A Brief History
Roy Brown, The Founder of Accordance Bible Software and application developer, created one of the first Bible programs available for the Macintosh, known as ThePerfectWord, way back in 1988. ThePerfectWord was later bought by another company and renamed MacBible.
Soon there were a number of good general Bible study programs for the Mac, but there was nothing that would enable scholars and pastors to do in depth analysis of the original Greek and Hebrew texts of the Bible. So Roy began work on a new program which would make it easy to engage in even the most sophisticated kinds of Bible study. When Accordance 1.0 was released in February, 1994, it was heralded as a breakthrough in power and ease of use.
Over the years, Accordance has expanded from a specialized tool for scholars and pastors to one of the most complete, full-featured, and accessible Bible Study programs available. Whether you’re doing personal Bible study or scholarly research, you’ll find that Accordance continues to lead the way.
Details of the Development of Accordance
Accordance Bible Software has always made it their goal to produce the best Bible study software on the market. We believe that being the best entails the following:
- Offering innovative and powerful features which cannot be found anywhere else.
- Providing the most intuitive and easy-to-use interface possible, and
- Providing a wide range of useful resources for Bible study (dictionaries, commentaries, etc.)
Our approach to achieving these goals has been to start with the high end and then to work our way down. We therefore began by aiming Accordance at the scholarly market, in cooperation with The GRAMCORD Institute. Version 1.0, released in February 1994, offered state of the art features for doing grammatical analysis of the Bible in the original Greek and Hebrew (later).
With version 2.0, released in May 1996, we focused on adding features which would be of greater interest to non-scholars, such as easy access to lexicons, commentaries, and other secondary resources; the ability to append user notes to any verse; and instant access to parallel passages in the Gospels, Kings and Chronicles, etc. We released Accordance on CD-ROM in October that same year, which allowed us to reduce our starting price to a level better suited to the consumer market.
With version 3.0, released in November 1997, we continued this focus on the lay user by adding support for pictures, the ability to search every Bible text and study aid in a single pass, better hypertexting and formatting of electronic texts, and greater customizability. At the same time, we continued to offer new features for the scholarly market, such as diagramming and tools for syntactical analysis.
In July 1998, we released the Accordance Bible Atlas, a separate product which works seamlessly with Accordance to enable users to explore the lands of the Bible. Completely customizable maps, animated routes, detailed site descriptions, and the ability to “fly through” three-dimensional maps of Palestine and the Mediterranean combine to make the Accordance Bible Atlas as sophisticated and easy to use as our Bible software.
April 1999 marked another milestone with the release of the NIV Study Bible Basic Library for Macintosh, and the Expositor’s Bible Commentary for Macintosh, both published as Accordance-compatible CD-ROMs by Zondervan.
Version 4.0, released July 1999, made the original languages even more accessible to the lay user with two texts tagged with Strong’s numbers. Accordance provided seamless integration of these numbers with the texts and dictionaries. Advanced search features enabled scholars to search the original languages for exact accented and vowelled forms. Many other new and upgraded features answered almost all the requests of our users over the years.
Through 2000 major CD-ROM releases with upgraded versions of Accordance 4 included the Scholar’s Collection, Anchor Bible Dictionary, Church Fathers with Church History, NIV Study Bible Complete Library, New International Dictionary of NT Theology, Hebrew & Aramaic Lexicon, and Bible Lands PhotoGuide.
Version 5.0 released in 2001 offered many significant new features and OS X compatibility. New CD-ROM releases that year included the Library 5, Scholar’s Collection 3, and New International Dictionary of OT Theology and Exegesis.
During 2002 Accordance 5 was further upgraded to work better in OS X and to support the Timeline. The CD-ROMs released in that year were Compubiblia, BDAG Greek Lexicon, Bible Reference, NET Bible, Theological Journals Library, and Scholar’s Collection 4.
Version 5.7 with improved support for OS X was released in February 2003. Accordance continues to be at the cutting edge of Bible Software on any platform.
Version 6.0 (November 2003) featured the first complete redesign of the windows, palettes, and menus to provide a streamlined and context-sensitive interface that is even easier to use. The workspace allows users to organize their windows as tabs. Many other features were added or enhanced throughout the application.
CD-ROMs with version 6 include the Essential IVP Reference Collection, Library 6, Scholar’s 6, Jewish Collection 3, and Bible Unlock.
The many new features in Version 7.0 (May 2006) included new ways to organize modules, colorful new graphical ways to view the results, right-click menus, and improved OS X compatibility. We expanded the range of scholarly languages and texts to include Dead Sea Scrolls Biblical texts, Syriac, Uncial manuscripts, and Aramaic texts among others.
Many of the CD-ROMs were upgraded to version 7 with added contents. Notable new releases included Word Biblical Commentary, Talmud, Context of Scripture, and our first DVD comprising the Atlas, Bible Lands PhotoGuide, and Timeline.
The release of Version 8.0 in May 2008 marked a major milestone with a Universal Binary version for Intel Macs. There were new ways to customize the appearance of the windows and the arrangement of the parallel panes. Powerful new search features made it easy to find approximate phrases, and allusions from one text to another. Instant highlighting flags the corresponding word between a tagged text and a key number translation, letting you see immediately how the word is translated.
The Accordance Primary DVD combined the Library and Scholars’ modules with the Bibles on a single disk with a simplified installer.
Version 9.0 in September 2010 broke new ground with Easy Install replacing the need for installers and disks for the delivery and updating of content. Search All gave even faster results and a preview pane. Syntax and interlinear displays informed students of the original texts. Unicode Bibles extended the range of supported languages, while the app for the iPhone and other iOS devices greatly expanded our user base.
Version 10.0 in August 2012 brought a completely updated interface in an integrated workspace. User-friendly enhancements include a customizable toolbar, flex searching, and easier access to the Search All. This version was adapted to run natively on Windows OS.
In October 2014 Version 11.0 added a new Info Pane and a powerful Research tab. It continued to update features throughout the application, and the code for Mac was upgraded to full Cocoa.
Version 12.0 released in November 2016 increases the usefulness of Accordance to all users whether or not they are professional. It supports the collection and integration of search results into the preparation of outlines and papers. Interactive analytics open new avenues of research based on search results, and syntactical analysis of the text now supports the ETCBC (WIVU) database.