Redeeming the time

October 31, 2009

My friend Bradley keeps exhorting me to “redeem the time” (echoing Ephesians 5:16) — something i’m trying to take to heart.  Some years back, when i first started exploring Project Gutenberg and the Christian Classics Ethereal Library and playing with text-to-speech synthesis, i discovered that i could “read” some of the classics, or articles and lecture transcripts while messing about the house or waiting for sleep to come.  i managed to “read” through Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby, Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, and many other great books in the public domain like this.  Now, as broadband has become cheaper, i’ve been able to collect some fantastic audio resources over the past few years.  i always keep a few series of lectures or sermons on my phone, ready to listen to while washing dishes, walking to places, or waiting for trains.  i intend to highlight some of these here over the next while.

When i’m at my computer, i use VLC Media Player for playing media files.  One of the benefits of VLC is that it allows one to speed up playback without affecting the pitch.  i find that i can generally increase the playback speed by 40-50% or more and thus listen to an hour-long lecture in only 40 minutes.

i seldom go anywhere without a book and Bible in my bag, but i have still found it useful to keep an electronic Bible on my phone.  i’ve downloaded a couple of free ones from GoBible (KJV) and BiblePhone (various translations in several languages available).  From the latter site i’ve also downloaded a Greek New Testament (Westcott-Hort text) and Hebrew Old Testament for my phone — so now i can continue my attempt at learning Greek wherever i am.  These are all Java MIDP 1.0 or MIDP 2.0 applications, so they should work on most recent Java-capable cellphones (mine is about three years old).

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Alpha Greek

January 8, 2009

i’ve been trying for some time to teach myself Koine (“common”) Greek, the language in which most of the New Testament was written.  It’ll definitely help me to interact more with the text of the Bible and to explain it better to others.

Here’s a humorous take on why to learn Greek, care of some students of Greek at Biola University.

HT: Denny Burk