How to Find Allusions in the Bible Using Accordance

A friend of mine is writing a chapter on intertextuality in Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs and I explained to her how Accordance can help find possible allusions with the infer search command. I thought I would pass along how I use Accordance in order to help find possible allusions. If you use other tools to find possible links please share.

The first thing to do is to open a tab with one of the texts that you are looking for possible correspondence; in this case the Song of Songs.

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The second step is to open a second tab (Opt + N) and define the range of the second text you are looking for correspondence in. Here I’ve used the book of Ecclesiastes.

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Next while in the second tab you want to perform the infer search.

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After selecting the infer command, a box will pop up allowing you to define the parameters of the search. You can search for either lemmas or words, define the number of shared words you, choose the number of words that may be subtracted or added to the phrase, or ignore word order.

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After hitting return, Accordance then highlights the correspondences that meet the input criteria.

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You then double-click on the reference of any of the results and then click “Search Back Linked Text.” Below I’ve searched back in Eccl. 1:9.

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Accordance will then populate a new tab with the corresponding text. Below is what Accordance produced as corresponding to Eccl. 1:9 in Song of Songs.

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As can be seen the infer command can be a powerful tool to find possible allusions between texts. Obviously the researcher still has the hard work of determining if the links are meaningful but this search assists in finding the possibilities.

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