Daily Archives: 3 Aug 2011

Having a Mac in the House Has Destroyed Me

This is what Rachel’s new Mac has done to me…

Oh the cruelty of being deformed by the Mac.  Mac’s are of Satan.

BibleWorks 9: Versions

Another very, very useful piece of the program is the huge selection of versions.  A whole range of Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, and Latin texts are available but there are even more of many other major and minor languages.

Given my own preferences, I’m going to highlight the German versions:

You counted them right, there are 12 different German editions.  Including the best of the lot, the Zurich Bible!

These versions are accompanied by notes as well so that users aren’t simply given the bare text.  This is fantastically useful.

The program is a veritable wonderland of exegetical treasures.  To be sure, many of these materials are also found in BW8.  But the additional materials (and especially the text critical tools) make upgrading (or purchasing outright) more than sensible.

This is the ‘pearl of great price’ which, a man finding, goes and sells everything in his house so he can acquire it.

BibleWorks 9: The SBL GNT

I mentioned earlier that the one thing that BW8 had which wasn’t included in BW9 was the SBL GNT.  Thanks to a commentator I’ve since downloaded and installed it with no difficulty at all.

Bible and Interpretation’s ‘Philip Davies’ Collection

Articles by Philip Davies

By the Rivers of Babylon
Beyond Labels: What Comes Next?
Are There Ethics in the Hebrew Bible?
Watch Your Language!
Whose Bible? Anyone’s?
Biblical History and Cultural Memory
Do We Need Biblical Scholars?
Final Comments on Minimalism
Minimalism, “Ancient Israel,” and Anti-Semitism

BibleWorks 9: Searching

The brilliance of the program is most plainly evidenced, I think, in its search capacity.

Simply highlight a phrase (in any language- it works for all the installed bible editions) and on the left panel a listing of every occurrence of that phrase in the opened text.  This is particularly useful if you’re curious about the use of a certain phrase or word in a particular author.  How does Paul use μη γενοιτο?  That’s easily discovered and the search takes a mere fraction of a second to complete.

Further, if your work takes you to the Aramaic version of the Old Testament, you can discover the frequency and form of the Divine Name (and anything else that you may wonder about).

Hover your mouse over the word you want to learn and the definition pops up, along with important information concerning its forms and functions.  This allows readers to learn a lot of vocabulary and a lot of forms and to either acquire great competence in the languages or sharpen their skills in them.

Finally, when you’re reading along in poetic texts like Job where lots of words are unfamiliar (because seldom used in the entire Bible) a simple hover will divulge lexical information for those unusual words.  You can, again, search phrases simply by highlighting and right clicking.

BW 9 is a remarkable, powerful, useful, and simple program for searching words, phrases, meanings, and all those things which make exegesis possible.  Switching between versions is similarly simple and there are a LOT of versions (both ancient and modern).

Searching texts for a whole range of purposes has never been simpler.

Gov. Perry’s Prayer Call: Is it Scriptural?

2 Chr 7:14-16 would indicate that it is.  That’s one Scripture that I’m sure will be heard at the rally.

But I do understand the sentiments of those who have misgivings about the mixing of State with Church.  And I also understand the 5 reasons this Pastor has for objecting.

Personally, I would take it all a step further and quote those passages which I’ve quoted so often before:

“As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you.’ – Jer 7:16

“Therefore do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble.” – Jer 11:14

“Then the LORD said to me, “Do not pray for these people anymore.” – Jer 14:11

The Gov is free to pray for whatever and whoever he likes and so are the good people of Texas.  But I don’t think, given our national wickedness, God is paying too much attention.  I think, instead, that he’s waiting to see if we’re really serious about righteousness and justice and compassion and mercy and all of those other things we are required to exhibit.

Since, nationally, we aren’t exactly exhibiting those behaviors but instead greed and selfishness and self centeredness and malignancy and depravity, why, really, should God come ‘running’ to our aid???  We are simply reaping what we’ve sown.  Deservedly.

The Fastest Growing Site in History? Google + (Maybe)

Google+ now has 25 million users, according to analytics firm comScore. That’s very impressive, especially considering that the site is working off an invitation-only model for expansion.  In a Reuters report, comScore said that number cements the new network as the fastest-growing Web site in history. Google launched its network in late June and is currently growing at a rate of one million users per day, the report said.  So does that mean that Google+ is going to take over the social networking sector? Don’t jump to conclusions so quickly.

My own experience of Google+ has been pretty positive but I’m still trying to work out, aside from its various slight differences and advances, why I’m using it along with Facebook and the Twitter.  And LinkedIn, and Academia.edu.  And of course THE blog.

Maybe I just like being multiply connected.  Maybe I see these things as holding potential for the dissemination of accurate biblical and theological info and so the more the merrier.  That’s probably it.  It’s about the intersection of the world and (the theological relevance of) the Word for me, so that wheresoever I can manage connecting the two, I’ll do it.

BibleWorks 9: And Yet, Something’s Missing

In BibleWorks 8 users could download and install a copy of the SBL Greek New Testament.  That edition isn’t however, available in the new BibleWorks 9 software.

click to enlarge

I don’t know if it will be made available for download for BW9, and I also don’t know if the BW8 version would work if I downloaded it.  I may well give it a try (and hope that it doesn’t muck anything up).

Politicians at all Levels are Insane Perverts

It’s not just the National or State guys who have problems with being decent.  Even the lowly local guys can demonstrate true stupidity.  Like this New Jersey lad-

Yes, another politician has been brought low by snapshots of his junk, and, as if to prove that even the little guys can have sex scandals, this time the embarrassed party is Lou Magazzu, a member of the Cumberland County Freeholder Board, the News of Cumberland County reports. Magazzu sent a series of nude photos of himself to a woman who was not his wife—and she passed them to his political arch-nemesis, Republican activist Carl Johnson.

Folly knows no limits.

The ‘Caption the Eric Cline Photo’ Contest

UPDATE:  And the Winner is!!!!!  George Athas (for his sheer tenacity!).  George, email me your address and I’ll send it along.

Here’s a photo of Prof. Cline on the last day of the dig at Tell Kabri (shamelessly stolen from his Facebook album).  I thought it might be fun to have a contest featuring it.  So, here are the rules:

1- write a caption for the photo.

2- win a book.  In particular, win a copy of Eric’s book, Biblical Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction.

3- The winner will be chosen by me.  And my decision will be final.  So let it be written, so let it be done.

4- Submit your caption in comments.  Multiple entries are ok.  Even females are allowed to enter!

5- The contest ends in one week.

BibleWorks 9: Greek Manuscripts

The most exciting aspect of the new BibleWorks 9 program is the inclusion of Greek manuscripts including Vaticanus and Sinaiticus and Bezae and a number of others (as you’ll see below)(click to enlarge).

Users can easily choose whichever manuscript they want to view, and with right click choose the level of zoom for viewing the manuscript:

It’s just simply fantastic.  One needn’t travel the world to lay hands on the most important Uncials, they’re here!  And one needn’t any longer take the word of someone else on the reading of a particular text, it’s available at one’s fingertips both in transcription (in the middle column of the program) and visually (on the right).  Further, verses and chapters are handily tagged so that they’re more than easy to find.

Furthermore, if you look at the top right corner you’ll see the currently selected verse in the major editions and the textual variants are easily discerned.  This is so useful for textual criticism.  So useful.

Finally, the layout of the page is very compatible for research.  Useless materials aren’t included, there is no clutter on the screen, and users can simply hover their mouse over any item and find an explanation.

Biblical scholars and researchers, students, and text critics will most definitely want to take a look at this material.  It’s outstanding.  And that’s after my just having utilized it for about an hour.  What other treasures I’ll discover remain to be seen.  When I do, I’ll pass them along next time, when I examine the program’s other aspects.

BibleWorks 9: Installation

BW 9 arrived as promised today and before it did an email with unlocking codes also arrived.   Along with the materials unlocked with the installation of the program the additional codes allow me to access a number of recent English translations of the Bible along with the numerous included in the base installation.

Installation was itself quite an easy process.  First, however, users are advised to uninstall any previous version of BibleWorks which may be on their machine.

Once the installation starts running, unlocking codes are required.  At this point it seems prudent to unlock all of the materials for which you have codes so that the process of unlocking doesn’t have to be repeated.  I entered the main code and the biblical versions codes and the 3 disks all loaded in about 15 minutes.

Once setup is accomplished a restart is necessary and the user’s guide also advises a check for any updates to the software online.

All in all, the process is simple and even the least experienced computer user can manage it without any issues arising (and if they do, the user’s guide is a great help).

I’ll play around inside the program and offer a review in numerous parts in due course.  Stay tuned.

The Germans Get it, Why Don’t Americans?

“And what does this [American economic crisis] mean for Germany!? This question might be egocentric, but not unjustified, when the news comes from the US, that the country with the largest economy in the world now is economizing. The answer is: The global repercussions should at first be limited, but will be grave over the long haul.”

“Regarding the short-term effect, the debt crisis in the US was a political, not a financial, debacle. Not all state insolvencies are the same. Greece, for example, is truly bankrupt, while the US is still an enormously solvent country. There, one would only have to raise taxes on the rich, and the budget deficit would shrink.”

“And it is exactly because no real bankruptcy threatens the US that the spending cuts were a joke. Cuts of $2.1 trillion sound huge, but spread out over 10 years they make up only 1.5 percent of US economic output in today’s dollars. With inflation and growth this percentage would grow smaller.”

“Nevertheless, the American savings package is very problematic in the long-term. The US should not have made puny cuts, but rather have made extravagant spending increases. They need a new economic stimulus package in order to fight the high levels of unemployment.”

Unfortunately our legislators aren’t that smart.  Maybe we could import some from Germany (along with that sweet all electric BMW that I want for my soon coming 51st birthday).  This, and MUCH MORE in a rightly titled essay ‘The Biggest Loser: The Average American‘.

The Bibil Bulletin

The forthcoming edition of the Bibil  (Biblical Bibliography of Lausanne) Bulletin has been announced.

The new Bulletin (volume 19 – 2011) is in production and will be available in September 2011. Have a look at the Table of Contents. If you would like to purchase a copy, please contact us (order@bibil.net).

You can see a table of contents here.

Ten Years of Tax Breaks for the Wealthy: Who to Blame?

See what greed has done.

The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts combined have blown a $2.5 trillion hole in America’s budget and created deficits stretching on for years.

Who to thank?  Congress (dems and repubs) and the Second Bush (for signing the law making it all possible).  And most of all you, the voters.  You voted them in and you keep voting them in and they couldn’t do what they’ve done without you.  So you, the ‘keep the incumbents in power’ voters, I blame you and so should history.

Sure, we like to point the finger at Bush.  He did his part, that’s for sure, but the voters who voted for him are the enablers.  It’s their fault primarily and their misery is simply the lived out truth- you reap what you sow.

The sad thing is that the folk who didn’t vote for these dullards are suffering right along with you.  And that’s most regrettable.  And naturally so will our children and grandchildren suffer for your greedy evil too.

So stop pointing your gnarled smoke stained beer mug holding fingers at others.  Look in the mirror.  You’re the cause of the present misery.

Centre for the Study of Christian Origins Leadership Change

With best wishes to Larry on his retirement! And congratulations to Helen for her new responsibilities. With thanks to Joseph Lauer for the heads up.

(Larry Hurtado): As of 01 August, I formally retired from my post in the University as Professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology, and as Director of the Centre for the Study of Christian Origins.  I'm pleased to note that my colleague, Dr. Helen Bond, will take the helm as Director.  As the founding Director of CSCO, I am much encouraged by Helen's readiness to take on this role.   CSCO was established by the Senatus Academic … Read More

via Centre for the Study of Christian Origins

Forced Terminations are on the Rise

The Baptist and Reflector has a worth reading report on the incidences of forced termination of church staff and Pastors.  A hint: they’re on the rise.

In addition to gathering statistics about the number of forced terminations, the survey also provides the top 10 causes for termination. They are:

(1) Control issues — who is going to run the church?
(I always thought Christ ran the Church. Silly me)

(2) Poor people skills on the part of the pastor.
(3) Pastor’s leadership style is too strong.
(4) Pastor’s leadership style is too weak.
(ah, the old ‘the church is too cold, the church is too warm during worship excuse)

(5) Church was already in conflict when the pastor arrived.
(well then why did they call him? just to toss him to the lions?)

(6) Church’s resistance to change.
(7) Conflict with other staff.
(8) Ethical misconduct — mismanaged monies, dishonesty.
(that’s probably, let’s face it, the most common reason)

(9) Administrative incompetence on the part of the pastor.
(10) Decline in attendance.
(because, as we all know, the pastor is the ONLY one who does any work in the Church…)

On Death: An Observation

Death ends the choosing process enmeshed in time.  — Thomas Oden

KJV 400: Legacy and Impact

Union University is hosting a symposium celebrating the 400th anniversary of the KJV.  You can find all the details here.

If you’re in the region it might be something you’d like to attend.

The Anniversary of the Birth of Martin Noth

Martin Noth, famed (and rightly so) Old Testament scholar was born on the 3rd of August, 1902.  Probably best known for his work on the history of Israel, Noth also wrote widely and extensively on nearly every aspect of OT studies.  His commentaries are very good and his study of Israelite names has never, ever been surpassed or supplanted.

As Brittanica notes

In his book Das System der zwölf Stämme Israels (1930; “The Scheme of the Twelve Tribes of Israel”), written when he was just 28, Noth proposed the theory that the unity called Israel did not exist prior to the covenant assembly at Shechem in Canaan (Joshua 24), where, in his view, the tribes, theretofore loosely related through customs and traditions, accepted the worship and the covenant of Yahweh imposed by Joshua. Oral traditions from the various tribes were combined in the Pentateuch after the covenant union, and it was only at the time of Ezra that the traditions were finally written down, often combining different narrative elements into a single tale. Thus, the story of the Passover and that of the Exodus, once separate traditions, were linked in the written books of Moses. The two major narrative traditions, the Jehovistic and Elohistic (so called from the name used for God in each), formed a framework around the other traditional elements. Noth served as professor of theology at the University of Bonn from 1945 to 1965, continuing his studies after his retirement.

Lest we forget…