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Thread: Using BibleWorks responsibly

  1. #1

    Question Using BibleWorks responsibly

    I have often wondered about how to use the data that BibleWorks generates. I fear creating a search and then using the data wrongly.

    It seems to me that the search could be based on a wrong premise, or a misunderstanding of how data generated can be used.

    One helpful point is that if you want to find the number of times a word is used in the Greek or Hebrew, you would base your search on the morphology databases such as the BGM and not on databases such as the BGT.

    I imagine there are a lot of other tips like this that would be useful to know.

    But also, I think it would also be useful to think about the limits of usefulness of word searches, arguments based on the bible's or a writer's use of a particular word, etc.

    I think that it would be very easy to come to wrong conclusions and not easy at all to make conclusions that are correct from the data we generate.

    Do we need an Exegetical Fallacies for bible software?

    David McKay

  2. #2

    Default Brain Not Included

    Quote Originally Posted by Gontroppo

    Do we need an Exegetical Fallacies for bible software?

    David McKay
    I mean no offence by the Title to this post.

    David's post is insightful and touches on a very good point! I know some of the buys @ BW have joked about putting something like "Brain Not Included" on the box.

    Another statement that could be put on the box would be "To whom much is given much is require." We have been given much in the form of electronic tools (of which, I think for most of us BW is the main one)...much is required.

    These tools, such as BW, will do things for us that people before us could never have imagined, but they still will not exegete a passage. There is another popular tool on the market. In its help section on one of their tools similar to BW's Report Generator it states "This tool will exegete the passage for you." WOW! No tool can do that.

    Those of us who study God's Word, especially those of us who claim to write or speak "Thus saith the Lord" must with integrity study, study, study! BW saves us so much time, not to spend on frivolous things, but to invest digging deeper into the text, discovering more of the mind of God, growing more like Christ and better dispensing that to those over whom God has give us a stewardship (family, friends, church, etc).

    I think an Exegetical Fallacies for bible software would actually be a good idea. However, it should probably be written in electronic format!

    May God increase His fold and our wisdom and may He help us to know the difference between knowledge and wisdom.

    God Bless,
    Joe Fleener

    jfleener@digitalexegesis.com
    Home Page: www.digitalexegesis.com
    Blog: http://emethaletheia.blogspot.com/

    Annotated Bibliography of Online Research Tools: www.digitalexegesis.com/bibliography

    User Created BibleWorks Modules: www.digitalexegesis.com/bibleworks



    Psalm 46:11
    `#r<a'(B' ~Wra' ~yIAGB; ~Wra' ~yhi_l{a/ ykinOa'-yKi W[d>W WPr>h;

  3. #3

    Default Using BibleWorks responsibly

    Quote Originally Posted by Gontroppo
    I have often wondered about how to use the data that BibleWorks generates. I fear creating a search and then using the data wrongly.

    (...)

    But also, I think it would also be useful to think about the limits of usefulness of word searches, arguments based on the bible's or a writer's use of a particular word, etc.

    I think that it would be very easy to come to wrong conclusions and not easy at all to make conclusions that are correct from the data we generate.

    Do we need an Exegetical Fallacies for bible software?

    David McKay
    Thank you for your post. Some of us have made a public stand for the need of using Bible software responsibly. And yes, we do need an "Exegetical Fallacies" book. Fortunately, BibleWorks offers two things that go a long way towards avoiding (though not entirely) these kinds of pitfalls:

    1. A very detailed manual - I know that many people ignore manuals, but they do so at their own peril. BW's User Manual is excellent, and should be studied (not just read) thoroughly, IMO.

    2. ASE searches based on semantic domains - This incredibly useful feature (very seldom referred to, I'm afraid) allows you to break away from the traditional word-based search. Instead, you can use most of Louw-Nida's semantic domains to generate more comprehensive searches that will broaden your search results and open new avenues for your study of the Biblical texts.

    Hope this helps.

    Rubn Gmez

  4. #4

    Question ASE on semantic domains

    This sounds intriguing, Ruben.
    How do you do it, please? Is it documented?
    David McKay

  5. #5

    Default Using BibleWorks responsibly

    Quote Originally Posted by Gontroppo
    This sounds intriguing, Ruben.
    How do you do it, please? Is it documented?
    David McKay
    Yes, David, it's documented in the manual (page 155, if you use BibleWorks 6 - "How to do topical searches using Louw-Nida Domain lists"). If you are interested in the subject you may want to check out today's entry at Bible Software Review Weblog (sorry for the plug :-))

    Best,

    Rub&#233;n G&#243;mez
    Last edited by Ruben Gomez; 09-07-2006 at 06:28 AM. Reason: Links updated

  6. #6

    Default The Manual!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruben Gomez

    1. A very detailed manual - I know that many people ignore manuals, but they do so at their own peril. BW's User Manual is excellent, and should be studied (not just read) thoroughly, IMO.
    Excellent point. I have read/studied the manuals for 4.0, 5.0 & 6.0 and refer back to the current manual often. It is a wonderful resource.
    Joe Fleener

    jfleener@digitalexegesis.com
    Home Page: www.digitalexegesis.com
    Blog: http://emethaletheia.blogspot.com/

    Annotated Bibliography of Online Research Tools: www.digitalexegesis.com/bibliography

    User Created BibleWorks Modules: www.digitalexegesis.com/bibleworks



    Psalm 46:11
    `#r<a'(B' ~Wra' ~yIAGB; ~Wra' ~yhi_l{a/ ykinOa'-yKi W[d>W WPr>h;

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    613

    Default Stare at the fish!

    I agree whole heartedly about responsible use of Bible software. Speed and ease of use are no excuse for sloppy exegesis! If anything, it should help us to spend more time pondering the text...staring at it.

    I took NT Interpretation with Dr. McDonough at GCTS, and sat in on a few classes that G. K. Beale taught before he left for Wheaton, but both of them had all of the students read the story that I have linked below. The story is about a student who was taught the value of observation in studying a fish...

    The point of the story is that there is no substitution for sustained study of a text! Not even a Bibleworks word search!

    STARE AT THE FISH!

    ~Jim
    Jim Darlack - Associate Director of Goddard Library /
    Reference Librarian at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

    Gloucester Assembly of God | Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
    The 'Unofficial' BibleWorks Blog | Old in the New | Facebook | LibraryThing

  8. #8

    Default Using BibleWorks responsibly cont.

    BWW is simply database of books, tools (simple and complex). The user (driver; operator) of the data and the tools is the one responsible for how BWW is used or "operated." Judging from the continual updating of the individual databases and tools; and the program *.exe, itself, I suspect the builders and maintainers of BWW (the Michaels, etc.) would not claim infalibility. My maxim in using ANY human tool of study is to check the author(ity) of any humanly generated system, book, commentary, etc. is to check it against The Authority, God's Word, The Bible.
    Tyndale said, "Faith is trusting in The Promises." A Promise I claim in the area of having The Authority inform my untrustworthy mind is:

    John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

    As a teacher, I am always brought up short when I find myself glibly approaching God's Word, and forget the fact that I can learn nothing true, spiritually, except it comes from The Ultimate Teacher, God's Holy Spirit working through His Word. (Heb 11:6, Rom 10:17; Psa 138:2).
    I do not think it necessary for BWW to put any disclaimers on the product; the disclaimer should always reside and be active in the heart of the teacher, student, pastor, people in the pew, etc.
    Today, I gave my students in basic Greek Grammar a similar disclaimer, as we approach the last parts of the 2nd semester. I have from the beginning warned them to alaways even check out me; silently I think, "especially me," for God knows how prone I am to err, but it frightens me to even catch a glimpse of ME. I do so thank my God for His Promises such as Eph 2:8-10.
    I hope this msg is acceptable under the "General BibleWorks Discussion." I think it is a practical approach to the thread. If so, it is the only feature I enjoy about the forum rather than getting all the msgs delivered to me.

    John M Krinke

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