Thursday, September 21, 2006

Today we are going to look at another site that could be helpful for Christians— The site does provide a lot of useful information on a variety of topics; it also tries to sell books to the user.

The site provides three options for the users: Use the Bible, Understand the Bible and Share the Bible. The “Use the Bible” section allows a person to look up specific verses or words. The user has six English versions of the Bible to choose from: King James, New King James, New American Standard Bible, English Standard Version, New Century Version and the Message. It would be nice if they also provided access to the NIV, TNIV or The Message//REMIX. The site is heavy on translations that are of the “formal equivalence” style. Additionally, the King James is filled with an unacceptable number of errors and these errors are carried into the New King James Version. Making available several good “functional equivalence” Bibles would provide a better balance to the site’s users. (Read my posting from September 12 for an explanation of formal and functional equivalence.)

The “Understand the Bible” section functions like a Bible dictionary or encyclopedia. Type in “Absalom” and see what you will find. There are free articles from Smith’s Bible Dictionary and Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary. There are also three additional books that a person can purchase that would have entries on Absalom. I did a quick Google search for “Absalom” and was able to find a wealth of information. Not knowing the theological assumptions of the eBible sources, I would try to use additional sources to gain a well round perspective on the topic I was looking up.

The third option is “Share the Bible.” This allows the user to tag a verse and to view verses that have been tagged by other users. I am still relatively new on the whole “tag” thing. Flickr, a photo web site, was my introduction to tags. Users can place tags on their photos (such as “sailing,” “sailboat,” “BVI,” etc.). People can search for photos with specific tags and then view those photos. Two summers ago my wife, mother-in-law and I spent a week on a narrow boat on the canals of England. In Flickr you can search “narrow boat” tags and see what narrow boats actually look like. eBible’s tags are placed there by individual users. This allows you and me to place our ideas about a verse on the web to influence others. It also means that we are subject to the how others would tag a verse. I think that it is an acceptable tradeoff. There is a HUGE list of tags or you can search for specific tags.

eBible will be one of the sites that I use. My guess is that will be of greater help to me.

Check out eBible and see what you think.


At 7:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't hold your breath on using for too long. It's pretty clear that whoever behind the site is illegally violating every copyright possible for those translations. Downloadable PDF's and Word doc's? It's called stealing. All of those works are copyright. It will only be a matter of time until the site is suspended, or the people behind it end up in court or behind bars.


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