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Integrating BHSA Data with Wider Biblical Resources on Desktop and Mobile Platforms | Eep Talstra Centre for Bible and Computer

It was my pleasure to give a brief overview of BibleBento.com on the 40th anniversary of the ETCBC.  I would like to share a little bit more here, including progress of the development since the presentation.

I am a full-time church minister.  I like collecting Bible resources and softwares for Bible study.  In the past, I tried most popular bible softwares available in the market, but none could satisfy my needs. I want to stick with a single Bible software, which integrates the best resources as many as possible.  Some softwares are very good to deliver various kinds of resources, but they lack solid and high-quality data on the Hebrew Bible.  Though some software companies sell very good modules on Hebrew data, their softwares are not open for integration with other biblical resources and their interfaces are not very friendly for use, especially on mobile platforms.  I had been frustrated with switching back-and-fore between Bible softwares or data until a friend of mine drew my attention to the ETCBC website a few years ago.

Through the website, I found that the ETCBC promotes open science and research, which is very inspiring.  I am also very grateful to ETCBC for their generosity to share their best available Hebrew Bible data for free.  I started by downloading the data and made some modules to fit in the softwares I was using.  Later, I joined the ETCBC “Slack” community, where many good people help me to understand more on using the ETCBC data.  As I use more ETCBC data, I cannot live without it in my Bible study.  However, I had not yet found a software integrating ETCBC data with other kinds of biblical resources in a good way.  Neither can I easily fit the unique set of linguistic data of BHSA into the softwares I used.  That’s why I started a small project BibleBento.com.  My goals were simple and they are still the same now.  First, integrating ETCBC’s BHSA data with wider biblical resources.  Second, to provide the public free access to such a wonderful resource with friendly and accessible interface.

At BibleBento.com, I started by formatting BHSA’s data on morphology and linguistic analysis.  Not only presenting the Hebrew Bible data, I also mapped the data with other resources, like Greek Bibles, modern translations, Hebrew lexicons, commentaries and resources on biblical backgrounds, etc.  Praise the Lord that many send me good feedback about the website.  I am happy with the site, except that I cannot use it in London Underground, where internet signals are very poor. In addition, it lacks some of the features that I want.  As many users already got used to the BibleBento.com interface, rather than changing it, I started some things other than BibleBento.com.  I am not a IT-trained person, but with God’s grace, I tried many different things.  Below is a few examples:

Now I really enjoy to study ETCBC’s BHSA data on every platform, whether desktop or mobile.  I think the public is really blessed by the good work pioneered in ETCBC.  Without the core data, shared by ETCBC, none of the above work is possible.

Blessings,
Eliran Wong