Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Creating Concordances using Accordance, BibleWorks, Logos, LaParola

Bible software has pretty much eliminated the need for concordances. Back in the day, I spent a lot of time in Moulton & Geden's Concordance to the Greek Testament, Hatch & Redpath's Concordance to the Septuagint, Evan-Shosham's New Concordance of the Bible, or the BHS concordances by Lisowski or Mandelkern. On the BibleWorks forum, however, someone was asking how to create a concordance that could be printed out for just a single book of the Bible. The goal, besides having a printed copy they could use when away from their computer, was to help in reading by paying attention to when a word was previously used so that they had some help in building up their vocabulary. I can also see that having a book-delimited concordance would also be helpful for getting a sense of an author's vocabulary and identifying themes and key terms in that book. So, how does one create such a concordance using the usual suspects in the Bible software field? For my test here, I tried to create a concordance for the book of Jude.

It can't be done easily. There are quite a few tools one can use to look at the information in a variety of ways, but there is no simple way to create a concordance. John Fidel showed probably the best way on an earlier BW thread. You could also use such tools as the Word List Manager to get a list of all the words with their frequency but no way to note which verses. The Keyword in Context (KWIC) tool provides another way of viewing the text, but that also would be a one at a time copy/paste task. You could also use the Report Generator and choose something like the Gingrich lexicon which provides many references, but it still won't really give concordance-like info in a compact form.

In Logos you can do a search using the * wildcard on your preferred text. (You can use either the Bible Search or a Greek Morphological Search, but for some reason, my results were displayed differently in each.) When the search results are returned (and it did take a minute even just with Jude), you will be tempted to hit the Concordance option in the top right, but that won't give the results you probably want, since it returns hits according to form rather than according to root. Instead, hit the "Search Analysis by Lemma" option which will return the results shown above. Note that it does group the words by lemma but still breaks them down according to form. I couldn't figure out how to add a gloss to the entries. It is a nice concordance format with the word bolded in context, but it may not be what you want for printing. Jude alone would require 35 pages. I couldn't figure out a way just to get verse references without the full verse.

Accordance is the clear winner in accomplishing the task of generating a concordance. It is simply a matter of doing a wildcard search on the version of choice with limits set and then hit the Details button, then the Concordance button. That's it, and it is very fast. The screen shot above shows the kind of concordance entry one usually is looking for, and note that it also provides a gloss along with the frequency and verse references. Also note that the Concordance output can be adjusted as you can see above. You can set it to display the results for just the one book or for the words in that book within the full NT. If you want to see the text, simply set the display threshold to a number greater than 1. You can also show parts of speech if you want. Below shows another concordance view.

LaParola LaParola wins for cost and ease of creation. The program is a free download and uses the CCAT MorphGNT, BHS, LXX, and a number of public domain English and Italian versions as well as many other resources. In LaParola, creating a concordance is simply a matter of hitting F7, choose the passage, text, how you want the words ordered, and whether its based on words or roots, hit OK, and you immediately get the concordance as shown above. No glosses, but it a very compact form for printing.

I couldn't find an easy way to create a concordance in E-Sword, Online Bible, QuickVerse2009, or BibleExplorer4. If you know of other ways to generate a concordance, please share it here.


  1. For e-Sword, one has to use a third party tool. Which one depends upon the type of resource that one is creating the concordance of.

    Furthermore, these tools create a concordance of the entire work, and not just a user selected portion.

  2. Hi Mark
    Congratulations for your blog.
    (excuse my english)
    You have talked in the blog about concordances like Hatch Redpath.
    But, how can we can get in Bibleworks the correlations of the greek words and hebrew words?
    How can we know the greek words that transale a hebrew word o viceversa, as in the Hatch Concordance or in the Muraoka Hebrew Index...?
    Thank You

  3. alfdelgadogo:
    Good question... and BibleWorks (and Logos and Accordance) all have a good answer. Each of them include Emmanuel Tov's The Parallel Aligned Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Texts of Jewish Scripture.
    It does exactly the work of Muraoka's index. The program is not perfect, but you can search for all LXX translations of a Hebrew root or all underlying Hebrew of an LXX word.

  4. Hi Mark
    Thank you for your answer
    I've found it
    It's cool
    Thank you
    Hold on in your brilliant work

  5. Evan-Shosham's monumental work on the Hebrew Bible is a great resource (in its day), but the power that BibleWorks gives you with the WTT, WTM, JDP accent database, is just unbelievable. Studying the Hebrew text has never been easier.