Accordance Bible Study –– 8. See for Yourself
Get the FeedGet RSS Feed

Sample Accordance Bible Study

K. Allison Brannon

Introduction to the PhotoGuide

The Bible Lands PhotoGuide is a truly unique feature of Accordance. It offers hundreds of photos of important Biblical sites, historical artifacts, and more, all arranged in an easy-to-access manner that allows the student of the Bible to take a tour through the Holy Land without ever leaving home. When PhotoGuide is used as a supplement to a Biblical passage being studied, it adds visuals, making it so much easier to understand the surroundings, important events, and the text in a way that makes sense.

Using the PhotoGuide – the Basics

The PhotoGuide is located in the Library under English Tools. As with all tools in Accordance, you can either open the PhotoGuide at the beginning with nothing selected, or you can hyperlink to it by highlighting a word in the passage and then opening it. This, as usual, will cause your cursor to turn into a magnifying glass.

To get our bearings, let's first open PhotoGuide from the beginning. As you can see, it opens a new window, much like the commentaries did. Also like the commentaries, it gives you several ways to search. You can type a word in the box at the top. You can also open the browser to limit your search and to move through the PhotoGuide by chapter, the same way you did with the commentaries.

You can search by entry, contents, transliteration, caption, or Scripture, and again, each Scripture is displayed in the Instant Details box as you move your cursor over its reference.

Searching by Entry

Now let's open the PhotoGuide by linking to it from our Mark text. Highlight the word Jordan. Opening the PhotoGuide will reveal that in the Entry field it has found four hits for the word. The last one is the one we are interested in: Jordan River. Use the Mark button to page down to the last hit and scroll to see the pictures.

Beginning in Mark_8_1

(click image to see at full size)

If the pictures you see are too small, it is easy to change your settings and make them easier to see. Simply go to the Display menu and select Set Tool Display. Then change the picture size to large. You can set this as a default setting if you so desire. Of course, clicking on the picture in the PhotoGuide will open it at full size. Then you can zoom in and out, examining details. You can also click and drag your cursor, making a box on the photo. Double-clicking inside this box will allow you to zoom in to a specific area of the photo.

As you can see, there are many photos of the Jordan River for you to view. Examining them will help you get the setting right in your mind as you imagine the baptism of Jesus. Pay special attention to Figure 12 as it shows the Jordan River at the site of the Monastery of John the Baptist, the location, according to tradition, of Jesus' baptism. The notes and commentary that coincide with the photos will give you this information and more as you read.

Beginning in Mark_7_3

Searching by Scripture

If you want to see what photos are available to coincide with a specific Scripture, simply click in the reference and hyperlink to the PhotoGuide or change the field settings in the already-open PhotoGuide to Scripture and type the reference in the box. In Mark 1:1-13, the only verses that are linked to the PhotoGuide are related to the Jordan. Let’s go a few verses beyond to Mark 1:16, where Jesus, having been tempted in the desert, is now walking by the Sea of Galilee, calling His first disciples.

Type Mark 1:16 into the box and see what PhotoGuide finds. Beautiful pictures of the Sea of Galilee allow you to imagine what Jesus, Simon and Andrew were seeing that day long ago.

Beginning in Mark_7_3a

Searching by Contents

Suppose you want to see all the photos related to a certain topic, Nazareth, for example. Change the field settings to Contents and do a search. You will come up with photos of Nazareth, photos of the areas around Nazareth, and photos of important artifacts and locations within Nazareth. By scrolling through these items, you will gain valuable visuals of Jesus' hometown and the place from which He came in order to be baptized and begin His ministry.

You can also do a search for baptism the same way. This will reveal photos relevant to the baptism of Jesus, and ritual cleansings, possibly prefiguring baptism. There is a wealth of interesting, valuable information to be had!

Searching by Browser

You could also find the entry for Nazareth by opening the Browser, clicking on N, and finding the entry for Nazareth. If you wanted to do a search within a specific chapter or entry, you could limit your search with the Browser by option-clicking on a given entry and then doing a search for a given word or Scripture. Option-clicking on the side, when the cursor becomes a red X, will remove the limitations.

Beginning in Mark_7_4

Linking from the Atlas

A very helpful feature of the PhotoGuide is its capability to be linked to the Atlas. Open the Atlas and choose Set Map Display from the Display menu. Then change the default tool to PhotoGuide. This will allow you to double-click on a place name in the Atlas and link to the corresponding sections in the PhotoGuide. Try double-clicking on Jerusalem, the Jordan River, and other places of interest.


The PhotoGuide is an easy-to-use tool that will enhance any study of the Bible. The photos included, and the commentary on them, are an almost-inexhaustible supply of valuable information. Using the PhotoGuide regularly will help you familiarize yourself with important things and locations in the Bible because you will be able to imagine the lives and times of Biblical characters with accuracy and depth.

(Article content and images updated September 2013.)
| Bookmark and Share