# Tuesday, May 24, 2005

In the Shamless Self-Promotion department, I have a post over at PastoralEpistles.com about the meaning of the word ἀπωθέω. If you have any comments, feedback or pointers I'm happy to receive them. You can even use this thread for comments if you'd like.

Thanks!

Post Author: Rico
Tuesday, May 24, 2005 11:16:51 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

#     |  Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]
# Monday, May 23, 2005

Yes, it's time for a "various thoughts" post. Just a few small notes that don't make sense to turn into larger posts.

First, welcome to the blogosphere, Biblaridion! (via Stephen C. Carlson's Hypotyposeis). I don't know Bryan Cox, but his profile says he's a programmer who's into Greek stuff. I sense synergy. Too bad he's in Plano, or maybe he, Zack Hubert and I could get together for coffee somewhere and really "geek out".

Second, I finished Nancy Pearcey's Total Truth last night (late last night). It's been awhile since I've burned through a book like that, and it was good. If you're looking for a book that explores development of a Christian worldview, surveying the philosophical development of worldview and where we are today and why it's so messed up along with suggestions on how to fix it, then Pearcey's book is one you should check out.

Third, it's time for a Rhapsody Playlist. Here's what's playing in my car for the next few weeks: Subie Sounds (June 2005). The artists are: Third Day (live stuff), Burlap to Cashmere, The David Crowder Band and Pierce Pettis. And a Charlie Peacock tune thrown in for good measure. And probably the best version of I'll Fly Away that I've ever heard (no, it's not the recent Jars of Clay version).

Fourth, today is my kayak's one-year birthday! Some ricoblog readers may not know, but in the past (from, say 2001-2004) I had an on-again/off-again project building my own 18-foot sea kayak. I photo-blogged the building of the kayak before blogging was cool (and I did it with hand-hacked HTML in TextPad ... eeeeiiiuuuwww!). One year ago today, it hit the water for the first time. Here's a photo to commemorate the occasion.

Rick's kayak on top of the Subie after its inaugural paddle!

 

Post Author: Rico
Monday, May 23, 2005 8:19:55 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

#     |  Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]
# Saturday, May 21, 2005

[notes on §8]

So, every chapter of the Epistle to Diognetus that I read I think, "yeah, this one is my favorite". Ok, maybe not §§1-4. But after that, wow! Section 9 is no different. There's a crescendo building, but I think this time it really is the peak. Section 10 (which I'll blog about at a later date) is a definite transition, so in §9 the author is reaching the end of his statement of Christianity and why it is the one true religion.

But §9 actually starts out slow. EpDiog 9.1 is long and basically transitions the argument from that of §8 into the soteriological apologetic of §9. The transition is necessary; the author needs to establish that while in times past it might seem like God must not have cared because he hadn't acted through His Son to save His chosen, this really isn't the case. Here's EpDiog 9.1 in Ehrman's translation:

And so, having arranged all things by himself, along wtih his child, he permitted us -- while it was still the former time -- to be borne along by disorderly passions, as we wished, carried off by our pleasures and desires. He took no delight at all in our sins, but he endured them. Nor did he approve of the former time of unrighteousness, but he was creating the present age of righteousness, so that even though at that time our works proved that we were unworthy of life, we might in the present be made worthy by the kindness of God. And when we had demonstrated that we were powerless to enter the kingdom of God on our own, we were enabled by the power of God. (EpDiog 9.1, Ehrman)

You can start to see where the author is going. Important to note is the " ... we were enabled by the power of God" bit. That is, this isn't something that we were able to do on our own, God had to act to enable us. The reason? Sin, of course. We are separated from God by sin. We cannot overcome this. Therefore God must act to redeem us and bring us to him. Check out the progression below, I've put each step of the progression in v. 2a-e in a separate line, with my comments in brackets:

a. For our unrighteous way of life came to fruition and it became perfectly clear that it could expect only punishment and death as its ultimate reward.

[Sin prevents us from approaching God and only merits punishment and death, nothing else.]

b. But then, when the time arrived that God had planned to reveal at last his goodness and power

[God acts and intervenes]

c. (Oh, the supreme beneficence and love of God!)

[Spontaneous praise, but can you blame him? He's just said that we can't approach God and can only expect death and punishment. Then he says that God intervenes. Praise God!]

d. he did not hate us, destroy us, or hold a grudge against us.

[Huh? We're sinners, God won't abide sin, but he didn't smite us?]

e. But he was patient, he bore with us, and out of pity for us he took our sins upon himself.

[Huh? He takes our sin upon himself?]

The balance of EpDiog 9.2 is pretty cool, I think.

He gave up his own Son as a ransom for us,

αὐτὸς τὸν ἴδιον υἱὸν ἀπέδοτο λύτρον ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν

the holy one for the lawless,

τὸν ἅγιον ὑπέρ ἀνόμων

the innocent one for the wicked,

τὸν ἄκακον ὑπὲρ τῶν κακῶν

the righteous one for the unrighteous,

τὸν δίκαιον ὑπέρ τῶν ἀδίκων

the imperishable one for the perishable,

τὸν ἄφθαρτον ὑπὲρ τῶν φθαρτῶν

the immortal one for the mortal.

τὸν ἀθάνατον ὑπέρ τῶν θνητῶν

The word order in the primary clause is Subject-Object-Verb. Typical order (if there is such a thing) in Greek is Verb-Subject-Object. So there may be some sort of shift in focus or something going on here. Though God is the subject, the whole clause here really focuses on the role of Jesus Christ (the prepended element). At the least, "[God's] own Son" is being 'emphasized' in the word order.* This pattern ([accusative singular] ... + [ὑπέρ] + [genitive plural]) parallels the word order of the following phrases: [accusative singular] + [ὑπέρ] + [genitive plural]. Isn't that cool?

If you needed some help on remembering what the preposition ὑπέρ plus the genitive means, I think you found your test case to drill on.

I also find interesting the uses of alpha-prefixed form (negative/opposite) followed by the regular form of words some of these lines. I'm sure I'm stretching, but this is a blog post, so ... here we go. There are three places where the opposite of something is listed as a divine attribute:

the innocent one for the wicked,

τὸν ἄκακον ὑπὲρ τῶν κακῶν

the imperishable one for the perishable,

τὸν ἄφθαρτον ὑπὲρ τῶν φθαρτῶν

the immortal one for the mortal.

τὸν ἀθάνατον ὑπέρ τῶν θνητῶν

These are qualities where the alpha-prefixed form is desirable: innocent or un-wicked; imperishable or impervious to decay;** and immortal. Now, when do the comparisons not have the alpha-prefixed version as a divine attribute?

the holy one for the lawless,

τὸν ἅγιον ὑπέρ ἀνόμων

the righteous one for the unrighteous,

τὸν δίκαιον ὑπέρ τῶν ἀδίκων

Here, the word for holy is compared to one unlawful (or 'lawless' or 'without law'). Also, God is righteous and man is unrighteous. The contrast in the types of words that are used in these statements is interesting to me. God, who is supreme and perfect, nonetheless takes some words in thier alpha-prefixed state to describe his perfection, and other words that describe him need an alpha-prefixed state to provide the negative of the attribute.

The next two verses are short and sweet:

For what else could hide our sins but the righteousness of that one?
How could we who were lawless and impious be made upright except by the Son of God alone? (EpDiog 9.3-4, Ehrman)

It is a quandry, and it doesn't make much sense. True, only the sinless one could act to attain victory over sin. The only way for us to achieve victory over sin is through the victory of the Son of God. We can't do it.

Verse 5 seems to serve as a summary to this point, with inserted spontaneous praise of the author:

Oh, the sweet exchange! Oh, the inexpressible creation! Oh, the unexpected acts of beneficence! That the lawless deeds of many should be hidden by the one who was upright, and the righteousness of one should make upright the many who were lawless! (EpDiog 9.5, Ehrman)

He's in a state of wonder and awe. We should be too. When was the last time you considered just how amazing it is that God has done this for us?

There's still EpDiog 9.6, but I'll let you read that one yourself.


* Did I get that right? I'm going on memory here. Also, note that the English translation switches the order to 'typical' English order, Subject-Verb-Object.

** ἄφθαρτον (imperishable) is just a cool word. I've been studying it a little (it occurs in 1Ti 1.18, among other places) and may have a future blog post or two on it. Not for awhile though.

Post Author: Rico
Saturday, May 21, 2005 11:25:54 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

#     |  Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]
# Thursday, May 19, 2005

I thought it might be interesting to post what I'm currently reading and what's on deck.

So, without further adeiu:

In Progress

  • Nancy Pearcey. Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books). 2004. 479pp. This was given to me by a friend to read, and it is well worth reading. You should read it too. I'm about 140 pages into it. This is my primary book right now, I hope to read it quickly, both because it is the sort of book I tend to read and absorb quickly, and because I've got so much other good stuff to get into.
  • Stanley E. Porter and Matthew Brook O'Donnell. The Greek Verbal Network Viewed from a Probabilistic Standpoint: An Exercise in Hallidayan Linguistics, in Filologia Neotestamentaria vol XIV, pp. 3-41. 2001. Just picked this one up today and started reading it over lunch. I've already noted a few other Filologia Neotestamentaria articles mentioned in footnotes that may be worth reading.
  • Ray Van Neste. Cohesion and Structure in the Pastoral Epistles, (London: T&T Clark, Int'l). 2004. 354pp. I've been working on this one for a bit, taking it slow. I'm about 60 pages in. Good stuff.
  • Anthony Kenny. A Stylometric Study of the New Testament, (Oxford: The Clarendon Press). 1986. 124pp. This is slow reading, but good reading. Kenny starts at the beginning, realizing he needs to discuss the most basic statistical stuff in order for this text to be useful to non-statisticians (like me). I'm about 30 pages in (so, through chapter 5), but this one will be sitting for a bit. I find myself re-reading the earlier chapters just to make sure I get it.
  • Kevin Gary Smith. Bible Translation and Relevance Theory: The Translation of Titus. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa). 2000. 260pp. I'm about 30 pages in. I'm most interested in the Titus translation and rationale (chapter 4) but the rest seems to set the scene for that, so I decided to read whole paper.
  • Mikeal C. Parsons and Martin M. Culy. Acts: A Handbook on the Greek Text. (Waco: Baylor University Press). 2004. 558pp. I'm on page 125 (so, Ac 7.20). I read anywhere from three to seven or so verses each weekday morning. So, I read the Greek, translate in my head and compare to the translation of Parsons & Culy, taking consideration of the grammar/syntax/translation notes provided. Then I dwell on the text for a bit.

On Deck (In no particular order)

  • Stanley E. Porter. Verbal Aspect in the Greek of the New Testament, with Reference to Tense and Mood. (New York: Peter Lang). 1989, 1993, 2003. 582pp. This is more hopeful than anything. I've read the foreword and other chunks, but I need to work through it at some point. It'll be a tough slog, though. It's intimidating stuff.
  • Stanley E. Porter. Studies in the Greek New Testament: Theory and Practice. (New York: Peter Lang). 1996. 290pp. I've read a few of the essays, but need to read the balance of them. It won't happen anytime soon, though.
  • Stanley E. Porter (ed). The Pauline Canon. (Leiden: Brill). 2005. 254pp. Just got this one. I'm itchin' to get into it, but need to finish off a few things above before I get into this one.
  • N.T. Wright. The Resurrection of the Son of God. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press). 2003. 817pp. I've read the other two volumes in the series and need to read this one. It's tough for me to get into because I don't think I like where Wright is going.
  • Alexandre Dumas. The Count of Monte Cristo. (New York: Modern Library). 1996. 1462pp. I've read this before (within the past two years) and I loved it. I couldn't put the book down. I want to squeeze it in again, but know it will consume me when I do pick it up.
  • C.S. Lewis. The Chronicles of Narnia. Need I say more? The last time I read these books I burned through them. 7 books in one week, one book per night. It was awesome. I'll probably take it a little more slowly this time. Maybe. When I get around to it.

That's it. A little Porter-heavy in the on-deck list, but that's life. If you're going to read stuff about the Greek of the NT, these days it means you have to deal with Porter. I also want to read Schneemelcher's NT Apocrypha volumes, but that's a ways out at present.

Update (2005-05-20): Wayne Leman of Better Bibles Blog provides more info and his perspective on some of the books in the above list. In his comment below, he notes that he's one who finds himself in several books at once as well.

I'm not quite sure how I started doing that myself, I think it happened when I really started purchasing books and had more than one to read at a given time. I find, for me, it's the only way to get things done. Sometimes it's hard to pick up in the middle of something that I haven't read for a few weeks, but it is manageable. I usually have different types of books, too. I'll have a book I can just blitz through (Pearcey's Total Truth), a book on slow burn (Van Neste on Cohesion) and then some others just to cycle through to keep things interesting.

(n.b. Just added Wayne's blog to the blogroll).

Post Author: Rico
Thursday, May 19, 2005 10:53:28 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

#     |  Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]

Mark Goodacre provides a link to a story about how Reuben Swanson is passing along his collection of MS facsimiles (microfiche, print editions, etc.) to Kent Clarke, professor of religious studies at Trinity Western University (about an hour from Bellingham ... yippee!).

I've written about Dr. Swanson's work on ricoblog before. His stuff is impressive and helpful; I'm looking forward to seeing Dr. Clarke take up the baton and run with it. And if he needs any help with the Pastoral Epistles ... I'm just an hour away (ha, ha, only half-joking!)

But in reading the story posted on Newswise, I came across the following paragraph. In a Jim-Davila-inspired moment,* I decided I needed to post about it. Here's the paragraph in question:

One notable collation scrutinized by Swanson’s critical edition is Constantine Von Tischendorff’s eighth edition of the Greek New Testament. This book is generally regarded as the most accurate edition of the Greek Bible, and it’s critical editions such as this that most modern English translations—such as the New International Version (NIV)—are based upon.

First, they've misspelled Tischendorf's name. And there's the phrase "... and it's critical editions such as this ..." that needs to be rewritten. But I'll leave issues of spelling and grammar aside and get on with the textual stuff.

I'm willing to be wrong, but I've never heard that Tischendorf's eighth major edition is "generally regarded as the most accurate edition of the Greek Bible". Seems like there's some confusion between Tischendorf's eighth major edition and Codex Sinaiticus.

I'll grant that Sinaiticus is one of the oldest, most complete manuscripts available and that it is relied upon heavily in textual criticism. And one major aspect of Swanson's approach is to use Vaticanus as the primary text in contrast to Sinaiticus. But the claim of "most accurate" seems difficult to substantiate.

Also, the NIV isn't based on Tischendorf's text. I don't know of a single modern translation based on Tischendorf's text. To be fair, the paragraph doesn't explicitly say that, but they sure leave it ambiguous.  The NA/UBS text (which is at least the text most textual scholars agree to use as the basis for translated editions) differs from Tischendorf's in numerous places. I don't have the counts handy or distributable, but yes, I've done the raw comparisons.

I'm guessing that numerous facts are conflated in the paragraph excerpted from the article. I'm guessing they're trying to note the following:

  • Tischendorf was a stud. I've said this before, it bears mentioning again.
  • Tischendorf found Sinaiticus, and much of his eighth edition was influenced by that great and valuable find.
  • Sinaiticus is way old. Fourth century old.
  • Sinaiticus contains a complete NT and much of the OT, as well as some other stuff (Barnabas, Hermas, etc.)
  • Textual critics love Sinaiticus because of its antiquity and completeness, and because the story of the discovery is so cool. (ok, I added the bit about the cool discovery).
  • Tischendorf's Sinaiticus-flavored eighth major edition was eclectic; he considered variant readings where variants existed and went with what made most sense to him according to his method of text criticism.
  • Tischendorf's eighth major edition was a massive work and its scholarship is still valuable today.** His representation of the textual variants is still the most complete listing of variants in one place (though Deustche Bibelgesellschaft's Editio Critica Maior may very well displace it, whenever it gets finished).
  • Modern translations of the NT are typically based on these eclectic editions of the Greek NT, not on particular manuscripts (e.g. Sinaiticus or Vaticanus).
  • Swanson uses Vaticanus (another fourth-century MS) as his primary text and lists variants to Vaticanus aligned beneath the Vaticanus line. This is how Swanson "scrutinizes" Sinaiticus.  

Ok, I'm done. I'm still stoked about that collection only being about an hour away from where I live. Anyone with a TWU library pass want to take me to the library for a visit?

Update (2005-05-19): Thanks to Mark Goodacre for the note and link from NT Gateway Weblog. And thanks to Stephen C. Carlson (Hypotyposeis) for his comment below (despite his busy schedule wrapping up his forthcoming book) and his clarification that Tischendorf is highly regarded due to his critical apparatus, not the text of his edition. Note that I've also made a few edits above and swapped some things around.

Update (2005-05-23): Thanks to Jim Davila for linking from PaleoJudaica. It's always a compliment to have a link from PaleoJudaica.com. I just had no idea I was so quotable. Be sure to check PaleoJudaica for, as Dr. Davila puts it, another example of "cool ancient manuscripts and creative technoligies for reading them".


* Dr. Davila's CARG Biblioblogger abstract notes:

I will also discuss some of the uses to which I and other bibliobloggers have put our blogs, such as commenting on and supplementing media stories in our areas of expertise; noting errors (which frequently are rife) in such stories; reporting on scholarly conferences we've attended; sharing our preliminary thoughts on our research; and sometimes providing advance summaries of scholarly work we are publishing.

** I've written a recent blog post that compares Tischendorf's apparatus to the NA27 apparatus.

Post Author: Rico
Thursday, May 19, 2005 9:14:59 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

#     |  Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Jim West at Biblical Theology has a post with information on the upcoming CARG session on Biblioblogging at the SBL annual meeting. Mark Goodacre of the NT Gateway Weblog has a follow-up post titled Bibliobloggers @ CARG.

Mark mentions that I'm scheduled to present a paper to the CARG on the subject. I'm pretty excited to be presenting. My history with the SBL is short — my first SBL meeting was the 2004 San Antonio meeting. Logos brought me along to help answer questions about projects we were (and are) working on, and encouraged me to go to as many sessions as I could squeeze in. It was a blast. Since then, others encouraged me to submit a few paper proposals. And here I am today.

As Mark notes, my paper will focus on PastoralEpistles.com, the blog/site where I keep information (some blog, some bibliographical, some other) on the Pastoral Epistles. While I know that PastoralEpistles.com doesn't do everything right (it's basically a prototype I slapped together over a few weekends; more work planned over the summer), I think it illustrates some interesting things that can be done via the blogging medium, particularly in the realm of compiling topic-specific annotated bibliographies.

Admittedly, my presentation will probably be a bit more technical (but not too technical) than "scholarly". But I'm very pleased to have had my presentation accepted, and I'm quite thrilled to see the list of folks on the panel presentation* and realize that I'm on the panel along with them. It should be a fun session.

Update (2005-05-18): Jim Davila of PaleoJudaica provides an abstract to his CARG paper on Biblioblogging. Mark Goodacre posted a copy of my submitted abstract (second indented paragraph) earlier today.


* Mark GoodacreJim Davila, A. K. M. Adam, Tim Bulkeley, Stephen Carlson, Ed Cook, Torrey Seland (hopeful rather than confirmed) and Jim West.

Post Author: Rico
Wednesday, May 18, 2005 8:59:10 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

#     |  Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]
# Monday, May 16, 2005

This is the cool part of blogging. Someone you've never met but shares similar interests posts something in the morning. You read the post and have your own thoughts and interact with it and drop the original author a trackback, comment or email. He responds.

You meet someone who shares interests, and you're able to dialog about things, and hopefully all parties involved are able to learn a little something new.

That's what's going on right now between Roger Sperberg (at Electric Forest) and me. Our perspectives are a little different — from what I understand he's looking at portable devices (either dedicated reading devices or Palm/PocketPC style devices) and ebook content for those areas. My perspective due to my role at Logos Bible Software is different, thinking about delivering ebook titles in the area of Bible study and reference through the Libronix Digital Library System.

That said, I think Roger and I agree on the basics. Books are books, whether paper or electronic. Roger writes in his first post:

But the point is to look at the limitations of a print book and, without changing the essence of the material being presented, then to release the e-book from those limits.

And, of course, he's right. There are things that just need to be there for a book to be considered a book, despite the presentation technology (paper or pixels, fixed or portable). Roger refers me to a paper by Bill Hill from Microsoft titled The Magic of Reading (MSWord Doc). If it is the paper I think it is, it is worth reading — and I need to read it again, it's been awhile.

Roger and I are on the same page here. It's almost like there is, deep in the dark recesses of Plato's cave, the clear distillation of book-ness and in most instances it has only been reflected poorly in the electronic arena. The question isn't only technological, it is about what makes a book a book. Too often us techno-types get bogged down (or altogether too excited) about the technology and we forget the purpose: books are what people read and study. Roger continues in his second post:

So if I focus my argument on making books for the digital library instead of discussing the broader topic of ways of delivering information, it's because I agree [with Bill Hill] that books play a special role for us. Let's not re-invent everything just because we can.

Right on. We're still in agreement. And Brannan's First Law of Electronic Book Design ("Just because you can doesn't mean you should") apparently still holds. There is something about books that we're comforted by, that we're used to, and that we take pleasure in when we use them. So we need to shoot for that quality of book-ness when electronic editions of books are created. And we need to do this in the context of a digital library.

Roger and I start to differ when we take into account different reading platforms, when we start to move from general ebook theory into the reality of delivering content to a platform. Admittedly, I'm a little biased because I have a vested interest in thinking about the platform that Logos Bible Software runs on. The platform that Logos targets is the Windows user (and now the Mac user too!). This means desktops, laptops and a few (though increasing) TabletPC users. Logos is about providing libraries of content (customizable and expandable) to its users. We focus on Bibles and Bible reference tools; so think commentaries, dictionaries, foreign languages, ancient languages, and all sorts of assorted study guides, topical resources, cross-reference resources and the like (currently over 4,000 titles, and counting!). But because Logos delivers to a desktop/laptop doesn't mean that the importance of electronic editions that have that sense of book-ness isn't still there. We strive to do that as much as possible. Some of these areas are:

  • We preserve paragraphing and attempt to emulate the typeset page within font and display constraints. So we don't have paged material for display, typically, because we have a continuously scrolling and re-sizable environment.
  • We do, however, encode page breaks from the printed resource for citation purposes, and we do allow users to view a "visual filter" that puts page numbers in the text flow so they know where they are in the book.
  • We encode subject/author indexes with the entries attached to articles. Thus users can search specific books, sub-collections or their entire custom library for subject index entries.
  • Books are organic things, typeset as they were to convey certain information. We do our best to preserve this. We don't stuff every book into the same "global template" as if we really think all top-level headings must be 16 point Arial bold. That would be ridiculous. The book display should remind the user of the printed version, especially if the user is familiar with the printed version. So we select a serif or sans-serif font in accordance with the book's style; font sizes and weights and whitespace are all handled similarly.
  • We encode all sorts of bibliographical metadata in the resource through including MARC record content for most every text resource, along with similar metadata in a Dublin Core style. This information is used within the application in numerous contexts, from browsing the library by Library of Congress subject, or author, or title; down to generating sub-collection or library-wide bibliographies in a number of formats, to appending a citation (in the user's preferred format) to copied excerpts. Why do this? Well, one aspect of book-ness involves considering how the book functions within the context of a collection of books (a library).

In his third post, Roger adds these final words:

My point in my post is not that e-book publishers don't know that they should or could link more, bring in other texts and pictures, and so on, but that you and I, as bringers-about-of-the-future, as Prometheans of publishing, have TWO obligations to meet if we are to succeed: we must find the things (hyperlinks in your case, motion graphics for process in my example) that print books can't do AND then execute these capabilities in such a fashion that in every other aspect we humans still regard the object we are reading as a book.

Remember too that every criterion I could list as to what makes a book could almost be met by magazines and newspapers and web pages — and CD-ROM publications too — and that I claim a special role for books. Hill's title claims the magic for reading and not for book-reading, and so maybe I'm on thin ice when I argue from this position. But it's why I focused on books instead of information retrieval as the key issue for libraries going into the future. Many people won't agree with me; and perhaps you won't agree with me, but that would be their and your prerogative. But my story is we've got to keep an e-book really booklike, and I'm sticking to it.

Agreed. Though I'd amend the last sentence in the first paragraph to say something like "... still regard the object we are reading and using as a book." Not all books are read or used in the same way. My context means I think much more about reference books; books that are accessed randomly and not necessarily sequentially. Many of these aren't books that are read from cover to cover but are read as they are consulted in discontiguous pieces. But Roger's bottom line, " ... we've got to keep an e-book really booklike" is spot on. I'm glad to hear it.

Too often (particularly in electronically representing reference books) the book-ness is stripped through concessions to technology. We don't want to do that at Logos. Bob Pritchett and other colleagues of mine have been able to instill a healthy value for the art of typesetting. It's why we're interested in looking at books (and at codices and scrolls from before the age of the printed page) to see how they communicate information. It's why I get jazzed when I look at the Complutensian Polyglot and realize that not only are the different language editions of texts aligned in columns, but through a superscript letter system they're actually aligned at the word/phrase level — and that in a book that was published in 1522!

There is something about the book. If Bill Hill says it's magic, he may be right. But we do need to do our best to not mess it up when we make electronic versions of things.

Thanks, Roger, for starting to write about these sorts of things. I'm looking forward to the sorts of topics y'all over there at Electric Forest have planned to blog about in the future.

Post Author: Rico
Monday, May 16, 2005 10:35:15 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

#     |  Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]

I finally broke down and bought a copy. University of Chicago has published it in a one-volume paperback with a price of $35.00, so I could resist no longer.

The print, however, is a facsimile and it shrinks the original pages way down, stuffing 4 original print pages to one facsimile page. I've got mixed feelings. On the one hand, I'm happy to have the content (normally reliable Abebooks has had no used copies of the original printing available for some time ... I've been looking). On the other hand, the presentation is sub-par. The pages are crammed in order to make the content as large as they can be in a four-up setting. But it only makes me want a copy of the original.

books | greek
Post Author: Rico
Monday, May 16, 2005 5:06:59 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

#     |  Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]