Saturday, August 23, 2008

Back to the Source: A Cool, Fun, Free Movie on Keys to Bible Interpretation

I have stumbled upon an interesting new Bible study software program called ScriptureDirect, which is dedicated to study of the New Testament. The makers of this software have also made a fun little movie called Back to the Source, which can be viewed or downloaded for free. The movie takes you on a journey with Phil, a detective who is trying to figure out the meaning of a small piece of text that was left to a woman by a deceased relative. Although she doesn't understand what the text is or where it came from, she really wants to know what it means because it refers to a mysterious treasure. As it turns out, the text comes from the New Testament and, as Phil tries to find out the meaning, he discovers four keys to interpretation of the New Testament.

If you want to have some fun, check it out. There is no ScriptureDirect advertisement until the very end of the movie. I must say, though, that this looks like both a very useful and an ultra-cool piece of software. Rubén Gómez has given some background about it at his Bible Software Review website:

First of all I should mention a new and innovative program called ScriptureDirect. Bennie Wolvaardt, the developer, worked alongside Johannes Louw himself, who dedicated years of his life to this project after his retirement as professor. The interlinear translation has been prepared specifically for this program, and both the links between the Greek and English and the selection of the most likely meaning from Louw-Nida for each word of the NT have been done one by one. Similarly, it has been proofread word by word. The program does not include a library of books integrated by a search engine. Rather, it is very specific tool for diving into the original meaning of the Greek New Testament. This can be done starting from the English text (typing practice will yield five different semantic domains — i.e., 41.28, 42.3, 42.10, 68.20 and 90.45), the list of semantic domains itself [e.g., 10. Kinship Terms D. Kinship Relations Based Upon Marriage (10.53-10.61)] or the Greek text itself (φυλακή). It is very useful when you follow the designed workflow, but it does not offer yet the ability to make complex command line or dialog searches.

Are there any blog readers who can tell us more about this software? I would like to hear your comments.

1 comment:

  1. I find Scripture Direct to be a useful tool to discover the meaning of the New Testament Scriptures. It gives useful background information and teaches sound principles of interpretation. It brings the user in touch with the Greek by showing how it links up with English translation. The Greek Study Tool enhances the user's understanding of the meaning of individual words. To me the most exciting part is that of systematically examining the text phase by phase within context. The software enables the user to mark words and group phases or sections that are related and to make notes in the process. This can be a very rewarding experience - to discover how the meaning and message of the text comes alive. Scripture Direct is highly recommended for those who want to prepare Bible Studies or Sermons or for those who just want to spend quality time with the Bible in a fresh way.