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A good review of Accordance v Logos


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#21 Brian K. Mitchell

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 08:49 PM

I found this statement to be highly interesting:


חַפְּשׂוּ בַּתּוֹרָה הֵיטֵב וְאַל תִּסְתַּמְּכוּ עַל דְּבָרַי

 

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#22 Rick Bennett

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Posted 05 January 2015 - 08:28 AM

So hearing from Rick Bennett above that Accordance is a lay persons tool is somewhat comforting.

 

 

I said we are focused on both lay and scholarly users.


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#23 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 05 January 2015 - 09:20 AM

Natan,

 

Personally, I find Accordance (and have found Accordance, for more than 20 years!) an excellent academic tool. I think your own appraisal is a result of your very narrow focus on subsection of biblical studies (textual criticism and DSS/Qumran). Biblical studies is a far larger field than that—and Accordance has long sought to meet the needs of scholars in the entire field. Over the years, I've been very pleased to see Accordance build a collection of texts to support other sub-fields in Biblical Studies: rabbinic, pseudepigraphic, apostolic, Semitic inscriptions, Coptic, Syriac, etc. I've also been pleased that they have made a broad array of scholarly secondary sources available to us. It has saved me (and many others) many, many trips to research libraries. The only area in which I feel we have lagged has been the addition of texts for the Ancient Near East, which involves supporting cuneiform and hieroglyphics, as well as the original texts in transliteration. I have hopes that we will begin to address that field in the near future as well.

 

Once I officially joined the Accordance team (six years ago), I encouraged the development of introductory resources for those new to biblical studies, as well as making our software easier to understand for novices. That is, after all, where all of us began. I am pleased at the progress we have made, making Accordance suitable for students as well as professors. We want to put good tools for studying the Bible into the hands of every person who is interested. I believe that is what Rick meant when he said that we also want our software to be useful for the "lay" market. Building the field means reaching down to those who are interested and offering them quality texts, tools, and training.

 

i appreciate your suggestions about how we can make our DSS/Qumran materials more useful to specialists in that field, though I want to remind you that we do have high resolution images of the material available. [I only wish we had the same quality of images for Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament MSS!] Ultimately, the features and resources we offer depend upon the needs of our users and feedback from people like you.


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#24 Peter Brylov Christensen

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Posted 05 January 2015 - 12:09 PM

(The quote button doesn't work for me at the moment for some reason)

Natan,

 

Personally, I find Accordance (and have found Accordance, for more than 20 years!) an excellent academic tool. I think your own appraisal is a result of your very narrow focus on subsection of biblical studies (textual criticism and DSS/Qumran). Biblical studies is a far larger field than that—and Accordance has long sought to meet the needs of scholars in the entire field. Over the years, I've been very pleased to see Accordance build a collection of texts to support other sub-fields in Biblical Studies: rabbinic, pseudepigraphic, apostolic, Semitic inscriptions, Coptic, Syriac, etc. I've also been pleased that they have made a broad array of scholarly secondary sources available to us. It has saved me (and many others) many, many trips to research libraries. The only area in which I feel we have lagged has been the addition of texts for the Ancient Near East, which involves supporting cuneiform and hieroglyphics, as well as the original texts in transliteration. I have hopes that we will begin to address that field in the near future as well.

 

Once I officially joined the Accordance team (six years ago), I encouraged the development of introductory resources for those new to biblical studies, as well as making our software easier to understand for novices. That is, after all, where all of us began. I am pleased at the progress we have made, making Accordance suitable for students as well as professors. We want to put good tools for studying the Bible into the hands of every person who is interested. I believe that is what Rick meant when he said that we also want our software to be useful for the "lay" market. Building the field means reaching down to those who are interested and offering them quality texts, tools, and training.

 

i appreciate your suggestions about how we can make our DSS/Qumran materials more useful to specialists in that field, though I want to remind you that we do have high resolution images of the material available. [I only wish we had the same quality of images for Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament MSS!] Ultimately, the features and resources we offer depend upon the needs of our users and feedback from people like you.

 

I agree completely here with what you wrote, Dr J. - and it is my hope as well that all the important ANE texts become available for Accordance one day. But at least the Ugaritic Data Bank is there already, so that's a start. And as soon as I finish my master's thesis (around mid-April), I'll then start my project of tagging the Data Bank to Gregorio del Olmo Lete and Joaquín Sanmartín's Dictionary of the Ugaritic Language in the Alphabetic Tradition, Daniel Sivan's Ugaritic Grammar, and Mark Smith's The Ugaritic Ba'al Cycle vols I and II. Looking forward to it!

 

With kind regards

 

Peter Christensen


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#25 Daniel Francis

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Posted 05 January 2015 - 01:00 PM

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Posted Yesterday, 09:14 AM

One more thing to add, at least for the programmers to think about. Accordance crashes on me at least once every time I use it. In comparison, Logos has crashed only once since I've used it. For a company whose primary platform is Mac, I am somewhat puzzled that there are so many bugs in the program. Another very annoying bug, which I suspect relates to your underlying code architecture, is that Accordance is poor at managing window position with dual monitors. At my office, I use an external monitor. When I open Accordance it appears on the far side of the screen (Why? other Apple apps do just fine readjusting!). Logos has the same problem, however. 

 

 

 

______________________________________________________

 

I did not want this to get lost in the discussion.... I find Accordance to be very stable... Could you please state the conditions it is crashing on you in? I realize this thread is not intended on bug squashing but I wanted to see what I could do to help along.. Also have you run Disk Utility? Sometimes permissions or disk errors can lead to crashes I know.

 

-Dan



#26 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 05 January 2015 - 04:02 PM


around mid-April, I'll start my project of tagging the Data Bank to Gregorio del Olmo Lete and Joaquín Sanmartín's Dictionary of the Ugaritic Language in the Alphabetic Tradition, Daniel Sivan's Ugaritic Grammar, and Mark Smith's The Ugaritic Ba'al Cycle vols I and II. Looking forward to it!

 

With kind regards

 

Peter Christensen

 

 

That's great news Peter.

 

Regards,

 

Michel



#27 Enoch

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 12:58 AM

Quote is not working.

 

 

 

 

I don't know any laymen who have the intellectual capacity to understand all the resources in Logos & Accordance.  I wonder how many people in all the world can do that?  Are all those who can't handle Old Church Slavonic, संस्कृता वाक्, & Sumerian laymen?

 

If I were to ditch the general Bible software & use the DSSEL, how would I do computer based Bible research? The DSS are a corner of Biblical studies to be sure, but hardly so important that you could ditch everything else.  Of course there are a handful of specialists in various fields who would want to do more than use Bible software.  But how should persons who know Greek, Hebrew, & Aramaic & are graduates of both seminaries & universities be called laymen???

 

IMHO, to speak of laymen vs scholars is the fallacy of binary thinking.  I suppose we could all be rated on a scale of 0-10 on such a scale even with decimals added. (Hopefully our rating will not be 3.14159265358979323846264338327950.)  And sometimes those who know the least, know the most.  IMHO, the resources of Logos & Accordance go beyond the intellectual ability of everyone who uses them.

 

I would like someone to give me 3 New Testament verses which cannot be understood without recourse to the Dead Sea Scrolls Electronic Library, verses which cannot be understood using the resources in Logos & Accordance.

 

As to crashing, yes I do experience Accordance crashes.  But it starts up quickly again.


Edited by Enoch, 06 January 2015 - 01:30 AM.


#28 Natan Rubenstein

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 07:28 AM

The Dead Sea Scrolls are a part of a larger component of Second Temple Judaism. It's not a small subsection, but part of a much larger area of specialists. In my review phase of these softwares, I am currently analyzing each software in terms of their integrity of the reproductions. Quite frankly, reproductions are less than a facsimile, but reproductions gained traction of course with the growth and ease of computer software. To my mind, manuscripts are always predominate. You know why E.Y. Kutscher gave a negative critique of Segal's Mishnaic Hebrew Grammar, don't you? I've read Hebrew texts since I was a kid! I don't need some parsing crutch to help me along, and I find that my students who do use software are not sufficiently mastering the language (especially those without a Jewish background). This was not case before software became so prevalent!

 

My recommendation of DSSEL was for the scrolls. If you want reproductions which mirror the fragment as much as reproductions can and having images for the fragments, then I would recommend DSSEL to you (be aware that DSSEL does not contain all the recent scrolls publications but I am told they are updating it). I did not even know Accordance had the scrolls, for no one in scholarship seems to use the Accordance's reconstructions (just peruse the front matter of a series like Studies in the Judaean Desert [STDJ] and see what resource is referenced). I would also like to say, Dr. J., you are gravely misinformed if you think the DSS images you offer in Accordance are superior to the images found on the Leon Levy Website. To even suggest as much leads to me wonder whether you've even used them! Moreover, you also do realize that you have only the St. Mark's Monastery scrolls images (by Trever). These were and are an important history of the images, but dear sir, you must use proper language and say, we have some images of the scrolls, and a vast majority of the others we do not.

 

Some of my best students have been those who have mastered their research by means of reading their sources, analyzing their texts, and using the tools of philology and linguistics to tease out the issues in the text. This sort of research is done in the library, in the stacks, not it bible software.



#29 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 09:27 AM

Hi, Natan!

 

I think you misunderstood me. I did not mean to imply Accordance's DSS images are better than, or  as complete as, DSSEL. I merely pointed out that we had a collection of DSS images. I also agree that using the actual manuscripts is the ideal, but few of us get that sort of opportunity, especially on a daily basis. We must make do with facsimilies, photographs, and transcriptions. I do have hopes that Accordance resources will expand to include more DSS images, as well as images of other important texts. Meanwhile, Accordance offers accessibility to those at some remove from a major research library and with no active connection to the internet required.

 

It's true that some students use Bible software as a crutch. It's also true that Bible software offers today's scholars many advantages, advantages I (for instance) did not enjoy when I completed my doctorate in 1993 (UMich). My dissertation included some statistical analysis, which I did by hand with Evan-Shoshan  and Moulten-Geden at my side. Accordance would have saved me months of research! When I needed to consult a facsimile of a text, I was fortunate enough to find it at a nearby university, as I was teaching at a small college in Minnesota at the time. (The alternative would have been a very long drive to the University of Chicago.) Today, that text (and many, many others) reside nicely on my laptop, where I can consult it at need.

 

One of the other things I enjoy most about Bible software is being able to explore the text with a class in a seminar. We can search resources together, find parallel passages, check definitions, look for appearances of a word or phrase in other corpora, etc.—all without interrupting the creative process with endless trips to the library. Research libraries still have their place, mind you, but 80-90% of the work can be done anywhere, at any time. I think that is a great advantage.

 

Bible study software has come a long way since 1994, but it still has room to grow and improve. Just as I couldn't have imagined today's Bible software back in 1993, I can't envision what sorts of improvements tomorrow's scholars will enjoy twenty years from now.


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#30 Peter Brylov Christensen

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 09:50 AM

[quote button is still broken. Hm..]

 

...Except that the DSS is a small subsection of Biblical Studies (albeit a very important one). That also goes for the ANE, although I hate to admit it. There are so many small, but vast fields of study being relevant to the Bible in which you could easily spend at least five lives and still not be able to finish your work. Even though I personally believe that in order to understand TaNaK at all, you need to know your Gilgamesh, Atra-Hasis, Enuma Elish in Akkadian and The Ugaritic Ba'al Cycle in Ugaritic and so on, I still wouldn't dare say that other fields of study are less important in an academic sense, nor that a lack of ANE materials makes Accordance unfit for academic audiences. It all depends on what you favor the most. Accordance wouldn't have survived very long if it only focused on one little niche field as it would only attract a minimum of people, be it scholars or laymen. Besides, it is a Bible study program in the broadest sense of the term after all, and being true to that, it has to branch out into many fields and not just one.

 

All in all, I must say that it is very unfair to pass such harsh judgment based on your specific narrow field of study alone, which is but a drop in the ocean that makes up Biblical Studies. The lack of photographs for the DSS is a genuine and serious problem, but this is most likely due to licensing problems, which can be a real pain to fix. These things take time and is a constant work in progress - I would guess that this is also why there aren't any pictures available for the Leningrad and Aleppo Codices in Accordance (and any other Bible Software out there to my knowledge). Actually, if you ask me, I'd rather have the development team focus on getting hold of the latter first over images of all the DSS scrolls. Even if it also meant that the ANE texts would have to be put on hold, too. 

 

In spite of these problems, the program still excels when it comes to textual comparisons, presenting a broad field of Bible editions in different languages: While photographs obviously are superior to a facsimile or a reproduction, it is not unusual for scholars to mostly work with these reproductions and only consulting photographs when there is a serious textual problem, making it only a small fragment of their total textual studies. I'm sort of unorthodox in that way, seeing that I always, and if possible, consult photographs first no matter how trivial the issue, but I do acknowledge that it is a major time sink - sometimes unnecessarily so. But I have only my own stubbornness and meticulousness to blame for that.

 

Finally, I do wholly agree with you that any Bible Software has the inherent risk of making people lazy when it comes to learning and maintaining languages, which is why it must always be used with great care. As such, I'd always strongly recommend against using it until a sufficient level of mastery is attained. I spend at least 8 hours a day reading texts the old school way, be it Hebrew or Sumerian, and I refuse to make things easy for myself by using a concordance or the Instant Details in Accordance. 

 

With kind regards

 

Peter Christensen

 

*EDIT* Didn't see Dr. J's post until I had posted mine.


Edited by Pchris, 06 January 2015 - 10:03 AM.

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#31 דָנִיאֶל

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 10:52 AM

Natan: "...and I find that my students who do use software are not sufficiently mastering the language (especially those without a Jewish background). This was not case before software became so prevalent!"

 

PChris : "Finally, I do wholly agree with you that any Bible Software has the inherent risk of making people lazy when it comes to learning and maintaining languages, which is why it must always be used with great care. As such, I'd always strongly recommend against using it until a sufficient level of mastery is attained. I spend at least 8 hours a day reading texts the old school way, be it Hebrew or Sumerian, and I refuse to make things easy for myself by using a concordance or the Instant Details in Accordance."

 

This issue has been commented upon before. The fault of course is not with the software and indeed it can be used in such a way as to minimize this problem. One can disable ID and one can not open a parallel pane when reading the OL text. I don't quite do it this way but I do read the text unaided (this is why I use flashcards so much - to learn vocab sufficiently to do this, though they are not perfect for several reasons) several times and then I struggle with the parsing and so on. Then I start to use methods available to look up and double check what I have constructed. I usually write my own translation before comparison with an existing one. It is not the same as looking up manually in resources I grant, and I believe that effort has a correlation in absorption so unfortunately SW can tend to work against that. People using software need to be aware of this and be disciplined in their use. One can of course cheat with printed materials as well - get an interlinear or read English beside the Greek/Hebrew/Ugaritic etc. without making sufficient effort on ones own.

 

Oh to have 8 hours a day to read ! Nice job you have there Peter.

 

Thx

D


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#32 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 12:38 PM

Hi Natan,

 

Just a few thoughts.

 

In the course of your review, I think it would also help to review the history of Accordance. Their claim of academic strength, especially in the area of original language study, has become a sort of tradition in the company. At the beginning of this tradition, it was inconceivable to have a large number of manuscripts or any other images in the program. There wasn't enough disk space. A week ago I put a 32 mb gb micro ssd card in my wife's smart phone. That card stores 1600 times more data than my first hard drive.

 

I think you should define "scholarship" in your review - along the lines of using original sources, manuscripts and critical editions, reference grammars, etc., vs how scholars use Bible software to save time at various points in their research. For example, would you accuse the Bar Ilan Responsa Project, with its focus on scholarly editions of texts (i.e., mss vs printed editions), of being unscholarly? Again, in the history of editions, they are making progress. Perhaps one day there will be synoptic presentations of all the witnesses, along with mss images. One of the scholarly uses of software is to cut and paste (hopefully) Unicode text to edit and save time typing.

 

Finally, at one point you "did not even know Accordance had the scrolls, for no one in scholarship seems to use the Accordance reconstructions." Were you also or are you still unaware that Acc is tagging DSS Hebrew for their syntax database? Dr. Holmstedt mentioned this today again: "I decided to push our  syntactic tagging into more texts (i.e., DSS and epigraphy)" at

http://www.accordanc...4989#entry72423

I'm not a DSS scholar, although I did buy the DSSEL for teaching a course on them. But if I was, I think that I would also avail myself of Accordance. I bought Accordance for the Hebrew syntax database. It was worth the entire price just for it. In the same way, I suspect that DSS scholars will pay the whole price for the DSS syntax database when it becomes available.

 

 Regards,

 

Michel


Edited by Michel Gilbert, 06 January 2015 - 03:18 PM.

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#33 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 01:22 PM

Hi,

 

The discussion about Accordance offering more manuscript images got me thinking: if Acc ever offered cuneiform images, how would it handle writing on the edges of tablets? Would they use 3-D photography and offer the glasses as a download for our 3-D printers? Or, even better yet, would our 3-D printer replicate the tablet exactly? They could also offer the same capabilities for hieroglyphs, and anything else from the ANE for that matter. They could add a category in the Info Pane - 3-D replicas of biblical and ANE artefacts - scaled down temple complexes, cult paraphernalia, houses, clothing, weapons, etc. Perhaps I should post this as a Feature Request. :)

 

Regards,

 

Michel


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#34 Peter Brylov Christensen

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 01:31 PM

Hi Michel

 

The InscriptiFact Project solves this by having several photographs of the same tablets, but it's an interesting feature that you mentioned, which certainly would make it a lot easier to work with..

 

With kind regards

 

Peter Christensen


Edited by Pchris, 06 January 2015 - 01:58 PM.

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#35 ukfraser

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 02:45 PM

Dr j
You state:

Personally, I find Accordance (and have found Accordance, for more than 20 years!) an excellent academic tool.

I am a lay leader and am very much aware of how poor my 'formal training' was and One of the things i really value about accordance is that not only are tools available for study but that i have benefited from this forum, podcasts, webinars and blogs as it has opened areas for ongoing personal development.

With the demise of christian bookshops here in the uk, my library has really benefitted from the recommendations and guidance.

It took me ages to find a suitable bible study resource when i moved to mac, (my background was with zondervan software on windows) but i dont have any hesitation in recommending accordance as a must have, especially by the 'love' and desire to help shown in the discussions even when in disagreement which i have found not to be always the case on some other Christian forums.

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#36 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 03:08 PM

Thank you so much, Fraser!

 

I hadn't really thought about how hard it is to find a local Christian bookstore these days. We have that same issue here in the US, though.

 

On behalf of the whole Accordance team, I can say it is our honor to be able to assist you.


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#37 Robert Holmstedt

Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 04:24 PM

Michel,

"I bought Accordance for the Hebrew syntax database. It was worth the entire price just for it. In the same way, I suspect that DSS scholars will pay the whole price for the DSS syntax database when it becomes available."

I am thrilled to read this. The syntax project has been (and continues to be) both exhilarating and humbling. It's very rewarding to know that a few other intrepid souls find is worthwhile.
  • jeremyduncan and Michel Gilbert like this
Professor, Hebrew and Northwest Semitic Languages
Dept. of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
The University of Toronto
blog: ancienthebrewgrammar.wordpress.com
https://utoronto.aca...RobertHolmstedt

#38 Michel Gilbert

Michel Gilbert

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 04:40 PM

Hi Robert,

 

It's worth much more than I paid; it's almost priceless.

 

I praise God for the syntax database. Thanks for your work.

 

Regards,

 

Michel



#39 jeremyduncan

jeremyduncan

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 05:34 PM

I just bought the new upgrade from a competitor to Accordance and it is unbearably slow. I'm using a new MacBook Pro with 16GB of Ram and I can't even scroll smoothly through content. 

 

It feels like bad form to needlessly badmouth another software package on those forums but minor quibbles with Accordance aside, thank you for keeping a healthy balance between acquiring solid resources, and keeping the actual software running smoothly and reliably.



#40 Abram K-J

Abram K-J

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 08:55 PM

It feels like bad form to needlessly badmouth another software package on those forums but minor quibbles with Accordance aside, thank you for keeping a healthy balance between acquiring solid resources, and keeping the actual software running smoothly and reliably.

 

Agreed!


Abram K-J
Pastor, Writer, Editor, Blogger
Web: Words on the Word




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