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New Version - Barclay’s Translation of the Talmud

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Thanks to Jay on the BibleWorks forums for a wonderful version: Barclay’s translation of the Talmud. He also included footnotes to the text! Here’s an example: You will note that this makes the second version of one of the texts of the Talmud, the Pirke Aboth (spelling variances abound) — here’s the first version. But this version, the BVT, also includes notes.

Say it with me now, sweeeeeeeeet!


New Modules - Old Hebrew Grammar Series

Friday, July 11th, 2008

I would be remiss if I neglected to mention that since the last major updating there has been not one, two, or even three new Hebrew grammar modules made available by Pasquale. Quite frankly I didn’t even know that so many existed. All of these are out of print and copyright editions (so they are rather old), but nevertheless, they still might be useful to specialists in the field or else to those who simply like to see how others explain certain grammatical features. They are all modules of images of each page of the real book (so searching and copying and pasting is not really an option with them), which may downgrade their value. But then again, you’re not going to be paying anything for them, so why are you complaining?

However, to increase their value, Pasquale has added a special feature to these files. Can you tell me what it is and how it is helpful? If anyone can figure it out, they will get the spotlight in the next blog post.

So here are the goods: (follow along with the series on the BibleWorks forums)

New Vocabulary File - Hebrew Verb Diagnostics

Friday, July 11th, 2008

This vocab module was put together by Matt Hauger. The zip file includes a text readme, which offers the following explanation:

These forms are based on Pratico and Van Pelt’s charts in the back of ‘Basics of Biblical Hebrew.’ This book lacks charts on Qal weak verbs, however; these are drawn from the relevant chapters on each Qal form. In general, only those weak forms that differ from the corresponding strong form are included here. Not all the differing Hithpael weak forms from the chart are included; many of those forms do not even appear in the Hebrew Bible, and Hithpael forms are easily identified by their preformatives.

You can also find more on this module at the BibleWorks forums.

The idea behind it is that by looking at the markers of various verbal forms, the reader can become better at recognizing what makes a Qal imperfect or a Niphal cohortative. A picture shows how he accomplishes this:

The scholarly Hebraist might recognize the above as a typical formation of a Qal imperfect III-aleph verb, with the qames (long a-class vowel) under the 2nd consonant of the verb stem rather than a holem (o-class vowel), as is “typical” for a Qal imperfect. When coupled with a grammar, this vocabulary file is a great way to review the rules of the parsing game!


Save the zip file to your hard disk, then unzip the .vrt file to your c:\Program Files\BibleWorks 7\init folder (assuming a default installation).

Once you’ve unzipped the .vrt file to you init folder, then open BibleWorks. Once you have BibleWorks open, open the Vocabulary module –

Tools | Vocabulary Flashcard Module

Once you have the vocab module open, choose File | Import and navigate to the .vrt file you just unzipped into this folder.

Hebrew Accent Color File and Consonantal Text

Friday, December 7th, 2007

Here are a couple of additions that arose from the BibleWorks forums:

1. Hebrew consonantal text (DOWNLOAD): This version is the same textually as the BibleWorks standard WTT text, except this is without any vowel pointings. See how good your Hebrew is now!

2. Accent Color file (DOWNLOAD): This colour file colourises the JDP version in BibleWorks so that conjunctive and disjunctive accents may be distinguished at a glance: conjunctive accents are shaded yellow, disjunctive accents are shaded green.

Both are offered by David Kummerow, see reference on the BibleWorks forums.

We really do exist!

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

It’s been a long time between posts! This is not completely by choice, but due to the nature of the academic cycle and being so busy! I have also noticed with other blogs on my blogroll that after a while many of them stop being nearly so active because blogs actually are a lot of work to keep up. Even more so with this one because it entails a lot of work before anything can even be posted. However, since things have been so quiet here lately, let me remind you of other helpful things.

First of all, BibleWorks has recently released A Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew by Jacob Weingreen, available as a module add-on. BibleWorks’ version costs $49, while I see the Amazon price for the print book is $53, so for a little less than the real book you get all the usual features of a digital module in BibleWorks. While I learned Hebrew using a different grammar, my professor did highly recommend Weingreen’s grammar and when I had the chance to buy a used copy at a local bookstore (why they had a copy of a Hebrew grammar floating around sure beats me), I jumped at it and I can say that it is a very nice beginning level grammar. Definitely not in the league of Waltke-O’Connor or Joüon-Muraoka, but helpful nevertheless for those who like grammars.

Second, BibleWorks has recently started a section on their website for classroom tips. So far there are seven tips up and more expected to be added later. These are the sort of things Jim and I have hoped to have on this blog as well, but we have not been very successful at implementing this. Also, related to this, if you haven’t added Mark Hoffman’s blog called Biblical Studies and Technological Tools, please do so now. Mark has also helped fill a gap as he rather routinely highlights specific uses not only of BibleWorks, but also Logos software and often compares and contrasts the two, noting strengths and weaknesses of both pieces of software.

Third, BibleWorks has a sale going on until Nov. 30 for users of older BW versions. If you’re not yet living in BW7, now is as good a time as any to sign on. Buy now and put it under the Christmas tree for later :) The sale has caused some on the BW forums to speculate whether this means BW8’s release is imminent, but BW staff has assured customers that this is a special treat for users to upgrade and not a way to cop people out of money only to find out that a new release is just weeks away. So if the burning question in your heart is when is BW8 going to be released, the answer is: not for a while. However, when it is released, you can be sure there will be lots of new features, bells and whistles that make you drool.

Fourth, a question for the readers. As I have worked to provide a lot of classical Greek text resources, I am wondering how you find them helpful or whether you do at all. How do you use them? What else would you like to see added? Etc.?

BibleWorks 7 New Module: Joüon-Muraoka Biblical Hebrew Grammar

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

Although I am partial to Greek resources, I am still excited by news of a new module being released today for BibleWorks 7:

Don’t be fooled. There is another edition of Joüon-Muraoka floating around out there, but this module represents the latest edition, published in 2006 by the Pontifical Biblical Institute, but more information on the print edition at Eisenbrauns:

Already well known in its two-volume first edition [«Subsidia Biblica», n. 14], this is the most extensive revision yet of one of the most complete Hebrew Grammars available in English. That first edition of 1991 was, in its turn, based on the original work in French by Paul Joüon published for the first time in 1923. This edition brings the work up to the present by taking account of developments in our understanding of the Hebrew language during the intervening years. For the first time the work is presented in a single volume. Professor Muraoka hopes that this helps to make the book more attractive and the content easier to use. As with the earlier edition students of the Old Testament, Hebrew and Semitics who have a basic knowledge of Biblical Hebrew will find much useful insight and information here.

The module is available as a download for $75 via the BibleWorks website.