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#100) Design Your Own Study Bible

Timothy Jenney

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[Accordance 10: Basic] Lighting the Lamp podcast one hundred, Design Your Own Study Bible, demonstrates an easy way create your very own, custom Study Bible in Accordance. First, choose your Bible from any of Accordance’s modern translations: over thirty English and more than fifty in other modern languages. Next, add your choice of one or more of twenty-three difference sets of Bible study notes—or over fifty different commentaries. Finally, select one of the six different systems of cross-references and add your favorite atlas and Bible dictionary. Save the Workspace. Presto! You now have a custom Study Bible, designed to your specifications.






Edited by Timothy Jenney
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  • 1 month later...

OK, so this may be a little off topic but this is the closest I could come because I don't know how to start a new topic.



So, I saw the podcast on building your own bible. That gave me the idea of entering the book of Jonah as a bible. I saw it as a doable project (the book is small) and it has some layout challenges beyond straight narrative (like poetry and a verse that has a new paragraph in the middle of it.) I found that the help web page had some formatting rules and using that I dug in.

I had some beginning issues (like putting a period between chapter and verse numbers) and other DOH! moments but the error catching helped with those. But I found that there were others that have me scratching my head.

Case #1: To set up my TXT file, I entered some of the verse text and then some numbers representing place holders of several verses in the first chapter. When I imported the file into Accordance the beginning looked good, that is, until I scrolled down to the empty verses. I had a line of blue verse numbers Accordance supplied but not as I expected. I thought it would come out something like:

6 ...Perhaps the god will be kind to us and we will not perish.”









15 The Lord provided a huge fish...

What I got was–

6 ...Perhaps the god will be kind to us and we will not perish.”

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 The Lord provided a huge fish...

After pondering and even ignoring this for a while, I realized that Accordance was actually doing what it was supposed to do. However, it still wasn’t what I wanted so I played around with it (always a good way to learn.) I finally decided to try putting something on the line for verse 7 to see if that would do anything. I tried to put in a ¶ to see how that worked. By now I had discovered that Accordance prefers a space before and after the PILCROW sign. What I got was 7 8 9 10. Hmm.

So I decided that Accordance was hungry for a nibble of real text and I put in (after the usual verse starter of 7followedbyablank) which kept the same linear format but with the line now reading 7 x 8 9 10.... I was getting mad. So I went into my text document (which all along had had the numbers lined up along the left margin) and tried to change several of them in slight ways. I started by saying if Accordance wanted MORE than one printable character on the line before it would behave I would try two, so I added a period following the “x” of vs. 7. Then I put three blanks after the number 8, four blanks after number 9, five blanks after number 10 and blank-blank-¶-blank after 11. I also played around with the verse numbering routine. The Accordance help for this said that I needed chapter colon verse for verse one of each chapter but could have just the verse number after that. I added chapter numbers to randomly picked empty verses.

After all this I got

7 x. 8 9 9 11

10 11 12 13 14 15 The Lord...


For Chapter 2 which has poetry I learned to put in a lot of <br>’s and tabs to get the formatting in reasonable shape. That is until verse 11. This is where the text goes from poetry back to narrative formatting. Verse 11 should line up with the left margins of the other paragraphs except that it is automatically indented as the start of a one sentence paragraph. I caught some mistakes in the formating of the previous few verses and it came out OK. Well, OK if you don’t mind that it was thinking that vs. 10 was the actual start of the paragraph and vs. 11 was the second sentence. However, this was nothing compared to the fact that the narrative beginning “The Lord provided a huge fish...” was NOT the end of Chapter 1 but the start of Chapter 2 and all of my numbering was off. The start of Chapter 3 was showing as verse 10 of Chapter 2, what should be Jonah 3:2 was Jonah 2:11. Now my numbering was correct in the text file, but somewhere in the inner recesses of Accordance there lurked a misplaced Pre-K’er who hadn’t learned the numbers yet.

Well, I had been worrying so much about a number of formating problems that it took a while for me to notice the problem at the end of Chapter 1 and I decided to tackle that and do a top down fix for what I had so far. I ended up entering the text for the missing verses. That, with the tiding up that the women in my life keep onto me to do, led to deleting those extra spaces I had put in. That got the text to display correctly, I checked how it looked after working on each verse. I have no clue why two, three, four and five spaces would create such havoc, and I did not foresee any gotchas, but they sure played hob with my efforts.

I also didn’t know that this book had another gotcha awaiting. It seems that the KJV has 17 verses in Chapter 1 but the Tanakh, which I was using, has 16. KJV puts the verse where God provides the fish as the 17th verse of Ch. 1. The Tanakh has it as Ch 2:1. There is a note for vs. 17 in the ESV to this effect. There is also a passing notice that the books can be in any order, the chapters however have to be in order and an empty placeholder with the (e.g. 1:1) number for each missing chapter has to appear. That was one of the reasons I came up with a similar scheme for the missing verses. When I tried to take the empty ones out, they turned up not to be indicated in Accordance, but the later verses in the chapter that were there were misnumbered and had other problems which went away when I got all the verses filled with some non-blank characters.

Ultimately I entered all the text (including a bogus 1:17) and Accordance was happy. However, I found there was a problem that Accordance missed. I have 11 verses for Ch. 2 whereas the KJV only has 10. There is probably some coding that I should do to enable better tracking between bibles, but right now I’m busy trying to get the book of Jonah finished (and so put the learning I’m gaining from it to other uses).

Inquiry: I’m still foggy about exactly what should be and where the paragraph indications in the chapters. I think I put it in right but it doesn’t work as I expect it to and after futzing around with it for a while, I don’t remember what I did and didn’t do so I am condemned to repeat not getting it right unless I can have a friendly soul spell it out for me.

I guess that having the program for a whole 5 days now means I still have a lot of basics to learn. Oh, well, a lot more mistakes are in the forecast for the near term.

BTW: I’m running v.9.6.6 on an iMac 64 with OS X 10.5.8 PPC and the text writing software I used was Text Wrangler. JAC

PS. In some of the podcasts, the action begins with opening a new workspace window -- a BLANK workspace window. How you do day? I can’t find a pref setting that overrides the last window I was using.

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Hi, JAC!


Wow! That's a lot of work!


I believe the Accordance Exchange has instructions for importing a user Bible. I know there are User Bibles there. I don't personally have any experience in doing so, but perhaps someone else on the forums does.


Personally, I think I would have just done a Verse Search for the book Jonah and moved the context slider to "None" (0). If you need to search within Jonah, just add the command [RANGE Jonah] after the rest of the search criteria.

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Hey JAC,


I've done a bunch with User Bibles - I used one to do all the translations in Mounce's Reader. But I've done it all on 10.x releases. I know that bugs have been fixed in the process, because I logged some of them and they were fixed. So YMMV with what I can tell you.


I found the paragraph marker ¶ can be entered without a trailing space if its all that's on the line. If its followed by text I usually have a space, but I don't know if its required - I just find it more readable. When I want to put data in in the middle of a book I put chapter :1 markers in place for all chapters preceding the first one I enter. I believe that is required or was at one time - I haven't done more on this in a while. Once I get to the chapter I want to enter data for I use verse markers until I get to the verse I want to start typing text in. Then I enter my text verse by verse. When I switch books I use a ¶ in the book 1:1 even if its blank to separate it from the preceding book when its rendered.


So as that's likely very confusing to read here is an example from my raw text for Matthew :


Matt 1:1 ¶
Matt 2:1
Matt 3:1
Matt 4:1
Matt 5:1
Matt 6:1 ¶
Matt 6:2
Matt 6:3
Matt 6:4
Matt 6:5 <br>And whenever you are praying, do not be like the hypocrites, that love standing in the synagogues and the corners of the squares to pray, in order that they may be seen by the people. Truly I am saying to you, they have their full reward.
Matt 6:6 But whenever you {should|may} pray go into your inner room and closing your door and pray to your father in secret; and your seeing father will { give to you | repay you | ??? } in secret.
Matt 6:7 ¶ And when praying do not babble as the Gentiles do, for they are thinking the with their many words they will be heard.
Matt 6:8 Now then, do not be like them; for you Father knows what things you have a need [for] before you ask him.
Matt 6:9 Therefore you pray in this manner; <br> Our Father who [is] in the heavens<br> Sanctify your name;<br>

And here is what it looks like in Acc when loaded.




Does this help you ?


BTW, a blank w/s can be created by opening a new WS and then closing the tab in it. At least in 10 it can. In 9, no idea, maybe that works.




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Thanks for the suggestions, Daniel. I tried to "delete the tab" as you suggested, but there was no tab. Whenever I had multiple tabs, the last one left standing (that is, open) lost its "tabness" and only the entire workspace window was left to close. Of course, then the "New Workspace" menu choice got me back where I started.

I did some of the things you did in creating my user bible. I found that there is something I'm doing that Accordance doesn't like. I closed down after I was on here yesterday to get some sleep. When I started back up, nothing seemed to work at all. I finally figured out that I had changed one of the preference settings for Text Wrangler to delete trailing blanks and Accordance took exception to their absence at the end of verses. I can see now why some software writers put their stuff out there "as is" because they have to spend so much time running down little stuff that may work its way back in a couple of revisions later they don't have time to respond to complaints about niggly little flaws. As I said, it's a learning experience.


In response to Dr. J: I'm just using Jonah as a test bench to get past these pesky little problems. I want to do some work on the Decalogue and program in different versions' treatments of the Hebrew. I thought that "building my own" verses would be about the same as photocopying/clipping/pasting the materials as I might have done in the past and would then allow me to enter User Notes that would attach to the text under study. Plus, I seem to gravitate to Jonah when I want to branch out and try something new as a way of wrestling with the scriptures.


BTW: Is there a forum topic I can go to in order to ask questions like "Do I need a space here?" or "How to I get the text to display with XYZ characteristics?" or maybe "I can't figure out how to get the tab window to be parallel with the bibles I have open instead of in a separate window." Those kinds of things us newbies like to pester the "old fogies" about. ;)

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The tab thing sounds like its 10 versus 9 and I cannot I'm afraid help you there.


As to the questions and where to post them. Have a look at the list of forums - they describe what they are for. For questions like what the one's you mention you should probably use General Accordance Topics or perhaps Technical Support.




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