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Is Accordance future proof?


Rh0d1um
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Hello,

 

I'm a Swiss Theology student at a seminary and I've owned Accordance for 4 years now. I use it mainly for language study, but recently I find myself thinking about investing more money into some commentary bundles (e.g. NICOT / NICNT bundles when they're on sale the next time).

 

However, I'm not really sure if Accordance (or any bible software for that matter) is enough "future proof" for the next decades. What will happen to all the purchased modules, if Accordance Software goes out of business? Is there a Plan B that unlocks those modules for use without a specific software? Or would all the modules be lost forever (which means emptying libraries that thousands of people rely on)?

 

Otherwise I find it really hard to justify spending a ton of money for something that might not last for the next decades.

 

What would you suggest?

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Nothing is entirely future proof!

 

That said, we are committed to ensuring the future of Accordance for a long time to come. Even if it were to cease development, someone would probably step in to provide a solution for our users. We can still run classic Mac and Windows programs from 20 years ago on old machines and in emulators on current systems, when we really need to.

 

It's a very fair question, but even books that do not need to be compatible with any modern system, can be lost or destroyed by fire, flood, theft, worms....

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I have used Accordance since 1994. It has gotten better and better. As Helen indicated, it cannot be guaranteed. Yet the track record has been outstanding.

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This doesn't really answer your specific question, but I find that the features of Accordance (like searching) plus the ability to carry the entire library everywhere with me (laptop, phone, etc) adds tremendous value that I would not have in print books, so I'm willing to take the risk of software obsolescence in order to get the most out of the resources I choose to buy. Plus, buying digitally has been much cheaper than assembling the same library in print would be, so the total investment is less and thus the potential personal loss is lower. So, yes, there is always a risk that things could change in the future, but I have no regrets about building my library in Accordance instead of print. 

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A good friend lost his entire print collection in a fire at the university where he taught. Insurance covered some of the cost, but many of the books were impossible to replace. There is a real sense in which nothing is "future proof"!

Edited by Mark Allison
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I have used Accordance since 1994. It has gotten better and better. As Helen indicated, it cannot be guaranteed. Yet the track record has been outstanding.

 

Michael said it best, I cannot say more.

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Most of the professors at New Orleans Baptist Seminary lost their personal libraries in their campus offices during Hurricane Katrina. Hearing that was the mental turning point for me. I had used Accordance since 1998, but at that point, I began investing in digital works OVER print materials. Before that digital had been supplemental. Not since then, though.

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Most of the professors at New Orleans Baptist Seminary lost their personal libraries in their campus offices during Hurricane Katrina. Hearing that was the mental turning point for me. I had used Accordance since 1998, but at that point, I began investing in digital works OVER print materials. Before that digital had been supplemental. Not since then, though.

 

 

If I lost all my devices and backups, I would still be able to download almost all of the Accordance resources I have accumulated over the decades. Mark and Rick's anecdotes brought this to mind. I still back up my SSD, but if a fire, flood, or other natural disaster struck, I could salvage most of my Accordance investment.

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Since this has veered towards insurance against catastrophe, don't forget about the rule of three.

 

3 copies

2 formats

1 (at least) off-site.

 

I'm [somewhat] there. My work is synced with a cloud service, I back up the whole computer to a network raid drive, and then the whole network drive is backed up to a separate cloud service.

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Thanks a lot for your replies! It's been really helpful to hear from those who have used Accordance for more than 20 years. This makes me confident that Accordance isn't going to disappear any time soon.

 

Now I just have to wait for the next NICOT/NICNT; WBC; ... sales!

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I can nearly guarantee that those sales will come and 20%-25% off any one non sale item coupons come up several times a year too to help with those items that feel like they never go on sale.

 

-dan

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NOTE: I use an extremely limited feature set. I use the search engine on ancient texts. Lexicons: BDB, LS middle, L&N, Spicq, LEH. Also E. Tov MT-LXX. 

 

I've been using the Accordance since version zero point eight  0.8. Nothing is future proof. After Accordance 3.x I stopped beta testing. Since then I've upgraded the Accordance search engine only when it became absolutely essential due to either hardware or operating system issues.  I'm currently running Accordance 9.6 on HighSierra. It crashes occasionally but no more often than Apple Mail. 

 

The modules have been relatively future proof. I'm still use Gramcord Greek and Hebrew. There was one exception, what stands out because it's an exception. I purchased Apostolic Fathers 1.1 from Paul Miller at Gramcord. I had hardly used it when the grammatical tags quit working. This was a mind-boggling surprise, because it was so unusual. Rex Koivisto was the developer. Rex[1] was my initial beta test contact with the Accordance project  prior to Accordance release 1.0. I very rarely (almost never) search grammatical tags in Apostolic Fathers so it wasn't worth fussing about. 

 

The TLG import engine isn't working anymore. But that is moot since TLG is now an online service. I never used Accordance to search TLG anyway. Used Diogenes. 

 

 

[1] Rex and I attended Western Seminary Portland at the same time. 

 

Postscript: I'm currently involved with the STEP Bible project at Tyndale House Cambridge. 

Edited by c. stirling bartholomew
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I'm a Swiss Theology student at a seminary and I've owned Accordance for 4 years now. I use it mainly for language study, but recently I find myself thinking about investing more money into some commentary bundles (e.g. NICOT / NICNT bundles when they're on sale the next time).

 

 

''''

 

Is this really about Accordance? Do you really want own NICOT / NICNT? Regardless of the media the content of those volumes also has a shelf life. I find myself not bothering to even borrow print media books because they're out of date by the time they get into print. I read a fair number of PhD dissertations and I'm often amazed how outdated they are even if they were published last year. Some commentaries become classics, Henry Alford is an example. Most commentaries just become old. I remember participating in a discussion of the synoptic problem with Stephen Carlson when Darrell Bock's Luke  BECNT was brand-new. I was complaining about the amount of space in Luke BECNT given to the discussion of the Jesus seminar. Carlson disagreed saying that was in his opinion a strength of Bock's Luke. Now days who cares about the Jesus seminar? If you buy Luke BECNT in any in any form you are going and up with something which is addressing issues that no longer exist. I had same experience with Luke NIGTC I. Howard Marshal 1979. Marshal interacts extensively with Rudolf Bultmann. I sitting in John Feinberg's Soteriology Course[1] one day when he opened the lecture within an announcement that Rudolf Bultmann died today. 

 

[1] Feinberg we're still writing his PhD  dissertation on the problem of evil. You didn't want to be taking courses from him unless you were single, unemployed, and only signed up for that course. 

Edited by c. stirling bartholomew
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Hi c. stirling bartholomew,

 

Regardless of the media the content of those volumes also has a shelf life. I find myself not bothering to even borrow print media books because they're out of date by the time they get into print. I read a fair number of PhD dissertations and I'm often amazed how outdated they are even if they were published last year. Some commentaries become classics, Henry Alford is an example. Most commentaries just become old.

 

Most people are not dialed into the stream of Phd dissertations or similar scholarly publication (I'm not certainly, though I'm still looking for papers that were going to be published in a proceedings or some such thing and never were, so back to the authors) and I'm not sure how many can keep up with the stream of them and all the required ancilliary reading required to understand the debates and current trends. So while these books can be out of date with respect to the latest arguments and researches, they're probably more accessible both physically and in their writing and prerequisites. But for those who can and desire to keep up with the latest material, you need to be connected to what's being published currently, what I imagine to be rather further upstream of these commentaries and similar works. How do you have access to such very recent dissertations and similar material ? I barely know what's being published and usually find references to papers in books, meaning I am finding them much later, though of course some books refer to unpublished forthcoming material.

 

Thx

D
 

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Is this really about Accordance? Do you really want own NICOT / NICNT? Regardless of the media the content of those volumes also has a shelf life.

 

If he wants NICOT let him have NICOT. Accordance provides the best mechanism for accessing NICOT (or any other available commentary) in parallel with dozens of available Bible texts in multiple languages alongside study Bibles, dictionaries, lexicons, grammars, as well as theological and historical works. That's why we all bought in to Accordance at some point. It isn't just to have the tools and texts themselves, but for the interoperability between them that the Accordance program provides.

 

Does anyone else remember sitting at a table piled high with different versions of the Bible, original language text, lexicon, Bible dictionary etc, note pad and pen?

Do you remember how long it took to study just one verse of Scripture?

Do you remember having to lug it all to the library by yourself?

 

Who wants to go back to that?

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If he wants NICOT let him have NICOT. Accordance provides the best mechanism for accessing NICOT (or any other available commentary) in parallel with dozens of available Bible texts in multiple languages alongside study Bibles, dictionaries, lexicons, grammars, as well as theological and historical works. That's why we all bought in to Accordance at some point. It isn't just to have the tools and texts themselves, but for the interoperability between them that the Accordance program provides.

 

Does anyone else remember sitting at a table piled high with different versions of the Bible, original language text, lexicon, Bible dictionary etc, note pad and pen?

Do you remember how long it took to study just one verse of Scripture?

Do you remember having to lug it all to the library by yourself?

 

Who wants to go back to that?

I think this is a great perspective to have. I do remember this quite well. For seminary classes and especially when teaching an exegetical bible study for about 5 years. I didn't start using Accordance until after this bible study was over. Oh how much easier and faster it would have been... I know it was good to be able to do it that way for some time, for a number of reasons. But man, if I would have had say 3 or 4 years of doing it on Accordance it would have been so much better. I agree, it's so hard to imagine going back now.

 

But getting back more to the topic, I agree that whatever shelf life a commentary set may have, it's far outweighed by the factors you describe, and it makes it so much easier when Accordance modules are as cost effective as they are. As a side note, Denver Seminary annually updates their annotated bibliographies containing recommended commentaries and many of the NICOT/NICNT volumes still remain as not just recommended, but highly recommended resources (the ones with asterisks next to them) when some are 30+ years old. Many times newer doesn't always mean better, especially for laypersons.

 

I too am waiting for a really good sale (40% off at least, hopefully 60% like I think it has been twice in the past two years) of NICOT/NICNT. I'm willing to wait awhile for it too. Please offer this again at such a great deal :)

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Probably good to remember that people use Accordance for a lot of different reasons. While some of you are interacting with the newest PhD dissertations I'm just trying to get my weekly Bible study to understand how Paul uses the words "justification" and "law" in Galatians.  :-)

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NICOT/NICNT was 59% off (i.e. $599) in September 2017 and in October 2016.

 

It was available for $599.95 in February 2016.

 

You could have had it for $779 or 42% off in July 2014 and again in December 2014.

 

If that does not predict a future sale, maybe you should try Urim and Thummim.

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Actually we'll have a sale on NIC later this month, so you can buy now and get a credit, or wait just a little longer.

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That's really good to know Helen, thanks! 

 

NICOT / NICNT were just an example of some more expensive modules that I'm planning on buying at some point. I used NICOT / NICNT (of course combined with others like WBC, ICC, ... and some German commentaries) quite a lot during my studies and I could always rely on the seminary's library. However, at some point I must own some high quality commentaries as well! I'll combine that with some (print) German commentaries that aren't available on Accordance (HTA, Historisch Theologische Auslegung for example).

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I would not expect (wonders happen, especially in Israel) German commentaries in Accordance. You can find a lot of such discussions in the forum, look also for user Florian.

 

That's the only negative side of Accordance.

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Hi c. stirling bartholomew,

 

 

Most people are not dialed into the stream of Phd dissertations or similar scholarly publication (I'm not certainly, though I'm still looking for papers that were going to be published in a proceedings or some such thing and never were, so back to the authors) and I'm not sure how many can keep up with the stream of them and all the required ancilliary reading required to understand the debates and current trends. So while these books can be out of date with respect to the latest arguments and researches, they're probably more accessible both physically and in their writing and prerequisites. But for those who can and desire to keep up with the latest material, you need to be connected to what's being published currently, what I imagine to be rather further upstream of these commentaries and similar works. How do you have access to such very recent dissertations and similar material ? I barely know what's being published and usually find references to papers in books, meaning I am finding them much later, though of course some books refer to unpublished forthcoming material.

 

Thx

D

 

Thank you for replying. I have no special access to anything. I don't attend SBL, ETS or anything else. I have a fairly narrow focus, text linguistics as applied to Ancient Greek and Hebrew texts. I've discovered how to narrow my search results by combining esoteric strings of keywords. I've downloaded hundreds of pdfs. This afternoon I'm headed to my local library to pick up an InterLibLoan copy Syntax of Septuigint, T Muraoka. I have borrowing privliges at the Seattle Pacific University Library but I rarely go there. All the commentaries I've used over fourty years have made me somewhat cynical about the biblical studies establishment. The idea of sitting through someone reading a paper at SBL, ETS or whatever doesn't appeal to me at all. If it's worth reading it'll get published. People who really want to get their ideas out don't put them behind pay walls. For example, one of the best monographs I've read in decades is Richard A. Hoyle, Scenarios, discourse and translation.  SIL 2008

Edited by c. stirling bartholomew
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And here I was hoping you had some tips for me to get on an inside track :) Oh well. I actually cannot keep up anyway with my list anyway. I'm trying to get enough linguistics under my belt to be able to read various papers. Some authors are trying to publish accessible books on scholarly directions that help a bunch but it's still work - nothing worth anything isn't though. I read Campbell's Advances in the Study of Greek and the Lexham collection of similarly oriented material. But as I said, still tracking references.

 

I'd be interested in your reaction to Muraoka's grammar. I have a copy and his lexicon. I have yet to do much with them but they are helpful when needed.

 

Thanx for the link to Hoyle. That's a beefy PDF. I'll have to make time for it some time. It sounds really interesting.

 

Thx

D

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Future proof? That peeked my interest, because I hoped to hear some rumors on version 13?

As I remember I felt like Accordance 12 came shortly after 11, and that came perhaps soon after 10. Or I am getting old, or the developers are working on the windows and mobile applications (which is a great thing).

So I am merely raising this issue in hopes that one of the accordance team indulges my curiosity on this.

 

Regardless, keep up the good work

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I have no idea when 13 will be out but generally the new version comes out ever 2 years. I am just hoping iOS 3.0 comes out soon with many new features from he desktop... I am eagerly awaiting the info pane or info pane lite in iOS....

 

-dan

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