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Links of interest

Internet links are difficult to keep up with. They seem to be in a continuous state of flux, and when you really need them, they are gone! Anyway, here are some links you won't find at Bible Software Review, but I thought they would be appropriate for the weblog.

The first one comes from WEMTC (the West of England Ministerial Training Course) website, which includes a section on Bible Software Recommendations.

This one is an excerpt of a fuller review written by Randy Leedy, featured in the Newsletter of the United Bible Societies Translation Information Clearinghouse. In it, the author compares morphological searches performed with two academic Bible software packages. I like his concluding remarks on the value of using multiple programs, but I recommend you read the whole piece:

At one point I had the natural desire to find the one best Bible software package. I have since come to realize that there is no such thing and that it is not likely that there ever will be. And even if there were a program that in every point of functionality stood head and shoulders above the rest, complex searches when important issues are at stake ought to be checked against some other source for a second opinion. Differences in search algorithms and database details will always generate differences in results that the user will profit from analyzing. And the more complex one's search requirements, the more important it is to get a second opinion, because the more likely it is that any one program has erred at some point. BW has a certain amount of "second opinion" built into its New Testament package in the form of its two completely different databases (Friberg and BW's own tagging that makes it possible to use the LXX and GNT together). Serious scholars should learn to use both of these databases profitably. Further, BW actually has two search engines: the Command Line and the ASE. These two search engines, though they share some programming code, do not always return identical results. But an even more radically different search engine is needed for adequate cross-checking, and only GRAMCORD provides a sufficiently powerful alternative. Furthermore, besides the problems within each program that may be uncovered by using the other, the user often errs in his thinking about how to formulate a search, and being forced to reformulate it for another search engine or another database can bring these faults to the surface. It is also easy, when building a search query, to overlook small but crucial details like punctuation settings; most likely the search in the other program will have different settings in these areas, or the user will not forget them, and comparing the results will reveal the user's initial mistake. The prospect of paying for and learning to use multiple programs is not attractive; however, the prospect of significant flaws in one's research because of the limitations imposed by the use of only one is less attractive yet.

The last one is not exactly an Internet link, but a reference: Vern S. Poythress, "Greek Lexicography And Translation: Comparing Bauer's And Louw-Nida's Lexicons," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 44.2 (2001): 285-296. If you have access to this article (available in electronic form as part of the Theological Journal Library CD for Windows or Macintosh), read it! It offers an insightful comparison of two of the most relevant tools available in academic Bible software: BDAG (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature) and Louw-Nida (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains). I'm afraid he falls into the trap of trying to compare apples with oranges (read "form" and "function" - you'll recall that we've hinted at the different purposes and uses of tagged morphologies before, for example here), but it's a good read anyway.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 8, 2004 11:29 AM.

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