Bible Interpretation Choices at a Glance

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This post has 10 Replies | 1 Follower

Posts 594
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Jun 25 2022 7:27 AM

Imagine a way to see what different commentators have said about every Bible passage over the last two thousand years in seconds. Look at just your own tradition, or explore other interpretations.  See how ideas are influenced by denomination, theology and the passage of time. 

A few years ago, I suggested it on UserVoice.  It was the nineteenth most popular suggestion out of over 2000. Sadly, when User Voice was mothballed, the idea was dropped, but I still think it would be a great help to many of us – scholars, pastors, and everyone else!

I wasn’t sure how to describe what I wanted, so I called it a database of biblical issues and stances with faceted browsing and graphical functionality. (https://logos.uservoice.com/forums/42823-logos-bible-software-see-feedback-faithlife-com/suggestions/17871697-create-a-database-of-biblical-issues-and-stances-w) Snappy, eh? That’s why the forum post I created to support the idea was titled “How Can I Put This?” (https://community.logos.com/forums/t/133058.aspx) There is more information to explain the idea there, but I was challenged to create a model for how it might work, so I created a spreadsheet based on the book of Jude (https://community.logos.com/forums/p/156612/945098.aspx#945098 – sadly, the link now appears to be broken).  I’ve since expanded the model to include the rest of the New Testament, although if Logos creates it, it will have way more data and look a lot better than an Excel spreadsheet.  If you think it’s a good idea, please vote for it at:

https://feedback.faithlife.com/boards/logos-desktop-app/posts/bible-interpretation-choices-at-a-glance

If you’re still not sure, you may want to download the spreadsheet to take a look.  However, it is over 30,000 rows, so the file is over 25MB, and it’s not pretty.  The filtering is really slow on my computer, so I’ve limited it to the first 200 rows for now.  Suggestions on how to fix this, how to improve the spreadsheet and the idea generally, and offers of help would all be gratefully received.

Note that the data for Jude and Philippians is fuller than the data for other books so far, and many of the questions are more translation-related as they came from SIL International’s Exegetical Summaries series. The final version would include more interpretation questions.

New Testament Issues.xlsm

Thank you for reading this far, and remember to vote here:

https://feedback.faithlife.com/boards/logos-desktop-app/posts/bible-interpretation-choices-at-a-glance

Posts 1440
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 25 2022 8:18 AM

I couldn't load your spreadsheet on my ipad ... too big/rows. I did look at your earlier analysis examples (Jude). Can you chop your spreadshhet?  The examples look like better handled in a Lexham book. I'm guessing the spreadsheet is a better illustration?

Posts 133
Bill | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 25 2022 11:22 AM

This would be great in Logos! Thank you again for another great idea and all that work Andrew! I votedYes

Posts 19692
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 25 2022 5:36 PM

Wow, that is a massive amount of work you put in. Great idea, and great model. I've voted for it. Faithlife should hire you!

Posts 594
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 26 2022 1:57 AM

GaoLu:

Thanks, GaoLu.  I have them all, but think they do a different job.  There may be a way of combining the two in the future, with the Lexham Research Commentaries allowing a drill down and greater sense of nuance for what they assess to be the most pressing issues of the day.

Posts 594
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 26 2022 2:00 AM

Rosie Perera:

Wow, that is a massive amount of work you put in. Great idea, and great model. I've voted for it. Faithlife should hire you!

Thanks, Rosie, for the vote and the recognition.

I have at times thought working for Faithlife on this kind of thing would be my ideal job, especially having studied and worked in IT before studying theology and working for the church...

Posts 6062
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 27 2022 8:18 AM

This would be useful to have.

"God commands you to pray, but He forbids you to worry." - The Curé d'Ars.

Posts 594
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 15 2022 5:14 AM

There would be many uses for the Bible Interpretation Choices at a Glance feature suggested here: https://feedback.faithlife.com/boards/logos-desktop-app/posts/bible-interpretation-choices-at-a-glance. Many thanks to the 31 people who have voted for it so far.

When I was previously trying to build interest in this, I created a few forum posts illustrating that it could help us check claims like:

"Twentieth- and twenty-first-century commentaries continue to conclude...." - see https://community.logos.com/forums/p/169335/979212.aspx.

"The trend of late has been..." - see https://community.logos.com/forums/p/171781/993822.aspx#993822

"If all academic questions were settled by vote, the clear winner would be..." - see https://community.logos.com/forums/p/171781/993823.aspx#993823 

"Most recent studies have shown..." - see https://community.logos.com/forums/p/171781/993824.aspx#993824 

In the first case, the claim appeared to be at best misleading.

If you would like to see Logos create this feature, then feel free to vote for it here: https://feedback.faithlife.com/boards/logos-desktop-app/posts/bible-interpretation-choices-at-a-glance

Thanks.

Posts 36071
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 15 2022 12:15 PM

There has also been a push for resources that take a broader view of "interpretative choices" as "reception history" e.g..Blackwell Bible Commentaries (whole set) | Faithlife I am less interested in interpretative choices than I would be if there were more reception history resources from which to build them.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 594
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 22 2022 4:04 AM

You're right, MJ.  It would be great to see more reception history commentaries, such as the Blackwell Bible Commentaries, although the volumes in this set that I've read didn't do all I would have wanted them to do.  The suggested feature would help to make it easier to write them though.  Hopefully there would be mutual gains, and much better understanding all round.

I added my vote for the set.  I've been wanting these in Logos for a long time and hadn't been aware of the opportunity to vote for them.

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