Accordance Blog
Apr 1, 2019 Richard Mansfield

NEW! The Access Bible

Access Bible - 3D Most study Bibles are aimed at Evangelical readers. Released today for the Accordance Library, The Access Bible (notes) has been a favorite study Bible for “mainline” Christians for a nearly two decades. Now in its second edition, The Access Bible has updated all content of the original but has also added additional essays and introductions.

Here is the publisher’s description of The Access Bible:

The Access Bible has long been the go-to study Bible for mainline Christians looking for insight into and background for the Bible. Designed for the individual reader, it's accessible to new readers but also offers enough depth for those who are already familiar with the texts but want to delve deeper into the culture and context of their authors and origins. A unique feature of the Access Bible is the running commentary which is interspersed with the Bible text. Difficult concepts are clearly explained in terms which everyday readers can easily understand. There's no need to have a dictionary by your side when you're using the Access Bible, Updated Edition. When a technical explanation is required, all of the terms are defined right on the page, as well as in a glossary at the back. History, social contexts, religious practices, the beliefs of ancient peoples-all are explained when the Bible text requires it. In addition, this Bible was designed to contain all the background information needed by believers from a wide spectrum of churches. The Access Bible sets a new standard for ease of understanding.

Access Bible - macOS

Click/tap on the image above for a larger look at The Access Bible notes in Accordance 12.

The Access Bible notes provides commentary and other content on all books of the Hebrew Bible, Apocrypha, and New Testament that are found in the New Revised Standard Version Bible. Don't miss this point, by the way: The Access Bible is one of the few study Bibles that also cover the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books of the Bible. Although the print version of the Access Bible includes the NRSV, Accordance users can place The Access Bible notes in parallel with any biblical text or translation.

The Access Bible
Regular Price $34.90

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Feb 25, 2019 Richard Mansfield

New Study Bibles from OUP!

We are releasing three much-requested study Bible notes today. One is a brand-new release, and the other two are long-awaited updates!

New Oxford Annotated Bible (5th edition)

New Oxford Annotated Bible - 3D Used in more classrooms than any other edition of the Bible, The New Oxford Annotated Bible has set the standard for academic study of the Scriptures through five editions over nearly six decades. The NOAB has consistently remained one of the most-requested titles for the Accordance Library. You won’t currently find the NOAB on any other Bible software platform, in any edition, let alone the new 5th edition released in 2018. No doubt having the NOAB in Accordance will provide new forms of versatility and accessibility for students who will be able to access its contents on any desktop or mobile device.

Accordance’s product page for the NOAB will offer more details on the overall contents of the NOAB. However, for those Accordance users already familiar with previous editions, here are the new additions of the most recent release:

  • Fully revised and updated annotations to reflect the latest biblical scholarship

  • Introductions and extensive annotations for each book

  • Introductory essay on the Apocrypha gives readers an overview that guides more intensive study

  • Maps and diagrams within the text contextualize where events took place and how to understand them

New Oxford Annotated Bible screenshot

Although the print edition of The New Oxford Annotated Bible includes the NRSV, it is not included in the Accordance edition. However, Accordance users can pair the NOAB with any text or translation of the Bible they choose. Introductory pricing is available for a limited time.

The New Oxford Annotated Bible
Regular Price $34.90

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The Jewish Study Bible (2nd edition)

Jewish Study Bible, 2nd ed. - 3D The first edition of The Jewish Study Bible was remarkable for bringing together multiple Jewish schools of interpretation of the TaNaKh, written by over 40 world-renown biblical scholars in the Jewish tradition. We are pleased to announce the release of the second edition of the JSB, available today for the Accordance Library. With the JSB becoming a favorite resource of both Jewish and non-Jewish Accordance users, the second edition of the JSB has been a repeated request for some time.

Those who are already familiar with the JSB will be interested to note the new features in the second edition:

  • Over two dozen new and updated essays

  • Updated annotations for nearly the entire Bible

  • Informative essays that address a wide variety of topics relating to Judaism's use and interpretation of the Bible throughout the ages

  • Section and book introductions that deliver insights into the background, structure, and meaning of the text

  • Running commentary beside the biblical text that provides in-depth theological interpretation

  • Features the Jewish Publication Society TANAKH translation

  • Full-color Oxford Bible maps

  • Verse and chapter differences between the Hebrew text and many English translations

  • Table of Scriptural readings for synagogue use

  • Glossary of technical terms

Jewish Study Bible, 2nd ed. - screenshot iOS

Both introductory and upgrade pricing are available for this volume. The JSB 2nd edition notes are based on the JPS version of the Bible, which is not included in this purchase. Accordance users can pair any version of the Bible with the JSB.

Jewish Study Bible Notes (2nd Edition)
Regular Price $34.90

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Upgrade from 1st Edition
Regular Price $29.90

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The Jewish Annotated New Testament (2nd edition)

Jewish Anotated NT - 2nd ed. - 3D First released in 2011, The Jewish Annotated New Testament offered commentary on New Testament writings from a Jewish perspective. This work, which engaged both Jewish and Christian readers, was a reminder of the very Jewish roots and cultural context of the foundational documents of the Church.

This new second edition of the JANT includes the following new features:

  • New section introductions to the Gospels and Acts, and to the Epistles and Revelation

  • Four New Testament books with completely new annotations

  • 25 new essays beyond those revised from the first edition

  • All first edition annotations and essays fully revised

  • Introductions to each New Testament book, containing guidance for reading and specific information about how the book relates to the Judaism of the period, have been revised and augmented, and in some cases newly written.

  • Annotations on the text - some revised, some new to this edition - provide verse-by-verse commentary.

  • The thirty essays from the first edition are thoroughly updated, and there are twenty-four new essays, on topics such as "Mary in Jewish Tradition," "Christology," and "Messianic Judaism."

  • For Christian readers The Jewish Annotated New Testament offers a window into the first-century world of Judaism from which the New Testament springs. There are explanations of Jewish concepts such as food laws and rabbinic argumentation. It also provides a much-needed corrective to many centuries of Christian misunderstandings of the Jewish religion.

  • For Jewish readers, this volume provides the chance to encounter the New Testament - a text of vast importance in Western European and American culture - with no religious agenda and with guidance from Jewish experts in theology, history, and Jewish and Christian thought. It also explains Christian practices, such as the Eucharist.

The print edition of the JANT includes the NRSV text (not included in this purchase), but Accordance users can place these study notes in parallel with any text or translation of the New Testament. Accordance users have been anxiously waiting this update to the JANT. There is an upgrade price for purchasers of the first edition, as well as introductory pricing for a limited time.

Jewish Annotated NT, 2nd ed. - macOS

Jewish Annotated New Testament (2nd Edition)
Regular Price $34.90

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Upgrade from 1st Edition
Regular Price $29.90

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Feb 4, 2019 Richard Mansfield

NEW! Holman Illustrated Study Bible

Holman Illustrated Study Bible Cover Some of the shepherds of the faithful, however, have too often closeted themselves in dim libraries, speculating about the redaction of texts and raising questions about the believability of the gospel stories. Only recently, with renewed attention to the physical remnants of first-century Palestine and the evidence of Jewish religion of that period, has the withering “quest for the historical Jesus” been abandoned, and a new flowering of “Jesus studies”—exploring culture, language, and place—begun.

In gray winters of the Teutonic North, the form of Jesus fades and blends with the mythical shades of Balder and Siegfried. But in the sunlight of Palestine, the rocks speak forth their echoes, and the Jesus of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wears flesh again.

David Neff, Christianity Today, October 22, 1990 (quoted in the introduction to the Holman Illustrated Study Bible).

I’ve often suggested that study Bibles make great “first stops” for study and research before moving on to more detailed commentaries and reference works. This is especially true for a very specialized study Bible such as the Holman Illustrated Study Bible (HISB), released today for Accordance Bible Software. Teachers and preachers will especially appreciate the HISB, not only for its wealth of backgrounds information on the land and culture of Bible times, but also for the hundreds of photos and charts that can be used in teaching and preaching contexts.

Holman Illustrated Study Bible - Windows

Essentially, the notes and extras in the HISB focus on geographical, historical, and cultural contexts of the writings in the Bible. Understanding these surrounding contexts helps someone understand the message of the Bible itself. As stated in the introduction, the HISB “contains a wealth of images that help the student of the Bible gain a sense of the settings in which God placed His people, into which He came to live as a man, and across which the message of the Good News was delivered by the apostles.”

Much of the content for the HISB comes from previous articles in Biblical Illustrator Magazine. I’ve subscribed to this magazine for decades and have even created a personal database to keep track of articles touching on various passages of Scripture. Therefore, on a personal level, I’m thrilled to have this resource with their great content that can be placed in parallel with any Bible text or translation.

HISB - iPhone XS

What’s in the HISB? These study Bible notes contain the following features:

  • Detailed introductions to help you understande the context and background of the book. Each introduction includes a key text, key term, and one-sentence summary. “God’s Message in the Book” lays out Purpose, Christian Worldview Elements, Teachings about God, Teachings about Humanity, and Teachings about Salvation. Every book of both the Old and New Testaments include a section in the introduction titled, “Christ in [book name]” that explores Christology throughout the particular book. Thematic threads throughout the Bible are explored in the “God’s Story” section, demonstrating how the particular book of the Bible fits in with the rest of Scripture. The “Original Historical Setting” focuses on traditional introductory elements like author, date of writing, original audience, and occasion. “Literary Features” explores genre, literary styles, themes, and structure.

  • Over 700 full-color photos. These beautiful, engaging photos will liven up any sermon or lesson from a biblical passage.

  • Approximately 200 charts, maps, illustrations and reconstructions. Many of the maps are the same high-quality images found in the recently-released Holman Bible Atlas, a personal favorite of mine for use in teaching settings.

  • A comprehensive overview of the Intertestamental Period. The 400 years between the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament were extremely eventful. In fact, it’s impossible to fully understand the events of the New Testament without understanding the History of this period between the Testaments. This section of the HISB is just as detailed and colorfully illustrated with images, charts, and maps as the content illustrating the Old and New Testaments.

  • Holman Illustrated Study Bible - Android Extensive appendix sections.

  • Millennial perspectives on Revelation (chart)
  • Prophecies of Jesus' Second Coming (chart)
  • Expansion of Christianity (map)
  • Ancient Versions of Biblical Text (chart)
  • The Hebrew Canon of the Old Testament (chart)
  • Comparison Lists of Old Testament Books (chart)
  • The Apocrypha (chart)
  • Stages of Development of the New Testament Canon (chart)
  • Table of Weights and Measures (chart)

The print edition of the Holman Illustrated Study Bible originally paired this study content with the Holman Christian Standard Bible (not included). However, Accordance users can place the HISB in parallel with any biblical text and translation of their choosing. The HISB is no longer in print but highly sought after by those who are familiar with it. No doubt, the Accordance edition will extend its value for ages to come.

Holman Illustrated Study Bible Notes
Regular Price $19.90

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Nov 5, 2018 Richard Mansfield

NEW! Disciple's Study Bible (Classic Edition)

Disciple's Study Bible - 3D cover Back in 1988, I was working at New Life Book Shop in Ruston, Louisiana, when Holman Bible Publishers released the Disciple’s Study Bible (DSB). Holman offered a free copy of the DSB to any bookstore employee who could sell 12 copies. I was very up front with the customers to whom I showed this new study Bible. I told them I would get a free copy if I sold 12 of them, but they were under no pressure. Each person who purchased a copy of the DSB for my goal of 12 had to sign their name so that I could prove to Holman I had fulfilled my end of the deal. Not only did I get my copy of the DSB in a very short time, I still have it.

The Disciple’s Study Bible was not a difficult Bible to sell because it was unique—and really still is. Yes, there has been a newer edition since, but the 1988 edition in particular contains more content, and many still prefer it over the newer version. The editors of the DSB organized all of the supplemental helps around 27 doctrines of the Bible. Like most study Bibles, notes are placed under the biblical text; but in the DSB, each note begins with a heading alerting the reader as to which of the 27 doctrines is being described. There is an index to the doctrines that allows the reader to trace a particular theological thread from Genesis to Revelation. Want to read up on the history of a particular doctrine? Also included are 27 articles tracing the themes from the Early Church to today. A brief bibliography at the end of his historical article provides the reader with direction for further study.

Disciple's Study Bible - Android

Even the introductions to biblical books in the DSB are of a theological nature, focusing on doctrinal themes prominent in a particular book of the Bible. And there are numerous charts covering not just doctrines, but historical theology as well. And so that all doctrinal study isn’t just a dry, intellectual exercise, an entire section of Life Helps allows you to apply the theological teachings of the Bible in practical ways to all areas of life.

I’m still glad to have the print copy of the Disciple’s Study Bible that I “earned” 30 years ago, but I’m even more excited to have it digitally in Accordance to have these notes with me at all times to be referenced at a moment’s notice. The DSB notes are based on the 1984 New International Version, but Accordance users can place them in parallel with any Bible text or translation.

Disciple's Study Bible - Win - Surface Go

The classic 1988 edition of the Disciple’s Study Bible is now available for the Accordance Bible Software Library. Introductory Discounted Pricing is available for a limited time.

Disciple's Study Bible (Classic 1988 Edition)
Regular Price $29.90

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DSB iPhone X


Oct 15, 2018 Richard Mansfield

NEW! Life Essentials Study Bible notes

Life Essentials SB_120 Dr. Gene Getz has lived a life dedicated to teaching the Bible. With degrees from Moody Bible Institute, Wheaton Graduate School, and New York University, Dr. Getz taught at both Moody and Dallas Theological Seminary before becoming a church planter. He is known for his Bible teaching ministry through dozens of books, radio programs, conference speaking, and church ministry.

With The Life Essentials Study Bible notes, you can now access the teaching of Gene Getz right from Accordance! This unique set of study notes brings together a lifetime of Getz’s emphasis on “supracultural” principles of the Bible—that is, those biblical principles that surpass culture and apply to all people in all times.

The Life Essentials Study Bible is the next best thing to “being there” for Dr. Getz’s teaching. In these notes, he covers the entire Bible in 1500 unique sections. Each one contains “A Principle to Live By” along with detailed commentary. However, the best part is the video link with each section—yes, that’s 1500 unique videos comprising over 250 hours of total instruction!—that delivers Gene Getz teaching the Bible himself. Every study also includes a “Reflection and Response” section for personal reflection or discussion with a group.

Note: Video access in this product is not yet implemented in the Android app.

Life Essentials Study Bible - Windows

Click/tap the image above for a larger view of The Life Essentials Study Bible notes in Accordance 12.

Want to study through a book of the Bible by yourself or in a group? The Life Essentials Study Bible has 59 text and video studies on Matthew, 12 for Philippians, 152 on the Book of Psalms and more for every other book of the Bible! Want to study a topic in the Bible? The “Principle Finder” section organizes all 1500 studies by subject. Each book of the Bible also contain an introduction and list of the Principles covered in the book by Dr. Getz.

The Life Essentials Study Bible was originally designed to complement the text of the Holman Christian Standard Bible. However, in Accordance, you can pair these notes with any Bible text or translation you like. When studying these notes in Accordance 12, video links will launch the internal Accordance web browser so that you can see Dr. Getz’s teaching on a passage in parallel with the study itself. Note that while Accordance usually does not require an internet connection after content is downloaded, access to the videos will require internet access.


Life Essentials Study Bible
List Price $44.90
Regular Price $34.90

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Sep 10, 2018 Richard Mansfield

NEW! NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible Notes

NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible One of the better study Bibles to come along recently is the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible. A number of Accordance users have requested these study Bible notes; and no doubt, they will be pleased to hear that we are making it available today for the Accordance Library.

What’s the big deal about cultural backgrounds when it comes to studying the Bible? In the “Quick Start Guide” to the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, there is a quote from one of the editors, Dr. John H. Walton, that reads “Even though the Bible was written for us, it wasn’t written to us. When we take our Western, modern culture and impose it on the text, we’re putting in meaning that wasn’t there, and we’re missing the meaning that the text has.” Thus, we often make assumptions about the Bible because we read it through the lens of our culture and experience. It's better to try to understand the message as closely as we can through the eyes of the original audiences.

Now, you might also ask, with all these great backgrounds commentaries available for the Accordance Library, why would I want to use the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible? I’ve said before that background commentaries are my favorite kind of commentaries. Excellent background commentaries such as the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentaries and the IVP Background Commentaries are at the top of my Commentaries folder in Accordance, so that I can easily access them in the Accordance Info Pane. I certainly look at cultural backgrounds before I look at any kind of interpretive or theological approach. However, study Bibles often make an excellent “first stop” in researching a biblical passage because you can get a more distilled amount of information very quickly. The content found in a study Bible may be all the information you need, and it’s a fast way to access it. But that information can also lead you on to the kind of content that is more in depth—such as the other commentaries we offer.

NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible - iPad

Now, any study Bible is expected to have abbreviated commentary notes that accompany the biblical text. When it comes to the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, here’s the best part: much of the content in this study Bible comes from the Zondervan and IVP backgrounds commentaries I mentioned above! Of course, there’s much more than this. As described in the already-mentioned “Quick Start Guide,” the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible includes the following features:

  • Book Introductions answer questions about who wrote the books of the Bible, to whom, and when, as well as informing readers about the larger cultural and political context in which a book was written. In the Old Testament, dates of writing and specific authorship for each book are less clear than in the New Testament, where such information is marginally less controversial, although still debated. That’s why the Old Testament introductions include “Key Concepts” and the New Testament Introductions include “Quick Glance” information to help readers orient themselves.
  • The Old Testament includes a helpful chart that explains the nuances of meaning contained in Hebrew words that don’t have exact equivalents in English. That chart is called “Hebrew to English Translation Chart.”
  • Also included before the Old Testament is a helpful article entitled, “Major Background Issues from the Ancient Near East” that is a must-read before you begin your OT study.
  • The New Testament includes a reference feature entitled “Key New Testament Terms” that is designed to help clarify and further define the cultural contexts behind these terms. It’s included as a background feature to define and explain terms that often repeat in the New Testament notes.
  • The NIV Center-column Cross Reference system aids in deeper study of the Bible’s themes, language and concepts by leading readers to related passages on the same or similar themes.
  • Over 10,000 study notes have been placed close to the text that they amplify and explain. These have been designed to provide the reader with a deep and rich understanding of the nuances that the original readers and hearers of the Bible would have intuitively understood. They focus on the land, the literature, and the political and cultural contexts that the Bible’s authors lived in, and emphasize how the people of Israel were both influenced by, as well as how they were called to be different from, their surrounding culture.
  • Full-color in-text maps, charts and diagrams, along with some 320 essays, summarize and explain important background information and ideas from Scripture.
  • Front and end matter features include author information, an author’s introduction with helpful questions and answers about this Bible, more information on the NIV translation itself (in the NIV Preface), and many other helpful study tools.
  • The NIV Concordance is a tool designed to help readers who remember a key word or phrase in a passage to locate the verses they are looking for. Words and names are listed alphabetically, along with their more significant verse references.
  • Color maps at the end of this study Bible complement the color maps in the interior of the Bible to help readers to visualize the geographic context of what they are studying.

Just as a reminder, in most cases when we release study Bibles for Accordance, the Bible translation itself is not included and sold separately. However, there’s great advantage to having a study Bible in Accordance because unlike a print copy where you’re stuck with the translation it came with, Accordance allows you to put any set of Bible study notes with any Bible you want—original language or translation.

For a limited time, you can get introductory discounted pricing on the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible when you add it to your Accordance Library.

NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible Notes

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May 14, 2018 Timothy Jenney

Study Bibles (Lighting the Lamp Video Podcast #164)

This podcast on Study Bibles provides helpful information on understanding, selecting, and using these resources. It also explains how to construct the best workspaces on both computers and mobile devices. Once the most popular of Bible study helps, Study Bibles are now more portable and efficient than ever in Accordance.

Check out more episodes of the Lighting the Lamp podcast!


Dec 15, 2015 Accordance Bible Software

NEW! The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible Notes

Reformation Heritage KJV SB w/drop shadow New for the Accordance Library, we are pleased to announce the release of The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible notes from Reformation Heritage Books. This title is unique as it is the only set of Reformation-based study Bible notes geared to the classic King James Version of the Bible, although Accordance users can place it in parallel with any version they choose.

The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible comes with thousands of study notes with integrated cross references, as well as introductions to each section and every book of the Bible. Since it is designed to be read with the classic King James Version of the Bible, explanation of difficult or outdated words are also integrated into the notes.

The heritage of the Protestant Reformation finds focus in an included overview of two millennia of church history as well as the inclusion of ancient creeds, confessions and catechisms—each of which also contain their own introduction. The articles in the notes of this study Bible are perfect for family devotions.

To discover even more about the rich features of The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible, see this video from Reformation Heritage books that extolls the benefits of the original print edition upon which the digital version for the Accordance Library is based.

RHKJVSB screenshot

Click the above image for a full-size product illustration.


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Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible Notes


Jun 27, 2013 David Lang

Accordance to Keynote, Part 1

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.


May 18, 2012 David Lang

A Few Study Bible Anecdotes

All this week I've been pontificating about study Bibles, examining their history from the sixteenth century to the early twentieth century to the last few decades. After that I asked if the advent of Bible software had made the study Bible obsolete, and concluded that quite the opposite is true: Bible software is actually opening up new possibilities for the study Bible. In today's post, I want to close out this series by offering a few anecdotes about my own experiences with study Bibles and their authors. Basically, this post is meant to offer a little light-hearted Friday entertainment.

A multi-purpose resource. Before heading to college, I invested a decent amount of cash in a good quality leather-bound NIV Study Bible. It remained my primary Bible for many years, and I still have it on my shelf. This study Bible was very helpful to me both in my classes and in the campus ministry I became involved with, and I have fond memories of reading it while lounging on Landis Green. I also remember that it doubled as a very comfortable pillow. When I was finished reading, I would lay back on the grass, place it under my head, and doze in the sunshine. Some might excoriate me for putting my Bible to such practical use, but it did make me appreciate that Bible all the more. That's the one function of a print study Bible even Accordance can't duplicate!

RyrieSignature Note to self: Ask Dr. Ryrie for the NASB! Some years ago I visited Dr. Charles Ryrie in his home and helped him with his installation of Accordance. Before I left, he was kind enough to show me some of his rare book collection, including a first English edition of Calvin's Institutes and a Luther hymnal signed by no less than Philip Melanchthon. Then he offered me a signed copy of his study Bible in my choice of translation. Up to that point, I think he had been somewhat impressed with my knowledge of Accordance and my enthusiasm for church history, but I apparently blew it when I chose a translation other than the NASB. He gave me the translation I asked for and signed it for me, but not before I saw a look of mild disapproval cloud his features. Oops!

How Important is the Choice of Translation? Dr. Ryrie wasn't the only professor who had strong feelings about which translation is best. When I was in seminary, several of my professors were writing the notes for a new study Bible which was originally slated to be published with one of the latest translations. As I understand it, contractual issues eventually led to its being published with a different translation—one some of the professors contributing to the project were not particularly excited about. I imagine it would be frustrating to help create a study Bible and then have to use it with a translation you would not normally choose. Thankfully, Accordance users can pair any study Bible with any translation they like, so those professors don't have to be frustrated any more.

Well, those are all the study Bible-related anecdotes I have to offer. I hope you've enjoyed this series about the genre.