Monday, August 31, 2009

Exegetical tool online: BibleArc

BibleArc is an online tool for graphically analyzing the flow of any section of Biblical text.

The original Hebrew or Greek text can be displayed, along with any of various translations (ESV, NAS, KJV). There are tools for marking the flow of thought within the text. Additionally, the site provides a 40-part online video tutorial for using the tool.

The Greek text includes mouse-over parsing and definition. There are options for entering comments and notes. To save outlines online, one can register for a $10 yearly fee.

I've only begun to explore this tool, so can't comment beyond saying that it looks ambitious and promising.

Any of you already familiar with it?


trogdor said...

I haven't used the site at all yet. I've done a bit with the method (described here) and found it to be pretty helpful. So maybe this site is something I'll want to check out to save my hands a bit and not write so much.

Mike Riccardi said...

I was introduced to Bible Arc when I visited Bethlehem College and Seminary back in April. I sat in on an exegesis class with Tom Steller and observed a discussion on Ephesians 5:15-21 based on what the students had done on Bible Arc.

I came home and studied the tutorial when I was home sick from work one day. I paid the $10 fee and did a couple of arcs on my own. I found them to be very helpful. I haven't kept up with it because I haven't had the time (nor the opportunity to be preparing for sermons). But what I did, I found very beneficial.

For one thing, it slows you down as you're seeking to engage the text. For another, you're thinking about the way the Biblical writer is reasoning, and I think that pays dividends, because a huge problem with professing Christianity is just that they think after the world.

I guess what's cool about arcing is that it gets you to consider the relationships of the propositions to each other at the discourse level, where diagramming considers syntactical relationships at the grammatical level. I think that's beneficial for folks.

The biggest impact it's had on me was showing me the importance of grounding and inference. Again, it provides insight into how the authors are reasoning, what their thinking is like, and how our thinking should be. Words like 'for,' 'therefore,' and 'because' become crucial.

Also helpful is the Action-Manner vs. Action-Result classification. In other words, are the participles in Eph 5:19-21 telling me how to be filled with the Spirit (Action-Manner), or are they telling me what will happen as a consequence of being filled with the Spirit (Action-Result)? Is the "so" in John 3:16 telling me that God loved the world so much that He was moved to send His Son (Action-Result) or is it saying that God in this way loved the world (Action-Manner)?

So, I like it. :o)

rebecca said...

I use it. I like it.

I've been reading through John slowly and arcing some of each chapter. I'm one of those people who reads looking for the relationships between the propositions—it's just the way my mind works—but arcing makes it more formal and easier.

And it's a whole lot of fun.

Scott Shaffer said...

I've been using the arc method for a few years now. Piper has a little book you can order from the DG web site. It is especially well suited for the epistles. It forces you to look at the flow of thought and argument in some detail. I've used the web site a few times and found it helpful and a nice supplement. However, when preparing teaching material I find myself resorting to pencil and paper most times.

Becky, slave of Christ said...

I knew I had seen this referenced by someone before, it was probably you, Rebecca. The first time I looked at it I didn't spend much time there, just bookmarked it to look at later...only later didn't come until today. It looks like a really helpful method and just in time! I am attending a new Bible study on Jonah starting Thursday!

Solameanie said...

"Graphical exegesis?" How does that rank up there with Mark Driscoll's "graphic exegesis?"

Sorry. I deserve a detention and two swats for that.

DJP said...

Ohhhh duuuuuuuude.