The NeXt Bible

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Hey everybody, I stumbled upon the NeXt Bible which is being produced by bible.org using the NET Bible. Interestingly when you click on a verse reference it brings up several Bible versions including NET, NIV, NASB, NLT, Message, BBE, NRSV and NKJV. There are a lot of features to this site that are worth exploring including Biblical language tools  (so far only using transliterations). There are Reverse and Classic Interlinears and of course the popular NET Bible notes.

It’s in Beta but it seems to be functioning perfectly to me. Check it out: The NeXt Bible.

33 thoughts on “The NeXt Bible

  1. Mike Sangrey says:

    I guess I’m going to sort of ruin the party here. But, I really, really wish we could get away from verse oriented “Bible study.” IMO, it’s the bane to actually understanding the text.

    I really appreciate the notes! And I do like being able to easily compare versions.

    But, I still find it quite ironic that those who hold to formal equivalency insist on adding the verse form to the text. And worse, structuring the understanding of the Bible around this unnatural form (except in the poetry genre).

  2. Wayne Leman says:

    Mike, the BOtB (Books of the Bible) folks are on to something with their formatting of the Bible so that the O.T. is closer to the ordering of the Hebrew Bible and the N.T. books closer to some kind of chronological ordering. But, even more, they took away the verse numbering to decrease the temptation to prooftext using individual verses. Instead, with the BOtB format, our eyes and brains can take in entire discourse sections of the biblical texts.

  3. David Ker says:

    This has some cool functions that I haven’t seen at BibleGateway.com and I also see it comparing favorably to NLTSB Online. I’d like to play with it more.

  4. Mike Sangrey says:

    I just thought of something…with today’s technology, it’s not that hard to format the text in different ways. They could support both detailed as well as discourse level formating. Hmmmmm…I wonder if NeXt would consider that?

  5. Suzanne McCarthy says:

    I have used the NEXT environment extensively on this blog. It does have Greek and Hebrew but in transliteration. It is linked into lexical data and Strong’s numbers. It is a good resource as long as it is used in combination with other resources.

    I would agree that it is not easy to use but once you get the hang of it, it can be extensive. I have never acknowledged that I use it, although, I reference the lexicons, if I cite from them. The main reason is because of this note,

    The idea of childbearing, then, is a metonymy of part for the whole that encompasses the woman’s submission again to the leadership of the man, though it has no specific soteriological import (but it certainly would have to do with the outworking of redemption).

    One of my goals in leaving the bibliosphere is to not have to interact with ideas of this sort again. I think women should be protected from this kind of thinking.

  6. Suzanne McCarthy says:

    I guess maybe I should have mentioned it but it is one of many different ways to access the same information. I am glad that you did mention it because I took for granted that others were familiar with it.

  7. David Ker says:

    I’m bouncing back and forth between NEXT and NLTSBO. NLTSBO is definitely the cleaner layout but there are a lot of bells and whistles on NEXT for nerdy Bible study.

  8. Peter Kirk says:

    Thanks, David, for pointing us to this, and for returning to blogging here.

    I’m confused by the references to Greek and Hebrew in translation. Looking at the Job reference you gave us I see proper unpointed Greek and unpointed Hebrew. Is this just because I have the right fonts installed? I suspect that the unpointed Hebrew and LXX texts are taken from Online Bible and continue to use Online Bible’s obsolete font system, and so work only if those obsolete fonts are installed on one’s system. See the “Fonts” link at the top of the page and download the font package if you want to.

  9. Dru says:

    Suzanne, I do not think you are fair with the rest of us saying specifically that women should be protected from this kind of thinking. I call that discrimination! I feel we should all, of whatever sex, race, ability or disability, colour orientation or creed be protected from notes such as the one you cite.

    I class myself as reasonably intelligent, but though I recognise the words as written in my own language, I can’t understand them. I thought the purpose of writing was to get across ones message, and perhaps to persuade others to agree.

    The more complex an idea is, the greater that burden rests on the person trying to express it.

    I’d go further and formulate a rule that however learned a person is, if they cannot or will not express their thoughts in a way that gets the message across to the rest of us, they do not merit a hearing.

  10. Suzanne McCarthy says:

    Dru,

    That’s the problem with Bible.org. Every once in a while you find things there that human beings ought to be protected from. But there is a way to have a Hebrew verb parsed on that site, so I do use it on occasion.

  11. J. K. Gayle says:

    David,
    You said here, the following: that your “understanding of the note that Suzanne is rejecting is that it is reflecting the cultural mores of Paul’s days. I reject that application today while acknowledging that it was the belief in that era.”

    Suzanne,
    Are you saying that we should be protected from the cultural mores of the past, or the present, with reference to the NeXT Bible note and other things at Bible.org?

    Dru and anyone,
    Would you feel free to discuss this at my blog?

    (I’m risking violating guideline #4 here, and am tempted to violate some of the others too 🙂 )

  12. Suzanne McCarthy says:

    Kurk,

    You very correctly point out that I am quite likely going against the comment policy here. My comment includes statements that do not relate to the post.

    I personally do not believe that the NET note refers to the mores of the time in which it was written. For example, in the Victorian era this verse was translated by Darby as “a woman shall be preserved through childbearing.” No doubt, each century has had a distinct take on this.

    Paul’s female associates appear too often be unmarried, at least at the time that he mentions them. Phoebe, Nympha, Lydia, etc.

    I also do not think that childbearing in ancient times was considered metonymy for submission to the male. I do not believe that for one instant. I believe that childbearing was within the domain of female authority.

    Rachel, Hannah, Ruth, Tamar, and many women in the Bible were the initiators of the sex act which brought about their pregnancy. I think the NET note belongs clearly to this present day, when men seek to remove the proper domain of the female from the female so as to make all and every attribute of the female into bondage and submission. They want to turn the act of becoming a mother into an act of submission to the male rather than respecting women as life bearers.

    Now I will copy this to your site, Kurk, in case it gets deleted.

  13. J. K. Gayle says:

    CharlesPDog,
    Why get hung up on “protection”? In the spirit of your anti-censorship ideal, couldn’t we as easily say: “I think women should be protected from this kind of propaganda”?

    The whole notion of the NeXT Bible note (i.e., “woman’s submission again to the leadership of the man”) is a notion of censorship, the censoring of women (especially in the context of the note, where there’s the narrow rigid silencing interpretation that Paul is silencing all women, and getting Timothy to do the same).

  14. CharlesPDog says:

    So who gets to be chief censor? What material should we be protected from? Do we all need the same protection? Who decides who gets what protection from what kind of propaganda? What cultures are protected. Age groups? Educational backgrounds?

    If women should be protected against some undefined propaganda, then the censor shouldn’t be a woman. So what man should be appointed to protect women. Al Gore, Obama, Rush?

    I don’t really see the problem with what a bunch on middle eastern men thought 2,000 years ago, unless you believe what they thought was what God really thought. I don’t think so. Either they thought that way or they didn’t. Are you saying they didn’t think that way? Are you saying that the translators agree with what was said? How do you know? Why should I believe you?

    Why not get just say they were/are wrong.

    There are all sorts of people, saying all sorts of things, much of which really messes with my serenity, but I really don’t know that I would trust a professional screener to pre screen what I would find offensive. What bother’s me one day doesn’t the next as much if I accept some sort of psychic change. How do I know what my screener says isn’t good for me to read really isn’t. What if they have some sort of hidden agenda?

    As they used to say about the Abbey Road Album……..Paul is dead

  15. J. K. Gayle says:

    So who gets to be chief censor?

    At this blog, I’m sure it’s rightly the blog owners. Charles, I don’t think you and any of us is that far apart in our views on censorship. The point is that silencing (censoring) is not helpful, especially when half the human race is targeted. That’s why protection is needed. Protection to give equal voice to all.

    But now I’m quite sure we’re off target. So what do you think of NeXT Bible tools?

  16. Wayne Leman says:

    Nobody censors on this blog. This blog is not even moderated. But we co-bloggers do try to pay attention to comments so that flame wars do not erupt and so that people are protected. We don’t want anyone put down on this blog. We try to have fair posting guidelines which can allow for civil conversations which can benefit everyone. Some blogs are moderated to keep away spam and flame wars. So far, we have been fortunate on this blog that we have not had to institute moderating. I host another blog where we’ve had so many flame wars and put-downs that we’ve had to go to moderation. And that has helped a lot.

    On this blog, as on the other one, we privately chat with someone about problematical comments. If there is no resolution in favor of the blogging guidelines, then comments may be deleted. But it is definitely not censorship. We welcome dissent, as well as agreement onthis blog. We just don’t welcome comments which hurt other people, which are uncivil. And we ask that people try to stay on topic for each post. That helps us run a blog where things are focused and yet there is great flexibility to meet the needs of different points of view, personality styles, etc.

    And I suppose we could even figure out some mechanism to accommodate the desires of anyone who has a strong interest or need to discuss a variety of topics which are not currently being blogged about. What comes to my mind right now is that we could open a page or a sister blog for free-for-all comments. We basically did that for the public email Bible translation discussion list. We opened a sister list for topics which were not directly related to Bible translation.

    Thanks for your concern about this issue. And now we return to our regular programming, which is the topic of this blog post.

  17. David Ker says:

    I haven’t been vigilant on moderating. I believe that posts tend to set off comment threads that can go in interesting directions. I think Sue’s original comment was valid because she was making a commentary on the NeXt system and the possible ideological bias of those who wrote them. Dru’s and JK’s comments are for me off-topic or I should say a new topic. I think JK made a nice gesture in offering to take the conversation over to his blog.

    And thanks Peter for the tip on the Greek and Hebrew fonts. This hot new Windows Vista computer of mine just sees Roman characters.

  18. Suzanne McCarthy says:

    I think the issue is that I need to protect myself, so I have to stop reading Bible commentary. I really don’t need to know what Mr. so and so on Bible.org or in the ESVSB thinks about women in this present day and age.

  19. J. K. Gayle says:

    Wayne, I’m sorry (again) and I thank you very much (again and again). I love the fact that you open up and encourage focused discussion (here and at other blogs too)!!

    Since we’re talking about NeXT, the people developing that set of tools really are interested in our participation. They know there are problems needing you and me to help fix:

    “Problem(s): A problem exists today in that the latest biblical scholarship is not available for free or at an affordable cost to the majority of Christians worldwide.”

    “Volunteer: If you agree with the goal to develop a free/affordable world class Bible study toolset and you can volunteer time to be on the project team email the project manager”

    http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=5032#volunteer

  20. CharlesPDog says:

    I think the Net Bible is another tool and I like the large number of comments. I believe the most I study the Bible the more I learn about the mind and manner of Jesus. When translators as such are opine ing SP? about their translation then they are just men thinking about what God meant.

    Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment – to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another”

    As I have loved you is a pretty tall order, but it makes quite clear that anyone who would use a Bible verse or verses to attempt to diminish the value of any of us is wrong in their interpretation. This is why we have a problem with thinking every word that is in the Bible is what God believes or said.

    I think it takes quite an act of ego/self to believe we can accurately understand what Paul had in his mind he wrote something in a letter 2000 years ago, but it always has to meet the primary standard of what Jesus says to us in his two, “New” commandments. That phrase in Timothy does not fly. It may or not be what Paul actually thought, but it certain is in conflict with the “commandments” of Jesus, and probably should not be taken as Gospel……………………….

    I’m probably getting in way over my head, but my take on Genesis 3 is that God is not bringing a curse down on humanity, but was foretelling what is going to happen to humanity after sin has entered. (Kinda looks like how things have turned out, right?)

    The ideas of society/culture that acts in a manner that separates itself from God, can come up with all sorts of behavior/thoughts that are completely at odds with what God wants. No wonder a bunch of Middle Eastern men from 2000 years ago who decided that they could accurately document their interactions God, and then justifying their beliefs may have been tainted by their sinful nature. It is no wonder that people today continue this process, BUT…….it is in conflict and thus further separates us from the God we crave when it doesn’t include loving one another a we were/are loved.

    BTW Kenneth Bailey in his book “Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes has a very interesting chapter on Jesus and women. He did live there for 30 years and always cautions us that the Bible was written there, and not in England.

  21. J. K. Gayle says:

    “not in England?” I thought the Bible was written in the United States. 🙂 Or were you talking about the NeXt Bible again, Charles? (And I love your statements here about love, as the standard, as the hermeneutic. How is it that we can start and end with love, without Jesus and the Bible we find him in? When Gorgias joked that Helen might have been persuaded by love, isn’t that the very serious standard that rings so subjectively true? Are you saying that you can discount the narrow note that Suzanne and several of us object to in NeXt because of what we all, more or less, know better as love?)

  22. CharlesPDog says:

    Well, if I discounted all books etc. because I didn’t like one very small comment, say relative to 60,000 others I wouldn’t have much to study. I don’t like the use of the word “protect” as it is being applied here as it focuses on self cure, or what others ought to do or need in my opinion.
    But absolutely yes , I try not to read, or listen, or watch, or feel things that mess with my serenity, so we are talking about a minor semantic difference.

    I believe God protects us; while we can try to avoid things that unsettle us. A fine line, yes.
    Being unsettled can cause us to avoid the surrender to God’s will, that brings us the very peace we are seeking, i.e., we just sit around with negative thoughts, trying to figure out how we can change persons, places ,or things, we don’t like rather than working through prayer, “positive” study, and meditation to remediate the fear that paralyzes all our thoughts and action. In other words, trying to enter the realm of the spirit for relief rather than the temporal.

    Yes, I do believe this agape love is the standard for an understanding of the mind and manner of God. I don’t dispute the Bible says these things but they are in my opinion the thoughts of men and, hence, biased by our fear of not gaining what we want or losing what we have.

    One of the problems with self centered, as opposed to selfish love, is that it can come out in our opinions (self focused interpretations) is
    that it alienates us from the solution. Love of others as opposed to ourself. As the cliche says not to think less of our selves (or others) but to think of ourselves less.
    How successful am I in this? Not very, at least not numerically significantly to anyone else. I still can’t watch the news yet without presupposing how things are going to turn out bad for ME (fear).
    HOWEVER…..every once in a while I forget self through a truly selfless act of love, which is a significant magnitude of improvement over what I used to be like and feel grateful that I have a God who encourages to make these moves towards “the other” and experience what it is like to be in alignment with God’s will.

  23. Suzanne McCarthy says:

    I don’t like the use of the word “protect” as it is being applied here as it focuses on self cure, or what others ought to do or need in my opinion.
    But absolutely yes , I try not to read, or listen, or watch, or feel things that mess with my serenity, so we are talking about a minor semantic difference.

    It is similar to pornography – something we should protect ourselves from.

  24. Iver Larsen says:

    It is fine to comment on an old thread, and sometimes it is worthwhile to revive it. It looks like the NeXt bible project has been revised and further developed. I was not familiar with it, but it is a helpful resource under the NET Bible. The particular note mentioned above is no longer present, and one would expect a resource like this to be under constant revision.

    My main caution is to not rely too much on Strong’s definitions that can be seen in the Greek section when the cursor is on a specific word. I assume it is from Strong, but I have not checked and I am not sure about the Hebrew definitions.

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