Studying God's Word With Accordance®
The University of Virginia boasts an incredible 18 libraries across its undergraduate and graduate campuses. We have a hunch Thomas Jefferson might be proud of such development, especially since he was in a “bold pursuit of knowledge” when he established the University in 1819. Students spend hours in these libraries, studying for classes by reading histories of the world, journal articles, and thick biology books. But when it comes to building a relationship with God, do we need to put in the same effort? And if so, how?
The Center for Christian Study offers a unique kind of library. The double doors on the second floor of the building invite students to come with questions about faith, and the many books and resources there help students figure out how to apply faith to life. One of the ways the Study Center is doing this is through its new Accordance® Bible Software.
The Study Center’s desktop Mac computer is not just any ol’ Mac. The computer is outfitted with Accordance®, a huge library of interactive bible study resources, ranging from texts in their original languages, to interactive atlases, to commentaries from Biblical scholars. Accordance® allows students to engage with Scripture in a more comprehensive manner, especially through its cross-referencing and interlinear capabilities. These features, among others, help users understand the Old and New Testaments as one story highlighted by Creation, Fall, Christ’s Redemption and the coming Restoration.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul encourages his brothers:
“…you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have the strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:19)
When Paul wrote this letter, the people of Ephesus were struggling with how to understand the coexistence of Jews and Gentiles. Paul shed light on the matter by stressing the importance of knowing Christ through the mystery of God’s will, revealed in the church (a worshipping body of believers—both Jews and Gentiles).
Paul suggests that theology (the study of God) actually leads to doxology (a formula of praising God). More specifically, Paul does not ask the Ephesians to know God for the sake of power, safety or happiness; rather, he hopes for them to know Christ’s love because it leads to praise of God himself. In fact, the Bible makes it clear that knowledge of God that does not lead to His praise is futile. Learning about God by studying his Word, first in its original context, and then applied to life, is what leads us to worship him. The Accordance® Bible software is one resource that assists in this kind of study.
One of the most basic tools in the Accordance® program is the Info Pane. Continue reading for more step-by-step instructions on how to utilize this tool in order to understand the person and work of Jesus Christ as emphasized throughout the Bible.
The Info Pane
Now that you’ve opened Accordance®, you might be a bit daunted. So many resources, so little time! We’ve got you covered. Look to the upper right hand corner, under the search bar. Click “Add Parallel.” Then, click “Info Pane.” The Info Pane that pops up parallel to your text gives a bird’s eye view of some of Accordance’s basic resources—including commentaries, cross-references and parallel passages. Take a look here if you don’t know where to begin:
Our library intern, Susannah, will be at the Study Center most Friday afternoons, or by appointment, to introduce you to Accordance® Bible software. Send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments you may have, or to schedule a brief Accordance® software tour. You can also fill out the sign-up sheet next to the Mac, and Susannah will contact you as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing from you!