(HT James McGrath’s Fish House) Bryan Bibb has a new post up entitled Digital Bible Literacy. In the post, Bryan describes his Digital Bible course and invites readers to take the same final exam his students have taken, which requires the use of Bible software or BibleGateway.com. It’s a well put together exam. Check it out.
Bibb concludes with a statement that I think merits discussion:
Someone with a strong biblical literacy could probably answer most or all of these questions without searching, but that group of readers is small and shrinking. With the right tools, anyone can find out what is in the Bible, which is a prerequisite for understanding what it says.
Now, I know people have complained about what new technology does to the brains of students since Plato first bemoaned the proliferation of writing, but this is heated topic these days. I have heard that there are seminaries in the States that are pulling back on language courses, and instead requiring “Greek and Hebrew Tools” or some similar kind of course that basically teaches you to use Logos or Accordance. Logos is certainly on-board with their Learn To Use Biblical Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software product. Many people with whom I’ve spoken think that this approach handicaps one’s exegesis and ability to do academic work in the language, but others argue that it’s often aimed at students going for pastoral positions, not those going into PhD programs and research jobs. I try to be pragmatic about these kinds of things, and I can see how developing facility with these programs may be a more efficient use of a future pastor’s educational time, but at the same time I lament the fact that so many may be giving up the opportunity to learn the languages well enough to know how and when Bible software is inadequate for a thorough understanding of the sense of a given construction or passage. Thoughts?