I would like to thank all those who have supported us in our endeavour to develop web-based technology to enhance the study of the Bible. I would especially like to thank Dr. Robert Hiebert whose projects have created the impetus for much of what we are developing and whose grants have funded most of the development to date.
Due to a few unforeseen challenges in the creation of complex functionality we are revising our timeline from the end of June to the end of August to have testable versions of the Web Application for Textual and Exegetical Research (WATER), which consists of two primary components and three secondary components—and the complementary/collaborative Greek Online Lexical Database (GOLD). We have been testing and debugging one of the primary components of WATER—the text module—and it should be ready for use by the middle of May. Due to our increased timeline, we are in need of more funding and I have increased our fund raising goal to $21,000.00. Given the support we have received thus far I am confident we will raise the funds needed for this cutting edge endeavour. There is a lot of excitement ahead as different phases of development come to completion and I look forward to having you share in the excitement as I provide updates and the long awaited for videos.
The Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Often designated LXX, for the seventy who translated the Torah, the Septuagint was the primary source that the New Testament writers drew upon.
When examining the ancient manuscripts (for our purposes those that are older than the fifteenth century) that contain the texts that are found in the Bible, one is faced with evaluating and comparing many copies. For some books less than one hundred manuscripts are available but for others more than 1000 copies exist. While the detailed comparison of manuscripts has been accomplished (at least in part) in the past with and without the aid of the computer, only recently has is become feasible to develop dedicated software to both store and edit the data for more enhanced evaluation (including statistical analysis).
In 2005 I began to explore the possibility of designing web-based software to facilitate the work of Dr. Robert Hiebert and his task of creating a critical edition of a Greek text for the foremost series on the Septuagint texts, the Göttingen Septaginta Series. To date the culmination of the work has resulted in the creation of the Web Application for Textual and Exegetical Research (WATER). WATER is a tool that allows for the storing, editing and analysis of all the data entered for a given book as well as making available the ability to write commentary on the text. One important aspect of WATER is its ability to facilitate collaboration on projects as a project administrator can invite others to contribute to the work being done and track the contributions made. In line with the emphasis on collaboration Rob and I are also seeking to design community resources, such as a Greek lexicon, that experts from around the world can contribute to and where information is available for free for those wanting to study the Greek text.
The development of these tools could facilitate and enhance the study of the Septuagint and other biblical and related texts for the foreseeable future. This undertaking requires both the full time work of a development team and the need of hardware and software in order to be successful. While database/web application development is indeed costly, the great benefits to the study of scripture are immeasurable. For this project to flourish we need your financial support.
Thank you for your interest in this project,