Friday, June 5, 2020

Word & World Issue on Jerusalem

Word & World is published in print and shared freely online by Luther Seminary. It is described as:
A journal of theology whose readers are concerned with Christian ministry in and for the world. A glance at our articles and our issue themes will show how we propose to bring Christian thinking to the questions posed by life in our world today.
The latest Spring 2020 issue focuses on "Jerusalem" from a variety of perspectives. An article I wrote--Jesus and Jerusalem and the "Things That Make for Peace"--is one of the articles. It's a review of all of Jesus' activity in Jerusalem reported by each of the Gospels, especially his final week there. There are certainly uncertainties about some of the details, but I believe it's a helpful overview. It's a free PDF to read, so I hope you check it out. I'm happy to address questions and comments here.

Friday, May 1, 2020

The Ancient Theater Archive

A while ago I shared a nice mapping resource for Ancient Theaters, Amphitheaters, Stadiums, and Odeons in Turkey and provided links for other Greek and Roman theaters.

I stumbled upon another fantastic site, The Ancient Theater Archive, and it has excellent information about Greek and Roman theaters throughout the Roman Empire. The map is clickable to zoom in to areas, and then the sites each have their own page with a considerable amount of detail and history. Here, for example, is the famous Ephesus theater:
There is a link to a architectural plan view, and clicking on More... will give you a thorough description of the theater's history.
Also check out the timeline of theater constructions provided:
And then be sure to look at the Greek and Roman Theatre Specifications table.
Here's the site info so e can be grateful to: © 2003–2019 Thomas G. Hines, Whitman College Department of Theatre (retired).

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Palestine Open Maps - Excellent new mapping resource

Split screen option: Tabgha on left; Capernaum visible on right
Just announced today (2020.04.23) on Twitter is the Palestine Open Maps project. (Do check the Twitter link for a number of videos demonstrating the site's features.)

From the site's description:
Palestine Open Maps is a platform that seeks to combine emerging technologies for mapping and immersive storytelling to:
Open-source and make searchable, for the first time, a uniquely detailed set of historic maps from the period of the British Mandate of Palestine;
Curate layered visual stories that bring to life absent and hidden geographies, in collaboration with data journalists, academic researchers, and civil society groups....

The idea for this platform was inspired by a large collection of 1940s survey maps from the British Mandate of Palestine recently digitized by the Israeli national library. These maps—all now in the public domain—cover the territory at scales of up to 1:20,000, offering a vivid snapshot of a human and natural geography almost unrecognizable on the ground today, with an unparalleled level of physical detail, including population centers, roads, topographic features and property boundaries.

Although the maps were already in the public domain, their usefulness was limited since they comprise hundreds of separate sheets with no easy means to search, navigate or otherwise comprehend. By combining these sheets into seamless layers that can be navigated online, and combining them with other available data sources, such as the 1945 Village Statistics, historic photography, oral histories and present day digital maps and data, this platform seeks to offer an invaluable resource for mapping the transformation in the human geography of historic Palestine over the past 70+ years.
Some things to note:
  • All the maps are public domain. Click on a map location, and you can choose any available maps for that location to download. They go back to the 1876 Palestine Exploration Fund one.
  • The sliding split view is handy to get locations.
  • The satellite imagery used is 2019, apparently from Mapbox. It also includes a street map overlay from 2018.
  • The search feature includes many biblical sites you might want to check, but it's not exhaustive by any means.
  • It's not intended primarily as a biblical resource, but the easy access to historical maps is very helpful.
  • The site is intended as a historical preservation of Arab locations and names before the 1948 establishment of the State of Israel. Another overlay on the site shows Arab locations that were depopulated during that time.
It's definitely worth checking and bookmarking.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Original Bibles: An online collection of old printed Bibles and more

The Original Bibles site intends to give "you Holy Bibles the way they were originally printed." And that they do! It looks like most (all?) the books are coming from Google Books and rendered as individual pages. It's rather clunky since you can't scroll or click to go to the next page but need to use a dropdown box to get to the next page.
OTOH, the value is that someone has collated the Bibles that are available. Search for Greek and choose to look at Erasmus' 1516 Greek NT. Or use the Categories dropdown and pick a language, type of resource, or century. How about the 1524 Second Rabbinic Bible?

Have fun browsing around!

HT: John Linebarger on FB

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Unicode Fonts for Ancient Scripts

In case you are needing a Unicode font for Aegean, Linear A, Cypro-Minoan, Cretan-Hieroglyphs, Aegyptus, EEMusic, Akkadian, Assyrian, Maya, and more, HERE is the place to go. "Free use of UFAS is strictly limited to personal use."

Friday, April 3, 2020

Virtual touring and museum visting while quarantined...

So many fascinating online resources... If you want to do some virtual touring and museum visiting, go to Sketchfab and enter a search term of choice. Try using some biblical cities as a starter. Lots of 3D models like the one of the Temple of Sardis shown above. Istanbul's Rezan Has Museum just added 3000 archaeological artifacts to the collection. Here are some suggestions:
Some of the models have attached annotations to learn more about a specific aspect.
Enjoy!

Digital Maps of the Ancient World

Digital Maps of the Ancient World is a new to me website that is accumulating many fine resources. Here is its self-description:
The Digital Maps section is useful for those studying Ancient History and Archaeology, who would like to gain a better understanding of certain sites or where certain events took place. The Pompeii Map is also useful for those studying the Cambridge Latin Course.

The Mythology section is useful for those studying Greek and Latin who would like to understand the mythology behind the translations and those who have an interest in Ancient History.

For those studying Greek and Latin at school, there are dedicated languages sections with resources for grammar and vocabulary for the various UK examination boards, particularly for Common Entrance. The Greek Mythology and the Recommended Reading (Historical Fiction) and Media sections will help with understanding the cultures behind the languages.
From a biblical perspective, the most interesting sections are the Ancient Maps and the Digital Maps. For example, this one on provinces of the Roman Empire with clickable info popouts.
Or the one on ancient battles that includes four sites (Yodfat, Gamla, Beth Horon, Jerusalem) from the first Jewish war.
Lots more to check out, so have fun!

The Qumran Texts Composite Edition from Elisha Qimron - Open Access and Downloadable

The Qumran Texts Composite Edition shared by Elisha Qimron is now open access and downloadable as a free PDF HERE, all 984 pages of it! It does not include the biblical texts, but it looks like most everything else is there. It's all in Hebrew (except for references to other language works), and it's actually 3 volumes combined in a single PDF, so it's a bit hard to navigate. The best way is to download the PDF, and then open the bookmarks column.
I haven't kept up with my Qumran studies, so I don't know if there are issues of which I should be aware about this edition. E.g., how does it compare to the texts in the transcriptions by Abegg or Martinez. (Please indicate as much in the comments.) It's great to have these texts available for free, but for less adept Hebrew readers, it is more helpful to have the tagged texts from Abegg available in Accordance or Logos.
Thanks to Qimron for making this work available, and note that it should be cited as:
Elisha Qimron. (2020). The Qumran Texts: Composite Edition. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3737950

And not to neglect Greek and Latin readers, remember that I had previously noted that all the Loeb's in the public domain are available for free download too!

HT to Reed Carlson and IOQS - International Organization for Qumran Studies on Facebook

Friday, March 27, 2020

Ancient Theaters, Amphitheaters, Stadiums, and Odeons in Turkey

I love maps like this! (Found this map on Twitter.) It locates on a Google map all the Ancient Theaters, Amphitheaters, Stadiums, and Odeons in Turkey. I also do not tire of seeing as many of these sites as I can.
If I were to quibble at all about the map, I think a distinction can be made between a stadium / stadion and a hippodrome, the former for footraces, the latter for horse and chariot. Technically, I think it's a hippodrome in Istanbul (Byzantium) that is near the Blue Mosque. The stadium at Aphrodisias is so huge that I can imagine horses there, but it doesn't seem to have the starting posts or center spine as hippodromes would. For those who have traveled to Israel or Jordan, there are fine examples of hippodromes at Caesarea Maritima and Gerasa (where races are still held for tourists). Of course the most famous hippodromes is probably the Circus Maximus in Rome. (On a personal note, I have fulfilled one of my bucket list items of running at all four stadiums of the Panhellenic Games cycle: Olympia, Delphi, Isthmia, and Nemea.)
As for theaters, the one in Ephesus is one of the largest in the ancient world, capable of holding up to 25,000 spectators. The one in Aspendos is one of the best preserved. The one in Pergamum is the steepest. There is a full list of Roman theaters in Wikipedia. I suppose that can be someone's project to map all those along with the list of ancient Greek theaters!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Smithsonian releases 2.8 million+ images that can be used for free


This appears to be a new announcement, and here is the article I stumbled across on Twitter:
The Smithsonian has released more than 2.8 million images you can use for free - Included are images from all 19 Smithsonian museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo (Altogether, the Smithsonian site says 16 million records and 4.2 million images, audio, and video.) What's really helpful is that the collection is listed with a Creative Commons Zero license, making them free of any republishing restrictions.
As you can imagine, with that many images/resources, it will require some serious searching to find something that you want. Use the starting search page which will provide suggestions once you start typing in a term (cf. above) to get you to the results page which will allow you to start refining the search.
 As this screenshot shows, you can start using inclusion/exclusion terms based on type, place, media, etc. (On this search for Jerusalem, note the line of red characters indicating what I've added and removed. I had to remove -topic:"Dicotyledonae," because there were over 200 images of this particular plant recorded from Jerusalem.) Note that results not only include images, but a variety of media. E.g., a search on "Jesus" included a link to the Smithsonian Channel and this video on "The Science behind Crucifixion" with the famous ankle bone with the nail of the crucified man.
There is plenty of Bible-related artwork, and I did come across some interesting old photographs from the early 1900s. HERE is a stereoscopic one from Corinth in 1903 of the Temple of Apollo. (You're likely to get better results more quickly using BiblePlace's "Historic Views of the Holy Land," however!)
If you find something really interesting, please let me know!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

St. Catherine Monastery Icons Now Available Online

http://vrc.princeton.edu/sinai/files/original/6451/0154.jpg
The ~iconic~ images from St. Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai have now been digitized and made available online. HERE is the article with more info. HERE is the Princeton site that is hosting the images. The site notes:
This website displays all the color transparencies and color slides in the possession of the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton. The online images are limited to a size of 1024 pixels. These images are available to download and use for teaching and scholarly purposes.
There are 1294 images, and they can be browsed by tag or searched.

BTW, the center image crop at the top is the oldest and one of the more famous images of Christ Pantokrator from the 6th century. Quite a few years ago, I was puzzled by the sort of side-eye Jesus had in the drawing, so I did a little image manipulation to mirror the two sides of his face. It highlights that Jesus is being depicted both as Savior and Judge. I've since discovered that I'm certainly not the only nor first to recognize this, but if someone has a link to the 'rules' of iconography that detail this aspect, please share. Also, at least in the crude way I composed the two images, it sure looks like a dove on the neck of Jesus on the left and a lion on the one on the right. Is that my imagination, or is that also a part of the iconographer's intent?

Monday, January 27, 2020

Mapping Time

"The Temple of Time" (1846) by Emma Willard — Source (Cartography Associates: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0).
I came across this fascinating article about the 19th century educator, Emma Willard, and her concept of mapping time: "Emma Willard's Maps of Time" by Susan Schulten. Schulten "explores the pioneering work of Emma Willard (1787–1870), a leading feminist educator whose innovative maps of time laid the groundwork for the charts and graphics of today."
The article is worth reading, and Willard's mappings of time are remarkable. Consider "The Temple of Time" pictured above. (Click HERE to see it with full magnification possible, and you really do need to zoom in to see all the detail.) It's interesting enough that history is organized by Statesmen, Philosophers, Discoverers, Theologians (in the center position of prominence!), Poets, Painters, and Warriors. Also note, however, the way history is viewed. As Schulten writes, "Emma Willard sought to invest chronology with a sense of perspective, presenting the biblical Creation as the apex of a triangle that then flowed forward in time and space toward the viewer." While creation is the apex, there still is the sense that the further back in time things are, the less prominent they are in present memory.
Detail from "Picture of Nations; or Perspective Sketch of the Course of Empire" (1836) by Emma Willard — Source (Cartography Associates: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0).
Consider this picture of nations (HERE for the zoomable view) which provides a perspective on the rise and fall of empires not from a geographical view but from a understanding of connectedness. There is further interpretation provided by highlighting key events. E.g., that white star in the middle right represents the birth of Jesus. Compare that to the kind of timeline that is typical for today, such as this one from the Accordance Timeline module.
While checking out Willard's representations, I found that she did also create some actual maps. E.g., check out the series of maps of "BC 1921 - Christian Era" showing what looks like progressive revelation. All the depictions are on the David Rumsey Map Collection. From an interesting technical aspect, there is also Willard's "World" map, but choose to use the Georeferencer option to set a background layer (click on the globe in upper left) with adjustable opacity of the foreground map. If you sign in, you can also get access to a 3D option. Great mapping fun!

Understanding New Testament Greek grammar for Accordance

I am happy to report that my Understanding New Testament Greek grammar has just been released as a module for Accordance. (2020.01.27) You can read my full description on the announcement page.
TLDR: Due to changing seminary requirements, I have needed to teach Greek in a single semester for a few years now. It's impossible to teach anyone to read Greek in that time, so I teach students how to understand Greek grammar, syntax, and lexical possibilities. The only way to do this is to use Bible software. I've developed a visual way of color coding the text that links to the grammar. E.g., you see something in gold (which means an indicative verb), and you look for the gold section in the grammar to see the range of translating indicatives.
I hope you will check it out! For now, it's a quick download into Accordance, and it's on sale!
If you just want to see how the highlighting works without buying the grammar, HERE is the highlight file. After unzipping, put the HLT file in your Accordance Files\Highlights subdirectory, and it will appear as an option in Accordance when you open the Highlighting tool.

BiblePlaces.com celebrates 20 years!

BiblePlaces.com by Todd Bolen is one of the premier sites on the web for finding photos of biblical places. The photo collections are outstanding and include ones that are organized based on historical views, regional groups, and books of the Bible. In his latest newsletter he describes the 20 year history of this web site and the work he's done. It's a fun read, and if you go all the way through, he shares a "Galilee: Then and Now" set for free. It's in the PowerPoint format that he's been using to organize photos and include the information and biblical links needed to make sense of the pictures. You can see more of his pictures and helpful overviews of Bible places by checking out the SITES.
While at BiblePlaces, also check out his blog with weekly updates of info related to the Bible, archaeology, mapping, museums, and more. Better yet, just sign up for his newsletter!
Congratulations to Todd Bolen and the others at BiblePlaces for 20 years!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Hoplite Polytonic Greek Keyboard for iOS and Android

The Hoplite Polytonic Greek Keyboard facilitates typing polytonic Greek diacritics. On iOS and Android, the Hoplite Keyboard can be installed as an alternate keyboard system-wide and used in any application. On Mac, Windows, and Linux the Hoplite Keyboard can be used as a LibreOffice extension: type base letters with the Greek keyboard provided by your operating system and toggle on/off diacritics with the Hoplite Keyboard's hot keys.
I have used the Keyman Galaxie Greek/Hebrew (Mnemonic) Keyboard for my Greek and Hebrew typing, but it looks like this Hoplite program is a good option if Keyman is not doing what you need. Like Keyman, Hoplite is also free.
Features:
  • One key per diacritic
  • Add diacritics after typing the vowel
  • Add diacritics in any order
  • Toggle diacritics on/off
  • Breathings, accents, subscripts, macrons, breves, diaereses: no problem! (If font supports it)
  • Choose precomposed, precomposed with private use area, or combining-only Unicode modes.
HT: Anglican Biblical and Theological Languages Forum on FB

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

More biblical text visualizations

I love these kind of visualizations. How helpful are they? I'm not sure, but they do provide a big picture perspective of relationships between the biblical texts. I'm pulling this from this thread on Twitter.
The first is by Cody Kingham who writes:

Formulaic Language in the Pentateuch
In reading through the Pentateuch, I've noticed that several sections contain a lot of repetition. This formulaic language seems to serve as a way of organizing and carefully structuring segments of text. In this notebook, we will visualize this phenomenon in the Pentateuch with a heatmap. A heatmap is a graph which visualizes integers as "temperatures". The lower a value, the "cooler" it is, and vice versa. The colors blue and red are used to represent cold and hot values. 
Also in that Twitter thread, Camil Staps writes:
Here is a similar project of mine: on the internet, which verses are frequently mentioned together? There's quite some noise, but nevertheless you can see the popularity of Gen 1-11, Ps & Isa, vs. e.g. Est & Lam. Also note the synoptic parallels in Kgs/Chr and Mt/Mk/Lk!
The darker red square in the lower right is the NT. In the upper left of that square is a slightly darker red that indicates relationship between the Gospels.
Thanks to Kingham and Staps for sharing these!

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Religious apps with sinful permissions

I just came across this October 2019 article on C|NET whose lead is: "Religious apps with sinful permissions requests are more common than you think: Christian Android apps account for hundreds of millions of downloads on the Google Play Store -- and too many are data devils"
I will acknowledge that I've naively assumed that the Bible apps I use are not problematic, but it's worth checking out the permissions your Bible app requests. If you're like me, you usually just click through those things.
The article highlights problems with some King James Bible apps and especially notes issues with apps connected to the Christian Broadcasting Network, Christian Mingle and Christian Matrimony, Cold Case Christianity, and the Bible Verses App from SpringTech. (This last is identified basically as a browser hijacker.) I haven't used any of those apps, but there is a long section on the YouVersion Bible app which I do use and have on my phone now. Apparently they have been reducing the number of permissions it requires, but I just went and looked on the Google Play store for what's going on with the Android version. Here's what it says:
YouVersion
This app has access to:
Contacts
  • find accounts on the device
  • read your contacts
Wi-Fi connection information
  • view Wi-Fi connections
Identity
  • find accounts on the device
  • read your own contact card
Location
  • approximate location (network-based)
  • precise location (GPS and network-based)
Photos/Media/Files
  • read the contents of your USB storage
  • modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
Storage
  • read the contents of your USB storage
  • modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
Camera
  • take pictures and videos
Other
  • receive data from Internet
  • run at startup
  • prevent device from sleeping
  • connect and disconnect from Wi-Fi
  • allow Wi-Fi Multicast reception
  • view network connections
  • use accounts on the device
  • control vibration
  • read Google service configuration
  • full network access
Someone else who knows better than I do can comment about which of those permissions are really necessary. I'm wary that it has access to my contacts, accounts, wifi, location, and hooks into Google. This got me to check the other Bible apps I regularly use.

Logos
This app has access to:
Contacts
  • find accounts on the device
Identity
  • add or remove accounts
  • find accounts on the device
Location
  • precise location (GPS and network-based)
Photos/Media/Files
  • read the contents of your USB storage
  • modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
Storage
  • read the contents of your USB storage
  • modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
Other
  • receive data from Internet
  • create accounts and set passwords
  • read Google service configuration
  • use accounts on the device
  • view network connections
  • full network access
  • prevent device from sleeping
That's not much different from YouVersion's permissions.

Accordance:
This app has access to:
Photos/Media/Files
  • read the contents of your USB storage
  • modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
Storage
  • read the contents of your USB storage
  • modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
Other
  • view network connections
  • full network access.
Accordance certainly is the least invasive as far as permissions are concerned. Again, someone else may be able to confirm what permissions an app needs, so these may all be perfectly acceptable. On the other hand, you may want to go into your App settings and turn off some off some of the permissions such as location sharing.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Y'all Version online!

When reading the Greek New Testament, there are separate forms for the second person singular and plural. In English, "you" can be either singular or plural. How can someone who doesn't know Greek tell the difference? Different parts of the world and of the United States have addressed the matter with various colloquial forms of the plural such as "you all" or "y'all." Wouldn't it be nice to have an English version that could help an English reader be aware of the distinction?
To the rescue is the Y'all Version! It's a version of the "Bible Web App (3.0): Online Bible study application with bonus study features for studying Greek and Hebrew" ... Developed by Digital Bible Society with major contributions from John Dyer and Michael Johnson."
As you can see in the graphic above, you (singular) get to choose various forms of the second person plural to highlight or use including "you all," "y'all," "youse guys," "yinz," and more! It may seem a little silly, but it is significant. E.g., in the graphic above is Matthew 20.20-23. James and John's mother asks a favor of Jesus for her boys, but in 20.22, Jesus replies to her using the second person plural, i.e., to James and John, not to their mother.
Check it out!
(Thanks to one of my students, NP, for pointing this out to me.)

Monday, November 25, 2019

OpenText 2.0: A Stratified Annotation for Multi-Layer Searching

I attended an interesting presentation at the 2019 AAR/SBL presented by Ryder Wishart, Francis Pang, and Christopher Land. They described an upcoming release of OpenText 2.0. The OpenText project has been a long running project (1998?) which I have previously commented upon. It's self-description is:
The OpenText.org project is a web-based initiative to develop annotated Greek texts and tools for their analysis. The project aims both to serve, and to collaborate with, the scholarly community. Texts are annotated with various levels of linguistic information, such as text-critical, grammatical, semantic and discourse features.  
In their presentation, they described an upcoming update. Here is their summary:
The upcoming OpenText 2.0 analysis of the GNT is an open annotation derived from data released by the Global Bible Initiative 2016. In addition to various minor modifications to the GBI syntax model, OpenText 2.0 introduces a stratified model that includes explicit distinctions between graphological, morphological, lexico-grammatical, semantic, and discourse-level markup. It also introduces feature annotations beyond just morphological parsing, allowing other units to be queried for meaningful features that have been identified in advance (to give a simple example, the clausal analysis explicitly identifies intransitive and transitive clauses). All of this data, however, is encoded in a single XML document using in-line markup, so that it is intuitive to query using standard XQuery—and even easier with the custom query resources that we are developing. In this presentation, we will present a series of queries that demonstrate the richness of the stratified data, focusing specifically on investigating phenomena that cut across the different annotation layers. We will also show how this markup is useful for teaching Greek by demonstrating a simple web page that allows students to investigate the syntax and semantics of a specific Greek lexeme. For both examples, we will show how the feature annotations facilitate the display of meaningful quantitative information about the relevant search results.
There have been some delays so they were not fully able to show the new tool in action, but the graphic above gives an example of what it will look like. The color bands provide a way to visualize the various semantic elements in the sentence. Using well-defined XML coding, it allows for advanced semantic searches. An example they gave was how OpenText 2.0 makes it possible to discern different types of narrative, e.g., the parables of Jesus are distinguishable from the context.
I'm looking forward to their work becoming available. (Perhaps January 2020, they said?)

Friday, November 22, 2019

Accordance 13 released - A Quick Review


I first started using Accordance 8 in 2008 running it under emulation on a Windows machine. As a Windows person, I ended up using BibleWorks and Logos, but a couple years ago I made Accordance the required program for my Greek students at ULS where I teach. With Accordance 12, we had a full-featured, reasonably priced software tool that worked well on both Windows and Macs. We use Accordance's Greek and Hebrew Discoverer Collection which provides most everything a beginning Bible scholar needs.
With the just released Accordance 13, we have a more full-featured, reasonably priced software tool that works well on both Windows and Macs! Τhe upgrade pricing from version 12 to 13 is very reasonably priced as well. I would describe this as more of an incremental upgrade than a major overhaul, but there are some significant new features, and everything in 13 is easy to use for those familiar with 12. You will want to check Accordance's own description of what's new in version 13, but I want to highlight some new things that I think are especially noteworthy.

  • User Interface: The program does look 'cleaner,' and there are some options for choosing a theme. There is even a dark mode available for macOS (with the options for Windows promised). The icons look fresher, and there is greater consistency in the location of buttons. (I am referring to open/close/maximize buttons, and it is a challenge trying to have consistency give the fundamental differences between the basic Mac and Windows interfaces.) While that is all good, I do find that the themes are all rather light pastels. I would like a theme with greater contrasts. 
  • Tutorials: This is an outstanding new feature. It's a great selling point for a new user to Accordance as well as for experienced users. In general, the way one learns how to use a software program is through trial and error, necessity, or, as a last resort, read the manual or watch a video. The tutorials, however, provide a task-based approach to learning which I believe is more helpful. There are 75 interactive tutorials organized by skill and topics. They range from basic guides to opening books and doing basic searches to advanced work in using specialized commands like MERGE and TEXT with Hebrew and Greek texts. The "Getting Started with Accordance" module is still available, and it has an excellent and well-organized collection of training videos, but I suspect most people will enjoy and profit more from using the step-by-step, interactive tutorials.
  • Live Highlighting: This is a feature I anticipate using when I am teaching and using Accordance. Using the Pen tool, if you draw on the text something approximating an oval, circle, rectangle, line, curve, or line with an arrowhead, the program will automatically convert your drawing into the proper shape. You can use the Eraser tool to remove your markup. Even more useful for me is the Whiteboard feature. It basically 'freezes' the screen and allows you to draw anywhere on the whole screen. It's easy to 'erase' the screen. This will be a helpful teaching tool.
  • Cross-Highlighting for Hebrew - LXX - (Tagged) English texts: This is an incredibly helpful feature when working with OT texts. Hovering over a word in the Hebrew or LXX or any tagged English text (e.g., NRSV, ESV, JPS, KJV, NET 2nd edition just released, NIV) highlights the word in the other two versions. It makes it easy to track where you are and make comparisons. (I don't know whether it would ever be possible, but the next step is to get a tagged version of the New English Translation of the Septuagint.)
An example of running the TEXT command searching for all the ways the NIV and NRSV translate any Greek words related to the δικη root.



  • TEXT Command: This new feature is quite powerful, and I'm still figuring out ways to use it. It allows for a variety of cross-text searches.

    • For example (and one I hope to post about here soon) is to conduct a search in the NRSV of all the times that it translates a Greek word based on the Greek root δικη. (To do so, I would be working with the NRSV as my display text and do a Words search with [GNT28-T +δικη] in the command line.) The reason why something like this is helpful is because it is one way of establishing the lexical range of a word. E.g., δικαιόω is translated variously in the NRSV with "acquitted, free/d, justice, justify/fies/fied, vindicated.
    • As another example, I can search for all the ways the Hebrew word חֶסֶד is translated in the LXX. Something similar can be done using the MT-LXX Parallel resource, but using the TEXT command highlights all the instances in the LXX text.
    • Or, I can search all the instances in the NRSV where the word "faith" occurs within 3 words of either Jesus or Christ in the genitive. (Using: faith <WITHIN 3 Words> [GNT28-T =Ἰησοῦς@ [NOUN genitive]  <OR> =Χριστός@ [NOUN genitive] ] )
    • Or, with this command, I can conduct syntactical searches in an English version, since I can access the Greek behind the English. As an example, I can have highlighted in the NRSV all the times "God" is the object of a preposition using:  [GNT28-T  [PREPOSITION] <FOLLOWED BY> <WITHIN 3 Words> =θεός@ [COMPLEMENT] ]
    • As I first stated, there look to be many ways to use the TEXT command.
    I had highlighted και εγενετο in NA28 and then used the AMPLIFY to CONSTRUCT to generate this search. As you can see, it would be a lot of work to construct that from scratch.


  • AMPLIFY to CONSTRUCT: For more sophisticated searches, this is a great time saver. Highlight some words in a tagged text, right click, choose Construct and then Word/Phrase/Clause/Sentence, and the construct window is automatically created with all the syntactical and lexical features in place. Once that is displayed it's much easier to remove specific elements that are not needed rather than try to create the whole thing from scratch.
  • PDF Import: It has previously been possible to import HTML and text files into Accordance as User Tools. It is now also possible to import PDFs. There are so many papers and works available on the web, and it is great to be able to bring them into Accordance. In many instances biblical reference links can be automatically created or else can be created.  This is nice for bringing in public domain PDFs of older works (e.g., on archive.org) or the many articles and papers being shared on Academia.
  • Other: There are many other little updates that make the program easier to use and organize. There is more control over installing resources. It's easier to organize one's library of resources. Check out this list of 13 other features in Accordance 13.
  • I don't have time or space here for a full review of the program, but here are some quick notes.
    • The program works well on OS X and Windows. Purchasing the program allows you to get the iOS (iPhone/iPad) or Android apps with access to your resources. (I can confirm that the Android app runs very well.)
    • The support is very good. Within the first two weeks, there have already been two minor updates to the initial 13 release.
    • Accordance has become my primary software tool since I ask my students to use it, but I still use BibleWorks and Logos on a weekly basis depending on the task. I can make some comparisons:
      • BibleWorks is no longer in business, sadly, but the program still runs fine. Neither Accordance nor Logos have the Word List or Verse List manager that I regularly used. BibleWorks had the best way to un/select search results and is the only one capable of generating multiple versions in customized formatting into a Word doc. On the other hand, BibleWorks was always a bit flaky on a Mac, and the interface was really one an old time DOS person could really like. Plus, they were never going to get iOS or Android apps out.
      • In some ways, Accordance 13 is catching up to Logos 8. Logos has had the cross-highlighting for some time now. The interface is nothing special, but I'm quite happy with its functionality. Accordance has an advantage with its new live highlighting, but Logos has the useful Canvas tool for presenting information. Logos' Bible Word Study feature is one I use regularly and it is quite thorough. I find Accordance's Construct searches to be easier to use than Logos' advanced searches, but for most search functions,  the ability to view, sort, and organize search results in Logos is extremely powerful. I like the new Tutorials in Accordance, but Logos offers Workflows to customize walking through a text study. So why don't I require Logos for my students? To be honest, it would cost my students hundreds more to get what is enough for their needs in Logos as compared to Accordance. Both have a wide and different selection of more advanced books and resources to add to their basic collections, and so for myself, I use both programs.
    SUMMARY: For new users, Accordance 13 is an outstanding choice. The program is easy to learn and to use for basic Bible reading and study, and it can grow with you. It is reasonably priced with a good variety of collections to purchase and a wide selection of other resources you can add. For Accordance 12 or earlier users, it is a nice upgrade at a very good price. As a person becomes familiar with the program, it has the advanced research and study tools to accomplish just about any Bible study task.