Thursday, April 22, 2010

Scripture Tools for Every Pastor (STEP)

Tyndale House has an interesting project to provide Bible-study tools for pastors. See the writeup here, and also here. Looks very interesting and encouraging. Now if we could only use or extend it for Bible translation...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The wheels keep turning

Another long, but insightful blog by Tim over at Distant Shores Media (DSM) again explains how copyrights of Christian materials can limit discipleship. He also talks about a forthcoming Open Discipleship License -- it's not completely clear but it sounds like something that DSM is developing as a niche alternative to Creative Commons licensing.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Trickles turn into rivers

Kudos to programmer Michael Paul Johnson for realising many years ago that Bible copyrights impede a lot of good, constructive Christian activities in the digital/Internet age, and for adapting and editing the now out-of-copyright American Standard Version (ASV) of 1901 into the World English Bible (WEB), which is given as a public domain gift to the world.

I came across it a couple of years back as I wrestled with similar concerns, and considered joining MPJ's effort. But although we have many overlapping interests, I was aiming at a different audience, and decided to move towards a similar project, but named The Open English Translation (OET) Bible. Imitation being the best form of flattery, I have also started by updating English words in the ASV (e.g., seeketh -> seeks, prayest -> pray) and making some other automated changes. In my spare time for the last few weeks, I have been learning the Pinax/Django platform to try to find an effective way to host a Bible editing wiki-type site.

Then last week, I came across The Open English Bible. It starts with the Twentieth Century New Testament (which I had never heard of) and does something similar. Obviously, with a website already up, and a preview release of Mark already available, lawyer Russell Allen is already way ahead of me! (It has a Creative Commons Attribution licence and like me, he's also a Python man.)

I'm sure there's others too out there -- the Net is a BIG place! I know that Door43 is also trying to do something similar.

So is this encouraging or discouraging? The trickle turns to a stream. Might it turn into a river? At least I was probably on to a good thing, even if I'm now just one of many. At the risk of stubbornly continuing with the individualistic "do your own thing anyway" philosophy, I think I'll continue dreaming and slowly plodding forward for now. I'll try to start writing more about my OET intentions soon...

Added P.S.: I knew there was another one I should have mentioned. Kata Biblon (meaning: according to the book) has set up the Wiki English Translation (WET), also taking inspiration from MPJ and based on the WEB. Thomas Moore has already done a LOT of work to get this up and going.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Christianity and Copyright

I don't have time to craft my own blogs yet, I guess because I'm still spending time on the net learning what others are up to. And I keep discovering more people with overlapping ideas. Here's another at Nathan Smith's blog.