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WEA Theological News, April 2004, vol 33(2), p. 2

Publishers Digitize Scholarly Works


The size of hard drives and horsepower of personal computers have grown to unheard-of proportions, leading a number of publishers to crank up the virtual printing presses. It is now practical for even amateur Bible scholars to build a vast library electronically rather than in print. Indeed, the breadth of selection and quality of titles now available in digital format were unimaginable just five years ago.

One exciting, recent development is that a few well-known publishers are beginning to jump on board and release highly-acclaimed content in electronic format. As part of this trend, some large, scholarly commentary sets and dictionaries are being made available electronically for the first time.

Zondervan regularly releases new NIV-based reference titles for their proprietary Pradis platform—a great boon for those who study using the New International Version. An updated version of the acclaimed New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology is scheduled for release in July 2004.

A number of mainstream publishers such as T&T Clark International and Oxford University Press have recently licensed content to Libronix Corp., for incorporation into Logos Bible Software Series X. In fall of 2003, Logos released the first electronic version of the unabridged Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon, a work esteemed by both classicists and biblical scholars. A digital edition of the massive and scholarly International Critical Commentary series from T&T Clark is under development at the time of this writing.

InterVarsity Press also continues to release excellent commentaries and other reference titles electronically, both for the PC and Macintosh. Popular titles such as Bible Background Commentary and Dictionary of Paul and His Letters gain additional value when indexed to biblical references and made fully searchable.

In the early days of PCs, it was exciting to acquire an electronic Bible with a concordance database. Now it’s possible to build a digital library of thousands of titles, with all the books integrated together via hyperlinks, a shared search engine, and powerful tools making it easy to perform complex study tasks. Serious students of Scripture in the 21st century should stay abreast of developments in this area to ensure they are using the best tools to carry out their research.

© 2004 by World Evangelical Alliance Theological Commission. Used by permission.