Thursday, July 26, 2018

Jonathan Robie: "Needed - An Open, Trustworthy, Trusted Greek Text"

Jonathan Robie at presents an important argument about the need for an open, trustworthy, trusted Greek text. He writes:
The Bible is at the heart of digital biblical humanities, and open scholarship depends on an open text that can be used in scholarly publications and translations. For the Greek New Testament, the critical editions that can be used in scholarly publications and most translations are not open. The texts that are open are generally not considered acceptable for scholarly publications or translation. Something's got to give.
While arguing for such a Greek NT text, he notes that for the Hebrew OT there is

HT: James Tauber @jtauber on Twitter

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Media Used for Bible Reading

In my previous post, I noted the Crossway survey on how people read the Bible, but I also noted that they didn't ask what media people use to read it. So I conducted my own survey!
It's a small sample size (21), but I suspect it's fairly accurate considering that the respondents are ones who found the link on a Bible and technology blog. The chart above shows the overall weighted scores. If there is any surprise, it's that hardcopy Bibles are being used as frequently as those reading it on their smartphone.
Here's a more granular view:

Again, it's clear that physical copies of the Bible are as popular media as smartphones. I will confess that I read the Bible almost exclusively on my home computer / work notebook, but when I'm in church I use my Samsung Galaxy Note 5. The only time I use a hardcopy Bible is when I'm preaching and want to have a visible reminder in my hand that the Bible is my reference.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Crossway Survey: How do you read the Bible?

Crossway recently conducted a survey to see how people read their Bible, how often they read, favorite books to read, hardest to comprehend, and study tools people use, etc. Some interesting results, but on the question of "What things do you usually have with you when you read the Bible?", they didn't include any technology aids. (Cf. graphic above.) I know that these days I primarily am reading the Bible on my computer or phone.
So, I've created my own quick, 1-question survey: "What Bible media form do you use?" Thanks for participating!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Via Egnatia - Walking with Paul from Neapolis to Apollonia

I've put together a video that will allow you to walk with Paul and Silas from Neapolis to Apollonia. HERE is the video in which I cover the following.

Acts 16.9-10 recounts Paul's vision while he was in Troas of the "man of Macedonia" asking him to come over to Macedonia. In Acts 16.11-12 it says:
We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. 
After the incident with the slave girl in Philippi that caused such a scene, Paul and Silas leave Philippi, and Acts 17.1 states:
After Paul and Silas had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.

What Paul and Silas did, actually, is follow the Via Egnatia (VE) from Neapolis (modern Kavala) to Philippi to Amphipolis to Apollonia. It was the most important west-east roadway in Greece from the 2nd century BCE to the 5th century CE, and even into modern times it has been used as a key travel route over. The VE figures prominently in much of history, especially in terms of troop movements such as occurred with the famous Battle of Philippi in 42 BCE where the forces of Octavius and Antony defeated those of Brutus and Cassius.

Parts of the VE are still visible today, and visitors can walk on the very same path trod by Paul and Silas. In July 2017 I had the opportunity to do some exploring looking around for the VE in the area between Neapolis and Apollonia. I've put together a video that gives some background and identifies aspects of this part of the VE. I don't know how much of the information I share is new or merely speculative, but there are a few things that might encourage you to take a look.
  • If you are planning to visit the area, I give directions on accessing parts of the roadway that still exist between Neapolis and Philippi and at Apollonia.
  • There is an interesting 1st century CE monolith erected by the ancient VE that visitors usually miss since the new highway between Neapolis and Philippi runs south of the ancient VE. (The new highway was marshy land in ancient times.)
  • I was able to 'see' on Google Earth, using the historical imagery feature, remnants of where the VE ran west of Philippi, and it's even possible to 'see' remnants of the fortifications Cassius and Brutus built.
  • I note a couple of structures that were likely gateways or fountains of some kind on the VE west of Philippi.
  • I photographed a site at Apollonia where tradition claims that Paul stopped and preached on his way to Thessaloniki. This site is rarely visited since the new highway runs north of Lake Volvi while the VE ran on the south side.
Thanks are due to the Via Egnatia Foundation which provided some tracking information. If you want to walk the VE yourself, be sure to check them out.

If there are any corrections to my presentation, please let me know!