Another hat tip to Howard – who based on his Flickr stream has had his life taken over by his cats – for the lolcat Bible. You’re either going to think it’s hilarious, or in pretty poor taste, but it’s an effort to produce the bible as written in the cat language that has grown up through sites like I Can Has Cheezburger.
You may remember that just over a month ago I blogged about a site called eBible. Well tonight I got notification that I have finally reached the head of the queue to get onto their beta programme, so I’ve been trying the site out for real.
The picture above (click on it for the full size screen shot) shows the opening of the Gospel of John with the King James version and the Message version in parallel, together with a commentary on the passage alongside. All of these are interchangeable – there are the texts of six different translations of the bible, three biblical dictionaries, seven biblical encyclopaedias and three different commentaries available on the site, although you need to purchase some of the dictionaries, encyclopaedias and commentaries to gain access.
In common with a lot of other modern web-sites, tags are used, allowing you to quickly move to a selection of verses on a particular theme. As yet I haven’t quite got the hang of searching with multiple tags – currently that seems to give me all the items that have either one, or the other tag, rather than only those verses that are tagged with both. The other criticism is that the current selection of translations is fairly American centric – to be a really useful tool for people in the Church of England it certainly needs the NRSV with British spelling which seems to be the version that is most commonly used.
Having said that, the impression I get is that it is built around an extendable architecture, so subject to the relevant permissions, adding a multitude of different versions certainly would be possible. In general, on my first few minutes trying the site out I am pretty impressed, and it certainly seems to be a cut above the average religious site.
I don’t know about you, but I’m never massively impressed with the technical quality of Christian web sites. Whilst there are a growing number of nicely designed sites, the majority still don’t impress. This is precisely the problem that the GodBit project has set out to address, and as such I have been keeping an eye on the project web site.
However today, a Christian site was actually picked up by TechCrunch, a well known site that looks at the cutting edge of web applications. The site in question was eBible, who are currently beta testing a web 2.0 implementation of a multi-version Bible search engine. The feature set looks pretty impressive, allowing a keyword search against any of the versions of the Bible they have, and then the ability to switch between the different versions of a selcted passage. In addition to that it also cross references the passage with a selection of other online resources, and includes relevant commentary for the passage.
Currently it is in invite only beta testing, however the web site does allow you to request an invite – and there is also a blog that allows you some insight into how the development process is going. Certainly it is a site to keep an eye on in the future.
Thoughts from, and the lives of a Canadian and a Brit living in Southern England.