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Archive for the ‘New Books’ Category

What’s in the Pipeline?

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 130 Comments

We often get asked about what we are working on. While you can be sure we are always working, and that our work probably involves some version of PocketBible, we understand you may be interested in a more detailed explanation of what is going on behind the scenes. It is in that spirit that we are going to try something new with an occasional post on what’s in the pipeline for apps and books.

You’ll notice we don’t talk about release dates. We’ve been in this business for a long time and have learned that our best-laid plans often go awry. In fact, in the software business, that’s the rule rather than the exception. So we don’t spit into that wind nor tilt at those windmills. We’re pursuing the goals you see below at our best pace and will release new books and updates to our apps as soon as they’re ready.

Apps

  • PocketBible for Android – Version 1.3.0 was released on 9/22/14 and added devotional tracking features to the app and some other minor enhancements. We are currently working on what will become the Advanced Feature Set for the Android version.
  • PocketBible 3.1 for iOS – version 3.1.0 was uploaded to the App Store on 3/28/14. The program seems to be working well under iOS 8, so there wasn’t an update specific to iOS 8. We’ll be taking a more serious look at PocketBible for iOS once PocketBible for Mac is wrapped up.
  • PocketBible for Mac OS X – Version 1.1.0 with support for the new Advanced Feature Set was released on 10/28/14.
  • BookBuilder for Mac OS X – This was promised as part of the Kickstarter campaign for PocketBible and will get started soon.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone – Send us your suggestions for enhancements.
  • PocketBible for Windows Store – Send us your suggestions for enhancements.

Books

Here’s what our editorial team has in the queue for you (not in any particular order):

  • Additional volumes of the Ancient Christian Commentary Series (IVP)
  • The Applied New Testament and Old Testament Commentary (Cook)
  • The Open Your Bible Commentary (Kingsley) – released 10/7/14
  • 365 Day Devotional Commentary (Richards)
  • Wesley Study Bible (Abingdon)

Disclaimers: All this is subject to change in priority, feasibility, copyright licensing, etc. That means we reserve the right to never release these features or books. We are sharing with you the current plan which is written in sand, not stone. Also, just because something is not on this list doesn’t mean we are not considering it. Finally, we are open to your requests, suggestions and comments!

Updated King James Version for PocketBible

Posted on: October 9th, 2014 by Craig Rairdin 22 Comments

Title_PageWe’ve just updated the text of the King James Version we use in PocketBible. Whether you’re a devoted reader of the KJV or only have it installed because it came bundled with your copy of PocketBible, you should welcome this move to a more pedigreed version of the text.

Laridian has long been criticized for the perceived lack of attention we’ve paid to our KJV text by those for whom the accuracy of this text is a major issue. The previous version of our text was from an unknown source and contained American spellings and modern replacements for many archaic words. In some cases, these aspects of the text went unnoticed but in others they were very apparent and called into question the quality of the rest of the text.

The most commonly cited problem was our use of the word thoroughly in 2 Timothy 3:17, where the original 1611 KJV uses the archaic word throughly. While it is the case that the word throughly is defined as “thoroughly; completely”, there are some who feel the original word conveys some additional meaning that is lost by the change to thoroughly. This despite the fact that Vine’s Expository Dictionary says “For THROUGHLY see THOROUGHLY” and even Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary says “For this, thoroughly is now used”.  This is just one example, though arguably the most significant, of about 100 spelling changes between our previous edition of the KJV and our newest release.

A Little History

The Authorized or King James Version of the Bible was the result of a project to revise the text of the Bishops’ Bible, which was the Bible of the Church of England at the turn of the 17th century. In 1604 of committee of fifty-four men were appointed to undertake the revision. Work was delayed until 1607, by which time on forty-seven of the original appointees were available to work on the project. The instructions given to the translators were to alter the text of the Bishops’ Bible as little as possible and to use the text of Tyndale, Coverdale, Matthew, Whitchurch, or Geneva when those translations agree more closely with the original Hebrew and Greek texts. The editors worked in several teams, each tackling a portion of the books of the Bible. When the work was complete, representatives of each group oversaw a final editorial pass through the text and two men worked closely with the printer to supervise the first printing in 1611.

A number of factors made it impossible for any two early print runs of the KJV to be identical. First, the printing technology at the time required that a single page be created by laying out individual pieces of type (each representing one letter, punctuation mark, or space) to create a form. Once the entire print run for that page was completed, the type was reclaimed to create the next page. By necessity, then, the second and subsequent printings of the Bible had to be re-set from scratch using the original documents or the previous printing as a guide. While errors in the previous printings could be corrected at this time, the resetting of every page made it possibile for new errors to be introduced. In 1725, printers at Cambridge University came up with the idea of making a plaster mould of an entire form, then using this to cast a metal stereotype or cliché from which identical subsequent prints could be made. This helped reduce the errors from constant resetting of the text.

A second source of variation in the text was the lack of a standard English orthography (spelling). Most people in the 16th and 17th centuries experienced reading vicariously — the actors in Shakespeare’s plays repeated his words on stage, and the clergy read the Bible aloud to the congregation. As long as the words could be pronounced in a way the hearer could understand, the spelling of the word on the page was irrelevant. It would be another 150 years before the idea of “standard” spelling and even the concept of a dictionary of the English language would come about. In the meantime, there might be two or more different spellings of the same word within one printing of the Bible (or any book for that matter).

To complicate this further, and because correct spelling simply wasn’t an issue, typesetters would add or remove letters from words to make them fit better on a line of type. This introduced another opportunity for variation.

Even after stereotyping made it possible for one publisher to maintain consistency between printings of the same book, each publisher created their own forms and thereby introduced their own changes into the text. Publishers also felt free to add or remove footnotes, change punctuation, and revise the spelling or word usage for their particular audience.

The result of all of this is that we have literally hundreds of different versions of the King James Version text on bookshelves around the world, created over a period of more than 400 years by dozens of publishers using a variety of printing techniques. Each of these is labelled “King James Version” and none come with a list of how they differ from the printing before them, let alone the original 1611 text.

The Age of Electronic Publishing

In the late 20th century it became possible for anyone with a high-speed scanner and optical character recognition software to create an electronic copy of the King James Version text — and they did. Our previous King James Version text was the product of one such person’s efforts. We don’t know which of hundreds of available versions of the KJV text they used, but we know it had Americanized spellings (honorable for honourablerazor for rasorcounseller for counsellor, etc) and modern proper names (Jeremiah instead of Jeremy or JeremiasNoah instead of NoeIsaiah instead of Esaias, etc.). It also used a number of modern words in place of their archaic counterparts (the previously cited thoroughly in place of throughlyprivately in place of privilyfood in place of meattwo in place of twain, etc.).

Laridian’s Historic Position

Because the KJV has been around for 400 years; because it lived through every significant improvement in publishing since moveable type; and because we could find no two KJV Bibles (especially from different publishers) which agreed with each other, we took the position that there was no “best” KJV text. In every case cited by a customer, we could find an example of a KJV Bible from a major publisher that agreed with our version and another that agreed with them.

Lacking an obvious answer to the question “Which KJV is the KJV?” short of the 1611 text (which nobody reads since it uses “u” for “v”, “j” for “i”, and something like “f” for “long s”, rendering it virtually unreadable), we turned two two authoritative sources. First was Cambridge University, which is the steward of the Crown’s copyright on the King James Version in the United Kingdom. During a conversation over a meal, I asked if they had electronic files for the “official” King James Version — assuming there was such a thing, perhaps in a vault buried deep under London. Had I not been paying for their dinner, I would’ve been laughed out of the room. They repeated much of what I’ve stated above, and added the fact that every publisher over the years has made their own “corrections” and changes to the text, including Cambridge itself. They could offer me no advice other than to use one of their more recent printings (for which they had no electronic files). Since that would carry no more weight of being “the” KJV than the one we already had, that seemed like a waste of time.

I next turned to Dr. Peter Ruckman, perhaps the most well-known authority on the “KJV Only” position. Dr. Ruckman argues not only that the KJV is the only accurate English Bible in existence, but that it supersedes the original Hebrew and Greek texts in any question over interpretation of the Word of God. Translations into other languages should be made from it, not from Hebrew and Greek. I wrote Dr. Ruckman a letter asking for his recommendations for an “official” text of the King James Version that would satisfy the requirements of his most vocal followers for an accurate text. Dr. Ruckman scrawled “IDIOT” over my letter and sent it back to me, with the comment “any Gideon Bible”. I pulled my Gideon Bible off the shelf and found it to be a modern English version, not the KJV at all. Furthermore, I didn’t believe Ruckman was making the case that the Gideons were the Keepers of the Authoritative King James Version Bible Text, but rather that I could literally grab any KJV Bible off the shelf, even the free Gideon Bible I found in a hotel, and use it in our software.

When the appeal to authority failed, we simply settled into distributing the KJV that we had and left it at that.

The Pure/Standard Cambridge Edition

Once or twice a year we are contacted by PocketBible users who have a serious problem with our KJV (usually citing the use of thoroughly in 2 Tim 3:17) and encouraging/threatening us to publish “the” KJV. None of these users have ever been able to point to a definitive, authoritative source for this text, but recently we were directed to two sources: The Pure Cambridge Edition at www.bibleprotector.com and Brandon Staggs’ Common Cambridge Edition at av1611.com. Both of these sites claim to have done extensive research to produce an electronic edition of the text that matches that in use by Cambridge University Press around 1900-1910, down to the last punctuation mark, capital letter, and use of italics.

We downloaded these texts and compared them to each other. They differ in about a dozen places, none of which are anywhere near as significant as the use of thoroughly for throughly in 2 Tim 3:17. After looking at some other similar sources, we settled on a version of the text that draws mostly from the Pure Cambridge Edition except in a couple places where we felt the Common Cambridge Edition was better. (In particular, we hyphenate Elelohe-Israel and Meribah-Kadesh instead of creating the “camel-case” spellings EleloheIsrael and MeribahKadesh used in the PCE, and we chose to leave out the footers THE END OF THE PROPHETS after Malachi 4:6 and THE END after Revelation 22:21.)

It was fairly trivial to convert this text to PocketBible format. The hard part was merging Strong’s numbers into it, but we’ve done that to create an updated version of our King James Version With Strong’s Numbers product as well. This has the additional benefit of bringing these two texts into agreement with each other, as even our own KJV and KJV/Strong’s texts had disagreed in a number of places.

Lessons Learned

We’ve gained a new appreciation not just for the King James Version in this process, but also for the history of the English language and printing technology. The myriad variations on the KJV text had led us to “give up” and settle for what was easy. However, this project created the desire to produce something of historical validity and significance, even if it can’t be said to be “the” KJV.

Even if we don’t agree with those who argue that the KJV is the only English Bible we should be reading, we do agree that it has historical significance and that we should provide a version of it that meets with the approval of those who put it on a taller pedestal than we do. We believe this edition of the KJV for PocketBible meets that standard.

We’re considering publishing some earlier editions of the KJV just for their historical value. While we don’t find reading the 1611 text to be particularly edifying, we do find it interesting. For example:

“And as Moses lifted vp the serpent in the wildernesse : euen so must the Sonne of man be lifted vp : That whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue eternall life. For God so loued yͤ world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne : that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life.”

I’m particularly intrigued by the shorthand rendition of the word “the” in “God so loued yͤ world”. This comes from the Early Middle English spelling of “the”, which was þe (the archaic letter thorn followed by e). When printed in the common black letter or gothic font, thorn looked very similar to y, and printers (especially in France where thorn did not exist in their alphabet) would substitute the letter y. When needed to make the words better fit on a line, the e would be placed above the y as you see here. (Another example is the word thou which was often shortened to yͧ.) It’s easy to imagine how yͤ became “ye” in “Ye Olde Book Shoppe”, and why “Ye” in this context should be pronounced with a “th” sound like “the”.

Anyway, I digress….

You can simply download the KJV from within PocketBible if you’re running PocketBible on a platform that supports that feature, or, if you have PocketBible for Windows Desktop, go to your download account at our site to download a new installation program for the KJV or KJVEC (KJV with Strong’s Numbers).

 

Cornerstone Biblical Commentary Series: Now Complete for PocketBible

Posted on: August 8th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 4 Comments

We have released the final three volumes of the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary Series (Tyndale) for use with PocketBible. These last three volumes in the 20-Volume series are:

You can purchase each volume separately for $19.99 or all 20 volumes in a bundle for $399.99. The books are available for use with PocketBible for Windows PC, Windows Store, Windows Phone, iOS, Android and Windows Mobile.

The Cornerstone commentaries offer some unique features:

  • Comments are based on the New Living Translation Bible text (although you can use the commentary with any Bible in PocketBible). Many of the authors and editors of the commentary series participated in the creation of the NLT.
  • The commentary is recent scholarship (2006 to present).
  • Presents the message of each passage as well as an overview of other issues surrounding the text

New for PocketBible: Francis Chan Titles

Posted on: May 22nd, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 2 Comments

Here are four new PocketBible titles from pastor, church planter and author, Francis Chan:

Francis Chan was the founding pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California, and is the founder of Eternity Bible College. He is known for his passionate, biblical, and honest style in preaching and writing. You can learn more about Francis at his website, crazylove.org.

Crazy Love, Forgotten God, Erasing Hell, and Multiply are available for use with PocketBible for iOS, Android OS, Windows Phone, Windows Store, Windows PC and Windows Mobile and MyBible for Palm OS. List price is $9.99 each or they can be purchased together in the Francis Chan Bundle for $29.99.

New for PocketBible: Studies to Help You Grow in Your Faith

Posted on: May 15th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

Here are 5 new PocketBible titles that provide hundreds of individual studies to help you grow in your understanding of the Bible and the Christian faith:

Originally published as part of the award-winning CLC Bible Companion, these titles are useful for self-study and for guiding others in the basics of the Christian faith. The studies are such that they could be used as a daily devotional where you learn particular aspects of the faith over time. Bible references are easy to look up in PocketBible. You will also find them a source of ready-to-use material for teaching in home groups, bible studies or preaching in church.

The The Bible Book by Book, Discovering God’s Way, Essential Truths of Christianity, Knowing Jesus, and Living the Christian Life are available for use with PocketBible for iOS, Android OS, Windows Phone, Windows Store, Windows PC and Windows Mobile and MyBible for Palm OS. List price is $7.99 each or they can be purchased together in the Grow in Faith Bundle for $29.99.

New for PocketBible: Book of Common Prayer (1979)

Posted on: April 9th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 4 Comments

We’ve had numerous request over the years to publish the Book of Common Prayer. We now have available for use with PocketBible, the 1979 edition of this historical book, used primarily by the Episcopal church in the United States.

The Book of Common Prayer is a resource for communal worship and personal devotion. It includes rites and guides to administration of sacraments as well as a daily office, lectionary and more. Rather than the full Bible text that may be provided in a printed copy of this book, the PocketBible edition of this book links to Bible passages so you can view the text in your preferred Bible translation.

The Book of Common Prayer is available for use with PocketBible for iOS, Android OS, Windows Phone, Windows Store, Windows PC and Windows Mobile. It is also available for use with MyBible for Palm OS. The title lists for $4.99 and can be ordered at the Laridian website.

New! Read through the Harmonized Gospels in 40 Days

Posted on: February 25th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 7 Comments

An ideal way to prepare for Easter, this new Laridian Reading Plan will take you through the Harmonized Gospels in 40 days. Based on A.T. Robertson’s A Harmony of The Gospels, you’ll read through the Bible passages that recount the years Jesus spent on earth as told by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John–in the order in which the events happened. The assigned daily readings will make it easy to compare gospel accounts of the same event.

This free reading plan is already available for download on your device if you are using PocketBible for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), Android OS, Windows Phone or Windows Store. There is nothing you need to order. Simply open PocketBible on your device and choose the menu to download this book: Harmonized Gospels 40 Day Reading Plan.

If you are using PocketBible for Windows PC or Windows Mobile, you can add this book to your account for free and download and install it to your device through your download account on the Laridian web site.

As with any Bible reading plan created for use with PocketBible, you’ll see the assigned daily readings for each day and you can tap on the passage to read it in your preferred Bible translation. PocketBible will track your progress through the plan if you’d like.* You can also have PocketBible automatically highlight the linked passage for you so you know what to read (if this is not working, check under settings for an option to “Highlight linked passage” and make sure this is checkmarked or set to “on”*).

*These features still to come in PocketBible for Android OS

New for PocketBible: IVP Bible Background Commentary New Testament (2nd Edition)

Posted on: February 21st, 2014 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

IVP Bible Background Commentary NT 2nd Ed coverThe IVP Bible Background Commentary New Testament has been revised and expanded and the 2nd edition of this best-selling title is now available for use with PocketBible.

New to the second edition of the commentary are maps and charts of important historical resources. In addition, the first edition text was expanded by 15% and updated throughout with further explanations of significant background issues. Author, Craig Keener, is one of the leading scholars of Jewish, Greek and Roman culture and religion during the New Testament era. Originally published in 1994, this second edition shows the fruit of an additional twenty years of intensive research by Keener into New Testament culture and history.

When originally published, this type of cultural information on the Bible was not accessible to the average Bible student. Keener wanted to provide cultural background on the New Testament arranged in a manner that allowed the reader to answer all the pertinent questions on a given passage. The first edition of his background commentary sold over half a million copies.

The IVP Bible Background Commentary New Testament provides, in verse-by-verse format, the crucial cultural background you need for responsible–and richer–Bible study. It includes a glossary of cultural terms and important historical figures, maps and charts, up-to-date bibliographies, and introductory essays about cultural background information for each book of the New Testament.

The IVP Bible Background Commentary New Testament requires PocketBible for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, PocketBible for Android, PocketBible for Windows Phone, PocketBible for Windows Store, PocketBible for Windows PC or MyBible for Palm OS. It is available for $27.99 from the Laridian website. It is also available in a bundle with the companion volume, IVP Bible Background Commentary Old Testament for $39.99.

New for PocketBible: N.T. Wright for Everyone Bible Study Guides

Posted on: December 12th, 2013 by Michelle Stramel 8 Comments

NT Wright for Everyone Study Guide Revelation coverN. T. Wright for Everyone Bible Study Guides are a series of 19 Bible study guides covering the entire New Testament for use with PocketBible.

Each guide covers one or more books of the New Testament. Each study uses the popular inductive Bible study method to explore the passage with notes and comments from New Testament Scholar, N.T. Wright. The guides can be used for individual or group study.

In keeping with the inductive Bible study method, each study includes three types of questions: observation questions, which ask about the basic facts in the passage; interpretation questions, which delve into the meaning of the passage; and application questions, which help you discover the implications of the text for growing in Christ. Each study also features selected comments from N.T. Wright’s New Testament For Everyone commentary series. These notes provide further biblical and cultural background and contextual information.

N.T. Wright was formerly Bishop of Durham in the Church of England from 2003 until his retirement in 2010. He is currently research professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

N.T. Wright for Everyone Bible Study Guides each requires PocketBible for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, PocketBible for Android, PocketBible for Windows Phone, PocketBible for Windows Store, PocketBible for Windows PC or MyBible for Palm OS. Individual volumes are priced at $7.99 to $9.99 each. A bundle of all 19 volumes is available for $124.99 and saves you 25% over purchasing the titles separately.

Please note: Our license agreement with the publisher of this series restricts our distribution to certain areas of the world. We’re not allowed to sell these titles to customers outside of the United States, Canada and Mexico.

New for PocketBible: Hidden in Christ

Posted on: November 16th, 2013 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

Hidden in Christ coverHidden in Christ: Living as God’s Beloved is a 30-day devotional title focusing on Colossians 3:1-17 by James Bryan Smith.

Memorizing and studying a passage in depth can offer a deeper sense of the meaning of each word. In this unique introduction to the hidden life in Christ, James Bryan Smith walks readers through a thirty-day immersion in Colossians 3:1-17. Each of the thirty short chapters of Hidden in Christ bring out the main truth of just one word or phrase of this rich passage. You’ll also find a very simple daily practice to take up, reflection questions and a guide for five weeks of group discussion.

In the introduction to the book, Smith writes: “My aim in this book is to take you on this journey with me. I tried, in each of the thirty chapters, to bring out the rich insights each word had provided for me. The goal here was not to excavate some scholarly insights, but to bring forth the main truth of the word or phrase in such a way that you, the reader, will find encouragement, refreshment and enthusiasm. Paul wrote his letter to the Colossians not to give them an academic treatise on Christian theology but to tell his readers a story—the greatest story the world has ever heard.”

Hidden in Christ: Living as God’s Beloved requires PocketBible for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, PocketBible for Android, PocketBible for Windows Phone, PocketBible for Windows Store, PocketBible for Windows PC or MyBible for Palm OS. The list price is $9.99.

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