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News, How-tos, and assorted Views on Accordance Bible Software.

Friday, May 02, 2008  

How to Do a Topical Study

Someone on our forums recently asked for advice on how best to do a topical study and record his findings. The responses he got focused primarily on the question of whether he should record his findings in User Notes or a User Tool, but in this post I want to focus on the entire process of doing a topical study.

The first place to turn for information on a given topic is one of the resources designed for that purpose, such as Nave's Topical Bible or Torrey's New Topical Textbook, both of which are included in every level of the Library CD-ROM. Another excellent resource is The Thompson Chain Reference Bible.

When you open one of these resources and search for a given topic, such as "love," you'll get a listing of verses which relate to that topic, often organized into more manageable subtopics:

Nave's article on love has a long list of verses dealing with the "love of man for God." You can look up these verses in a variety of ways. First, you can simply drag your mouse over each reference to preview it in the Instant Details box. This is a good approach when you're looking for a particular verse and want to zero in on it quickly, but if you're wanting to read through all these passages, it's better to open them all at once.

The easiest way to do that is to command-click on any one of the references in the series. Alternatively, you can drag a selection from anywhere in the middle of the first reference to anywhere in the middle of the last reference, like this:

Either approach will open a new text window displaying all of the references in the paragraph. This makes it easy to scan through the verses quickly. If you want to see the verses in context, simply check the Show all text checkbox at the top of the window.

In my next post, I'll look at ways you can interact with the verses on a given topic.

I'm missing something. I used the Topical Textbook to search on Pentecost. Then, I sected a group of readings and tried the command click to open them all at once-nothing happened. I can open each listed reference one at a time but each one I open replaces the previous one so that I never have more than one reference open. What am I doing wrong?

You can only select a batch of verses in one paragraph, in this case on one line. You can open all the references in that paragraph by command-clicking on one reference (no need to select), or by selecting from the middle of the first to the middle of the last reference. I suspect you selected references from several lines, but there is no way to hypertext to them all.

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