- Bible Software:
-Accordance8 was released in May of 2008, but they are now up to version 8.4 and have also released a Spanish edition.
-Zondervan's Pradis was discontinued.
-glo Multimedia Bible was released in October. I hope to have a review up on it in the near future.
-The most significant news was probably the release of Logos4. Lots of things to like about this new version, and I want to get some of my now more experienced reflections blogged down soon. I did post a few things here and especially here.
-I was unable to make the SBL meeting in New Orleans in November, but the Bible Software Shootout created some waves. Read Rubén Gómez' take and follow the links from there.
-WORDsearch9 was released. (See the BSR notes.)
- Biblical sites, mapping, interactive tours, photos: There is a Virtual Walking Tour of Al-Haram Al-Sharif = Temple Mount. Also check the searchable map of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. A very nice Animated Dead Sea Map went online in July.
There are virtual 3D representations you can literally hold in your hands of selected models in Google Earth including the Parthenon and Coliseum, Solomon's Temple, St. Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai, and more. (Development of new models has slowed down, though I had expected a greater interest in this technology.)
Bible Mapper was revived with the release of version 4!
- Google is expanding everywhere: biblical art in museums inside Google Earth (which is now up to version 5) and a news timeline and a similar images search (and try out the new image swirl!). Google Wave was announced in May, and I've been working with it for a while now, especially as an educational and collaborative tool. Google Squared has some possibilities for biblical studies as well, and Google Trends proved that Jesus is bigger than the Beatles. Using Google Street Views, take a virtual tour of Pompeii.
- Online books, libraries, and study resources:
-Due to copyright restrictions, the wonderful Zhubert = ReGreek site was pulled down in March. In something of a response OpenScriptures (spearheaded by Weston Ruter) has really stepped up. Be sure to check the Manuscript Comparator. (Do also check my post on comparing GNT texts in the major Bible software programs.
-Google provided its Books for iPhone and Android phone. Do also check on other Free Bibles for Kindle, iPhone, or iPod Touch. Google's digitization endeavor is truly helpful but has been debated. Personally, I'm a supporter, and I think there is a future for tablets/slates for reading ebooks.
-There is now an Online Virtual Library of Medieval Works, the Perseus Digital Library received an update in March, and the World Digital Library was officially launched in April. I also discovered a nice online Jonah - Hebrew Comic.
- Zotero, the bibliographical plugin tool for Firefox, was improved, and one can export libraries from Logos or BibleWorks into it. You may also want to check out WebCite.
-The ESV Study Bible came online in March, and the ESV itself continues to grow as a version of choice among many, usually somewhat 'conservative,' congregations.(A free account allows you to create your own notes online, but you need to pay for a subscription or have purchased a hardcopy to gain access to the study notes.) Greek Bible Study online has now become " Great Treasures in the Scriptures." (Somehow this strikes me a bit like "Precious Moments," but the site is still quite remarkable.) John Dyer started an excellent Greek & Hebrew Reader's Bible site that allows you to customize a desired level of lexical and morphological information.
-If you want recommendations for Greek-English lexical resources, I conducted a survey whose results appear representative and reliable to me. Here are some observations on such resources in Accordance, BibleWorks, and Logos.
- Biblical Apps for Mobile Devices: This is a hot field. Laridian and OliveTree have both been very busy keeping up with all the devices out there. (OliveTree participated in the SBL Bible Software Shootout and, remarkably for a mobile platform, was able to conduct the test.) With the release of Logos4, Logos released a very nice (and free!) implementation for the iPhone/iPod Touch.
- Bibliobloggers: Though there has been some contention about it, SBL has acknowledged bibliobloggers as an affiliate group. I think it provides some validation for us bloggers and provides a bit of assurance of quality (maybe?) to readers.
- Biblical Fonts: The long-awaited SBL Greek Unicode Font was released in March. I'm still looking forward to the SBL BibLit font which will include Hebrew, Greek, and transliteration characters. Silver Mountain's Humana2 font was released as was IFAOGrec Unicode. If you need to sort Unicode Greek (i.e., according to Greek and not English), check this out.
- Search Engines: SearchMe (which I liked) disappeared and MyGodSearch (whatever) survived, but Bing and Wolfram|Alpha appeared on the scene. The latter has limited use for biblical studies, but Bing has proven useful. Some of its satellite imagery of biblical places is superior to Google Maps.
- Indices: I tried to organize the work I've done collating and categorizing resources at my Scroll and Screen site. If you are looking for links to Bible study resources, biblical mapping resources, Bible software, original language (Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, Latin) resources, and biblically related media, it's a good place to start. (I pulled together quite a bit of material which would be useful from a biblical perspective at my Sites for Art, Pictures, Music, and Video related to the Bible / Christianity, including a specific collection of Gustave Dore's works.) Mark Goodacre's NT Gateway remains a first stop. It received a complete overhaul and is now maintained in collaboration with Logos.
On a more personal level, I'm still trying to figure out the future of seminary education (here and here) and, in particular, its relation to technological resources.