, customs, and so forth. Finally, for many passages, there is an application to Christian living today.
Whether the contributors to this work are names that are familiar or ones you’re just discovering, The Teacher’s Bible Commentary will prove to be a valuable resource for helping communicate the message of the Bible to your sphere of influence.
The Teacher's Bible Commentary
Regular Price $39.90
As mentioned above, Hershel H. Hobbs was a familiar name during my early Baptist years. He was an incredibly prolific writer, especially when it came to adult Bible study curriculum. He wrote his own commentary on the passages covered in the Baptist adult Sunday School literature, resulting in an additional (and extremely popular) resource to supplement the regular teaching guide. Many valued his quarterly commentary on the Bible so much that they didn’t even bother with the regular adult teachers guide and simply read Hobbs’ comments.
Every good teacher is known for providing memorable illustrations for whatever point is being made—this is a biblical principle if ever there was one! Herschel Hobbs was no exception. His commentary on Sunday School lessons were always rich with examples and illustrations of biblical principles. Back in a day before computers, many Sunday School teachers would save Hobbs' illustrations on index cards and organize them by topic or Scripture reference.
First published in 1990, My Favorite Illustrations collects the best of Herschel Hobbs’ teaching illustrations (anecdotes, quotations, and poems) from his many years of commenting on the Bible. Many works of these kind don’t age well, but as I read through a number of the entries in My Favorite Illustrations, I found them to have a familiar ring but with relevance to many events and situations in today’s world. Regardless of one’s faith tradition, this title will become an essential resource for anyone communicating biblical truth.
My Favorite Illustrations (Hobbs)
Regular Price $14.90
In this previously recorded webinar, David Lang demonstrates how to prepare a Bible lesson using Accordance Bible Software.
Each week, we offer a number of free hour-long webinars on a variety of subject related to using Accordance Bible Software. Join in on a live demonstration regardless of whether you just want to check us out, or if you’re a new user wanting to get up to speed, or even if you’ve been using Accordance for a long time and want to take your Accordance skills to the next level.
Be certain check out upcoming webinars regularly on our webinar schedule page.
Accordance 12 added a new feature called “Paper.” It allows us to allows us to research and write without ever leaving Accordance. Paper is useful for writing sermons, lectures, articles, commentaries, even books. If you write a lot, you’ll find it just makes life easier. Want to know how? Join Dr. J for this comprehensive tour.
See more episodes of Lighting the Lamp on our Podcast Page!
“I’ve tried at least a dozen brands of Bible software and I always come back to Accordance. No other program compares on one particular feature that is a deal-breaker for me—the ability to see multiple translations, in parallel, and to save that workspace for regular use. It’s the best!”
Brandon Cox, Founding Pastor of Grace Hills Church in Northwest Arkansas, and Editor of Rick Warren’s Hugely Popular Pastors.com
This past summer while visiting multiple countries in Asia, I was able to sit in on some local church services. In one of these church services, the pastor—an excellent communicator—used an illustration in his sermon that I had actually heard before. On the positive side, it was an illustration that crossed cultural boundaries. On the downside side, though, it was an illustration that I first heard at least two decades ago.
Some illustrations, of course, are timeless and will always hold great impact for communicating a biblical idea to a modern audience. However, every communicator at one time or another wishes for fresh illustrations. If that’s a thought you often have, you will be very pleased to learn of Jim Wilson’s 6-volume Fresh Illustrations Series.
Click/tap the image above for a larger view of Fresh Illustrations in Accordance 11.
The volumes in the Fresh Illustrations Series are focused by the following topics:
- Volume 1: Forgiveness & Reconciliation
- Volume 2: Family
- Volume 3: Faith, Hope & Love
- Volume 4: Evangelism and Missions
- Volume 5: Sin & Salvation
- Volume 6: Stewardship
These illustrations are based on current events and recognizable people or quotations from popular books and movies. These are not the same old stories that everybody has already heard and repeated a million times. They’ve been described as “hot-off-the-grill fresh.”
Many of the illustrations have links to originating articles on the internet. Illustrations from movies offer suggestions for when to start and stop clips as well as what points to emphasize. Scripture quotations from the Holman Christian Standard Bible related to the theme of the illustration accompany each entry.
As described in the author information, Jim Wilson began preaching at 17 and became a pastor when he was 18. Today, he is the Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program and an Associate Professor of Leadership Formation at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary where he teaches Leadership and Preaching Seminars to DMin Candidates.
Click/tap the image to the right for a larger view of Fresh Illustrations in Accordance Mobile.
Wilson is also an award-winning writer with hundreds of pieces in print in 60+ publications including some published by Christianity Today, Int., Focus on the Family, and Lifeway Christian Resources.
In Accordance, users can instantaneously find the information they need in the Fresh Illustrations Series by searching not only on topics, content, and sources, but by Scripture references as well. Fresh Illustration is an excellent resource to keep in Accordance Mobile for accessing illustrations on the go.
For a limited time, Accordance users can obtain all six volumes in the entire Fresh Illustrations Series at an incredible introductory discount.
Fresh Illustrations (6 Volumes) (Wilson)
Regular Price $39.90
In preaching or teaching settings, good illustrations are essential and with good reason: people tend to remember illustrations easier than other parts of a lesson or sermon. We see illustrations used throughout the Bible, from the Prophets to the teachings of Jesus. An essential part of any communicator’s “toolkit” is a good collection of illustrations, so today we are releasing the much-treasured AMG Illustrations Set comprising 4 volumes of over 4,000 illustrations on every topic from Actions to Worship.
The AMG Illustrations Set contains the following titles, each with over 1,000 illustrations per volume:
- Illustrations of Bible Truths
- A Treasury of Bible Illustrations
- Practical Bible Illustrations from Yesterday and Today
- Heartwarming Bible Illustrations
All of the illustrations were compiled from past issues of Pulpit Helps Magazine, so they have all been collected with the preacher and Bible teacher in mind.
Click/tap the image above for a larger view of the AMG Illustrations Set.
This past weekend, I was teaching from 1 Samuel 18-20 which details the friendship between Jonathan and David. Searching for the topic “friendship,” I found a number of entries, including these two:
“A friend—a true friend—the first person who comes in when the whole world has gone out.”
Friend! What a precious word. Most of us concur wholeheartedly with William Shakespeare who said:
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel.
One of the privileges of friendship is being able to speak frankly. Little by little, and day by day, we become accustomed to saying what we think we ought to say instead of what we really think. How comfortable and how pleasant it is to speak freely without having to be on guard. As the Arabian says, “A friend is one to whom we may pour out the contents of our hearts, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away!”
Another privilege of friendship is that of being understood. Perhaps it was this quality which caused George Eliot to write: “Animals are such agreeable friends. They ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.” Understanding is to be expected of friends. Total agreement and acceptance? Not necessarily! As one anonymous writer has said, “The strength and sweetness of friendship depends on sincerity tempered by sympathy.”
A third privilege of friendship is the privilege of silence. If one is but a mere acquaintance we feel that we must talk. So we turn to such exciting subjects as the weather, our ailments, and our latest surgery. But what a joy it is to have a friend that will even understand your silence and not say, “My friend is not my friend anymore because he is not talking.”
Friends have mutual interests. They enjoy doing the same kinds of things, and talking about their shared interests. That’s why there is such great camaraderie between fishermen, woodworkers, gardeners, authors, etc.
Friends are mutually devoted to each other. When you are in trouble, it is not merely your friend’s duty but his privilege to stand by. If he is in trouble, you count it a privilege to help.
Friendship is this… and a whole lot more. But it causes one to ask, “Are God and I friends?”
Each volume contains both a subject and Scripture index. Of course, because these titles are in Accordance, even the content is fully searchable, allowing the user to find information that may have been missed when the publisher compiled the original indexes.
Bonus Tip: Create a User Group for all of your illustration and quotation titles that allows you to search through all of them at once using the Research tool.
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.
Click/tap the image above for a larger view of
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.
Click/tap the image above for a larger view of
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.
Click/tap the image above for a larger view of
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.