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10875Going Digital with Thomas

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  • Rick Hubbard
    Apr 8, 2014

      Just a little information for those who are interested:


      I bit the bullet over the weekend and installed the Accordance starter package for Windows. I added to the starter collection NA28 (with morphological tagging and the critical apparatus) as well as the Gospel of Thomas module.


      I’m fairly impressed with Accordance, and the Gospel of Thomas module has some interesting features, which I’ll mention here:


      [1] The module includes the complete Coptic text plus the POxy fragments along with English and German translations.  All can be opened side-by-side and you move through the text all are connected.


      [2] Many of the sayings (i.e., those that have close parallels to the canonical gospels) have been “reverse translated” into Greek. As near as I can tell, these “translations” are limited to instances where there is a related passage in the canonical gospels.


      [3] Accompanying the above mentioned texts is a set of “notes” that include cross references to similar texts in the NT. Notes are both in English and German. This section includes hyperlinked pointers to parallels so that when they are clicked, the relevant NT text can be viewed in a separate window (either in a translation or in Greek, or both). I have not yet confirmed this but I **think** the notes are basically a digital version of Plisch’s commentary.


      But not everything is great. One thing that is disappointing is the anemic “instant information” feature for the GTh module. When working in the GNT; for example, hovering the mouse-pointer over a word will display its grammatical information and a basic (very basic) definition. In the Thomas module, hovering the Mouse over a Coptic word does nothing more than display a crude “pronunciation” in the instant information pane. In my mind, this is pretty bush league for what is an otherwise nicely done application.


      One more note: Accordance takes up a LOT of real estate on the screen. I have two 22 inch monitors and with the Coptic text, English translation, Greek text(s), Notes, Instant Info, the Greek NT and an English Bible translation all open at once, the screens are pretty crowded.


      A further note: Accordance products are all on sale with a 20% discount, so the starter package and the GThomas module cost me less than $80. I feel like I pretty much got what I paid for.


      Rick Hubbard


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