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Show subtitles in Bible texts?


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#1 Jonathan C. Borland

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:31 PM

Hi Accordancers!

Probably an elementary question here, but . . .

I'm reading Song of Solomon in various versions and can't figure out, either on my iDevice or laptop/desktop, how to make the subtitles (e.g. Beloved, Friends, Lover, etc.) appear. Please let me know if there's a way to do this! Thanks!

Sincerely,

Jonathan C. Borland
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#2 Greg Terry

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 08:25 PM

Jonathan:

I think the NIV11 Notes module has them. There may be other notes modules that have them also. If you do not have the NIV11, try some of the other translation notes - except for NKJV or NET notes, I tried them without success
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#3 Jonathan C. Borland

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 11:33 PM

Thanks, Greg,

I have many modern versions but the notes or cross references modules are just what they say. I'm looking for the actual headings to the paragraphs which, in the printed versions, appear within the text itself and not in margins or notes. It would be nice if these were optional as a Display/Hide under the View menu.

Sincerely,

Jonathan

Edited by Jonathan C. Borland, 05 September 2012 - 11:34 PM.


#4 Julie Falling

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 05:58 AM

Jonathan - I think you're talking about the subtitles that tell the reader who is speaking, right? They're not actually part of the text, but added by the editors.

The NASB & NAS95 have that info in the version notes (in Accordance they're separate modules). They identify the speaker each time there's a change. NASB says "BRIDE" or "CHORUS" which you can see in the Instant Details if you hover over the numerical superscript on your Mac or touch it on your iOS device.

The HCSB has codes like W for woman and N for narrator right in the text but you have to go to the HCSB Notes to get an explanation of the code.

I noticed that some versions (NKJV) offer help in the notes but there are no superscripts in the text to alert the reader to look there.

The NRSV offers no help in the text or the notes and expects you to figure it out based on the changes in pronouns.

Looks like it's very much a version-specific thing.

Edited by Julie Falling, 06 September 2012 - 06:01 AM.

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#5 Michael J. Bolesta

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 08:38 AM

Attribution of the characters in a work like Song of Songs is an interpretation. It is helpful to readers, but as has been observed, it is not part of the text. It is found in some modern translations in the notes module. The ability to merge this into the display (as done in print versions) is probably a challenge to programmers (and I have not programmed since my undergraduate days; remember FORTRAN?).

I am sympathetic to the request; it would be useful for reading a module, especially on the iOS devices. Whether it can be pulled off is a question for the programmers.
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#6 Julie Falling

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 08:49 AM

Hey, Michael - I started with Basic, then learned FORTRAN, and later COBOL. Remember those stacks of punched cards? Remember getting back the printout and trying to find your errors? I guess that makes us dinosaurs. I still have my slide rule. It wasn't cheap, either. I must say that I do not long to go back to those days. Pretty amazing how much has happened in just a few decades.

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#7 RichardHendricks

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 01:04 PM

Thanks, Greg,

I have many modern versions but the notes or cross references modules are just what they say. I'm looking for the actual headings to the paragraphs which, in the printed versions, appear within the text itself and not in margins or notes. It would be nice if these were optional as a Display/Hide under the View menu.

Sincerely,

Jonathan


+1, noting that this feature is a frequent request. The other Bible Software programs have this capability. Why Accordance doesn't have this capability is beyond my comprehension.
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#8 Ken Simpson

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 05:59 PM

I am inclined to have a different view here. The headings that you refer to are translators/editor's notes. They are not part of the biblical text. As such they have no real place IMHO in the biblical text. (the same could be said for verse numbers etc...). If there were words in the text that were not searchable (since they are not part of the text) then that would be a confusion for some.

I think it's a better approach to keep the text clean and focussed, and things like these headings -which are almost ubiquitous (and sometimes unhelpfully so) in modern translations - in a parallel (though linked) pane. all IMHO...

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#9 Steve Lo Vullo

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 06:25 PM

But the problem is that they are in the print versions, and in many cases, like in the NLT Study Bible, are integral to the work as a whole. To have the headings in a different tool in a different pane detracts from the purpose and effect the editors and contributors desired. It's just not the same as reading the print version. Reading and studying a text in electronic form should provide more, not less options than the print text, i.e., it should have everything the print text has plus the ability to search, amplify, etc. The best solution seems to be to offer the option of displaying the headings and or hiding them, so everyone can be happy.
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#10 Greg Terry

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:02 PM

I am inclined to have a different view here. The headings that you refer to are translators/editor's notes. They are not part of the biblical text. As such they have no real place IMHO in the biblical text.


Agree 100% with Ken. The best place for this type of information is in the notes where they can be synced with the text but kept separate. Headings are not part of the inspired text but were added much later. The Bible text should be kept pure for theological reasons and for ease of searching the actual text.

Just my thoughts.
Peace!

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#11 Steve Lo Vullo

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:11 PM

Once again, the problem is that the printed texts aren't formatted like that. Stripping the section headings, etc., in the e-texts is like using Wite-Out to cover them up in the printed texts. Who would do that?
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#12 Ken Simpson

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:21 PM

Once again, the problem is that the printed texts aren't formatted like that. Stripping the section headings, etc., in the e-texts is like using Wite-Out to cover them up in the printed texts. Who would do that?


I often wish I could! But that may tell you more about me, than the actual issue we are discussing... :)

Edited by Ken Simpson, 06 September 2012 - 11:21 PM.

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#13 Greg Terry

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 12:01 AM

Once again, the problem is that the printed texts aren't formatted like that. Stripping the section headings, etc., in the e-texts is like using Wite-Out to cover them up in the printed texts. Who would do that?


Depends on what Bible you may be using. Some of them don't have section headings. I don't believe they were in the original manuscripts either. :)
Peace!

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#14 Helen Brown

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 01:37 AM

+1, noting that this feature is a frequent request. The other Bible Software programs have this capability. Why Accordance doesn't have this capability is beyond my comprehension.


Accordance texts were originally designed to allow for the actual text and the references. Later the footnotes and other inserts were allowed. It would take a lot of programming anf then reformatting of the texts to include the headings. Given the lack of agreement as to whether they should be visible and/or searchable, it doesn't seem worth the effort when our entire team has so many other things to do.
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#15 Jonathan C. Borland

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:49 AM

So we're still left with having to pull out the hard copies of many versions to read things that are not included in the modules of those same versions we purchased. I understand that the headings are not part of the biblical text -- doesn't everyone? -- but that's not the point. It's in the printed version for which we pay royalties when purchasing the e-text. It should obviously be in the e-text with the option of hiding for those who don't want it, or verse and chapter numbering or other things. For Ken you guys need to make English texts without spaces between words since that's the way it was originally. I realize you have Greek modules that do this but you really need to do this in English just for Ken and Greg.

#16 Ken Simpson

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 04:00 AM

I'd love it ;-)
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#17 Steve King

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 04:13 AM

Well while we are on the subject of the biblical text having to match the printed copy exactly I am all for having the option to show page numbers of every different printed version of the relevant translation ;).

But seriously for centuries we have had to suffer chapters which do not help interpretation of the text and headings are no better. They are not part of the original text and the fact is that I have heard them read out during a Sunday Service as though they were part of the text!

I understand they make it easier to read the Bible in print because it creates 'bite sized' chunks and visually it helps (although I'm sure that could be done without headings) but the fact remains headings are merely interpretation and insidious interpretation at that. If you read a commentary then you understand it is a persons viewpoint and you weigh what they say and how they divide the text. The recognition of being interpretation is less so with section headings. To me they fall into the same category as outlines of which I have many in Accordance (study bibles, commentaries and bible dictionaries) and which remain separate from the text and so they should.

I must admit I have never really bought a bible (and therefore paid my royalties) to get the headings! And adding spaces is not generally interpretation (except for the odd words like 'jointheirs' - which two words do you see?). And besides if they had printing in the first century and cheap manuscripts I'm sure they would have added spaces.

#18 James Tucker

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:05 AM

I don't believe they were in the original manuscripts either. :)


I can't really say since I've never seen an 'original'. However, we do have early evidence that 'titles' were a factor in transmission. A manuscript that grants warrant to my claim is Alexandrinus, whereby the gospels are given perikephalaia at the outset of each book (and presumably did so for Matthew as well, but we cannot be for sure due to the lacuna). What's interesting is that non-gospel texts did not receive perikephalaia—perhaps this gives us insight into the ancient worlds view of genre (although there is yet much research to done).

But seriously for centuries we have had to suffer chapters which do not help interpretation of the text and headings are no better. They are not part of the original text and the fact is that I have heard them read out during a Sunday Service as though they were part of the text!

I understand they make it easier to read the Bible in print because it creates 'bite sized' chunks and visually it helps (although I'm sure that could be done without headings) but the fact remains headings are merely interpretation and insidious interpretation at that. If you read a commentary then you understand it is a persons viewpoint and you weigh what they say and how they divide the text. The recognition of being interpretation is less so with section headings. To me they fall into the same category as outlines of which I have many in Accordance (study bibles, commentaries and bible dictionaries) and which remain separate from the text and so they should.


Interesting comments here. I think a cogent argument can be made that from early in the transmission of the text, formatting a text gives meaning to the text. I find value in comments, for we don't interpret in a vacuum. Perhaps a better way of stating it is that we can never interpret outside the force of a vacuum. As an aside, a fellow scholar and classmate is to argue his thesis next week on the nature of this very question—segmentation of Manuscripts.

#19 Jonathan C. Borland

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:31 AM

Nice, James. Anyway, it's not like I'm asking for the moon here. And I could be wrong, but I would imagine that the publishers would not want their product changed by the omission of the headings, or perhaps they agreed to this in negotiations?

The headings could be added slowly over time and with new versions from the beginning with a new tag in the programming. The headings are helps to the reader and, even just as the text of the version itself, reflect interpretative calls. As stated by another in this thread, the e-text of anything should not be any less reader-friendly than the actual text; in fact it should give as good an experience if not a better one. In this case it is deficient.

#20 Steve Lo Vullo

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:03 AM

Steve, the main problem with what you are saying is that study bibles ARE commentaries! That's the only reason we buy them. And, using the NLT Study Bible as an example again (we could use others), the outline is reproduced at the corresponding points in the text. This is part of the reading experience intended by the editors and contributors, since the outlines were constructed for the specific reason of aiding the reader in understanding the text from the perspective of the authors. This is why I buy study bibles in the first place, to get an overall understanding of different perspectives on the text.
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