# Monday, December 17, 2012

My friend Randall Tan asked me to post this.

As you may or may not know, the Computer Assisted Research Section (CARG) at SBL was not renewed this past year. Leaving the whats and whys out of it, CARG’s lack of renewal leaves a void in the SBL for discussing and showcasing how technology can assist research.

Randall and others are in the process of proposing the “Global Education & Research Technology” (GERT) section for SBL 2013 in Baltimore, MD.

Randall has posted more information, along with further details in PDF attachments, at the B-Greek forum. Please check it out, and if you’re so disposed, see how you can participate in the group.

Here is a paragraph describing more about what the group proposes:

The focus of this proposed new section is not only on the development and use of tools, simulations, and social media for global research and education in the wide-ranging disciplines in the field of biblical studies, but also the design frameworks, the development, the deployment, the assessment, and the dissemination of innovative technology for wider user groups in academia, society, and religious communities. We seek to explore how such tools may extend existing scholarship into digital domains or may introduce new methodologies, novel research questions, and new areas of inquiry. For example, we are interested not only in how to develop databases, but also about how to apply databases in such a way that it helps to stimulate methodological debate on biblical interpretation and potentially open up new or alternative avenues of research. In addition, we are interested in stimulating thinking about how theories of learning (Hebrew and Greek Language, OT and NT Literature) can be influenced and improved by technology.

Post Author: rico
Monday, December 17, 2012 9:53:55 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The toughest thing about the SBL annual meeting is the book exhibit. It is nearly impossible to not spend too much money on books, it seems. I only bought two books this year, which was my plan — but came home with four, plus an audio CD. Not bad, says me.

Books I bought at SBL

Peter H. Davids, II Peter and Jude: A Handbook on the Greek Text (amazon.com). Baylor University Press, 2011. This is the latest in the Baylor Handbook on the Greek New Testament series. I knew I was getting it before I left; there is something about these volumes I just love, so I try to get them at SBL the first year they’re out as the price is usually pretty good then.

Klaus Wachtel and Michael W. Holmes, eds., The Textual History of the Greek New Testament: Changing Views in Contemporary Research (amazon.com). Society of Biblical Literature, 2011. This is part of the “Text-Critical Studies” series. Essays from a 2008 colloquium; they look to be good and well worth reading.

Books I was given at SBL

These books were given to me by the publisher for review purposes, I will write about them in the future here on ricoblog.

Craig A. Evans, ed., The World of Jesus and the Early Church: Identity and Interpretation in Early Communities of Faith (amazon.com). Hendrickson Publishers, 2011. Essays from two related symposiums, and they look good. More info on the Hendrickson page, including PDF of the intro, TOC, and a list of contributors.

Gary Alan Chamberlain, The Greek of the Septuagint: A Supplemental Lexicon (amazon.com). Hendrickson Publishers, 2011. I’m deep in some Septuagint stuff at my day job (Logos) so I’m happy to give this one a look. I’ve read the preface and part of the intro. It will take some time to work through this, but I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen so far. The idea is to supplement BDAG for the one who is attempting/starting to read the LXX. Again, more info is on the Hendrickson page.

John D. Schwandt, The Audio Greek New Testament (amazon.com) (MP3s on a DVD). Hendrickson Publishers, 2011. My friend Randall Buth will give me grief for this one because Schwandt reads with the Erasmian pronunciation. Randall should be happy, however, because at least I’ll be listening to the GNT. I’d be happy to listen to Randall’s as soon as the whole GNT gets recorded (don’t think he has it yet, but could be wrong). Schwandt reads the UBS4 edition of the GNT. My guess is I’d be able to internalize Buth’s better, but listening to Schwandt will do more good than harm.

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 8:45:27 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Wednesday, November 24, 2010

There were no big book-buying binges for me this year. I did have some birthday money (thanks, Mom & Dad) to spend, though. Here’s what I got:

The Baylor Handbooks on the Greek NT (BHGNT) volumes are a no-brainer. I like to get them as they’re released, and I know they will always be helpful in years to come. That, and these volumes (starting with Luke and 1 Peter) are increasingly using Steve Runge’s Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament (amazon.com) in their discussion of grammatical and syntactic issues of the text. How cool is that?

And while I have Francis & Sampley’s older “Pauline Parallels” edition, I couldn’t help but get Ware’s synopsis which looks great for a number of reasons. First, he includes the Pastorals and treats them like any other epistle attributed to Paul. Second, he also includes relevant portions of Acts to provide an alternate source of information on some events.

But the best book ever at SBL I got for free (well, relatively speaking): The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. It’s great to have this in print, in my hands, after so long. Mike Holmes graciously signed mine (and asked me to sign his, which was an honor). I can’t tell you how stoked I am to have this, it will become my take-to-church NT beginning on Sunday.

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, November 24, 2010 1:49:23 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Thursday, October 28, 2010

As has been hitting the blogs, Logos Bible Software and the Society of Biblical Literature partnered to create an edition of the Greek New Testament, named “The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition” (abbreviated SBLGNT, also known as the “SBL Greek New Testament”). Michael W. Holmes is the editor, and I had the great privilege of working with him on creating this text. He did everything text-critical, I worked to support him however I could, getting him all the information he needed to evaluate the variation units (nearly 7000).

Michael Holmes has written a post for the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog announcing the SBLGNT and describing it a bit. It is well worth the read, as is the comment section.

This project has been in the works for awhile, and when Holmes’ name was suggested as a possibility to be the editor, I was hoping beyond hope that he’d be able to. It was great to work with him and support him however I could in the project.

Mike writes of the basic process in the introduction. Using some existing data on orthographic variants I’d put together earlier, I prepared a special version of WH for him to work through, and he corrected (updated) the orthography (both items our existing data flagged, and items he isolated on his own) while so doing. This needed to be done anyway, and it had the side benefit of making the later comparison stage (which compared primarily to editions of texts that use similar “updated” orthography) a little easier. After this pass, I wrote a bunch of code to do comparisons of the four versions, to each other, to generate an initial set of units where there were discrepancies. Mike, again, diligently worked through this data, one book at a time. He made notes in the data as to the preferred reading in each instance, and he also maintained an updated form of the text itself. That text is what eventually became the SBLGNT in Logos, and which is being printed by the SBL.

The apparatus is a bit of a different story. We originally weren’t sure about the apparatus, but as Mike started work it became clear that an apparatus listing the edition evidence for each variation unit could be a handy thing. Based on his notes for the first book he did, I transcribed his notes (copy/paste with the Greek text, not typing) into something that could be an apparatus. I showed it to Mike, he had several great suggestions, and we went back and forth for awhile. It became clear the edition apparatus, while not listing primary MSS sources, could be helpful to show where the variation unit came from, and how different editions treated it. So Mike and I decided to pitch the idea and see if we could add the apparatus to the project. And we could! Mike was busy enough doing the real work (textual criticism), so I volunteered to do the work to create the apparatus from Mike’s notes. I’d dig into the apparatus for a book after he finished the draft. This served a secondary purpose of checking Mike’s work against the notes to ensure the text (and apparatus) actually represented what he intended.

All in all, it worked out very well. When Mike was done with the text, and I had a version of the apparatus together, we had a great platform for me to write some more code to check the text against the apparatus to find more subtle (and some not-so-subtle) issues. I can honestly say we found a decent amount of issues that we might not have found otherwise.

While we were careful, as Mike notes in a comment to the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog post, “I am more pessimistic than James; as a firm believer in the truth of Romans 3:23, I take it for granted that there will be typos, and only hope that none are too embarrassingly obvious.” With this I agree.

When the SBLGNT text was solid, and the apparatus was in good shape, it became apparent to me that my job had only started. We still had to get the text morphologically analyzed. And into a Logos resource. And … well, I had a lot more to do with derivative and associated projects. Like the Lexham English Bible English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament (go to bottom of the download page). And some other things. Keep your eyes on the Logos blog for upcoming announcements over the next few days.

I have learned a whole lot throughout this whole process. Yes, I learned a lot about the application of text-critical principles (Look, I just essentially took a course on applied textual criticism with the whole NT as the textbook and Michael Holmes as the instructor). But that’s not my primary take-away. I learned more about how to be precise in work. I learned more about how to be gracious in relationships both professional and personal. And I learned that a textual apparatus is much, much more than a simple or even a complex diff between two (or more) texts.

Post Author: rico
Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:57:50 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Thursday, January 15, 2009

Just received an email from Review of Biblical Literature (RBL), among other things it mentions the joyous news:

RBL now has its own blog, where the reviews published each month will be listed for easy reference: http://rblnewsletter.blogspot.com/. Following the pattern of Bryn Mawr Classical Review (http://www.bmcreview.org/), each book reviewed will be listed in a separate blog entry. Note also that the comments function is currently enabled. We invite authors, reviewers, and RBL readers to comment on reviews, understanding that we will adhere strictly to the following guidelines: (a) all comments will be moderated by the RBL managing editor; (b) anonymous comments will not be allowed; anyone submitting a comment must provide his or her full name; (c) only comments that advance discussion of a book or review will be posted; (d) comments that contain personal or ad hominem attacks of any kind, that disparage any individual or group, or that do not relate directly to the book or its review will be declined. We trust that the RBL blog will enable readers to engage in positive interaction concerning the books we review or the reviews we publish. However, the comments function may be disabled at any time, should experience teach us that it is not achieving its purpose.

Very cool; and the comment feature sounds great. Make sure to subscribe and get reviews piped down your feed reader!

books | links | sbl
Post Author: rico
Thursday, January 15, 2009 11:16:48 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, October 31, 2008

[Disclaimer: I work for Logos Bible Software and love every minute of it. The links to Logos below are just that, links. I get no commission or brownie points from click-thrus or any sales.]

Logos will be at the national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (in Providence, RI, Nov 19-21, 2008) and also at the national meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (in Boston, MA, Nov 21-25, 2008).

The specials mentioned below are only available at these conferences. And I'm not even listing all of them, just the ones that I find interesting and which I think you (my humble reader) may be interested in. There are 12 specials designed for the conferences, I'm only listing three of them below. If you'll be at the conferences, please stop by the booth for more info on all of the conference collections, or to purchase them.

These are awesome collections of top-notch texts useful for Biblical Studies. Listed first is perhaps the best deal you'll ever find on the combination of ICC NT vols and several (33!) very useful JSNTS monographs.

New Testament Studies Bundle (64 Vols.)

Show Only Price  $1,199.95
Show Savings (off Retail): $4,541.45

Advanced Greek Supplement (6 Vols.)

Show Only Price $299.95
Show Savings (off Retail) $111.91

ANE Studies Bundle (30 Vols.)

Show Only Price $639.95
Show Savings (off Retail): $806.94

As I said, that is only three of the twelve bundles. If you're at the show, be sure to ask about the "Scholar's Reference Bundle" which includes all of ICC, all of WBC, and a few other commentary sets. These are specials on the big stuff that you won't want to miss.

Post Author: rico
Friday, October 31, 2008 8:00:41 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I didn't go as hog-wild on books this year as I had in the past, but I did come home with a few new ones:

That's it; you'll surely hear more about them in the coming weeks.

books | sbl
Post Author: rico
Wednesday, November 21, 2007 12:08:43 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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It's true, I'm finally home.

I haven't been on the internet in over a week as I didn't bring a laptop to the conferences this year. So I have no idea what recaps have been written, who did what where, and what the general response to the sessions has been. (Note that Airton has the roundup of several bibliobloggers' SBL posts; check him out for more links)

For me, it was a great time. I met a whole lot of folks, many of whom I'd only known through blogs or email discussions. I apologize if I don't remember you all in this recap (which is centered around bloggers a-cuz I can link to them); but trust me -- it was a pleasure to meet you.

One of the first people I met at ETS (I arrived Wednesday afternoon) was Cliff Kvidahl. Cliff and I spent much of Thursday together; I even shared my initial fish taco experience with him down at the foodcourt at the mall next door to the convention venue. Cliff is into Hebrews; so check out his blog on that subject. Later on at SBL, I had the pleasure of meeting Cliff's friend Dr. Will Varner; Dr. V even did me the greater pleasure of giving me a signed copy of his latest book, The Way of the Didache (amazon.com). (Fret not, I'll blog about the books I came home with later) I had Cliff sign it too; he did the work on the concordance in the back as well as some other things. Very cool!

I gave a paper at ETS, it went well. I'll post the paper and a link to it sometime over the weekend. At the paper, I ran into my old Greek prof, Charles Hill (who is at RTS in Orlando). He's done some great stuff on the Gospel of John and also Papias and other 1st/2nd century authors; you should really look his stuff up.

I ran into Michael Bird in passing a few times. I also caught up with him at the WJK booth at SBL. He was purchasing a commentary by M. Eugene Boring, who is on my still-nascent "all names" team of Biblical Studies. The Interpretation Commentary series by WJK has three of the names on the developing team -- Long, Boring, and Best. I need to fill out the list, though. Any other suggestions?

And I met John Hobbins at ETS as well. John, it was a pleasure meeting you and I'm sorry I couldn't make the Spaghetatta; the meal and company around it would've been fun to be a part of.

I met a number of people at SBL too. One was Brandon Wason; he was checking out some stuff at Hendrickson when I ran into him first; but we ran into each other a number of times over the conference.

One of the highlights (er, if you can call it that) was wiping off the precious, precious CTRVHM(TM) Holy Phlegm that enveloped me upon entering the presence of Chris Tilling. There I was on Sunday night, innocently minding my own business at the Hendrickson reception (with Brandon Wason and his friend Kevin Scull (did I remember the name right?)) and the cloud overtook me. We navigated our way to the Duke reception; though I think Chris dove into the Boston U (Boston College? I don't remember) reception (which was next door) as a warm-up. I spotted Stephen C. Carlson 'behind the ropes' at the Duke reception, he was kind enough to invite me in. From there we found Mark Goodacre, and we all talked for a bit. But then, as happens at receptions, someone official started making a speech, so I ducked out and went back to my room.

On Monday, at the Disputed Paulines session, I ran into Nijay Gupta whose friend was presenting at the overfull session. I was there to hear Lloyd Pietersen talk. Lloyd blogs at PastoralEpistles.com on occassion, but I'd never had a chance to meet him in person. So that was a pleasure. I saw Ray Van Neste in passing, but didn't get to catch up with him otherwise. That's too bad, maybe next year.

And then in the afternoon, Chris Heard stopped by the Logos booth and snapped a picture of me and John Fallahee. I ran into Chris later in the evening in the hotel gift shop where I was purchasing overpriced apple juice.

Another highlight for me was talking for a few minutes with Michael Holmes. His Greek/English edition of the Apostolic Fathers (amazon.com) is now in its third edition and was published in time for purchase at SBL. Baker Academic sold out their show inventory sometime on Monday. The volume is excellent, both in content and also in the way it is physically put together. If you have the old second edition diglot (which never stays open on a table) then do yourself a favor and get the third edition (amazon.com). Dr. Holmes is both a gentleman and a scholar, in that order -- and his scholarship is impressive, so that says something about the sort of gentleman he is.

Additionally, I was able to introduce myself to John A.L. Lee, whose book on the History of Greek Lexicography (amazon.com) is one of the best academic books I've ever read.

David Ritsema came up to the Logos booth on Tuesday; it was good to see him again.

I saw PJ Williams on a bus in San Diego; we were travelling from the main terminal to the "commuter" terminal (we both apparently had small hops before the larger hop; though his hop back to the UK was certainly larger than mine just up the coast to Seattle). I'm sure he'd agree with me; I think "commuter" in that context means "small and cramped". I also saw Nijay again in the same terminal, on his way back to the UK as well.

And I know there were others who I'm not including here; it's just so hard to remember you all.

Sadly, I had to miss the biblioblogger roundup as I had to do an additional session for Logos on Josephus, Philo and the Pseudepigrapha. So I didn't get to see Chris Brady, unfortunately. And I never ran into Jim West, though I was hoping to -- Jim, hope you were able to dry off after being "in the cloud" of CTRVHM Holy Phlegm for so long!

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, November 21, 2007 9:29:28 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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