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Archive for the ‘Accordance Bible’ Category

October 20th, 2017 by Joel Watts

Review of @AccordanceBible’s WJK OT/NT Library

Find the link — AND  the special offer here.

There are a few commentaries I turn to — namely those examining Scripture with the Fathers as well as a few examining it from a critical, but theological, source. The Library from Westminster/John Knox fits into the latter category. With Accordance…


That sounds like a review. This is a review, but it doesn’t have to sound like an infomercial.

I like Accordance. I like WJK. I REALLY like the introductory price. Why? Because the Library is solidly important to the reader of Scripture as well as to those who are critically engaged in an ancient text continuing to make waves across the world. Further, because it is on Accordance, rather than 68 volumes I would have to carry around with me? I can access it on my phone, tablet, or mac without worrying that it will eat up all of my rather important space.

One of the features of this library? The feature common to Accordance modules? The NT Library is literally one volume (if you purchase the entire library) — and the OT Library is as well. I find this distinctly useful as it helps to combine the the whole of canon so that we aren’t searching for each book and do not have the need to open up window/tab after window/tab needlessly. They are all interrelated anyway, right?

The New Testament Library contains volumes by some of the best known, and most influential modern schools — such as Boring, Martyn, and Thompson.The Old Testament Library contains scholarship reaching back before we had this software, or even thought of software — but von Rad is time tested as is Childs and the host of other contributors to this longstanding and highly important series. Not only that, but the companion volumes now approach not simply the books, but particular needs raised by periods as well as the theology of certain books (for instance, John’s two-audience approach).

Luke Timothy Johnson, one of the most brilliant New Testament scholars — and Catholic theologian — afforded us today, writes the Hebrews volume. He does not shy away from combining both a critical view — including surrounding works — and pointing out how such things (such as Hebrews 1.3) became important to the Church.

With the Accordance  (there is that review language again) you get to have the Library keyed up next to your favorite translation.

One of my absolute favorite volumes is John Collins’s Jewish Wisdom in the Hellenistic Age. 

Jewish wisdom flourished under Hellenism in the books of Ben Sira and the wisdom of Solomon, as well as in a recently discovered sapiential text from Qumran. In this book, internationally known author John Collins presents a compelling description and analysis of these three texts and their continuing wisdom traditions.

I want to return to the NTL commentary volumes for a minute. They do not shy away from controversial topics — topics important to modern theological thinkers and critical engagers of the Sacred Text.

With von Rad and Genesis… You are going to get some detail there that approaches Creation from a critical but connected way.

Finally, because Accordance 12 is packed with features, you get access to those features with the WJK Library.

I love the ways I can easily access workspaces…and move things around in a user-intuitive way.

April 7th, 2017 by Joel Watts

The Interpretation Series on @AccordanceBible 12, iPad edition

I’ve been reviewing the Interpretation Series, now available on Accordance (product link). This morning, I was preparing my iPad for an upcoming trip and decided to see how it looked on that. This is what I came up with. Be warned, I’m using the NET bible because I haven’t yet purchased the REB.

This is my starting point


Oh look, I can quickly highlight the image.


Say I want to check out Romans 4.17


Amplify of Romans 4.17

And as quickly as I amplified it, I am back to the starting point via the back button.

There is no load speed issues. I am running an iPad 2 with iOS 9.3.5.

Also, let me say… if I were to download my entire Accordance Library – a few hundred books – I would only need about 5 gbs of space.

April 6th, 2017 by Joel Watts

Galatians 1.1 with @AccordanceBible and Interpretation Series

Just playing around this morning. One of the neat things I’ve seen in Accordance 12 was the tracking of the verse. The program quickly and without reentering new data (verses, etc) updates my library offerings according to the verse I am on. Also, the new Interpretation Series matches up pretty well. Cousar even includes Barth!

April 5th, 2017 by Joel Watts

Review: The Interpretation Series on @AccordanceBible

Right now, you can get the entire series with a huge discount.

Accordance graced me with an early preview copy of the Interpretation Series (Westminster John Knox) for use on my Accordance 12 program (review to follow). I have some of the series in print — I was given my first volume by a United Methodist preacher in Madison, WV — and on another platform. However, with this bundle, I get the entire set including the bible studies as well as the topic studies, both new to me.

If you are unfamiliar with this series, the first thing you’ll wonder about is where has the commentary gone. Maybe that isn’t fair; however, this commentary is geared to the exegete who intends to deliver something without heady academic jargon but is readily useful for the audience. It is a commentary without reading like a commentary. Rather than hyper-analyzing the original languages or social science context (both valid and needful in some areas), the Interpretation series focuses on the text as if it is part of the story. For instance, in Mark 5.1-20, Lamar Williamson, Jr., creates a narrative about the text that dives into the essential parts about Mark’s pericope. He does address the almost disjointed parts of the story, brings to light what is unique and noteworthy, and then offers various interpretations as well as the interpretation’s gestalt. This is one of the features many of us have come to like about the Interpretation Series.

The larger volumes (Interpretation Bible Studies) lead the reader some place else. According to the series’ preface,

IBS was developed out of three primary convictions. First, the Bible is the church’s scripture and stands in a unique place of authority in Christian understanding. Second, good scholarship helps readers understand the truths of the Bible and sharpens their perception of God speaking through the Bible. Third, deep knowledge of the Bible bears fruit in one’s ethical and spiritual life.

Each IBS volume has ten brief units of key passages from a book of the Bible. By moving through these units, readers capture the sweep of the whole biblical book. Each unit includes study helps, such as maps, photos, definitions of key terms, questions for reflection, and suggestions for resources for further study. In the back of each volume is a Leader’s Guide that offers helpful suggestions on how to use IBS.

Once again, for clarity’s sake, I turn to Mark (written by Richard I. Deibert). In the section on Mark 5.1-20, Deibert (who does refer to Williamson in a neatly hyperlinked fashion), speaks to the student, most likely in a bible study class, that has chosen to go deeper than the usually lighter fare offered in Sunday School. Here, the narrative of Mark is interweaved with Deibert’s somewhat poetic flair and passages from the Old Testament. The narrative flows, referring to Mark in a way that keeps Mark’s Gospel separate, but stands with it.

Finally, Interpretation: Resources for the Use of Scripture in the Church provides something of a sourcebook for those of us interested in particular theological topics. This series is not fully developed yet, but according to the publishers,

The Bible as used in the Christian community is not only a collection of books but also itself a book that has a unity and coherence important to its meaning. Some volumes in this new series will deal with this canonical wholeness and seek to provide a wider context for the interpretation of individual books as well as a comprehensive theological perspective that reading single books does not provide.

Other volumes in the series will examine particular texts, like the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Sermon on the Mount, texts that have played such an important role in the faith and life of the Christian community that they constitute orienting foci for the understanding and use of Scripture.

A further concern of the series will be to consider important and often difficult topics, addressed at many different places in the books of the canon, that are of recurrent interest and concern to the church in its dependence on Scripture for faith and life. So the series will include volumes dealing with such topics as eschatology, women, wealth, and violence.

I also note Ronald P. Byars, who writes the volume on the Sacraments, pointedly refers to Mainliners with some rather forceful words that Evangelicals can appreciate. He writes as a pastor and a theologian, a welcomed recovery of the better years of the American pastor. Further, his references to the Churches of the Reformation, the Revised Common Lectionary, and other fruits of American Mainline denominations is another highpoint of this particular volume. He is writing to congregations and denominations in transition – to recover what separates us as Christians and as Protestants. He makes use of all of our canons.

I like the feel of these volumes. I like what Bayers does with the Eucharist. He supplies Scripture, liturgy, and history in giving something to preachers that they are unlikely to have received elsewhere — a chance to recover Protestant theology of something besides the right word to use in describing salvation. The first section, for instance, of the Lord’s Supper goes deep into the phrase “Do This.” He connects it to the grand sweep of Scripture. He explores how the Synoptics differ on the institution of the Eucharist. He even explores our word choices. Finally, he connects the Christian practice with the Jewish forebearer.

Throughout the many volumes are hyperlinked references, verses, and other resources. You will also find a scholarship taken from the lectern and placed behind the pulpit, something desperately needed by all too many.

I am eclectic mix of liberal and conservative; mainline and evangelical; high church and charismatic. I preach and I teach. And I judge those who do. I find something in the volumes to satisfy my various mixes, some things that challenge me, and some things that cause me to look anew at a passage.. As one who uses his Macbook Pro, iMac, and iPad to do research and write sermons, having these volumes on Accordance is near-miracle.


See that? I can access every book, individually, without the individual volumes taking up line-item space in my library

Why is that important (to me?) – because it helps in searching, saving time and energy. I like this feature a lot, actually, have have come to rely on it as a way to look at what different authors may say about the same concept.

Same thing as above.

Rightfully so, these volumes are individual.

April 7th, 2016 by Joel Watts

Inside the Orthodox Study Bible on @AccordanceBible

It is a good and proper thing to have a study bible that is set within the Great Tradition. That’s why I like the Orthodox Study Bible — because it acknowledges that Scripture is primarily the book of the Church. By the way, this is big ‘O’ and not just orthodoxy (ecumenical creeds, etc…).

Anyway, where is me working through 3 Maccabees:

Orthodox Study Bible


orthodox study bible II

Also, Wisdom of Solomon with an Icon for me to pay attention too:

Orthodox Study Bible, Wisdom of Solomon

And, a picture of it in iOS:

I usually read the NETS for my main LXX translation. It is my go-to translation. In the Orthodox Study Bible, however, the SAAS translation is made available. This translation, unlike the NETS, is liturgical in design. It is readable.

…included with every copy of the OSB is the St. Athanasius Academy Septuagint, a new English version of the LXX created specifically to accompany the Old Testament annotations of the OSB. The SAAS began with the New King James Version as its base, but changes were made at any point where the LXX differed from the Hebrew text. Moreover, brand new translations were created for the additional books (often referred to as Apocrypha or Deuterocanon) not found in the NKJV. The translation of these additional Old Testament books use the NKJV style and vocabulary as a template to maintain a consistent look and feel throughout the OSB.

Make sure you get a copy shortly, while introductory pricing is still around.

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