Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Book Notice: Evangelicals and Digital Bible Use


I’ve just ordered the new book by John Dyer from OUP titled People of the Screen: How Evangelicals Created the Digital Bible and How It Shapes Their Reading of Scripture. John is a longtime evangelical and has been programming Bible software for years (for example). He’s also written a very well received book on the theology of technology. This new book is a version of his PhD thesis, I believe. I’m sure our ETC readers will be interested in this. Here is the description: 

People of the Screen traces the history of Bible software development, showing the unique and powerful role evangelical entrepreneurs and coders have played in shaping its functionality and how their choices in turn shape the reading habits of millions of people around the world. Examining advancements in Bible software from the first desktop applications to pioneering Bible websites, and later to mobile apps and virtual experiences, this book argues that evangelical creators have a distinct orientation toward societal change and technology called “Hopeful Entrepreneurial Pragmatism” that uniquely positions them to lead the digital Bible market, imbuing their creations with evangelical ways of understanding the nature and purpose of Scripture.

This book offers a blend of historical research, interviews with developers, and field work among digital and print Bible readers, offering a nuanced look at the interconnected ecosystem of publishers, developers, pastors, institutions, and software companies. Digital Bibles aren’t replacing print Bibles, author John Dyer shows. Rather, the future of Bible engagement involves readers using a mix of print, audio, and screens to suit their needs. He shows that sometimes the God of the page seems to say different things than the God of the screen, suggesting that we are still in the early stages of a multimedia approach to scripture.

I would also like to add that this is the first and only book cover I’ve seen that can appropriately use Verdana. It was designed for screen use and was one of the world’s most ubiquitous fonts for at least a decade. Please, publishers, do not use it for other books.

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

SBL Blog Dinner Denver 2022


Sun 20 Nov 7:00pm

The leadership of Trinity Church Denver have graciously agreed to host our annual SBL Blog dinner in their basement meeting space. $20 covers pizza, salad and drinks, which will be catered from Fat Sully’s NY Pizza and Walmart delivery. Many of our attendees will walk to the dinner from the NTTC “Methods and Criteria” section, which ends at 6:30pm. The walk takes less than twenty minutes.

Peter Head will provide humor and a brief devotion. Peter Williams will play the piano as we sing a couple of hymns. Attendance is open to anyone interested in the languages and transmission of the biblical texts regardless of your faith.

RSVP through Eventbrite and pay through PayPal.

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

2022 ETC Lunch at ETS (Wednesday, Nov. 16)


It’s that time again. Time for the annual ETC lunch at ETS in Denver. The ETC lunch is much younger and much less formal than our esteemed dinner. But we know there are some of you who attend ETS but can’t stay for SBL. So this is a chance to meet up and chat. 

This year, we will plan to meet together in the lobby of the Sheraton after the New Testament Canon, Textual Criticism, & Apocryphal Literature session that ends at 11:40 on Wednesday, November 16.

We’ll figure out where we’re going to eat from there. As a reminder, we just go as a group and find somewhere that can hold us; we don’t make a reservation and you don’t pay us. Just come and eat and talk. All are welcome—except people who think Papyrus is a great font. Finally, here is a recent picture of me in case you’re not sure who to look for.