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#173) Researching Cultural Background


Timothy Jenney
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[Accordance 12.2.9: Intermediate] One of the hardest parts of studying the Bible is identifying important cultural background issues. Fortunately, Accordance offers a wide variety of resources dedicated to this subject—and an array of techniques to access them quickly and easily. Join Dr. J as he explains how to research cultural background information in Accordance.

 

Additional note: I'm really pleased with the progress biblical scholars have made in this area in the last twenty years. These resources are now more available and easier to assess than ever before. As far as techniques, Accordance has made incredible improvements in the last four years (since Accordance 10). Once upon a time we "amplified" a word to a single source, investigating the sources one-by-one as we searched for insights. Now, Accordance 12 offers us powerful search tools and filters to investigate multiple resources as a group: the Info Pane, Live Click, and Research.

 

I wonder what we'll come up with next?!?  (Like our Accordance facebook page!)

 

https://www.facebook.com/accordancebible/videos/1507019752775164/  (Like our Accordance facebook page!)

 

https://www.accordancebible.com/Cultural-Background

Edited by Timothy Jenney
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Thank you Dr. J!

 

Another set of resources are the books by Kenneth E. Bailey. Do you know if they  will be available in Accordance?

 

John

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That's an excellent suggestion, John!

 

I was unaware of his works until you mentioned him. I just looked over them on IVP's website and checked his reviews on Amazon. It looks like he produces quality material.

 

Who was the guy that proceeded him that took a similar approach? I'm thinking he wrote in the 1970s. Seems to me he may have been Jewish and wrote on Jesus' parables.

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Hah!

 

Joachim Jeremias

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Thanks, Randy!

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Who was the guy that proceeded him that took a similar approach? I'm thinking he wrote in the 1970s. Seems to me he may have been Jewish and wrote on Jesus' parables.

We used the good shepherd in our home group but amy-jill levine (editor of jewish annotated nt) has a brilliant entertaining approach on the parables and is also similar though more recent.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Short-Stories-Jesus-Amy-Jill-Levine/dp/0061561010/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1537896869&sr=8-2

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Thanks for the suggestion!

 

I haven't read her, but used Jeremias' books for years. They are too old to have e-texts, so I doubt we'll ever be able to bring them into Accordance. They are on my personal bookshelves, though.

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My favorite NT prof during my MDiv studies in the early nineties, the late Harold Songer, was big on Joachim Jeremias. I took at least three of Songer’s classes, including “Judaistic and Hellenistic Backgrounds of the New Testament." I tended to purchase as many of the books Songer recommended as I could afford. He would say, “The best book on this subject is by...” and the scholar he named was often either Jeremias or Martin Hengel.

 

In preparing for our recent move, I put every book I had by Jeremias in a “to be scanned” box. I’ve often created PDFs of older books that I imagine might not ever be available in digital form. I don’t remember copyright dates on them, but when I do get around to scanning them (which won’t be anytime this year), I’d be glad to privately share any that could be determined to definitely be in public domain. However, I don’t believe any of the books by Jeremias will be that old yet.

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I looked at a couple of publication dates for Jeremias, Rick. One was 1969. Another was 1972.

 

Martin Hengel is another one of my favorites.

Edited by Timothy Jenney
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"Here's an older podcast on the topic hosted by a much younger Dr J"

 

Ha! I see what you did there.

 

Thanks for another informative podcast. It has prompted me to peruse some resources I hadn't looked at for sometime. Accordance has quite a good selection of resources in this area and very helpful to see them showcased here.

Edited by Michael Hunt
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Thanks for the suggestion!

 

I haven't read her, but used Jeremias' books for years. They are too old to have e-texts, so I doubt we'll ever be able to bring them into Accordance. They are on my personal bookshelves, though.

 

Yet interestingly we have Edersheim as e-texts which pre-dates Jeremias by a handful of decades.

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Yet interestingly we have Edersheim as e-texts which pre-dates Jeremias by a handful of decades.

 

Maybe because Edersheim is no longer copyrighted? Maybe there were public domain e-texts of Edersheim that were used, which means the scanning and editing process is avoided.

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Maybe because Edersheim is no longer copyrighted? Maybe there were public domain e-texts of Edersheim that were used, which means the scanning and editing process is avoided.

Suspect you are right. I do like the fact that Edersheim is still well regarded after all these years and that the texts have been converted to allow a new audience to read them. No chronological snobbery here.

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Edersheim is in the public domain. I'm not sure about Jeremias, as I don't know when the cutoff date was for the new copyright laws.

 

Here is information on US copyright laws and the duration of a copyright: https://copyright.cornell.edu/publicdomain

Edited by Timothy Jenney
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In preparing for our recent move, I put every book I had by Jeremias in a “to be scanned” box. I’ve often created PDFs of older books that I imagine might not ever be available in digital form.

I too have been doing this for several years now. I wonder what your workflow is?

I use a Snapscan document scanner, but it requires the spines to be cut off the books first.

I scan in greyscale at the highest quality, then I do OCR in Adobe Acrobat Pro 11 (searchable image, highest quality).

One you have a PDF with OCR, you can fiddle with then compression settings as you wish, but the better the scan the more accurate the OCR should be.

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I too have been doing this for several years now. I wonder what your workflow is?

 

Alistair, it looks like our workflow is very similar. I have a Fujitsu Scansnap Scanner, too; and I get the spines cut off books I’m getting scanned.

 

I did not renew Creative Cloud earlier this year, so I’m no longer using Adobe Acrobat Pro, but I’m using PDF Pen Pro in its place. 

Edersheim is in the public domain. I'm not sure about Jeremias, as I don't know when the cutoff date was for the new copyright laws.

 

Here is information on US copyright laws and the duration of a copyright: https://copyright.cornell.edu/publicdomain

 

Yes, it looks like I’ll be keeping Jeremias to myself until I’m an old(er) man. Sorry if I got anyone’s hopes up!

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Alistair, it looks like our workflow is very similar. I have a Fujitsu Scansnap Scanner, too; and I get the spines cut off books I’m getting scanned.

 

I did not renew Creative Cloud earlier this year, so I’m no longer using Adobe Acrobat Pro, but I’m using PDF Pen Pro in its place. 

The Acrobat I use is pre-creative cloud, but I have been looking for alternatives for the day when it is no longer supported or the Mac OS outgrows it.

PDF Pen Pro was one option I looked at. But I have not been able to find an option to OCR in multiple languages (ie Greek and Hebrew) alongside English.

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...and have you used it? Do you find it accurate?

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...and have you used it? Do you find it accurate?

 

I’ve used Abbyy from within the respective applications it came with for OCR work. But I usually switched to Acrobat Pro for cropping, properly aligning pages, better compression control, etc., because it was better at those kinds of things. When I dropped Adobe, I found that PDF Pen Pro was capable (at least in everything I’ve tried so far) of doing everything that Acrobat could do.

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I have tried ABBYY and I also have the lite version that comes with Devonthink Pro as well.

I think I have tried the demo version of every available Mac OCR program I could find: but I came back to Acrobat Pro 11 (not Creative Cloud).

I have tried PDFPenPro and I think I rated it as a possible replacement for Acrobat should the time come for that.

At the moment (as of about 4 months ago) I couldn't see any reason to move on from Acrobat Pro 11 as long as it keeps on working.

Speed and accuracy I find depends on the bast possible scan, hence I scan at 600 DPI greyscale.

I could scan in 1200 DPI bitmap, but apart from OCR and searching the documents I also need to read them, and bitmap text is ugly to read.

Everything is a compromise, of course.

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Alistair, I put a lot of my scanned books on my iPad and view/read/annotate them in GoodReader. What do you use? 

 

I picked GoodReader in the early days of the iPad (2010) because at the time, it was the only PDF reader that wouldn’t crash when loading a 700+ page philosophy textbook (that I had scanned), which I was using in a class I was teaching at that time. The annotation tools in GoodReader are excellent, but the interface has always been a bit clunky to me. I’m sure other PDF readers on iOS would would be stable enough for large documents today. Now that I’m using PDFpenPro on my my Mac, I’ve considered trying out the iOS version.

 

What do you use? 

 

And Tim, I realize this thread has strayed way off point. My apologies for contributing to that fact. On the positive side of things, though, your thread now has a “Hot” status in the forums, which I’m sure will draw people’s interest to the podcast :-)

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Rick, get forScore for reading pdfs!!!!!

 

Its quite happy with my huge pdfs that come with computer books, 1600 plus pages and images. Interface, annotation and everyth8ng is excellent and its already had two updates since ios 12 was released. All problems quickly resolved. Plus you can link files to it.

 

;o)

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