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Thread: BibleWorks and Textual Criticism

  1. #1
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    Default BibleWorks and Textual Criticism

    BibleWorks 9 more than any other version or any other Bible software program has put the issue of textual criticism on the main stage of Biblical study.

    I'm wondering what people's thoughts on that decision is. (Personally I think it's a very good and exciting step, but I'll hopefully add more of my thoughts later)

    To start things off, I've written a post on the BibleWorks blog about it.

    [Also I have to say now that blog posts are going to be much more infrequent than I thought (or wanted). I'm involved in another project that requires more of my concentration. Sorry about that.]
    Last edited by Michael Hanel; 07-11-2011 at 05:23 PM. Reason: double negative
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
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  2. #2
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    Default BW and Textual Criticism

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Hanel View Post
    BibleWorks 9 more than any other version or any other Bible software program has put the issue of textual criticism on the main stage of Biblical study.

    I'm wondering what people's thoughts on that decision is. (Personally I think it's a very good and exciting step, but I'll hopefully add more of my thoughts later)

    To start things off, I've written a post on the BibleWorks blog about it.
    We are very interested in the answer(s) to this question. The work that we have done so far represents a huge investment of time, money and resources. The extent to which we continue the work really depends on the response that we get. My personal belief is that this is an area that has received far too little emphasis. It may be that people are taught in seminary that the controversy over which text most accurately represents the original is over so we don't need to worry about it. But to my mind that is far from the case. I think the popularity of the Robinson-Pierpont text is growing and lots of pastors are asking (and being asked) serious questions about how we deal with those pesky footnotes that say such and such a text is missing from early manuscripts. Books from men like Bart Ehrman are also doing (in my opinion) a great deal of damage, and the damage extends to people in the pews who know nothing about textual criticism. So I think these tools are important. Let us know what you think, either here or on the BibleWorks web site.

    Mike Bushell
    BibleWorks
    Last edited by MBushell; 07-11-2011 at 10:57 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MBushell View Post
    Let us know what you think, either here or on the BibleWorks web site.

    Mike Bushell
    BibleWorks
    Mike,

    Beyond all the information at ones fingertips, beyond the ability to show a snapshot of manuscript to someone who doesn't read a word of Greek but asks a question about, say, the ending of Mark, beyond all the study opportunities and possibilities, your commitment to making these types of resources available speaks volumes to what this program is about, fundamentally.

    Focus on the text.

    That's why I use BibleWorks daily, and wouldn't be without it.

    I'll use the CNTTS apparatus, and I look forward to similar OT resources someday in BibleWorks (realizing the differences between OT and NT textual criticism, realizing how huge a project that would be ...).

    Dan Witte

  4. #4
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    I have been using BW since 3.5 and have always found the focus to be somewhat specialized and unique. The work done in bringing BW 9 is really amazing, the price is incredible and the innovation in the text critical resources and tools is refreshing.

    My only problem is that with this upgrade the program has outgrown my skills and study methods. Being a lay person, I can get what I need regarding textual differences from other sources. While seeing images of the actual documents is cool, my skills do not enable me to benefit from them. The most appealing upgrade for me is the ESV Study Bible that I already own i another software package.

    With that said, I do not think the focus of BW should change. The company has a core customer base that can and will use these tools that come with this upgrade, and that need should be met.

  5. #5
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    As a pastor, I have to admit that I do not always have time (or feel I have time) to look into the critical apparatus and see the variants. Just watching the videos of this most recent addition to BW with the Manuscript project in particular will help me immensly right off the bat. I know it is incomplete with only 7 manuscripts, but there is also the CNTTS that again seeing the videos, looks very helpful. Tischendorf was nice in the version I use now, but I do not, at the present moment, read German making some of the help features of the text useless to me. I am very excited about getting BW9 and being able to do some of this work much faster, much easier, and with the Manuscript project being able to see it laid out in some of the actual manuscripts.
    Chris Sansom
    M. Div. Concordia Seminary
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  6. #6
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    This will speed up my research since there will now be an additional window for all the critical tools.

  7. #7
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    Default BibleWorks and Textual Criticsm

    Probably the biggest obstacle to accessing the field of classical GNT textual criticism is the language barrier as has been stated in previous posts. This can be overcome by providing resources such as Scrivener's Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament which is in English. I have prepared and encoded an electronic edition which would open up even more of the classical works in textual criticism.
    I am presently finishing up encoding the full apparatus of
    von Soden's Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments in ihrer altesten erreichbaren Textgestalt hergestellt auf Grund ihrer Textgeschichte; I. Teil, Untersuchungen ; II. Teil, Text mit Apparat (4 volumes). I have also finished electronic copies of Benedikt Kraft and Schlussel which are the keys to von Soden. It has been a tremendous undertaking but one that I felt compelled to do after preparing Tischendorf's Editio Octava Critica Maior and Gregory's TEXTKRITIK des Neuen Testaments.

    I believe access has never been more open to the layperson since the projects of the New Orleans Critical Apparatus project and Daniel Wallace's team providing high resolution images of the manuscripts
    .

    I believe we are at the beginning stages of GNT critical apparatuses that are open and free from the shackles of restrictive subsidized critical apparatuses. It would be a great service to the scholarly community to proceed in the provision of a GNT Textual Apparatus for ALL to enjoy and not just a select few that can maneuver through encrypted codes.

    Clint Yale

  8. #8

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    I haven’t ordered BW9 yet, though I’m sorely tempted – I need to let my finances build up. I agree that the resources on NT textual criticism look great. I really like to see more in future versions for the Hebrew Bible – perhaps the same treatment for Qumran biblical texts that BW9 has given to NT manuscripts.
    Last edited by Nick Laurence; 07-12-2011 at 06:37 PM. Reason: copy paste errors from Word

  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by Spoudason
    I am pleased with what BibleWorks does. I need language study helps and resources for my work and not commentaries and sermons material. There are plenty (one in particular) of very expensive programs which contain huge numbers of commentaries (good, bad and indifferent). They have their purpose but I hope BibleWorks keeps and continues to develop excellent Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic resources.
    Quote Originally Posted by "christlove"
    I would definetely expressly underline that. Im very satisfied with what BW does and how they do things. I hope they never pursue the path of integrating plenty commentaries but instead keep focusing on how BW-Users can study more effectively original biblical texts.

    Blessings & thx to all BW-Staff for your brilliant work.

    Steffen
    Mike,
    ...that I mean explicitly for textual criticism. Im glad that BW offers more and more the possibility to go really back to the originally resources and reveals thereby that you are concerned to help the student make an independent and grown-up decision on the text of the new testament.

    So keep on doing...

    Steffen

  10. #10
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    Personally, I'm looking very forward to having the CNTTS apparatus. When I am studying the NT in BW, I typically have my print edition of NA27 open on my desk to consult its apparatus. This will give me easier access to more information, and without having yet used BW9, it looks to be my favorite new feature.
    καὶ ὑπὲρ πάντων ἀπέθανεν ἵνα οἱ ζῶντες μηκέτι ἑαυτοῖς ζῶσιν, ἀλλὰ τῷ ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν ἀποθανόντι καὶ ἐγερθέντι.

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