[sword-devel] GNU and OS ideologies and indulgences

Chris sword-devel@crosswire.org
Sun, 16 Dec 2001 22:47:18 +1100

>What kind of translation
>are you after, transliteration, inductive knowledge? Accepting tradition
>that differs from earliest texts or not? What is your audience?
Maybe there would be various teams like Linux and BSD, each working on 
the type of translation
they want. Maybe even a number of acceptable translations could be 
entered into a computerised
system, each verse's translation rated on a number of criteria, 
literalness, ease of reading, etc etc. Maybe
 someone could even choose their own customised translation, choosing 
verses based on their
own personal criteria. Some verses there might be only one rendering 
because it is acceptable
for all versions. Others might have 2 or 3 or 5 renderings, each better 
in some respect. All rated
individually according to their benefit.

>The RSV is free because the copyright ran out on it. 
I thought with the so-called "Disney", US laws that copyright doesn't 
even run out after 100 years.
The RSV is a lot younger than that so I wonder how it can be it is run out??

>The other free texts
>are similar, or have never had copyright. The NASB is probably one of the
>best available texts, how and why are you going to change it? 
Why - because it's not free.

>Are you going
>to investigate the Greek and Hebrew texts, and debate the merits of the
>various translations you find there? 
I'd imagine people who worked on such a project would focus on one book 
at a time, and how deep
they delved would depend on their time and knowledge etc. Most of the 
possible translations have
probably already been thought of and it would be a matter of figuring 
out the reason behind the
various existing translations, which is a lot easier than starting from 
scratch, especially given
all the commentary available. Yep, it would take years, but so has Sword.

>Are you going to present alternative
See above.

>Are you going to allow for linguistic double and tripple meanings
>as they were understood by the writters, or simply stick with the
>translation tradition?
I'd imagine it would be a case by case thing.

>I think the best that can be done is what you have already done, make free
>resources available to all, and make expensive ones as available as you can
>within reason. The millions of dollars paid for translating one version of
>the scriptures does not get spent on expensive equipment, or high paid
>salaries, it is spent carefully on rather inexpensive salaries for highly
>trainned people who all but volunteer to do it, excepting that they need to
On that theory the translations could be made free as soon as costs are 
recouped. I'm sure NIV
costs have been recouped hundreds of times over. Also if they retained 
rights for licencing hard
copies but made electronic copies free would be another possible 
solution, until costs are
recouped. I can't see any justification for taking money for bibles 
after costs are recouped.
Even if they are spending the profits on something worthy like 
missionaries, who is to say that
the money taken was better used by them than by someone else with their 
own mission
that needs to buy the bibles? It would be a bit like Paul charging to 
hear his sermons on the
theory that he is going to spend the money for his next journey. It's 
still not right.

>It will take more than just a little idealistic fervor to get a translation
>made that means anything to anyone as well.
Sure. It would take more than a little idealistic fervor to create an 
operating system that can take
on one of the biggest companies in the world and be relevent too. But 
amazingly strides
have been taken on that front.

> It will have to have credibility
>apart from it's cost that can compel people to look at it over what is
>already easily available on their shelves.
Sure, but it could happen. Especially if the NIV and NASB folks don't 
wise up, I think
it will happen sooner or later. Imagine in 5 or 10 years and people are 
using a lot less
hard copy books and maybe electronic books become popular. Imagine you 
carry Sword around in something like the size of a sheet of paper. Then 
maybe it
would become suddenly important that you can't share your bible with 
someone else.
Maybe everyone has an electronic book and carries it around. Maybe you meet
someone and want to share the Gospel with them. Then you have to say 
"But sorry
I can't actually GIVE you the gospel. It's copyright you know". Then it 
will start
to become clear how wrong it is to hoard these copyrights.