We just posted more new chapter commentaries for Psalms 17-26, from Rev. Julian Duckworth. People are really liking these! Here's a link!
We just posted more new chapter commentaries for Psalms 17-26, from Rev. Julian Duckworth. People are really liking these! Here's a link!
Swedenborg's great exegetical work, Arcana Coelestia, from the 1750's, describes the inner meaning of the books of Genesis and Exodus. The late Rev. Risto Rundo, a Swedenborgian scholar and theologian, translated it into Serbian. We got permission to use it, and hyperlink it, and... here it is! It's far from perfect (we've had a hard time getting our text processing routines to work with this text), but it's good enough to be useful, and it's online, (and we'll keep fixing links and formatting.) Zdravo Svete!
There are more than 30 million Tagalog speakers in the Philippines, and around the world. And... we get a lot of visitors who come to read the Bible in a Tagalog translation. So, we made a user interface for them, too. Courtesy of our friend Luri - thank you! Here's a link.
The new version of the "Swedenborg Reader" app from the New Christian Bible Study is available now in Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store! If you want to be able to read and search Swedenborg's works on your phone or tablet, when you DON'T have a reasonable web connection, this is the way! It comes with available user interfaces in English, Spanish, French, Chinese, and Korean (so far), and you can choose from hundreds of translations in 20 languages. You can read, listen, print, share, cite... lots of good new features. Hope you try it, and like it! Here's a link.
We just posted new chapter commentaries for Psalms 31, 32, and 33, from Julian Duckworth. The explanations are good; we think you'll get new, useful insights from them. Here's a link!
We just marked up and imported a Chinese translation of volume 6 (of 12!) of "Arcana Coelestia". It contains Swedenborg's explanations of the internal meaning of chapters 32-38 of Genesis. Here's a link to the place where the latest installment of 属天的奥秘 begins.
Swedenborg penned a brief (for him) "Invitatio" to the New Church, in 1771, near the end of his publishing career. It's a useful overview of New Christian thought. We just posted a Dutch translation of it, by Anton Zelling, here: Uitnodiging tot de Nieuwe Kerk.
Last week, we published chapter commentaries for the Gospel of Matthew. This week, we've readied Ray Silverman's explanations of the Gospel of Mark. We're getting good feedback on these; people are finding them to be really useful. Here's a link to Mark chapter 1, side by side with its explanation.
We're really pleased to bring you commentaries from Rev. Julian Duckworth on the inner meaning of 8 more Psalms. Here's a link to Psalm 9 with its commentary.
Today, we surpassed the 350,000 visits/month rate, up 49% from this time last year!
This morning, we took another step towards having a good working set of Spanish translations of everything. Here's an updated translation of Swedenborg's work, "Doctrine about Life""Doctrina de Vida para la Nueva Jerusalén".
Way back in 1758, Emanuel Swedenborg, one of history's great Bible scholars, picked up his quill pen and started to explain the internal sense of the "Book of Revelation". In 1759, he left off with this 5 volume manuscript, and turned to other work. Later, he came back to "Revelation", rewrote his exegesis of it, and published "Apocalypse Revealed", in two Latin volumes, in 1766. After Swedenborg's death in 1772, his heirs and readers published many of his works that had been left in manuscript, including "Apocalypsis Explicata". It's been translated into English at least twice. We just cleaned up John Whitehead's translation of it, fixing hundreds of problems that were lingering from our first attempt to mark it up for online use.
We're having a big week. We just posted chapter summary explanations for each chapter in the Gospel of Matthew. They're by Rev. Dr. Ray Silverman, the editor of "Light in My Darkness", by Helen Keller, and the author of "Rise Above It", a popular multi-faith spiritual guidebook. Here's a link to Matthew chapter 1, side by side with Ray's explanation of it, and of course you can navigate from there!
We've been posting chapter-level commentaries on the inner meaning of the Psalms. We just got more new ones from Rev. Julian Duckworth, for Psalms 51-58, and 76-83. They're very good! Here's a link to Psalm 51 with its commentary.
If they do, we can help! We just posted another chunk of Swedenborg's Genesis exegesis, translated into Zulu by friends in South Africa. Here's a link to "Izimfihlakalo Zezulu ", translated by Zamokhule T. Zungu.
We shall see... we're pretty sure that some will! We just imported a Serbian translation of "Bračna Ljubav". It's a book about the wonderful potential for love in marriage, by Swedenborg, written in 1768. The introduction to this translation is quite beautiful; we want to get it translated into many languages, too. Here's a link to "Bračna Ljubav".
Our Latin sweep continues with the posting of a revised text of "Summaria Expositio Sensus Interni Librorum Propheticorum Verbi Veteris Testamenti, Necnon Et Psalmorum Davidis". In this 1761 work, Emanuel Swedenborg outlined the internal meaning of the Prophetical Books from Isaiah to Malachi, the Psalms, and the first 16 chapters of Genesis. This work was not published by Swedenborg, but it is largely consistent with other more detailed treatments made in his published works. Here's a link to it.
We just imported another Swedish translation, "Levernes-lära för Nya Jerusalem". It's one of four short works by Swedenborg in 1763 that focus on what the Bible says about Life, Faith, the Lord, and the Sacred Scripture. In English, the title is, "Doctrine of Life for the New Jerusalem". It's a translation by C. J. N. Manby from 1918, and it's online and hyperlinked for the first time, a mere 102 years later! Here's a link to it, side by side with the original Latin text.
Every time we mark up and import a translation of "Arcana Coelestia" in a new language, it's a big milestone. And... now we have just posted a German one! It's an update of the 1867 Basel edition (J.F.I. Tafel's translation), edited by Dr. Friedemann Horn, and published by Swedenborg Verlag in Zurich, in 1998.
We've started posting chapter-level commentaries on the inner meaning of the Psalms. They're coming in batches. We have them for Psalms 1-8, and 26-29 so far. Here's a link to Psalm 5 with its commentary.
We are really pleased to offer "Doctrine about Faith", or 第四部信仰についての新エルサレムの教義 in Japanese.
One of our big initiatives is to get translations of Swedenborg's Bible explanations online in all the major languages. It's a years-long project... working with translators worldwide. Here's another step forward: "Enthüllte Offenbarung", which is German for "Apocalypse Revealed". It's pretty clear that the events that John saw and described in the Book of Revelation are spiritual events. This book will help you see how they can apply to our own spiritual lives, today. (If you don't read German, we have other translations!)
Here's the most recent translation from the farflung network of Spanish-speaking New Christian translators. In this short work, Bible readers get a well-structured explanation of how God reveals truths to us via the written Word, and how the Old and New Testaments are written by means of correspondences. Here's a link.
We've been bringing you installments of the new Dutch translation of Arcana Coelestia. Here's the latest: explanations of the meanings of Exodus chapters 1-20. Here's a link: Hemelse Verborgenheden in Genesis en Exodus.
In Swedenborg's draft work explaining the inner meaning of the Book of Revelation, he makes an astounding 14,500+ scripture references, plus 10,000 more cross references. That means, of course, that hyperlinking is really useful. Here's the most recent English translation, done in 1923, by Isaiah Tansley, courtesy of the Swedenborg Society in the UK. We've been at pains to hyperlink it. It's not perfect, but it's good enough to have online. Here's a link to Apocalypse Explained.
We just added a translation of parts of Swedenborg's work on marriage. The original 1768 Latin work was entitled "De Amore Conjugialis", and it's been typically titled "Congugial Love" or "Marriage Love" in English translations. It's good to have this Czech translation online. Here's a link to it: Manželská láska.
We've just posted the rest of the chapter-level commentaries on the deeper meaning of the Book of Judges. They're really helpful, showing the relevance of these old, old stories to our new, new lives. Here's a link to chapter 1: Exploring the Meaning of Judges 1. Next up, Psalms... stay tuned!
We've finished 9 chapter summaries for the Book of Judges! Here's a link to chapter 1: Exploring the Meaning of Judges 1. More are in the pipeline.
We've finished chapter summaries for the whole Book of Joshua! Many thanks to Rev. Julian Duckworth for doing that research and writing. Here's a link to chapter 1: Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 1. When you have a Bible chapter and its summary open side by side, they're yoked together, so you can use the "next" button to read right on through. And, stay tuned for summaries of the Book of Judges.
We just got (and processed) a long-hoped-for update to the Japanese translation of "Conjugial Love", courtesy of our good friends at Arcana Press in Japan. There's a lot more coming in that pipeline, too.
We've just done a pass through the text of John Elliott's masterful English translation of "Arcana Coelestia", to associate the Genesis chapter text with the correct section numbers, and de-tangle some footnotes. That's been on our list for a LONG time; it's nice to check it off!
We've just processed and imported "Arcana Coelestia" in Zulu. Just for fun, trying reading it aloud! It's a seriously cool language. Here's a link.
We've just posted a cleaned-up translation of "Apocalypse Revealed", or 요한 계시록 풀이, in Korean.
We've just posted a cleaned-up translation of "The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine", or 새 예루살렘 그리고 그곳의 교리, in Korean.
We're streamlining the site's user interface, so that new Bible studiers can find what they're looking with fewer menus to look through. For our longtime readers, it may take a little getting used to! We hope you like it. Tell us what you like and don't like, and what's on your wish list.
There's a short work, entitled "De Divino Amore" in Latin, or Divine Love. Swedenborg wrote it as a draft for a later work. He didn't publish it, but it still serves as a brief-ish outline on the subject. Here's a brand new Dutch translation of it: Over de Goddelijke Liefde
For those of you who have been reading the Book of Joshua... there's more! We've added 4 more explanations of its inner meaning, from Rev. Julian Duckworth. Here's a link to chapter 9: Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 9
Is it a spiritual awakening? Has the coronavirus pandemic gotten people to start thinking about what's most important in their lives? We don't know. But traffic is way up.
Get more out of reading the Book of Joshua. We're moving right along, as Rev. Julian Duckworth explores its inner meaning. Last time we mentioned it, we had 4 chapters done. We've just added chapters 5-9. Here's a link to chapter 5: Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 5
Here's a brand new thing: a Serbian user interface! It makes it a LOT easier for Serbian speakers to use our translations of the Bible and of Swedenborg's theological works.
"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved." - Helen Keller
Our friends at offTheLeftEye did a coronavirus-related show on their youtube channel last night. It's a friendly, helpful conversation with the usual thought-provoking ideas. Here are some places where we connect to it:
Matthew 6: Follow the link, click "Study the Inner Meaning", and use the Video tab on the sliding pane.
Heaven and Hell 281, Secrets of Heaven 8478, The Doctrine of Life for the New Jerusalem 114, and Secrets of Heaven 1392. Follow the links, and when you're reading, click the "Study this Passage" button, and then use the Video tab on the sliding pane.
Partway through his super-detailed commentary on Genesis and Exodus, Swedenborg took a detour into the New Testament, and explained the internal meaning of two chapters in the Gospel of Matthew - chapters 24 and 25. It's interesting to see this. By extension, it helps us to better understand the rest of gospels. We've gathered up the links you'll need, and put them into the chapter summaries, for Matthew 24 and 25.
We just posted a translation of Swedenborg's work, "The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine", into Chinese. Take a look: 新耶路撒冷及其天堂教义
We just rolled out an updated Russian UI. Thanks to Theo!
We posted a brand-new Chinese translation of Swedenborg's "Apocalypse Revealed". It's got nothing to do with coronavirus! However, it IS an interesting look at the inner meaning of the Book of Revelation, and if you happen to be a Chinese reader, well... it was written in Latin 250+ years ago, and it's been available in many translations - but not in Chinese, until... now!
Here's a link: 破解啟示錄
While we're in helpful document mode, here's a new Quick Start Guide in .pdf format, designed to help new site visitors get a sense of what all's here and how it works.
We've put together a new Search Tips Guide in .pdf format. Searching is an interesting challenge, where most of the time users want it to be simple and fast - but then occasionally they want it to be very specific. We're always trying to accommodate the whole range of needs. This document should be pretty useful for times when you want help with a tricky search!
We've now translated our 295 spiritual topic articles into 14 languages. We've been working on a way to integrate the best machine translation tools into our system, so we get decent output. This is the first large-scale rollout of it. It should be pretty useful!(And, if you're fluent in a non-English language, we'd like to hear your feedback about the translation quality.)
Courtesy of our friends at SPI, we've just posted a new Spanish translation of "Doctrina de la Nueva Jerusalén Acerca de la Fe", (or, in English, The Doctrine of the New Jersualem Regarding Faith).
"In short we can say today that man is far too clever to be able to survive without wisdom.... The exclusion of wisdom from economics, science, and technology was something which we could perhaps get away with for a little while, as long as we were relatively unsuccessful; but now that we have become very successful, the problem of spiritual and moral truth moves into the central position." (E.F. Schumacher, from his book, "Small is Beautiful", in 1973.)
1. February 18th - We rolled out an updated Chinese UI. Thanks to Helen!
2. February 19th - Here comes a newly refreshed Georgian UI. Thanks to Bagrat!
3. February 20th - And, today, how about a brand-new machine-translated Italian UI? With thanks to the thousands of computer scientists who are figuring that out in a hurry!
How in the world does the Book of Joshua have anything to say about my life today?
Well... it's a good question. And the reason we're highlighting it is that Rev. Julian Duckworth is exploring its inner meaning in a series of essays, one per chapter. So far, we have 4 essays, and they'll keep coming over the next couple of months. Here's a link to the first one: Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 1
1. It's like breakfast cereal: It's new! Improved! Our Czech user interface is both of those. And it's a good way to start your day, too. Here's what it looks like: newchristianbiblestudy.org/cs
2. Or, it's like laundry detergent: It's new! Improved! This time we're talking about an update to our Portuguese UI. It's been updated by friends of the project in Brazil, and... like spiritual laundry detergent, it will help you find ways to get nice clean truth. Here's what it looks like: newchristianbiblestudy.org/pt
We just finished the latest iOS and Android versions of the NCBS app. It's a traveler's handy Writings read/search program, for use when you don't have web access (but it's not intended to provide anything close to the functionality of the web application). What's new and exciting in this version? Two main things: 1) Searching the text, and 2) Managing what languages and translations you want to store on your device. If you're interested in using it, contact us!
One of our long-held goals is to provide a core set of Bible Study tools in the world's major languages. We're making good progress. In January, we focused on translating a bunch of things: Spiritual topics, Bible story explanations, reading plan names and descriptions, pathway names and descriptions, and more of the UI text. We're using two neural machine translation (AI) engines (from DeepL and Google) to help, and we're getting really good results.
We just marked up and imported 2500 more sections of the fast-developing Chinese translation of Arcana Coelestia, so... it's about 1/3 of the way now, and moving quickly.
We're pretty excited about the results we can get now from using AI for translating text. We've been doing a bunch of testing, and we think it's going give really good results. One place that you can see some early results is in our Bible Stories Explained section. In the drop-down selectors, choose a language, and see what we have translated so far. It's only a handful of stories, as of today, but it will grow quickly as we get out of our testing phase. Soon!
When he was working through the process of writing "Apocalypse Revealed", Swedenborg compiled an index. He didn't publish it, but it survived among his papers and manuscripts, and it's a really useful reference. Here it is, online and linked up!
We've been helping the creators of the popular youtube channel, offThe LeftEye with database support. As part of that partnership, we cross-link their videos to the text of the Bible, and to Swedenborg's works. So, if you're reading along in the Bible, and there's a related video, you'll see it on the Bible slider pane. More than 260 of their videos have been fully cross-indexed now by a team of volunteers, with around 400 more to go.
If you've been reading regularly, you've probably come across some of Todd Beiswenger's sermons. Todd's a New Church minister in Sydney, Australia, and he has a nice relaxed preaching style, and an interesting way of looking at things. We just imported 110 more of his audio talks. They're linked to Bible passages; Here's an example.
Today, we added a cleaned up, linked up version of "Dicta Probantia", a Latin text (not published by Swedenborg), in which he was gathering scriptural references about the nature of God. The references were later used in the creation of some of his published theological works. It's in Latin, so... it may not be of wide interest, but it sure shows what a thorough-going Bible scholar Swedenborg was, and how systematically he approached theology.
Here's a good chance to help us spread the gospel, and to help people understand it deeply, and apply it in their lives. The New Christian Bible Study is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization. Our recent financial reports are available on guidestar.org. We have no endowment (yet!). Our overheads are low, and we use volunteer labor wherever we can. Still, we're working to build the world's best Bible study site, and that takes some serious programming. The funds we raise mostly go towards developing new features and content. In recent months, we extended Bible word/phrase highlighting across 35 languages, and we imported or updated 61 translations of Swedenborg's theological works. We did a major UI sweep, and -- this is big -- we devised a way to integrate many more great videos that links to our Bible texts. So... if each of our readers contributed $5 this year, we would exceed our fund-raising goal, and be able to grow even faster! It's easy to donate - just click the "Donate" button below.
In the USA, it's Thanksgiving Day today. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, here in the states, and all over the world!
We've just marked up and imported a Dutch translation (by Henk Weevers) of Apocalypse Revealed, titled "Apocalyps Onthuld". So... now we have a Dutch translation of EVERY theological work that Swedenborg published in Latin 250+ years ago! It's quite an achievement.
In the last month, we've set new web traffic records again. More than 264,000 visitors have come to the site this month, up 26% from this time last year.
If you've been following along at home, you've probably noticed that we've been on a roll, in importing both Dutch and Japanese translations. The roll continues; here are links to:
That's 20 translations in Dutch, now, and 6 in Japanese. Getting pretty respectable!
We just imported another Dutch translation, by Henk Weevers, of Swedenborg's work on Divine Providence. It's all linked up to scripture references and cross references. Here's a link: Gods Voorzienigheid
It's morning in Japan, as we post this, so... if you're a Japanese reader waking up and wanting to read some reassuring things about the afterlife, here's a link to a translation of Heaven and Hell.
We just topped the 250,000 visits/month mark!
Here's a link to a new Dutch translation by Henk Weevers, of Swedenborg's work "Conjugial Love", on the powerful potential for true love in marriage: Echtelijke Liefde
This book represents a multidisciplinary effort by leading international scholars to demonstrate the influence that Carl Bernhard Wadström (1746–99) and the leading reformers of his time had on issues concerning the slave trade, oppression, and racism. Wadström was a Swede, but spent years in London, and was a friend and ally of Wilberforce and Smithson in the battle against the slave trade.
To learn more about how this book sheds light on the life and thought of Emanuel Swedenborg and the impact his thought has had on others, visit the The Moment Is Now product page.
We just imported a new-to-us Japanese Bible translation. It's more complete than the other version we have on the site, so Japanese speakers will have a much better chance of finding what they are looking for! It dovetails nicely with the highlighting of Bible word meanings. Here's a link: Japanese Kougo (Colloquial) Version.
We just posted a nice cleanup/update to the Korean translation of Divine Love and Wisdom, courtesy of YoungHee. Here's a link to it: 하나님의 사랑과 하나님의 지혜. We now have 10 translations of Swedenborg's works online in Korean, and the Korean UI is in good shape, too, so... we've got good momentum there.
Our "matching machine" has just added 1108 new matched words in Swedish, Dutch, Czech, Norwegian, and Russian. We're highlighting those words for Bible readers. We're now wanting to find bilingual people in those languages who can review a list of "maybe matched" words, too, so... if you can help, get in touch!
We just ran our German and Portuguese Bible translations through our "matching machine" and can now reliably highlight 863 more words (in many thousands of occurrences!) in those languages. There are a bunch more words that are "maybes" -- if you speak German or Portuguese, and have time to look through a list, get in touch!
We just added the linked-up text of Volume 4 of Dr. Z. T. Zungu's translation of Arcana Coelestia into Zulu. Many thanks to our friends in the General Church of the New Jerusalem in South Africa for their permission to use this text! If you haven't seen Zulu yet, take a look; it's a beautiful language. Here's a link.
We fed our Italian and Spanish Bible translations into our new "matching machine", and added 800+ new terms with defined symbolic meanings that we're highlighting in the text. We'd welcome help from Spanish and/or Italian-speaking volunteers to help look over a list of "maybe match" words.
We just ran French Bible translations through our new "matching machine", and added 1312 new terms with defined symbolic meanings that we're highlighting in the text. There's lots more to come! We'd love to have a Francophone volunteer to help sift through a list of "maybe match" words, and... we're going to hit a bunch more languages next.
We've just deployed nice updates to the Korean translations of Swedenborg's works regarding Faith, Life, the Lord, and the Sacred Scripture, thanks to some hard work by YoungHee. Here's a "link". It makes these translations a lot more readable.
We've been working hard on a more advanced, more accurate way of highlighting words in the Bible text that have symbolic meaning at deeper levels. Readers are going to start seeing the fruits of that. We just added 1611 new English terms, and updated 627 more. Next up is French. Stay tuned! If this method works, we'll be able to do every language that has spaces between words -- so we'll have to find another way to achieve highlighting in Japanese and Chinese.
Of course it's no good having Korean translations online if you can't read the website they're on. We've just deployed a big update to our Korean UI text, too, thanks to some hard work by Woon Jeong. Here's a "link". When, for each language we try to support, we can combine a good UI, a good Bible translation, good translations of Swedenborg's works, and good explanations of stories, chapters, topics, words, etc., then we're really cooking.
We just posted a Korean translation of Swedenborg's capstone theological work, True Christian Religion. Here's a link: "참된 기독교 ". Many thanks to Rev. Yang for his permission to use it, and to HyunJin and YoungHee for their hard work in editing and marking up the text. For our thousands of Korean readers, this is important progress!
We just finished importing Henk Weevers' Dutch translation, "De hemelse Verborgenheden die in de Heilige Schrift of het Woord van de Heer". Many thanks to our friends in the Netherlands for their permission to use this, and for their great labor of translation. Also, special thanks to Ellie for sticking to the task of making thousands of edits to the markup. This translation goes up to section 6626, so far, out of 10083 sections, so there will be more to come... but for Dutch readers, this is already a huge milestone in being able to see into the inner meaning of the Bible.
We finished marking up and importing "神の愛と知恵", a Japanese translation of Swedenborg's, "Divine Love and Wisdom". Many thanks to our friends in Japan for helping with this.
Tired of Romance Languages? Want some German for a change? Here's Jüngsten Gericht - Fortsetzung (Continuation of The Last Judgment).
Just translated - Exposición Breve de la Doctrina de la Nueva Iglesia, or "A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine".
Latin. The heart of it all. (And you thought it was Ohio.) Swedenborg wrote his theological works in Latin. Even though we're trying hard to be modern, here, we need to base these translations and commentaries on those Latin works. Back in the day, Latin was the worldwide language of scholars and theologians. In the early 1760's, Swedenborg had completed his careful exegesis of Genesis and Exodus, and he went through the process of outlining the inner meaning of all the books of the prophets, and the psalms. He didn't publish this outline, but it squares well with his other expository works. Here's a link to it in Latin. And in English.
Here are translations of Swedenborg's writings about the Last Judgment, "Ultimo Giudizio" and "Ultimo Giudizio (Supplemento)". In Swedenborgian theology, the Last Judgment was a sort of sea-change, involving the spiritual end of the first Christian church in the mid 1700s, and the beginning of a second, new Christian church, symbolized by the city of New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation.
We've been a little slow in getting Japanese translations of Swedenborg's works linked up and online - apologies to our Japanese readers! It's moving faster now; here's a link to 匿名の翻訳, or "The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine".
We've been on an Italian tear... and here's the latest Swedenborg translation to be linked up: "Divina Provvidenza". Hint: It's not random.
We finished marking up and importing "結婚愛", a Japanese translation of Swedenborg's 1768 work, "Conjugial Love". Many thanks to our friends in Japan for helping with this.
And... to cap off a productive week, here's a link to "Teachings about Faith" (aka Doctrine of Faith) or, in Italian, Fede.
Here's a link to "Teachings about How to Live" (aka Doctrine of Life) or, in Italian, Vita. It's a nice language; even you English readers out there will enjoy trying to read it.
Here's a link to a first installment of Arcana Coelestia, as translated into Chinese: 天堂的奥秘. And, following the Asian theme for the day, here's a link to a new online translation of Conjugial Love, in Japanese: 結婚愛.
We've had John Whitehead's English translation of "Apocalypse Explained" online for quite a while, but at first it didn't have any links, and then, for too long, it was sort of a mess. Now, at last, it's been cleaned up, and had its links checked, and it's in pretty good shape. It has thousands of scripture references, so... if you like your explanations to be grounded in the Bible, this will keep you happy!
Some quick news on the translation front: Portuguese readers can now read the Bible side by side with Swedenborg's detailed explanation of inner meaning of the Book of Revelation, in "Apocalipse Revelado". The translation is by J. Lopes Figueiredo, from Swedenborg's Latin text. Many thanks to our friends in the New Christian Church in Brazil for their permission to use it, and to our student workers who scanned it, and corrected it, and then linked it.
We've been making a bunch of code changes so that we can use the latest version of Bootstrap, which one of the best sets of user interface components for the web. You'll probably notice some small changes now, and more coming down the pike, as we take advantage of the new tools. If you run into glitches, try clearing your brower's cache. If you still see problems, let us know!
In his great exegetical works - e.g. Arcana Coelestia, and Apocalypse Revealed - Swedenborg explains the inner meaning of more than 3000 words and phrases from the Word. We've been trying to build a chain of data, from a word, to its explanation in English, to the verse(s) where it occurs, to the English text of the verse, to the Hebrew or Greek text of the verse, and to the Strong's number of that Hebrew or Greek word. Last year, we did the easiest layer, but we realized that we'd have to get more sophisticated if we wanted to go further. This year, we're tackling that. We just went through another layer, and matched 100 more concepts to Strong's numbers. We think we're on a good track. If we can make this happen, it will be a big watershed for the project.
We're in that summer surge of importing, trying to get further through the pile of existing translations. So far, so good. Here's what's newly linked up:
We just linked up one of Swedenborg's Latin works, "Canones Novae Ecclesiae". It's part of our quest to get all of the original texts of Swedenborg's theological works online and linked up, and... there are 34 done, 2 mostly done with some footnotes to sort out, and 9 still on deck.
We just exported, cleaned, and added links for scripture references and cross references to Whitehead's transation of Canons of the New Church.
We just got permission to use Rev. Lee Woofenden's 1993 translation of Swedenborg's work that's traditionally titled "The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine". This English translation, entitled "The Heavenly City", is very readable.
Search just got faster. We got a chance to tackle some search optimizing, and... the results are great! It's much faster than it has been. You'll also see some related improvements, e.g. being able to bookmark searches, and make notes from inside the search UI.
Thanks to some careful work by one of our college student interns, we have a clean copy of Volume 1 of André Figueiredo's translation up online. It's not cross-linked yet but it's still worthwhile for our Portuguese readers. We're working on corrections to the scanned text of Volume 2; when it's ready we'll post it, and then link them both up. (Many thanks, too, to the Swedenborg Library at Bryn Athyn College, for access to the printed work, and the use of its scan/OCR system!)
Sorry the site was so slow for the past few days. We had three things hit our server at once, and it took us a little while to get it sorted. Part of it was just some overly-greedy indexing from third parties, and in part it was self-inflicted, in that our nice new slider features were loading the system pretty heavily. But we've throttled those indexers, and optimized our own queries, and the server's pretty happy now. So, come on down!
There are some talented translators around the world, working on Spanish translations of Swedenborg's theological works. We're working with several groups to make those translations available online here, linked to the Word, and cross-referenced to each other. We just posted 5 new ones. They're by Dr. Andres Omar Ayala, a Paraguayan Bible scholar, and they're of some of Swedenborg's shorter posthumous works. It's really good to be moving the ball forward in Spanish. Here's what we added this time:
Here's the master page where you can see what all Swedenborg translations we have in the system now, and filter by language.
Vaya con Dios!
New, from NCBS, a frog button. Huh? Well, we just added a whole bunch of data on pairs of related verses in the Bible. You'll find those links on a brand new tab on the "Bible slider". We needed an icon that expressed "jump" or "link" or "relate", and... the frog sort of jumped out at us. We hope you like those related verses; should be useful. Many thanks to Cristoph Romhild, German pastor and Bible scholar, for putting the data together, and for giving us permission to use it.
40 years ago, New Christian scholars worked on a project to collect "parallel passages" in Swedenborg's theological works. There are a lot of them... more than 2800 pairs. For years, we've wanted to add these to the New Christian Bible Study site, and we finally got a chance to tackle it. As of late yesterday, they're linked up in your friendly "Swedenborg slider". If you're reading one of Swedenborg's books, and you click on the "Study this Passage" button, you'll see parallel passages, to go along with the inbound references. Here's a link to a sample passage.
We just deployed another major new feature on the newchristianbiblestudy.org site. For short, we're calling it the "Swedenborg slider". If you're reading a section from one of Swedenborg's theological works, you can slide out a panel that shows you any "inbound links", either from a cross-reference, or from any other author who links to that section. It's pretty nice! Check it out.
We just posted some nice updates to our Bible slider. To see an example, go to Genesis 4 and click the "Study the Inner Meaning" button. The sliding pane has two tabs now, one with related links from Swedenborg's works, and the other with links from other commentators - including video Bible studies, illustrated explanations, some audio sermons, and more.
We just posted another chunk of Zulu translation of Arcana Coelestia (the sections from Volume 2), AND the first volume of the same work in Czech, Tajemství nebe (Heger překlad). This is pretty important; Swedenborg's explorations of the Bible's inner meaning underpin all the rest of his theology; so... if you want to do Bible Study in Zulu, or Czech, or any other language, it's a good thing to have Arcana Coelestia accessible!
Plus, while we had our brains attuned to Czech, we added a translation of the first section of Pravé křesťanství (Máchová překlad), which is True Christian Religion.
We just imported our first Zulu translation of Swedenborg's works. Here's a link to Arcana Coelestia Volume 1 in Zulu.
We just pushed up a linked-up Serbian translation of Heaven and Hell, "Nebo i Pakao".
If you have Serbian-speaking friends who are interested in spiritual life, send them the link!
Dostoevsky read Swedenborg.
Tolstoy read Swedenborg.
If you're a Russian-speaker and you want to read Swedenborg... we're trying to make it easier than ever.
We just added a Russian translation of True Christian Religion - take a look: Истинная Христианская Религия
For our friends in Croatia, here's a link to a newly imported translation of True Christian Religion, or Istinska Kršćanska Religija. This was Swedenborg's capstone work - a systematic theology - published in 1771. Many thanks to The Lord's New Church for their permission to use this translation online.
We just had a chance to process/import three more English translations, and... we thought you would like to know. These are translations of 3 of Swedenborg's theological works from 1763, which were really important in establishing a Biblical basis for the New Christian doctrine that he was writing about. It's interesting to note that, in the Latin titles for these works, Swedenborg uses, eg. "Doctrina Novae Hierosolymae de Domino". It's not just doctrine about the Lord; it's the doctrine of the New Jerusalem about the Lord. Here are some links:
Swedenborg wrote (but didn't publish) a short work entitled "De Divina Sapientia", or "The Divine Wisdom" in English. It was a precursor to "Divine Love and Wisdom", and it's not a polished work - but it IS interesting. Here's a link to "De Goddelijke Wijsheid", a Dutch translation by Anton Zelling, modernized by Guus Janssens in 2007, and linked to the Bible and others of Swedenborg's works today!
It's Thanksgiving in the USA tomorrow. Lots of countries around the world do a similar thing, setting aside a time to thank the Lord for His many gifts to us. It's a good thing to do. Happy Thanksgiving from the people of the New Christian Bible Study Project!
Swedenborg wrote his theological works in Latin, so they could be widely read by the thought-leaders of his day. But, we're guessing that he'd be delighted to see them translated into his native Swedish. Here's the first piece we have of Swedenborg's biggest work, Arcana Caelestia, in Swedish. It provides insight into the inner meaning of Genesis 18-22, or Första Moseboken 18–22. Many thanks to the New Christian Church groups in Sweden for their permission to use this. Tack!
We just deployed an updated German user interface, thanks to one of our bilingual volunteer "friends of the project". So... with a UI, Bible translations, and 16 translations of Swedenborg's works in our system, German's getting to be a well-supported language for us - right up there with English, French, Portuguese, Dutch, and Czech. It's good!
We just posted a French translation of Apocalypse Revealed, L'Apocalypse Révélée, with hyperlinks to scripture references. It's still a little rough in places, with some errors left from the scanning process, but... it's up there, and ready to help French-speakers figure out the inner spiritual meaning of John's apocalyptic visions.
We're starting to ripple the symbolic meanings of Bible words into Dutch and German; the first batches of matched words just got posted over the weekend. Lots more to do, but this rippling process is working, and that's good!
We've just deployed a Japanese user interface. That makes 12 UIs so far, so New Christian ideas are becoming available to something like 4 billion people.
We're going to try to get some more Japanese translations of Swedenborg's works processed soon, too. Stay tuned.
If you're an English-speaking Bible reader, you've probably seen the blue highlighted words in the text of Bibles on our site. They link to popup explanations of the symbolism of those words.
We've been trying to figure out how to reliably find and highlight the right words and phrases in the many other languages we offer, and then to offer explanations of them... and we've made some of the needed breakthroughs. Two weeks ago, we went live with our first batch of 300+ highlighted words that occur thousands of times in the Spanish Bible texts.
This is a bridge across a previously unbridged chasm. Last week, we added the first waves of French and Portuguese words. Today, we added close to 500 Italian words. We'll add more sophistication to our programs so we can handle more ambiguous words and multi-word phrases, and tackle tougher languages. Plus, we have to translate all the popup explanations, so... lots and lots to do.
But, this is really something, something important for the New Christian movement worldwide. More readers worldwide can start to get a sense of the internal sense of the Word. Here's a link to a Spanish Bible example in Genesis.
We'll ripple more words and languages as fast as we can. Stay tuned!
Swedenborg wrote in Latin. Lots of Latin! His biggest work was entitled "Arcana Coelestia", which has been translated into English as "Heavenly Secrets" and "Secrets of Heaven". In it, Swedenborg works his way through Genesis and Exodus, and describes the inner spiritual meaning of those ancient scriptures.
Here's the New Century Edition's translation of the first passage of "Secrets of Heaven":
"THE Word in the Old Testament contains secrets of heaven, and every single aspect of it has to do with the Lord, his heaven, the church, faith, and all the tenets of faith; but not a single person sees this in the letter. In the letter, or literal meaning, people see only that it deals for the most part with the external facts of the Jewish religion. The truth is, however, that every part of the Old Testament holds an inner message."
One of our current projects has been to clean up the online Latin text of "Arcana Coelestia". If we can get the Latin clean and tidy, with links to scripture citations and cross-references, it will help translators render this work into more languages a lot more easily.
We've just put up a not-too-bad version of the Latin text, and we're making further updates as we go. If you can read French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, or Romanian, you might have fun looking at the Latin. For English speakers, you'll be able to make out some of the words, and guess at the meaning.
1. For our Portuguese readers, we just deployed an updated Portuguese user interface.
2. And, we have a new UI in Dutch, courtesy of our friends in the Netherlands.
3. Good things come in threes: We've also deployed an updated Czech-language UI, thanks to a helpful bilingual volunteer in the Czech Republic.
We just posted a German translation of Swedenborg's explanation of the inner meaning of the prophetic Bible books of the Old Testament, and the Psalms. Have a look: Gedrängte Erklärung des inneren Sinnes der Propheten und der Psalmen Davids.
We just linked up an Italian translation of the first two volumes of Arcana Coelestia, explaining the inner meaning of the first 17 chapters of Genesis. So, for our Italian friends and readers out there: Speriamo che lo trovi utile! Here's a link: Arcani Celesti
Our summertime team of students is wrapping up its work. One of the BIG results is a much-improved hyperlinked version of the JF Potts translation of Swedenborg's great Bible exegesis, Arcana Coelestia. English-speaking Bible readers will be spoiled for choice; they now have 3 nicely-linked-up translations to choose from.
OK, here's some good news for the world's Bible readers: The New Century Edition translation of Arcana Coelestia, entitled "Secrets of Heaven", is now available on our site. This was Swedenborg's biggest theological work - an explanation of the inner meaning of Genesis and Exodus. So far, we have sections from the first two volumes of this edition, and more are coming down the pike. If you really want to "get" why the Bible is still germane, important, helpful, and sacred, read Secrets of Heaven.
De Domino is a short work that Swedenborg drafted but didn't publish. It was a precursor to his published work, "Doctrine of the Lord". It's of interest to Swedenborgian scholars, since it shows the development of Swedenborg's understanding about the nature of the Lord, and about how to explain this new doctrine. Anyway... we've just linked up all the references in the Latin text of De Domino, and the text of two English translations of it. Here it is.
We're kicking off our annual summer student Swedenborg sweep, where we import translations of Swedenborg's works in many languages.
We mark them up so that all the scripture references and cross-references are live links, and we put them online. We've got 312 work-translations online now, and 60 more on-deck for this summer.
It would be a huge help to get more crowd-funding for this effort! If you feel moved to help, please donate.
NC Bible Study traffic report... Another record month: 230,000 visits in the last 30 days, up more than 15% in the past few weeks alone. We're gonna need a bigger server.
We get an influx of Divine Wisdom all the time, but today we linked up another book about it, so maybe more will be flowing through! Here's a link to Mongredien's English translation of a work that Swedenborg drafted in 1762, but left in draft form as he built much of this content into his larger 1763 work, "Divine Love and Wisdom". Here's a link to it: Divine Wisdom.
Late in his life, Swedenborg drafted an appendix to his capstone theological work, True Christian Religion. It wasn't published during his lifetime, but it was translated and published posthumously, and is commonly referred to as "Coronis". We've had English translations by Buss and Whitehead on the site for a while, but they hadn't been linked up. Now, we've exported them and used them to test our latest import/markup software, and... all the scripture references and cross-references are linked up. Here's a link where you can compare them side by side - Coronis: Buss vs. Whitehead
We just topped the 200,000 visits/month threshold. First time for that!
We're up more than 30,000 places in the Alexa site rankings, too, in the last quarter. We're now ranked 158,890th globally, out of the more than 1.8 billion websites that exist.
We've started a rollout of a new feature: Bible reading plans. You might be thinking - wait, it's been a Bible Study site without reading plans? Well, er... yes - at least without plans like these, where you can "Read the Book of Joel in 3 Days" or "Read the New Christian Canon in 9 Months". Try one out, and let us know what functionality you would like us to add. Here's a "link to the page" (from the Bible menu).
We've seen 190,000 visits in the last 30 days. That's a new record for us! Many thanks to the many people who work in many ways to make project go.
We round-tripped "Precepts of the Decalog, an outline of seven articles that introduces the New Church and plans to show that the 10 commandments contain the essentials of religion. Swedenborg left this work in draft form, but the themes outlined in it are articulated in his published works.
This morning, in testing out latest automated markup routines, we round-tripped the Latin text of "Specimen and Sciagraphia", yet another of Swedenborg's works that he left in manuscript. We also marked up two English translations, by Duckworth and Whitehead as part of the testing. Here's a link to the Latin text: "Specimen and Sciagraphia."
We just round-tripped Dr. John Chadwick's English translation of "De Verbo", or "The Word", a small work that Swedenborg left unpublished. It's particularly interesting for its description of the Ancient Word, which pre-existed the Old and New Testaments. Here's a link to this work: "De Verbo".
We finished round-tripping Johnson's English translation of "Miracles and Signs", a small work that Swedenborg left unpublished. Here's a link to it: "Miracles and Signs".
Courtesy of our friends at Swedenborg Boekhuis in the Netherlands, and some hard work by our team, here's a linked-up translation of Swedenborg's capstone work, "Ware Christelijke Religie".
We're now offering pathways -- ways that people can explore particular areas of interest, and easily find true ideas that they can use in their lives. Here's a link to the main pathways page.
We're seeing more than 183,000 sessions/month now. That's about 2.2 million visits/year; almost doubling since last year.
We just imported 10 new episodes of Jonathan Rose's Spirit and Life bible study series. The interface includes reference links to the Bible, making it easy for you to follow along as you watch the videos. Here's a link to part 1 of his new 7-part series, "A Way Forward," which looks at the events depicted in the biblical exodus as a picture of how we as individuals, and as a world culture, can move forward spiritually.
We're seeing more than 170,000 sessions/month now. That's more than 2 million visits/year. We deployed an updated software stack recently; it's been helping keep page load speeds in a reasonable range despite the growing traffic.
We just topped the 160,000 sessions/month threshold, today. There's a long way to go to be one of the biggest Bible study sites, but we're heading in a good direction.
We just added a Russian UI to the site, thanks to generous translation help from friends of the project in Ukraine. Now Russian speakers will have a much better experience using the site to access the Russian translations of the Bible and Swedenborg's theological works that we have collected so far. Here's a link.
We just added a "read-aloud" function to the site, to help with handicapped accessibility (and with multi-tasking). Look for the little speaker icon near the content titles on each page - click to play, click again to stop.
Hat tip to the software tools developed by ResponsiveVoice. They support many languages, and don't require special plugins.
We just added a new user interface in Georgian (as in the Republic of Georgia). Christianity there dates back at least to the early 4th century, and now a New Christian group is thriving there. Four of Swedenborg's works have already been translated, and they're linked up and online.
We've been pleased to get a nice set of brief explanations of spiritual topics and doctrinal terms, from Rev. Julian Duckworth. You'll find more than 160 of them from our "spiritual topics" hub page, and in some places, we've added his insights to existing topics, where there was overlap. It's good stuff! Here's a link to one example entry on "Wars".
We added 87 more of the Spirit and Life Bible Study Classes by Jonathan Rose. This brings our total to 268. There are some really good titles here, e.g. "What to Think and Do During Temptations", and "What to Do about a Falling Star Problem". These take an hour each, roughly, but they sure are thought-provoking.
We've been deploying some more improvements to our search functionality. Excerpts in search results get you to the right neighborhood quickly. Highlighting in search results is better. Navigation between results is easier. The hit counter is more intuitive. You can show all results, if the first 500 aren't enough. Lots of nice new touches to make your searching faster and easier.
Here's a nice thing: we just imported 180 of Jonathan Rose's Bible Study classes. These are interesting talks -- in-depth studies with titles like "Your Internal Flight Data Recorder", "I'm Not Leaving", and "Making the Word Central". They include more than 4,000 reference links to the Bible, making it easy for you to follow along in the Bible as you watch the videos. The whole series can be found here. We also link from the Bible text to these talks, where relevant references are made.
Many thanks to Jonathan and his team for the permission to use these! And to the volunteer who compiled all those Bible references - wow. If you know other ministers or Bible explainers whose work - text, audio, video - we should be importing, send them our way.
"Search me", said the website. We're making search easier (and more powerful, too but that's another blog post...). If you're reading the Word, in, say, the American Standard translation, and you want to search for a word or phrase in that same translation, there's now a quick search box just above the Next/Previous navigation. Same goes for Swedenborg's works, and for explanations.
We just topped 140,000 visits for the last 30 days - a new record for us, and a 100% year on year growth rate.
Page load times have been cut from a tedious 1.5 seconds in August, to 0.6 seconds in October. We did a bunch of work to optimize data retrieval, and... it's working!
We have been rolling out some search function updates, improving speed, and providing more search and navigation options. The quicksearch function from the main toolbar is back. You might need to clear your browsing history, or close and re-open your browser, if search results aren't showing at first.
Here's another new story explanation, this time about the first commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods...". The 10 commandments are fundamental to life. It's not random that this is the first one; it's the starting point for us. We offer the story of the 10 commandments, and then an explanation of it - courtesy of the Swedenborg and Life video series by the Swedenborg Foundation. Here's a link to the story.
We just posted a new story explanation, on the famed, and feared, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. You can read the story, and then see an explanation of it - and how it applies to our lives - courtesy of the Swedenborg and Life video series by the Swedenborg Foundation. Here's a link to the story.
We just posted a Chinese translation of the second half of True Christian Religion. This work was published by Emanuel Swedenborg in 1770, and the translation was just finished a few weeks ago. Our online version is complete with cross links and links to the Word. Here's a link to section 1.
We just posted an Italian translation of Heaven and Hell. This work was published by Emanuel Swedenborg in 1758, and the translation was done in 2012 by Fondazione Swedenborg in Italy. Our online version is complete with cross links and links to the Word. Here's a link to section 1 of Cielo e inferno.
For our Czech-speaking friends..., there's now a Czech user interface on the site! With a Czech UI, the Czech Bible, and 10 of Swedenborg's works translated into Czech, it's a good place to be. newchristianbiblestudy.org/cs
Here's a just-added Italian translation of one of Swedenborg's works: L’Amore Coniugale. That makes 5 Italian translations fully linked up, and two more online as .pdfs.
A 1500-year-old Bible Commentary has been found in Cologne Cathedral's Library archives, by Dr Lukas Dorfbauer, a researcher from the University of Salzburg. The commentary is by Fortunatianus of Aquileia. It's the earliest Latin commentary, and the earliest Latin Bible text, so it's important in two ways. Here's an article about it that includes a link to an English translation by Hugh Houghton.
We're just wrapping up a highly successful translation-importing summer work session. With help from 5 high school and college students, other volunteers, and our core team, we imported 51 more translations of books of the Writings, in Korean, Japanese, German, Italian, Serbo-Croatian, Russian, Dutch, and Czech, bringing the total to 233. We're now offering Swedenborg's works online, linked to the Word and to each other, in 17 languages, which are spoken by more than 3.7 billion people.
What's new in the last few days...
Our first Italian translation:
Cavallo bianco (The White Horse)
More new Russian translations:
Мудрость Ангельская О Божественном Провидении (Divine Providence)
Новый Иерусалим и его Небесное Учение (The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine)
Учение о Господе (The Lord)
Учение Нового Иерусалима Относительно Священного Писания (Sacred Scripture)
With solid help from our student workers, we have more importing success to report:
A new Japanese translation:
霊魂と肉体との交流 (The Interaction of the Soul and Body)
New Russian translations:
Учение Ново Гоиерусалима О Вере (Faith)
Продолжение о Последнем Суде (The Last Judgment - Continued)
о Последнем Суде (The Last Judgment)
О Сообщении Души И Тела (The Interaction of the Soul and Body)
A cleaned-up Latin original
Summaria Expositio (Brief Exposition)
Off to a great start...
1. Czech: We just posted Czech translations of Divine Providence, Heaven and Hell, The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine, and The White Horse today, all with cross links. This nearly brings in all the extant Czech translations, which… is pretty exciting!
2. Korean: We added a Korean translation of the Doctrine of Sacred Scripture, bringing our Korean count to 6 works online, and 3 others coming.
3. Chinese: We added Divine Providence in Chinese, too.
1. We just imported a Chinese translation of Conjugial Love. That brings the count of Chinese translations to 5! Only 13 more to go.
2. We've had over 1 million visits to the website in the past 12 months! If website traffic continues to grow at the same rate, we'll see 2 million visits in the next 12 months.
We just topped the 110,000 visits/month threshold. How 'bout that?
We just imported and linked up Rev. George Dole's new English translation of Doctrine of the Lord, entitled "The Lord". It's a fairly brief and accessible (by Swedenborg's standards) treatment of the nature of God. This work was really disruptive when it was published in 1763, since it flew in the face of the traditional Christian views on the Trinity.
We just imported a Korean translation of Doctrine of the Lord. Take a look!
We've just imported another New Century Edition of one of Swedenborg's works, entitled "Life". It's about how to become a good person, and live a good life. It's a relatively practical, accessible work, and it clearly presents the New Christian view on the marriage of faith and charity.
We just imported a New Century Edition translation of one of Swedenborg's works, entitled "Faith". All of its references to the Word, and to other theological works, are live links, so it's easy to follow Swedenborg's train of thought. It also makes it easy for the user to see how thoroughly this theology about faith is grounded in Scripture.
One of today's most interesting commentators on spiritual life, from a New Christian perspective, is Curtis Childs. Curtis has a weekly online show, and he's also the main on-screen talent for the Swedenborg and Life YouTube channel. We've had some of those videos linked in for a while, but we're making a systematic effort now to link in more of them. Here are 3 examples:
We just added more links to Bible commentary in the right side slider pane ("Study the Inner Meaning" button). This way, if for example you are reading in Isaiah, you will be able to see related works of commentary, including ones that we haven't yet been able to fully parse and import at the chapter and verse levels. This takes us very close to having New Christian commentary for the whole Word.
We just round-tripped John Elliot's excellent English translation of Swedenborg's magnum opus, Arcana Coelestia. Before: We had the text online, but there were no links from it to scripture or to cross-references. After: We have the links! Some 75,000 of them. Many thanks to the team that wrote the code to automate most of it, and to the team that fixed the last 500 or so cases by hand. So, now people can read a nice modern translation of Swedenborg's great exegesis of Genesis and Exodus.
We've gathered lots of New Christian commentary on the Word; 28 commentaries by 15 different commentators. It's clean and tidy, and nicely organized here. If you're reading the Word, and wondering what it means… you'll find some answers on this page.
We just deployed a Dutch interface for the site. The 23 million Dutch speakers of the world can now read the Bible while exploring Swedenborg's works, all in a comfortable language for finding their way around the site. Take a look!
We've now got 27 commentaries by New Church scholars either fully imported, or linked in as .pdfs. Three more works are on deck, and there are a few still outstanding. Almost the whole Word is covered. You can read the Word, and get the benefit of New Christian exegesis right at your fingertips. If you're leading a Bible study group, or teaching Sunday school, or preparing a sermon, or just studying on your own... you're in the clover! Here's a link to some of them: Bible Commentary
We topped the 100,000 visits/month level, fittingly enough, on Easter Sunday!
In time for Easter, we have added three commentaries by New Christian writers:
The two by John Clowes are from the 1800s; the one by Geoffrey Childs is from 2002. They're all thoughtful and thought-provoking, and they're helpful to us as we work to understand and appreciate what really happened during the Lord's life on earth.
These and many others can be found on our Bible Commentary page.
We're closing in on the 100,000 visits/month level! It will be fun to achieve that goal. Google just made a search algorithm change that seems to appreciate our site; giving us another bump upward. It's good!
We just posted a cleaned-up version of Precepts of the Decalog, a draft outline that Swedenborg wrote in preparation for his 1763 work, Doctrine of the Lord. Here's the link: Precepts of the Decalog.
Swedenborg's careful Bible exegesis (explanation) inspired many New Christian theologians to build on that foundation. We have been pushing hard to gather, clean, and post the work of those scholars. Why? First, it's good, useful work in its own right, but it's gotten so scarce that it's almost lost. It's begging to be linked to the text of the Word online. Somewhere in the spiritual world, Clowes, MacLagan, Payne, Bayley, and the rest are smiling! Some of this explanatory literature has been imported into our system. Some is waiting on deck, and - it's good, and we wanted to make sure you knew it was there. Here's the link: Bible Commentary. Second, we this work can be a great resource for people who want to produce modern explanations, e.g. pastors, students, teachers, and writers; it can be a launchpad for a new generation of people who can help us see how to apply the truths of the Bible in our lives.
We welcomed more than 94,000 visitors for the last 30 days; it's more good growth! We're glad you're all finding our site, and we hope you're getting good ideas that you can put to use in your lives. Thanks for visiting, and come back soon!
We just finished a major cleanup/round-trip of the Latin text of Vera Christiana Religio, or, in English, True Christian Religion (TCR). It's demanding to work with Swedenborg's Latin. If you've been following along at home, you'll know that we've been trying to automate the cleanup and importing processes - writing code that recognizes paragraphs, links to the Word, cross-references to other works, footnotes, etc. With the Latin, we have to pay extra attention to preserving Swedenborg's text as it was, while still marking it up so that links work. TCR has 853 numbered sections, and in them, Swedenborg makes 4237 scripture references and cross-references. Our automation helped, and we're ramping it up further, but this one needed a lot of careful hand editing. It's important that it's done. This was Swedenborg's capstone theological work, and with a clean, exportable Latin foundation, future translators will be able to work much faster.
We just created new, bigger, better sitemaps to help Google, Bing and other search engines crawl and index the site. We've submitted more than 17 million distinct pages now. It's a big site!
Divine Love is a reinforcing loop, but... we're talking about something a little more mundane here. We just re-processed two English translations of Swedenborg's drafted-but-not-published work, De Divino Amore (Divine Love). They now have links to Bible verses, cross references, and active footnotes. Swedenborg leaned on this draft, using elements of it in one of his major published works, Divine Love and Wisdom.
We just topped the 90,000 visitors/month threshold!
Rev. Edward Craig Mitchell explained 47 Old Testament Parables, in the light of New Christian thought, and... we just imported his explanations. You can find them in the stories table here.
We've imported another German translation of one of Swedenborg's works: Der Verkehr der Seele und Leib. That makes 2 works fully imported and linked up, and another 13(!) available as .pdf files.
We've now added chapter and verse-level explanations of the inner meaning of the Book of Deuteronomy. These are from a book by Alexander Payne, "A STUDY OF THE INTERNAL OR SPIRITUAL SENSE OF THE FIFTH BOOK OF MOSES CALLED DEUTERONOMY", published in London, in 1881. Again, a shout-out to our friends at BibleMeanings.info for providing the text to our team.
We've just imported chapter and verse-level explanations of the inner meaning of the books of Leviticus and Numbers. These are from two books by Rev. Henry MacLagan, published in London, in 1912 and 1913. Many thanks to our friends at BibleMeanings.info for the provision of this text.
If you want to see what the original Hebrew (for the Old Testament), or Greek (for the New Testament) looks like, when you're reading the Word... look at the bottom of the Study Slider pane. We've added a dynamic link there, to qBible, one of the best places online to get back to the source languages.
We've just crossed the 85,000 visits/month threshold. If we keep that up, it will be more than a million visits annually. It's another milestone on the big journey. Many thanks to the many, many people and organizations that are supporting this project. It seems to be working.
The Republic of Georgia is on the eastern shore of the Black Sea, neighboring Russia, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan. In that Republic, there's a Swedenborg Society. In that Society, the people are working to translate Swedenborg's works into Georgian. We've been wanting to try importing one for a while. We finally got a chance to try it. It's a beautiful alphabet! Here's a link to Heaven and Hell, in Georgian. Have a look! If it doesn't look right, see if you can get the Sylfaen font. We're scouting for a translation of the Word in Georgian. We've found the New Testament, but if anyone knows of a translation of the Old Testament, too, please let us know!
We're on a roll. Now we've added explanations of the inner meaning of each chapter of the Gospels of Matthew and John, by Rev. John Clowes. (See the post below for details about Rev. Clowes.) Have a look!
We just imported chapter-level explanations of the inner meaning of the entire Gospels of Mark and Luke. These were written by Rev. John Clowes, the Rector of St. John's Church in Manchester, England, in the mid 1800s. Rev. Clowes was a scholar of Greek, and a very influential Anglical clergyman. He was a deep scholar of Swedenborg's works. His writing style is old-fashioned, of course, but the explanations are sound. These summaries will be great resources for Bible readers! Have a look!
We deployed a Portuguese interface for the site. That's good for the 215 million Portuguese speakers of the world; they now have the Bible and Swedenborg's works available AND a comfortable language for finding their way around the site. Try it out!
It's "user interface news" day: We just posted a UI for German-speakers, too. We have 4 Bible translations for them, but only one of Swedenborg's works so far. More are in the pipeline. Tell your German-speaking friends! Here it is.
We just added the names of books of the Word in many languages, so now a reader in, say, French, sees Genèse instead of Genesis, in menus and navigation buttons. It's one more step towards making this a great site for a global audience of Bible readers who are looking for the inner meaning of the Word.
We posted around 50 more sermons by the late Rev. William Woofenden. Bill Woofenden was one of the leading lights of the General Convention branch of the New Church, and his sermons are rich with references to the Word.
This work to take sermons from his "barrel" and get them online and linked to Bible stories was partly funded by the Louis Iungerich Fund. We've worked with Rev. Jim Lawrence and Cory Bradford-Watts from the Center for Swedenborg Studies; many thanks to them for a productive collaboration!
We just imported a Swedish translation of "Divine Love". It's a short work that Swedenborg left in draft form, but it provides a condensed preview of the longer treatment of the same subject in the longer published work, "Divine Love and Wisdom". Many thanks to Rev. Göran Appelgren for the permission to use this translation. Have a look: Den Gudomliga kärleken.
We round-tripped the Latin edition of Heaven and Hell, or "De Coelo et De Inferno", so it's now much easier to use - with links to all the scripture references and cross references, plus sorted-out footnotes. Of course, there are English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese and Korean translations on the site, too, in case your Latin is rusty, or non-existent!
In the last 12 months, the New Christian Bible Study Project has welcomed 500,000 unique visitors. Even better, more than 225,000 times, people have come back, to read, learn, and study more. The growth has been remarkable; people can see that there's an inner meaning contained within the Bible, and they sense that spirituality is at the heart of being human.
Be sure to enjoy the selection of Christmas stories and art and commentary from our home page. If you're on a small screen, just scroll down to see what's on offer.
Enjoy these Christmas Readings compiled by the Glenview New Church.
Here's a link: Sobre La Palabra.
This is the second Japanese translation of one of Swedenborg's works available on our site. More to follow! Here it is.
Here's a link: L'Amour Conjugal.
Swedenborg published 18 theological works. We've found 14 French translations, so far. Here's the 12th: Du Divin Amour et de la Divine Sagesse
Here's a link to a newly tidied, linked up original Latin text of De Divina Providentia.
Here's our 11th French translation of one of Swedenborg's works: La Divine Providence.
Here's the 4th of "Les Quatres Doctrines": La Doctrine de la Scripture Sainte.
We just imported another 3 French translations of Swedenborg's works:
We just added another 130(!) audio sermons by Rev. Todd Beiswenger, in which he explains stories from the Word, and shows how they can apply to our lives today. They're good - relaxed, interesting, and applicable! One of our big goals is to offer explanations/commentary on the whole Word, from New Christian thinkers, so... this is a nice big step in that direction.
We just deployed the Latin text of "Apocalypse Revealed". Its scripture references and cross references are all linked up and online. That's a world first! Here's a link. This will be a big help to translators; one is starting on a Latin-to-Chinese translation now.
We just topped the 70,000 mark for visitors/month. Thanks to everyone who's been supporting this project! It's working.
We've just imported "Doctrine de a Nouvelle Jérusalem sur Le Seigneur". Swedenborg cited more than 1000 Bible passages in building up a true picture of the nature of God. With it online in French, it's available to 220 million more people! Here's a link.
We've just deployed a Chinese user interface. There's still some work to do on it, but we want to get it out there; it's good! Now 1 billion more people can use our site to read the Word, read 4 of Swedenborg's works, and soon - very soon - read some translated explanations.
In 1970, the Swedenborg Society in London published Frank Coulson's translation of Apocalypse Revealed. We've had it in our system for a while, but we hadn't fished out all the more than 13000 references to scripture and Swedenborg's other works. Now we have! This work is now more accessible than ever, and it's needed, because the literal sense of the Apocalypse is so confusing.
When we first imported the text of Swedenborg's theological works, it was all just text. No working links, no distinct footnotes - just text. We've been at some pains, since, to add those things. In our second pass, we used a list of Swedenborg's references to Bible based on Searle's "General Index to Swedenborg's Scriptural Quotations" that we got from the Kempton Project, and we showed those links below the related passages. Next, in our third pass, we used data from Jan and Walter Weiss's work, to tag the text of links in the Potts translation of Arcana Coelestia. Then, in a fourth pass through the data, we wrote a program to try to find and tag the boundaries of references in the text of one translation of each of Swedenborg's works. That worked ok, but there were lots of problem cases that we were trying to fix by hand, which was too time-consuming. On our 5th pass, we've built tools to export files with markup, run some cleanup and linking routines on them, and then check them. Once the errors are fixed, we re-import them. It's still time-consuming, but much faster than it's ever been before. So... we're running on two tracks - 1) importing translations in many languages, and 2) round-tripping the ones in our system that still need cleanup and linking. We've mostly been working our way up from short works to long works, and we're now into the updating of Apocalypse Revealed, which is Swedenborg's second-longest published work, at 962 passages. We just round-tripped Whitehead's translation of it, and put the cleaned up version online on 9/15/2016. Now we're working on cleaning and linking in the Latin original, partly because it needs doing, and partly because there's a translator champing at the bit to translate it from Latin to Chinese.
We ran a 3-week-long project with a talented team of Latin students - and they worked their way through the processing of 19(!) existing translations of Swedenborg's works. They worked in Latin, English, Dutch, Korean, and Czech, and have brought our total offering to 160 translations, in 11 languages. There's still a long way to go, but this was great progress!
We just imported a Chinese translation of Divine Love and Wisdom, with links and all. Thanks to Helen!
We just imported a Korean translation of Divine Love and Wisdom, again with all the links. Thanks to Julius!
We just round-tripped Rev. George Dole's translation of Divine Love and Wisdom, locating all the links in the text. More thanks to Ben K!
We imported "Over de Gemeenschap Tussen Ziel en Lichaam", a Dutch translation of "The Interaction Between the Soul and the Body". Thanks to Ben K!
There are a couple of billion people who are trying (or used to try) to read the Word [Bible] - but without enough light. In the New Church, we've got more light, but there's this inadvertent basket over it. We've tried to get rid of it, but it keeps hanging around. How can we get break through?
Ben Cole explains in his talk at Bryn Athyn College's 2016 Book Expo.
We just posted "o-životě-machova", a Czech translation of "About Life", or "The Doctrine of Life". Some 10 million Czech readers now have access to the Word and the Writings side by side.
We welcomed 60,000 visitors in June -- a new traffic milestone!
We've posted Chinese translations of three of Swedenborg's works, as .pdf files, here. More translations are coming, and we will be working to import them and link them up, so that 1.3 billion Chinese readers can see the Word's inner meaning. How about that?!
We just exported, cleaned, linked and re-imported these works:
Freya Fitzpatrick sent us a spreadsheet that compiles many of the places in Swedenborg's works where he says very similar things... sort of an 18th century version of copy/paste with light editing. Someday, we're going to set up the data structures we need to import this data into our main database, and that will be great. In the meantime, this is really good! Here's a link to it:
We recently made some software functions that help us make fairly quick edits to content. Casually, we've been calling it the Round-Tripper. We've been using it a lot, and it's a big help. Over the last few days, we've round-tripped these six translations, adding links for scripture references and cross references:
We've been posting a series of studies on the super-interesting Book of Daniel. Here are links for the first 5 chapters of the Book of Daniel, with explanations by Rev. Dr. Andy Dibb, and further links to Swedenborg's works:
We finally got a chance to tackle a German translation using our latest computer-assisted Writings import routines. We chose Das weiße Pferd (The White Horse), because it's short. We worked from a file provided by Verlag Swedenborg in Zurich. The translation was done by Fedor Goerwitz in 1880, and it was updated in 2002. Here's a link to it.
If you've been following along at home, you'll know that one of the big things we're working on is getting Swedenborg's works to be all linked up, so that all the cross references and scripture references and footnotes are clean and correct and easy to follow. It's a big project, and - while we're making decent headway - there's still a lot to do. In our database, we have 3 English translations of Swedenborg's treatise on The Interaction Between the Soul and the Body. We just ran them through our export/clean-and-markup/import process, and... it worked pretty well. It took a person-day, and pointed out a few things that we should add to our processing scripts, which will take some more time, but it's good progress along the path.
If you have a User Account, you can also now choose your preferred Bible translation, from the 82 that we have live in the system now.
Users who have created User Accounts can now choose their preferred font size for reading most of the site's content. Given the variety of devices and visual acuity out there in the wild, that's a nice feature. Spiritual development without eyestrain!
We just added three search features that some users have been asking for: (1) the ability to search for an exact phrase AND another word or words, (2) the ability to set proximity limits, e.g. search for dog within 5 words of cat, and (3) better highlighting of search results. This all works for searches in the Old and New Testaments, in Swedenborg's works, and in other explanatory articles and commentary.
Thanks to the efforts of a lot of people, we just finished importing Portuguese translations of 13 of Swedenborg's theological works. More will come, but those 13 were the ones we had on-deck. So… there are 200 million Portuguese speakers in the world who can now read the Bible and its true inner meaning, side by side.
Our apologies to anyone who experienced problems reading Arcana Coelestia over the past few days. There was a bug in one of our import scripts which caused some problems. The issue has now been fixed and all content restored.
Swedenborg wrote four short works in a group, with each focused on a single topic:
They've been translated into many languages from the original Latin. John Potts translated The Doctrine of Life in 1904. We've had this translation in our database for a while, and now we've just passed it through our new transmogrifier, fixing some fragmented links, and tagging some sub-paragraphs. It's cleaner now, and easier to read.
PS: The Doctrine of Life was the late Bill Blair's favorite work of Swedenborg's Writings, and it's with fond memories of him that we post this new revision.
We just imported A Nova Jerusalém e Sua Doutrina Celeste, in a Portuguese translation by Rev. Cristovao Nobre.
We just imported one of Swedenborg's best-known works, Heaven and Hell, in French.
Bryn Athyn College invites the public to learn, explore and be challenged by a vast array of books and speakers on the subject of "Science, Spirituality and Swedenborgian Theory through History" at the 2016 Book Expo on Saturday, April 9. The Book Expo runs from 8:30am to 5:30pm in Pendleton Hall on Bryn Athyn College's campus, 2945 College Drive just off Huntingdon Pike in Bryn Athyn, 19009. There is no charge for this event, which is sponsored by several organizations including Bryn Athyn College Press, Swedenborg Foundation, Swedenborg Scientific Association, Cole Foundation for Renewing the Culture, General Church Publications and NewChristianBibleStudy.org.
For more information, including a schedule of events, see the expo flyer.
One of our big audacious goals is to get Swedenborg's 18 published theological works online in the world's major languages. It's going to take a while, but... there's some low-hanging fruit: works that have already been translated, and that already exist as word-processor documents. They are shown as blue cells in this updated matrix. We've recently added 6 new instances, and there are roughly 100 to go. As we go along, about 4 billion new people will have the chance to read these works, linked to the Bible, in their own comfortable language. We're leading the charge on this, and we're getting help - financial, in-kind, and hands-on help - from all over. If you can help with funding, editing/proofing, or bilingual translating, talk to us!
March 23, 2016: Portuguese readers may want to read about the Interaction Between the Soul and the Body. Well, now they can. Here's a link to Swedenborg's short work on the subject: A Interação da Alma e do Corpo. Many thanks to translator Rev. Cristavao Nobre and his colleagues in Brazil!
March 22, 2016: We just imported the explanations of the Bible's W words. We did X, Y and Z already (when we were tired of the beginning of the alphabet), so we're finally done with the main pass through the Nicholson/Worcester "Dictionary of Correspondences, Representatives, and Significatives." There are 3093 selected words and phrases from the Bible in our database, whose inner spiritual meanings have been described. And the point is? Well... Bible readers can much more easily see true meaning as they go along. That's huge.
March 20, 2016: If you run across Bible words that begin with U or V, and you wonder what they signify... well, we've just imported the U and V words with that are described in Swedenborg's works, along with their explanations. Here's a link.
March 18, 2016: We're working with translators of Swedenborg's works around the world, and Brazil is one of the happening places. We just imported Divina Providência, a translation by Rev. Cristovao Nobre. For the 200+ millon Portuguese speakers, it's a great resource. Here's a link.
March 6, 2016: We imported the T words whose spiritual meanings are explained by Swedenborg. That takes us to 2862 explained Bible words so far. Just U, V and part of W left to go. Here's a link.
March 3, 2016: We added a new UI for looking up the spiritual sense of Bible words and phrases. With 2500+ concepts now, we needed to do something! Here's a link.
February 20, 2016: For more than 300+ Bible words and phrases beginning with the letter 's', we've modernized, proofed, and imported another set of explanations of their inner meaning. We're nearly done with this big task; just one or two more batches, with the remainder of s, then t, u, v and part of w. In the end, this is driving towards the goal of making it easier to read and understand the real meaning of the Word.
February 19, 2016: Traffic is up strongly again in the past week. We're welcoming more than 2000 visitors a day now, with the record day seeing 2768. We don't know why, exactly -- but whatever it is, we're happy, and we just had to rent a bigger server slice.
February 16, 2016: We just added a quick search function to the main toolbar. Should be really handy!
February 11, 2016: We have mapped 175 locations of New Christian groups, churches, schools, publishers, and libraries. We have another 140+ that we'll be adding as we verify the data. Here's the map! If you know of ones that we're missing, or have corrections, please let us know.
February 8, 2016: We welcomed 50,000 visitors in the last month. Wow.
January 30, 2016: We added 351 more Bible word-phrase inner meaning lookups, for words beginning with P, Q and R. It's a hard slog getting through this with computers; it gives one a whole new level of respect for those 1900s era scholars who revised this, the early 1800 scholars who put it togther, and above all, for Emanuel Swedenborg, who wrote these thousands of definitions/descriptions out longhand, with a quill pen, and saw them through to publication. What an amazing labor of love!
People who have been following this blog know that we've been working our way through Bible words and phrases, in alphabetical order, citing the places where Swedenborg explained the inner, spiritual meaning of those terms. It's taken a lot more effort than we expected, but we're making progress. We just deployed a big set of new data -- all that terms that begin with I, J, K, L, M, N, and O. That's 512 new concepts. For Bible studiers, that means you can get more clarity, more insight into the Word's deeper meaning, as you read.
We saw record traffic in the past month - over 45,000 visitors. That's a growth rate of 140% year to year - pretty good. The sky's the limit.
We've deployed another user account "thing": You can bookmark pages that you want to remember.
You can now make and save your own notes about things you're reading, when you have a user account.
Here's a whole new phase for the project: User Accounts. Get one! Here's a link.
We posted some classic Christmas stories on the home page, plus there's a nice new layout there. Here's a link!
We added the explanations of the words and phrases that begin with "H". Hurray!
Swedenborg published 18 theological works. They have been translated into many different languages - which is great! What's not so great is that a lot of those translations are not online, and some are quite scarce. Here's a matrix that illustrates the problem, AND the opportunity. We need to turn the blue cells green, and then the yellow cells green, and then the white cells green. Then about 4 billion more people will have the chance to read these works, linked to the Bible, in their own comfortable language. We're leading the charge on this, and we're getting help - financial, in-kind, and hands-on help - from all over. If you can help with funding, editing/proofing, or bilingual translating, talk to us!
Lengthwise eats his way through the dictionary, from A to Z, emerging occasionally to try out his language skills, e.g. "Advance amiable ant, amazing adventures await." Well, we're eating our way through the Dictonary of Correspondences, and we just uploaded a whole bunch of new word/phrase explanations of the signification of words in the Bible that begin with F and G. Gonna' get God's good guidance? Go.
We have added a map of the world with links to New Christian congregations, publishers, and schools. There are more to add; we just found another great list that we're going to merge with this data. Anyway... spiritual growth isn't a solo journey; we can help each other along the path. Maybe, if you look at this map, you'll find that there's a group near you.
We just added another French translation of one of Swedenborg's works: L'Interaction Entre l'Âme et le Corps. It's a brief work, providing a summary of the way that the human mind and body interact. Our thanks to Rev. Sylvain Agnes and his team in West Africa for providing the scanned/OCR document that we worked from. Here's a link!
The New Christian Bible Study site features all of Swedenborg's works in English and Latin, plus lots of related commentary on the Bible and spiritual topics - mostly in English. We've build the system to be multi-lingual, and we have started to import more resources, so far, in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian and Korean. We've added a Translator's Toolbox, too, to support more crowd-sourcing. Bilingual people can get a whole "starter translation" that has the whole framework of the source document ready to fill in. Some of the building blocks, e.g. numbering, scripture references, and cross-references, are all pre-built, so the translator can focus energy on... yes... translating! Want to help? Contact us. We can show you how it works.
Swedenborg published very thorough explanations of the internal sense of the Word. In doing so, he decribed the meanings of thousands of symbolic or correspondential words and phrases. Subsequent scholars have compiled Swedenborg's references. One such compilation is the "Dictionary of Correspondences, Representatives and Significatives" (Sixth Edition) published in 1872, by Carter and Pettee, in Boston. Contributing publishers and editors were the Masschusetts New Church Union, George Nicholson, Charles Bolles, Rev. Hindmarch, and E. Rich. That work is now in the public domain. We received permission to use the text that was scanned by A.J. Coriat, whose work may be seen at this link: Science of Correspondences Website. We have extensively reworked and modernized the data, getting it ready for use in our database. Much of the language is still archaic, but... it's really useful nonetheless, and - here's the exciting part: We've just imported the first chunk of the data - which quadruples the number of words that our readers can quickly look up, to find the inner meaning. It's a great help to Bible readers, and it will help future explainers, too! Here's a link to the list.
Maybe not, but... we can! We just deployed some work that will have good ripple effects out into the future. Here's what it was: Swedenborg wrotehis theological works in Latin, and in most cases didn't use footnotes himself. Over the years, as his Latin works have been re-printed, and translated into other languages, the scholars working on those projects have corrected errors in the text, adding footnotes to explain the corrections. The 3rd Latin edition of just one work, Arcana Coelestia, has roughly 24,000 footnotes. In the scanning of the printed Latin editions, the footnote text was tagged like this: @ footnote text $. We wrote a program to find all the footnotes, convert them into a footnote "type", number them, insert footnote links into the right places in the text, and then display the footnotes at the bottom of each numbered section. This is all part of the cleaning of the Latin text, which will make it easier for future translators to use as a base. Plus, we now have the ability to handle footnotes better overall, so the very useful notes that have been added to English, Spanish and other translations will be able to work nicely in the NCBSP site - and that's going to be good for readers and people who are translating from something other than Latin. Here's a link to one example.
From Australia, the Rev. Todd Beiswenger has contributed 16 new Bible story explanations. There are brief text descriptions for each, but the primary content is in audio files. There's an interesting look at the beginning of the Rebekah story, a new take on Samson, a study of Joel, a study of Jonah, and more. Here's a link to one example.
From Pittsburgh, the Rev. Pearse Frazier has contributed an explanation of part of the story of Jacob's ladder. It's entitled Awe and Holy Fear. How do they work? Where is our true power? Find out. Here's a link to it..
From South Africa, two New Church ministers - Malcolm Smith and Coleman Glenn - have chimed in with a study series they co-wrote on the story of Gideon, in the Book of Judges. It's a 3-part series with the theme "Strength and Weakness", and it goes through the whole Gideon story, looking at the timeless inner meaning. Here's a link to it..
We just imported 110 new commentaries - sermons - related to stories from the Word. These were provided by Rev. Junchol Lee, the pastor of the San Francisco Swedenborgian Church. Each story has a very brief text summary, and then an audio file for the talk. A special thanks to the Louis C. Iungerich Publication Fund for its support for publishing these talks. Here's a link to one example.
The New Christian Bible Study site welcomed its 250,000th visitor this week. It's great! Traffic has more than tripled since this time last year, and the sky's the limit. Please tell your friends about the site, and like it on Facebook. Here's a link to our Facebook page..
We've added some search functionality and tips on how to use it. Here's a link.
Jesus's parable of the Good Samaritan is sparked by a man who asks a fundamental human question: "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Rev. Jim Cooper ties Jesus's answer to another place in the Gospels where that question is asked, and finds 4 key principles to live by. Here's a link.
Here's an interesting explanation of the story of the scapegoat, from Leviticus 16. Rev. Scott Frazier explores the meaning of that story. How does it really help the Children of Israel to use a scapegoat? What's the inner meaning for us? Here's a link.
We add new story explanations fairly frequently. Here's an example: Rev. Bob Junge sent us a sermon in which he explores the meaning of that famous story. Our personal "exodus" hits crises. We need manna and quail. The Lord sends it. How? Here's a link to the story and the explanation.
We found and imported a Japanese Bible translation, so Japanese Christians will now have a readier gateway linking the Word to explanations of its inner meaning. We have some work to do to prepare the Japense translations of Swedenborg's works to match up with the Bible text, but now we at least have the main pieces staged. Here's a link to the Kougo-Yaku (1954-55) Bible in Japanese.
We have some translations of the Writings in Malayalam, but we didn't have a Malayalam translation of the Word to provide as a gateway to the 33 Malayalam speakers of the Southeast India. Now we do! Readers will be able to enjoy Rev. Peter Devassy's new translations of Swedenborg's works in Malayalam, too, which explain the inner meaning of the Bible. Here's a link to the Bible in Malayalam.
We have had an Estonian translation of the Word in the database for quite some time, but an alert reader noticed that parts of it were missing. We scoured the web and found a complete version of the same translation, and have just imported it. It's in the system and live online. Now... if some Estonian readers would like to have a go at translating some of Swedenborg's works, too, or some commentary, that would be fun, too; please get in touch. Here's a link to the Bible in Estonian.
We have imported a French translation of "A Brief Exposition of Doctrine" to our database. It's one of the ones that Sylvain Agnes and his colleagues in West Africa have scanned from a Le Boys des Guays translation. There are many more works in the pipeline. Cleanup for each one takes a few person-days, so it's a long process, but if we can build a bridge for French Bible readers to the internal sense and the New Christian Church, that's a great use! Start reading here.
We've successfully imported the first Korean translation of one of Swedenborg's works - Divine Providence - into the New Christian Bible Study database. It marks the first time that Korean Bible readers can follow links straight to Swedenborg's works. Here's a link to a page that shows the Korean UI, the Word in Korean, and a passage from Divine Providence. Hopefully, this will be the first of many; we have several more translations queued up for importing, and more are being translated.
We've gathered a few more of Swedenborg's works in French (Arcana Coelestia, Brief Exposition, and Interaction of the Soul and Body) and made them available within our collection of additional translations of Swedenborg's works.
La Verdadera Religión Cristiana. Live. Online. Swedenborg's capstone work (True Christian Religion), in Spanish. Courtesy of our friends at nuevaiglesia.org, and lots of blood sweat and tears from our software team in getting it cleaned up and imported. Here's the link: La Verdadera Religión Cristiana
Today we added a Korean user interface to the site. It sure is great to see the site continue to grow and become accessible to a wider and wider audience. Many thanks to Sunna Frost for her help with the translation! Take a look: newchristianbiblestudy.org/ko/
OK, here's big news: We just finished importing a Spanish translation of one of Swedenborg's works (Heaven and Hell). Start reading El Cielo y el Infierno now!
We've gathered some story explanations that can help you get a good start on 2015. They are linked in the carousel on the home page.
We've just added the ability for you to compare 3 Bible translations side by side, or 3 translations of Swedenborg's theological works. It makes it easier for you to analyze the meaning of a passage.
Why was the Lord born in Bethlehem? Wrapped in swaddling clothes? Laid in a manger? Why shepherds? The details of this wonderful story are moving, in their literal sense, and in their inner meaning.
We've just added a main bibliography page for Swedenborg's theological works. It provides an overview of what he wrote, and what he published, with dates, and titles. For each work, we also list the translations that we have imported into the core project database. We have been working with faculty members at Bryn Athyn College to design a system that helps college students with their research and coursework. This page provides an overview, and, for each work and translation, there is more bibliographic detail, including text for citations. Take a look: Swedenborg Bibliography
203 million Portuguese speakers can now find the inner meaning of the first 6 chapters of Genesis online. Portuguese is the official language of Portugal, Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Macau, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Timor-Leste (East Timor). More Portuguese translations of Swedenborg's works are in the pipeline. This is a great start. Check out Arcanos Celestes, 1-691.
Korea is another place where New Church ideas are percolating. We've been in touch with the New Church ministers there, and today we just started to receive Korean translations from them. So… those are coming too. We already have a Korean Bible, so we can make the cross-connections pretty easily. That's access for 76 million Korean speakers, coming soon.
This will be good for the 100+ million French speakers on the planet: We've just gathered in 14 works of the Writings, from our friends among the French-speaking clergy of West Africa. One, La Nouvelle Jérusalem et sa Doctrine Céleste, has already been imported into the main database.
We're working with the team that's been spreading Swedenborgian thought to the world's 400 million Spanish speakers. Their swedenborg.es site has two volumes of Swedenborg's works, plus interesting articles about Borges, Helen Keller, and more, and it's going to tie in more closely with the New Christian Bible Study Project, taking advantage of the ability to link the Spanish Bible translations to the Swedenborg translations that are coming through the pipeline.
Swedenborg wrote (but didn't publish) an outline of the inner meaning of all the books of the Prophets, and the Psalms, and the first 16 chapters of Genesis. It's a great resource for anyone who is reading these parts of the Word, and wondering what they mean.
This work, called "Prophets and Psalms" for short, has been fairly obscure, but… it deserves more air time. It's sort of crying out for hyperlinking, so we've taken the English translation done by Rev. J. E. Schreck in 1900, and put in hyperlinks, and made this outline into a handy quick reference online.
Here's a link to the first chapter of Isaiah, for example.
Hat tip to the Swedenborg Digital Library, for links to online versions of Swedenborg's Concordance, provided by The Internet Archive and The Open Library. Here's a link to the links.
With X-Ray vision, some Yankees (loosely defined) have added two transations of the Writings in Zulu, done by one of our Zulu friends in South Africa. Our Zulu readers can now read Swedenborg's "True Christian Religion" and "Divine Love and Wisdom" in their native tongue. We're still scouting for a good public domain or licensable Zulu Bible; if you know of one, please tell us!!
We just deployed a new Greek translation of the New Testament. It's the Nestle 1904 translation, which is in the public domain, and it includes breathing marks and punctuation. So, for you Greek scholars out there, this is a great way to be able to compare the Greek texts with others. Many thanks to Diego Santos, and his site at: https://sites.google.com/site/nestle1904/
One of the things we've been working on lately is the enhancement of search functionality. We deployed some updates earlier this week. Now, we're doing more caching of search criteria, so that users can use their browser's back button to go back to the most recent search, make adjustments, and re-run the search. Also, we're highlighting the active search result, and providing counts of the number of occurrences of search terms in each result.
In our previous post, we wrote about Swedenborg's extensive citing of Bible passages. In this post, we're happy to say that we've (finally, after a long slog) got most of Swedenborg's internal cross-references identified, and linked up. We fished most of them out of a GrandMan Search file that used an old markup language, provided to us by Walter Weiss, who noted the great labor of love by his father, the late Rev. Jan Weiss, in identifying those links by hand. In the Bible Study system, the links appear in the text for some translations, and below the related sub-paragraph for other translations where we haven't yet focused in on the exact spot for the link. Overall, this is something of a breakthrough; for the first time, web users can follow internal cross references for all of Swedenborg's works.
Swedenborg was a meticulous, patient Bible scholar. As he prepared to write his theological works, he studied Hebrew and Greek, and he prepared careful indexes of places where the Word deals with various topics, and then used them as references. Our system now contains many thousands of these Bible references as links. In some translations, the links are right where they occur in the text; for others, they are shown at the bottom of the sub-section. They have been gathered from NewSearch, the Kempton Project, and GrandMan Search, courtesy of the developers of those projects. They build on the outstanding scholarship of the Rev. A.H. Searle, who published his Index to Swedenborg's Scripture Quotations in 1883, and the fine work of Le Boys des Guays, in France, earlier in the 19th century.
We just deployed a new set of search functionality that provides 2 key new features: relevance ranking of search results that includes proximity weighting, and a UI that allows users to select several works and translations to be searched.
We added two new sermons by Peter Buss, about Palm Sunday and Easter. Plus, we've posted a nice article by Helen Kennedy, about Nebuchadnezzar's pride and humility. See the list of Bible Stories for links to these.
We recently added the ability for users to keep two translations of the Word in view, and also see a column of commentary, or the text of Swedenborg's works, in the same page.
We have added a new Croatian translation of True Christian Religion, courtesy of Dusko Sever. Copyright by The Lord's New Church which is Nova Hierosolyma / Nova Domini Ecclesia quae est Nova Hierosolyma.
We just deployed a new feature that we think people will like, though it's not all that noticeable at first. If a reader is reading the text of the Bible, verse by verse, AND there is verse level commentary to match, the commentary will be updated when you go to the next verse.
We've just added a link to another one of Swedenborg's study bibles translated by Immanuel Tremellius, which he often referred to in the latter parts of The Word Explained. Hat tip to Rev. George Dole for pointing it out.
In addition, we added links to Serbo-Croatian translations of the Bible to accompany the Serbo-Croatian translations of Swedenborg's works we have already collected. Our thanks to Revs. Alex Zikic and Dusko Sever for the links to these resources.
When Emanuel Swedenborg was researching and writing his detailed explanation of the internal sense of the Bible, he used several Bible translations, including a Latin Bible translated by Sebastian Schmidt (or Schmidius, in Latin), and another translated by Sebastian Castellio. His notes in the margins of his Schmidius Bible have been preserved, and translated into English, and both the scan and the translation are shown here. The Castellio Bible is also linked here, in two versions. Many thanks to Lisa Hyatt Cooper for starting us on the trail of these.
Not to be outdone by the Georgian Swedenborgians, Rev. Peter Devassy has provided a translation of Heaven and Hell into Malalayam. Try saying that language five times fast. Or even once! This may be the first Malayalam translation of Swedenborg ever. Now some 33 millon people in Kerala State, India, can read it in their own language. Again, this translation project was funded by Swedenborg Publishers International.
Just south of Sochi, Russia, which the rest of the world has now heard of, on the coast of the Black Sea, is Georgia, home to some 5 million people, and almost as many beautiful mountains. The Georgians can now read a new translation of Heaven and Hell in their own language. Very nice! Hats off to Swedenborg Publishers International for helping to make it happen.
We've added a way to have multi-column views, with text of the Bible in one column, and another column showing a related passage from Swedenborg's works, and even a third column with a plain-language explanation. It's pretty exciting -- this is the direction we've been heading for a long time. We need to polish it up, but... it's kind of nice to see it.
We recently added a sortable collection of books and articles, mostly older collateral works by New Church authors, copied across from the STAIRS project's archives. Some of them focus on Bible explanation, and while the language can be somewhat dated, they represent a lot of good, dedicated scholarship. Oldies but goodies.
We added a French user interface to the site today. This will be useful for Francophone Bible readers and studiers, plus the growing New Church groups in Cote d'Ivoire, Benin, Togo, and elsewhere. A few of Swedenborg's works, in French, are also listed on this page of additional translations.
Here's another New Years themed Bible story explanation, by Eric Carswell, that we've entitled Ahab Does Not Like the Pattern.
Here is a New Years-oriented story from the Word, and an explanation by Rev. Mike Gladish, a New Church pastor in the Washington, DC area, about how we should be departing into our own country by a different way.
There's an article in the November 2013 issue of New Church Life magazine about this project. You can read it online, and it's a good summary of the project.
We're working towards the goal of presenting the internal sense of the Word to Bible readers worldwide. One of the supporting pillars is to have Swedenborg's works online, in as many languages as we can come up with. We've been scouting and gathering. There are two steps, really -- one is to get them online, and the next is to import them fully into our main database. We've just added quite a few works translated into Russian, and now Heaven and Hell in Japanese. Stay tuned; more to come!
The New Christian Bible Study Project's user interface is now multilingual! We now have the structure in place to support any language… we just need help translating. Currently you can choose between English and Swedish (look for the world map image in the top right). Want to help? If you have a mastery of a language, any language (other than English or Swedish), and would be willing to help translate, we'd love to hear from you!
We're excited to announce a new Bible comparison feature which allows you to read any two translations in parallel as you move back and forth between Swedenborg's works and the Bible.
Here's an example of the King James Version paired with the Chinese Union (Traditional) Version