Josh Philpot

Theology, the Church, and Music

Archive for October 2009

Syncing Zotero with multiple computers

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Maybe you’re like me and you have a laptop for when you’re at school and desktop for home. Fortunately, Zotero allows you to sync your sources from both computers automatically. Just follow these easy steps:

  1. Create a Zotero.org account here
  2. Once verified, click on the Zotero icon on your Firefox web browser, then the “actions” button, and then “preferences
  3. Click on the “Sync” tab at the top
  4. Type in your username and password for Zotero.org
  5. Make sure “Sync Automatically” and “Sync Attachment Files in My Library using Zotero” are both checked
  6. Open your other computer and type in your log-in information in Zotero “preferences” as before
  7. Close the page and restart Firefox. Click on the Zotero icon again and either wait for Zotero to begin syncing automatically, or start the process by clicking on the “Sync to Zotero Server” button.

I did this on a Mac, so it may look a little different on Windows. The steps are essentially the same. Now every time I add a new source on my laptop it will show on my desktop as well, and visa versa.

Away with you, formatting demons! Be gone!

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Written by Josh Philpot

October 30, 2009 at 12:22 am

Zotero

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Let’s get honest with one another: How many of you, as you write papers, leave little comments in parentheses or in a footnote to remind yourself of the source you are quoting from, only to go back and spend two hours formatting your footnotes once you’ve finished your paper? I’ve been there, and I’m never going back. Zotero is the reason why.

First, an overview:

And here it gets awesome:

If you haven’t checked out Zotero yet, you should! It’s a free Firefox extension and a real time saver. While I’ve had to make minor changes to Zotero’s footnote info from time to time (mainly spacing), Zotero still helps with many of those pesky formatting issues. Plus, you no longer have to go back through every footnote and add the bibliographic information. It works with almost every style guide, including Turabian, MLA, and APA. Just add your source from Zotero, make whatever comments are needed in the footnote, and continue writing your paper.

Many thanks to Jim Hamilton for telling me about Zotero a few months ago, and Andy Naselli for telling him!

Written by Josh Philpot

October 28, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Pray for Dr. Peter Gentry

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peter-gentryDr. Gentry recently found out that he has prostate cancer and will need surgery in December. Please pray for him and his family during this difficult time.

Dr. Gentry is Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at Southern Seminary.

Written by Josh Philpot

October 28, 2009 at 1:53 am

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Daniel (WBC) – John Goldingay

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0849902290I recently finished reading this commentary for my PhD seminar on the prophetic literature.┬áThe commentary is technical in the sense that the reader should know biblical Hebrew (and maybe Aramaic) while reading it, but he/she can still engage the work without it as well. The Word Biblical Commentary series breaks up each section (or, chapter) into four parts: Form, Setting, Comments, Explanation. One strength of Goldingay’s commentary lies in the “explanation” section, even though it is somewhat redundant in following the “comments.” There, he thinks through the text theologically and expounds on the material in light of God’s unfolding revelation. The problem is that this is Goldingay’s only strength. Sure, one might gain insights from Goldingay on Daniel’s language, how other non-canonical writers were influenced by Daniel, or even Daniel’s use of the OT, but observations like these are few and far between. Goldingay, rather, thinks that chapters 1-6 are allegorical “historiography” (and thus not actual history), that Daniel was not an historical person, and that the book should be dated during the Maccabean era (c. 168 BC) instead of during the time of the Israelite exile (605-538 BC, as the book itself attests). This dating leads Goldingay to interpret Daniel through the lens of secondary Jewish literature rather than in the context of the Bible, which I believe to be a serious flaw. Furthermore, the meaning of the text is lost in oodles of material on the book’s form, some of which is helpful, to be sure, but liberal to say the least.

In the end, I wouldn’t recommend this commentary for pastors since it lacks that sort of quality. Perhaps students of the OT or of intertestamental literature may benefit, but the commentary is lacking theologically, and Goldingay particularly avoids interaction with conservative approaches. It’s also dated (1989). I haven’t read Steinmann or Lucas yet, but at this point I’m still partial to Baldwin, which is also dated and very short.

Written by Josh Philpot

October 3, 2009 at 12:29 pm