Accordance 8.0.5 Update

Perhaps I should start by pointing you to the new features in Accordance version 8, the last major release.

Accordance 8.0.5, a point release, provides improved import of HTML files into user tools, and more options for the export of selected text. Some keyboard shortcuts have been changed: option-command-X removes selected verses from the Reference List window, and shift-command-N adds a new folder to the Library window (instead of F). As it’s usually the case with these kinds of releases, a number of obscure bugs have also been corrected. Also, since these updates are incremental, all previously reported bugs since the initial release of version 8 have been fixed.

Version 8.0.5 is available here, and it is a free upgrade to current users of version 8.0.x, whereas the working Accordance demo has also been upgraded to 8.0.5.

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BSR Forums Keep Improving

I have added a new video embedding feature to the forums. This way, registered users can illustrate their points by linking to a video hosted in any of the most popular sites currently available online, o even record their own videos, tutorials or whatever and link to them (embed them) in the forum. Thus, it is now very easy to start a video forum thread. Why not register and give it a try? Don’t expect other to start one, head over to the forums and introduce yourself, show us how you use your Bible software or demonstrate some useful feature you’ve discovered. And if you have any questions, feel free to ask away and surely there will be knowledgeable people around who will be able to lend you a hand or, at the very least, they’ll try…

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A Collection of Clippings – I

The latest issue of Logos NewsWire announces that the Logos Blog has been revamped. It is easier to navigate, and looks much better. To celebrate this re-launch, Logos is offering a free commentary download — Tyndale’s Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, vol 11 (Matthew and Mark), by David L. Turner and Darrell L. Bock, respectively –,  (only until the whole Pre-Pub series moves into production).  To get your free download, go to this page, add it to your cart and use coupon “CORNERSTONE”. If you are not a Logos user you will need to create a free Logos account first, then download a copy of the latest Libronix engine (free) and finally create a Libronix Customer ID. The unlock and download script will do the rest.

Gonzalo Díaz informs us of the availability of Kalós version 4.13 (for Mac and Windows), which includes an improved look-and-feel, as well as several hundred new entries, covering all NT canonical forms. Here is the full list of improvements.

Danny Zacharias has been keeping busy, developing sets of multimedia Greek flashcards. These NT Vocabulary Expansion Packs, designed for use with Flash! Pro (PC) and iFlash (Mac), are keyed to the following 1st year Greek textbooks: Learn To Read New Testament Greek, A Primer of Biblical Greek, Basics of Biblical Greek and New Testament Greek Primer. See the demo video or these screenshots. He has also made available some free Greek flash animations. You can download them here. They were originally created by Glenn Wooden and he developed them specifically to work with Bill Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek. Hint: Danny embeds them in his Keynote presentations.

Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman reviews a Vulgate-based Bible software called VulSearch 4. Despite being freeware, it has some nice features not always found in commercial programs. It allows users to view and search the Latin Vulgate alongside an English or French Bible.

Finally, webmasters who run websites, blogs or forums which make frequent use of Bible references might be interested to know that Logos has enhanced a nice little script called RefTagger. This free utility is now highly customizeable and makes the full Bible text pop up when you hover over any Bible reference. The currently available versions are NLT, ESV, KJV and NKJV.

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Too Much of a Challenge?

Not so long ago I told you about the 30-day challenge of LaRosa Johnson, who works with WORDsearch but nevertheless decided to try Logos Bible software, a competing product, in his leisure time.

Last I know is that LaRosa Johnson is still a WORDsearch employee, but there is no trace of the blog posts I linked to. If you search his blog archives you will not find any of the six entries on the subject. They are gone, vanished. Pure coincidence? Not likely. Logos blog talked about Making the Switch to Logos. I simply called my entry An Interesting Challenge. Was that too much publicity for another company’s software? Who decided to delete those posts and why? I’m now sorry I did not copy them, since they were written under a Creative Commons License.

I’m not talking about a conspiracy theory. God forbid! I don’t even know the man, and my emails to the company he works for have been repeatedly ignored. In fact I congratulated Randy Beck (the owner) in very friendly terms just a month ago, and invited him, yet again, to submit an interview for BSR. Never heard back from him. Does make you think… (please don’t read any kind of hostility into my comment, I’m simply sad).

I wish I were wrong, but I’m afraid LaRosa’s balanced and open-minded comments probably proved too much of a challenge for some people. And this is precisely one of the reasons that gave birth to Bible Software Review. I believe in freedom. I believe we can point out the good things about Bible software packages, learn from them and try to improve things with constructive criticisms and suggestions. I believe we can learn to disagree in a civil and even friendly manner. I believe in diversity. I believe that no matter how much we like our own software, it is plain stupid to think there is no life beyond it. I believe we can learn from one another and help one another. I don’t understand why comparing certain features (let alone writing comparative reviews) makes certain people feel so nervous.

I have been under pressure myself. Unfortunately some folks are more concerned about marketing and PR than they are about reaching excellency in developing tools that will help people study the Scriptures more efficiently. I know it’s difficult to stand for what you think is right, particularly in a highly competitive market, but “a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.”

I am sorry I’ve had to write this post, and would love to stand corrected. That has never been a problem for me. Really, I would be happy to say, “hey I blew it! I got carried away with no reason. I apologize.” I would love to have to delete this entry, but facts are facts, and unless there is some plausible explanation for the “mysterious” disappearance of LaRosa’s original blog entries, I am entitled to voice my opinion.

Update (September 10): Be sure to read the final outcome of this story.

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Hebrew Bible Search Engine

Ned Sturzer has developed a new search engine for the Hebrew Bible (Leningrad Codex B19a), called Masorah Engine (please note that the site can only be viewed correctly with Internet Explorer — Neither Firefox nor Safari worked for me).

This engine (requiring Windows XP or better) is able to search for the Hebrew vowel marks (nikudos) and tropes (te’amim) in many different and rather complex ways, so you may want to take a look. There are a number of screen shots available, but no demo version.

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