Scripture Tools for Every Person (STEP)

Introduction

This Tyndale House project aims to provide the very best Bible software tools to far-flung believers with few resources. These will be available free of charge and capable of working on phones and low-spec computers (with little or no internet facilities). The STEP Project aims to grant these believers access to a wealth of resources previously only available to specialist scholars.

Modules include:

  1. Geography. Tyndale House owns one of the two known map sets of the unpublished 1:20,000 Ordnance Survey of  Palestine in the 1930’s, recording a landscape almost unchanged for thousands of years, before the modern urbanisation and the farming revolution. The project includes the preservation and display of this valuable and rare archive.
  2. Historical timeline of all datable people, events and eras, expandable to all the detail the Bible gives us
  3. Newly edited Encyclopedia of Bible places, people, events and teachings
  4. Translation Aids including interlinear texts, grammatical information, and full-text lexicons
  5. Bible Comparison Aids, with various versions, variant readings and explanations of translation differences
  6. Articles and Books, selected for usefulness and scholarly integrity, and classified by subject

For example, the Geography module combines rare high-scale maps at Tyndale with GoogleEarth satellite images including geographical features and local photographs. Below we see Mt Carmel, where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal, near the modern town of Haifa. The old maps show agricultural details, traditional placenames and old pathways which have now disappeared under concrete. These two technologies complement each other to give the Biblical events new depth and reality.

An image from Tyndale House's STEP Project

What resources will be included?

Almost all important ancient texts are now available in an English translation, and some are already on the web, but copyright restrictions and inaccessibility make them difficult for non-specialists to use. STEP aims to provide access to:

Tools to integrate the Bible with geography & history

The Bible will be linked to these ancient texts and maps by a series of tools:

  1. Links to specific texts and maps based on previous scholarship
    (collated from Scripture indexes, lists of parallels, historical works etc)
  2. Collaborative tools whereby users can add links which are shared with others
  3. A Contextual Analysis Search Engine (CASE) for finding new parallels.
    Computer analysis combining information from lexicons, social context and shared language which searches for texts referring to similar ideas or events. 

Project Components

The project has five main components:


1) Building a secure website as the basis for integrating Bible texts with their context,

2) Preservation, archiving, display and cataloguing the historic map collection

3) Integrating out-of-copyright material, cross-referenced to Bible texts

4) Integrating copyrighted material to securely supply ‘fair use’ quantities

5) Addition of a Contextual Analysis Search Engine  (CASE)

The benefits of the project

When complete STEP will provide the single most valuable freely available resource for Biblical Studies. Several benefits will result for Tyndale House and the wider Christian community:

Personnel

Volunteers working on the modules:

Support

The STEP Project is seeking funding from charitable Trusts and individuals. If you would like contribute to this valuable resource please use the links below.

Contact:

Dr David Instone-Brewer, Technical Officer & Senior Research Fellow in Rabbinics and New Testament, Tyndale House, 36 Selwyn Gardens, Cambridge, CB3 9BA, UK. Tel: 01223 566601.

Tyndale House is a division of UCCF, Ltd Company 387932, Registered Charity 306137. 38 De Montfort St. LE1 7GP, UK

Support with secure payments click here.

Support with IRS exemption click here.

* Theology on the Web currently assists STEP by providing and organising digitised material for inclusion in the Project.

Top of page


London School of Theology