December 21, 2005

I Am Using Bookends, And Its Better Than Pulling Teeth

Well, we've had discussions earlier in the Macintosh Bibloiblog regarding bibliographic software. Primarily, the question has been, can we get by with Bookends, or do we need Endnote. I owned a previous version of Endnote, but I finally went out on a limb, and this time I've thrown my hat & my dissertation in with Bookends. Deciding factor: I like supporting small Mac developers. While I'm confident that at the end of the day it will work, it hasn't been easy. I've got 198 references entered in the bib so far, and I would've hoped for a more robust import strategy from the software. I was reduced to doing way more manual entry than I should have had to do. The very responsive (although mysterious) "Jon" from Bookends support had this to say:

Bookends has no idea of the reference Type it is importing. If you mix books and journals, and they have the same tags, you'll get some data imported into the "wrong" fields. In this case, you need to separate the types before import.
And my response is... "Why?" When I'm collecting references from ATLAS OCLC, I'm not ONLY searching books, or edited books, or chapters of books, or journal articles... that's absurd. It's a program for crying out loud... one of the import fields is telling it what "Type" of reference it is, so let it import data depending upon the type. I think that that is just one illustration of a general observation, namely, that the application is somewhere past infancy, but not yet full-fledged. Since I see in the About box that the program has been around since '88 (???), I guess this really indicates "small operation". This was, for me, the selling point. Endnote was just too bloated.

I've never had an application crash this much on OS X. And that just frustrates me. It's nice that there are several "Reindex/Repair/Rebuild your database" tools, because I have needed to use them a ton on account of the crashes.
I continue to rack up the questions of things that are taking me awhile to figure out how to accomplish. My format calls for using Chicago Manual of Style, supplemented by SBL Handbook of Style. And if I can't figure out how to get it do this in an hour or two, the problem does not lie with me.

Current questions include:

  1. Why so few User-defined custom fields?
  2. Why only two "Source" input fields that can be parsed to assign various data to their appropriate fields?
  3. Where is the expected web page of additional (some being user-created) input filters and bib formats for download?
  4. How about fuller pop-up context help for the NUMEROUS preference & customization dialogs?
  5. Why doesn't the tutorial explain how to make an in-text temporary citation that cites a particular page number? Am I just being egocentric in thinking this has got to be one of the most common needs out there? (It's taking me a long time to figure it out, and I'm still not sure I'm doing it the canonical way.)
  6. Why such a big minimum List View Window width? (This kind of lack of control bugs me.) I can see why the large Single Reference width.
  7. I confess that I am biased against carbon apps. They bug me most of the time. They can be made to flow with Aqua, but too often they don't take advantage of some OS X technologies they could. (ie. no service/spell checking/contextual menus). What on earth was going on code-wise in 1988 or even 1998 that was worth keeping as a holdover for Bookends?
Right now, I think that if I had given Bookends this much of a workover before I decided to purchase, I would've thrown in another couple hundred and went with Endnote. But, I have a good feeling about "Jon's" abilities and his interest in the project, and his responsiveness to feedback. In the long run, I think I WILL be able to work with Bookends, and I think I may end up being glad that I went with it.

December 06, 2005

Apple Store Opens in Sheffield

Would you believe I've never been to an Apple Store? Strange, I know. My wife has been to a couple. There is one nearby here in Kansas City. But I note that Apple is opening their fifth store in the UK.

Looks like the Sheffield phenomenon can now Apple-ize. Have a look at the Apple Store Meadowhall, if you're nearby.

Now with pictures:
I don't really know why I'm covering this Apple store opening; perhaps I'm pining for my first visit to one. I have read that these store openings truly are a sight to see. Blogger Nik has pictures from the store opening at Sheffield.

November 28, 2005

SBL: Exhibit Hall Booths Demonstrate There's One Clear Choice of Bible Software for Macintosh

I ran across a link today and was shocked to hear Pastor At Large Blogger Matthew Johnson say,

I've had some ongoing discussions with people about Bible software for Macs... I keep thinking about Bible software for Macs and in the process of asking a couple of questions of Doc Stone, I mentioned that I thought the software [choices] for Macs was terrible to which the good Doc replied:
"Bible Software for the Mac is terrible? Geeze Louise, guy, I know people who switched to the mac just so they could run Accordance. It is the slickest thing I've ever seen."
My shock is that I can hardly believe there are ministers and bible students out there who haven't heard of Accordance. The program is superb, in interface, in search power, in module offerings, in development, in support, and on and on. If you are a bible scholar and/or a pastor (which as best I can tell comprises the vast majority of The Macintosh Biblioblog audience), there's really only one choice.

The other options are simply lacking for bible scholars and ministers. I am pro-gnu license projects, but MacSword simply prevents the use of any modern translations/texts, but along with OnlineBible is just too far behind the times in development. I still can't figure out what QuickVerse is for. I suppose if you want to look up "love" in the bible, and in some decades-old reference it would suffice. For an edutainment, multimedia app for lay folks or the Sunday School classroom, iLumina is a real option. But Accordance software has nearly every option you could possibly want, nearly every module you could want (with the exception of the elusive modern, mainline scholarly commentaries). And with version 7 coming next year, there's no end in sight.

And what about the SBL Exhibit Hall Booths? Accordance had as usual it's ridiculously busy booth of some 7 or 8 Macs with nearly as many staffers, for folks to try things out and get any hands on experience. A DVD tutorial also spanned a screen on the back wall. And then there was LOGOS.

Updated for clarity (as per Ken's good suggestions):
I was anticipating getting a chance to see their Mac app, but then they announced they are half a year behind the schedule they announced half a year ago. But what is worse, is it seems they had planned on being ready for SBL; their display booth had a lone peecee on one end and then a solitary Powerbook on the other end, void of any traffic or attention or staff, sitting beneath an enormous "Logos for Mac is Here." banner. Problem is, it wasn't.
It really looked like they had already bought the banner, so they went ahead and put it up. More embarassing is that they also set up a Mac, running the most minimal shell of a User Interface with no real functionality. It was just a small collection of menus, 90% of which did absolutely nothing, and it was running in "Safe Development Mode" at that. From what little was there to see, I was not filled with confidence that their project was in the hands of competent Cocoa coders. From the size of the package, some work has been done other than what was showing, but why didn't they get something ready to show? I could put together an app with more demonstrative potential and functionality in Project Builder in less than an hour. (Ask me and I might let you have a look at "Conformance," my specialized Bible software program streamlined for fundamentalists.) I haven't the foggiest idea why the folks at LOGOS put this embarassment up on their table, for it served only to demonstrate that they basically had nothing. They already have a slight reputation of vaporware, which is the unfortunate result of the pre-publication announcement business model they use ("We announce we're going to do project X, if enough of you pre-pay."), which I think is a good model. But I really can't overstate that the scene at the "Mac" end of the booth just looked pathetic, so I'm puzzled why they did it. Seriously, they need to replace whatever coder they hired if she/he was given even just one afternoon to get something ready for display at the conference, and also perhaps whoever made the decision to put that out on the table for folks to see. It couldn't have had the effect of causing someone to say, "Oh, I'll not buy any Mac products for 6 months, so as to wait for LOGOS' product." It surely did more harm than good.

As I stared at the "demo" at their booth watching it do nothing, an employee came up to me and simply said, "Sorry."

LOGOS made their money, and achieved their large size, in the popular market. This is why they've not been the choice among scholars in particular. But in the last couple of years, they've been trying to enter the scholarly market, and good for them. But the performance in the Exhibit Hall at SBL only solidified that if you have a Windoze box, it seems to me best to stick with BibleWorks (unless Libronix carries a module you must have) or Accordance (which has a PC install disk as well); and if you have a Mac, there really is one clear choice of bible software.

Bob Pritchett of Logos Bible Software has offered this helpful, public response:
We have many person years into the Macintosh port already. I think the reason that it does not yet match 'what you could put together in Project Builder in less than one hour' is that we aren't aiming for a pretty demo, we are aiming for a useful product. Our porting has been from the bottom up, and our first priority has been reading the eBooks, not designing the icons.

The software we showed at SBL reads more than 5,000 reference works we have already released on Windows. Without changes, without recompiles. While we want to have a great looking product, and plan to, we believe the real star of any Bible software release is the content...

The banner was made for the conference the week before; it even said "Spring 2006" right on it. The "It's Here" meant you could see it working right here, which you could. I'm sorry the demo wasn't prettier.
As to the vaporware charge, I think it's patently unfair. The pre-pub program is clearly explained, and more than 95% of pre-pubs actually make it to publication.

I agree with Bob and said as much that I think the side effect of the pre-pub program is unfortunate. But, my impression at the booth was in fact my impression, and I don't see why if you're going to demo something, why not take at least an hour to put together something that might make a positive impression? If the banner was to imply, "you could see it working right here," it seems a good strategy would be to have something working right there.

And one final bit of advice, as for "5,000 reference works we have already released... we believe the real star of any Bible software release is the content," I suggest taking a harder look at the high priority placed on User Interface standards we expect to see on our beloved Macs. Some 80 to 90% of the works in every bible software package is out-of-date crap fluff, so don't try and impress me with numbers. We want content we should be using, not just what we can get our hands on or what is cheap, and we want it in a beautiful, intuitive interface.

November 27, 2005

On the SBL Bloggers Discussion

Prior to SBL, I said in a post, that it's fine (and probably necessary) to ask the academic question of what is a biblioblog, "but in the end it doesn't prove entirely helpful." Wow, I mean it all the more now.

It was clear from the discussion at the CARG section that no sole mission of a Biblioblog need ever rise to the top. One panelist pleaded for folks to post only field-related material. Another got up and said he didn't know why he was there since he almost never posts field-related material.

As a linguist interested in the way a term is being used, as opposed to concerns for prescriptively classifying a group, I'd simply point out the two ways the term is being used. A biblioblog(er) as

  1. a blog that focuses a fair amount of time to issues related to the scholarly study of the bible, and/or
  2. a bible scholar who has a blog
I think the combining these two notions has contributed to confusion and even ill-will. The funny thing is, I don't think much debate is happening around dissecting this notion of "scholar(ly)" that distinguishes from "Godblogs".
The two main concerns have centered around the amount of personal, non-field related material and the clublike nature of "the group" that excludes others such as women. The first concern does come out of a misguided need to define a group, but it also includes a plea, really. There are some blogs I'd like to read, but it's just too muddled with other topics for me to invest the time to include it on my feed. For instance, I took AKMA off my feed list earlier this year. His children sound really great, but I have two of my own kids and it's hard enough for me to keep up with them.

The second concern came in the form of accusations of exclusivity. This seems to focus entirely on the person behind the weblog, and the desire to be accepted (or noting the exclusion) by the network of these peers. In the inaugural post of the Macintosh Biblioblog I asked,

Does the format necessarily emphasize the personality of the provider? Does the messenger become as important as the message? And, is that really a bad thing?
I'm starting to think yes. I think the use of the term 'biblioblog' is a common denominator, a convenience. We can always contrive otherwise. Have a look at It is a directory of bible scholar related blogs, but listen to the self-description:
...this site functions as a place which ties together biblioblogs in a single definitive list. A bibliobog, in short, is a weblog that focuses on biblical studies and similar studies. The column on the right displays a list of all the blogs (it's in progress) that we consider to qualify as biblioblogs and are worth persuing.
A single "definitive" list? A list of "all" the blogs that "qualify" and that are "worth" perusing? Well, if I were to judge this web resource in the context of this discussion, it's editors come out looking like tyrranical monsters interested in subverting all things not them. But you know what? They were just trying to be helpful. They didn't mean "definitive" as much as they meant "comprehensive". And by "worth perusing", I suspect what they meant were some combination of blogs kept by major bible scholars and/or or well-established blogs done by bible scholars and/or blogs that focus primarily on some aspect of biblical studies. In other words, a list of blogs that are most likely to be of interest to those interested in Biblical Studies.
And guess what? My blog isn't on their "definitive" list. Why not? I've no idea. It is probably for no real reason, but who knows and who cares? But I bet if I asked them to, they'd put it on the list.

What bothers me about the exclusivity debate at the CARG session and the ensuing conversation has been the tone. If one has a concern while at the CARG session, participate in the session and share the concern. But instead of throwing accusations at the CARG panelists, how about beginning the conversation by recognizing their attempts to get a woman blogger panelist. And instead of coming at this as colleagues, we throw mud at a panelist for using a 3rd person pronoun, with no graces offered for him speaking in a non-native tongue? And I see Tim has made a comment in reply to Jim comparing the naming of a Biblioblogger to the naming of Klansmen. Why are people being so nasty?

In a less incidiary moment, Tim of SansBlog is right on when he points out that, "by naming we create a group, by discussing who is in (and therefore by implication who is out!) we create exclusivity." So, I again conclude that it's a non-discussion, defining what qualifies as a Biblioblog, or more importantly, who qualifies as a Biblioglogger. But that doesn't mean that we need to make sure we never use a term as a common denominator for the sake of convenience. For Tim has also said, "Biblioblogger is simply a convenient name for a bunch of bloggers who read each other's stuff and comment on it!" He went on to warn not to make it a club hard to get into, and that warning stands. I loved Stephen's comment at the CARG meeting regarding the selective process of who becomes aware of which bloggers: If you link to my blog, I will check out yours. Weblogs were at their inception and continue as a network of connections made by linking into the network.

I think Mark's closing reflections serve as good advice. Blog what you want to blog, and read the blogs you want to read.
And I would add, any academic discussion of web resources should focus on the substance of the resources themselves, and not the person behind the resource. A valid "categorizing" or "limiting" or even "excluding" discussion in an SBL section might focus on the substantive contribution made to or with biblical scholarship. In contrast, a valid discussion about the people behind web resources could be something like surveying, "What are the kinds of things bible scholars are doing with their scholarship on the web?" and/or "How are scholars choosing to contribute to the field through their web resources/logs?"

November 21, 2005

SBL (Sunday) - Revenge of the Totes!!!

I hadn't planned on posting about my experiences each day here at SBL (the professional bible academy conference), but it seems to be working out that way.

I started the day at breakfast with Disciples of Christ scholars and then went straight to the CARG Biblioblog session. I don't feel a need to discuss that at iength, knowing that others will take up that task. But I will say that what was clear was that we have different folks with very; different motives/missions doing these blogs.

The papers I heard today have been unremarkable (no pun intended here, Stephen, regarding the Mark section).

Best so far would be the special session on the new Tel Zayit inscription. I saw Jim there, so am sure he'll cover the story. I'm waiting to luck into that session that wows me. It definitely did not happen when this afternoon i wandered into a random paper with my new friend Ken Olson, only to be met with the assertion: 'A necklace of foreskins is not the best situation.'

One over-arching reflection is that in the presentations I've attended, the presenters aren't taking the time in their arguments to explain to me why I should care. Scholars, tell me what's at stake.

And speaking of what's at stake--what power of the universe insists on me having a tote bag? I registered... they offered me a tote bag. I had my name badge reprinted today... they tried again. And just when I thought I had avoided the cult, I went to buy Stephen's book at Baylor and before I knew what was happening, they handed it to me in a-you guessed it-a tote bag. Give me a nice shoulder strap any day.

November 19, 2005

Here at SBL

Here at SBL (Saturday) Well I am here. I made it. I missed my 6 a.m. flight (who wouldnt?), so they put me on the next flight which was non-stop so I ended up landing in Philly earlier than I would have otherwise. As such, I was able to make the gathering of internet-active, email list types. The annual group photos were taken, & I learned about a listserv Ive never even heard of. Highlights so far have been: Overhearing great conversation over lunch. So often thats the case-no? Carolyn Osieks presidential address where she spoke of ancient texts, historical faith interpretation, modern historical method, and post modern methods as a rich network of interpretations. a productive conversation with my dissertation director. This is all I can muster for now. Writing a blog from my smart phone (Samsung i500) is not the easiest thing. Oh, and by the way, I did find a place to stay (on a golf course). Thanks for those who wrote me with concerns/ideas.

UPDATE: I'm here on the CARG Biblioblog session computer right now... rather surreal.

November 17, 2005

When researching at your desktop, don't forget the Drag-n-Drop

Whenever you find yourself doing this: highlight, copy, switch windows, click, paste, switch back, repeat...
Don't forget that often an easier workflow is to arrange your windows so that you can drag-n-drop text from one window to another. Rob of macosxhints fame has just posted an article at Macworld that surveys all kinds of great inter-application goodness you can accomplish by with drag-n-drop and a chunk of text.

One behavior he explores is to drag-n-drop text onto different applications in the dock. Start trying it out and see what happens.

November 12, 2005

Looking forward to SBL (If I can find a place to stay)

I have decided to change my mind at the last minute and make it to SBL. (Anybody know anyone who needs a roommate?)

It seems some of our established bibliobloggers and the topic of biblioblogging in general will play a prominent roll, particularly in the CARG session. Mark Goodacre sets up panel discussion of the session with a list of good quesions.

A couple comments on them:
Question #1 is a tough one. It's great to explore the phenomenon of "just what is a biblioblog," but in the end it doesn't prove entirely helpful. Some biblioblogs really aren't (perhaps mine), but they are depending upon one's point of view. (Was The Macintosh Biblioblog the first biblioblog to use the name biblioblog?)

As for Question #2, I would just note that, not surprisingly, there is a disproportionate number of PhD students counted. (Present company included.)

As for Question #3 and #4, I maintain The Mac Biblioblog because it's something that I can contribute. The emails I get are mostly from professors and ministers who often learn quite a bit about tools for practicing their vocation. I have been a (adjunct) professor and have been a church pastor for over a decade, so I have some insight into both perspectives.

As for #6, I for now resist blogging on topics that are off topic. I consider from time to time other solutions, such as Category RSS feeds.

As for #7, #8, and #9, I think the definition for #1 has something to do with the interrelatedness among bibliobloggers and a vocational field. However, I think we have already long passed the state where "everyone" can (or should even want to) keep up with "everyone". I have a dual-purpose blog... I read a horde of technological blogs along with a sampling of biblioblogs. Quite some time ago, I reduced my blog feeds to those of greatest interest and help to me. (I would note that blogs with a large amount of personal blogging were the first to hit the trash can.)
I do think that an increase in team blogs is a good thing. They can offer much, they emphasize the connection among scholars, and they do best at staying on topic.
Wouldn't it be great to see a Historical Jesus blog by 3 scholars who represent different schools? I call for a Synoptic Problem team blog by Eric Eve, Leonard Maluf, and [insert 3rd name here]. (Well, you get the idea.)

My 2¢.

November 10, 2005

Free Open Source Word Processors Compared

NewsForge has done a comparison of Open Office Writer, AbiWord, and KWord, the three primary Open Source word processor alternatives for OS X. (KWord only runs in X11 mode and only after great headaches, so not so much worth it.)

The alternatives to Micro$oft Word keep getting better.

November 07, 2005

National Geographic Channel: Science of the Bible

The schedule for new episodes of National Geographic Channel's Science of the Bible has been released. Dr. Carolyn Osiek is consultant/participant in the following:

The Last Supper11/2
Jesus' Arrest11/16
Jesus' Tomb11/23
Mary Magdalene12/21
The First Christians12/7
I often find it difficult to accept the sensationalism in these TV programs, but I suppose in general I have to be glad that there's some good stuff in there.

October 31, 2005

Stop using Internet Explorer, Please

In case any Mac users out there haven't received word, Internet Explorer is an abandoned piece of software, and is insufficient in too many ways to count. It's broke and it ain't never gonna get fixed. That clear enough? And still, every day my stat log shows at least one Mac OSX user on IE. Allow me to illustrate the latest in craptitude: Internet Explorer for Mac has a default Home page that loads Well, recent code changes that Microsoft made to that page now crash IE for Mac with the spinning ball of death. So, if you haven't already changed the default behavior of IE, simply launching IE will cause it now to crash as it attempts to load the MSN homepage. As another put it:

"Congratulations Microsoft for reaching a new level of cluelessness I've never seen before. Way to go."

Does this not just illustrate the hilarity of Micro$oft's lameness?
Safari really is a great browser. And if you haven't yet tried Firefox, you really should.

Update: It really is even sadder that it took Microsoft so many days to fix whatever was crashing its own browser. Many have emailed me about the necessity of keeping IE around for web sites that demand you use it. Just for your information, you can get aroudn this in most instances by telling Firefox or Safari to identify itself as IE 5.0. To do this in Safari, you need to enable the Debug menu. Quit Safari and open Terminal and enter the command:

% defaults write IncludeDebugMenu 1
Update:When pasting this command in the terminal, don't include the prompt symbol &. Just enter "defaults write IncludeDebugMenu 1".
Then in the Debug menu, switch to IE 5.22 when you're at the page requiring IE. To later remove the Degub menu, use the same command but change the 1 to a 0.

Text & Audio bible coming soon to an iPod near you

Many of my Mac-using-blogmates spend a great deal of time discussing digital music, iPods and the like. I don't. It's not because I don't find it all supremely cool. I'd love to have an iPod. Truth is... who the heck has time to listen to music?

Still, perhaps I'll splurge on a nano this winter.

However, I do think it's worth mentioning here that a new bible product for iPod is due out in February. You can follow along the text of the TNIV as you listen to the audio. It's a good concept, I think.

October 29, 2005

FinderPop is back

I am very excited about the news that FinderPop is finally being rewritten to work on OS X. When OS X arrived, Turly abandoned FinderPop, the sensational contextual menu tool. With it, you can put aliases to apps, files and folders into your contextual menus--plus much more. It's about to come out of beta.

October 23, 2005

Accordance on a Sony PSP

Oh well uh, you might think I'm crazy, but...

As some of you know, Accordance Bible Software runs beautifully on Mac OS X. But, it also runs all the way back on system 7. The reason they do this is that in this way Accordance also runs on Windoze boxes using the Basilisk emulator which emulates system 7.
If you ask any Mac software developer about an OS X app that is also still supported on system 7, they'll laugh in your face. That's just how impressive it is that they do this.

Well, a gear head has been tweaking basilisk II to run on his Sony PSP. He has it running at least. Could this mean the eventual possibility of toting Accordance around on a Sony PSP? Could this mean I'd have a reason to buy a PSP using my professional expense account?
How cool it would be. (Yes, the image is a mock-up. You could tell by the fact that it is an aqua screen shot, not a classic one. I currently have too many open processes to justify rebooting into Classic just to grab a screen capture.)

October 17, 2005

Interview with Microsoft software alternatives guru

Tony Bove wrote a book about avoiding Microsoft in your computer world. I'm not a huge anti-Micro$soft advocate (only a little one), but in this interview he talks a good bit about finding alternatives to Microsoft products. It is quite informative.

What I'm looking for is the book/interview regarding how to avoid ever shopping at WalMart.

October 04, 2005

OpenOffice Mac team is rewriting in Cocoa

We seem to continue the ongoing conversation about the major word processor options available. This announcement is exciting news, particularly if you've tried Neo/J OpenOffice and found the interface lacking.
The OpenOffice Mac team has just announce at the OpenOffice conference that they are going to stop the java development route and begin a full-fledged, up-to-date port of OpenOffice into aqua-OSX-native Cocoa.

This is outstanding news.

October 03, 2005

Top 25 NT scholars

Thanks to Michael Bird for stimulating this discussion of his list of top 25 NT scholars. It's like sticking one's neck out... along with a few "amens," it's bound to invite critique. So, for the bravery... kudos.

So, here's my complaints. :)
Actually, no complaints, though I resonate with Mark Goodacre's points. How G. Theissen does not make it onto such a list is beyond me. (I guess in order to make room for Origen and Bruce.) As for period parameters, I would at least take a cue from Bill Baird and make a cut-off starting date somewhere around the Reformation at the earliest. Not only does that represent the beginning of a newer type of NT scholarship, it also corresponds with the newer textual medium, the printed text, that facilitates this type of study.
However, my genuine suggestion is that in order to make a more meaningful list, the start date should be something like "Post-Westcott-Hort," for obvious reasons. After all, the vast majority of the current listees fit this era anyhow, and it allows the comparison of apples to apples.

A side reflection... I wonder if in years to come, NT scholarship will be divided into "pre-computer-assisted" and "computer-assisted" scholarship.

September 18, 2005

The Myth of Limited Software Choice for the Mac�

Rick has a great post on the tremendous availability of word processors . Thanks for the interesting entry, Rick. I counted 13 wp's and text editors omm (=on my machine). Of course, several of those are text editors catering to programming. This count doesn't include Unix apps such as emac and vi, etc.

August 30, 2005

ThinkFree Office adds Hebrew support

Exciting news on the Hebrew-supported word processing front. ThinkFree Office has released a new version and they have added right-to-left language support. The small price tag and the non-proprietary formats it uses make it well worth trying out the 30-day free trial if you are currently considering your word processing solution. ThinkFree Office

So, if you're keeping track... to use Unicode Hebrew on your Mac, Micro$oft Word is OUT. Mellel, ThinkFree Office, NeoOffice/J Open Office, and Apple's Pages are IN.

August 21, 2005

OpenOffice-NeoOffice/J full article available

Well, it's good to be back. After weeks of travelling from Dallas to Houston to Oklahoma City to Portland to Atlanta, my family has ended up in our new home in Kansas City. I started last week as a pastor of a 127 year old congregation, and have just gained some sense of normalcy regarding my online activities.

After catching up on my blogroll, I wanted to pass on to folks a great article explaining how OpenOffice might be a solution for you in your scholarly work, particularly if you need to work with Right-to-Left Hebrew. If you find yourself to be "open curious", definitely give the article from MacDevCenter a read.

July 19, 2005

Google Maps and Bible sites

I recently discussed with others whether bible software companies should consider opening up their API's to allow for 3rd party innovation. Quite frankly, the first one that does will quickly overtake the landscape, in a way similar to how Google Maps has gone from nothing to THE tool to use in such short time.

Look at this mashup of a Google map utility that displays satellite images of Jesus cities and provides scripture links. The example is very elementary but it demonstrates how one could create a map for an entire range of pedagogical and church uses. Some tips on how to get started can be found there.

It illustrates the tension between web applications and traditional computer apps. For example, Accordance has a nice Atlas module... unequalled in any other bible software on any platfom, however, I can't create in it a map where sites are linked to specific scripture texts I assign. It's simply not an option, and there's no way for me to customize it to do so. One can't even do pushpins, I don't think. We can't predict the uses folks might come up with, and if the Open Source model has taught us anything, is that innovation catches on fire in such an open API environment.

Still, I notice that the Accordance Map module is on sale right now... I'd grab it if you don't have it. And perhaps more customizing options will be coming in the future.

July 18, 2005

Reliance upon consensus

The recent discussions regarding the notion of scholarly consensus are helpful, I think. (See Mark's post for a catalog of some of them.)

I'd like to make two points:
1. We depend on consensus. And by we, I mean me. To an even greater extent, church pastors and just-beginning-junior-schoars, of which I am both, depend on the summary assertions of scholarly consensus in order to build upon understanding. Bible scholarship is a big picture that gets painted, a story that gets told, and it is only through reliance upon consensus that we can create and shape the story, so that we can in time expore different facets, consider the nuance, and decide for our own.

In my Intro NT course in seminary, I was told about 2SH, and then (is "minority" the right word here?) assertions were mentioned. When I took my first course in Synoptics, I studied the issue in depth. I marked my Synopsis. I read the material. I began to formulate my own opinions, opinions that have even begun to change (grow?) in the last few years. This is the way it should has to be.

Frankly, we can not decide for our own on every issue within Biblical scholarship--not even the most senior scholars can do that. One simply does not move from extensive study to the necessary intensive study of every single topic. We depend upon others' dating of material, generic conclusions, authorial speculations, etc. This is why we must be careful in these discussions to not suggest scholars, commentary writers, etc. should not appeal to consensus.

In the absence of it, we are empowerd to say nothing.

2. Having said that, a real downside is that the senior scholar is innately resistant to being convinced by an argument that overturns a consensus assertion when it would seem to render her/his past publications that assume that opinion outdated and hardly worth reading anymore. (The exception might be, of course, if the challenge to consensus is the work of their own scholarship.)

July 16, 2005

New Discoveries -- Approach with Caution

AP runs a story today about 2 Biblical Scroll Fragments Found in Israel, in the Judean desert around the dead sea, presumably from the Bar Kochba revolt period. I find it interesting, and actually quite appropriate, that it was only 143 words into the article before we find the word "forgery(ies)".

It is a sign of the times, and a good one, I think--that skepticism has regained its proper place.
If experts end up telling me the fragments of Leviticus are genuine, that will be swell. I don't doubt it will be the case. Still, one ossuary and two gospels later, I think we should approach with caution.

July 15, 2005

Anunciación un Nuevo Biblioblog

The Macintosh Biblioblog has a rather small niche, I think, and I leave the larger, wider (and important) issues to the broader bibliogloggers, including announcing new blogs. However, noone has mentioned so I would like to draw attentnion to "Mi Convivencia Teológica" (My theological coexistence), David Ford's blog. David is an intelligent man... despite the fact that he passed me in a recent exam, this is evidenced by his smart customizations on his template, his use of unicode in his posts, his breadth of topics he's blogged on so far, and his recent move to local hosting (off of blogspot).

I have suggested to David that his blog is incredibly valuable. As a NT professor in Peru, Ecuador, Columbia he is poised to make us aware of the state of biblical studies in the academic and ecclesiological context from Latin American where some of the most invigorating theological discourse is taking place.

I have about run out of options for finding money/roomate/logistics to go to SBL this year in Philly, so won't be at the much-talked-about session on biblioblogs, however, I think that one would do well to mention this as exactly one of the core benefits of this medium of the blogosphere. Scholars are able to stay abreast of a current and dynamic digest of an aspect and perspective of biblical studies otherwise overlooked. I think of many of my feed links a CNN-Headline news on one particular area of interest.

July 14, 2005

Puedo leer a español

At least so says my Theological Spanish examiner, David Ford. After 48 hours of translating (much more difficult than the cursory "reader comprehension questions" I have to say), I relented and by the grace of God and the luck of the Irish (which is odd since I'm Norwegian), I passed my Theological Spanish reading exam. Muchos Gracias, mi profesor, Prof. Ford. Si usted no conoce David, blogeré sobre él pronto.

Again thanks to those who offered help, and who also offered general encouragement on going agains the grain. Some offered well-centered concern on why I pursued Spanish (presumably instead of French). True, we know so much more is written pertinent to our research in French, but then again, it is circular argumentation. How will we really engage the scholarship of Latin America until more of us are able to draw upon it fluently?

My program is pleased we were able to make these arrangements. And now I have one more thing in my record to demonstrate that all-important "progress in the program". I still have much work to do, pero hoy, soy muy feliz.

doo doo doo doo doo doo doo We did it... Hooray!

Lo hicimos.
(Yes, I have a 3 year old daughter and learned some of my Spanish from Dora.)

July 13, 2005

Trying Out Bookends

I'm doing some bib work right now, and have decided to give Bookends a try before upgrading my Endnote. We'll see if it satisfies. Right now I'm using the ever-helpful connection to other libraries, Amazon, Library of Congress, etc. feature to easy entry of info.

One real absence I see so far is the ability to add info to bib entries you already have in the software. For instance, connecting to an academic library pulls the best and largest amount of bib info into the entry. It's not ideal, since you still have to do alot of manual input. For instance, and editor of a compiled volume is invariably listed in the author category. But, libraries of course don't have the nifty cover jacket picture that Amazon does, so, I'd like to do a second search at Amazon and add select information, namely, the picture. I can't see a way to do this.
I don't suppose this qualifies as submitting a feature request, since Jon from Sonny Software made a comment on the Mac Biblioblog a few months ago that he doesn't read this blog.

I do wish I could use Delicious Library or Booxter to enter books, as I discussed here, but let's face it... the books I'm using don't have bar codes to scan. They're either too old or don't have the dust jacket still.

And on the subject of bib entry:
Is it possible to start a campaign to put the year published on the title page? The title page has everything else In need to look at when doing bib work, and it seems to me that eliminating the need to turn the page would increase my productivity by 50% (though too often I do also go looking for the LCN.

July 12, 2005

Automating tasks (such as indexing) in your WP

Danny at started a discussion about creating a scripture index. As a Reasearch Assistant for a rather prolific book-publishing scholar, I was responsible for the scripture index for a handful of texts (such as Boring, Berger, Colpe, The Hellenistic Commentary of the New Testament). Since we were consistent in reference form through the book, it became more and more refined of a process. A search would find simple verse references such as "v." and "vv." and then those are given full form citations like "John 1:2". I had little routines written for each step and then in the end it would all just run and Voila!
I mostly accomplished it with VBA in Word. It's been a couple years, and it'd take a long time to dig the code up again and try and get it ready for anyone to use it.

Through my dealings with getting books in order for the publisher, I was always astounded by how "behind the times" they were. They couldn't open this format. Or, they wouldn't know what a macro was if it jumped up and bit them. I know of entire bible software modules prepared by staff who don't even know perl!! I can't imagine paying someone to do text preparation who can't use the most standard text manipulation tool. It confounds me, really.

This is the reason that I can not use Mellel, and that Word is still the superior WP for real work. The lack of a script or macro facility is simply non-overlook-able/inexcuseable. I'll stop making up words now.

June 21, 2005

Spanish as PhD Language Requirement -- Help is on the way

My doctoral progess is being held up in the absence of a scholar who can test my Spanish competency. In light of recent blog discussions regarding language requirements, I thought I'd share my lament, and offer my plea to the biblioblogsphere. Is there no other Spanish-reading scholar here of whom I may inquire?

Two years ago, like a good traditional NT PhD student, I spent a summer in Germany and then returned home to take a translation exam to satisfy a requirement of my doctoral program, a standard program requiring two modern languages. The two languages have historically always been German and French, but because of my context, my interests, and encouragement from other scholars, I decided to prepare to make use of Spanish scholarship in my work. While my doctoral program approved of the decision, they have no means to satisfy the requirement, mostly because the GSFLT went defunct. My school offers a mini French and German program, but nothing in Spanish.
We have contacted three Spanish-reading scholars, and none have been able to assist. For several months now, I have been in limbo until we can figure out a solution. I can't submit my dissertation proposal until I get this taken care of. Hence, my plea for help.

Can anyone among my small but distinguished readership recommend a Spanish-reading biblical scholar that could be such a reader? The process need not be time intensive: send a Spanish Biblical Studies article... I translate... you read and say "yea" or "nay"... repeat as needed. :) My directer is very open to any qualified scholar using whatever means they wish to simply say, "Yes, Joe can make use of an article written in Spanish to contribute to his scholarship." We'll pay!

Update: The biblioblog community has been extremely responsive and helpful regarding my plea. I just want to say thank you, and that this represents some of the best of what an online community is. A few very able folks contacted me directly, as well as some in the comments for this post. But more so, colleagues contacted me to brainstorm ways in which "we" might solve this problem together--offers to make referrals, etc.
David Ford told me that he would love the opportunity to fail me, so it looks like we'll make arrangements for it soon. I'll let you know how it goes.

June 17, 2005

Review of Biblical Literature Newsletter

ee gads... I've just received my 3rd email edition of the Review of Biblical Literature Newsletter, June 17th, 2005. Somebody shut it off... Shut it off!. I wonder how many more we'll receive.

If you don't receive these weekly emails, you might want to consider it. From the RBL website:

If you are not a member and would like to receive the RBL weekly email newsletter (FREE!), send an email to with "SUBSCRIBE TO RBL" in the subject line.
If you frequent Mark Goodacre's blog, you've observed his personal obsession with strong dedication towards posting the review notices in web form.

June 07, 2005

Apple is 'Switching'

Apple and Intel

Apple announced today that beginning in 2006, new Apple computers will run not on IBM's Power PC chip, but on Intel's chip. The transition is brought about by IBM's failure to deliver higher speeds (the 3gig G5) and more importantly Intel's development plans that produce more productivity with lower power wattage usage--think powerbook. They actually confirmed that Marklar exists-from the beginning, OS X has been written to compile on both PPC and Intel all along.
Mac running on Intel Really, this means very little to you, typical bible scholars and pastors. It does mean that Macs will get faster quicker and/or possibly less expensive. Newer version of applications will be able to run natively on both older PPC computers or Intel machines. But still, your "old" OS X apps will run on the newer processors via a tranparent translator (which they've named "Rosetta"!) without any performance or speed issues. It will be the end of 2007 before Apple before the entire Macintosh computer line runs on an Intel Pentium processor. It means that apps that currently run only in Classic mode might be left behind (until someone writes a new emulation).

For others, especially developers, it means more. It most likely means the death of PPC Linux. Don't get crazy with the speculation, as does the oft-pleasantly-inciting Ken Ristau. This does not mean that Mac apps will be running on Windows, or vice versa. The applications run off of the OS kernel and API calls, not the chip alone. It will not be possible to run OS X on a generic Intel box, nor Windows on a Mac Intel machine. The combination of custom asic, Apple's nonstandard, nondocumented chipset, and most likely some form of DRM will allow Apple to maintain its control. Speculation is that it might be slightly more possible that the hackers will be able to get Windows running on a Mac Intel box.
It does mean that older applications which fall in the 25% of Mac apps that are currently coded other than in Xcode (Ac*cough*cough*cordance*cough*) will have to do some extra work to transition towards the new Universal Binary. But not immediately. For the next few years, they'll simply still just run.
All in all, it is an exciting day for Mac users.

Followup: I think it's worth repeating quotes from a C-Net interview being discussed in the comments to this post.

Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller addressed the issue of running Windows on Macs, saying there are no plans to sell or support Windows on an Intel-based Mac. "That doesn't preclude someone from running it on a Mac. They probably will," he said. "We won't do anything to preclude that." However, Schiller said the company does not plan to let people run Mac OS X on other computer makers' hardware. "We will not allow running Mac OS X on anything other than an Apple Mac," he said.
Microsoft won't be making Longhorn so that it can't run on a "Macintel" computer, but you better believe Apple will be doing everything they can to prevent hacks allowing a beige box bootup of OS X.

May 20, 2005

Criteria for Analyzing Author's Style

Here's an example of style analyses I do when comparing portions of the New Testament. I maintain sets of grammatical/syntactical structures to search for on each section of text and then compare the results. Some of the searches are mere tallies of tenses, person, moods, cases, etc. Things like:

V1 [VERB present]
V2 [VERB future]
V3 [VERB imperfect]
Note that these are in Accordance format. Other searches are structural in nature, such as
I11 [VERB infinitive] <NOT> <PRECEDED BY> [ARTICLE]
I12 ([ARTICLE] [VERB infinitive]) <OR> ([ARTICLE] [Particle] [VERB infinitive])
I run the searches for each set of texts (and by "I run the searches", I mean that I write an Applescript to do all the tedious work for me) and then put the results into a table. As an example, here is a taste of the results from an unpublished paper I have that compares the speeches in Acts.
In addition to collecting data for Paul's speeches, Peter's speeches and a sample of narrative in Acts, data was compiled for the whole of Acts, Luke, 1 Maccabbees and 2 Maccabbees, all for the sake of comparison. I toy around with what correlation coefficient to use, but the purposes is then to compare how similar and different sections of text are. Here are the results from the Acts paper:
One of the grand observations of the paper is that Paul's speeches and Peter's speeches are more similar to each other than they are to any other sampling of text. A perfect correlation is one that approaches 1.0 (positive or negative), and the .92 correlation between Paul and Peter is greater than either's correlation with the narrative in Acts (.89 & .88).
In addition, I look at the results for each criteria and consider any anomalies that fall outside of one standard deviation and are not so small of a sample to be statistically or practically insignificant. The ones I think are worth mention in the manuscript are easily put into charts, of course.

Some stylistic differences so clearly affirm what are expected features of different forms. The speeches have a higher number of Vocative uses; the narrative material has a higher percentage of continuative conjunctions.

But other anomalies are understood only in the context of the subject matter. Look at V29 and V30 which are [VERB first] and [VERB first singular]. Paul's speeches clearly stand out. The contain much first person, as often with the inclusive, community building "we". See how the fun stuff really begins once you've compiled the data and looked at it?
In my current work, I'm doing these types of analysis on text portions that have significance in Synoptic Problem issues (ie. Luke's Q, Matthew's Q, Mark, Reconstructed Mark, etc.).
Having layed out a sketch of the methodology, I'd like to hear suggestions for grammatical and syntactical searches to add to the list of criteria, ones that represent more features of the style of a text that are worth considering when compiling data. Here's the full list I work with right now:
I=Infinitive and Participles
C=Clauses and Phrases
O=Particles and Other
(Vicinity searches (And/OR) reflect those within same clause.)

V1 [VERB present]
V2 [VERB future]
V3 [VERB imperfect]
V4 [VERB aorist]
V5 [VERB perfect]
V6 [VERB pluperfect]
V7 [VERB optative]
V8 [VERB imperative]
V9 [VERB second imperative]
V10 [VERB third imperative]
V11 [VERB aorist imperative]
V12 [VERB subjunctive]
V13 [VERB second subjunctive]
V14 [VERB subjunctive] <NOT> ean
V15 [VERB middle]
V16 [VERB present middle]
V17 [VERB future middle]
V18 [VERB imperfect middle]
V19 [VERB aorist middle]
V20 [VERB perfect middle]
V21 [VERB pluperfect middle]
V22 [VERB passive]
V23 [VERB present passive]
V24 [VERB future passive]
V25 [VERB imperfect passive]
V26 [VERB aorist passive]
V27 [VERB perfect passive]
V28 [VERB pluperfect passive]
V29 [VERB first]
V30 [VERB first singular]
V31 [VERB first plural]
V32 [VERB first present]
V33 [VERB first future]
V34 [VERB first imperfect]
V35 [VERB first aorist]
V36 [VERB first perfect]
V37 [VERB first pluperfect]
V38 [VERB second]
V39 [VERB second singular]
V40 [VERB second plural]

I1 [VERB participle]
I2 [VERB future participle]
I3 [VERB aorist participle]
I4 [VERB present participle]
I5 [VERB perfect participle]
I6 [VERB passive participle]
I7 [VERB aorist passive participle]
I8 [VERB infinitive]
I9 [VERB future infinitive]
I11 [VERB infinitive] <NOT> <PRECEDED BY> [ARTICLE]
I12 ([ARTICLE] [VERB infinitive]) <OR> ([ARTICLE] [Particle] [VERB infinitive])
I13 [ARTICLE] [VERB participle]
I14 [VERB participle] [ARTICLE]
I15 [VERB participle] <NOT> <PRECEDED BY> [ARTICLE]
I16 eimi <FOLLOWED BY> <WITHIN 3 Words> [VERB participle nominative] <NOT> [ARTICLE nominative]
N1 [NOUN nominative]
N2 [NOUN genitive]
N3 [NOUN dative]
N4 [NOUN accusative]
N6 kai [NOUN]
N7 (kai [NOUN nominative]) <PRECEDED BY> <WITHIN 3 Words> [ARTICLE nominative]
N8 (kai [NOUN genitive]) <PRECEDED BY> <WITHIN 3 Words> [ARTICLE genitive]
N9 (kai [NOUN dative]) <PRECEDED BY> <WITHIN 3 Words> [ARTICLE dative]
N10 (kai [NOUN accusative]) <PRECEDED BY> <WITHIN 3 Words> [ARTICLE accusative]
N11 [NOUN vocative]
N12 [INTERJECTION] [NOUN vocative]
N13 [NOUN singular vocative]
N14 "*e"@[NOUN vocative]
N15 [NOUN vocative] [NOUN vocative]
N16 "andres"@[NOUN vocative]
N17 "andres adelfoi"
N18 "andres" [NOUN vocative]

P2 [PRONOUN correlative]
P3 [PRONOUN demonstrative adjectival]
P4 [PRONOUN demonstrative substantival]
P5 [PRONOUN indefinite]
P6 [PRONOUN interrogative]
P7 [PRONOUN possessive]
P8 [PRONOUN reflexive]
P9 [PRONOUN relative]
P10 [PRONOUN personal intensive]
P11 [PRONOUN personal]
P12 [PRONOUN personal first]
P13 [PRONOUN personal first singular]
P14 [PRONOUN personal first plural]
P15 [PRONOUN personal second]
P16 [PRONOUN personal second singular]
P17 [PRONOUN personal second plural]
P18 [PRONOUN personal third]
C1 ei <FOLLOWED BY> [VERB indicative]
C2 ei <FOLLOWED BY> [VERB optative]
C3 ean
C4 [PREPOSITION genitive]
C6 [PREPOSITION accusative]
C7 [PREPOSITION] (men, de, gar, oun)
C8 [PREPOSITION] <Within 2> [NOUN] (men,de,gar,oun)
C9 [VERB passive] <AND> upo
C10 [VERB passive] <NOT> upo
C11 en
C12 eis
C13 ek
C14 epi
C15 pros
C16 dia
C17 apo
C18 kata
C19 meta
C20 peri
C21 upo
C22 para
C23 uper
C24 sun
C25 pro
C26 anti
C27 ana
O1 de
O2 kai
O3 men
O4 te
O5 [CONJUNCTION continuative]
O6 [CONJUNCTION correlative]
O7 [CONJUNCTION disjunctive]
O8 [CONJUNCTION interrogative]
O9 [CONJUNCTION copulative]
O10 [CONJUNCTION inferential]
O11 [CONJUNCTION explanatory]
O12 [CONJUNCTION adversative]
O13 [CONJUNCTION causal]
O14 [CONJUNCTION conditional]
O15 [CONJUNCTION locational]
O16 [CONJUNCTION nominal]
O17 [CONJUNCTION comparative]
O18 [CONJUNCTION result]
O19 [CONJUNCTION concessive]
O20 [CONJUNCTION temporal]
O22 [PARTICLE alternating]
O23 [PARTICLE indefinite]
O24 [PARTICLE interrogative]
O25 [PARTICLE emphatic]
O26 [PARTICLE negative]
O27 [PARTICLE comparative]
O28 [PARTICLE subjective]
O29 [PARTICLE modal]
O30 "idou"

May 15, 2005

Special Key Symbols

This has been an increasingly popular reference page on the Macintosh Biblioblog. Lot's of folks come here looking for the Mac key symbol for the alt key or the option key or the control key or the open apple key, or other standard symbols for the Macintosh keyboard. Apparently it is a handy reference to have all the popular symbols for the special keys on the keyboard. Here they are more or less in order from left to right, including Unicode Hex code point references:

Escape U+238B
Tab forward U+21E5
Tab back U+21E4
Capslock U+21EA
Shift U+21E7
Control U+2303
Option (Alt, Alternative) U+2325
Apple symbol 1 U+F8FF
Command (Open Apple) 2 U+2318
Space U+2423

Return U+23CE
Delete back U+232B
Delete forward U+2326
﹖⃝ Help U+003F & U+20DD

Home U+21F1

End U+21F2
Pageup U+21DE
Pagedown U+21DF

Up arrow U+2191

Down arrow U+2193

Left arrow U+2190

Right arrow U+2192
Clear U+2327
Numberlock U+21ED
Enter U+2324
Eject U+23CF
Power 3 U+233D
For information on how to type or enter these symbols in your documents, have a look at Entering Unicode Text and Symbols.
1 The Apple symbol  is in the corporate private range and is only available in Mac fonts. It can be typed with Option+Shift+k ( ⌥⇧+k ).
2 For the history on the Apple key symbol/Command key symbol, have a look here.
3 Most fonts render this code point as IEC 5010 "line within a circle", , not , IEC 5009 "line partially within a broken circle" which is found on newest keyboards, though some fonts do.

(If any symbol isn't displaying correctly, Unicode font replacement is the culprit. Everything tests great in latest versions of Safari and Firefox.)

Last updated: 9/19/12

May 14, 2005

Feed Me

We are getting more and more ways to receive RSS/Atom feeds on our lovely Macs. Those with the lastest OS X 10.4 Tiger, the RSS Screen Saver seems to be a bit hit. Safari's ability to be fed is a nice addition as well. I still prefer a dedicated feed reader, such as NetNewswire. They just released version 2, you might want to have a look at it. A free Lite version is still available.
I subscribe to blogs, news services, dynamic feeds from google and technorati... I don't frequent any web resource anymore with any regularity. If it won't feed me, it is all but cut out of my diet.

Also, note the enhance feed for The Macintosh Biblioblog. If you haven't changed your feed, I'd encourage you to change over to the New RSS/Atom Feedburner Feed.

May 04, 2005

Unicode: Typing with Apple's Greek Polytonic Keyboard

I pulled the old material from my Unicode tutorial and the keyboard I had created when I heard Apple was including a Greek Polytonic Unicode keyboard with OS X 10.4. From the Tiger features page, it says,

More Languages and Scripts

Tiger includes... a new input mode for Korean and extended system fonts to support Greek (modern and classical)...
So, now the answer to the question is simple. Q: How do I type Greek using Unicode? A: Go to the International preferences pane, go to the "Input menu" tab and enable show input menu in the menu bar. Then scroll down the list and add a checkmark to "Greek Polytonic" keyboard. With that enabled, you can used the menu to go from your native language to Greek and back. Set up key combos to switch back and forth on the fly using the Keyboard preference panel.

Here is the key mapping for the extended Greek Polytonic keyboard:

Shift key down:

Option key down:

Shift + Option keys down:

It looks like the keys are mapped close to the Greek national keyboard, including:
acute ]}
grave '
diaresis :
circumflex [
iota subscript {
smooth aspirate '
rough aspirate "
smooth with acute /
rough with acute ?
smooth with grave =
rough with grave +
smooth with circumflex -
rough with circumflex _
question mark q
bicolon Q
terminal sigma w
acute with diaresis W
upsilon Y
theta U
omega v
xi j
phi f
chi x
You type the accent first, then the character and it combines into one character. Voila.

May 01, 2005

Macintosh Bible Software Survey

David Lang of the Christian Macintosh User Group (CMUG) has asked me to post the announcement for his now annual software review.

How do all of the [new developments, such as improvements to Accordance, MacSword, Bible Reader Free, and iLumina, as well as the announcements from QuickVerse and Logos to deliver Mac products] affect you, the Mac Bible Software user? How aware are you of the different products that are available? How well do they meet your needs? That's what this survey is designed to find out.
Find the survey here.

P.S. For the several of you who have asked, my followup reflection on the Logos announcement is still in the mill.

April 26, 2005

A Biblical Studies Wiki?

Mark Goodacre's blog entry on online glossaries for biblical studies raises an intriguing notion to me. When I think of the folks I read on B-Greek, Xtalk, Synoptic-L, other lists and Bibliobloggers as well, it makes me wonder about the possibility of a Bible Dictionary Wiki. What incredible potential really. Problem is, the push of users to suppress alternative viewpoints, would potentially make entries little more than a battleground of agendas. But, is something extra needed? Have a look at the Wikipedia entry for Synoptic Problem. I rather think it's quite good. However, having a look at the Biblical Criticism category shows a paltry 39 random entries. It makes me think that a new endeavour would be worthwhile. However, Wikis work in bulk. They work best as a consensus affirms new edits to a text, and in the absence of a critical mass to assess the wiki entries, who knows what would sometimes rise to the top. It would take some diligent person(s) also present to quickly erase graffiti or grossly errant editing--I have a person in mind.

April 12, 2005

Releasing the Tiger

Despite concerns raised by conservationists and animal rights activists led by an elusive group calling themselves "The Search for the Longhorn", a beloved fruit company in Cupertino, California has announced April 29, 2005 for the release of the Tiger.

That's right, Apple will soon ship its newest operating system Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger. Even though I know it'll be months before I can afford it, I'm still excited. I think several new features/technologies offer some real new potential for folks working in their academic office or their church office. Among the new features, I am most excited about:

  1. Applescript & Automator - The additions to Applescript are a nice showing. I'm quite pleased with the new XML Suite, and also the Applescript Utility which will make it easier for me to help others get involved with using scripts. Automator is Apple's new macro functionality complete with a user interface. It seems to have taken some cues from Quickeys, and improved upon the drag-drop sequencer concept. I'm anxious to see the inter-application limitations (can it read selected text only from "Services"-implemented applications, etc.? And I'm still fuzzy on the relationsip between the two... will there be an Applescript sequence you can drag into an Automator workflow (like you find in Quickeys)?
  2. Spotlight - The new smart-searching capabilites for this searching feature is highly anticipated. Having what you need at your fingertips is a tremendous gift.
  3. Dashboard - It's an extension to Exposé that puts little mini applications or other content up on the top layer of the screen. I'll have to pony up on my javascript, but I think there is some real potential for widgets ready-to-hand (with apologies to Wittgenstein) of great value to bible scholars and pastors. At some point, I'd like to facilitate some brainstorming regarding this potential.
Update: Apple has a semi-exhaustive list of the over 200 new features/enhancements in Tiger. Have a look at it here.

April 11, 2005

Open Access Journals

Several in Biblioblogdom continue discussions regarding the free availability of journals online (Cf. Stephen Carlson's post and his links). An article on Open Access Journals came out today in Wired News, which is I think a good indicator of the times. The article raises a question I've not seen addressed yet, namely, the potential conflicts of interest created when revenue structures change. If this is an area of interest for you, I recommend the brief article from Wired.

April 05, 2005

Spring Sale on Accordance CD's

Update: Accordance just added a nifty "Bible Bonus Bundle". For just $88, you get unlock codes for four bible translations chosen from among the translations they offer at $30 or less. This is a sweet deal, but it says for limited time. Accordance is having a Spring sale on a handful of CD's. The sale includes their entry packages, and the Atlas and the Biblical World in Pictures. If you've not seen either of those, boy oh boy. Look at their News page for details.

April 02, 2005

The Apostle Paul Hoax

It is a long-standing tradition to not trust any news you see breaking online on April 1. I am not a big prankster, and yesterday's post about a false inscription might have been the first April First joke I've ever done. I found a few things interesting:

  1. My circulation on that day was double my average daily circulation. The "came from" referrants were mostly "No referring link", which could mean they came to the site through a bookmark, an email, a feed aggregator on their computer, etc. I would guess the latter.
  2. Is it any wonder then, where the temptation comes from to perpetrate such archeological fraud in our field. If my little experiment was any indicator, the immediateness of the interest it generated is something quite powerful.
  3. Despite this larger viewing, I received absolutely NO emails, contacts, or IM's about the joke. This is unusual even for mundane posts. There was no "Well done" or a "Nice nob on the image", nor any "You evil thing". The only exception was an IM telling me the newspaper link didn't work. She was not pleased later to discover the full nature of the artcile.
    What I take from this silence is that no one likes to fess up having been taken by the joke. There were no "Aw man, you got me." comments. Or, the disturbing possibility is that a portion of the audience read the blog article, thought it was interesting, stored it into their mind of little tidbits they know about the ancient world, and moved on. Yikes. That's the danger, I suppose, of choosing a topic that's not earth-shattering and well-done enough to be believable (unlike Jim West's prank).
But, I'm speaking here from the evidence of silence, so what do I know? I do know I enjoyed some of the other April 1 news releases in the Mac world. Many of them had fun with the i* line of products:
  • iTunes phone, a jammin' mobile phone
  • iCopulate, device for linking iPods
  • 2good, a free Windoze emulator that is too good to be true
    And my absolute favorite:
  • iNote, a preview of Apple's upcoming PDA--well done!

April 01, 2005

'Apostle Paul' Inscription Found in Miletus

Nikos Angelakis, a friend of mine teaching in Athens, emailed me yesterday about an English news brief from Greece. It includes two slides of new stone inscriptions found in Miletus, one of which it claims is a reference to the Apostle Paul.

The writings on the stones were discovered early this year, while repairing vandalism. The article goes on to say:

A small vandalism restoration project below the northwest
pillar of the Roman theater grew into a full excavation,
responding to a surprising team member discovery . An
inscription, found on the underside of a corner floor stone,
led the professor and his crew to expand the excavation.

Following the discovery, the team removed nine floor stones
out of the foundation, each with inscriptions taken from
over three earlier structures. An Ödemiş Museum team then
led the removal and preparation of the historically significant

They have already restored and documented three of the pieces, including the one which contains an apparent reference to the Paul of the New Testament. Prof. Zuryis added, "The reference to the Apostle Paul is not surprising. He sailed to Miletos returning from a journey where he met with church officials from neighboring cities including Ephesus. Perhaps an edifice was set to honor St. Paul at the occassion of the farewell speech which he gave in Miletos. The Roman stadium itself was not built until late second century..."
My question is how can a structure built in the second century have cannibalized an earlier structure that already had a reference to Paul? I don't have alot of experience reading inscriptions, but this stone is not difficult to make out. Can you have a dangling Alpha like that?

I've been to Miletus when I did the Turkey tourist thing, but honestly I can't even recall what the theater looked like. I think it was a rather tall structure, set into a hill. But then maybe that was an Odion. You can find out more about all this here. Happy April Fool's Day

March 31, 2005

Bible Software on the Mac

I've not to date dedicated an article to what bible software I use and recommend, I suppose mostly since I doubt any Macintosh Biblioblog reader doesn't already know. Accordance has been the lifeblood of my bible study for quite some time. Accordance Logo It has through the years maintained an innovative and incredibly powerful feature set and searching capability unparalled by anything available on any platform to date. The pairing with the Macintosh OS has of course been an added treat, but I hope y'all know that Accordance runs quite well on a PC with a simple emulation solution.

My mention of this was prompted by my thoughts on recent announcements regarding PC companies deciding to enter the Mac market. I was pleased to hear that Quickverse was introducing a Mac version of bible software. It gives creedence to the platform, and competition enhances tools in general. But ever since hearing that Logos has chimed in with a "me too" announcement regarding Mac software, my enthusiasm became more mixed with a sense of bother that I've yet to be able to articulate for myself. I've been trying to understand my reaction over the last couple days... I think I'll sleep on it one more night. In the meantime, I sure am enjoying hearing your comments.

Also, in the meantime, if for some bizzare reason you are unfamiliar with Accordance, have a look at their flash demos to get a feel for the thing.

March 25, 2005

Finding punctuation in bible text using BBEdit

I've recieved quite a few requests regarding how I used a text editor to create a concordance based upon find patterns in a text. The query:

How do I search for a punctuation mark, since my bible software cannot yet do this?
Here's an example that uses the best Mac text editor, hands down. (Watch the VIM and emacs guys shudder.) BBEdit 8.x is more than you can imagine if you've never seen it, but it is not cheap. I don't think their freeware version, the new TextWrangler, can do this. The process becomes easier and quicker when you write a script to do most of it, but even if you don't have BBEdit, a walk-through might prove helpful.

For this example, I've saved the NRSV New Testament as a text file, in a format where each paragraph is its own verse. Open up the file in BBEdit, then choose menu Search/Find... and then click the Multiple file drawer. If your file is not open, it won't be listed to put a check mark by it. You can instead choose the "Other..." button to navigate to the text file. Then, enter your search criteria (in this case, ?) and find all. Here's the results window:
BBEdit Search Result
Click into the top concordance-like pane, and do a Select All. Copy that. Open a new document, and paste the text. This is your working results.
Notice it has duplicate verse paragraphs, for it lists each verse the number of times that it contains your search criteria. Mat. 5:47 is listed twice because it contains two ?'s. You can eliminate this with a script in the script menu/Duplicate Removal/Kill Dups Reporting Removals. The result reduces from 991 (the number of times "?" occures in the NRSV NT) paragraphs to 831 (the number of verses that contain at least one "?").
Then, if it takes you two presses of a right arrow key to move through the body of the text, there are extra control characters in there. You can see them by enabling "Show Invisibles". Get rid of them by selecting "Zap Gremlins..." from the Text menu.

Finally, to remove the file path and line # info, Do a quick Find/Replace. Open the Find panel again, check the "Use Grep" check box, make sure the Replace field is empty, and enter this GREP search pattern in the Find Field: /Volumes/Archives/Texts/NRSV NT.txt:[0-9]+: (Note that you should replace the file path "/Volumes/Archives/Texts/NRSV NT.txt" with whatever path is showing up in your document, and that there should be two spaces at the end of that search critera.)

That's it; you've got it. Here is the full list of verses with the text included.
And finally, finally. If you only want verse references, do another GREP pattern Find/Replace, finding ([0-9]) [^0-9]+\r and replacing with \1;
Dare I post the results here in the blog? Oh, why not:

Matt. 2:2; Matt. 3:7; Matt. 3:14; Matt. 5:13; Matt. 5:46; Matt. 5:47; Matt. 6:25; Matt. 6:26; Matt. 6:27; Matt. 6:28; Matt. 6:30; Matt. 6:31; Matt. 7:3; Matt. 7:4; Matt. 7:9; Matt. 7:10; Matt. 7:16; Matt. 7:22; Matt. 8:26; Matt. 8:27; Matt. 8:29; Matt. 9:4; Matt. 9:5; Matt. 9:11; Matt. 9:14; Matt. 9:15; Matt. 9:28; Matt. 10:29; Matt. 11:3; Matt. 11:7; Matt. 11:8; Matt. 11:9; Matt. 11:16; Matt. 12:3; Matt. 12:5; Matt. 12:10; Matt. 12:11; Matt. 12:23; Matt. 12:26; Matt. 12:27; Matt. 12:29; Matt. 12:34; Matt. 12:48; Matt. 13:10; Matt. 13:27; Matt. 13:28; Matt. 13:51; Matt. 13:54; Matt. 13:55; Matt. 13:56; Matt. 14:31; Matt. 15:2; Matt. 15:3; Matt. 15:12; Matt. 15:16; Matt. 15:17; Matt. 15:33; Matt. 15:34; Matt. 16:8; Matt. 16:9; Matt. 16:10; Matt. 16:11; Matt. 16:13; Matt. 16:15; Matt. 16:26; Matt. 17:10; Matt. 17:17; Matt. 17:19; Matt. 17:24; Matt. 17:25; Matt. 18:1; Matt. 18:12; Matt. 18:21; Matt. 18:33; Matt. 19:3; Matt. 19:5; Matt. 19:7; Matt. 19:16; Matt. 19:17; Matt. 19:18; Matt. 19:20; Matt. 19:25; Matt. 19:27; Matt. 20:6; Matt. 20:13; Matt. 20:15; Matt. 20:21; Matt. 20:22; Matt. 20:32; Matt. 21:10; Matt. 21:16; Matt. 21:20; Matt. 21:23; Matt. 21:25; Matt. 21:28; Matt. 21:31; Matt. 21:40; Matt. 22:12; Matt. 22:17; Matt. 22:18; Matt. 22:20; Matt. 22:28; Matt. 22:32; Matt. 22:36; Matt. 22:42; Matt. 22:45; Matt. 23:17; Matt. 23:19; Matt. 23:33; Matt. 24:2; Matt. 24:3; Matt. 24:45; Matt. 25:26; Matt. 25:37; Matt. 25:38; Matt. 25:39; Matt. 25:44; Matt. 26:8; Matt. 26:10; Matt. 26:15; Matt. 26:17; Matt. 26:22; Matt. 26:25; Matt. 26:40; Matt. 26:45; Matt. 26:53; Matt. 26:54; Matt. 26:55; Matt. 26:62; Matt. 26:65; Matt. 26:66; Matt. 26:68; Matt. 27:4; Matt. 27:11; Matt. 27:13; Matt. 27:17; Matt. 27:21; Matt. 27:22; Matt. 27:23; Matt. 27:46; Mark 1:24; Mark 1:27; Mark 2:7; Mark 2:8; Mark 2:9; Mark 2:16; Mark 2:18; Mark 2:19; Mark 2:24; Mark 2:25; Mark 3:4; Mark 3:23; Mark 3:33; Mark 4:13; Mark 4:21; Mark 4:30; Mark 4:38; Mark 4:40; Mark 4:41; Mark 5:7; Mark 5:9; Mark 5:30; Mark 5:31; Mark 5:35; Mark 5:39; Mark 6:2; Mark 6:3; Mark 6:24; Mark 6:37; Mark 6:38; Mark 7:5; Mark 7:18; Mark 7:19; Mark 8:4; Mark 8:5; Mark 8:12; Mark 8:17; Mark 8:18; Mark 8:19; Mark 8:20; Mark 8:21; Mark 8:23; Mark 8:27; Mark 8:29; Mark 8:36; Mark 8:37; Mark 9:11; Mark 9:12; Mark 9:16; Mark 9:19; Mark 9:21; Mark 9:28; Mark 9:33; Mark 9:50; Mark 10:2; Mark 10:3; Mark 10:17; Mark 10:18; Mark 10:26; Mark 10:36; Mark 10:38; Mark 10:51; Mark 11:3; Mark 11:5; Mark 11:28; Mark 11:30; Mark 11:31; Mark 11:32; Mark 12:9; Mark 12:14; Mark 12:15; Mark 12:16; Mark 12:23; Mark 12:24; Mark 12:26; Mark 12:28; Mark 12:35; Mark 12:37; Mark 13:2; Mark 13:4; Mark 14:4; Mark 14:6; Mark 14:12; Mark 14:14; Mark 14:19; Mark 14:37; Mark 14:41; Mark 14:48; Mark 14:60; Mark 14:61; Mark 14:63; Mark 14:64; Mark 15:2; Mark 15:4; Mark 15:9; Mark 15:12; Mark 15:14; Mark 15:34; Mark 16:3; Luke 1:18; Luke 1:34; Luke 1:43; Luke 1:66; Luke 2:48; Luke 2:49; Luke 3:7; Luke 3:10; Luke 3:12; Luke 3:14; Luke 4:22; Luke 4:34; Luke 4:36; Luke 5:21; Luke 5:22; Luke 5:23; Luke 5:30; Luke 5:34; Luke 6:2; Luke 6:3; Luke 6:4; Luke 6:9; Luke 6:32; Luke 6:33; Luke 6:34; Luke 6:39; Luke 6:41; Luke 6:42; Luke 6:46; Luke 7:19; Luke 7:20; Luke 7:24; Luke 7:25; Luke 7:26; Luke 7:31; Luke 7:42; Luke 7:44; Luke 7:49; Luke 8:25; Luke 8:28; Luke 8:30; Luke 8:45; Luke 9:9; Luke 9:18; Luke 9:20; Luke 9:25; Luke 9:41; Luke 9:54; Luke 10:25; Luke 10:26; Luke 10:29; Luke 10:36; Luke 10:40; Luke 11:11; Luke 11:12; Luke 11:18; Luke 11:19; Luke 11:40; Luke 12:6; Luke 12:14; Luke 12:17; Luke 12:20; Luke 12:25; Luke 12:26; Luke 12:41; Luke 12:42; Luke 12:51; Luke 12:56; Luke 12:57; Luke 13:2; Luke 13:4; Luke 13:7; Luke 13:15; Luke 13:16; Luke 13:18; Luke 13:20; Luke 13:23; Luke 14:3; Luke 14:5; Luke 14:28; Luke 14:31; Luke 14:34; Luke 15:4; Luke 15:8; Luke 16:2; Luke 16:3; Luke 16:5; Luke 16:7; Luke 16:11; Luke 16:12; Luke 17:7; Luke 17:8; Luke 17:9; Luke 17:17; Luke 17:18; Luke 17:37; Luke 18:7; Luke 18:8; Luke 18:18; Luke 18:19; Luke 18:26; Luke 18:41; Luke 19:22; Luke 19:23; Luke 19:31; Luke 19:33; Luke 20:2; Luke 20:4; Luke 20:5; Luke 20:13; Luke 20:15; Luke 20:22; Luke 20:24; Luke 20:33; Luke 20:41; Luke 20:44; Luke 21:7; Luke 22:9; Luke 22:11; Luke 22:27; Luke 22:35; Luke 22:46; Luke 22:48; Luke 22:49; Luke 22:52; Luke 22:64; Luke 22:70; Luke 22:71; Luke 23:3; Luke 23:22; Luke 23:31; Luke 23:39; Luke 23:40; Luke 24:5; Luke 24:17; Luke 24:18; Luke 24:19; Luke 24:26; Luke 24:32; Luke 24:38; Luke 24:41; John 1:19; John 1:21; John 1:22; John 1:25; John 1:38; John 1:46; John 1:48; John 1:50; John 2:4; John 2:18; John 2:20; John 3:4; John 3:9; John 3:10; John 3:12; John 4:9; John 4:11; John 4:12; John 4:27; John 4:29; John 4:33; John 4:35; John 5:6; John 5:12; John 5:44; John 5:47; John 6:5; John 6:9; John 6:25; John 6:28; John 6:30; John 6:42; John 6:52; John 6:60; John 6:61; John 6:62; John 6:67; John 6:68; John 6:70; John 7:11; John 7:15; John 7:19; John 7:20; John 7:23; John 7:25; John 7:26; John 7:31; John 7:35; John 7:36; John 7:41; John 7:42; John 7:45; John 7:47; John 7:48; John 7:51; John 7:52; John 8:5; John 8:10; John 8:19; John 8:22; John 8:25; John 8:33; John 8:43; John 8:46; John 8:48; John 8:53; John 8:57; John 9:2; John 9:8; John 9:10; John 9:12; John 9:16; John 9:17; John 9:19; John 9:26; John 9:27; John 9:34; John 9:35; John 9:36; John 9:40; John 10:20; John 10:21; John 10:24; John 10:32; John 10:34; John 10:36; John 11:8; John 11:9; John 11:26; John 11:34; John 11:37; John 11:40; John 11:47; John 11:56; John 12:5; John 12:27; John 12:34; John 13:6; John 13:12; John 13:25; John 13:36; John 13:37; John 13:38; John 14:2; John 14:5; John 14:9; John 14:10; John 14:22; John 16:5; John 16:17; John 16:18; John 16:19; John 16:31; John 18:4; John 18:7; John 18:11; John 18:17; John 18:21; John 18:22; John 18:23; John 18:25; John 18:26; John 18:29; John 18:33; John 18:34; John 18:35; John 18:37; John 18:38; John 18:39; John 19:9; John 19:10; John 19:15; John 20:13; John 20:15; John 20:29; John 21:5; John 21:12; John 21:15; John 21:16; John 21:17; John 21:20; John 21:21; John 21:22; John 21:23; Acts 1:6; Acts 1:11; Acts 2:7; Acts 2:8; Acts 2:12; Acts 2:37; Acts 3:12; Acts 4:7; Acts 4:16; Acts 5:3; Acts 5:4; Acts 5:9; Acts 7:1; Acts 7:26; Acts 7:27; Acts 7:28; Acts 7:35; Acts 7:50; Acts 7:52; Acts 8:30; Acts 8:31; Acts 8:34; Acts 8:36; Acts 9:4; Acts 9:5; Acts 9:21; Acts 10:4; Acts 10:21; Acts 10:29; Acts 10:47; Acts 11:3; Acts 11:17; Acts 13:10; Acts 13:25; Acts 14:15; Acts 15:10; Acts 16:30; Acts 16:37; Acts 17:18; Acts 17:19; Acts 19:2; Acts 19:3; Acts 19:15; Acts 19:35; Acts 21:13; Acts 21:22; Acts 21:37; Acts 21:38; Acts 22:7; Acts 22:8; Acts 22:10; Acts 22:16; Acts 22:25; Acts 22:26; Acts 22:27; Acts 23:3; Acts 23:4; Acts 23:9; Acts 23:19; Acts 25:9; Acts 26:8; Acts 26:14; Acts 26:15; Acts 26:27; Acts 26:28; Rom. 2:3; Rom. 2:4; Rom. 2:21; Rom. 2:22; Rom. 2:23; Rom. 2:26; Rom. 3:1; Rom. 3:3; Rom. 3:5; Rom. 3:6; Rom. 3:7; Rom. 3:8; Rom. 3:9; Rom. 3:27; Rom. 3:29; Rom. 3:31; Rom. 4:1; Rom. 4:3; Rom. 4:9; Rom. 4:10; Rom. 6:1; Rom. 6:2; Rom. 6:3; Rom. 6:15; Rom. 6:16; Rom. 6:21; Rom. 7:1; Rom. 7:7; Rom. 7:13; Rom. 7:24; Rom. 8:24; Rom. 8:31; Rom. 8:32; Rom. 8:33; Rom. 8:34; Rom. 8:35; Rom. 9:14; Rom. 9:19; Rom. 9:20; Rom. 9:21; Rom. 9:24; Rom. 9:30; Rom. 9:32; Rom. 10:6; Rom. 10:7; Rom. 10:8; Rom. 10:14; Rom. 10:15; Rom. 10:16; Rom. 10:18; Rom. 10:19; Rom. 11:1; Rom. 11:2; Rom. 11:4; Rom. 11:7; Rom. 11:11; Rom. 11:34; Rom. 13:3; Rom. 14:4; Rom. 14:10; 1Cor. 1:13; 1Cor. 1:20; 1Cor. 2:11; 1Cor. 3:3; 1Cor. 3:4; 1Cor. 3:5; 1Cor. 3:16; 1Cor. 4:7; 1Cor. 4:21; 1Cor. 5:2; 1Cor. 5:6; 1Cor. 5:12; 1Cor. 6:1; 1Cor. 6:2; 1Cor. 6:3; 1Cor. 6:4; 1Cor. 6:6; 1Cor. 6:7; 1Cor. 6:9; 1Cor. 6:15; 1Cor. 6:16; 1Cor. 6:19; 1Cor. 7:18; 1Cor. 7:21; 1Cor. 7:27; 1Cor. 8:10; 1Cor. 9:1; 1Cor. 9:4; 1Cor. 9:5; 1Cor. 9:6; 1Cor. 9:7; 1Cor. 9:8; 1Cor. 9:9; 1Cor. 9:10; 1Cor. 9:11; 1Cor. 9:12; 1Cor. 9:13; 1Cor. 9:18; 1Cor. 9:24; 1Cor. 10:16; 1Cor. 10:18; 1Cor. 10:19; 1Cor. 10:22; 1Cor. 10:29; 1Cor. 10:30; 1Cor. 11:13; 1Cor. 11:15; 1Cor. 11:22; 1Cor. 12:17; 1Cor. 12:19; 1Cor. 12:29; 1Cor. 12:30; 1Cor. 14:6; 1Cor. 14:7; 1Cor. 14:8; 1Cor. 14:9; 1Cor. 14:15; 1Cor. 14:16; 1Cor. 14:23; 1Cor. 14:26; 1Cor. 14:36; 1Cor. 15:12; 1Cor. 15:29; 1Cor. 15:30; 1Cor. 15:32; 1Cor. 15:35; 1Cor. 15:55; 2Cor. 1:17; 2Cor. 2:2; 2Cor. 2:16; 2Cor. 3:1; 2Cor. 3:8; 2Cor. 6:14; 2Cor. 6:15; 2Cor. 6:16; 2Cor. 11:7; 2Cor. 11:11; 2Cor. 11:22; 2Cor. 11:23; 2Cor. 11:29; 2Cor. 12:13; 2Cor. 12:15; 2Cor. 12:17; 2Cor. 12:18; 2Cor. 12:19; 2Cor. 13:5; Gal. 1:10; Gal. 2:14; Gal. 2:17; Gal. 3:1; Gal. 3:2; Gal. 3:3; Gal. 3:4; Gal. 3:5; Gal. 3:19; Gal. 3:21; Gal. 4:9; Gal. 4:15; Gal. 4:16; Gal. 4:21; Gal. 4:30; Gal. 5:7; Gal. 5:11; Eph. 4:9; Phil. 1:18; Col. 2:20; Col. 2:21; 1Th. 2:19; 1Th. 3:9; 2Th. 2:5; 1Tim. 3:5; Heb. 1:14; Heb. 2:3; Heb. 3:16; Heb. 3:17; Heb. 3:18; Heb. 7:11; Heb. 10:2; Heb. 10:29; Heb. 11:32; Heb. 12:7; Heb. 12:9; James 2:1; James 2:4; James 2:5; James 2:6; James 2:7; James 2:14; James 2:16; James 2:20; James 2:21; James 2:25; James 3:11; James 3:12; James 3:13; James 4:1; James 4:4; James 4:5; James 4:12; James 4:14; James 5:13; James 5:14; 1Pet. 2:20; 1Pet. 3:13; 1Pet. 4:17; 2Pet. 3:4; 2Pet. 3:12; 1John 2:22; 1John 3:12; 1John 3:17; 1John 5:5; Rev. 5:2; Rev. 6:10; Rev. 6:17; Rev. 7:13; Rev. 13:4; Rev. 17:7

March 24, 2005

CiteULike for web-based bibliography creation

There has been some discussion in Biblioblogdom by AKMA, Stephen Carlson, and Mark Goodacre regarding the availability of online journal articles. On the Macintosh Bibilioblog, we've had some previous discussion regarding bibliographical software, so all this prompted me to make everyone aware of a web-based bibliographic record solution that is geared towards creating a list of online articles that you want to reference.

CiteULike is a "free online service to organize your academic papers." You can think of it as a web-based version of Endnote or Bookends, but where it really shines is in allowing you to create entries based upon online journal articles or books that you are currently viewing in your web browser. The auto-cite functionality is of limited use to us, since the list of compatible journal sites is rather small (It includes searching services such as JSOT and Amazon). Still, consider the easy capture from Amazon:

  1. Find a book on Amazon
  2. Click the CiteULike bookmark bar button
  3. A bibliographic reference to the book is automatically added to your bibliography
You can give citations tags or categories, and organize them as such. But consider this, you can see what other articles and their references have been posted by any other users using the same tag. In theory at least, that has tremendous appeal.
Finally, you can always export your CiteULike bibs to BibTex/Endnote format.

It won't be everyone's cup of tea, but depending on your work activities, it just might be worth a look.

March 09, 2005

Southwest SBL Meeting

Well, the Big 12 conference basketball tournament is this weekend, and you know what that means... That's right; it means that it is also the regional SBL meeting of the Southwest Commission on Religious Studies this weekend (March 11-13, 2005). Why those two always correspond is beyond me. I have actually made some of both when the tourney is in Dallas as well.

I think I'm most looking forward to the book display and discounts. Following that, I'm interested in the NT session: "The Memory of Jesus in the Early Church". Daryl Schmidt, with whom I did Septuagint studies, is presenting and Michael White (of my college alma mater The University of Texas) is responding. I suppose I should be looking forward to Amy-Jill Levine in the joint session: "Making Jesus an Anti-Semite: the 'Old Testament,' Historical Criticism, and Liberation Theology;" I'll try and get siked for it.
I'd really like to hear the general Gospels section that Jeffrey Peterson is presiding over, and especially James Kennedy's Presidential Address: "By what Murky Light? Some Thoughts on Poetics and Hermeneutics." But, alas, I did not arrange a pulpit replacement at my church for Sunday morning.

If any fellow bibliogloggers or e-lister types will be there, let me know. I'll try and keep an eye out to meet and greet. Perhaps we could do lunch on Saturday.

March 06, 2005

The Habit of Reading

Our constant state is "so many books, so little time". AKMA has one of his delightful "random thoughts" on this lament on the way back from the library.

...since I no longer have time to read, I go through the motions by taking books out, and then returning them a week or so later, as though I’d read them...This will not do — no longer. I’m about to head upstairs, where I will read a chapter or two... before I go to sleep, no matter what. I will learn to read again; I will not give in to attention entropy.
For me, it's about the habit. I need to maintain a habit of reading at certain times and occassions. Very often, when I need a catalyst for getting back into reading, I read something with no immediate practical value--part or all of a novel or something else. (Robert Jordan is currently filling the role). Invariably, this translates in my behavioral pattern as "reading produces more reading." Just my 2¢. Here's where the personal organizer (iCal and the like) sure can help establish a pattern. You can premeditate periods of the morning, day and evening when you normally can slip in a bit of reading. Then add that into your scheduler. A pop-up such as:
can go a long way. Update: Mark Goodacre added this contemporary version of the illusion of reading which really hit home for me:
Or now, one can even save a journal article onto one's hard drive, the environmentally friendly way not to read an article.
If I had a dime for everytime... The problem is, the article services I use download .pdf file with names such as "A0334_d.pdf", so the result is I now have dozens upon dozens of .pdf files on my computer that I have no idea what they're about. I think a real solution to this is
  1. Always take the extra second to save items in an appropriate folder, and
  2. Set your web browser to always prompt you to rename and manually place downloading .pdf files.