The Gutenberg eBook: Once Again, The Bible Is At The Forefront Of Publishing Technology

from the mission:-innovation dept

It's well-known that movable-type printing started (at least in the Western world) with the Gutenberg Bible, which all-but-singlehandedly ushered in a new era of literature distribution. To this day, the Bible remains one of the most-printed books of all time, and it's interesting to learn that it still plays a role in pushing publishing technology forward. The Christian missionary initiative Every Tribe Every Nation (ETEN) is working to make ebook Bibles available in as many languages as possible, on as many platforms as possible—and in doing so, they're solving technical problems that few others are addressing:

Now, it turns out, the old missionary impulse is being turned towards some extremely difficult technical challenges: as Mark Howe [who works on the project] has said, "For all the issues that are still to be solved, ETEN is trying to do things that the world's biggest tech companies haven't cracked yet, such as rendering minority languages correctly on mobile devices. There's a unity among Bible translators and publishers that stands in stark contrast to the fractured, fratricidal smartphone industry." And of course, once these technical challenges are met, it won't be Bibles only that people can get on their mobile devices: whole textual worlds will open up for them.

Much of the innovation has to do with niche languages (they have translations in Potawatomie and Hawai'i Pidgin) and the developing world: ETEN is tackling translation challenges that are of low priority for many businesses since they aren't interested in entering those markets—at least not enough, or not yet. But if ETEN succeeds in making this kind of mass-internationalization easier, it will be sure to have a ripple effect as others make use of the technology. The Bible may once again be responsible for driving a communications revolution.



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    Drew Farkas, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 12:22am

    Pidgin?

    Are there really that many Hawaiians who don't speak English as their first language?

     

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      AG Wright (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 2:01am

      Re: Pidgin?

      As far as these guys are concerned all it takes is one.

       

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        Ninja (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 2:41am

        Re: Re: Pidgin?

        I think and hope he was being ironic ;)

        But it's nice to see religion actually working for the good even though it's not their primary intention. Now if they'd respect the non-religious ppl and didn't try to meddle into laws....

         

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          AG Wright (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 3:00am

          Re: Re: Re: Pidgin?

          I have met a couple of guys that worked in this field. They are willing to make a new written language for people that don't even have one.
          Think about what that means. First they have to learn the spoken language well enough to translate into it and then they have to make a translation of the bible into that language. It's quite a feat.

           

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            JEDIDIAH, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 9:09am

            Cyrillic

            A couple of Byzantine missionaries did that for the Russians.

             

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            Chargone (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 7:14pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Pidgin?

            did that in New Zealand in the 1800s with Maori, actually. didn't even need to spread it. the written language they created spread across the country faster than they could have gotten everywhere if they wanted to... before they even got around to moving to the next place.

             

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          hegemon13, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 6:46am

          Re: Re: Re: Pidgin?

          "Now if they'd respect the non-religious ppl and didn't try to meddle into laws...."

          Funny. I see plenty of atheists demanding that the religious expression of everyone who disagrees with them be quashed. And respect? That's a two-way street, sir. Show me an atheist that respects religious people, and I'll show you a Christian who respects atheism.

          If what you mean is, "respect others' freedom to believe as they choose," I can point you to a whole lot. Any Christian with an ounce of historical knowledge knows just how dangerous it is to have the government start defining their faith for them.

           

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            Mike42 (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 8:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Pidgin?

            Correction: Any PERSON with an ounce of historical knowledge knows just how dangerous it is to have the government start defining their faith for them.

            Atheists are not quashing religious speech. They are quashing PUBLICLY FUNDED religious speech. Most Atheists would also quash a publicly-funded anti-religion speech. I certainly would.

            My best friend is Christian, and I am an Atheist. We respect each other. Not an issue.

            So please keep chuch and state separate. Thanks!

             

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              minijedimaster (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 10:54am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pidgin?

              "Most Atheists would also quash a publicly-funded anti-religion speech. I certainly would."

              Really? So there are plenty of examples of athiests going after "publicly funded" christian speech, but where are the examples of the same against anti-religion(christian) speech?

               

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                Mike42 (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 2:42pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pidgin?

                Where are the examples of publicly funded anti-religion speech?

                 

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                  Pseudonym, Mar 10th, 2012 @ 5:00pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pidgin?

                  There's lots. Christianity is the most persecuted religion on the planet, which makes sense because it's the biggest.

                  Of course, almost exactly none of this persecution is taking place in the developed world, especially the English-speaking world.

                   

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          Sam Hight, Mar 11th, 2012 @ 1:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: Pidgin?

          Think about what you just said: It's not okay for religious people to meddle in your laws of society, but you're allowed to meddle in theirs... you share the same society so why not have a bit of give and take? Separation of church and state was designed to keep the state out of church business, not the other way around (despite popular opinion).

           

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            abc gum, Mar 11th, 2012 @ 8:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Pidgin?

            "Separation of church and state was designed to keep the state out of church business, not the other way around (despite popular opinion)."

            It's a double edged sword, it was intended to cut both ways.

            What happens to their tax exempt status when a church decides to contribute funds to a political campaign?

             

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      PRMan, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 9:13am

      Re: Pidgin?

      There used to be. I had a friend at college whose dad was a missionary to Hawaii.

      Here's a sample (Psalm 23). It's fun to read:

      Da Boss Above, he take care me,
      Jalike da sheep farma take care his sheeps.
      He goin give me everyting I need.

      He let me lie down wea da sweet an soft grass stay.
      He lead me by da water wea I can rest.

      He give me new kine life.
      He lead me in da road dat stay right,
      Cuz I his guy.

       

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        TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 9:46am

        Re: Re: Pidgin?

        Actually I think that may get the essential message and spirit of the Psalm far better than most formal English translations do. I like it!

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 3:31am

    Now if they could stop their whole christian religious rapeing cultures mumbo jumbo, I would totaly support them

     

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    darryl, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 3:33am

    another non-story..

    except you forget the bible is bashed far more in the US than anyone else, the rest of the world will never notice or even care.

    are you (they) going to do the Quran ?

    are they going to correct the mistranslations that are allready there ? such as the REED sea not the RED sea.

    but typical of America to think they have the scoop on religion and that they have some right or obligation to force that religion on all TRIBES and NATIONS !!!!!

    how many copies of the GB is there ? 48 wow, that IS some revolution.

    it was not the Gutenburg bible that was significant, (in the US you use the RSV (or ASV), not Gutenburg's, nor did Gutenburg translate the bible, it was a simple printing of the King James bible.

    But it is a quite news week I guess for Masnick, he has to make his money by saying SOMETHING !!, it's still about quantity at the expense of quality... SNAFU

     

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      John Doe, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 4:16am

      Re: another non-story..

      I guess you didn't notice that Mike didn't write this article? And no, Christianity isn't forced on anyone. You either believe or you don't.

       

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        abc gum, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 4:39am

        Re: Re: another non-story..

        No body expects the Spanish Inquisition.

         

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          John Doe, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 5:00am

          Re: Re: Re: another non-story..

          Yes, I remember it as if it was last year.

           

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            Mike42 (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 2:48pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: another non-story..

            Ah, yes. Little kids are never force-fed their parents religion. No one has ever taken a kid into a room, turned out the lights, showed them a scary slide show, and told them it was Hell. And no one ever gave that kid a bible and told them that it was the only way out of Hell.

            It was just a figment of my immature imagination.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 5:19am

          Re: Re: Re: another non-story..

          Chapman: I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.

          [JARRING CHORD]

          [The cardinals burst in]

          Ximinez: NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms - Oh damn!
          [To Cardinal Biggles] I can't say it - you'll have to say it.

           

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        Bogo, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 6:03pm

        Re: Re: another non-story..

        To late. Klingon translation started in 1994. Klingon Bible Translation Project

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 5:08am

      Re: another non-story..

      You as usual miss the point. It's not that their goal is to translate the Bible for their purposes or why that is important. They could be trying to translate Dr. Suess books if they wanted to and the end result would be the same. It also doesn't matter that there have been mistranslations in past attempts to convert the Bible to other languages as those were one off translations whereas what is being created here is a framework that can be used to convert between any language for any purpose by anybody. Who cares if they aren't translating the Koran? Someone will use it to do that? The point is that in this case they because of their religious motivations they are venturing providing something that will benefit everyone even those who conflict with their views.

       

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        PT, Mar 10th, 2012 @ 10:10pm

        Re: Re: another non-story..

        It's nice to see someone remembered the point. Good job AC.

        There was another outfit, many years ago, called Gospel Recordings. For similar purposes they sent people out in search of spoken languages, and created audio tracts. Their archives are probably quite important, if they still exist.

         

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      hegemon13, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 6:51am

      Re: another non-story..

      "...but typical of America to think they have the scoop on religion and that they have some right or obligation to force that religion on all TRIBES and NATIONS !!!!!"

      Yeah, how dare some private organization spend their own money to translate a document they feel is very important to share it with the world! Down with this bogus freedom of speech idea! If they're gonna spend their money and sweat to do their own translations, then they should be forced to translate what I TELL THEM TO!!!!!!

       

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      Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 7:32am

      Re: another non-story..

      Well the porn industry embraced the internet as a distribution medium and have shown that content creators can make money on the internet. The mainstream content industry is slowly making their way to this recognition. Not everybody likes to hold up the porn industry as a bastion of innovation but they did drive a lot of tech on the internet.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 7:50am

      Re: another non-story..

      reed or red, first prove they translated the ancient dead language correctly, or they translated it wrong

      you can't, one translation say reed one says red, you can't prove which one was right

      and wanted to translated to only make sense to you and today's language is even worse

       

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      Leigh Beadon (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 8:34am

      Re: another non-story..

      Holy shit, it might actually be "Reed" Sea, not "Red" Sea? Well, that completely changes all of my opinions on the Bible and Christianity, as well as their contributions to ebook publishing technology. Thanks so much for bringing this earth-shattering fact to my attention.

       

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        PRMan, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 9:06am

        Re: Re: another non-story..

        Not to mention that traditionally, it has been called the reed sea, because it was surrounded by reeds. But in English it's always been known as the Red Sea, because it's red.

        Do you translate it so that people understand the original meaning or so that they know where it is today? These are the types of choices that translators have to make, and neither one is "wrong".

         

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        JEDIDIAH, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 9:14am

        Re: Re: another non-story..

        You try to be sarcastic but this sort of issue is the very sort of thing that separates one religion from another. Something like this would be considered sloppy and entirely unacceptable by the people that actually "own" "the book".

        How many other errors are there? Do these kinds of things run far deeper than just a typo? Are they all just a bunch of charlatains?

        Throw in a little "literalism" and things get really interesting.

         

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          TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 11:06am

          Re: Re: Re: another non-story..

          As far as it goes the Old Testament is also known as the Hebrew Bible and what's included in it was made cannoical by a group of rabbi's shortly after the conference at Nicea made to books that are still included in the New Testament.

          The people who "own" The Bible then are Jews and Christians. I suspect a lot of people here would be surprised, and, perhaps shocked at how often Jewish and Christian biblical scholars have poured over it over the past 2000 years to in efforts to correct translation errors and mistakes.

          We're just a lot better than we used to be. Of course there are mistakes in translation.

          As for literalism, the books of The Bible were never intended to be take literally. While a lot is oral history and tradition written down after the fact, in the case of the Old Testament during the exile in Babylon, in the case of the New Testament on oral remembrances, scraps of written material and even complete and now lost Gospels.

          Historical facts are included in The Bible which has kept a number of scholars very busy for the past couple of hundred years but overall it is NOT a history, the gospels are NOT biography as we would know either.

          As for mistranslating Reed Sea as Red Sea it's a fairly minor mistake even if it might make the escape from the Egyptians much less dramatic it still makes it possible as has been demonstrated there.

          And no, to the vast majority of Christians and Jews the mistakes are quite acceptable and often enlightening in that they clarify what may have been confusing before.

           

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 10:02am

      Re: another non-comment from darryl..

      Another illustration of your total ignorance of history.

      The Gutenberg Bible was in Latin, the Vulgate Bible, the standard Bible of the Roman Catholic Church of the time. The Authorized (King James) translation had yet to appear.

      While the Bible itself, beautiful piece of work that it was and is, it's the movable type press that was introduced to Europe at the time that was revolutionary, the Chinese had had movable type for quite some time by that period. Equally revolutionary was using metal, lead, to cast the letters to that they could be recast, reused and corrected at will.

      Without it it's arguable that the Protestant Revolution would have occurred, that the Enlightenment, Renaissance and the science we know would have happened. And certainly not the form in which they did.

      The people behind ETEN are not interested in converting everyone, though they are carrying on the apostolic tradition, nor are they forcing anything on anyone. They've found and developed an ingenious way to translate the Bible into different languages using the power of the Internet, the Web, technology and, of course, biblical scholars probably both Christian and Jewish to do this.

      I'd ask you to stop being an ignorant idiot but that's pointless so how about you take a vacation in the 11th Century? You'd be happy there.

       

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      Coyote, Mar 10th, 2012 @ 7:25pm

      Re: another non-story..

      I do hate to point this out, but the article itself mentions 'a whole new world of text will be open to them.' They are pushing the publishing and translating text where businesses won't because they want to provide not just the Bible, but unlimited numbers of text -- the Koran among them -- to people who would otherwise not get them.

      If you honestly believe they're trying to force Christianity on tribes and nations -- they aren't, they're letting people view the Bible, just as they will be letting people view the Koran, and hell, books made by Confuscius or others who decide to give these texts and translate them. All because a missionary group wants to translate the Bible, and pushing the technology to do so forward.

      How is giving more options to more countries a bad thing? How is it a bad thing to do so? Nay, I think it is a wonderful thing. They are doing it not because they simply desire to give the Bible to others and let them read it for themselves -- but because they also want these nations, these tribes, to view other texts otherwise unavailable to them. There is far too much good that's being done here than there is evil being done here; they're not doing it for business, or even for profit. They're doing it because they want to do it, and want to provide an all new world for them that they would not have discovered otherwise.

      If this is forcing nations and tribes to accept Christianity, I might as well be the long lost sister of a Dixie Chick who danced along in one of their shows only to ride away into the sunset never to be heard from again, because she wanted to help the ancient tribes and traditions of the Maori Partners for American Aliens or something.

      Point is, this technology is wonderful and will bring many great things to the nations and tribes they are visiting; it is a looking glass window, wherein the other side of the glass is the wonderful world of text, learning, and knowledge. How is this a BAD thing, again?

      Oh right, it isn't.

       

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      Blakery (profile), Mar 12th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

      Re: another non-story..

      1. Muslims generally view translating the Qur'an as sacrilege. I'm sure they wouldn't appreciate a bunch of Christians translating it into every language for them.

      2. The reed sea/ red sea thing isn't a matter of mistranslation. It's a matter of genuine debate. There are multiple different valid translations, and multiple potential crossing sites... that we know of. Since it was written approximately 3000 years ago, that can make things difficult in figuring out some of the

      3. There are 48 surviving copies. It is unknown how many were printed. A low estimate is around 150. So, that makes 150 copies of a book, all of which are EXACTLY THE SAME, and took only a few years work by a single person, including type setting... At a time when it would take a single person several years to transcribe ONE COPY, and every copy was unique. As the first major book printed this way, bet your sweet ass it was a revolution.

      4. You're right, Gutenberg did not translate the bible. No one has claimed that. But the King James bible was significantly later, and make possible by the Gutenberg bible. The comparison make it the article is an excellent one.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 3:37am

    when does the Klingon version come out ?

     

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    fogbugzd (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 4:47am

    Of course, none of these innovations would be possible without the Bible being covered by copyright. Oh, wait.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 7:11am

      Re:

      If...

      1. God "wrote" the Bible and
      2. God always has been and always will be and
      3. Copyright terms are Life + x years
      4. God is all-knowing
      5. God's power is infinite

      Why isn't God complaining about people sharing copies of the Bible? Oh wait. Nevermind. God's not that stupid.

       

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    Michael, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 5:59am

    Whenever I hear people talking about the supposed forceful nature of Christianity, I have to laugh. Most of the pushing is being done by anti-religious groups with an agenda. Since you people constantly drudge up ancient history with your Inquisition/Crusades nonsense, mind if we put the spotlight on the "wonderful" works of atheism over the past century which ended the lives of over 100 million people? Nobody is forcing you to accept Christianity, yet if I, being a Catholic, were to walk into a communist state tomorrow such as China or North Korea, I don't think they'd look favorably upon the tenets of my faith. Indeed, in China, they bulldoze Churches, spy on Christians and in some cases torture and kill them. I don't see atheists suffering similar persecutions, so who exactly is forceful?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 7:01am

      Re:

      1. Of course religious groups have had an agenda.

      2. What does any of this have to do with the point of the article? Nothing.

      The point is not WHY it's being done but rather the fact THAT it's being done and the fact THAT it will be useful to others with unrelated purposes. It can even be useful for those who oppose the views those who are doing it in the first place.

       

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      Kaden (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 7:04am

      Re:

      Your victimization is duly noted. Oh, the tribulations you face. Alas. Alack.

      You have the choice not to walk into any of those merciless christian killing pinko commie nations. Non christian indigenous nations were offered no such option when confronted by earnest bible clutching Caucasians proclaiming 'We're missionaries from God; we're here to help you'.

      Also: Gonna need to see a citation on your 'atheists killed 100 million people' factoid, and for fuck sake, as a catholic, could you have a word with Benny about priestly child predators, and maybe not trying to screw around with women's reproductive health?

       

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        Michael, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 8:01am

        Re: Re:

        "You have the choice not to walk into any of those merciless christian killing pinko commie nations. Non christian indigenous nations were offered no such option when confronted by earnest bible clutching Caucasians proclaiming 'We're missionaries from God; we're here to help you'."

        Funny you should bring that up because Christians often perform much in the way of charity and humanitarian work. Also, nobody is forced to accept Christianity. Lastly, missionaries often put themselves at risk by going into dangerous territories, resulting in many of them being killed/martyred.

        "Also: Gonna need to see a citation on your 'atheists killed 100 million people' factoid"

        http://www.scottmanning.com/content/communist-body-count/
        Current estimate: 149,469,610

        "...as a catholic, could you have a word with Benny about priestly child predators, and maybe not trying to screw around with women's reproductive health?"

        First of all, much less than 1% of all priests over the past several decades were proven to have committed acts of sexual molestation, most of those involving teenagers, not children. Furthermore, about 80% of all acts were homosexual in origin (ring a bell?). Molestation/sexual abuse occurs in EVERY walk of life. A child is at far greater risk of being molested by, say, a teacher than by a priest. The media chose to zero in on the Church so that it could force its homosexual/abortion agenda on the public.

        As far as "women's health" goes, the Church does not force anyone to choose one way or another -- if people are going to have an abortion (murder their unborn child) or whatever else, that's their choice. BTW, I recall the media and certain groups trying to bully the Church into providing abortion, contraception and sterilization as part of their mandatory insurance coverage.

        The message is clear: it's ok to smear and attack Catholicism at every turn but let's go out of our way to protect everybody else.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 8:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          First the Catholic church has a LONG history of manipulating the dissemination of information to the public to promote THEIR agenda. The reason the Catholic church appears to be singled out by the media surrounding abuse cases is the fact that they so publicly try to FORCE their concept of morality on others and these cases highlight the hypocrisy in their attempts. I agree with you that a LOT of good is done by Christian groups throughout the world however it often seems that these things are not done out of genuine care and selflessness for the individuals affected by their efforts but rather an attempt to assimilate and control them.

          Also the media does not have a "homosexual/abortion agenda" there are groups that have a "protection of civil liberties and individual rights that are supposed to be guaranteed by the law" agenda that also utilize the media as an outlet to speak out against choose to impose their will on others.

          And it's not just the Catholic church (although they have the longest history and are the most visible part of the entire group) that is to blame here. The entire right wing "Moral Majority" needs to learn that we are supposed to have a separation of church and state FOR A VERY GOOD REASON and STOP trying to pass laws to legislate their idea of morality on everyone else.

          Furthermore, as I stated in my previous comment. NONE of this has ANYTHING to do with the point of the article so YOU opened yourself up to this criticism by bringing up the unrelated topic in the first place.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2012 @ 7:35pm

        Re: Re:

        "Gonna need to see a citation on your 'atheists killed 100 million people' factoid"

        Really??? Are you that uniformed that you have never read about the millions that Stalin, Hitler, Lenin, Mao and many other atheist have killed? You just proved you are a joke.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 6:04am

    Anti-Christian people bashing this are roughly equivilent to anti-military people bashing the Internet.

     

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 6:20am

    Just consider

    Just consider that the Babel, I mean Bible, is perhaps the greatest work of fiction ever written - enormous in scope, inspiring in (some of) its messages, dealing with much of the human condition. What better tome (AFAIK, it is public domain...) to work out the kinks in ePublishing?

     

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      PRMan, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 9:09am

      Re: Just consider

      Must be quite a work of fiction for so many billions of people to be reading it and for people devoting their lives to translate it into languages they don't know.

      How's the Harry Potter into Swahili volunteer project going?

       

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        JEDIDIAH, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 9:18am

        Re: Re: Just consider

        There are entire online communities dedicated to this sort of thing.

        So don't just smugly assume it hasn't happened yet.

        It was done for other languages.

         

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    ahow628 (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 6:21am

    My wish

    My current favorite version of the bible is The Message because it reads more like a narrative than anything. The unfortunate part is that it is encumbered by copyright.

    I went to buy it in Kindle format but ended up not because the search is terrible. You can only get to the beginning of books based on how the author/publisher set it up. For a book like Psalms, you are going to end up paging through hundreds of pages to get to the chapter you want.

    If someone would do a great, readable translation and open source it so people could set up innovative search methods on it, that would be awesome.

    OSNOVA has done some nice search stuff with KJV since it is public domain, but KJV is unreadable and our church doesn't use it anyway.
    http://store.osnova.com/Kindle-Bible-KJV-paragraphed_p_8.html

     

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    WarOtter (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 7:24am

    Strange it seems...

    Strange it seems that the Bible has always been at the forefront of publishing and printing technology and practices, while pornography is always at the forefront of publishing and video and image technology. Perhaps the two are more related than we know?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 8:31am

    "(Mis)uses of technology"?

    Is there a reason this is filed under "(Mis)uses of technology"?

     

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      Leigh Beadon (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 8:37am

      Re: "(Mis)uses of technology"?

      That section title is supposed to indicate that it's about both uses and misuses, I believe - but yeah now I wonder if that's clear... In any case no - I'm not trying to claim that ebibles are a misuse of technology :)

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2012 @ 9:01am

    Religion talk on a tech site? Looks like I came late to the flame war.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2012 @ 9:52am

    I just want the freedom to read my bible and go to church. What many who do not desire an interest to do this do not realize is that freedom is being infringed on. We see and hear news that you do not because our culture is not yours. We see churches being foreclosed on faster than homes are, we see our tax exempt status being challenged, our charity to other countries being subverted, and we have statements from those in government that they do not agree with our taking a path that puts God above Government. We even have statements that our savior would want us to give to the government over our offerings to our faith along with our faith that those offerings will go to a volunteer force devoted to feeding the hungry and clothing the poor.

    Instead people seem to equate those who go to church and volunteer our time, service, and offerings as being used to impose an inquisition. I do not know another institution that does as much good in the world as the USA Christian Charity programs do...including the UN world food bank.

     

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    Cole, Mar 12th, 2012 @ 5:24am

    A lot of the arguments here, while being nothing at all to do with the article, seem to be based around things done in America or hundreds of years ago. Yes, missionaries have forced themselves on people in the past, but it happens a lot less now, blaming modern missionaries for that seems stupid. What's more, the idea of "separation of church and state" is entirely an American thing, and frankly I'm not even sure how it can work:

    "The church say we should do this so let's make it law" - bad.

    "I think we should do this, everyone who agrees vote for me and we'll make it law" - good.

    The latter seems to be separating church and state as far as I can tell, but if their personal views are influenced by their religious ones, and they are voted for by other people with the same religion, then exactly nothing has changed! How to you propose keeping the views of a majority religion entirely out of government decision making processes with a democracy?

     

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