(This post has been cross-posted on the Open Scriptures blog.)
For the past several years, I’ve been dreaming about an open source community-driven Web application for Scripture. In the past few months, things have really been kicking into high gear. At BibleTech:2009 I’m presenting the project in the talk Open Scriptures: Picking Up the Mantle of the Re:Greek – Open Source Initiative:
Open Scriptures seeks to be a comprehensive open-source Web repository for integrated scriptural data and a general application framework for building internationalized social applications of scripture. An abundance of scriptural resources are now available online—manuscripts, translations, and annotations are all being made available by students and scholars alike at an ever-increasing rate. These diverse scriptural resources, however, are isolated from each other and fragmented across the Internet. Thus mashing up the available data into new scriptural applications is not currently possible for the community at large because the resources’ interrelationships are not systematically documented. Open Scriptures aims to establish a scriptural database for interlinked textual resources such as merged manuscripts, the differences among them, and the links between their semantic units and the semantic units of their translations. With such a foundation in place, derived scriptural data like cross-references may be stored in a translation-neutral and internationalized manner so as to be accessible to the community no matter what language they speak or version they prefer.
Think of it as a Wikipedia for scriptural data. Just as Wikipedia has become the go-to place to find open encyclopedia information, Open Scriptures seeks to be the go-to place for open scriptural data. (Non-free data could also be stored, but it would be restricted to non-commercial personal use, as Wikipedia does with fair use or by obtaining special permission.)
Interested? The project needs you! I’d love for a core group of scholars and developers to come together with the shared vision of open access to scriptural data employing open standards and best practices of the Web.