Biblical (Digital) Humanities is

a community of computer scientists, Bible scholars, and digital humanists collaborating to create open digital resources for biblical studies. Our emphasis is on open resources for biblical languages, such as morphologically tagged texts, treebanks, and lexicons. We hope that these resources will be used widely for teaching, research, and resources used to read and study the Bible.

The initiative sponsors the B-Greek and B-Hebrew forums, but I had missed the memo that these were connected to the larger entity. The website provides a selective but helpful dashboard of current resources.

For a couple additional resource lists see “Online Research” and the Christian Institute for Digital Humanities.


Tyndale House GNT

Tyndale House Greek New Testament coverThe Tyndale House Greek New Testament is set to be released with Crossway on 15 November 2017, just in time for SBL. The text is already available for pre-order on Amazon.

According to the volume’s blurb, the principal editors, Dirk Jongkind and Peter Williams, have

taken a rigorously philological approach to reevaluating the standard text—reexamining spelling and paragraph decisions as well as allowing more recent discoveries related to scribal habits to inform editorial decisions.

Meanwhile, the principal editors have begun a blog about the edition. According to the blog’s initial post, future posts

will explore what such method means in practice at the hand of examples, and also probe the boundaries of such approach. However, in practice the emphasis on scribal behaviour implies that if, in the past, exegetical and theological arguments have been used to address a particular variant unit, we happily ignore these arguments if there is also a perfectly adequate transcriptional explanation.

HT: Dirk JongkindMike Aubrey


A history and future of Google Books

Google Books logoScott Rosenberg has an interesting essay that traces the rise, development and possible future of Google Books and, to a lesser extent, similar efforts like Internet Archive and HathiTrust. Rosenberg’s narrative is largely one of decreasing momentum. He comments,

There are plenty of other explanations for the dampening of Google’s ardor [for Google Books]: The bad taste left from the lawsuits. The rise of shiny and exciting new ventures with more immediate payoffs. And also: the dawning realization that Scanning All The Books, however useful, might not change the world in any fundamental way.

But, interesting possibilities definitely remain on the horizon. While it remains to be seen what of those materialize, Google Books still provides a useful tool in its own niche area.

For the balance of Rosenberg’s discussion, see his original essay.

Truly unmethodical: Gadamer’s “Truth and Method” in English translation

Photograph of H. G. GadamerThis spring, I had the privilege of teaching a seminar in which H.-G. Gadamer’s Truth and Method was the core text through which we worked over the course of the term. The work’s English translation is in its second edition, prepared by Joel Weinsheimer and Donald Marshall. This second edition, however, now exists in at least four different printings with four different sets of pagination.

An overview of the printings

In his Whose Community? Which Interpretation?, Merold Westphal has the following helpful note about the earliest two of these printings:

In a reader-unfriendly gesture, Crossroad reissued this second edition in 2004 with different pagination. (70n2)

I haven’t found a 2004 edition issued by “Crossroad.” The first English edition seems to have been issued in 1975 by Sheed and Ward, with the second edition following in 1989 by Crossroad. The second printing of the second edition I’ve only yet found to have been issued by Continuum. The first of these was in 2004. A second Continuum (third overall for the second edition of the English translation) was issued in 2006.

The main difference between the second and third printings (both by Continuum) seems to be the shift from footnotes in 2004 to endnotes in 2006. So, I wonder whether I’m missing a printing somewhere or whether Westphal’s footnote should perhaps read “Continuum reissued this second edition….”

In any case, the pagination shifts induce Westphal to adopt an awkward-but-helpful citation format of “TM x/y”

where x = pagination for the 1989 edition and y = pagination for the 2004 edition. (70n2)

Westphal’s volume came to press itself in 2009. So, the differences in the 2006 printing of Truth and Method may have come to light insufficiently early to have invited yet a third set of pagination to be included in Westphal’s footnotes.

The situation has, however, now been still further compounded with Bloomsbury’s 2013 release of its own edition in the Bloomsbury Revelations series. This fourth printing of the second edition has been entirely re-typeset, producing still a fourth set of pagination that readers and researchers must handle.

Further, this fourth printing appears currently to be the only one readily in print, Continuum having been absorbed by Bloomsbury. The second  and third printings under the Continuum name seem to have been discontinued but are still available in a variety of more-or-less used copies. The two times that I’ve previously taught the seminar that I did again this spring, I’d used the 2006 text. But, students started having an increasingly difficult time obtaining copies in good shape. In addition, not until writing this post did I fully realize some of the shifts involved between the 2004 and 2006 texts themselves. So, for this spring, we shifted over to the 2013 text, hoping to bring things current and make getting one standard text into folks hands a bit easier process.

The 2013 printing and its difficulties

Ahead of obtaining my copy, I looked at some of its reviews on Amazon, and three in particular struck me. One concern was related to this fourth printing’s durability and margin size. Having now worked through and thoroughly marked up the whole text of the 2013 printing, both its durability and margin size seem quite reasonable to me. (On advice I first encountered in Rick Ostrov’s Power Reading, however, I do routinely prepare a book’s spine before I start reading the volume. So, this may account for why the binding may or may not hold up well under different circumstances.)

Of more concern were two reviews that addressed the quality of the reprint itself (1, 2). Surely, though, I thought, these must be overly critical reviewers—who might themselves not be entirely able at judging where errors occur in what is admittedly quite a difficult text to begin with. Unfortunately, having now worked through it, there are several features in the 2013 printing that do make it seem to be a reasonable hypothesis that it was produced by scanning the 2006 text (which also has endnotes, as does the 2013 text), running it through optical character recognition software, and not proofreading it as attentively as would have been helpful to readers before it went to press (cf. Steve S.).

More minor errata

Some of the errata I’ve noted in the 2013 printing are below with the corresponding correction from the 2004 printing. (Yes, despite the fact that it looks like the 2013 printing derives from the 2006 printing, I’ve used the 2004 printing for this discussion as the reference basis for the table and class exchange scenario below.)

On page in the 2013 printing, the text Should read, as found in the 2004 printing
xii Erfah-rung Erfahrung
xv Ver-ständigung Verständigung
107 instead Instead
319 sciences: sciences.
326 techne —but techne—but
361 iilustrates illustrates
361 latter— “experience” latter—”experience”
370 platonic dialectic Platonic dialectic
417 bat but
456 language —differentiates language—differentiates
471 As f see it As I see it
496 grasped, ft grasped. It
518 “feeling [the smart quotation mark curls in the wrong direction] “feeling
520 need only have be need only have be [“need only have been”? a mutual error in the two printings?]
536 Historistnus Historismus
552 —”all [the smart quotation mark curls in the wrong direction] —”all
558 modem modern
559 Bewußitseins Bewußtseins
587 language —seems language—seems

A more serious erratum

Doubtless, this list is not a full one, and some of these errata are fairly nominal. But, in the seminar, we also came across a more serious erratum that we had to spend several minutes sorting out in order to understand what was happening.

In the 2013 printing, we read the following sentence:

In a real community of language, on the other hand, we do not first decide to agree but are always already in agreement, as Aristotle showed.82 (463)

On consulting note 82 to follow up on the Aristotle reference, we found

Cf. pp. 429f. above [and GW, II, 16, 74]

The bracketed portion is a reference to the series of Gadamer’s Gesammelte Werke (Collected Works). Dutifully following the reference to pages 429–30, therefore, we were puzzled to find not a discussion of Aristotle but of Plato and Socrates in Cratylus. After perusing that section for some minutes, I finally pulled the 2004 printing off the shelf, found the corresponding note (446n82), and followed its indication to pages 431–32 in that printing. Lo and behold, there, the discussion is indeed of Aristotle and his Topics in a way that helpfully informs the latter comment quoted above.

In the 2013 printing, however, this discussion doesn’t occur on pages 429–30—per the note in that printing. Rather, it appears on pages 448–49 (!). The endnote reading “Cf. pp. 429f. above [and GW, II, 16, 74]” apparently derives from the 2006 text. In that text, the endnote has the same reading as in the 2013 text, but the discussion of Aristotle and his Topics actually does occur in the 2006 text on pages 429–30.

In addition, the above-noted errata from xii and xv in the 2013 text do not involve hyphenation in the 2004 printing. But, both involve line-breaking hyphens in the 2006 printing that apparently weren’t removed when the formatting changed for the 2013 text and these terms no longer fell at the ends of lines.


In sum, Gadamer’s Truth and Method is a seminal text for contemporary reflection on hermeneutics. It is also, unquestionably, a difficult text through which to work. (For an introduction and overview, see the very good walk-through in this post.) English speakers can surely be grateful for English editions of the work, but the publication history of this text in English and what seem to be the errata in the most up-to-date English printing mean that—at least for the present—there are a few additional matters to be noted and navigated as readers work through and with this tome.

Linking Zotero to Logos

In the past, the Logos Talk blog has addressed integration with Zotero a couple times (1, 2). Another helpful way to connect the two platforms is by using Zotero’s “attach link to URI” feature.

The option can be found via the attachment menu or by right-clicking a particular item in Zotero. The option allows users to specify a name (if desired) and link (i.e., URL) to a given location.

This feature in Zotero can become even more useful when paired with Logos’s ability to export a URL that will open a given resource, even in the desktop version of the software. So, for instance, will open Blass-Debrunner-Funk. Or, will open the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew.

Adding these links in Zotero also has the helpful benefit of indicating which resources in Zotero you have in Logos. I’ve occasionally gone hunting in the library or submitted an inter-library loan request, only to find that—buried amid everything else in a previous Logos base package upgrade or library expansion—I already had the resource there.

Keener on Isaac and Ishmael

Craig Keener has an interesting post on the interaction between Isaac and Ishmael in Gen 21:10. The post mainly outlines the major options for what the text might be suggesting and promises two followups that will discuss “Isaac’s line being Abraham’s heir [as well as] the propriety of Abraham sending Hagar and Ishmael away.”

Better attention than a goldfish

Goldfish imageA recent study commissioned by Microsoft Canada found, disturbingly, that the human participants’ average attention spans had fallen to 8 seconds, a shorter time frame than measured for goldfish (Evernote, New York Times). One of the major suspected drivers of these results is the propensity of the participants to use a mobile device while “paying attention” to something else.

Even comparatively minor distractions apparently have a compound effect on concentration and productivity (Computers in Human Behavior, Evernote). What is required to avoid this effect will be different in different contexts (Knowledge@Wharton). But, being as “present” as possible in or to whatever situation we’re engaged in should be helpful in at least raising for ourselves the question of whether the amount of time and life invested into something—e.g., a ding, chirp, buzz, beep, or blink—is actually worth the return that might be expected from that thing.