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What Would Be Worth Paying a Subscription? 2007-05-24

Posted by Peter Kirby at 3:58 AM | Permalink

My father keeps pounding it into me that time spent worthwhile is time which others are willing to spend their money to compensate. In other words, idle study takes a back seat to business. While I have my differences with such an opinion, I am not opposed to developing a worthwhile product that people want to support.

I have asked similar questions in the past, but not quite framed this way: What kind of Internet resource would be worth paying a subscription to access?

My desiderata for such a resource would include:
  • A text of the New Testament with apparatus. This means that textual variants would be noted in an online format. To my knowledge, this is not done in a thoroughgoing way on a website, even now.
  • Texts from the Roman, Greek, Jewish, and Ancient Near East worlds that have interest on their own and that may shed light on the Bible. These texts should be both in English and in their original tongues.
  • Cross-references between texts to note connections (like the "e-Catena" and the Thomas commentary's parallels do in miniature).
Once done in an extensive way, and accepting the input of data from the user community, this last feature would soon set it apart from most any collection of texts, in print or online. Imagine a world where Eusebius is hyperlinked to Josephus, which is hyperlinked to scripture, which is hyperlinked in turn to later Christian commentators such as Eusebius and Clement of Alexandria, who links himself to pagan philosophers such as Plato, allowing one to travel seamlessly among the textual locations of the ancient world.

It would be cool, no? But worth paying to access? That is the question. The hypothetical subscription rate would be about $5 per month.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would pay $5-$10 a month for that. What would also be really, really cool would be to link to appropriate journal articles on the subject. For instance: i have spent a lot of time wondering what, exactly, Paul was referring to when he says in I Cor. 15 that "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures". Having a cross-linked resource to a Greek lexicon, ancient writers on the topic, and modern writers, would be great.

I would pay for what you suggest also.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember when information on the internet was free.... I miss those days.

I had always hoped that the internet would be the free library / encyclopedia of the world. In many ways it is, but I worry very much about increasing commercialism of the web. There are some wonderful, free websites now that are posting images of manuscripts, but there are many institutions that are still holding back. Why? Money...Greed...Materialism...

I believe that the history of the world belongs to everyone. While artifacts can only exist in one place, high quality images of them can be taken relatively cheaply these days and made freely available around the world.

I am disgusted by the desire of so many just to make a buck. There is nothing wrong with hobbies. Get a real job to make money... Just my 2 cents.

8:33 PM  

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