Lately we have noticed a few blog posts asking the question.
Are there plans for a 2nd edition in 2010?
The question arises because of the comment in the 1st edition preface that says:
“The NET BIBLE text (notes excluded) has now been frozen for at least 5 years.
The next set of upgrades and improvements is planned for release in 2010. “
Now that 2010 is here it is time to publically update the plan for 2010 and a 2nd edition.
As we approached 2010, it was determined that we did not have sufficient major revisions and changes to the text to justify a 2nd edition. In addition a 2nd edition would generate a lot of turmoil with print providers and software publishers who use the NET Bible. The short answer to the posed question:
Q: Are there plans for a 2nd edition in 2010?
A: No, there are no text revisions planned for 2010 or the near future.
Rationale: In 2005 after nearly 10 years of frequent changes on the web, we wanted to assure the software and print providers, who expend large efforts to reprocess Bible files that we wouldn’t disrupt them with frequent revisions. However, we also wanted the NET Bible text to incorporate the latest scholarship with updates over time but not so frequently that it became a burden on the software and print providers. We discussed the idea of having a fixed update cycle plan with various cycle lengths (10 years, 5 years, 7 years, etc.) but now that we are at the 5 yr anniversary we find ourselves without sufficient major revisions. In addition, we have many more pastors and professors using the NET Bible in their studies and teaching. Therefore, it is far more beneficial that our focus is on increasing the audience from those now teaching and studying from the NET Bible so they can add their vital and important input, thoughts, ideas and reasons into the update process. Part of the NET Bible development process includes valuable input from users. We also want to continue to assure the software and print providers, who expend considerable resources to reprocess new Bible files, that we won’t disrupt them with frequent revisions.
Our specific goals for ongoing NET Bible updates are:
1. Attempt to involve those using the NET Bible and solicit them for comments and suggestions for improvement. It has been 5 years since the release of the 1st edition and there are now many more pastors and scholars studying and teaching with the NET Bible. We want to maintain our transparency during the update process and specifically solicit comments and suggestions for improvement from pastors, professors as well as biblical scholars so that the NET Bible maintains its tradition of excellence. To facilitate this, we have set up a focus group on users.bible.org . See “Pastor's Preaching From the NET Bible” and have put a link to the editor’s comments database on the bottom of the NET Bible online program.
2. Provide a vehicle for the NET Bible editors to interact with the users of the NET Bible. This will be done by expanding the NET Bible Revolution Blog started by Dr Hall Harris to various members of the NET Bible Team who work on the NET Bible translation and notes. This blog will include audio translation notes (click audio note introduction MP3).
3. Create and use ever better computational linguistics checkers which will score the NET Bible translation against the original languages and parallel translations.
4. Create a software environment which will allow the NET Bible editorial and translation team to see nuances easier along with acquiring or building better software tools to provide additional trustworthy Bible study resources FREE to the many of online and offline students of the Word.
5. Adopt a tagging, database schema and copyright that allow sharing the NET Bible text and notes with other scholars while interacting with those working in the Open Scripture community.
6. Continue ongoing interaction with original language text scholarship and continue to update the NET Bible text and notes to reflect ongoing discoveries and insights.
7. Work to raise the funds needed to ensure that the manpower necessary for the task of updating the NET Bible is scheduled and scaled properly.
For the 10 years of the original NET Bible translation project, we posted every draft online for review as it was being done. There are now over 1.3 million people who visit bible.org and http://net.bible.org each month. Millions more have downloaded free copies of the NET Bible and use them offline in the various Bible Study programs. Others have the printed NET Bibles.
Recently, a pastor asked how many people brought their Bibles with them at church that morning – and almost half of the people in church held up iPhones and PDAs rather than paper Bibles. Therefore, we need to factor in the mobile users into our plans while continuing to offer the NET Bible from our downloads page as well as from the many new sources we have given royalty free licenses.
The NET Bible was carefully translated and edited for faithfulness and one of the hallmarks is that it was produced for ministry and it is available for free. It is also because of the attraction of the Translators’ Notes that there are an astounding number of NET Bible users! Estimates range from 5 to 20 million regular NET Bible users.
This has been a long version of a short question. Our answer to you is this: If asked to predict when a 2nd edition text might be released; our answer is that we anticipate that it will be at least 5 years of solid work to complete the process of interacting with those teaching the NET Bible and the other items outlined above. We believe that an increase of teachers/professor/pastors/scholars actively engaged in using the NET Bible and logging comment tickets based on translation suggestions must precede this next push in editorial work. As this develops, the team will provide updates on the revision process via the NET Bible Revolution Blog based on how the base of inputs is expanding and what schedule emerges for release of a 2nd Edition.
Thank you for your support of the NET Bible project and join with us to tell others about the NET Bible so it is available to all 2 billion people on the globe with internet accesses who also understand English.