Reviews by Fraser Sims
January 10, 2018  |  5:44 AM   |    Fantastic (5)
This has become my go to Christian study bible along with the excellent Jewish Study bible and Jewish annotated New Testament.

I like study bibles because they give you a snapshot on the passage you are reading and have always used one as my primary bible, taking it to church and study groups as well as for personal devotion. The preface to the book is a distillation of the author and time it was written. The passage notes are a distillation of other texts and links to passages. They help in ...
This has become my go to Christian study bible along with the excellent Jewish Study bible and Jewish annotated New Testament.

I like study bibles because they give you a snapshot on the passage you are reading and have always used one as my primary bible, taking it to church and study groups as well as for personal devotion. The preface to the book is a distillation of the author and time it was written. The passage notes are a distillation of other texts and links to passages. They help in orientation without getting in the way of the passage but also put markers when you want to dig deeper.

My journey with Accordance started with the niv study bible but the esv study bible is just so much more than a study bible.

It runs well with the nrsv which is the preferred translation at our church as well as the tagged esv that comes with Accordance. But the esv study bible has over 200 maps so it also became my atlas for a time. For me, this takes the orientation of the passage to a new level. I now have the excellent go to Holman Bible Atlas in accordance so the maps in the esvsb are of less importance now but still useful.

On my ipad, I have the text on the left and my study bible on the right and can easily switch between the jsb, nivsb, esvsb or jant as appropriate.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
August 29, 2017  | 11:45 AM   |    Fantastic (5)
This is a great 'single' volume commentary for a quick summary.

I started with Peake's and then got the oxford bible commentary in hard copy. The ebc abridged came with my first accordance package and became my go to commentary as it works so well with accordance and its all there in one place and automatically syncs. i didnt need to get up from my seat and coffee and walk over to a bookcase for a hard copy, plus I have it with me all the time on my ios devices for instant access in church or ...
This is a great 'single' volume commentary for a quick summary.

I started with Peake's and then got the oxford bible commentary in hard copy. The ebc abridged came with my first accordance package and became my go to commentary as it works so well with accordance and its all there in one place and automatically syncs. i didnt need to get up from my seat and coffee and walk over to a bookcase for a hard copy, plus I have it with me all the time on my ios devices for instant access in church or on a bus or train.

For me, getting the full ebc afterwards was a mistake. Yes there is more text, but personally, i dont find the extra information really adds that much to what I already had in the abridged version.

Since getting jps, wbc and nivac commentary sets in accordance, i virtually never use the full ebc now. I use the full ebc when I need to keep digging but even then, don’t really find anything fresh. However, I still go to the abridged ebc when i want a quick snapshot when short of time and my study bibles haven’t been enough (and I’m too lazy to get up or am not near my obc).
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
August 29, 2017  |  9:58 AM   |    Fantastic (5)
For me, sacred bridge is an encyclopaedia rather than an atlas.

It is laid out with chapters spanning approximately 100 years so you get chapter titles like CHAPTER 13 WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY EARLY EIGHTH CENTURY BCE
ARAM-DAMASCUS’ PERIOD OF SUPREMACY
Great if you know the period you are looking for but less useful if you are trying to find something related to a specific bible passage or area. for example, you get 40 odd hits in content and 2 in captions for Isaiah and the captions are not ...
For me, sacred bridge is an encyclopaedia rather than an atlas.

It is laid out with chapters spanning approximately 100 years so you get chapter titles like CHAPTER 13 WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY EARLY EIGHTH CENTURY BCE
ARAM-DAMASCUS’ PERIOD OF SUPREMACY
Great if you know the period you are looking for but less useful if you are trying to find something related to a specific bible passage or area. for example, you get 40 odd hits in content and 2 in captions for Isaiah and the captions are not just maps but include images. For me, the greatest let down from an atlas perspective is that there is no index of maps.

This volume is extremely useful and readable and it is a must for my library because it provides so much well researched background information. Plus i find having it on my iPad so much easier to read than a large hard copy with the possibility of maps going over the binding making them hard to read. (Dont be put off by the above screenshot, and image, though some of the font colours, particularly the cyan, pale green and magenta, are a bit of a shock.)

If you are not sure, get it!!! you will enjoy and come to value it, just be prepared to spend time searching and reading round the subject and dont get frustrated when you need to find a specific map related to a bible passage in a hurry and cant. This is a volume to savour, curled up in a chair with a coffee and plenty of time.

If you are happy with monochrome maps, then get the carta bible atlas as well!
C-Bible+Atlas+5

However, If you are often in a hurry and looking for a specific good quality colour map in accordance, my go to is the esv study bible which has a brilliant index of nearly 170 maps listed in biblical order and i can get to a relevant map within seconds and a couple of clicks. ESV+Study+Bible-addon
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
June 8, 2017  | 12:46 PM   |    Fantastic (5)
The more i use NIVAC, the more i really appreciate the set.
When i read the bible, even a familiar passage, often a verse will jump out at me. Something that may not have struck me before.
Every time i read NIVAC, a sentence will jump out at me and get me thinking about the passage in a totally fresh direction. This is great for personal bible study but invaluable when preparing a sermon. I strongly recommend looking at dr j's podcast #37 for a quick look at this series.

This review got me ...
The more i use NIVAC, the more i really appreciate the set.
When i read the bible, even a familiar passage, often a verse will jump out at me. Something that may not have struck me before.
Every time i read NIVAC, a sentence will jump out at me and get me thinking about the passage in a totally fresh direction. This is great for personal bible study but invaluable when preparing a sermon. I strongly recommend looking at dr j's podcast #37 for a quick look at this series.

This review got me thinking about my journey in bible study. To start with i had a very good study bible (the Jerusalem bible readers edition) then i got a single volume commentary. As i continued to dig deeper i got various individual commentaries including the Tyndale and everyman series but after only a couple of years, I found them leaving me with too many questions and i needed to get a technical commentary set (wbc). However, i got a hard copy of a volume to see how i got on with the NIVAC set, really liked what i read and jumped when this set was on offer in accordance. Part of me wishes these had been published years ago when i first started getting commentaries. However part of me is also pleased they weren't, as having them in accordance with all the enhancement just makes them so good.

I like the way Nivac is structured. I find the 'original meaning' to be succinct and focused and more use than either the tyndale or everyman volumes, both of which i have virtually stopped referring to now.
Reviewers on a series of commentaries often refer to weaker volumes in a set. Within NIVAC, i have found that the 'contemporary significance' has different styles depending on the author. Most of these i find helpful but i have found that there are one or two authors i do not relate to.
This is where the 'bridging context' comes in, sometimes it is a reworking of one of the other two sections. Sometimes it really does bring something new to the text. However, where i find it incredibly useful is if i don't gel with the author's contemporary significance text, then there will definitely be something in this section that gets me thinking.

For me, NIVAC makes an excellent combination with a technical commentary (wbc or nicnt). It is a good resource for personal study and an excellent trigger for sermon preparation. It is a great resource for triggering my thoughts into a fresh direction.

I would certainly recommend this as a refreshing set of non-technical commentaries.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
June 8, 2017  | 12:42 PM   |    Fantastic (5)
The more i use NIVAC, the more i really appreciate the set.
When i read the bible, even a familiar passage, often a verse will jump out at me. Something that may not have struck me before.
Every time i read NIVAC, a sentence will jump out at me and get me thinking about the passage in a totally fresh direction. This is great for personal bible study but invaluable when preparing a sermon. I strongly recommend looking at dr j's podcast #37 for a quick look at this series.

This review got me ...
The more i use NIVAC, the more i really appreciate the set.
When i read the bible, even a familiar passage, often a verse will jump out at me. Something that may not have struck me before.
Every time i read NIVAC, a sentence will jump out at me and get me thinking about the passage in a totally fresh direction. This is great for personal bible study but invaluable when preparing a sermon. I strongly recommend looking at dr j's podcast #37 for a quick look at this series.

This review got me thinking about my paper based journey in bible study. To start with i had a very good study bible (the Jerusalem bible readers edition) then i got a single volume commentary. As i continued to dig deeper i got various individual commentaries including the Tyndale and everyman series but after only a couple of years, I found them leaving me with too many questions and was only happy after I had a good technical commentary set (such as wbc.). However, i got a hard copy of one volume to see how i got on with NIVAC, really liked what i read and jumped when on offer in accordance. Part of me wishes these had been published years ago when i first started getting commentaries. However part of me is also pleased they weren't, as having NIVAC in accordance with all the enhancement just makes them so useful.

I like the way Nivac is structured. I find the 'original meaning' to be succinct and focused and more use than either the tyndale or everyman volumes, both of which i have virtually stopped referring to now.
Reviewers on a series of commentaries often refer to weaker volumes in a set. Within NIVAC, i have found that the 'contemporary significance' has different styles depending on the author. Most of these i find helpful but i have found that there are one or two authors i do not relate to.
This is where the 'bridging context' comes in, sometimes it is a reworking of one of the other two sections. Sometimes it really does bring something new to the text. However, where i find it incredibly useful is if i don't gel with the author's contemporary significance text, then there will definitely be something in this section that will make me think.

For me, NIVAC makes an excellent combination with a technical commentary (wbc or nicot) and the jps/torah commentaries. It is a good resource for personal study and an excellent trigger for sermon preparation. It is a great resource for triggering my thoughts into a fresh direction.

I would certainly recommend this as a refreshing and challenging set of non-technical commentaries.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
May 16, 2017  |  5:31 AM   |    Fantastic (5)
A picture paints a thousand words. This is a fantastic resource for understanding an influential period in a part of the western Christian church's history.

This is an atlas, and this atlas is about the maps. The maps are excellent, both clear and detailed. The quality and quantity of the maps has not been compromised by making either the text or photographs more important than they need for their supporting role!

The format of this volume is a page of text and a map. At 160 pages, this can ...
A picture paints a thousand words. This is a fantastic resource for understanding an influential period in a part of the western Christian church's history.

This is an atlas, and this atlas is about the maps. The maps are excellent, both clear and detailed. The quality and quantity of the maps has not been compromised by making either the text or photographs more important than they need for their supporting role!

The format of this volume is a page of text and a map. At 160 pages, this can only be a top level summary of major events and players. It is not just limited to what is happening in Europe but includes North America and Japan. The text is clearly laid out and readable but there are going to be omissions, for example there is nothing on Hooker (1554-1600)! The text doesn't go into much detail, for example Tyndale is only mentioned in passing and there is virtually nothing on the problems for translators into English. But even so, the text packs a lot of information in. For me, the greatest omission is that on page 142, Charles raises his standard in Nottingham, but Nottingham isnt included on either of the maps before or after this statement. Clearly a major oversight!!!!!

There is an 8 page introduction consisting of a timeline covering 1300-1700 for easy orientation and the time period covered by this resource. There are good indexes at front and back as well as added the accordance search features.

The images are of good quality and the maps are beautifully clear and can be zoomed on any device and still maintain clarity, though they are great on an iPad! In the printed version, many of the maps go across the binding making them hard to read. This is not a problem in Accordance as the maps are all full screen and totally readable. The maps often contain more information than the text which makes this atlas such a great tool, especially for those whose preference for learning is by visual methods. I frequently use maps for training and these maps are welcome additions to those included in the more normal biblical atlases and I haven’t come across the information presented in map form elsewhere.

This is a useful resource for when you want a quick overview of what was happening when and where, and has the added advantage of a map so you can also really visualise it in context. The screen shot on the product page gives a good indication on the types of topics covered and the amount of detail in the text, however the strength of this product really is in the quality and detail of the cartography and i dont feel the screen shot does this atlas justice and you will get a much beter idea if you look at all the links to the introduction and blog in its sister volume, the atlas of christian history!

The way its laid out is interesting and can appear slightly repetitive. For example, Its great if you want to know about Huldrych Zwingli as many individuals have a page of text dedicated (as shown in the screenshot) to them. So the overall flow of the text is not always chronological as you get a page of chronological overview interspersed with several pages on individuals. So if you want to know more about Zwingli's involvement in the Marburg colloquy and who was there you need to read a few pages involving Philip (Philipp) of Hesse which are earlier in the volume as well as a overview chronological page on Protestantism in 1530. This is where accordance could have done more internal linking to help link between events but the tagging is already quite extensive and they had to draw a line somewhere so using the accordance search is essential. The ability to search is Another major advantage of accordance over the printed copy where you have to rely on indexes alone (and they are incomplete and I have found instances where they are split for no logical reason, for example, the colloquy is under "c" but Marburg has its own entry with 6 other links but excludes the colloquy). You get more hits using a single search and can quickly click through them to find all the info you need.

There is also a free study guide to the reformation using this atlas on the publishers web site which accordance has now helpfully included a link to from their product page.

With the added accordance magic, this makes it a great resource as you can have it with you wherever you are on your ios device. It is a useful starting point if you want to go deeper or just to put names and events in context and location.

There is the equally excellent sister volume on church history which provides context up to the reformation and after the reformation up to 2015 with only minimal duplication In the Accordance library. again the maps do not suffer from the hard copy binding issues, even before accordance add their enhancements! Its well worth getting both as they are very reasonably priced and the maps are superb!
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
May 4, 2015  |  1:39 PM   |    Mediocre (2)
Atlas is defined as a book of maps. For me, the most important things in an atlas are clear detailed maps and a sufficient number to show me where the events are taking place in the passage I am reading. I do not consider that the maps in this atlas are clear, detailed or cover the events in the bible in sufficient number. This review refers to the maps in the atlas.

I have been using a hard copy of the Holman Bible Atlas by Brisco since about 2008 and it has never let me down with a good ...
Atlas is defined as a book of maps. For me, the most important things in an atlas are clear detailed maps and a sufficient number to show me where the events are taking place in the passage I am reading. I do not consider that the maps in this atlas are clear, detailed or cover the events in the bible in sufficient number. This review refers to the maps in the atlas.

I have been using a hard copy of the Holman Bible Atlas by Brisco since about 2008 and it has never let me down with a good selection of very clear maps with good detail. It is now available in accordance! Just search brisco, or holman atlas!

I am relying on my ios device more and wanted an e-atlas for maps to see where things are in relation to each other. After much research i got the zondervan one. However, i found myself repeatedly returning to my hard copy of the Holman as the detail or information i have been used to is missing from the Zondervan. I would really like to be able to include images in this review to demonstrate the differences, for example, zondervan has a single map covering jesus entire ministry with major routes and a few cities. It doesnt really add anything as other maps have the major routes. By comparison, the holman has five different maps each fully annotated with references linking positions to those specified in specific gospel passages.

The Zondervan Atlas just doesn’t have enough maps (just over 100) and they are not detailed enough for me. There is no index so you have to rely on search. Many times the word I use isn’t in the title or text so it takes several attempts to find something that may be relevant.

I stopped using the Zondervan Atlas and used the esv study bible for maps on my ios devices. Esv has nearly 200 maps and a brilliant index so you can easily find what you are looking for as they are in sequence with the books in the bible. It includes virtually all the maps of the crossways esv atlas.

The study bible also has the advantage of giving information on the passage i am reading and frequently the map is there as well rather than all being at the back as in some study bibles. This makes scrolling with the passage so much easier. Many of the maps in the gospels have been duplicated for each gospel so they scroll and there are 3 covering the ministry of jesus ( cf 1 in Zondervan and 5 for the excellent Holman).

However, the Holman atlas is now available in accordance and has maps which are clearer, more detailed, and better in every respect so my advice is to get the excellent holman atlas instead.

Other alternatives you may want to consider include:

sacred bridge is just packed with information and maps and is my go to resource for reading round the subject on ios. I haven't really used the text or images in the Zondervan Atlas which just languishes now in my library unused. As can be seen from the screenshot of the product, I am sure the text, approximate 25 charts and the 100+ high quality images are very good but feel that they have taken precedence at the expense of the maps which for me is the primary purpose of an atlas.

If colour maps are not important, then consider the Carta Bible Atlas

If iOS isnt important, there is also the accordance atlas you should consider. Also consider getting the graphics package which has a number of resources.

But my advice is that there are better atlases in accordance and only get this if you want multiple ones with additional text and photographs and are not worried about the quality of the maps. (Note, even the sample page above shows one of the excellent photos, not a map!)
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
October 11, 2014  | 12:39 PM   |    Fantastic (5)
I like a study bible because they offer a succinct orientation to the passage. I bought this as a hard copy initially which includes the JPS. This and my Jerusalem bible with detailed notes became my two go to study bibles before i got accordance. The jewish study bible was then supplemented with the Jewish Annotated new testament in print.

However, when i started using accordance the jpss and jewish study bible were some of my initial purchases and have remained my 'go to' resources along w ...
I like a study bible because they offer a succinct orientation to the passage. I bought this as a hard copy initially which includes the JPS. This and my Jerusalem bible with detailed notes became my two go to study bibles before i got accordance. The jewish study bible was then supplemented with the Jewish Annotated new testament in print.

However, when i started using accordance the jpss and jewish study bible were some of my initial purchases and have remained my 'go to' resources along with jant. Having both in Accordance gives the benefits of links and are always with me on my mobile devices.

I find the study text clear and the articles well written and strongly recommend that this together with the tagged JPSS text to get a fresh perspective on the Hebrew Scriptures.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]
October 11, 2014  |  5:52 AM   |    Fantastic (5)
I bought this in hard copy originally as the articles at the back of the book alone are worth it. The additional study notes give useful insights particularly back to the Torah and are often extensive.

Having all the interactive links makes this a valuable addition to your Accordance library. But the accordance version is slightly different to the printed volume so it is worth checking the articles at the end of each 'book' for other snippets of information which appear in grey blocks spread ...
I bought this in hard copy originally as the articles at the back of the book alone are worth it. The additional study notes give useful insights particularly back to the Torah and are often extensive.

Having all the interactive links makes this a valuable addition to your Accordance library. But the accordance version is slightly different to the printed volume so it is worth checking the articles at the end of each 'book' for other snippets of information which appear in grey blocks spread throughout the text in the hard copy (not at the end as in accordance).

This makes an ideal companion volume to the jewish study bible (also in accordance).

Highly recommended.
  [ FULL REVIEW ]

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