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Archive for August, 2007

YouTube Video of New Testament Social Networking Data

The people behind the Many Eyes data visualization site recently pointed us to a minute-long YouTube video of someone playing around with the New Testament social network data we posted in January. The person clicks around the visualization. and makes some observations about how hard it is to find someone without a connection to Jesus.

Thanks, johnkoetsier, for taking the time to make and upload this video!

August 31, 2007 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,Digital News,News | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:27 am | (2) Comments »

More iPhone News

Last month Crossway published a press release that mentions the iPhone ESV site you learned about here first. It also discussed a few statistics:

The main ESV Bible web site receives over 100,000 unique visitors a month, up from 1,000 visitors a month when it launched in July 2002. Over the past five years, Crossway has led innovation in Internet access to the Bible. Key events include:

  • February 2003: Crossway launches a Bible web service API, allowing other web sites to display the ESV text on their sites and create innovative “mashups.”
  • July 2003: Crossway makes the ESV available as an RSS feed, becoming the first Bible publisher to embrace RSS.
  • April 2005: Crossway begins the ESV Bible Blog, which is regularly updated with news and links about the ESV.
  • January 2006: Crossway allows people to hear any verse or combination of verses in the ESV streamed over the Internet. This feature is still unique among Bible web sites, which typically require listening to complete chapters from the Bible, not individual verses.
  • May 2006: Crossway launches its first mobile-friendly web site.
  • May 2006: Crossway makes its devotions available in iCal format for integration with Google Calendar.

Crossway just published another press release that discusses an iPhone book-browsing application. It lets you browse and search the full text of many of Crossway’s most-recent books. Try it at http://www.crossway.org/m.

August 24, 2007 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Digital News,ESVBible.org,News | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:49 am | (2) Comments »

BibleMap.org Interview

Today we have an interview with Tim Kimberley, one of the people behind BibleMap.org. BibleMap.org is an ESV/Google Maps mashup we previously wrote about in January. Keep up with the latest developments at the BibleMap.org Blog. Thanks to Tim for letting us interview him!

1. What’s the purpose of the BibleMap.org? Where did you get the idea for it?

The purpose of the site is to very simply connect every location in the Bible with Google maps. I was reading my Bible one morning and came across a location I had never heard of before. I grabbed one of my Bible atlases off the shelf and looked in the index and the location wasn’t in the index. I grabbed another atlas and the location wasn’t there either. I realized Bible atlases have publication requirements and aren’t able to be exhaustive. I began wondering if I could bring together a site which would be very simple yet powerful and exhaustive.

2. How long did it take you to create? What tools or processes did you use?

I have probably put about 200 hours into the project so far. I designed the site completely in Adobe Photoshop CS3. I wanted it to have a simple/clean look so I wanted to just focus on the looks before turning to implementation. The implementation of the site was done completely through Dreamweaver CS3. The guts of the site is PHP with a MySql database. I like PHP and MySql because it is so inexpensive to get up and running. A digital Bible was provided by the fine ESV folks and the Bible locations, images and descriptions were all donated or already open to use. The majority of the work was writing PHP code to hook up all the functionality of the site and then to generate all the files the site would use. When users are going through the site, they never touch the database; it’s all cached and generated files. I use AJAX to get all the data and use either included html files in some cases and JSON javascript files in other situations.

3. What’s some of the hidden functionality that the average visitor to your site might not come across?

Some of my favorite functionality which I always hope people see are all the photos and descriptions associated with locations. For example, if you select Acts 18 and then click on Athens there are many photos attached to Athens which show the area from the ground. The site currently has about 400 photos awaiting discovery.

4. What are your plans for the site in the future?

I am working to double the locations we currently have hooked up through the site. I have gained access to many more locations which will hopefully continue to get the site as exhaustive as possible. We are getting close to being as exhaustive as modern biblical research will allow. We are also working to greatly increase the photos associated with each location. We currently have about 400 photos in the site, yet we have over 6,000 photos at our disposal. So we are working to get the site saturated with these photos.

5. What do you do when you’re not working on the site? Who are you, anyway?

While not working on the site I am finishing up a Master of Theology (Th.M.) degree at Dallas Theological Seminary. I also design the Dallas Seminary website (www.dts.edu) and I also design and develop www.helives.com (new site coming online September 1st, 2007). My wife and I are involved with our local church and thoroughly enjoy our two little children.

August 22, 2007 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,Digital News,Interview,News | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:04 am | (9) Comments »

J. I. Packer Audio Clip about the ESV

Here’s a brief audio clip (460KB MP3) of what J. I. Packer said about the ESV at a banquet hosted by Crossway at the International Christian Retail Show in 2006. A transcript:

I was privileged to act as General Editor of the English Standard Version, and now that I look back on what we did in producing that version, I find myself suspecting very strongly that this was the most important thing that I have ever done for the Kingdom, and that the product of our labors is perhaps the biggest milestone in Bible translation in certainly this last 50 years, and perhaps more. Perhaps I ought to be saying 100 years—I think I should, actually—because it was almost 100 years ago that the paraphrase renderings of the Bible began to present themselves, as they did, as the version that you ought to read if you want to understand the Word of God. I think that, while in the short term it was not false entirely, did set the world of Bible translation and distribution off on what long-term was going to prove a false trail.

Crossway used a form of this quote in two press releases in 2006. The audio only recently became available.

August 10, 2007 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,ESV,News | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:19 am | (4) Comments »

“Are Christians Still a People of the Book?”

John at Dead Theologians Society asks why Christians don’t read more, especially when it comes to their Bibles:

Based on some people’s reactions, I almost feel apologetic sometimes asking people to read the Bible during the week! As a culture, we are losing our ability to be ‘good readers’ and with that, a commitment to read the Bible. That cannot be good!

So, what are we to do? Perhaps some suggestions are in order?

Make reading a priority in your life. If you want to get good at something, you have to practice it. Reading is no different. I hear people all the time say to me, ‘but I am not a strong reader!” Well, you can correct that by reading more often….

Understand the priority the Bible gives to the Bible—especially reading it. The Kings of Israel were required to read the Law closely enough to make their own hand-written copy (Deut 17:18-20). This makes sense, after all how can one lead a people by something he has never read? Paul also writes to Timothy and tells him to think over what he writes (2 Tim 2:7). This implies he has read Paul’s words and should do so over and over again….

Parents, read with your kids and to your kids. Study after study has shown that the biggest influence on making children readers is having parents who encourage them to read. Read lots of things with them – everything from Dr. Seuss to the Bible.

August 8, 2007 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible Study,Life / Doctrine,The Christian Life | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:03 am | 1 Comment »