Tools of the Trade: Accordance for iOS

Accordance Bible SoftwareA few days ago, I reviewed the Windows version of Accordance Bible Software. Today I want to discuss the Accordance iPhone application.

The application is free, and once I entered my password, the software synced with my PC software, offering to download a copy of any of the resources (books) that I have in Accordance.

Well, I only have so much available space on my iPhone, and so I selected a few Bible translations, some Greek resources, and a couple of my favorite commentaries.

The next question was just how easy is the app to run. As I’ve said here before, I believe well-designed software should require no instructions at all for ordinary use. And so I opened the ESV with Strong’s numbers (a standard numbering system for each word in biblical Greek). With just a little fiddling, I discovered that I can get the Greek behind the text just by gently pressing on a word and holding my finger there for a second.

Upon pressing the word, the window pops up giving me the definition from Strong’s, the declension (such as “noun neut sing dat,” that is, a singular, neuter, dative case noun). And I also got the Mounce Greek Dictionary definition, the frequency of the word in the New Testament, and some other verses where the same word is used.

From  the window, I can copy the Greek word, highlight the text, or search for other occurrences of the Greek word. Search gives me the choice to search by lemma (Greek root word) or by the English word (also by root).

This also works in the Old Testament, giving me the Hebrew and — most importantly — the English transliteration of the Hebrew word, since I can’t read Hebrew very well.

Frankly, I don’t do a lot of Bible study on my iPhone. The screen is too small and I can’t type very well on the thing. But sometimes in church or Bible class, I really want to look something up, and so this is well nigh perfect for me.

There is a search feature at the top right hand corner, which allows Boolean and “flex” or approximate searching. It’s much more powerful than I’m likely to need on the iPhone.

I can press the Library icon and pull up any resource that I’ve downloaded to my phone. Three touches of the screen, and I have the Pillar Commentary open and ready to search by Bible verse citation or word. Very cool.

And I’m sure that you realize what this means? It means that I’ll never, ever lose an argument in Bible class. That’s what it means.

Now, I find myself frequently poking around in the Septuagint to check on the history of the usage of New Testament Greek. And it’s easy to open a split window, with the ESV at the top and the Greek Septuagint at the bottom.

And if I decide I need a resource I forgot to download, it’s easy to go to Easy Install and download it.

At this point, BibleWorks has no iPhone application available. Logos does, however, and it’s a good one. It does just all sorts of things. But I get lost in it at times. It does more, but not more of what I need, and the interface is not as intuitive as Accordance. At least not for me.

In short, in both the Windows and the iOS versions, the Accordance software team is highly attentive to the human interface, and to me, that’s really important. I don’t have time or interest in watching videos or reading instructions. I just don’t have the time or patience for training sessions or videos or even help features. I just want to open the app and go — and Accordance is the closest to the ideal that I’ve seen.

PS — Even if you don’t run Accordance on your PC or Mac, the free version of the iOS app comes with significant English and Greek resources for free — provided you are willing to register with Accordance. These include —

  • The WEB translation
  • Outlines of each book of the Bible
  • Margin notes and cross-references
  • Easton’s Bible dictionary
  • The Bible Lands PhotoGuide Sampler
  • Webster
  • Greek and Hebrew dictionaries, and
  • Samples of the Greek New Testament and Hebrew Bible.
  • The King James Version with Strong’s numbers (KJVS)
  • The King James Version Apocrypha (KJVA)
  • The 1901 American Standard Version (ASV)
  • French La Sainte Bible, Nouvelle Edition de Genève 1979 (NEG79)
  • Italian La Sacra Bibbia, Nuova Riveduta 1994 (NR94)
  • German Schlacter translation 1951 (SCHLA)
  • Spanish Reina Valera 1909 (RVR09)
  • Greek and Hebrew Strong’s Dictionaries
  • Webster Dictionary
  • Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
  • Hitchcock’s Dictionary of Bible Names
  • Nave’s Topical Bible
  • Maps Sampler
  • Timeline Sampler
  • Devotional Bible Readings
  • Classic Passages
  • Parables & Miracles

Obviously, the real price is getting on their email list for advertisements, but it’s still not a bad deal at all.

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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