Re: Synoptic Concordance?

From: Daniel L Christiansen (
Date: Sat Sep 25 1999 - 21:09:06 EDT

"Stephen C. Carlson" wrote:

> I'm not aware of electronic resources that will match up the synoptic
> parallels for you (though I hope to discover some at the booths at
> SBL), but even so, I feel that, aside from the searching and look up,
> many paper resources are simply more practicable and easier on the
> eyes to read. (There are exceptions: e.g. UBS4!)

    Actually, Accordance has a fine synoptic parallels module (as well as parallels
for OT passages, NT passages, OT in the NT, and a Gospels Harmony). Though I use
non-Mac computers only for finance, and never for biblical and theological work (and
I will here astutely avoid picking a fight by refusing to note the Mac's
appropriateness for "holy business") I assume that these same modules are available
on GramCord. :)

> I think that paper currently has the following advantages over
> electronic:
> 1. Greek text is displayed better on paper. A lot the Greek
> electronic fonts in my experience are clunky and ugly at
> the resolutions commonly supported by monitors.

    I think that this really has a lot more to do with one's choice of screen font,
or even with whether one has the proper font size installed for proper screen
resolution. I have a number of Greek fonts, and a couple of Hebrew fonts; some of
them are worthless onscreen, while others are quite beautiful, regardless of the
monitor I happen to be using.

> 2. I like to have a lot of different books open and spread out
> over my work area to facilitate checking each resources. On
> the other hand, multiple windows clutter my screen and dog my
> computer's performance.

    A man after my own heart . . . I never seem to be able to read just one book!
Even with the science fiction or mysteries I read for relaxation, I have four or
five going at the same time. Drives my wife crazy, to find face-down, open books in
each room of the house:) But, I must admit that when I have a half-dozen or more
reference works on the desk and floor, it may be a hassle to juggle the volumes
without knocking papers onto the floor, as well. I suppose I could get a longer
desk, but then, one can always upgrade to more RAM, as well. I don't think the
trouble here is either print or E-media, but our shared penchant for
more-always-more sources?

> 3. While it is easier to search for a particular word in an
> electronic resource, it is easier to browse for no word
> in particular in a paper resource.

    With this, I do agree. Whether it is Paul or Poirot, I prefer to read real
paper. I enjoy the feel, the rustle, the smell of books. But, if I am looking for
a particular passage or point, I want either an exceptional index, or a computerized
text. I do not think that E-texts will ever replace the printed word, but I am
certainly glad to have both at hand.

> 4. Jim West pointed out the low-tech advantages when power
> goes out. (Advantageous only in the day though.)

    Well, I don't know . . . Whatever happened to candles and flashlights? I can't
imagine sticking my Power Mac under the sheets to read "just a while longer, Mom!"
On the other hand, even when the power goes out, there are such things as battery
backups for notebook computers. Come to think of it, a notebook actually could be
snuck into bed after the lights are out . . .

Daniel L. Christiansen
Department of Bible
Multnomah Bible College
8435 NE Glisan Street
Portland, OR  97220
(Also Portland Bible College, Prof of Biblical Languages)

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