Intro: James Candan, Software Engineer

Please introduce yourself here, if you haven't already.
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Joined: September 16th, 2016, 11:53 am

Intro: James Candan, Software Engineer

Post by jcandan » September 16th, 2016, 12:53 pm


I'm a web application developer in Chattanooga, TN, working primarily in PHP on data migrations, content management systems, and data visualization applications. I relocated here with my wife and daughter in late 2010, early 2011, from Los Angeles, where we were blessed with a rambunctious, loving son.

My interest is in using Python's extensive scientific libraries in machine learning and artificial intelligence, in combination with natural language processing libraries (NLTK) in practical applications for compiling data, research tools, etc. I've just met with a local scholar, Dr. James Price, with whom I hope to work in porting some of his work in Pascal to Python. He was the Old Testament Executive Editor and Chairman of the Executive Review Committee of the New King James Version of the Bible (NKJV) and a translator and section editor for the Holman Christian Standard Bible. His work is in using computational analysis to generate a genealogical relational tree, most recently from NA28. I also hope to assist him in generating a concordance for the Bible in Bengali.

I have no experience in this field, but hope I can learn and contribute. I am curious if anyone can offer a glimpse of the current landscape in textual criticism and analysis using NLP, or other computational applications, particularly in terms of Biblical TC. Is there an existing recognition of the value of computational analysis in the Church? If yes, how and where can I begin to contribute and learn? If not, is there anyone else here interested in doing this kind of work?
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Jonathan Robie
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Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm
Location: Durham, NC

Re: Intro: James Candan, Software Engineer

Post by Jonathan Robie » September 20th, 2016, 5:54 am

Hi James,

I apologize for not responding earlier - there's a lot of stuff out there. Here are some resources you can use, including morphologically tagged texts with syntax trees in Greek and Hebrew:

You might want to take a look at the GERT sessions at this year's annual meeting, including S19-217, S19-321, S20-211a. If you can go to the annual meeting, it's a good place to meet people playing with computers and Greek texts.

The SHEBANQ people have been doing impressive work analyzing the Hebrew OT in Python using the Linguistic Annotation Framework, they have just completed an initial port of our Greek treebanks into Linguistic Annotation Framework and are working on this.

For TC, Alan Bunning has transcribed all Greek texts before 400 AD here: He has his own approach to textual criticism, Stephen Carlson is working with Stemmatics, which is also being used for other languages in the digital humanities. He can probably tell you more about computation and TC than anyone else here. NLP is less accurate than using syntax trees for parsing texts, most trees used it as a first pass, then corrected by hand.

I do think there's a lot of recognition of the value of computational analysis and visualization, but we are also not as far along as we would like to be, and we need more people doing these things - particularly with open datasets and open software. Perhaps we could talk on the phone some time?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;

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