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.

Logos 4: a quick note about a portable library

Ah, the age-old debate about how one should build a library: print or digital?

Okay, it’s not really that old of a debate. But it’s one I’ve gone back and forth on. I own the major lexicon for the Greek New Testament in digital edition. Same thing with the major lexicon for the Hebrew Bible. (They’re both huge.) But I went a bit overboard with the LEH lexicon for the Septuagint: I have it in print, in Logos, in Accordance, and in BibleWorks! (I only had to pay for the print edition, though.)

I’m taking a great class on the use of the Old Testament in the New. Most of the texts we use for the class list multiple biblical references, but don’t write out the verses. Take this example from Richard N. Longenecker’s Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period:

V. Quotations occurring in John alone, with introductory formulae:

35. John 6:45 (Isa 54:13; Jer 31:33).
36. John 7:38 (Isa 12:3; 43:19–20; 44:3; 58:11).
37. John 10:34 (Ps 82:6 [LXX = 81:6]).
38. John 13:18 (Ps 41:9 [MT = 41:10; LXX = 40:10]).
39. John 15:25 (Ps 35:19 [LXX = 34:19]; 69:4 [MT = 69:5; LXX = 68:5]).

That’s a lot to look up! Especially flipping back and forth between Hebrew, Greek, and English versions.

In the Logos 4 edition of the book, however, all those texts are hyperlinked, so that I simply have to mouse over them to have a pop-up window display the verses in my preferred version. This is a great time saver, and I much prefer to read a book like this with such an easy way to look at the verses it’s referencing. I can also set up my windows and tabs in Logos to have multiple Bibles/versions open, too, while I read through a book.

I know print is better on my eyes than a screen is, so there’s still that. But the hyperlinking system in Logos makes buying books from them a desirable option–and they have a wide selection.

I also know that my bookshelves at home are beyond full, so my wife will likely appreciate digital additions to my library rather than more books in the living room….

This is a bit of an excursus in my Logos 4 review, though I purchased the Logos edition of the book above. See part 1 of my Logos 4 review here, part 2 here, part 3 here, and part 4 here.

BibleWorks 9 now runs natively on Macs

Big news from BibleWorks today. BibleWorks 9 now runs natively on a Mac. And there’s a free way Mac users who own BibleWorks 9 can do it. Read all about it here.

I’m looking forward to taking it for a spin.

See links to all six parts of my BibleWorks 9 review here.

UPDATE 10/4/12: Shoot! It’s no longer going to be available for free, and at the moment (10/4/12), it’s not available at all:

10/4/2012: Due to licensing restrictions, it turns out that we will have to offer the BibleWorks 9 Mac Public Preview through our webstore. We’re sorry for the inconvenience, but if you check back here early next week, we should have it available again!

Hopefully this gets ironed out soon. I’d love to use BibleWorks on a Mac.

UPDATE 2, 10/4/12: See here.

Using the Exegetical Guide and Passage Guide in Logos 4

Logos 4 offers an “Exegetical Guide” and a “Passage Guide” for any verse(s) a user is studying. These features’ utility lies primarily in how Logos compiles and presents the various resources in the program. A couple times in the last year or two when I was trying out Logos on a seminary library computer, I had trouble seeing the use in the Exegetical Guide and the Passage Guide. Can’t I just find that stuff all myself, I thought?

Now I’ve had a chance to use both at greater length. Here’s what I think about them.

From the home page I begin to type in Deuteronomy 6, and a nice drop-down auto-complete feature comes up (a smart search engine!). Everything you see below in the home page can be changed and customized, as I noted here.

Selecting “The Greatest Commandment (Deuteronomy 6:1-9),” this screen then comes up (along with other tabs I already had open, not shown here). Click for larger if need be.

There are multiple collapsable and expandable sections from which I can choose. Most helpful are the “cross references” that pop up. Below that are “parallel passages,” which highlighted for me a resource I didn’t even realize Logos 4 had: Old Testament Quotations and Allusions in the New Testament (you know I love that!).

There’s more, too–a quick gathering of and hyperlinks to pertinent people, places, and “biblical things”; “media resources,” such as this one shown at right; a compare versions tool… and more. There are some things I won’t necessarily use, like the Graceway Media graphics (which take you to an external site, where it looks like you have to pay to download). But that’s no biggie–there’s an “x” I can click on so that won’t show in future Passage Guides. It’s all highly customizable, a consistent strength of Logos.

The Passage Guide saves me time and highlights resources and references throughout Logos 4 that users may not even be aware exist. I’m a fan and can easily envision using this in preparing messages and Bible studies.

The Exegetical Guide has a really similar layout. The categories here, however, tend to be more focused at the word, clause, sentence, and verse level, such as: textual apparatuses (if you have any in your Logos), grammars, visualizations, and word-by-word analysis. This latter feature is cool–it shows you parsing for every word, as well as its definitions in multiple dictionaries/lexica at the same time. See here:

In the image below (another part of the Exegetical Guide), the top two arrows show you the colorful word distribution results throughout the various biblical books; the bottom arrow shows you how you can click on “more” for a given word (click for larger):

The Exegetical Guide and the Passage Guide are winners. They pull a lot together in one easy-to-get-to place, and they do it quickly. Nicely done.

Thanks to Logos for the review copy of Logos 4 with the Original Languages Library included. For the review copy I am giving my honest impressions of the program in a multi-part review. This has been part 4. See part 1 here, part 2 here, and part 3 here.

The Original Languages Library in Logos 4

How is Logos 4 for study of biblical languages?

Typically when I think about Bible software and original languages, three important areas come to mind:

  • The Hebrew Old Testament
  • The Greek New Testament
  • The Greek Old Testament, or, the Septuagint

I’ve already written about the Septuagint in Logos here. What about the Hebrew OT and Greek NT?

For Hebrew study there is the BHS Hebrew Bible with (WIVU) morphological analysis. I mentioned in my last post that the Information tab can be brought up to give lexical and morphological analysis of any word. Also, the bottom gray border area of Logos updates with morphological analysis as you move over a word. So you can instantly parse and analyze the Hebrew as you go.

My go-to Hebrew lexicon is part of this base package: Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament by Holladay (based on HALOT). And Landes’s ever-helpful Building Your Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary is included. There are some grammars like Futato and Gesenius. You can open all of these as stand-alone windows, or integrate them into what you’re doing in a given text. Here’s a Hebrew Bible layout I’m using at the moment (click for larger):

You can see in the top left area that I’ve got BHS open in the leftmost tab–what you’re seeing in the shot above is what happens when you seek to open a new tab. I like that it suggests resources that address the verse that’s already open. You can also mouse over a resource for a handy pop-up window with description. The above pop-up window is for the Andersen-Forbes Analyzed Text, which gives even more insight into the Hebrew text than just the BHS with WIVU morphological analysis.

One highlight of the Hebrew resources available in this package is the Andersen-Forbes Phrase Marker Analysis. See here for a good description of the “seven layers of syntax information” included. (That’s better than a seven-layer burrito!) Here’s a screenshot:

And more here from Logos:

The Analyzed Text contains morphological and lexical analysis, similar to that found in the above editions of the Hebrew Bible, but also analyzes features such as genre and semantic domains. The Phrase Marker Analysis, however, goes beyond the word level and shows how phrases and clauses function together, in essence diagramming the entire Hebrew Bible with Syntax information. There is a database that allows the user to search the Hebrew bible based on these Syntax structures, and a glossary resource that defines all the terms used in the Analyzed Text and the Phrase Marker Analysis. This package represents a new trend in computerized biblical studies – the ability to work with syntax, not just morphology, when studying the Bible.

I was a little unclear as to why the English translation (on the far right in the shot above) was so wooden in this resource–and “thou wilt” struck me as out of place. Also odd (in this verse) is the English translation “gods” (circled above) when it is in apposition to Yahweh, and the idea is clearly of one God.

But that barely takes away from the impressiveness of the Phrase Marker Analysis. It’s unique to Logos, and packs quite a punch. Grammar nerds rejoice! (As I have.)

When it comes to the Greek New Testament, all the basic stuff is there–the NA27 and UBS4 with morphology (apparatus sold separately), Westcott and Hort, the Byzantine textform of the GNT, the Louw-Nida lexicon, a concise Greek-English dictionary, both a harmony and synopsis for the Gospels (not Aland’s in this package, and nothing in Greek, but decent nonetheless), a great vocabulary guide, and so on. UPDATE: You can, in fact, view the Gospel synopsis in Greek, just by opening the synopsis tool and changing the versions, as below (click image for larger):

But get this. The Original Languages Library comes with the digitized 10-volume Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. I couldn’t believe this at first and thought surely it was the abridged version. Nope. It’s the full thing–“Big Kittel.” It’s fun to use as a digital resource, too. One saves time not having to look things up, and all the abbreviations are hyperlinked, so that if you just move your cursor over them, you see quickly what they stand for. Same thing with verse references:

This resource in print is $400 (retail is something like $700). Once I realized its inclusion, the $415.95 sticker price for the Original Languages Library made more sense. Comparable packages in other Bible software are cheaper, but none of them include TDNT. I’m amazed Logos can include it in this base package, but glad that they do.

As for English translations, the Original Languages Library includes these, among others:

  • English Standard Version (ESV)
  • King James Version (KJV)
  • Lexham English Bible (NT)
  • The NET Bible (my personal favorite at the moment)
  • New American Standard Bible (NASB)
  • New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

There is also a variety of (reverse) interlinear Bibles. I personally don’t use these much, but they could be helpful to others. The Tov/Polak Hebrew-Greek Parallel Aligned Bible, however–presented in interlinear format–is great. (More about that here.)

The Original Languages Library packs in quite a bit. With the exception of perhaps an English translation of the Septuagint, all you need for original language study is here. The Andersen-Forbes resources for the Hebrew OT, the TDNT for the Greek NT, and the Tov/Polak aligned Hebrew-Greek OT are all wonderful inclusions and fantastic resources.

How is Logos 4 for study of biblical languages? It’s great.

Thanks to Logos for the review copy of Logos 4 with the Original Languages Library included. For the review copy I am giving my honest impressions of the program in a multi-part review. This has been part 3. See part 1 here and part 2 here.

Enter in: One good reason to study how the New Testament uses the Old Testament

I’m reading the book shown at right for a seminary class I’m taking. The class is called “The Old Testament in the New.” Its syllabus is here (pdf).

I’ll offer a review of Beale’s Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament later, but for now, this:

The aim of this chapter [3], and indeed of this entire handbook, is to obtain a better understanding of the way the NT is related to the OT at just those points where the New refers to the Old. The ultimate purpose in this exercise is more clearly to hear and apprehend the living word of the living God (cf. Acts 7:38), so that we may encounter God increasingly and know him more deeply, and so think and do those things that honor God.

He notes that he realizes “that this purpose is not shared by all in the academic guild,” but I believe that if the biblical authors meant for their writings to be read in a “participatory mood,” we actually do some injustice to the text when we don’t read them that way.

Logos 4 Review: The Septuagint

I enjoy reading the Septuagint in Greek (as best I can), and I enjoy using Bible software programs to do it. In this post I offer part 2 of my Logos 4 review (part 1 is here), focusing on the Septuagint in Logos.

Here is what the Original Languages Library has by way of Septuagint resources:

  • Septuagint with Logos Morphology (Rahlfs-Hanhart)
  • A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint (Lust/Eynikel/Hauspie)
  • An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon (Liddell/Scott)
  • The Parallel Aligned Hebrew–Aramaic and Greek Texts of Jewish Scripture (Logos product page here)
  • The BHS Hebrew Bible with WIVU morphological analysis (as well as other Hebrew-related resources)

As far as texts go, the standard base is there (Rahlfs). And there’s instant morphological analysis so you can hover over a word to see its parsing right away. The LEX Septuagint lexicon is my personal go-to, and adding the Liddell-Scott abridgement is an especially nice touch. Students can do decent lexical analysis of words in their Septuagint-specific context.

The best part is the inclusion of the Parallel Aligned Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Texts of Jewish Scripture. Here’s what Logos says:

Prof. Tov’s Parallel shows how the Hebrew and Aramaic line up against the Greek text on a word-by-word basis, but it does far more. In places where the Greek text doesn’t follow the Masoretic reading, Dr. Tov has provided a reconstruction of what the Hebrew or Aramaic text that the Greek translators were looking at might have been. In addition to these theoretical reconstructions, this database includes copious notes on the translation techniques used by the Septuagint translators, making this work a rather specialized commentary on the text. Did the Greek translators change the word order for grammatical or stylistic reasons? Did they change the voice of a verb from passive to active? Did they use a genitive absolute to translate an infinitive absolute? These types of observations are exhaustively noted in the alignment.

Dig this:

It’s a really nice feature, and presented especially well in Logos.

With all of the above in use, here’s what my Septuagint layout looks like in Logos 4 (click to enlarge):

That’s six resources open at once, each of which is plenty visible! And moving around which tabs go where, re-sizing, opening “in a floating window,” and saving the layout is easy.

The little orange A next to each resource icon/image is a “Link Set.” By clicking on the icon/image of the resource, I can assign it a letter in a Link Set, which then means each of the tabs and resources updates as any one of them moves ahead. So if I move ahead through the Greek LXX, the Hebrew MT follows, as does the NET Bible, as does the MT/LXX Parallel. Nice.

It was easy enough to figure out how to make LEH my default lexicon (“prioritize” it, in Logos parlance). Now double clicking on any Greek word opens up the corresponding entry in that lexicon.

The Information tab at the right in the screen shot above gives lexical and morphological analysis of any word. And something that’s not present in the image above: the bottom gray portion of Logos (just under the bottom left tab) also updates with morphological analysis as you move over a word. That part of the screen updates faster than the Information tab, which has just a slight delay in displaying new information.

One thing that stands out as a possible oversight is that there is no English translation of the Septuagint bundled with the Original Languages Library. In other major Bible software programs for a comparable price and package level, there is at least one English translation of the Septuagint, so Logos is unique here. (Logos does have Brenton’s English translation available, though you have to purchase it in addition to this package to use it.)

The MT-LXX Parallel, the two solid LXX-related lexica, and the customizability of the layout are standouts when it comes to using the Septuagint in Logos 4. One other thing worth mentioning is the availability of the Göttingen Septuagint and apparatus in Logos. It’s an add-on module that’s not cheap, but its price for how much it offers is hard to beat anywhere, digitally or in print. There are other Septuagint resources that Logos has digitized, too, that would be good additions to a digital library.

Thanks to Logos for the review copy of Logos 4 with the Original Languages Library included. For the review copy I will be giving my honest impressions of the program in a multi-part review. The couple Amazon links in this post are Amazon Affiliate links.

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.

All six parts of my BibleWorks 9 review

Here, collected in one place, are all six parts of my review of the excellent Bible software program, BibleWorks 9:

Prologue: BibleWorks in the pew? (Not quite, but the next best thing) (link)

Part 1: BibleWorks out of the box (setup and layout) (link)

Part 2: The Verse tab (link)

Part 3: Would Mark’s Jesus have us drink snakes and handle poison? 1 of 2: textual criticism in BibleWorks (link)

Part 4: These 4 Perks are Divine in BibleWorks 9 (link)

Part 5: Would Mark’s Jesus have us drink snakes and handle poison? 2 of 2: the BibleWorks Manuscript Project and CNNTS apparatus (link)

My thanks again to the staff at BibleWorks for the review copy. I highly recommend this program to PC users for in-depth Bible study: personal, academic, and/or for ministry purposes. Find the full program contents here.

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