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Tip 1.10: Studying Parallel Passages

It is common for professors to teach concerning the parallel passages in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. The most common types of parallel passages taught include the Hebrew Bible parallels, Synoptic Gospel parallels, and the use of the OT in the NT. The Synopsis Window tool enables you to easily display these parallel passages for personal study and classroom display.

Overview of the Synopsis Window

The Synopsis Window is a special kind of display window. The Synopsis Window opens a text file called a synopsis file. The synopsis file contains a list of the parallel passages to be displayed in the Synopsis Window. BibleWorks includes a number of different types of synopsis files. You can also edit the BibleWorks synopsis files or create your own. For information about editing or creating your own synopsis files, see the BibleWorks Online Help section 39 Displaying Versions in Parallel.

Opening the Synopsis Window

Open the Synopsis Window by selecting Tools | Synopsis Window from the main BibleWorks menu. When the Synopsis Window opens, it automatically loads the last synopsis file displayed in the Synopsis Window. If the synopsis file contains the verse on display in the Browse Window, the Synopsis Window will open to the first occurrence of that verse.

Parts of the Synopsis Window

The Synopsis Window contains the following component parts.

  • The Synopsis Window menu gives you options for opening new synopsis files, editing synopsis files, finding a verse in the synopsis file, and various display options.
  • Below the menu is a display of the synopsis file name and its file location on your computer.
  • The upper window displays a list of verses of parallel passages.
  • The lower window displays the verses listed in the row of verses selected in the upper window.

Synopsis Files Included in BibleWorks

BibleWorks includes a number of synopsis files for you to use in the Synopsis Window. Below are some of the most commonly-used synopsis files available. Load a new synopsis file, select File | Open on the Synopsis Window menu, and then select the synopsis file you wish to load.

Hebrew Bible Parallel Passages

The Hebrew Bible parallel passage synopsis file is ot.sdf. This synopsis files lists parallel passages within the Hebrew Bible. For example, this file shows the parallel accounts of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.

Synoptic Gospel Parallel Passages

BibleWorks includes two Aland synopsis files for the Gospels, one for English (aland.sdf) and one for Greek (aland (greek).sdf. These files contain Gospels parallels arranged according to the Aland Gospel pericope numbers.

OT in the NT Parallel Passages

There are two different OT in the NT synopsis files included in BibleWorks.

  • The first, ntot.sdf, shows the OT quotes according to the NT appearance of the OT quotation. Therefore, the first quotation listed is Matthew 1:23 and Isaiah 7:14.

  • The second OT in the NT synopsis file is otnt.sdf. This synopsis file lists the OT quotes in the NT in the order of OT passage quoted. Therefore, the first quotation listed is Genesis 1:3 and 2 Corinthians 4:6.

Since criteria for determining what is a quotation, an allusion, and simply similar wording is not agreed upon by every interpreter, you may discover a missing quotation or disagree with a listed quotation. In such a case you may consider editing the synopsis file or creating your own file.

BibleWorks also includes the book by Archer & Chirichigno, Old Testament Quotations in the New. You can access this book from Resources | Miscellaneous | Archer & Chirichigno, OT Quotes in NT from the main BibleWorks menu.

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