Baker Academic has made its way to Accordance 10 Bible Software. The first offering is Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, edited by G.K. Beale and D.A. Carson. Here I review it, with this first part of the review covering Accordance’s version of it.
One nice thing about Accordance’s setup is that I can use Commentary on the NT Use of the OT just as any other Accordance tool (for the below and all images in this post, click or open in new tab for larger):
Or I can right-click on the tab to “detach it,” so that it’s its own workspace. For reading through a good deal of text at once, this is ideal. One other great feature, as you’ll see in the left sidebar below, is how easy it is to navigate through all the sections and sub-sections of the book:
But what about how I’d actually need to use this resource? To really make sense of it, I’d need the Hebrew MT, Greek LXX, possibly English translations of each, and the Greek NT all open and easy to view. Combining that kind of layout with the hyperlinking in Accordance’s version of this commentary would be sweet. Wonderfully… it’s possible. Check this out:
For a resource that can be had in print for under $40, it seems like paying nearly $60 for the Accordance module could only be justified if the electronic version could do things the print version can’t. The electronic version can, indeed, do some unique things. (See the image above.) Especially for a commentary like this with lots of cross-references and constant movement between Greek, Hebrew, and other versions, being able to see multiple versions at once–together with the commentary–is a huge benefit. It saves time and allows me to better grasp how NT writers used OT texts by seeing a quotation alongside its original context.
The Instant Details (which I happen to have closed above to maximize screen space for different versions) show whatever hyperlink you hover over–this gives you yet another window for text display, and is particularly useful for, say, quickly seeing a longer passage in English. Things did get a little buggy when I opened the Instant Details the first time, but I assume that was because of how many windows I had open (not the module itself, necessarily):
I was able to get rid of the jumbling on the top right by closing and re-opening the Instant Details. See now below:
One really nice feature about Accordance’s Beale and Carson commentary module is how many ways you can search it. Accordance then tells you how many hits come up for your search, and using the “move down one mark” arrow keys, you can easily move through the results. You can even see the “real” (i.e., print) page numbers! Look again at that image at right–that’s 12 different ways you can search Beale/Carson. Pretty handy.
Most folks interested in Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament likely know of its solid reputation and are perhaps now merely trying to decide between a print and electronic version. (In a second post I’ll review the content of the commentary.) If you use Bible software regularly already, I think it is well worth the extra cost to own Accordance’s module. It’s facile to get around, hyperlinked nicely, easy to line up with original language texts, highly searchable, and quite readable as a detachable resource. I, for one, am really glad to have this module on my computer.
UPDATE: Read the rest of my review of Beale/Carson here.