Accordance Bible Software released the Complete Biblical Library this past week making Accordance only the second digital Bible study distributor to offer this tool. We’ll take a look at the Accordance version and let you know if it merits an investment of your Bible study tool dollars.
What’s Included in the Complete Biblical Library
The Complete Biblical Library includes an advanced Study Bible of the Old and New Testament and Hebrew and Greek dictionaries. Book versions of the Complete Biblical Library are now out of print and pretty expensive. People familiar with the library will wonder what happened to the other parts of the Library? Where are the other tools normally included in the Complete Biblical Library? From the Accordance website:
The CBL Greek grammar is in development and will be added at a later date. The CBL Gospel parallels and CBL Interlinear did not add extra value over similar material already included in Accordance, so we do not have plans to release these two components for Accordance.Product Details from Accordance website
You can get those other tools from the 17 volume book version or from Wordsearch, but both will cost you more than Accordance Bible Software’s version. During this introductory deal the Wordsearch version will cost more than twice as much and after $50 more.
Accordance users will recognize that the software already gives users a great interlinear on many translations of the Bible. You can also use their Gospel Parallels. They both come as part of their basic $100 Starter Collection.
Complete Biblical Library Study Bible
You probably own a number of study Bibles. Most of them offer a few things…
- Introductions to books of the Bible.
- Short notes on pericopes or sometimes each verse of the text.
- Some add extra graphical content like charts, maps, graphs, tables and more that enhance understanding of the text.
The Complete Biblical Library includes some of these, but think of it as a study Bible that wants to be a more advanced commentary.
The Complete Biblical Library Study Bible begins each book with an nice book introduction. That introduction will include an overview of the text with an outline and some commentary on each section as a whole before it gets the verse-by-verse section.
Following the book introduction, you’ll get the verse-by-verse commentary of the text.
CBL Study Bible Verse-by-verse Commentary
Each verse or passage includes two things…
- The verse in the KJV with alternative translations from dozens of other translations, but none of them are the more modern translations like ESV, CSB, NIV or others since the Complete Biblical Library came out before most of those landed. The translation identifiers are hyperlinks to the key which identifies what the translation abbreviation refers to. That helps because the library includes some obscure translation. Click it or hover over it and it either opens the pages from the library that explains what the abbreviations stand for or it pops up in your Instant Detail window.
- Commentary on the verse. We’re used to a few lines per verse, but you’ll often see a few paragraphs per verse like a full commentary. That’s why I call this a Study Bible that wants to be a full commentary.
Bible students often tout the ESV Study Bible as one of the best, and I agree. I like it a lot and it’s one of my top 3. However, compare the content of the two. You get much more with the Complete Biblical Library.
Here’s the entry for Mark 5:25-26 in the CBL…
And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years: . . . had been troubled by bleeding, —ALBA . . . ben in the blodi fluxe twelue yere, —WCLF.
And had suffered many things of many physicians: . . . suffered much under many doctors, —BECK . . . had been treated in many ways, —LTMR . . . had been greatly tortured, —FNTN . . . under a number of doctors, —MOFT.
and had spent all that she had: . . . expended all her property, —WLSN . . . spent all her savings, —KLGS . . . in the process, —PHLP.
and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse: . . . but to no avail, —ALBA . . . and profiting nothing, —CLMT . . . had not been benefited, —HNSN . . . was not even one bit improved, —WUST . . . without receiving any relief, —CMPB . . . and felte none amendment at all, —TNDL, —CRNM.
5:25, 26. It is not possible to know with certainty what the “issue of blood” was, but the traditional suggestion is the best, namely, an abnormal bleeding from the womb.Mark 5:25-56 entry of Complete Biblical Library
Such a condition would have been physically debilitating. Mark’s Gospel includes the information that the woman “had suffered many things of many physicians.” Luke, who appreciated the limitations of a physician, says she “could not be healed by any one” (8:43, RSV).
What the woman may have suffered can be estimated from the Talmud, (Shabbath 2:110) which includes a list of treatments for “the woman that has an issue of blood.” Among them were: “Take of the gum of Alexandria the weight of a zuzee (a fractional silver coin); of alum the same; of crocus the same. Let them be bruised together, and given in wine to the woman that has an issue of blood. If this does not benefit, take of Persian onions three logs (pints); boil them in wine, and give her to drink, and say, ‘Arise from thy flux.’ If this does not cure her, set her in a place where two ways meet, and let her hold a cup of wine in her right hand, and let some one come behind and frighten her, and say, ‘Arise from thy flux.’ But if that do no good, take a handful of cummin (a kind of fennel), a handful of crocus, and a handful of fenugreek (another kind of fennel). Let these be boiled in wine and give them her to drink, and say, ‘Arise from thy flux!’”
Many additional potions and rituals were suggested of the following kind: “Let them dig seven ditches, in which let them burn some cuttings of vines, not yet four years old. Let her take in her hand a cup of wine, and let them lead her away from this ditch, and make her sit down over that. And let them remove her from that, and make her sit down over another, saying to her at each remove, ‘Arise from thy flux!’” (See Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, 1:189.)
One can readily see why the cure was many times worse than the disease, so that she “was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.”
Now look at the ESV…
5:25–27 While Jesus is on his way to heal Jairus’s daughter, Mark interjects the simultaneous event of the healing of the woman with a constant discharge of blood (vv. 25–34; see note on Matt. 9:20). On account of her condition, she is ceremonially unclean (cf. Lev. 15:25–28) and is not permitted to enter the temple section reserved for women; nor is she permitted to be in public without making people aware that she is unclean. By touching Jesus’ garment, she technically renders him ceremonially unclean (cf. Lev. 15:19–23), but Jesus is greater than any purity laws, for he makes her clean by his power instead of becoming unclean himself (cf. Mark 1:41; 5:41).ESV Study Bible entry for Mark 4:25-27
But it’s not just the amount, but the quality. That’s why I really like the CBL. It’s a nice balance of simplicity for the average pastor or Bible study leader, but has enough rich content that makes it more than the average or even above average study Bible. The ESV Study Bible serves people who just need a quick hit about what the passage says. The Complete Biblical Library Study Bible gives more advanced understanding like a pastoral commentary would.
Complete Biblical Library Dictionary
In addition to the Old and New Testament Study Bible, Accordance adds the Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries of the Complete Biblical Library. Each entry explains the word with some useful information that you often don’t get in other language dictionaries. The links to other lexicons alone almost makes it a worthwhile tool.
Put the CBL dictionaries at the top of your list of Greek and Hebrew Lexicons in your library and you can quickly open the CBL Dictionaries with the Triple Click action. Just click on an English word three times in the text and it opens a new window with the dictionary pointed to that word in Greek.
The Amplify feature in Accordance also brings up the dictionaries. Highlight your word and click on the Amplify button on the toolbar. It will drop down a list of your reference titles. Go to Greek or Hebrew Lexicons. A new list flies out and you can find the CBL Greek or Hebrew Dictionaries there. The books also show up in your Library under the Lexicons section.
When you view a Hebrew word in the Complete Biblical Hebrew Dictionary, you’ll see the following:
- The Hebrew word and an English transliteration
- Part of speech like verb, noun, etc.
- A brief definition of the word
- Hebrew Cognates
- Synonyms and their Greek and transliterated forms
- Concordance listing of the word in the OT
- Discussion of the use of the term in the OT
- Links ot other Hebrew dictionaries like BDB, NIDOT, Strong, etc.
Here’s an example of the Hebre word lavav (hear from Ezra 7:10)
3955. לָבַב lāvav
to gain insight
לֵב lēv (3949)
לֵב lēv (A3950)
לְבַב lᵉvav (A3956)
לְבִבָה lᵉvivāh (3957)
לִבָּה libbāh (3959)
2 Sam. 13:6 and make me a couple of cakes 3
13:8 and made cakes in his sight, 3
Job 11:12 vain man would be wise, 2
S 4:9 Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, 3
4:9 thou hast ravished my heart with one 3
Three of the five occurrences of this verb in the Hebrew Bible (Job 11:12; S.S. 4:9) are denominatives from lēv (HED #3949), “heart,” “interior,” “will,” “mind.” It has cognates, all of which are likewise denominatives, though not all are based upon these same nominal nuances. The remaining context is a denominative from lᵉvivāh (HED #3957), “cake.”
In the speech of Job’s visitor, Zophar, lāvav means “to become wise.” Job was accused of falsely asserting innocence, for Zophar assumed that all calamities were divine punishment for sinful deeds. Job’s sudden fall from material bliss fit the pattern of divine retribution. Zophar asserted that Job’s claim of innocence was perjury and that Job’s words could not change reality. He expressed this through a simile, saying, “A vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass’ colt.” His point was that Job’s understanding could not compare to Yahweh’s, so he should accept his guilt, and then try to appease Yahweh.
Lāvav appears twice in the context of the proclamation of the groom to his beloved, that her physical presence has had a profound effect upon him (S.S. 4:9). The verb is usually translated something to the effect “you have ravished my heart.” This works contextually, but it is not so clear etymologically. Clearly, the heart or will of the groom has been affected by the glance of the woman, or by a glimpse of her. How to define precisely this action on her part is difficult, hence the usual translation. The problem is that there is no verbal idiom in English which corresponds to this verb.
The final context involves a completely different meaning, possibly formed from lēv as well. Here lāvav refers to “baking” cakes of bread.
BDB 525Entry in Complete Biblical Library Hebrew Dictionary for the word lavav
The Greek Dictionary shows the Greek word and a transliteration in English. You then also get…
- Part of speech (Noun, Verb, etc.)
- Brief definition of the word
- Synonyms and their Greek and transliterated forms
- Septuagint listing of entries for the word
- Grammatical Forms of the word
- Concordance listing of the word
- Discussion of the classical Greek and Septuagint usage of the word
- Discussion of the terms usage in the New Testament
- Links to other Greek dictionaries of the word like Strong, Bauer, Liddel-Scott etc.
Here’s an example from the Greek dictionary for the word rhusis (bleeding from Mark 5:25).
4368. ῥύσις rhusis
A flowing, an issue.
4339 ῥέω rheō
2183 זוּב zûv Have a discharge (Lv 15:2).
2184 זוֹב zôv Discharge (Lv 15:3, 25f.,30,33).
4888 מָקוֹר māqôr Flow (Lv 20:18).
7425 קָרֶה qāreh Emission (Dt 23:10).
8916 תְּעָלָה tᵉꜥālāh Channel (Jb 38:25).
ῥύσις rhusis nom sing fem
ῥύσει rhusei dat sing fem
2 which had an issue of blood twelve years, Mark 5:25 (KJV)
2 a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, Luke 8:43 (KJV)
1 and immediately her issue of blood stanched. Luke 8:44 (KJV)
Classical Greek and Septuagint Usage
New Testament Usage
COLIN BROWN 1:682–83
All three occurrences in the New Testament refer to a woman who had an “issue of blood” for 12 years (Mark 5:25; Luke 8:43, 44). Having heard of Jesus’ miracles, this woman believed that if she could just touch His clothes she would be made “whole” (Mark 5:28). Pressing through the crowd she managed to touch His garment and was immediately healed (verse 27). Jesus then told her it was because of her faith that she had been made whole (verse 34).Entry in Complete Biblical Library Greek Dictionary for rhusis
Value and Recommendation
Accordance users should jump at the chance to get the Complete Biblical Library at the introductory discount of $200. They also offer a Crossgrade price for people who already own it in Wordsearch. You’ll pay $85 for the OT Crossgrade and $75 for the NT Crossgrade for a total of $160. That’s a pretty good deal considering the full-price is $450 or currently $1000 in physical book form for used editions. With Crossgrades in Accordance you’ll have to fill out a form showing you bought the books before in Wordsearch.
If you already missed the discount, then the $450 price may cause pause for some. I like the tool and think people who want a good verse-by-verse commentary, with excellent book introductions, should take a look and strongly consider adding it to their library. The dictionaries give the user a lot of useful information in a central location. The links to other dictionaries makes it a great option to look at first in your word study as you prepare a sermon or Bible study.
For these reasons above, the Accordance Bible Software Complete Biblical Library gives pastors, Bible study leaders and serious students a great value at the discounted price and is still worth it at the ongoing price.