BHS, the Göttingen Septuagint, and other critical editions: a basic orientation to what they are

Image source: (click on image for more details)

Most students of the Hebrew Bible who read Hebrew know of the premier scholarly edition, the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS, here on Amazon).  The BHS is now being updated by the BHQ (Q=Quinta), about which you can read more here. Both the BHS and BHQ are “diplomatic” editions of the text, which means that they reproduce a single “best” manuscript, the Leningrad Codex, in their cases. The footer in each page contains a critical apparatus, which lists variant readings from other manuscripts and versions that the editors have deemed to be of importance for getting even closer to the “original” (now often being called the “earliest attainable text”). In some cases, the editors may wish to show where another manuscript or version differs from the Leningrad Codex; the critical apparatus is where they do it.

There are two other similar projects underway for the Hebrew Bible. One is the Hebrew University Bible Project, also a diplomatic edition, but unlike BHS and BHQ, based on the Aleppo Codex. The HUB includes a more extensive critical apparatus than BHS, so that readers can see more textual variants.

The other scholarly edition of the Hebrew Bible is the Oxford Hebrew Bible Project, “a new critical edition of the Hebrew Bible featuring a critical text and extensive text-critical introduction and commentary.” Though the BHQ contains commentary, too, the OHB differs in being an “eclectic” text, meaning that, as R.S. Hendel says (quoted in Tov),

The practical goal for the OHB is to approximate in its critical text the textual “archetype,” by which I mean the earliest inferable textual state.

Though the textual apparatuses of the BHS/BHQ and HUB can theoretically aid the reader in approximating the textual “archetype,” the text of the OHB offers that approximation rather than reproducing an actual manuscript (as the diplomatic editions do). Hence, the OHB is an “eclectic” edition. (So, too, are the two major scholarly editions of the Greek New Testament, the NA27 and UBS4.)

The Septuagint–the Greek translation of these Jewish Scriptures–has various scholarly editions, too.

On its Website the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS) has a great primer on the various editions of the Septuagint. Below, “OG” stands for “Old Greek.” They write:

The creation and propagation of a critical text of the LXX/OG has been a basic concern in modern scholarship. The two great text editions begun in the early 20th century are the Cambridge Septuagint and the Göttingen Septuagint, each with a “minor edition” (editio minor) and a “major edition” (editio maior). For Cambridge this means respectively H. B. Swete, The Old Testament in Greek (1909-1922) and the so-called “Larger Cambridge Septuagint” by A. E. Brooke, N. McLean, (and H. St. John Thackeray) (1906-). For Göttingen it denotes respectively Alfred Rahlfs’s Handausgabe (1935) and the “Larger Göttingen Septuagint” (1931-). Though Rahlfs (editio minor) can be called a semi-critical edition, the Göttingen Septuaginta (editio maior) presents a fully critical text, as described below.

Beginning Septuagint students are likely to own just “Rahlfs” (the Handausgabe mentioned above). But those who want to do more detailed text work with the Septuagint want more than the mini-apparatus in that edition.

Between Accordance (here) and Logos (here), nearly everything listed in the above quotation is available in electronic form. Accordance has Rahlfs’s Apparatus, parts of the larger Göttingen edition, and both the smaller (Swete) and most of what is currently available in the larger Cambridge Septuagint. Logos has all the volumes of Göttingen that have been completed to date.

There is more here about the scholarly versions of the Septuagint, including a volume-by-volume listing of both the Cambridge and Göttingen projects.

I have been fortunate to receive a review copy of BHS and BHQ Hebrew Bible editions from Accordance, as well as the existing volumes of the Göttingen Septuagint from Logos. I’ll be reviewing each in the coming weeks.

UPDATE: My review of BHS in Accordance is here. My BHQ review is here. Part 1 of a short primer on using the Göttingen Septuagint is here.

My Accordance 10 review: all six parts (plus Beale/Carson module review)

Here, collected in one place, are all six parts of my review of the Bible software program Accordance 10, as well as my two-part review of the Accordance module for Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, edited by G.K. Beale and D.A. Carson.

Part 1In which I finally try out Accordance Bible Software for Mac (new version 10!)

Part 24 Cool Features in Accordance 10

Part 33 Powerful Ways to Search in Accordance 10

Part 4The Original Languages Collection in Accordance 10 meets Septuagint Sunday

Part 5Accordance 10: Bells and Whistles

Part 6: More Bells and Whistles in Accordance 10

Review of Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, edited by G.K. Beale and D.A. Carson:
part 1 / part 2.

UPDATE: Go here to see my comparative review of BibleWorks, Accordance, and Logos.

UPDATE 12/29/12: Here I review the User Notes feature.

Thanks again to Accordance for the review copies of the Original Languages Collection and the Beale/Carson module. Five stars for all of the above.

Review: Accordance 10’s Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, by Beale and Carson (part 2 of 2: the content)

Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, edited by G.K. Beale and D.A. Carson, is available as an add-on module in Accordance 10. In the first part of my review of the module, I focused on Accordance’s presentation of the commentary. Here I review the content of the commentary itself, but still with a close eye on how I’ve experienced it in Accordance.

I mentioned in my last post that for reading this commentary straight through (e.g., if I want to spend some time absorbing the introduction to any given book), I can easily detach it from a given workspace where it has shown up as a “Reference Tool.” I also noted that navigating through the various headings and sub-headings of the commentary is very easy, as Accordance lays it out.

To quickly view hyperlinks you can do a “Popover” for Instant Details by holding a click on a hyperlink or by pressing option-click. Or, as I’ve begun doing since my last post, you can just have the Instant Details always open. This way I can quickly read the text of a verse that is merely referenced in the commentary, and not lose my place in the body of the commentary.

Highlighting is also mercifully easy, so that my commentary currently looks like this:

One thing to appreciate about the content of the commentary right off the bat is that it succeeds in its hope that

Readers will be helped to think through how a particular NT book or writer habitually uses the OT; they will be stimulated to see how certain OT passages and themes keep recurring in the various NT corpora.

Take D.A. Carson’s introduction to 1 Peter, for example:

The OT is cited or alluded to in 1 Peter in rich profusion. In a handful of instances quotations are introduced by formulae: dioti gegraptai, “wherefore it is written” (1:16, citing Lev. 19:2), dioti periechei en graphē, “wherefore it stands in Scripture” (2:6–8, citing Isa. 28:16; Ps. 118:22; Isa. 8:14), or, more simply, by dioti, “wherefore” (1:24–25a, citing Isa. 40:6–8) or by gar, “for” (3:10–12, citing Ps. 34:13–17). About twenty quotations are sufficiently lengthy and specific that there is little doubt regarding their specific OT provenance. For a book of only five short chapters, there is a remarkable record of quotation. Yet the quotations tell only a small part of the story, for 1 Peter is also laced with allusions to the OT.

Andreas J. Köstenberger’s introduction to John is remarkably thorough in this regard, containing (among other things!) a table of introductory formulas John used for OT quotations, a comparison between how John uses a given OT text and how other NT writers use it, how John’s quotations relate to potentially underlying Hebrew and Greek texts, and so on.

As noted above, there are several ways I can easily use Instant Details to look up each of the verses mentioned in the commentary, without losing my place in the main body. Note that the commentary uses transliteration for Greek and Hebrew throughout. For those who are not huge fans of transliteration (myself included), this is offset by the ease with which I can look up any of those verses in Accordance in the original texts, right alongside the commentary.

In the below screen shot I have the GNT-T text at bottom left tied to the Beale-Carson Commentary. This is simple to set up with a right click on the tab, then going to “Tab Ties.” This means that as I advance through 1 Peter, for example, the GNT-T text follows me. In the instance below, I have the parallel NET open, so that a Greek-English diglot follows me through the commentary. In the “Context” zone at the right I have the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Old Greek (LXX) open with my favorite corresponding English translations (NET and NETS) below.

One thing I sort of stumbled on that is really neat. Besides clicking on a hyperlinked verse in the text (to show me that single verse in the Context zone), command-clikcing on a hyperlinked verse gives me all the verses in my commentary’s paragraph that are hyperlinked. Note the “Verse 1 of 12” below, and how Isaiah 8:14 is right below Leviticus 19:2 in my LXX. What a nice feature!

Okay. Back to the content of the commentary itself. The introductions to each NT book, then, do well to orient the reader to trends in how that particular writer interacts with the OT text. The list of contributors is impressive–see it here. The commentary seeks to analyze not only instances where the NT quotes the OT, but also “all probable allusions” as well.

Generally speaking, each citation or allusion in question is organized around these facets:

  • The New Testament context: “the topic of discussion, the flow of thought, and, where relevant, the literary structure, genre, and rhetoric of the passage”
  • The Old Testament context of the source of the quotation or allusion–already things get interesting here, because NT writers do seem to feel free to recontextualize or resituate OT passages…
  • How early Judaism literature understood the given OT text. Even when there is little evidence of citation in early Judaism, there is still explanation. Köstenberger, for example, on John 2:17 briefly discusses the Jewish valuing of zeal, drawing on Phinehas, the Maccabees, and the Qumran community.
  • Textual issues, e.g., changes in verb tense from the LXX to the NT, and explorations of what text (proto-MT, LXX, etc.) or texts might inform the NT author’s quotation, including good discussion of textual variants (in the MT, LXX, and GNT!)
  • “How the NT is using or appealing to the OT,” i.e., are they so steeped in the OT that its language comes out naturally and not as a deliberate quotation? Does the NT writer have fulfilled prophecy in view? Etc.
  • The “theological use” of the OT by the NT writer

This last category ties much of the other content together. For example, on the theological use of Mark 1:2-3, Rick E. Watts says, “As such, eschatologically, in Jesus Isaiah’s long-delayed new-exodus deliverance of Israel has begun in Malachi’s great and terrible day of the Lord (Mal. 4:5).” Watts is dense here, but delightfully so, in my opinion. He develops these themes further–especially that of the new exodus–throughout his analysis on Mark.

I mentioned in my last post that you can search this module in a dozen different ways. The search bar is similar to Google, in that you can search English content by a single word, but also by a phrase in quotation marks, so that that exact phrase comes up in your search. Unfortunately the “Greek Content” and “Hebrew Content” searches (which search using Greek and Hebrew letters) are not available in this module, but that’s no fault of Accordance’s, since the commentary uses transliteration.

Fortunately, “Transliteration” is a search option, so you can easily look up how the commentary treats a given Greek or Hebrew word. Searching hilastērion, I see that all seven of its uses in the commentary are at Romans 3:25.

There were a few times when I wanted to go deeper into a passage than the commentary allowed. For example, Paul’s citation of Malachi in Romans 9:13 has, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” It’s hard to imagine anyone using a commentary who doesn’t want at least a little explanation of “hated” here. The commentary, to be fair, does have, “This choice of Jacob meant the rejection of Esau,” but doesn’t connect this rejection with the verb “hate.”

This just means that Beale and Carson’s commentary won’t be the only place I turn for in-depth study of a passage, but all my seminary professors say don’t use just one commentary anyway! Not a major loss here. The book is already huge (though not on a computer, thankfully), and attempts to be only “reasonably comprehensive” (which it very much is), not exhaustively so.

Besides that, it took me about three seconds to find in Accordance the NET Bible note on Malachi 1:3:

The context indicates this is technical covenant vocabulary in which “love” and “hate” are synonymous with “choose” and “reject” respectively (see Deut 7:8; Jer 31:3; Hos 3:1; 9:15; 11:1).

This commentary is what we book reviewers like to call a monumental achievement. It sits in the carrel of many a student in my seminary’s library. For good reason. And Accordance has done a magnificent job if seamlessly integrating a rich and multi-facted commentary into its software. This is a five star commentary with five star integration into Accordance 10.

Beale and Carson say in their introduction:

If this volume helps some scholars and preachers to think more coherently about the Bible and teach “the whole counsel of God” with greater understanding, depth, reverence, and edification for fellow believers, contributors and editors alike will happily conclude that the thousands of hours invested in this book were a very small price to pay.

After consulting the original biblical texts, this commentary will always be the first place I turn when I am looking to better understand (and share with others) how the New Testament uses the Old. I am grateful for those “thousands of hours invested in this book.”

Thank you to Accordance for providing me with a copy of the Beale/Carson commentary module for review. Scroll through for all six parts of my Accordance 10 review here.

Review: Accordance 10’s Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, by Beale and Carson (part 1 of 2: the module)

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.

Thank you to Accordance for providing me with a copy of the Beale/Carson commentary module for review. Scroll through for all six parts of my Accordance 10 review here.

UPDATE: Read the rest of my review of Beale/Carson here.

More Bells and Whistles in Accordance 10 (final installment of my review)

Here are a few more bells and whistles in Accordance 10. These are to add to the bells and whistles I mentioned yesterday.

    1. The Context Slider  

I’m in James. Wondering about wisdom.

So I right click on “wisdom” to search for the word in the rest of the Bible. I get the following results:

Great for a word search. I can scroll through the results, seeing one verse at a time–every verse containing “wisdom.” Note that next to the context slider it says there are 202 verses displayed. The frequency count for “wisdom,” though, is toward the top right of the image above, just under the search bar–212 flex hits. (I wrote more about Flex Search here.)

But what if I want to see each of those uses in context, without having to open up a bunch of new windows? Easy, I just slide the context slider one notch to the right:

Note that while my “212 flex hits” stay the same, there are now 546 verses listed. This means a bit more context is listed for each occurrence. Moving the context slider to 3, I get even more context for each use of “wisdom”:

The Context Slider goes all the way to the right for the setting “A,” which shows me all the uses of “wisdom” still marked in red, but with the context of the entire Bible surrounding it:

As you can imagine, being able to see the word search results with varying degrees of context makes for fruitful word studies.

2. Constructs

This feature looks a little more complicated, at least on first glance. But it’s well worth spending the time to figure out how to use it, because of all that it can do.

Accordance Constructs are a graphical interface that allow for more complicated searches… you know, things like, “How many times do the words God and love appear in the New Testament within seven words of each other… in Greek?” Setting up this search using the Construct feature looks like this and takes a very short time to do:

Clicking on Search at bottom right, I get the following results:

But that’s a lot of Greek to wade through. If I need an English translation, clicking on “Add Parallel” above gives me the same results, translated:

There is much more the Construct search can do–but this gives an idea of its potential utility. More from Accordance on Constructs can be found in their help files here.

3. Modules

Accordance sells a number of add-on modules. Though I have not used them, two that look to be particularly useful are a bundle for Hebrew text criticism (including the BHS text and apparatus, and new BHQ volumes with apparatus) and some volumes of the critical Göttingen text of the Septuagint (e.g., here and here). Accordance also offers add-ons of various commentaries, including the NIGTC series, NICNT, the JPS Torah Commentary, and quite a few more. Though there are certainly strong opinions in the biblical studies community as to whether one should own commentaries as physical books or as 1s and 0s, Accordance makes the latter possible with modules that integrate with the rest of the program.


I’ve really enjoyed learning and reviewing Accordance 10 this last week. It’s a great program. I love being able to use Bible software that is native to a Mac, and a really good software at that. Accordance can do a lot. I think what has impressed me the most has been how customizable all the panes, zones, tabs, etc. are, without sacrificing any quality. Already in the last week I’ve been able to use Accordance to speed up some tasks in both my studies and my ministry.

For ease of reference, here are all the parts of my review of Accordance 10, which this post (#6) completes.

Part 1: In which I finally try out Accordance Bible Software for Mac (new version 10!)
Part 2: 4 Cool Features in Accordance 10
Part 3: 3 Powerful Ways to Search in Accordance 10
Part 4: The Original Languages Collection in Accordance 10 meets Septuagint Sunday
Part 5: Accordance 10: Bells and Whistles

Coming soon: Review of Beale and Carson’s Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament add-on module.

I received a free copy of Accordance 10 for review. There were no expectations placed on me as to the nature (or length!) of my review, whether positive or negative.

Accordance 10: Bells and Whistles

I recently read somewhere in the Accordance Forums that an early Accordance user from the 1990s said the product should come with a warning that it may cause sleepless nights! As I’ve reviewed Accordance 10 (as a long-time Mac user but new Accordance user), I’ve already seen the wisdom in that suggestion. It’s hard to put down. Accordance is actually a really fun program to use: sleek, pleasing, productive, and really easy to customize as I’ve gotten the hang of how to move things around.

The four parts of my Accordance 10 review so far are here, here, here, and here. Specifically I’ve been reviewing the Original Languages CollectionUPDATE: final part, part 6 of my review, is here: “More Bells and Whistles.”

Now that I’m getting more comfortable with the program, I want to post about some bells and whistles in Accordance 10. These are features that really make the program stand out.

1. Instant Details: more than I thought

That Accordance has instant parsing details is great, but to be expected of any Bible software program.

Image from Accordance’s features page

But here are two cool bells and whistles about the Instant Details.

Instant Details already parse whatever word you hover over. But this same area can also be used to just as quickly give you information from a given tool that is tied to a biblical text. If you hold down ⌘ (the command key) while you hover over a word, the Instant Details will give you the information from the first tool related to the text. So you can see your top lexicon’s entry for that word, for example. Or if you hover over a verse number and press , you get the information from the first reference tool you have. For example, hovering over a verse reference and pressing the command key gives me this in my Instant Details (click on image for larger):

One other sweet feature about the Instant Details is that you can arrange the order of how parsing elements occur. This accounts for those who will come to Accordance having learned under any number of different grammars and systems. You can drag and drop elements to put them in the order you desire:

A nice touch.

2. Interlinears: however you want them

Having been trained at a seminary that prizes original languages, I am a little biased against interlinears for those who are really seeking to learn the language. (I find the “burn your interlinear” mantra I’ve heard from some quarters a little excessive, though.) Realistically, however, some exposure to biblical languages is better than none, and there are surely users who will want to make use of an interlinear. Greek and Hebrew texts come with interlinear English translation and word parsing as the default, but you can easily turn it off and back on again as needed. See the options at left, where you can set up exactly what you want to show in your interlinear. Here’s what the interlinear feature looks like with the options at left checked (click for larger):

3. It is so, so fast

When I first started using Accordance, I’d open it and then go to Safari or some other program to wait for it to load. But what I quickly realized is that I didn’t actually have to. This thing is up and running fast. I had Accordance set up so that four different workspaces would come up upon opening the program (NT, Hebrew OT, LXX, and a “Search all” workspace I created). Everything was ready to go in 8 seconds. That’s a lot of workspaces to have open fast!

Then when I opened Accordance such that it only needed to load two workspaces, that time dwindled to 5 seconds. Don’t bother surfing the Internet while you wait for Accordance to load. It’s ready to work when you are.  Searches on words are immediate, and the Instant Details give you the details, well… instantly.

Part 6 of my Accordance review will be my final review of the program itself. In that I’ll look at a few more bells and whistles: the Construct search and the context slider. After that I expect to be able to review an add-on module. Stay tuned!

I received a free copy of Accordance 10 for review. There were no expectations placed on me as to the nature of my review, whether positive or negative.

The Original Languages Collection in Accordance 10 meets Septuagint Sunday

Here I look closely at a “workspace” I’ve set up in Accordance 10 to study the Septuagint.

This series of reviews has been made possible by my having received a review copy of Accordance 10, Original Languages Collection. I have not been asked or expected to provide a positive review–just an honest one. See the first three parts of my review here (installation and setup), here (4 cool features), and here (3 powerful ways to search). UPDATE: Here is part 5, “Bells and Whistles.” UPDATE 2: part 6, “More Bells and Whistles.”

Here’s what my Septuagint workspace looks like (click for larger):

I’ve got three texts open–the Hebrew on the left, the Greek in the middle, and the English on the right. These each come with the Original Languages Collection. With hyperlinks to Accordance’s product info page, they are:

As I mentioned in a previous post, the NETS, while not perfect, is the best English translation of the Septuagint on the market. I have been really glad to be able to access it. The Original Languages Collection also includes the older and still helpful Brenton English translation of the Septuagint.

By going to “Set Text Plane Display” (available easily by right clicking from within a pane, or from Accordance’s “Display” menu, or by the shortcut T), you can change the theme/color of the individual text. If you wanted the LXX to stand out, for example, you could change it to the “Vintage” theme which makes it a nice, pleasing yellow, as in the picture at right. In fact, I’ve changed the colors on my Greek Tools (the LEH Lexicon) and Reference Tools (The IVP New Bible Commentary)–just so they stand apart a bit more as references. Being a long-time user and now reviewer of BibleWorks, I have been fine with the keep it simple but powerful philosophy. However, it really is a nice touch–especially if you’re looking at a screen for a long time–to be able to customize themes and colors.

Here are a few neat things I can do with the Septuagint setup above:

  • Triple-clicking on a verse reference automatically pulls up the accompanying text in the IVP commentary. This would be of slightly limited value for books that are in the Septuagint but not the Protestant canon that commentary covers. But…
  • …I can open up Conybeare and Stock’s Septuagint Grammar right next to the LEH lexicon
  • Triple-clicking on a word automatically displays the entry for that word in the lexicon

There are other ways to do searches without triple-clicking (for example, Amplify, which I discuss here), but triple-clicking is the quickest way I’ve found so far.

At this point I did run into a little bit of difficulty. Mounce’s Greek Dictionary is set as the default Greek lexicon. And triple-clicking always goes to the default lexicon, i.e., whatever is first in the list.

Working with the LXX, I wanted the LEH lexicon to be the one a triple-click would look up. But Mounce comes by default in the first position. So even with the LEH open, triple-clicks would look up in Mounce. 15 minutes searching through menus, icons, and Preferences and 10 more minutes in Accordance’s help section gave me no solution. Finally I turned to the Accordance Forums and–voila!–my answer. Not an immediately intuitive way forward, but I was grateful for the help.

That done, I now have my LXX workspace just how I like it.

Speaking of help, Accordance has multiple sources of support, from active user forums (in which Accordance staff participate) to extensive help files. The podcasts are good, too (index here). Because the layout/interface change from Accordance 9 to 10 was pretty significant, I looking forward to hopefully seeing updated podcasts for 10 that reflect this. Right now there is this episode on Accordance 10.

I have a Greek New Testament workspace set up similarly. The Original Languages Collection has the Greek dictionaries/lexicons you can see above–Mounce works well for the NT, and I love that it has word frequency counts. (Although you can easily get this and more from Accordance for any given word.) As far as I can tell, I have to change the default Greek dictionary back to Mounce when I’m in my NT workspace, if I want triple-clicking on a word to lead there.

For my Hebrew Bible study, the Original Languages Collection gives me the Hebrew MT (mentioned above) and these solid lexicons:

The Original Languages Collection also comes with Ross’s Hebrew Grammar.

The Concise Dictionary of Classical Hebrew (Concise DCH) is a relatively new publication. Its inclusion is a highlight of this package. From Accordance’s product page:

This Dictionary (CDCH) is an abridgment of the 8-volume Dictionary of Classical Hebrew (DCH), the first volume of which appeared in 1993. The DCH was the first dictionary of the Classical Hebrew language ever to be published. Unlike other dictionaries of the ancient Hebrew language, which cover only the texts of the Hebrew Bible, either exclusively or principally, DCH records the language of all texts written in Hebrew from the earliest times down to the end of the second century CE. That is to say, it includes not only the words used in the Hebrew Bible, but also those found in the Hebrew Book of Ben Sira (Ecclesiasticus), the Dead Sea Scrolls, and all the ancient Hebrew inscriptions.

Previous versions of Accordance had tiered-levels within individual collections, so that the Library collection still had intro, standard, and premier. So, too, with the Scholar’s collection: intro, standard, and premier. I found this time-consuming to navigate whenever I’d look at Accordance 9 on their Website, so the simplification in Accordance 10 (there is no tiering in the Original Languages Collection) is a huge improvement. It streamlines the decision-making process for those looking to get into Accordance.

The Original Languages Collection, as the Accordance site notes, has resources close to a $2,000 print retail value. That’s not a padded figure reflecting already electronically free public domain resources, either. I am impressed with the $299.99 price tag on this collection.

And I’m especially impressed that I can have all I currently need to use for text-based Septuagint research in one place. Two thumbs up for this collection.

3 Powerful Ways to Search in Accordance 10

Here are three powerful and creative ways that Accordance 10 allows you to search through its texts and resources. Add these three cool features to the four I highlighted earlier: analytics, the customizable toolbar, the magnify feature, and the one-volume IVP commentary and one-volume Eerdmans dictionary that come with the Starter Collection and higher.

1. Flex Search

Here is how Accordance’s site describes Flex Search, new in Accordance 10:

Flex Search is a new feature of Accordance 10 that finds variations of the words and phrases you search for. Specifically, Flex Search will find all inflected forms of verbs and all singular and plural forms of nouns. This mode also allows words to occur out of order or to have other words in between them.

If I wonder, for example, whether “Jesus wept” might have some other verses similar to it, I type in “jesus weep” in the search bar, make sure it’s set to “Flex Search,” then enter. You can see that in the results below, even though I searched with “weep,” Flex Search brought up results with any inflection of “to weep” (wept, weeping, weep). Just under the search bar is shown the statistic “18 flex hits.” Click on the image below or open in a new tab to view larger:

Order doesn’t matter here: “weep jesus” gives me the same results as “jesus weep.” You can even combine an Exact Search with a Flex Search by placing the term you want to search exactly in brackets. This is a good move for those of us who use Google frequently, where something like a Flex Search can happen somewhat intuitively.

This option is available only in the English versions–there is no Flex Search option for Hebrew or Greek texts, for example.

 2. Amplify

From the site again:

Accordance offers a highly efficient form of searching known as amplifying, which allows you to search for any word or phrase just by selecting it in the text you are reading and then clicking the Amplify icon in the toolbar. For example, if you are reading about the Ten Commandments in Exodus 34:28 you can amplify to a dictionary article on the topic by selecting the phrase “Ten Commandments” in the Bible text, clicking on the amplify icon in the toolbar, and then choosing the desired dictionary. You can also triple-click on any word to quickly amplify to your default dictionary or lexicon. This method of searching is much faster than opening a new module and manually typing in your search.

Using this feature has taken me a little bit of time to figure out, but now that I have I’m really enjoying it.

In Mark 1 below, I double-clicked on “wilderness” to highlight it and then went to the Amplify icon in the customizable toolbar up top:

Then a whole range of options is available to me. I can look up “wilderness” in English tools and find the definition in the Eerdmans dictionary. And the triple-click option is neat, too–by triple-clicking on a selected word, you look it up in your default dictionary or lexicon.

I can think of one possible way for a future update to improve the Amplify function (I know, I know! this one just came out). I was using Accordance with two Workspaces open: Accordance’s “NT Study” and my own “Hebrew Bible.” When I tried to look up an English word from the Hebrew Bible Workspace in the Eerdmans Dictionary, it moved me over to the NT Study Workspace where Eerdmans was already open. As a result I lost my initial place and had to go back to the “Hebrew Bible” Workspace.

There may be a good explanation for this and an easy way to prevent it from happening that I just don’t know about (if I find one out, I’ll post an update here). But it would have been nice to just have the Amplify search open the dictionary in my same Workspace. UPDATE: It’s an easy fix in the Preferences section. I just had to check “Confine amplify to the same workspace.”

Workspaces, by the way, are a great way to stay organized and working on multiple projects at the same time in Accordance.

3. Search All

The word “Trinity” does not appear in the Bible. But what if I want to see what biblical resources say about the Trinity, and where in the Bible they see the various interrelating persons of the Trinity? The “Search All” bar at the top right of Accordane allows the user to search all of Accordance’s resources by word (or even by Scripture reference). The screen shot below shows in the left sidebar the resources that returned a hit. You can see that Accordance gives me all the times “Trinity” appears in the NET Bible notes! That’s quite useful.

You can also use the “Search All” bar to access images.

There are a few more things I want to cover in my Accordance 10 review, but to those of you reading–are there any features you’d like me to comment on? Or questions you have about the program and its features, how it all works together? I’d be happy to try to take these up in future posts. Feel free to leave me a comment if so.

This series of reviews is made possible by my having received a review copy of Accordance 10, Original Languages Collection. I have not been asked or expected to provide a positive review–just an honest one. Part 1 of my review of Accordance 10 is here, and part 2 is hereUPDATE: Here is part 4, a review of the Original Languages Collection. UPDATE 2: Here is part 5, “Bells and Whistles.” UPDATE 3: part 6, “More Bells and Whistles.”

4 Cool Features in Accordance 10 (Review, part 2)

I am a new Accordance user. As I said in the first part of my review of Accordance: so far, so good.

I’m working my way through some of Accordance’s training materials so I can better utilize the program as I review it. Here is Episode 77 of their Lighting the Lamp podcast series. It is at the “basic level” and provides a “first look” at Accordance 10. It’s a good place to start.

Here I highlight, in no particular order, four cool features in Accordance 10. Each of these not only has a bit of a wow factor, but will also enhance my study of the Bible, especially in its original languages.

1. Pie charts, bar charts, statistics, oh my!

In Mark 1:42 I read: καὶ εὐθὺς ἀπῆλθεν ἀπ᾿ αὐτοῦ ἡ λέπρα, καὶ ἐκαθαρίσθη. (Note: I simply checked off a box in Preferences and was able to export this Greek text as unicode from Accordance into WordPress.) Then I “right click” on ἀπῆλθεν, select “Search For… Lemma,” and I can see all its New Testament occurrences pop up in a separate window. It also notes just under the search bar that my search results in 117 hits. The empty box at the bottom is the “Instant Details” window that shows parsing information when I hover over a word. See below and click for larger or open in a new tab:

You can see I have Mounce’s Greek Dictionary open at top right. This already includes word statistic information. But–and here’s cool feature #1–check out the “Analysis Pie Chart” at bottom right! This shows the ways and number of times ἀπέρχομαι is variously inflected. Or you can see it in bar chart form, which in this case affords a bit more detail than the pie chart:

I quickly discover, in a visually appealing way, that my word at hand (ἀπῆλθεν) is the most common inflection of ἀπέρχομαι. This analysis tool allows multiple configurations. You can search by inflection, gender, tense, person, etc.

2. Customizable Toolbar

This has so far been one of the things about Accordance I’ve appreciated the most. New to Accordance 10 is the customizable Toolbar. Mine looks like this at the moment:

Users can easily add and re-arrange what they want in the toolbar, simply by “right clicking” in the toolbar area and going from there. (Note: “right clicking” for me on my Mac is just a two finger tap on the trackpad.) Right clicking on the toolbar allows you to customize it, which then gives you this:

Then, simply set it up how you want it. You can always revert back to the default, as noted at the bottom. The “separator” and “space” options are an especially nice touch. See the Accordance blog post here for more ways a user could customize Accordance 10.

3. Magnify this zone

Here’s a setup I’ve been using to work through the Hebrew text. You’ll note my library on the left, the Hebrew Masoretic Text side-by-side with the NET Bible in the middle, the Instant Details (parsing) box on the bottom, and the dictionary pane on the right. That’s a good setup for analyzing my way through the text. But if I just wanted to read the Hebrew (with the English next to it) with no other distractions, I easily could, without losing my other windows. “Magnify this zone” allows me to turn this:

into this:

With a single click I can easily return back to my full setup when I’m done.

4. A great one-volume commentary, and a great Bible dictionary

Both the Starter Collection in Accordance and Original Languages Collection (what I’m reviewing) come with the IVP New Bible Commentary and the Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. The IVP Commentary is integrated into the program such that you can have it sync with you through a passage while you read and study. Each of these is a handy resource to have at the ready while working through text.

My only complaint with these has been that the IVP commentary is a “Reference Tool” while the Eerdmans dictionary is an “English Tool.” This means that they’re in two separate places in the library, which wasn’t totally intuitive for me right away. However, this separation may be due to the fact that–from what I can tell–Reference Tools follow you with verse-by-verse integration whereas you have to do a specific look-up by word for the English Tools. All the same, it’s great having access to these texts.

There are more cool features in Accordance 10. I’ll continue to review the program in coming days. You can go here for an overview of some of Accordance’s newest features.

This series of reviews is made possible by my having received a review copy of Accordance 10, Original Languages Collection. I have not been asked or expected to provide a positive review–just an honest one. Part 1 of my review of Accordance 10 is here. UPDATEPart 3 of my review is hereUPDATE 2: Here is part 4, a review of the Original Languages Collection. UPDATE 3: Here is part 5, “Bells and Whistles.” UPDATE 4: part 6, “More Bells and Whistles.”

In which I finally try out Accordance Bible Software for Mac (new version 10!)

I have been an avid and happy BibleWorks user since version 7 (they are now in version 9). But my first computing love is a Mac. (Too bad for expensive taste in that regard!) I have a cheap PC laptop at home on which I run BibleWorks, but have been interested in exploring Accordance for some time. Now, thanks to the kind folks at Accordance who have given me a copy for review, I can take Accordance for a spin.

I apparently got into Accordance at just the right time. This week they launched an upgrade from Accordance 9 to Accordance 10. And it looks like users are pretty happy with the switch.

In a series of posts, I will offer my review of Accordance 10, Original Languages Collection. In this post I report on my installation process and initial impressions as to the program’s layout and interface.

Download and installation was mercifully fast, even over a wireless Internet connection. In 30 minutes or so I was able to download the Accordance application to my computer and the Original Languages Collection with its various modules.

I appreciated the flexibility offered me even in the initial setup. For example, I could make choices at the following spots:

(Although, I confess, I don’t know what “Helvetica Neue Light” looks like off the top of my head! No matter–this can always be changed later.) This next option for text formatting immediately endeared me to Accordance:

These are perhaps little things, but Accordance’s customizability seems obvious from the beginning.

The only snag I hit in installation was being able to install one of the included modules, even after multiple attempts (the BHS Latin Key). Although, taking a look at the forums, I’m not alone. I expect the Accordance team is mighty busy with the new release. Accordance 10 is already in 10.0.1. I don’t think this is a sign of a buggy version released too soon, but rather an indication that the folks behind the software are quick, responsive, and eager to improve upon the program.

Once finishing installation, I played around a bit with my resources, and within just a few minutes and no prior knowledge of Accordance, was able to set things up this way (click image for larger or open in new tab):

On the left you can see my “library” which in this view shows some of the texts that come with the Original Languages Collection. Thing of beauty: it has the New English Translation of the Septuagint. With how often I am in (and blogging about) the Septuagint, this makes me happy to see. The NETS is far from a perfect translation, but it’s the best English translation on the market right now.

In the middle you can see I have the Greek of Genesis 1 open, with the NETS right next to it and the IVP New Bible Commentary on the right of the middle section.

Then in the top right corner I opened the LEH Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint, available in previous Accordance versions only as a paid, add-on module (from what I understand). The bottom right corner shows the Hebrew text of Genesis 1.

Each of these boxes/windows are changeable and rearrangeable. I look forward to spending more time exploring the various configurations available to me through Accordance.

In sum: A quick, easy install with just that one hiccup of a missing module–soon to be resolved with a released fix, I’m sure. (UPDATE 8/23/12: It’s fixed!) And the layout and its flexibility has really impressed me on first use.

And, oh. The interface? Absolutely stellar. I love seeing a high-powered Biblical languages-oriented program native to a Mac. The interface in Accordance is as smooth as any program I’ve ever seen from Apple.

So far, so good.

UPDATE: Parts 2 and 3 of my review are here and here.
UPDATE 2: Here is part 4, a review of the Original Languages Collection.
UPDATE 3: Here is part 5, “Bells and Whistles.” UPDATE 4: part 6, “More Bells and Whistles.”