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.

Compiling a Vocabulary List in Accordance

A friend of mine was preparing to preach on Deuteronomy 10:12-22 and asked if I could help him compile a vocabulary list from that section and where he could find where these words are used else where in the Hebrew Bible. Here is a step by step tutorial of how I compiled the vocabulary list and concordance.

First, make sure that you have selected Words in order to enable your search commands.

Next, you want to enter the Range of the text you are wanting for a vocabulary list and concordance. 

For my friend, he was wanting to examine Deuteronomy 10:12-22

Next, you want to connect your Range with the And and Wildcard commands. After you hit search the entire Range will be selected red.

Next, click on Analysis 

When you click on Analysis, your vocabulary list can then be ordered how you prefer–alphabetical or by frequency.

From there I went back to the Analysis tab and selected Concordance in order for him to find where each word was used else where.