Biblical Scholarship and Humanities Computing: Data Types, Text, Language and Interpretation

By Marcel Ausloos

At the Lorentz Center, on the University of Leiden campus, was held a workshop on “Biblical Scholarship and Humanities Computing: Data Types, Text, Language and Interpretation” from Feb. 5 till Feb. 10, 2012. The workshop was organized under the leadership of E. Talstra together with W.T. Van Peursen, J. Krans, U. Sandborg- Petersen, and D. Roorda. The meeting was attended by an international audience made of more than 30 scientists, biblical scholars and linguists, mainly coming from NL, DK, USA, and DE. The role of pertinent data bases was much discussed within view the requirements for text data allowing for the systematic study of especially Hebrew or Greek biblical texts. Debates on confronting the research with a long history of production, transmission and translation took place, either through 30 min. lectures in the morning sessions, and within smaller discussion groups in the afternoon, followed by confronting summaries in joint sessions, and during the evening social events. The so called fundamental question on “the ultimate text” was of much concern, but remained unsolved. Still much research must go on to see the light at the end(s) of the tunnel(s). Andrea Scharnhorst was invited to discuss how to visualize modern aspect of changing sets of data due to text transmission and variation of data bases content. Together with Marcel Ausloos she presented a contributed paper on techniques for ”Measuring complexity in texts”.