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Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Volume 47 (2004), Number 1 pp 114-115.

Review of Theological Journal Library

Journal articles contain a wealth of information which can benefit the pastor, teacher, Bible student, and scholar. However, several factors often keep this information inaccessible to many people:

  1. No close access to a competent theological library
  2. Limited funds and shelf space for a personal journal collection
  3. No availability of certain journal back issues
  4. Limited searchability of one’s personal journal collection.

Galaxie Software has eliminated these barriers in a nanosecond! They ventured into the Bible computer world by creating unicode Greek and Hebrew fonts in 1991. Then they began the tedious process of converting printed conservative, scholarly, evangelical theological journals into electronic text. The Theological Journal Library CD has eight volumes now, and each year a new one is added.

Each volume adds fifty years of theological journals to the collection, usually with one or more new journals with all or many of its back issues (several decades at a time for long–standing journals). The volume also includes the previous year’s issues for all of the journals in the collection currently in print. For instance, volume eight contains Book Reviews 115 eleven years of Bible and Spade, eleven years of Faith and Mission, eleven years of the Westminster Theological Journal, and three years of the Christian Apologetics Journal, in addition to adding the 2003 or 2004 editions to Bibliotheca Sacra, JETS, Trinity Journal, and others. Volume seven added twenty–one years of the ever-morphing Review and Expositor, eight years of Bible and Spade, and the 2002 or 2003 issues of other journals to the collection.

One can combine all eight volumes on a computer hard drive to give 400 years of easily searchable theological journals. Each volume comes with the powerful Libronix Digital Library System browser/search engine software for full searching capability, and the TJLCD seamlessly integrates into the Logos Bible Software Series X.

The key to speeding up searches is to narrow the search field by using a defined collection. For instance, I defined a personal collection consisting of all journals in the eight volumes of TJLCD. Then the fun began. A search of ‘virgin birth’ resulted in 841 occurrences: Bib Sac giving the most hits, with JETS next in line. One can display these hits with or without one line of text. A mouse clicks takes the researcher to the full text of any hit in an instant. A ‘Da Vinci Code’ search found forty–four hits—some citing Dan Brown’s book and others citing Darrell Bock’s book which debunks Brown’s claims.

Strengths of the TJLCD collections are:

  1. Affordability, costing about one dollar per journal year
  2. Portability, with rows of shelf space now obsolete
  3. Searchability of both text and footnotes in articles and book reviews in English, Greek, Hebrew, or any language appearing in the journals (‘sitz im leben’ brought 329 hits)
  4. Usability, with original volume and page numbers present for proper citation
  5. Quotability, with cut and paste features

What are the weaknesses? First, more journals titles will strengthen the collection. Second, there are some minor Greek errors: some wrong diacritical marks, such as an apostrophe instead of an acute accent (these will not hinder search capabilities), and a few typographical errors (which do hinder searches), such as a zeta instead of a final sigma. However, Galaxie Software is good about making revisions as needed, and they are working on the needed Greek revisions. TJLCD is an excellent and valuable tool.

James R. Wicker

© 2004 by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Used by permission