Gutenberg(.org) for Christians

Now is a really cool place to browse; their mission is to provide free online access to softcopy of as many public domain texts as the public is willing to obtain, scan, proofread, and submit. Gutenberg, of course, is famous for the invention of movable type, and for printing bibles. Regarding christian printing, however, I have found an online resource that may be a more worthwhile of the Gutenberg name and legacy!

In my previous short post, when Williamson says "as Calvin did", he refers to Calvin's A Harmony of the Law, a four-volume work on Exodus — Deuteronomy. Four books = four volumes is merely a coincidence, as the work is organized by the Ten Commandments, with the rest of the Law sliced and diced into his judgement of which Commandment each individual Law demonstrates. Looking around on the web, I discovered that the complete texts for all four volumes (1 2 3 4) are available online from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library (as well as for Calvin's commentaries on all of the books of the bible, (as well as the apparently complete works of Calvin (as well as as the work of other theologians starting with 'C' (heck, the whole alphabet's in there!)))). Not only can the works be read online, in HTML, but each work has an "About this book" link that contains links to downloadable .rtf or .xml versions as well! How cool is that?

So here's my plan. After downloading the .xml and deciphering its structure, it should be a cinch (using Perl) to extract a listing of scripture references that Calvin organized under each of the Ten Commandments. And from there it is also a cinch to reverse that into an index of the Pentateuch, and how each passage is organized by Commandment. And finally, it will be only a little more than a cinch to generate HTML (with every scripture reference linked over to that presents these references in both directions (by Commandment, by Reference), and post it as a static page on Blogorrhea.

Hopefully, I can whip this project together in just a few days, so keep your eyes (or RSS feed readers) peeled!


14 Responses

  1. Really cool. And if you have that type of scripting ability, I may have some favors to ask of you… ;)

  2. I wonder if the CA license plate ‘luv2perl’ is taken…?

  3. Seven chars. max??

  4. LUV2PRL ??

    Cinches one and two complete (That’s right, Calvin found no Pentateuchal laws expanding on the Tenth Commandment! Confirming what I have long suspected; there’s something funny about that one…)

    Another thing I can do; I will turn the biblical-order index into a table, and the cell for each First–Tenth will be conveniently color coded (Red for murder, Green for stealing, Blue or Pink for Adultery, maybe shades of grey for 1-4 — any other suggestions?), and the actual word “First”…”Tenth” I think I can link to the specific CCEL page containing Calvin’s exposition.

    Perl Rocks! (PRLRX)

  5. Perl rocks? har har.

  6. Knit one, PERL two, right?

  7. At work, I teach a Perl class; I like to call my students swine, since it is they before whom I am casting my Perl.

    And I am told that some of my alumni have taken to referring to me as ‘a little perl-y man’ (a la SNL’s Hans & Franz (& the Gubernator) and their ‘girly man’)

    I’m here to SCRIPT you up!

  8. No Biblegateway click-throughs yet?

  9. I reached the point of flat text at about 11:30 last night. It took a little longer than expected, because the use of ThML was not very consistent (I couldn't count on being able to parse all the commandments out just like the First).

    BibleGateway click-throughs, and linking 'First'…'Tenth' to the relevant page of Harmony of Law will be the next two cinches.

  10. Any thoughts on doing this for the many other works besides the present Calvin opus that are available on the web? I hope so!

  11. Arthur Pink might be nice. John Owen. Jonathan Edwards. Kenneth Copeland. Ooops, how’d that get in there!

  12. Oo – now there’s no excuse not to learn about special relativity! Good luck with the markups – with your God-given mad scripting skillz it should be a pushover!

    I know someone who makes 500 quid per day hacking visual basic in a consultancy style, by the way. There must be an equivalent for perl!

  13. Three more cinches; HTML tables, BibleGateway links, and Commandment colors. 1st table in shades of grey, Honor Parents in blue (is blue an ‘honor’able color?), murder in red, pink (romance) for adultery, green for theft (and empty coveting), white for lying.

    Next, and possibly final, linking commandment ordinals to Harmony of Law pages.

  14. Links in. I’m thinking there is no need for BibleGateway links, since the text of each verse is in tables in the commentary. I could just link each verse directly to the commentary page. It would also be nice to get the overall index in one table, with a column per book.

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