Example of OSS Process: Luke 1.

It has been a while since I’ve written, but I’ve been working behind the scenes. In my last post I mentioned that I had completed a first pass through the entire WEB except Isaiah, Jeremiah, Job, Luke, Matthew, Proverbs, and Psalms. I have now completed a first past on all except parts of Matthew and Proverbs.

I also mentioned that I was soliciting recommendations on the best collaboration platform for this project – the consensus seemed to be MediaWiki, though I find the upgrade process for MediaWiki tedious and would love another solution which is more intuitive and requires less hands-on maintenance – perhaps even a hosted solution.

I’m working on a sermon series through Luke for the church I pastor in the upcoming weeks and so I have begun doing some work on the OSS version of Luke. I’ve attached to this blog post Luke 1 (Luke 1 OSS Example) after the (now) second pass that incorporates a number of changes. This will give at least some idea of where I’m trying to go with all of this. A few things to note:

  • I made the decisions alone regarding where to modify the translation from the WEB. In the future the ideal is that these changes will be the result of consensus by contributors.
  • I only compared the WEB with the ESV and LEB and made corrections as I felt appropriate. Ideally, eventually, all translations will be evaluated to provide even better translation choices…original source materials will be reviewed by original languages scholars…academic papers will be studied…writers and artists will contribute their expertise in making words flow and express fully the textual meaning.
  • It should be easy for folks without a background in original languages to contribute. They can compare the evolving translation with other existing translations not yet reviewed – for example the AMP, CEB, EXP, HCSB, Phillips, KJV, TLB, MSG, NASB, NET, NLT, NRSV. The only issue now is that the collaborative system is not implemented so there is not an easy way to merge contributors recommendations into the current version of the text.
  • You’ll note that I have footnoted where I have made changes, noting the original WEB text along with the version I relied upon to make changes – sometimes multiple versions.
  • There were some areas where I was hesitant to make changes, so to start I didn’t unless I saw that both the ESV and LEB agreed in their translation against the WEB.
  • I included numerous footnotes noting where the ESV and/or LEB differed from the WEB and how, also if one disagreed and the other agreed. This is a resource for future passes, as additional translations are consulted, original languages are reviewed, etc. the contributor may not only check against the WEB text but also see what other translations say.

My hope is to complete the OSS version of Luke as I work through the book at church. In this way I can provide a reliable translation of the Gospel without relying upon a copyrighted version – and at the same time smoothing out various issues which arise in clarity in the WEB.

I know, I know, I could just ask everyone to read from the same version – but my preference is to have each book printed individually – this makes it more manageable and less imposing.

If you are interested in contributing to this work – let me know…it will push me to implement a collaboration system sooner…

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