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REVIEWS The Most Powerful Software for Biblical Studies Accordance Software for Biblical Studies Version 2.1 (CD-ROM Release 1.0). Distributed by the GRAMCORD Institute, Vancouver, Washington. For information and prices for various configurations, contact the GRAMCORD Institute at www.gramcord.org or 360-576-3000; the program with the complete Hebrew Bible and the NJPS Tanakh translation would cost $429. I have been using various versions of Accordance for three years; it is a superlative program that has become an indispensable part ofmy primary tools as a Bible scholar, and is of broader interest to any student of Hebrew literature who might want to see biblical allusions or influences on later material. The current version, available on floppies or a CD-ROM, is for the Macintosh; a PC-compatible program that will be run via an emulator for PC/Windows is under construction. The core of the program is a grammatically tagged text of the Hebrew Bible, based on the manuscript most scholars use, Leningrad B19a (the text of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia). The grammatical tagging refers to the fact that each word of the text has been analyzed; its part of speech has been identified, and when appropriate, further analyzed. For example, the program has been "taught" the gender and number of each noun in the Bible, and whether it is in the construct state. Complete information for each verb is encoded, as well; this includes the root, binyan, "tense," person, number, gender, and any suffixes. The availability of this information to various well-constructed search windows offers this program tremendous power and usefulness. Of course, the program is only as good as its grammatical tagging, which is generally reliable. Though the tagging has been checked and continues to be refined, no scholar will totally agree with every judgment that it incorporates; there are, for example, cases where verbs such as bvil are fundamentally ambiguous, analyzable as either a qal or a hifil, or where ?? may be understood either as a preposition ("with") or as a direct-object marker. Like most other databases, this one does not allow for ambiguity, and all such cases are resolved. The decisions made are typically sound, though not foolproof, and in using this program, such ambiguities must be kept in mind. The simplest types of searches are for particular roots and phrases. This is extremely easy; the program allows both lexical forms ("roots") and inflected forms ("words") to be inserted at the main window. Searches are fast; Accordance listed all 430 cases of nvr» in less than ten seconds, and discovered all 3,577 cases of conjugated ??p in any binyan in about thirty seconds. (These searches were conducted on a Performa 6115CD with 8MB of RAM.) The word that you are PROOFTEXTS 18 (1998): 281-297 C 1998 by The Johns Hopkins University Press 282REVIEWS searching for is highlighted in the context of the complete verse, and it is possible to review the list and to insert bookmarks on particular references, grouping them together for further study. All search windows may be named and saved for future reference, and various search windows may be linked together. More complicated searches may also be accomplished with ease; for example, it is possible to search for the phrase -oil ns by searching for the roots rna "and" mi. A quick search of t?? aio, found at the end of Creation in Genesis 1, reveals that it is a rare phrase, and that even separated by a few words, this adjective and adverb appear together only in eleven verses in the Bible. This suggests that ??a aio is somehow quite different from our bland "very good." The program is especially useful for studying word pairs in biblical poetry; by entering y~iK "and" wrx) it is possible to discover in about five seconds all 180 cases where the words appear together in any order in a single verse. It is also possible to specify that the words need to appear in a particular order, in a specific word range, or in a particular group of biblical books. In addition to "and," other logical operators are available as well. "Wild cards" may also be used in...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3311
Print ISSN
0272-9601
Pages
pp. 281-283
Launched on MUSE
2011-01-26
Open Access
No
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