Aleppo Codex Online

Contributed by guest blogger Ken Ristau

At a wonderfully designed website, the Aleppo Codex is now online; this codex is the oldest extant Hebrew Bible. You can view the codex as a part of the flash animation or as PDF. The website also has an engaging section that provides all sorts of background information on the codex, though not all the links are accessible yet.

UPDATE (October 29) by Rubén Gómez: Wieland Willker emails the following:

I already reported this in September on the textualcriticism list. It is a bit tricky to get the actual large images, but here it is:

Start with: And then go on by changing this to 2.jpg, 3.jpg and so on… 1.6 MB each! Currently it goes up to 234.jpg.

Thank you for the tip, Wieland.


XML Tanach Updated

The following is from B-Hebrew. Since for some reason I can’t link to the archived post, I reproduce it here in its entirety:

The Unicode/XML Tanach from the Westminster Leningrad Codex (WLC) at has been substantially upgraded. Please advise of any problems encountered or suggestions.

1. Tanach text can be displayed without associated links by clicking on the book name directly above or below the text. This allows printing of the text and was requested by a student, Luana.

2. The books of the Torah, Genesis.DH.xml … Deuteronomy.DH.xml, contain Documentary Hypothesis (DH) source markings by default. See the DH link on the index page for more details. The default display does not show these markings, however. Unmarked Torah files, Genesis.xml … Deuteronomy.xml, continue to be available.

3. The former “About” link has been split into “About”, “Installation”, and “Technical” links and a general cleanup of the site has been made.

4. A new “Instructions” link has been provided to describe site capabilities.

5. The site now includes an updated and standard version (0.9.3) of the Sarissa XML library. Previous versions contained an earlier and specially-modified version of Sarissa.

Chris Kimball

This is the Torah with DH markings project I have already mentioned before.


A Piece of Advice

Just like the use of different browsers can definitely affect our web surfing experience, so too the use of
different Bible programs has more than a little bearing on our overall user experience. But the comparison breaks down in that Internet contents are the same for everyone. This is not always true of Bible software. As one of my recent articles pointed out, what appears to be the exact same book turns out to be not quite the same in all respects. Add to that the fact that programs can handle similar resources in vastly different ways, and you’re in for a few surprises.

There are, then, two basic things we should factor in when we consider buying/using any given Bible software:

1. Despite all the advertising, not all the electronic books (let alone the various kinds of tagging associated with them) marketed under the same title are the same. Try to ascertain which one is best for your needs.

2. There can be dramatic differences in the search capabilities of each product, the way results are displayed, general intuitiveness and user-friendliness, etc. See which one better approximates the way you work (or simply your tastes!).

These two seemingly innocent principles can go a long way in saving you some frustrations. Keep in mind that, no matter what they tell you, programs and packages are never equivalent. Each one of them will give you a different “user experience.” So, even if the contents are basically alike, make sure that a clumsy interface, a poorly tagged resource, or a less than adequate search engine don’t spoil your experience of using and enjoying Bible software.


Another Blogroll Addition

Eric Sowell recently contacted me to introduce his blog, The Coding Humanist. It’s an interesting blend of comments on software programming and biblical studies, and you’ll find a link to it under Recommended Blogs. For an explanation of the weblog’s name, read here. It’s good to see that the number of bibliobloggers keeps growing!