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  • The Hebrew Bible as Data: Laboratory - Sharing - Experiences

    Dirk Roorda

    Chapter from the book: Odijk J. & van Hessen A. 2017. CLARIN in the Low Countries.

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    The systematic study of ancient texts including their production, transmission and interpretation is greatly aided by the digital methods that started taking o in the 1970s. But how is that research in turn transmitted to new generations of researchers? We tell a story of Bible and computer across the decades and then point out the current challenges: (1) finding a stable data representation for changing methods of computation; (2) sharing results in inter- and intra-disciplinary ways, for reproducibility and cross-fertilisation. We report recent developments in meeting these challenges. The scene is the text database of the Hebrew Bible, constructed by the Eep Talstra Centre for Bible and Computer (ETCBC), which is still growing in detail and sophistication. We show how a subtle mix of computational ingredients enable scholars to research the transmission and interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in new ways: (1) a standard data format, Linguistic Annotation Framework (LAF); (2) the methods of scientific computing, made accessible by (interactive) Python and its associated ecosystem. Additionally, we show how these efforts have culminated in the construction of a new, publicly accessible search engine SHEBANQ, where the text of the Hebrew Bible and its underlying data can be queried in a simple, yet powerful query language MQL, and where those queries can be saved and shared.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Roorda, D. 2017. The Hebrew Bible as Data: Laboratory - Sharing - Experiences. In: Odijk J. & van Hessen A, CLARIN in the Low Countries. London: Ubiquity Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/bbi.18
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    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Additional Information

    Published on Dec. 28, 2017

    DOI
    https://doi.org/10.5334/bbi.18


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