If this question is worded poorly or could be rephrased, please do help me know how best to ask it. I am genuinely seeking the information outlined below, but I'm new here, so please forgive me if I have expressed my queries ineffectively or incorrectly!

I now understand that this question would be more suited to Meta discussion if it were to be discussed at all - and I have no problem with a moderator moving it there... as long as I can still find it xD

For the amazing resource that they are (and remain), for a while now I've had a dim view of translated Bibles - the translator must analyse the original texts, explore the grammatical context of said texts, apply his understanding of the language (taking similar passages into account), and then condense the passage into the target language based on what objectively seems like the most contextually appropriate reduction of the grammatical structure in question.

The hint of an oxymoron here starts at "condense," and becomes unavoidably undeniable when you read "objectively seems like." The translator's (or translators') task is immense, if you think about it (...!), and the toll such a task takes on our imperfect minds and bodies mean that errors invariably show up. (I will readily admit that I have found several typographical punctuation errors in the CJB - my favorite version of the Bible - as well as one or two instances of duplicate words. There are probably translation errors in it too.)

For this reason, I have long been fascinated with the idea of going through the original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic, looking up the words as I go along in a dictionary. Doing this in book form would take an age, so I'm interested in doing it electronically, writing a simple program (relativistically speaking!) that will show me each original word, along with a full, unabridged, context-less explanation of that word.

My two questions are thus:

  1. I've already identified Tanakh.us as a fairly awesome authoritative resource for the full text of the Talmud. What equivalent resources provide authoritative electronic copies of the Aramaic and Greek portions of the Bible?
  2. Where can I find *non-proprietary*, comprehensive Biblical-Hebrew/-Greek/-Aramaic-to-English translation/exegetical-analyses databases, which I can arbitrarily query and pull word translations and explanations from? (Note: I acknowledge copyright, and my usage purposes fall firmly under the auspices of "personal/educational/study/reference use only".)

Please note that I am *NOT* looking for existing, "finished" software - one of my primary motivations behind developing the software I mentioned is that I would be able to run it on my PDA - a rather old device, but it works for me, and I see no reason to get rid of it. (I also have a variety of other private/internal things I want to do with the text, which would be impossible if said text were locked down by a piece of "end-user software" that can only be used in certain specific ways, or if the text were similarly made inaccessible in some other way.)

Now, while I discovered long ago that my desire was not a new idea at all, and that the interlinear had been invented for exactly this purpose quite a bit before I was born, an interlinear is... almost what I'm looking for, it's but *not exactly* *it*, because, for the sake of brevity, interlinears (which are traditionally a printed item) necessarily perform language reduction so the number of pages in the volume is not represented by a number that is itself four (or five!) digits long (..!).
In this modern day and age, however, I am blessed to be able to surpass the technical limitations imposed on our forebears by the logistical restrictions of printing and binding, so I don't really want to have to constrain myself to such an old idea, however standardized it may be.

  • Search "Unbound Bible." You can download a few different Hebrew and Greek (without accents) texts there in UTF8 text files. And for a Greek NT with accents and diacritics, you can download The New Testament in the Original Greek: Byzantine Textform 2005, edited by Maurice A. Robinson and William G. Pierpont which is public domain, here sites.google.com/a/wmail.fi/greeknt/home/greeknt Sep 21 '14 at 3:56
  • Ooh... thanks for that! These resources look great. (I also found this similar thread on here from another user looking for original texts like myself.) Now to find the dictionaries... I figured that would be the hardest part...
    – i336_
    Sep 21 '14 at 6:55
  • The Apostolic Bible Polyglot may also be of interest to you. It's an interlinear Greek-English Bible. You can buy a pdf of it for about $15, and it comes with a dictionary built into it, along with a handful of other useful resources. The one disadvantage (if you see it that way) is that the OT is the LXX. I like it for that reason, but it might not match your goal because it's not Hebrew and it's in pdf. Sep 21 '14 at 8:55
  • @Cohen_the_Librarian: I see, that's very interesting. Definitely something to add to my list of potential resources for sure - you can never have enough of those, I say :) - but you're unfortunately right: it doesn't match my goal, because my primary (indeed, sole) interest is in running semiautomated programmatic queries against it from [my own] software, not just viewing it manually - and if it's $15, well, the idea of dumping out its contents becomes quite a kettle of fish to consider, to say the least :P
    – i336_
    Sep 21 '14 at 9:27
  • 1
    I think this is a Meta question, and in fact there's already an excellent collection of e-resources in a Q&A there. In light of that, it's possible the moderators will close or move this question.
    – Dɑvïd
    Sep 21 '14 at 11:52

The entire Codex Siniaticus, over 1,600 years old and the oldest complete text of the New Testament, can be viewed in photographic detail at http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/en/ . A transliteration of the often hard-to-read letters is also available inline. This will let you see how the ancient Greek scribes originally wrote their manuscripts. It's pure text without commentary, punctuation marks, or even spaces between the words! Although it might not be useful in the beginning of your studies of the original languages, it most certainly will later on. Furthermore, it is a shining witness to the accuracy of our modern-day New Testaments, especially when their authenticity is called into question by Islamic scholars, whose entire religion can't even claim to be that old.

  • Thanks Timothy, useful resource. I've voted for this question to be closed as it's really what we call a 'shopping list' question, but I hope you'll find other questions here that spark your interest :) Sep 21 '14 at 13:08

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