Bartholomew on “What the World Needs from Christian Academics”

Faithlife Today has posted a clip that mostly contains an interview with Craig Bartholomew about “what the world needs from Christian academics.” The post is dated 11 October 2017, but interview seems to have been recorded some time ago, before Bartholomew’s move to the Kirby Lang Institute and seemingly also before the publication of his introduction to hermeneutics. Even so, the content of the interview remains quite a poignant challenge.

Theology’s Hermeneutic Interest

Photograph of H. G. GadamerH.-G. Gadamer concludes his essay on “The Universality of the Hermeneutical Problem” by commenting on the importance of language, with an interestingly theological turn. Gadamer suggests,

The … building up of our own world in language persists whenever we want to say something to each other. The result is the actual relationship of men to each other…. Genuine speaking, which has something to say and hence does not give prearranged signals, but rather seeks words through which one reaches the other person, is the universal human task – but it is a special task for the theologian, to whom is commissioned the saying-further (Weitersagen) of a message that stands written. (Philosophical Hermeneutics, 17)

To be sure, Christian Scripture and the broader Christian tradition can and do speak for themselves. But, it is doubtless specially incumbent upon those with vocations in theology, biblical studies, preaching, and other Christian education areas to see to the passing on of this testimony and to its interpretation in various contemporary milieux.

For other reflections by and on Gadamer, see also previous posts on his thought.

Moberly, “The Bible in a Disenchanted Age”

Moberly, "The Bible in a Disenchanted Age" coverDue out from Baker Academic in January 2018 is R. W. L. Moberly’s The Bible in a Disenchanted Age: The Enduring Possibility of Christian Faith. According to the book’s blub,

In our increasingly disenchanted age, can we still regard the Bible as God’s Word? Why should we consider the Bible trustworthy and dare to believe what it says? In this creative, accessible, and provocative book, leading Old Testament theologian R. W. L. Moberly sets forth his case for regarding the Bible as unlike any other book (and the Bible’s Deity as unlike any other deity) by exploring the differences between the Bible and other ancient writings. He explains how and why it makes sense to turn to the Bible with the expectation of finding ultimate truth in it, offering a robust apology for faith in the God of the Bible that’s fully engaged with critical scholarship and compatible with modern knowledge.

For additional information or to pre-order, see Baker Academic, Amazon, or other book sellers.

SBL BibLit on iOS

One of the less-than-ideal features of using an iOS device for editing or producing documents in Biblical Studies has been the difficulty of getting standard biblical language fonts (e.g., SBL BibLit) to work on the device. There are now, however, at least a couple solutions:

  1. Chris Heard has discussed how AnyFont can resolve the issue successfully and allow users to install SBL BibLit (or other fonts) onto iOS devices and use them within standard productivity tools (e.g., Pages, Word, Keynote, PowerPoint). In the App Store, AnyFont goes for $1.99.
  2. On the freemium side of things, Fonteer will also do the same thing. Fonteer’s free version allows users to install up to 3 fonts. So, if you anticipate only using this number or fewer, the free version will do the job. Fonteer premium (also $1.99 via in-app purchase) allows unlimited fonts to be installed. Below is an example of Fonteer working with a draft excerpt from my essay in Explorations in Interdisciplinary Reading.

Example of Fonteer working with SBL BibLit

Logos 7 Basic for free

Choosing a platform for Biblical Studies software can be tricky, inasmuch as trying things out for yourself is probably the best mechanism for finding what will work for you. But, obviously, you want to do that trying out before you commit to one of the options. This process is now a bit simpler with Logos 7 Basic, which is available for free.

HT: Tyler Smith. For available trial versions of other Biblical Studies software, including Logos, see Trial versions of Biblical Studies software.

Biblical (Digital) Humanities

Biblicalhumanities.org 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 Biblicalhumanities.org 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.

HT: AWOL

Trial versions of Biblical Studies software

Software that supports biblical and theological scholarship can be pricey, and shifting from one platform to another or working with multiple ones can be even more so. In that context, “try before you buy” is a helpful principle, and Mark Hoffman has helpfully collected links to trial versions for several of the major options.  Subsequent discussion on that post has noted a couple more besides.