On Monday, I recounted a study of Psalm 91 I did with my family last week. During his temptation of Jesus, the devil quoted Psalm 91:11-12, so we also looked at the account of the temptation in Luke 4. There we discovered that the devil was using these verses to tempt Jesus to throw himself down from the “pinnacle of the temple.”
Have you ever wondered what the “pinnacle of the temple” is? Here’s how to stop wondering and find out: simply select the phrase “pinnacle of the temple,” then choose PhotoGuide from the English Tools menu of the Resource palette. (I’m assuming, of course, that you have the PhotoGuide, because, well, why wouldn’t you?)
As I explained in a recent post, the value of the PhotoGuide is not just in its vast collection of photos, but in the detailed historical and geographical information it contains. If you want to know something about Jerusalem in general or the temple mount in particular, the PhotoGuide is one of the first places you should turn. Here we can see photos of the southeast corner of the temple mount, which is its highest point above ground level. We also see the model of what that location would have looked like in Jesus’ day. The caption also discusses another possible identification of the “pinnacle” and points to another figure in that same article.
If you don’t own the PhotoGuide, you could choose any other resource in your Accordance library, or even choose to search all your tools at once. To do the latter, simply select the phrase “pinnacle of the temple,” then choose [All Tools] from the Search menu of the Resource palette. A Search All window will open displaying every occurrence of the phrase “pinnacle of the temple” in your entire Accordance library.
Now, it’s certainly nice to be able to do such a broad search so quickly, but this particular example shows how problematic such searches can be. Browse the results, and you’ll see that no Bible dictionary has an article on the pinnacle of the temple. Instead, almost all of the results come from the body text of articles focused on other things, such as the martyrdom of James or the account of Jesus’ temptation. Click to read those articles and you’ll find interesting information, but not much of it is focused on describing the pinnacle itself.
That’s the challenge of library-wide searches: you get the results quickly, but then have to wade through them looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack. It doesn’t take long for your Bible study to become bogged down looking for the answer to a simple question like “What is the pinnacle of the temple?”
In this way, it ends up being far more efficient to consult a resource like the PhotoGuide which specializes in illustrating such historical details. Remember to consult it, and you can usually find your answer quickly and get back to your passage of study.