Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Simple Parallel Bible

On Bible Software Review Weblog, Rubén Gómez points to this excellent site:

Simple Parallel Bible

This is one that I can't adequately explain all the advantages of -- just go and play with it. This is how the site advertises itself:
The Simple Parallel Bible is a search and lookup tool that can be freely added to any PHP/MySQL website. It lets you link to multiple passages, in parallel (for side-by-side comparison) or in a list, all with a single link and without leaving your own site.
This is a versatile and very useful tool and, like many of the best on-line tools, its beauty is its simplicity. There is no question about what catches my interest -- its ability to create user-defined Synopses of the Gospels. The site itself illustrates this function, though it does not use the word "Synopsis", with this example:

Rich Young Ruler

Rubén Gómez illustrates it with this example:

Parable of the Salt

The point here is not just that there is a nice simple Gospel Synopsis in English available here. For that, you can do no better than John Marshall's Five Gospels Parallels. Rather,it is that the user can define what passages s/he wishes to view. Let us say that I want to look at the Temptations together, I type matt 4.1-11|mark 1.12-13|luke 4.1-13 into their search box and get this:

Temptations of Jesus

Or without even going to their search box, I can just write in URLs in this format:|mark+1.12-13|luke+4.1-13, substituting, of course, the passages I wanted to see together. Now the Temptation narrative is a pretty usual parallel to view and you can view it this way in all the Synopses. So let us say that I wanted to do something more unusual and to view Matt. 12.46-50 // Mark 3.31-35 // Luke 8.19-21 (Jesus' Mother and Brothers) alongside Luke 11.27-28 (Women in Crowd), I simply type in matt 12.46-50|mark 3.31-35|luke 8.19-21|luke 11.27-28, or I write|mark+3.31-35|luke+8.19-21|luke+11.27-28 and I get my parallel thus:

Matt. 12.46-50 // Mark 3.31-35 // Luke 8.19-21 and Luke 11.27-28

Now all that needs doing is to introduce the same techniques with the Greek NT and we will have something even more useful.

What a useful resource; this is just a taster. More on this anon.

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