Thursday, October 26, 2006

Neat Link: TanakhML Free On-Line

Neat Link

A WebSite I discovered recently is worth a visit, even a bookmark: TanakhML. Tanakh, for those unfamiliar with the term, stands for Torah (תורה, or "Law"), Neviim (נביאים, or "Prophets") and Ketuvim (כתובים, or "Writings"), that is, for the Hebrew Bible. The ML in the site's name stands for XML, an internet language that allows the site to deliver the Hebrew Bible to us in a nicely structured, highly usable way.

The site is developing, but as of now I see two main features that are of interest to most of us. Most obviously, it presents the text of BHS (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, the current standard scholarly Bible), in full, with accents, in Unicode for easy copying and Web use.

Also, and this is something I have not seen before, the site provides what it calls a Verse (Cantillation) Structure Analyser. Click here to see what it does with a sample verse, Gen 1:1. The Analyser breaks down the structure of the verse according to the understanding implied by the major Masoretic accents in the verse. It diagrams the analysis in a very clear way, showing disjunctions at the verse, half-verse, and quarter-verse level. In lay terms, this essentially tells you where the Masoretes understood the periods, semicolons, and commas to go. Unfortunately, the poetic books are not included at this time.


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