Why bother buying GKC Module when it is free online?

Disclaimer: Except for the links to the free online GKC, the rest of this post assumes you own a Mac (don’t you?) and you are using Accordance.

Indeed, why bother? Isn’t it an old book in the public domain? Isn’t GKC available online?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think it is wonderful to be able to access Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar for free online instead of having to buy a hard copy. You can read it in German here (online, or download as a PDF). You can access it in English here.

So, why pay Accordance for the GKC module (currently on sale until Oct 11th for $55)?

Quite simply, these features (as described on the Accordance website):

  • quick lookup via the familiar section-letter reference scheme (e.g. 75h), and additionally permits searches for scripture references, Hebrew and Greek content, and even transliteration,
  • useful typographical features: the type size distinction between primary and secondary discussion has been preserved, scripture references have been reformatted (e.g. Ec I17 becomes Ec 1:17), and the occasional Arabic or Syriac script citations have been transliterated,
  • scans of numerous passages whose accuracy depends on exact reproduction of the typeset page: for example, occurrences of Babylonian punctuation (the footnote to § 8g), the table of vowel classes (§ 9t), and the verbal paradigms (A–Q),
  • the useful Table of Alphabets script chart and facsimile of the Siloam Inscription, carefully scanned,
  • the Index of Subjects, with corrections, and
  • support for highlighting

To start with, the Accordance version is magnificently readable. It is not just a page scan (like the online versions).
GKC Accordance Screen capture

GKC Accordance Screen capture

You can easily copy and paste information for quotes.

But for me, the most useful aspect is being able to (accurately and completely) search for English Titles, Hebrew Titles, English Content, Scripture, Hebrew Content, Greek Content or Transliteration. The online English version does allow some limited English word search capability (Hebrew does not work), but nothing like what can be done within Accordance.

Also, by hovering over the Accordance GKC module hyperlinks, the linked material can be displayed in the Instant Details window. So, you don’t need to navigate to another section in the book or to another text in order to read a section reference or a scripture example.

Finally, as with all my Accordance modules, I have my library with me wherever I go (even when I am not online). I love books (I have too many of them), but digital reference tools like the GKC Module in Accordance are prime examples of technology put to very good use.

9 thoughts on “Why bother buying GKC Module when it is free online?

  1. Rick Bennett


    One additional reason is that as we update our modules we are adding tool hyperlinks to GKC and other resources when a particular author cites it. So, for example, in our recent revision of HALOT, we added 675 links to specific sections in GKC when the editors referenced it. This is not a unique feature to Accordance, but is just one more reason to have a resource like GKC in your Accordance arsenal.

    BTW, it looks like you’re still using version 7. If you didn’t know, the upgrade to version 8 (and all the free updates since then to 8.3.2) is only $39, and that amount gets credited toward a future upgrade of your Scholar’s collection. 😉


  2. Karyn Post author

    Hi Rick,

    Thanks for the info. I also like the fact that HALOT (and BDB) have page numbers now.

    Hmmm. Not sure why you think I’m using version 7… I have 8.3.2 up and running right now.

  3. Rick Bennett

    Yeah, the page numbers are a big help. One other slight edit is that the prefaces for each volume are now arranged as they appear in the print volumes (and are numbered as well).

    Sorry, I guess I read too much into your screen shots! :-/ They don’t look like version 8. The tabs are different, and in 8.3 we added the help tags so that the text below the navigation arrows is not there anymore.

    I’m going to try and hit one of your papers at SBL. I presented at ISBL over the summer, and hope to be presenting something for Atlanta next year.

  4. Karyn Post author

    OK, so I was trying to post in a hurry and grabbed the screen shots from the Accordance website. But Rick and J.P. are eagle-eyed and noticed they are not from the newest version of Accordance.

    So, I decided I should redo the images and took screen captures from my own version of the GKC module on Accordance 8.3.2 on my own computer, and you can now view the images as they appear in the most current version of Accordance.

  5. danielandtonya


    You won’t need this for GKC as you already have it, but anything online (rather, anything that you can make into an .html file) can be imported into Accordance as a user tool.


  6. Karyn Post author

    You know, Daniel, I thought about that, but haven’t really tried to compare an imported tool. I would think that the benefits of hyperlinks would still make the Accordance module more useful. I should try importing the GKC online and comparing it. Have you done this before? What is your experience like?

  7. danielandtonya

    The links to Scripture are automatic (highlight the reference, click link and the link will be made to that verse in your default Bible, so make sure its BHS- W4). You have to make the links to other modules your self (which you don’t need to do with GKC as you’ve got it already) which is relatively easy to do, though it doesn’t look as nice as the ready-made modules.

    I’m trying to make my own BHRG module right now. Going slow as I’m copy-and-pasting from a massive PDF.


  8. Karyn Post author


    Cool. I’d love to have a copy of a user tool of BHRG that I could use in Accordance. We should talk about it more. Maybe work together.


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