What’s New in Accordance 12 and MacBook Pro with Touchbar: Theotek #086

Accordance 12’s been out for a little while, but we got a chance to see all the new features demonstrated by Mark Allison, an official trainer for Accordance Bible Software. He showed off the new things like Stacks, Paper and more.

Also, Rick Mansfield gave us his mini review of the new MacBook Pro with Touchbar. I showed off my Olloclip for iPhone 7. The shot below shows a wide-angle shot.

Here's a wide-angle shot using the Olloclip on an iPhone 7 Plus.
Here’s a wide-angle shot using the Olloclip on an iPhone 7 Plus.

Here’s what it looks like without the Olloclip using only the iPhone 7 Plus camera.

Here's a regular shot not using the Olloclip on an iPhone 7 Plus.
Here’s a regular shot not using the Olloclip on an iPhone 7 Plus.

The Fish-eye is my favorite.

olloclip fish-eye lesn
The Olloclip for iPhone 7 Fish-eye lens creates this cool effect.

Olloclip gives you a macro lens in the kit too.

macro lens olloclip
This is a drop of water on a table shot with the macro lens on the Olloclip for iPhone 7 Plus.

Wes Allen’s favorite thing comes from Edovia. It’s an app called Screens that lets you remotely control your computer from an iPad. He loves using it with the iPad Pro.

Mark Allison gave us a recommendation called Quad Lock for iPhone. It’s a case and mounting system for your phone and it attaches to bikes, a tripod and more.

You can listen to the podcast below and the intro music comes from Incompetech.com. Please consider subscribing to our YouTube Channel.

e-sword-on-pc is best free stuff bible study app

The Value of Free Stuff: Theotek Podcast #080

Sometimes churches or believers can’t afford the high-end or expensive option in many categories like Bible software or web services, so we’ve got some of the best free stuff or free alternatives for you. We shared our favorite freebies that churches, pastors, and believers can use to help build the kingdom of God in their context without wrecking their wallet or bank account balance.

Below the video you’ll see the list of freebies starting with the Bible Software free stuff and then a simple list of the other free stuff we talked about in this episode of the Theotek Podcast.

Bible Study Free Stuff

e-Sword is the best free Bible study app available. They make both PC version and a Mac version, that’s not free but really inexpensive.

e-sword-on-pc is best free stuff bible study app

Sticking with Bible study Rick Mansfield showed off the free Accordance Mobile app, which people can download on their iPhone or iPad and get a ton of free content, especially if you sign up for a free user account with Accordance. Rick showed off the great ESV interlinear Bible available in the app.

accordance-mobile-esv-study-bible-app

Antoine showed us his favorite Bible app called Verse3. We had the developer of Verse3 on show #044. It’s not free, but only costs $5.

verse3 ipad app

Olive Tree offers a free version of their Bible app for almost every platform you could want. Download the app on your computer or mobile device, get some free content and then, if you prefer, add some premium content later as needed.

olive tree ipad app
Olive Tree Bible app

I showed off some free online Bible study sites that I wrote about a while ago in a two-part series. Here’s part two.

Finally, LaRosa also reminded us that WORDsearch, his former employer, offers what used to be called Bible Explorer. It’s now called WORDsearch Basic and it’s now their free option.

wordsearch-basic

The Other Free Stuff

Here’s our list of other Free Stuff to help you do your work for free or almost free.

  • WordPress website management system also called a content management system or CMS. You can set up a free website and even buy a domain from a company like Hover that will forward that domain to your free WordPress site.‘
  • YouTube for video hosting and for playing videos. Find tons of content from entertainment to music to educational content all on YouTube. Of course we use it to stream our Theotek Podcast.
  • Microsoft Sway is a great presentation app that lets users share images and pictures. Think of it as a PowerPoint or Keynote alternative for online presentations.
  • Facebook Live lets you record and host live video which people can then find later in recorded form on your Facebook wall.
  • Libre Office offers a full free office suite with alternatives for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more.
  • Google gives away tons of free tools, including free office software like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms.

iPhone 7

We ended the show discussing the new iPhone 7, which Rick and I both had our hands on. I did an unboxing of the wrong phone. Watch me get totally disappointed because T-Mobile screwed up and sent me an iPhone 7 instead of the iPhone 7 Plus I actually ordered. Watch the above video to hear what Rick thinks of his iPhone 7 Plus.

 

Sermon Prep Part Two: Theotek Podcast #066

It’s part two of our sermon prep series using Bible software to help us write a message. This week just Rick Mansfield and I tackle a little used tool – the passage outline. We show how to do so in a few BIble software packages and talk about doing it in the Notes tool of any program.

We looked at the outlining features of both Accordance Bible Software and Logos. You can also do one of these in the notes tool of any Bible software that includes one. Just copy and past the text into the note and use the space or tab keys and the return button to arrange the text on-screen in way that shows the relationship of the ideas.

logos bible outline

For a good book on how to do good Bible passage outlines in English, see The 12 Essential Skills of Great Preaching by Dr. Wayne McDill, my preaching professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Accordance Mobile 2.3 Update: Theotek Podcast #056

What’s new in Accordance Mobile 2.3 for iOS? Rick Mansfield from Accordance Bible Software shows off the new features in this big update. But first we offer Our Favorite Things – recommendations from each member of our Theotek team.

We advertised this episode as Rick Mansfield’s showing off the new Accordance Mobile 2.3 update with all the new features. He had some difficulties due to instability on Google’s part. We took a look at Down Detector and they said Google was experiencing issues.

What’s New in Accordance Mobile 2.3

accordance mobile slide over feature

Here’s some of the great new features available in Accordance Mobile 2.3. First up, we see the new slide over feature that came in iOS 9. The user can slide from the right edge of their iPad and show a column of app icons that support slide over. Tap on one to see open an app window that takes up only about 20% of the screen. Use the handle in the middle of the border between the two apps to slide in and take up a quarter to one half of the screen.

In addition to the slide-over feature, on newer iPads Accordance Mobile 2.3 now supports side-by-side. The above description explains how this works. The feature isn’t available on older iPads or on the iPhone at all.

Accordance Mobile now shows up in Spotlight search. Search for a key word or passage and the iPad’s Spotlight Search feature will look inside Accordance and find the word. It uses your top-ranked bibles, but doesn’t work when the Library page is open.

Watch our video podcast to see it in action. For more information head over to Accordance’s blog.

Our Favorite Things

Wes Allen recommended the Unitek 3 Port USB 3.0 Hub with Gigabit Ethernet adapter built-in. It costs $20 and gives users exactly what the name suggests.

Antoine Wright recommended the 831 Podcast. The podcast host is Brandon Fasig and he says, “831 youth podcast [is] meant to strengthening your faith.”

LaRosa Johnson recommended the iOS weather app Dark Sky. I like it too because it gives more than simple weather data.

At the end Antoine talked about a couple of opportunities he’s involved in that you can take advantage of. Find out more at the following:

 

Accordance 11.1 Update with Dr. J: Theotek Podcast #045

Accordance users will recognize that Dr. J. isn’t a basketball player from Philadelphia, but the guy who taught them most of what they know about Accordance Bible Software. He joined us to show off the Accordance 11.1 update.

Some of the things in this update include:

  • Users can now more easily edit their User Notes and User Tools since the Edit Window got an overhaul
  • Import Bibles with Unicode and expanded canons as well as non-biblical texts
  • Syntax Tree and Graphical Constructs got an update
  • Interlinear support enhanced
  • Instant Details enhanced
  • Add custom icons to the Accordance Library
  • Link to content with the new URL (accord://) instead of http:// or ftp://
  • Gesture support for trackpads and touchscreens while using images, Atlas or Timeline
  • Print articles from the Table of Contents
  • Incorporate MT-LXX data in Analysis window and related graphics

accordance 11.1 update

Learn more about them at the Accordance blog which also links to a more detailed post about the new features listed above and more.

Accordance Masters: Theotek Podcast #037

Accordance users or beginning Accordance users will love this edition of the Theotek Podcast – Master Accordance 11: Theotek Podcast #037. This came because my Ministry Tech Magazine article of a similar name came out this past week. Check out the article and read it while watching the YouTube video below. We also have a couple of bonus tips mixed into the podcast.

You can get a free subscription to Ministry Tech Magazine by signing up at MinistryTech.com. This used to be Christian Computing Magazine.

At the top of the podcast I shared my first impressions review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. If you’re interested in the smartwatch, check out the great coverage at GottaBeMobile.

accordance mobile 2 highlighting symbols

5 Ways Accordance Mobile 2 is Vastly Improved

Accordance Bible Software released a new version of their mobile app awhile back. It includes a bunch of great new features that make it vastly improved over the earlier versions, which I never really used much due to the sub par quality. However, these new features entice me to open Accordance Mobile more than ever before. Here’s the 5 ways that Accordance Mobile 2 is vastly improved over the earlier version.

Here’s Accordance’s own video highlighting the update.

Quickly Link and Unlink Parallel Panes in Accordance Mobile

accordance mobile 2 link unlink button
In Accordance Mobile 2 there’s now a link/unlink button. Look for it at the top of the window above just right of the window divider. Tap it to unlink the second window.

It seems strange, but Accordance didn’t handle unlinking of window panes well until version 2. Now the app includes a button on the toolbar that quickly links or unlink the two open window panes.

Open two window panes as normal. Then tap on the link button to either link them or unlink them. When the user unlink the two, the second pane will not scroll along with the first. This makes it easier to deal with commentaries where a person wants to read an entry from a previous passage without moving the Bible text to the earlier verse.

Download All Option in Library Manager

accordance mobile 2 download all button
There’s two download buttons on the toolbar. One downloads just the selected books. The other downloads all of the books in the user’s account list.

When installing books in Accordance Mobile 2, there’s now a download all button that makes it easy to quickly install the entire Accordance Mobile library. Before we had to select each book and then download them.

Other mobile Bible apps need this feature. I’ve begged one app developer to add this feature since the iPad first came out.

Text Display Improvements

accordance mobile 2 text display options
The text display button looks like two A’s. Tap it to show the above box.

Accordance rewrote their text display engine for a more attractive and complex set of features. Now users can change the fonts and color of text. The font button opens a dialog box with the following customization:

  • Display brightness slider
  • Font larger/smaller buttons
  • Day and Night Theme selector
  • Font selection
  • Font color
  • Background color
  • Link to full display settings in the app

Awesome New Notes Features in Accordance Mobile

accordance mobile 2 notes
The new text display engine makes notes better too.

Accordance really improved the notes features in Accordance Mobile. For example, users can now format their notes with things like font, font size, the color and format of the font (bold, italics, underlining). Users can also copy their notes and share them with others via iOS share sheets. Define words in notes and search for selected text in notes. Accordance Mobile 2 now lets users change the background color of their notes as well.

iPhone 6 Plus Capability

The iPhone 6 Plus lets people use apps in landscape mode thanks to the large 6.5-inch screen with high-resolution retina display. Accordance uses all that screen real estate to show more content in a side-by-side parallel pane view.

Notifications Section Today Screen Shortcut to Accordance Mobile

accordance mobile 2 notifications shortcut
Accordance puts a shortcut widget in the Today section of the iOS Notifications pull down screen.

Thanks to the notifications section in iOS, Accordance Mobile can put a shortcut to the app in the Today section. Slide down from the top of the screen and tap on the Edit button at the bottom of the Today section. You’ll see a list of available Today section widgets. Tap the plus icon next to any one of them, including Accordance Mobile. This puts the widget in the list at the top of this screen. Rearrange the order of the notifications Today section widgets by dragging on the handle that looks like three horizontal lines to the right of the item.

In the above screenshot I’ve only got on link. However, all recently opened resources will show up. It could list many more than the one book like mine does above.

Expanded Action Menu

accordance mobile 2 notifications action menu
A new fuller action menu pops up when a user selects text in Accordance Mobile.

Now when a user selects text in a book or Bible text, a new expanded action menu appears above the selected text with new features.

  • Copy
  • Highlight
  • Clear
  • Share
  • Search
  • Amplify
  • Define
  • Note
  • Bookmark

The Search and Amplify features won’t show up on the action bar that appears above selected text when there’s a Bible with Strong’s tags opened, like the ESV, HCSB or KJV. In that case a box opens up (called the Instant Details) below the word with a definition from Strong’s and two hyperlinks with Search and Amplify there instead.

Better and More Highlight Options

accordance mobile 2 highlighting symbols
Select text and tap highlighting in the new Action Menu to bring up the highlighting box. Tap on symbols to show the above screen.

In addition to the traditional color highlighting of text, Accordance Mobile 2 adds highlight symbols. Tap the symbols tab that shows up in the highlighting dialog box and choose a symbol. That symbol will show up below the text of the verse selected when the use added the highlight.

There’s also a Recents tab which shows the user’s recent highlight symbols or styles. Also, uses can add other highlight styles and choose them by tapping the Highlights title.

2 More Free Resources

Who doesn’t love free stuff. Accordance Mobile 2 will include 2 more free resources.

Accordance added the Dr. J’s Bible Study Methods tool, which teaches people who to study the Bible using Dr. J’s methods in Accordance. He’s the guy in the video above. Use this as a tutorial for Accordance like a quick start guide to studying the Bible with the program’s powerful features. They also added Bill Mounce’s Biblical Training course. There’s 17 of them available free.

Get more info at Accordance and download the app from the App Store.

logos 6 from faithlife

5 Best Mac Bible Study Programs [Video]

For a long time doing Bible study on a Mac meant getting Accordance Bible Software, a couple of lesser known programs without a lot of support for current Bible translations and resources, or installing something like Parallels software to run Windows Bible study software on a Mac. Today, there’s a number of great Mac Bible study programs that run fine on OS X.

Search the Mac App Store and there’s still not a lot of quality there, but that’s alright. Go directly to the source and download the programs below that don’t show up in the app store and start enjoying some excellent Mac Bible study software. To make this list, the program must run as a real Mac app, not a Windows app using emulation software like WINE.

Here are the 5 best Mac Bible study programs in alphabetical order.

Accordance Bible Software

accordance Bible software

Long the standard for Bible study on a Mac, Accordance 11 from Accordance Bible Software offers a rich, powerful package with everything a user might need or even want in Bible software. Some of the best features we get with Accordance include:

  • A true Mac program without any Windows code ported over using WINE or some other overlay
  • Speed with power in one package
  • Excellent search features
  • Original language study
  • Extensive options for screen layout

Learning to use Accordance will take some time, but the company offers some free training to help new users. Mastering Accordance takes time because it’s not simple to figure out. For example, entering a Bible verse may take the user to that verse, but it may not, depending on how the user enters it. Sound confusing? It can be.

Also, sometimes the program displays one verse at a time or it shows the verse in context of a few verses or a chapter or more. The user must learn how to change the settings to make it show what the person wants to see.

Despite the complexity, Accordance is a great program. It offers all of my favorite features in a single, powerful Mac Bible study program, including a feature filled notes tool, lots of top-flight digital content and quick and powerful navigation.

accordance bible lands photo guide

One lesser known feature includes some of the best multimedia content. The company produces what they call the Bible Lands Photo Guide with pictures taken on site in Israel. There’s also a nice collection of artwork centered around Bible topics and passages.

The program relies on Dropbox for syncing user content, which isn’t idea. However, it’s available if needed. The new iPad app also syncs via Dropbox or direct sync over Wi-Fi, but this requires a manual connection between the Mac and iOS app while they’re sharing the same network.

Accordance doesn’t come cheap. They sell Collections starting with the Starter Collection at $59.90, but it doesn’t include a lot. There isn’t much multimedia content and only has the ESV and KJV plus a few older public domain translations. We only get is the IVP New Testament Commentary plus a few public domain commentaries and references. The other Collections include:

  • Bible Study – $199
  • Original Languages – $299
  • Essential – $499
  • Advanced – $999
  • Ultimate – $1,999

Of those, the real bang for the buck is the Essential Collection, if you can afford $500. If not, start with the Original Languages Collection and upgrade as soon as you can afford to. Accordance also offers payment plans.

Buyers can get it directly from Accordance or from the Mac App Store for $50, but I don’t recommend that route since it’s not updated as quickly as the version they sell on their site.

 

Bible Study from Olive Tree

Olive Tree Bible Study App

Olive Tree’s started in mobile Bible software early on, but recently Harper Collins bought them. The company still keeps their mobile apps fresh and now makes a Windows and Mac version. It’s one of the few decent Bible apps available in the Mac App Store.

Olive Tree’s Mac Bible Study program runs on Apple OS X and provides Apple fans a great native Mac app that runs quickly.

The library of digital books available from Olive Tree makes this an intriguing solution. However, it’s not just a simple book reader. Multiple features make it an excellent option for users. Here’s a few of the reasons I put it on this list of the best Mac Bible study programs.

olive tree bible study app resource guide

First, the program runs with speed, offers a healthy library of books, and uses a simple user-interface. The Bible Study app from Olive Tree quickly shows users content about a given passage in the Resource Guide, which opens on the right side of the screen. It lists all the resource in a user’s library that include information about the passage displayed on left. Users can customize what it shows. See the customization option in the screenshot below.

olive tree resource guide preferences

Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the Resource Guide tab from inside Preferences and there’s a link to the company’s online store where users can buy more books. The bookstore opens inside the Olive Tree Bible Study App window. I like that the store’s there if you want it, but it stays out of the way until you do. There’s also a link on the at the bottom of the Library sidebar on the left.

olive tree store inside bible study app

Olive Tree’s Bible Study App includes all the basics expected in a Bible Study program including…

  • Simple and complex search
  • Easy navigation in books
  • Notes features
  • Syncing to backup notes, highlights, and bookmarks

olive tree quick details

One more useful feature shows up in the lower left corner of the app. Hover over a hyperlink and the information that link points to shows up in the Quick Details section. In the example above, I hovered over the word Prophecy in 1 Corinthians 13:2 in the NASB with Strong’s Bible. It quickly showed the Strong’s Dictionary entry for that word. There’s a tiny scroll bar that lets you move up and down in longer entries. Unfortunately, it’s not resizeable.

Bible Glo Premium

glo bible premium media

I only include Bible Glo Premium because of the rich media content that the program includes. Also, it’s available on the Mac App Store for only $34.99. The rest of the app looks beautiful, but doesn’t offer as much for advanced Bible study. The media along makes it worth the cost.

Logos Bible Software

logos 6 from faithlife

One of the most complex and feature filled programs comes from Faithlife. That’s the new name of the company that sells Logos Bible Software.

Subscribe to our Theotek Podcast on YouTube in video format or in audio format on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.

Logos recently received a major update to Logos 6 and we enjoyed a live demo from Faithlife’s Sean Boisen on the Theotek Podcast. You can watch the demo below.

There’s too much in Logos to give a comprehensive overview, but let’s start with the first of my three favorite features in Logos, the Guides.

The Passage Guide is what enticed me to first buy Logos 3 many years ago. Use it by entering a passage into the search box (see the red box on the top left of the image below) or from the Home Screen. Logos searches your library for information related to that passage. The Guide searches the following kinds of books by default:

  • Commentaries
  • Journals
  • Cross References
  • Ancient Literature
  • Parallel Passages
  • Cultural Concepts
  • Outlines
  • Biblical People, Places, Things, and Events
  • Media Resources
  • Logos Media
  • Atlas
  • Music
  • Topics
  • Illustrations
  • Interesting Words
  • Compare Versions
  • Sermons
  • Bookstore
  • Gracewaymedia.com
  • Sermonaudio.com
  • Sermons.Logos.com
  • Sermoncentral.com

That’s a lot of content. Your results may not include everything on this list. Only the groups that include books in the user’s library will show up in the results. Also, the last few come from websites.

logos passage guide

The Passage Guide shows the results in a long list, as seen above. There’s an arrow that points to the right when that section is closed (see the red arrow on the left above). Click it to open that section and the program will search those books of that kind.

Users can add other sections by clicking on the Add drop down link in the upper right corner of the Passage Guide window. See the arrow pointing to it in the upper right of the above image.

Other Logos Guides include the Exegetical Guide, focused on original language study, the Sermon Starter Guide, for finding content to put in a sermon or Bible study, and the Topical Guide, which searches the library by topic instead of passage. Find them all from the Tools menu.

logos copy bible verses

The Copy Bible Verses tool seems like a mundane feature to highlight, especially when a Logos user considers the hundreds of awesome tools. Yet, people copy the Bible into their documents for creating sermon preaching notes, Bible studies, books or any other document created about the Bible. This tool makes it so easy.

The Copy Bible Verses tool grabs the verses the user selects or enters into the dialog box at the top of the window. It can copy from Bibles or other books and place the text on the clipboard for manually pasting into another program or it will automatically format it and paste it into certain programs on the Mac.

logos copy bible verses tool

The feature works with Microsoft Word and the following:

  • Textedit
  • Pages
  • Keynote
  • Proclaim (their worship presentation software)
  • PowerPoint
  • LibreOffice Writer

Logos Data Sets give users detailed information about their passages. This makes it easy to understand the Bible and therefore teach the word. One of the newest that came out in Logos 6 is the Factbook. It gives details about people, places, geographical information and more. See it below.

factbook in logos

The above example shows Bethlehem (of Judea). We get media like maps, images and such. Then we find dictionary entries and references to the place in the Bible. You can’t see the other items in the Factbook list related to this entry. We get Hebrew and Greek Lemmas, a list of library search results from the Logos library, community tags, and more.

PocketBible for Mac OS X

pocketbible for mac

Laridian also got an early start in mobile Bible software. I first used PocketBible on a Palm and then Pocket PC PDA. They branched out to iOS and Android. Their Windows program is a simple tool, but they recently did a Kickstarter campaign to see how many users would want PocketBible on a Mac. The campaign successfully got funded and they produced the program.

PocketBible doesn’t look as pretty as some of these, but it’s simple and fast. It includes a great search feature and a nice collection of books. The designers paid close attention to the layout tool making it easy to set things up quickly to organize the open books.

Along the left we see a mult-use window called the Study Panel that includes tabs for easily navigating the main features in PocketBible. Search, manage bookmarks, highlights and notes, and quickly navigate to a passage.

PocketBible takes advantage of their built-in Cloud Sync to keep multiple machines or devices up to date with the user’s latest information.