Josh Philpot

Theology, the Church, and Music

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Using Commentaries in Digital vs. Print Format

leave a comment »

Brian Tabb recently reviewed the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary series in digital format (from Accordance Bible Software) for Themelios. In the review he posts some comments about the advantages of using digital commentaries instead of in print format: 

There are several advantages to owning the Anchor Yale Bible commentary series digitally on Accordance (see further the review of Accordance 10 Ultimate Collection in Themelios 38.3 [2013]: 453–55). First, on Accordance, the 87-volume set costs roughly one third of what it does in print—$1,499 versus $4,458. The Accordance version also retails for nearly $500 less than the same commentaries on Logos (reviewed in Themelios 34 [2009]: 226–27). Second, the Accordance set is compact and portable, unlike its print counterpart. The print volumes take up approximately eleven feet of shelf space, and it is challenging to fit more than one or two in a backpack or briefcase. In contrast, Accordance users may access this massive collection anywhere on Mac, Windows, iPad, and iPhone. Third, Accordance digital commentaries offer enhanced usability over print commentaries. Users may type in a Scripture reference to instantly navigate to the relevant translation and commentary. Additional search options include title (key words in a book title or section heading); English content; Scripture (references anywhere in the commentary body); Greek/Hebrew content; transliteration; translation; manuscripts; bibliography; authors; captions (for maps, illustrations, and tables); and page numbers. For example, a search for the translation “rectify” yields sixteen instances where J. L. Martyn distinctively renders δικαιόω and related terms in his Galatians commentary. A bibliography search indicates that eighteen of the twenty-six NT volumes cite Joseph Fitzmyer, while only one (Romans) refers to G. K. Beale. Caption searches for Palestine or Jerusalem lead users to relevant maps (Mark 1–8, ix; Acts, 190) that would be difficult to find going volume by volume with the print edition. Users may also create a custom group of commentaries to enable a single search within that group for a particular Scripture or keyword. This allows the pastor preparing a sermon or the student working on an exegesis paper to locate the most relevant pages in his favorite commentaries with one simple yet powerful search.

Read the rest for the full review: Themelios | Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries: Old Testament, Apocrypha, and New Testament

Advertisements

Written by Josh Philpot

December 8, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Posted in Books, Mac, Technology

Academic workflows on a Mac

with one comment

Over at the Macademic blog there is a list of good software on the Mac that is particularly useful for academics, teaching, writing, etc. I’ve used most of the software on this list (or at least experimented with a lot of them), but everyone’s workflow is different. Some of these will only frustrate your writing experience, especially if you’re diving into a big project like a dissertation that has unparalleled citation and formatting demands. So tread lightly and don’t make an impulse purchase, if that is your temptation. When I began writing my dissertation I had hoped to use something other than Microsoft Word, but I quickly found out that other applications would be unacceptable for submission. I wrote my prospectus in Scrivener, but I had to spend a couple of days after it was completed just converting the file into a .doc for review. That process was a real pain, particularly with in-text citations and footnotes. The writing experience in Scrivener is excellent, however, just not suitable for the parameters of a dissertation. 

What software do I really need for academic work on Mac? | Academic workflows on a Mac

A. General tools

LaunchBar – a launcher and an automator (€24) /alt: Alfred, check here for comparison

TextExpander* – Mac typing shortcut utility (€35)

1Password* – password, identities and other sensitive information management (€40)

Dropbox* – file sharing (free) /alt: Box


B. File and e-mail organizing and management

Hazel – file management automator, indispensable for managing reference files (€20)

Papers – managing scientific articles, also used for annotation, citation and bibliographies in writing (see D); check Macademic reviews (€60) /alt: Sente, Bookends

Foxtrot – a professional search engine; “goodbye haystack, hello needle!” ($40 or $130 for the professional version) /alt: Leap, DevonThink, HoudahSpot

MailTags – tagging mail messages in Apple Mail ($30)

Mail Act-On – processing and organizing email with keyboard shortcuts in Apple Mail ($25)


C. Calendar, task and project management

Fantastical* – natural language calendaring, part of the Macademic Ninja Kit (€16)

BusyCal – professional calendar management (€40) /alt: Mac’s native Calendar

OmniOutliner* – outlining for brainstorming and project planning; also used for writing outlines (see D) ($50 or $100 for professional version) /alt: MindNote

OmniFocus* – unparalleled task management app extensively reviewed on Macademic; however tempting it is, don’t try to put all your life in there! ($40 or $80 for the professional version /alt: Things, TheHitList, TaskPaper


D. Note-taking, research and writing

NValt – plain text and markdown no-frills note-taking (free) /many alternatives

Evernote* – capturing text notes, documents, images, photos and screenshots and sharing them including on iOS devices (free with some paid features)

Ulysses – a rapidly evolving software for taking and organizing notes using searches, tags and folders; I use it extensively for teaching (€37) /many alternatives

OmniOutliner* – writing outlines, also used for project management (see C) ($50 or $99 for the professional version) /many alternatives

Byword* – simple and efficient text and markdown editor for Mac (€8) /many alternatives

Scrivener – writing software, especially suitable for theses and other complex texts ($45)

Pages* – Apple native word processor producing beautifully formatted documents, features sharing through iCloud (free with OS X) /alt: Mellel, Nisus

Microsoft Word for Mac – very powerful word processor, a standard for many publishers and in the Windows world, sometimes irreplaceable but should not be over- or misused (various pricing models) /alt: MellelNisus

Papers – citation and bibliography management, article annotation, also used for managing scientific articles (see B) (€59) /alt: Sente, Bookends, EndNote, Mendeley, Zotero

 

E. Data processing, presentation and graphic design


Microsoft Excel for Mac – an extremely powerful electronic spreadsheet (various pricing models) /alt: Numbers

OmniGraffle – vector graphic software for diagrams and other illustrations ($100 or $200 for the professional version) /alt: Adobe Illustrator, iDraw

Keynote* – the most powerful presentation software with amazing possibilities (free with OS X) /alt: Microsoft Powerpoint, Prezi

PDFPen – editing pdf files ($60, $100 for the professional version) /alt: Adobe Acrobat

Written by Josh Philpot

July 5, 2014 at 11:43 am

Interview with Bibliotheca’s Adam Lewis Greene at the Bible Design Blog

leave a comment »

I backed the Bibliotheca project after about 10 seconds on the Kickstarter page. I was excited about it from my first glance at the page, and the video only make me my excitement grow. I’m interested in this project not only because of the possibility of having another high-quality Bible, but also because the 4-volume format. Since I’m a firm believer in the threefold division of the Hebrew canon—Law, Prophets, and Writings—I was smitten and had to back the project. As long as things progress well I should have it in my hands by the end of 2014. The project caught fire across the internet very quickly and has already $120,000+ in pledges from people like me. Another blog I follow, the Bible Design Blog, has an interview with Adam Lewis, who created the Bibliotheca project. Check it out here: Interview with Bibliotheca’s Adam Lewis Greene: Part 1 – Bible Design Blog

Written by Josh Philpot

July 5, 2014 at 2:36 am

Helpful apps for writers

with one comment

I like to test new iOS apps for writing. The ones below are not “writing apps” per se, but tools for writing. If you want a comprehensive look at all the known iOS text editors for iPhone and iPad and the feature set of each, check out Brett Terpstra’s iTextEditor roundup. It’s very helpful for nailing down the exact features you’re looking for if you plan to do a lot of writing or blogging on your iPad.

Terminology

Terminology is the primary app that I use as my dictionary/thesaurus. The app’s core feature, “search,” is available through a button in the lower left corner of the app in the bottom toolbar. If you hit the button, a search field comes up showing the iOS keyboard, ready for you to search any word of phrase. In the recent edition of the app (v. 3), the search menu appears upon opening the app, which is a handy feature. Terminology also syncs between devices, so all of your saved words will appears on any iOS device that you own as long as the app is installed. The app also has a bunch of call-back actions for the advanced user, but I keep it on my home screen primarily for quick access to definitions or for word suggestions. Terminology is available in the App Store for $2.99.

Terminology2Terminology1

WriteRight

WriteRight is actually a text editor, but it offers enhanced features for synonyms, antonyms, and phraseology via a pop-up menu. You only have to select a word and an endless list of synonyms and related phrases will be displayed. Its powerful grammatical engine “recognizes conjugated words, either feminine or plural, suggests synonyms and then replaces those words with their conjugated synonym counterparts, matching gender and number, person and tense.” It’s $2.99 in the App Store.

Writeright

Phraseology

Phraseology was created by the same guy who made Drafts, a great app for taking short notes and exporting them to your notebook of choice (like Evernote or Byword). Phraseology can be a text editor if you like, but its primary function is to help you improve on what you’ve already written. The app can give you a bunch of statistics about your project, like your word count or how many characters you’ve used, but it really shines in creatively displaying your word usage and the parts of speech that occur frequently in your project. The apps calls this “speech syntax highlighting,” in which Phraseology highlights the following elements of speech in big bright colors: Nouns; Verbs; Adjectives; Adverbs; Pronouns; Determiners; Prepositions; Conjunctions. The image below shows what this looks like. It also lets you know how easy it is to read your writing and the grade level. The app is $2.99 in the App Store.

Phraseology1 Phraseology2

Wordbook

Wordbook is a standard dictionary app that has all the relative features like definitions, synonyms, antonyms, etc., but also allows for user notes. So if you want to write word or phrase associations with certain words or phrases, this app allows for that. When I started the PhD program at SBTS, I used to keep a Word document of word associations that are relevant to biblical studies (to avoid redundancy, mainly), and this app would be useful to that end. If you’re into etymologies, Wordbook also has an extensive library of root word origins. It’s $2.99 in the App Store.

Wordbook1

Writing Aid

Writing Aid combines word definitions with meanings and synonyms. It also handles expressions nicely, and suggests alternatives for phrases and idiomatic sayings. It’s only $0.99 in the App Store.

Writingaid1Writingaid2

Written by Josh Philpot

March 3, 2014 at 10:45 pm

Posted in Technology, Writing

Selfie-Deception

with one comment

Over at the Gospel Coalition Worship blog I have a post on “selfie-deception.” I try to point out that selfies (the Instagram kind) can be a form of self-worship, and that a way forward would be to focus on texts that emphasize the “face” of God, like Exodus 34 and Numbers 6. Here is an excerpt:

These are only a few of the many verses in the Bible that speak about the glory of God’s face and its impact on his people. But this should be what we desire. It should be our earnest hope for our congregations as we lead them, when we pray for them, and when we care for them. And it should shatter our self-interest and our selfie-deception.

Indeed, it’s the natural result of focusing on God. Considering his work, his power, his sovereign will, and his grace to us in Christ naturally leads to rejecting the sort of self- expression that so sinfully pervades our culture, because in doing so we reject one glory (the glory of our faces) in favor of a far greater glory (the glory of God).

So with these texts in mind, is it too much to ask that we refocus ourselves and our selfies, to rethink how we think about our faces? Instead of dispersing our faces among so many selfie-factories, perhaps we should focus on a single point, or rather, a single person—the face of Jesus Christ. Selfies say, “I’m here! I’m important! I matter!” God says that he is what matters, and the only image that should concern us is the one in whom rests the image of the invisible God. God says that we should dwell on the light of his face, which, as Paul states, is so clearly seen “in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). We want glory. We desire it. We want the light on our faces. But in Christ alone is the “light of the knowledge of the glory of God.” (#nofilter)

Read the whole thing here.

Written by Josh Philpot

February 21, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Tip on How to Replace Hyphens with En Dashes in MS Word

with 2 comments

Recently I was looking over a paper I had written for a seminary class which conformed to the SBTS Style Manual. This manual is unique to SBTS and is loosely based off of the Chicago Style Manuel (Turabian). But I wanted to submit this paper to a journal, and nearly every biblical studies journal requires SBL Style, also similar to Chicago style but much different from the SBTS style. One difference, for instance, is that SBL style requires en dashes between numerals (Gen 3:14–19) while SBTS style allows for simply hyphens between numbers (Gen 3:14-19). It’s a very small difference, but I guess editors are different people.

So who wants to go through an entire research paper and change all hyphens to en dashes?! I don’t, so after two minutes of googling I found this quick solution for those who use MS Word on a PC or Mac (I happily fall into the latter category):

  1. Go to “Edit” and click on “Find” or “Find and Replace” (or just Ctrl + “F” or Cmd + “F”)
  2. Click on the “Replace” tab
  3. In the “Find what” field type ([0-9])-([0-9])
  4. In the “Replace with” field type \1–\2 (notice the en dash in between, not a hyphen)
  5. Select “Use wildcards”
  6. Click “Replace All”

And there you have it. If you run this script all hyphens between numerals will be replaced with en dashes. If you have hyphens between words they will remain the same. Saved me a bunch of time. Might be helpful for others. Thanks to Phil Gons for the help.

Written by Josh Philpot

December 6, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Update to Zotero

with 2 comments

If you’re like me and you’ve abandoned Firefox in favor of the much faster Chrome, and if you frequently log bibliographic data for papers and such, then you’ll be please to note that Zotero has updated its excellent software for use in almost any web browser. The software was previously a Firefox-only extension. Now you can use it as a stand-alone application, or continue to use it within a browser. Details are here.

And, it’s free.

If you’re not familiar with Zotero, you can read my overview here and here.

Written by Josh Philpot

September 29, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Posted in Technology