Biblon 2000 Project Overview - last modified 8/5/00

Introduction:
This project is the work of David Harley, a graduate in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and currently a student of languages and religion at the University of Queensland in Australia. Its overall aim is to try and make use of some of the newer features of the main web browsers to create an on-line version of the Greek New Testament which will not only be easy to use and have dynamic capabilities, but just as importantly will be a well presented and elegant rendering of this text. To that end this site makes heavy use of Dynamic HTML/Javascript techniques plus HTML 4.0 and Style Sheets features. Work has been in progress for some nine months and it is looking very promising in terms of being able to fulfill the initial aims of the exercise. In fact, the scope of the project has already been extended to include some pages of the New Testament in languages other than Greek using the same layout structure which it is hoped will make the fascinating study of the origins of the New Testament available to those who have not had the opportunity to learn Greek. Also included is a mechanism linking references to particular manuscripts to an acutal image of the manuscript in question. Hopefully, the techniques developed for this project will be of potential use in other fields such as Homeric literature or Medieval texts, or even the Hebrew Old Testament. Any ideas on this topic are welcome but please bear in mind that the main aim of the project for the next few months at least will have to be the New Testament.

Current Objectives:
The complete text in Greek and English has now been set up in a quasi database format and the main aim is now to add the formatting and apparatus data for each page. Providing links to an image of the relevant page of the Codex Sinaiticus for all variants would also be nice, but this is a rather time consuming activity and a few examples are all I can promise for now.
The system currently has no Help or Instruction pages which will definately be needed if many people are going to use it. This is also a priority objective.

Long Term Goals:
The main aim here is to implement a module which will allow the user to specify a list of reference texts as a search type formula which will then be used to select the closest matching variant text as the default to be displayed when each page is loaded. This will let the user select for example all variants appearing in the Codex Sinaiticus as the defaults.
A further aim as regards variants is to allow the user to save any current setting of the system as a file by generating a document with the appropriate data embedded which they can then save using the browser's "File" menu.
It would be very nice to do normal searching of the text as well but this will have to wait until I have a permanent home for the site which will also host a CGI program to do this. I think in fact it may be possible to do searching across all pages just using Javascript, but it would be very slow - and very expensive in terms of downloading.
Some kind of "Parsing Mode" is envisioned for the system which will have a link for each word in the text probably to a parsing table in the current appartus window.
In the main text window it would be nice to include Book, Chapter and Verse references for the highlighted Old Testament quotations with perhaps even a link to the Hebrew Old Testament if and when I have it ready. Allowing the verse numbers to placed in the margin and including other data such as the Eusebian Canon markers are also possiblities. Any other suggestions are welcome here.
Last but not least, I would like sometime to facilitate the viewing of multiple languages together, probably by splitting the main text window. This would allow English speaking students for example, to view the Greek and English versions of a verse at the same time. Similarly, by splitting the main text window and the apparatus windows into sub-windows, similar passages from the Gospels could be compared in Greek or another language.



Return to the Biblon 2000 Home Page