Accordance 3.0 (software)
A review of Accordance 3.0 software by Dr. Richard Hess.
Accordance 3.0. Distributed by Paul Miller, The Gramcord Institute, Vancouver, Washington. Developed by OakTree Software Specialists, Altamonte Springs, Florida, 1997. Starter level, $69.00. Upgrade to Student level, $90.00. Scholar’s Package, $150.00. Gramcord NA27 Greek NT, $100.00; Gramcord Westminster Hebrew MT, $100.00; Gramcord Greek LXX (Rahlfs) revised, $125.00. Other modules, $25.00 to $100.00.
The Gramcord Accordance program is one of the most important software concordance and analysis programs for the Greek and Hebrew Bibles. Version 3.0 appeared at the end of 1997 and has already become an essential part of the scholar’s software. Designed for Macintosh computers, the program has the ability to instantly display any text in the Bible in one or all of the following: English translations (other modern languages are also available), Greek New Testament, Hebrew Old Testament, and Septuagint. In any one of the original language texts there is immediately accessible a grammatical analysis of each word in a floating window on the computer screen (named, Instant Details). There is also a second floating window that allows for a selection to be analyzed in terms of grammar, word frequency, diagram, syntax, a spoken reading, and other versions and commentaries that can be added with the purchase of additional modules.
These new features add power to an already convenient program. Both word string and grammatical searches are possibile with a wide variety of verb, noun, and particle forms. Thus one can discover all the hophal imperatives in the Hebrew text, all the optative forms in the Greek New Testament, or all the places in the Septuagint where the Hebrew word for “Messiah,” mashiach, is translated as christos. The multiple columns allow one to display the results side by side in Hebrew, Greek, and English. One can also instantly find the one other occurrence of tohu wabohu in addition to Genesis 1:2. However, these are simple searches compared to the complexities of which Accordance 3.0 is capable. The results can be saved, printed, and copied and transferred to a text file in the user’s favorite word processing program.
Examples of additional modules that are available include an abridged version of Brown, Driver, and Briggs Hebrew-English lexicon. This can be used by itself or attached to words in the Hebrew Bible whose appropriate lexical entry can then be located. The same is true for Greek-English dictionaries, of which Liddell and Scott’s Intermediate lexicon can be used for both the Greek of the New Testament and that of the Septuagint. The MT/LXX tool is of special interest for those who work with the Hebrew and Septuagint of the Old Testament or who are interested in the use of the Old Testament in the New. Compiled by E. Tov, this is a word by word comparison of each Hebrew word with its corresponding Greek equivalent in the Septuagint. It is surely one of the most important tools for comparative study of the two testaments in their original languages.
Of course there are always elements missing in these sorts of programs. In Hebrew these include the absence of tagging of noun formations (mishqalim) and the inability to search for all the occurrences of specific irregular verb classes (e.g., all the pe-gutterals (first gutteral) forms). However, no program presently available does these things and the focus on what Accordance actually can do leaves one breathless. Every pastor and Bible teacher will wish to make use of a program like this in order to perform instant word studies (on the English Bible text if not the original language), and phrase studies as well. Accordance will become an essential resource for commentary writers and other scholarly writers, students not only of the Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament, but also of the Septuagint. Grammarians also will at last possess an invaluable resource for checking all those generalizations about aspects of the language and texts, and for producing reliable studies to advance understanding of the language of the Bible.
Richard S. Hess
Professor of Old Testament