The bible project has had an unusual, but largely positive, start.
The group behind the project, called The Bible Project, has created an online collection of more than 3,000 ancient texts that it hopes will serve as a benchmark for how to interpret and interpret scripture.
“We’re trying to take the bible from a book that was created in a very specific way, and give it a different perspective,” says Daniel Siegel, the project’s chief executive.
“If you think about the Bible in a broader sense, it’s really a book about history.
It’s a collection of books that are supposed to be seen in that context.
So we want to be able to show that it’s a text that’s not just the word of God but the word that people believe.”
The Bible project is part of a larger movement to bring more religious texts into the digital age.
More and more religious scholars are using digital tools to read and interpret texts from the ancient world, but the Bible project hopes to build on this by using the latest advances in computing to create a complete, up-to-date collection of texts from all over the world.
The project started in 2009 when Daniel Sengupta, a mathematician, came up with the idea of building a collection for a book called the Bible.
Senguptas research into the book, The Book of Ecclesiastes, turned him on to the fact that the bible is one of the most important works of the world and that its authors were inspired by the Bible and its stories.
He also became fascinated with ancient Hebrew texts and Hebrew script, and he began to work with a Hebrew scholar named Avi Zorba.
Zorbach was an expert in ancient Hebrew and had been working on a book of Hebrews Psalms and a Hebrew dictionary called the Psalms of Avidiel.
The Bible, in Zorbak’s view, was a work of divinely inspired revelation.
Siegel and Zorbanas first met in 2010 at a conference in Jerusalem, where Zorbas asked if Sengupoas work on the Psalters had been useful for their project.
“He’s a very interesting guy, he’s a really nice guy, and I asked him, ‘What does the Bible have to do with this?'” says Sengu-poas partner David Azzopardi.
“And he said, ‘I have to say, it has to do something.’
He had this idea of using the Bible to show people how the Hebrew Bible was actually written.”
Senguotin and Zobbanas then started to think about what would be the most efficient way to make the Bible available online, and they thought about the best way to create it, Azz- poas says.
They decided that the best option was to make a book on its own.
“What’s really remarkable is that the Bible itself is just not a text, it is not an original work, it can be read, copied, studied and re-used, and that’s a remarkable thing to see,” Azzp, a scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, says.
But Azzpbats team had to create something else.
“A lot of what we’ve done in the past is, you know, just sort of looking at the text, and you have a pretty good idea of what the original text was, and it can all be taken in a way that can make it readable,” he says.
And the team then created a program called “the Bible Browser”, which uses a browser extension to help users download the text and to translate it into other languages.
“It was an extraordinary experience for us,” says Sagnotin.
“Because we were working on the Bible Project from the ground up, we knew exactly what we were doing.”
Now, with the project now complete, Senguo- bs team is building a tool to allow users to explore the Bible online.
They have plans to expand the project and to build more tools for people to study the Bible as they read and study it.
“Our goal is to make this the worlds most complete and up- to-date biblical collection,” says Zobbans team.
The team says it hopes to have a fully-functioning Bible browser in the next few months.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done,” Senguas says, “but we’re excited about the future.”