Accordance for Windows just released!

October 1, 2013

Biblical studies profs and students have been waiting since the first public word last fall at ETS/SBL for the official release of the Windows version of Accordance. It was released yesterday. Anyone interested in serious language study on Mac or Windows now has the best choice available on either platform. (Yes, that’s an opinion statement, but one that I will gladly stand by.)

I could repeat lots of what you’ll find on the Accordance site, but you’d be better off getting it directly. You’ll find several video overviews of the Windows version, a demo version you can download and play with, and a very generous licensing policy (5 machines, either Mac, Win, iOS in any combination for one price).

Now all of the “Big 3” have some means of running their software on either platform. Though I won’t engage in a review of the others, FWIW, here’s my opinion of each (all of which I own).

1. BibleWorks: Perhaps equally powerful with Accordance, but with “an interface only a nerd could love.” Those who have taken the considerable time needed to master it can perform some powerful searches, but the interface is anything but intuitive. I use it occasionally, but rarely. It is possible to run the Windows program on Mac; it’s not exactly running in an emulator, but uses CodeWeavers to translate calls, etc. so that you see a native Windows program running on Mac without either emulator or virtual machine. It works, but it’s not Mac. You also pay a speed penalty with the CodeWeavers environment.

2. Logos: a “hand-holding, big-brother behemoth” that’s good for accumulating a very large collection of digital books. They have more books than any other program, but a great many are out of date and of little value, so don’t let the numbers befuddle you. The Mac version is a royal pain; slow, always updating and reindexing. Poorly designed. If you want a biblical language program, look elsewhere, esp. if you’re on a Mac—and now even if you’re on Windows.

3. Accordance: the fastest of the 3 with the easiest, most intuitive interface. Just don’t blink when you click Search or you’ll be waiting wondering how long it is going to take—until you realize that the search was finished almost before you released the mouse!

If you want grammatical/syntactical search ability in Greek or Hebrew, not just in OT/LXX/NT, but also in the Pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Apostolic Fathers, NT apocrypha, Eusebius, Athanasius (all grammatically tagged Greek texts!), Greek MSS and papyri (many tagged), Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Athenagoras, and Theophylus of Antioch (not tagged), or if you’re into OT studies, early non-Biblical Hebrew texts, Dead Sea Scrolls, Samaritan Pentateuch, the Targums, Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts from the Judean Desert, Ugaritic texts, Mishnah, Sirach, or what about Coptic (Sahidic or Boharic) and Gospel of Thomas, or the Peshitta, and the list goes on.

And yes, you can get all the better commentaries, grammars, lexicons, reference works, etc. as well.