Thursday, August 28, 2008

Online Book Searches

In the previous post I took a look at a few search engines and what they might do. One of the comments asked about how one gets the searches into the Firefox search box. Check out OpenSearchFox I describe here.
That works pretty well except when I am trying to find texts of books online. So here's my opportunity to share the resources I use. Specifically, I'm not looking just for the book but for the text of the book. Usually this is going to mean free, public domain texts.
Using Searchme, I've pulled together the 7 sites I use.

It might be easier to work from this Online Book Search page I created that includes all those sites on a single page.
Some things to note:
  • Each of these repositories of books is different. If you don't find the book you want in one, try another.
  • Each site is worth checking for the various options it offers. Create your own Google library. Books in the Internet Archive are available as TXT, PDF, B/W PDF, online Flip Book, or in DjVu format. ManyBooks focuses on etexts for mobile devices including the Kindle, but many texts also are available as PDFs. With TynCat, the results page is usually just the starting point leading you into libraries. The Universal Digital Library is somewhat newer and is mainly designed for online reading. The Open Library has a nice collection. When it says you can read a text online, note that there will be a "Print" option for downloading the book as PDF or DjVu. WorldCat is designed to point you to libraries where the book may be found near you (after you enter your postal code), so it isn't really intended for downloads. It has a great way for getting accurate reference citations.
  • Don't forget the "Search Inside" feature of many books listed on Amazon. TynCat will help you find such books.
I've done a bunch of stuff on library management, but let me know if I'm missing something good.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A gaggle of search engines

I've been checking out search engines beyond the Google that is my usual starting point. Here are some views of search engines using one I kind of like, (Move the little blue slider to see the other sites.)

Some quick assessments after comparing results on a search for "accordance bibleworks logos."
  • Yahoo had by far the most initial results, followed by LiveSearch, then Google. All the hits on the initial page of returns were valid.
  • Searchme and Viewzi don't return number of results, but they seem to scroll on to as many results as you want. (Viewzi is actually using Yahoo results.) What these both emphasize, and as you can see in the embedded window, is a quick view of each page. It's harder to scan through scads of results, but it's easier to find the results you want. Viewzi is particularly interesting because of the additional views it can offer. (Check out the top ribbon. Try out the timeline one!) You can also choose a simple text view which does include a thumbnail, and also popularity stats pulling in results from Yahoo and Google.
  • Searchme has the neat 'stacks' where you just drag a web view onto a stack that you want to save. The stack can be shared with others via email, link, or embedded as I am doing on this post.
  • The only thing going for Gigablast is its "freshness dating" options, but it does provide some clustering of data. 'Clustering' is a good idea, because it helps you narrow down your searches. Ask and Clusty are most intentional in this regard (and appear to use the same data?), but Clusty does a better job. Searchme offers suggestions for groups that is helpful as well.
  • UPDATE: One of the comments to this post asked about I added it to the collection above, but I remain unimpressed. (I had checked it early on when it was still having problems...) Looks nice, like the categories it offers, but it seems to pull lots of pages from a single site and also is susceptible to highly ranking sites which put a lot of keywords just to fish for hits.
  • For some other search engines, check this PDF article from the latest CCMag.
BOTTOM LINE: Google will remain my first line, but I really like Searchme and Viewzi and will use them at times. I may use Clusty occasionally to get suggestions on narrowing searches. (In fact, I have already added them to my Firefox search box.)

BTW: A different approach to searching the web that focuses more on 'mashing up' results is the new alpha Firefox plugin, Ubiquity. Very cool but way too much typing in this early version of the interface... Check out the video:

Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.
More articles here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

VulSearch4: Free Vulgate Search Program

IMPORTANT UPDATE (2008.08.29): Be sure to read the comments to this post.

One thing always leads to another... When I was pulling together the lists of Latin biblical texts available in the leading software programs, I came across VulSearch 4. According to the web site:

VulSearch is a program for Windows 98 and later.
* View the Clementine Vulgate Bible with the Douay–Rheims translation side-by-side
* Fast full-text searching of both bibles
* Create bookmarks, cross-references and annotations
* Integrated with the Latin dictionary program Words
VulSearch is free software.
In addition:
VulSearch 4 comes with the Clementine Vulgate and Douay–Rheims Bibles. If you wish, you can also download the following additional texts to use with VulSearch:
* the Glossa Ordinaria (courtesy of Steven Killings) (4.1 Mb)
* Weber's Stuttgart Vulgate (3.0 Mb)
* French Crampon (freely available at (3.3 Mb)
* French Louis Segond (3.1 Mb)
* the Nova Vulgata (3.1 Mb). NOTE: There are copyright issues with this text, and it is unclear whether it is being shared legally. UPDATE (2013): This text is no longer available.
But wait, there's more! The Latin texts are tagged and, a
s noted above, Whitaker's Latin-English Dictionary "Words" program is integrated as well. Furthermore, the program also includes the ability to create cross references, notes, and bookmarks, and it comes with a full set of bookmark for the Missale Romanum.
So, how does VulSearch compare with Accordance8, BibleWorks7, and Logos3?

  • All the texts in VulSearch are fully tagged. Only Accordance has an addon tagged text, but it's only the Biblia Sacra Vulgata and only tagged for the NT at this time. BW7 does allow for an external link to the online version of Words.
  • Whitaker's Latin-English Words program is integrated in the VulSearch interface. Accordance has its own glosses which are not as full as Whitaker's. Again, BW7 links to Whitaker, but it is a link that is external to the online version. Logos has the Harden Dictionary of the Vulgate NT, but since the Latin texts are not tagged, there is no direct linkage between the words in the biblical text in the dictionary.
  • VulSearch includes the Douay-Rheims (DRA) English translation. With Accordance, the DRA has to be obtained as part of a bundle. The DRA is included with BW7, and one can also add the user-created Wycliffe translation. DRA is only available as a PBB download for Logos.
  • One disadvantage of VulSearch is that only two windows can be viewed/scrolled at a time. It is also not able to handle Greek and Hebrew, so you can't compare the Latin to the original languages. Here is where Accordance, BW, and Logos have the advantage. Finally, it's a Windows only program.
Bottom line: Not only is VulSearch a tremendous program that surpasses what is available in the big programs, but it is free! If you want to work with the Vulgate, this is a great resource.

Again, check the comments...

Logos: FREE Matthew/Mark Cornerstone Commentary

To promote the new Cornerstone Commentary series, Logos is giving away the volume on Matthew/Mark.

The goal of the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary series is to clearly convey every thought contained in the Bible by presenting the message of each passage as well as an overview of other issues surrounding the text in an accessible but high-level discussion of scriptural interpretation.
Note that you will need the Libronix engine to view this commentary. Details on the Logos page for this limited time offer. Thanks to Logos!

Accordance8, BibleWorks7, Logos3, VulSearch4, LaParola: Latin Bible Texts Available

The history of the Latin text of the Bible--and especially of the Latin Psalter--is rather complicated. (Check out the charts I supply here.) I've compiled a table that shows which Latin texts (basically the Clementine, Biblica Sacra Vulgata, and Novo Vulgata) are included in the three big Bible software programs of Accordance8, BibleWorks7, and Logos3 with their shortcut abbreviations and availability. Links are provided to online resources, and I have also included the specifically Vulgate translations of Wycliffe and the Douay-Rheims.
Here is the table available either as an XLS spreadsheet or a PDF file.
UPDATE 2008.08.26: As Pasquale notes in the comments, Vulgata Clementina is available for BW7. I found a PBB of the Douay-Rheims for Logos. I added a column for VulSearch. Files have been updated.
UPDATE: 2008.09.05: Added the fine LaParola program (free) which includes Stuttgart Vulgate fully tagged and linked to Latin Words. Files updated.

BibleWorks7: Using Tab Sets and Search/Display Favorites

Now that we have the abbreviations for the lists of texts in BibleWorks7, have seen how to work with the tabbed panes and how to access and display the texts, I want to share some ways that I am organizing groups of texts for my work. As I mentioned before, the BibleWorks folks provided some helpful pointers on Using Tabs Effectively some time ago, and you will want to download and play with the collection of tab files they offer. To see some of my collections, you will first need to download this mgvhcollection.SWC file and save it in your BibleWorks7/init directory. (Do not open it; your computer will probably think it is a Flash file.)
Now, in BW7, be sure you don't have any work in progress in one of your tabs that you don't want to lose. (If you do, remember to right click anywhere on the tabs and "Save tabs to disk.")
Next, right click anywhere on the tabs, and "Load tabs from disk."
A directory window will open to your BibleWorks7/init directory and show all the SWC files available. Click on mgvhcollection.swc to open it.
You will see that all 12 of your tabs have been populated with texts. Here is what in each tab:

  1. GreekEnglish Comparison: Focusing on how a range of English versions (literal > dynamic) render the Greek
  2. TRByzNA27comparison: Focusing on NT text critical issues, especially between the Textus Receptus, Byzantine/Majority text, and the eclectic text of NA27
  3. PeshittaDisplay: Peshitta texts and translations with view to the Greek
  4. Latin: Latin texts and translations with view to underlying Greek
  5. All Hebrew Morph Texts: All Hebrew/Aramaic texts for which there is morphological tagging including Targums
  6. Josephus: Greek with English translation
  7. OTPseudepigrapha: OTP is base text but displays other texts where available
  8. Philo: Greek with English translation
  9. NTApocrypha: The base text is James' (JAM) but the older text by Hone (HON) has some overlap and some additional texts
  10. ApostolicFathers: Greek (and Latin fragments) with English translation
  11. ThomasGospel: Layout of the four English translations in BW7 of the Gospel of Thomas
  12. TargumsDisplay: Targums with translations
These are the collections of Search/Display favorites that I have created. Unfortunately, BW7 does not allow for the sharing of such favorites, so you will have to create your own using mine as examples. (At least I don't think the Search/Display favorites can be shared. Favorites are stored in your bw700.ini file, and this file is too person/machine specific to share.) Check the Accessing and Displaying Texts video if you need to remember how to do this.
Have a great collection of tabs of your own? Why not share them in this thread on the BW Forum!
UPDATE: Tab order in my SWC fixed to match this posting. Also note that the Qumran texts (QST/M) are part of an addon module you may not have.

BibleWorks7: Accessing and Displaying Texts

Now that we have the abbreviations for the lists of texts in BibleWorks7 and have seen how to work with the tabbed panes, this next 3'45" video will show you a number of ways to quickly access and display the texts, especially using the display versions setup tool. (click on graphic above to view WMV video)

BibleWorks7 Working with Tabs

The BibleWorks folks provided some helpful pointers on Using Tabs Effectively some time ago. I want to augment their guide with this 2 minute video providing an overview of some ways of using the tabs in BW7. (click on graphic above to open up WMV file)
BTW, I forgot to mention in the video, that when saving tabs to disk, it will also remember any ranges you have applied.

Monday, August 25, 2008

BibleWorks7 Text Listing with Abbreviations

If you use BibleWorks7, you know that the base package comes with a ton of texts and that there are lots more user-created texts you can add at the unofficial BW Blog. You also know that the command line provides quick access to any text... as you long as you know the abbreviation for it. But then you have to remember which one is the morphologically tagged version and which translations go with which original text and which variant versions there are...
Is that what's getting you down? Well, here's the solution. I've created a spreadsheet that lists all the available BW7 texts with their abbreviations along with brief descriptions, including info identifying language, content, morphological pairs, translations pairs, and related texts. One sheet of the spreadsheet organizes them by groups. (Cf. the graphic above.) The second sheet is a straight alphabetical listing of the abbreviations. If you have the software to deal with an XLS file, you can, of course, modify and manipulate the data any way you wish. If you can't handle XLS files, I have also provided PDF versions of the two sheets.
You will note that I have not collected all the non-English, modern Bible translations. If someone else wants to create such a list, I would be happy to post it here. If there are updates or corrections, let me know, and I will try to keep this database current. Thanks.
[UPDATED: 2008.08.26 to associate Latin texts and add VUC and GLO]
List of BibleWorks7 Texts: XLS spreadsheet / PDF:grouped / PDF:A>Z

Friday, August 22, 2008

Photosynth - '3D' pictures of biblical sites

Back in June I noted that Microsoft had offered the Photosynth online site in beta. It is now out of beta and fully up and running. (Reviews and videos here at CNET and here at PCMag.) Some observations:

  • It's FREE!
  • I have had mixed results running it in Firefox. It works fine in IE7.
  • It is not true 3D, but it is a remarkable way of getting a fuller sense of a location.
  • There are a number of biblical sites available for viewing. Check out sites in Turkey (including Izmir, Istanbul, Pergamum, Ephesus, Miletus...) or Greece (mainly just Athens).
  • There are also a couple of Bibles (Gutenberg and Mainz) from the Library of Congress.
The really neat thing is that it is quite easy to create your own Photosynth images. To make a truly 'synthy' pic (i.e., with lots of overlapping views), you need to plan your strategy in advance. I did, however, create one simply using some pics I already had taken of Beit Shean. Click on the graphic to see my trial which was as easy as uploading a bunch of pics.
In my June post, I had also noted the OpenPhotoVR site. It also can be used to create this kind of '3D' pic, but Photosynth does it automatically whereas OpenPhotoVR requires (and sometimes better results might be possible) editing to describe the views.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A whole bunch of stuff...

I've been away and my Google Reader is getting full of saved stuff. So, a quick unloading...:

  • Freepath 2.0: Check it out via Jane's. A neat way of creating a 'playlist' for a wide variety of on/offline media.
  • ProProfs QuizSchool: "Perfect for tests, training, recruitment, assessments, trivia or just plain fun quizzes!" Free. [via Jane's]
  • e-Sword Users Wiki: This is a new wiki with lots of resources. Check out the OT in NT References and NT in OT References harmonies you can download. [HT: Scabbard for e-Sword] And speaking of e-Sword Tim Bulkeley has a screencast on SansBlogue showing "students how to use e-Sword like an English/Hebrew concordance to see how a word is used - in this case עֵ֖זֶר in Gen 2:18."
  • Study Bibles: Iyov has a couple of interesting posts on study Bibles. Are they textbooks or reference works? He recommends the New Oxford Annotated Bible (NRSV 3rd), the Jewish Study Bible (NJPS), and the Catholic Study Bible (NAB 2nd) as examples of good textbooks, the NET Bible as a reference work. He also has some observations about notes in the NLT Study Bible compared to other study Bibles.
  • Basic Bibliographies for Theological Research: Jim Darlack has been busy. He provides lists of 'gateway' books that provide bibliographic collections in the fields of Theological Research in General, Church History, Biblical Studies, Bible Commentary Evaluation, Style Manuals, and Guides to Theological Writing/Writing Well.
  • OliveTree offers Bible Reader for iPhone along with the ESV Study Bible. Compare it with Laridian's

Apostles' Creed Question: Suffering or Crucified Under Pontius Pilate

A bit off the focus of this blog on biblical studies and technology, but this question was recently addressed to me, and it caught me off guard. (To keep an attribution trail, I heard this from someone who thinks he heard it initially from the author and theologian, Marva Dawn.) Not quite sure where else to get some help on the matter, and I'm hoping someone of you might know more.
In the 4th article of the Apostles' Creed, all the traditional English versions [a number of English versions posted on Wikipedia] state that Jesus "suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried." >>> Isn't the point that Jesus suffered and was crucified under Pontius Pilate? (NOT that he suffered under Pilate and was crucified)

>>> This kind of phrasing question makes me wonder about underlying punctuation that may or may not be present in original manuscripts and word order matters that are different for Greek/Latin as compared to English.
Here are the original Latin and subsequent Greek of the phrase in question (texts from CCEL):

  • passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus;
  • παθόντα ἐπὶ Ποντίου Πιλάτου, σταυρωθέντα, θανόντα, καὶ ταφέντα
Both of these have punctuation supplied, but I don't know if any such indicators were provided in the original mss. Some things I do note:
  • Are the verbs "to suffer" or "to crucify" regularly used with sub / epi?
Answering this question would provide some guide to which verb the prepositional phrase most likely attached. Perhaps the use of the Greek epi to translate the Latin sub is a clue? >> I can't find much in the way of other texts to support a claim one way or the
other. (I am better at working with the Greek than the Latin, however...) Since Pilate did not take direct action in crucifying Jesus, I suspect that the use of sub/epi here indicates something like suffered/crucified under the authority of Pilate.

The best indicator of usage I can find in the Latin is the Nicene Creed! (Text and parallel table here):
  • crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est
  • and crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried
I suppose this could be taken as "crucified for us, under Pontius Pilate suffered and...," but I think it would indeed more naturally suggest that "crucified for us under Pontius Pilate" is the point of emphasis.

Another relevant indicator I found for understanding these phrases is involved in the complicated history of the Apostles' Creed. For convenience, here is a clip from the helpful parallel tables provided at CCEL.
This chart appears to indicate that the earlier formulations focused on "crucified under Pontius Pilate." The sub Pontio Pilato phrase does appear before crucifixus. The passus was added later. I suspect, therefore, that it is only in these later editions that the phrasing became "suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified..."

Note that I am not proposing to change the Apostles' Creed! Since Jesus did indeed both suffer and was crucified under Pilate's authority, it is not really a big deal, and perhaps the location of the prepositional phrase between the two verbs even suggests this concept.
What I might suggest is a relocation of the comma in the English versions >>>
  • ... suffered , under Pontius Pilate was crucified, died, and was buried...
Again, not a big deal, but it does bring emphasis to Jesus' crucifixion more than his suffering which I think really is the most important aspect.

Any other suggestions, comments, evidence, corrections...?

UPDATE (2009.02.01): Thanks for the comments which largely are supporting a broader reading of suffering in general (including crucifixion) and understanding the "under" as "in the time of." One more comparison to consider is the Nicene Creed. The 325 version just uses suffering which must include Jesus' crucifixion. The 381 version reads, σταυρωθέντα τε ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἐπὶ Ποντίου Πιλάτου, καὶ παθόντα, καὶ ταφέντα, = "having been crucified for us 'under' Pontius Pilate, and having suffered, and having been buried..."
a) Here is a clear statement that the "under Pilate" goes with the "having been crucified."
b) The 'having been crucified' and 'having suffered' are clearly taken together. (In contrast to the Apostles' Creed which could be read as suffered 'then' crucified.)


The Future of Biblical Data?

Tim Bulkeley recently posted on his SansBlogue about the future of web browsing envisioned by Adaptive Path's Aurora project. Hmmmm... I think not. Way too complicated. Mechanical 3D mousing. Too many icons, too many clicks, too much ... I often evaluate technological innovation based on whether =1= I would use it (a techno-happy geeky sort), =2= my teenage daughters (digital natives though not techno experts), =3= my wife (digital user by necessity but adverse to needing techno expertise), and =4= my inlaws (well, let's just say they need more guidance than my wife...). I might use the Aurora interface, but I'm the sort who tries to keep my computer desktop pretty clean (in striking contrast to my physical desktop...). I doubt my daughters would use it and certainly not wife and inlaws. I like the collaborative aspect of it, and I think that will be part of the future, but it will have to be something simpler.
I did come across another vision of the future involving Freebase and the Parallax interface. You should probably put this under the category of "things I should be aware but don't really have to think about for now." First of all, what is Freebase? The site describes it as "an open, shared database of the world's knowledge." More fully:

Freebase is the foundational 800lb gorilla in the semantic space, quietly building momentum to create a ‘global knowledge base: a structured, searchable, writeable and editable database built by a community of contributors, and open to everyone….It could be described as a data commons’.
Still technically in alpha, Freebase will be the underpinnings of many future companies - some would say this approach is the future of the entire Internet. [Source: ZDNET, "The Future of the Web"]
What this means is that it is a bit like Wikipedia as it accumulates user-supplied information, but instead of being encyclopedic, it is designed as a structured database. For example, take a look at the Freebase page on Jesus. It is trying to fit info about Jesus into categories that are applicable to any other significant person: gender, birth and death dates, places of residence, ethnicity, religion, spouse and , children (none listed!), influences, peers (Jesus is without peer!), employment history, works by/about, etc. Freebase on its own is fully linked, so you can work your way through the data, but David Huynh has created the Parallax interface to manipulate the Freebase data. The video on the Parallax home page gives a good example of what it can do. Basically it is trying to display relationships between sets of data. The question used to demonstrate the interface is, "What schools have the children of U.S. presidents attended?" As you can probably surmise, you would probably start with a list of presidents, then find the children of each, then locate the school of each. Not a hard project, but it would be a lot of back/forth clicking. With Parallax, this becomes an easy search, and, in addition, you can even take the data a step further and do something like locating all the schools those children attended on a map.
Okay, finally I come to the title of this post: What does this mean for the future of biblical data? For now, there is limited information about religious topics such as "Bible" or "Jesus." Here's the view of "Jesus" in Parallax which is simply pulling out the data from Freebase.
But consider these kind of questions:
  • What people are designated as "kings" in the Bible?
  • Which of these kings are non-Jewish?
  • When did they live?
  • Where did they live?
All those questions could be answered with a bunch of various searches using Bible software, but you can see that you would need to plow through a lot of various search results. Once the data is properly entered and structured, however, it would be quite easy to use the Parallax interface to answer this request: Plot on a map [or timeline] all the non-Jewish kings mentioned in the Bible. That's a rather trite example, but you can see the potential for helping get big picture visualizations of relationships of data sets in the Bible.

For now, the closest thing I can think of is the Bible People relationships tool found in Logos? Here's part of the Jesus graphic:

So, what questions would you like to be asking of the Bible once all the data was available to you?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Online Greek/Hebrew Resources

Some quick items here...First, I started another web site quite a while ago entitled gettysburg press that I have intended as "an online portal for publishing academic resources, especially in the field of religious studies in general and biblical studies in particular." My reason for starting it:

Many times academics would like to share their work, but some writings are not quite suitable for publication either as a book or as an article in one of the standard journals. Sometimes it would also be most beneficial for timely publication that is not possible with the usual routes of publication, and sometimes it would be helpful to publish preliminary findings in order to generate responses. This site hopes to provide a place for authors to publish and all scholars to find such writings, especially in the field of religious studies in general and biblical studies in particular.
I haven't had much time to do anything with the site, but I am working on something I think many of you will like...

In the meantime, the one thing I have posted there is a collection of about 45 Greek lexical articles by Terrence Mullins that were first published in the Lutheran Partners magazine. He has done a nice job on the various Greek terms and cognates (think of something like Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament entries), and I appreciate his consent letting me publish them online.

Second, check this collection of Original Languages Resources links by Daniel Witte.

Third, SCSaunders has provided some links to short videos to 'pump you up' for the study of Greek and Hebrew.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

UMapper mapping resource

UMapper is "the first universal web-based map authoring application." I just gave it a spin, and it has some nice features.

  • When you start creating your own map, you can choose to use either Microsoft Virtual Earth or Google Maps.
  • To locate places on the map, you can either locate them manually, use a map lookup, or use a Wikipedia lookup.
  • It's easy to embed the map (cf. below) or share it in quite a few other ways.
  • It's free!
As an experiment, I did a quick map of Acts 16.11f. showing Paul's journey from Troas to Philippi. Take a look:

A few things to note:
  • In this example, Microsoft Virtual Earth worked better than Google Maps. It's easy to switch back and forth between them, however.
  • It's not really designed to map ancient locations, so searching for such sites won't always get you the result you want.
  • You probably don't want modern highway maps, so using the aerial or satellite views are better. UMapper won't replace BibleMapper or Accordance Bible Atlas for creating your own maps with more attractive backgrounds suitable for printing.
Still, for a quick and free mapping resource, it's worth checking out.
Go HERE for the map within UMapper.
[HT: Jane's]

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Microsoft Office 2007: Microsoft Research launches new tools for knowledge sharing

News to me...

Microsoft External Research collaborates with the world's foremost researchers in academia, across industries and governments, to advance research and fuel innovation. Working closely with researchers is an essential part of the Microsoft External Research engagement model; the research team serves as a critical link between academia and Microsoft product groups that develop and use new technologies from across the corporation.
They have a bunch of projects, but of most interest to readers of this blog is the Creative Commons Add-in for Office 2007. According to Creative Commons:
Using the Creative Commons Add-in, you can choose from among the licenses available on the CC site to express your intentions regarding the use of your work. The embedded license links directly to its online representation at the CC site, while a machine-readable representation is stored in the Office Open XML document.

There is also an Article Authoring Add-in for Word 2007 which:

enables authors to structure and annotate their documents according to formats that publishers and digital archives require. The articles can then be converted easily to formats that facilitate their digital storage and preservation.

For now, there is a standardized National Library of Medicine format available, but "users will also be able to shape the software to suit other formats because the code for the tool is openly accessible and freely adaptable."

HERE is the Microsoft site to get the Add-ins. (HT: Stephen's Web)

Koinonia Blog, Firefox addons, Go!Animate, Bible on Blackberry, Webon

Koinonia Blog
A new blog sponsored by Zondervan has been started recently with the goal of encouraging "biblical-theological conversations for the community of Christ." It is a group blog with a list of contributors of whom you will probably recognize many. Check out the "Monday with Mounce" series on translation of the Greek NT. Part of their self-description includes:

Chiefly—and you may have already picked this up from
the name of our blog—we want to build real koinonia, community by intimate
participation. We think the conversations here, though digital, will impact the
community of Christ. They will be appropriate for the academy, church, and
Looks like they have other some other interesting stuff planned as well. (HT: Euangelion)

Firefox addons

Iyov has updated his list of Firefox addons and other ways he is customizing Firefox.


I keep looking for ways to 're-present' the biblical stories. Go!Animate is a quick, free, and easy way to create animations. HERE is an example I put together in less than 5 minutes of an old classroom joke... (HT: Jane's)

Bible on your Blackberry

OliveTree announced a beta version of their BibleReader for the Blackberry. (Laridian also has the tools for Bible study on a Blackberry.)

Webon provides "smart website publishing for free." It really is incredibly easy to get a website up and running in no time. It's hosted for free on their server. They have "kits" that provide templates to get you started. There are some limits to the free version, but you can go pretty far. [HT: PCWorld]

Monday, August 4, 2008

Firefox, Kindle, Zotero, iPhone, Accordance, etc.

Technically on vacation, but a few quick things to check:

Firefox 3:
Here is a good list of useful Firefox 3 add-ons.
Do note, however, that one of my favorite add-ons, Tab Mix Plus, is not yet Firefox 3 ready. You can install the beta which is working perfectly well for me HERE.

Kindle, Zotero, iPhone
Scott F. Johnson has an interesting post (with links to prior discussion) regarding the use of Kindle as a scholarly tool (or not). Basically he would like to see Zotero on Kindle or an iPhone, but he is not overly optimistic about the possibilities.

Logos' RefTagger Updated
Logos notes that there RefTagger has been updated to allow for some style choices. Here is Mark 6:34.

Video, Graphics, Online Publishing
Readers of this blog will have noted that I am also interested in the ways that biblical studies can be presented using graphics, photo, video, etc. If you are interested in such stuff, add Robin Good's MasterNewMedia to your reader. Sometimes it gets more into advertising and marketing stuff, but there are regularly nice reviews of other multimedia type of resources you can use.

I've been meaning to respond to some of the recent posts on the Accordance blog. In particular, I've wanted to follow up on a couple posts dealing with the word meaning "desire" in Genesis 3:16. (Part 1 and Part 2) It's a good case study of how to use Bible software even when you are not fluent in the original languages.