Thursday, July 24, 2008

How to Hide the Outlook XP / 2002 Address Bar

1. Close Outlook
2. Open regedit
3. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Outlook\Options
4. Set the AddressBarWidth value to 1

Even the Aliens Aren't Safe

This was caught by my spam filter at work today:

Along the same lines, "FORMER NASA astronaut and moon-walker Dr Edgar Mitchell - a veteran of the Apollo 14 mission - has stunningly claimed aliens exist."

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bible Version ROFLOL!

"The drink offering is to be a quart a with each lamb. Pour out the offering of beer to the LORD in the sanctuary area." - Num 28:7 (HCSB)

An offering of beer to the Lord. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The HCSB has officially earned the nickname of "Redneck Version."

Today's Piece of Stupidity

You can't see my mouse pointer in the screen shot, but it is over "Products," which when you mouse over, bring up the sub-choices right underneath it. So why cover it up with a Tooltip?? The same behavior was noted in IE7 and FF3.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Cleaning up NET Framework v2 in Vista

Since NET v2 is preinstalled in Vista you can't remove and reinstall. Here is how to repair it, courtesy of :

1. Run the command "sfc /scannow" from an elevated command prompt
2. Repair the (V2) framework with the command "%windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\ngen.exe update" again from an elevated command prompt

The World From Our Window: Children's ESV Study Bible

The World From Our Window: Children's ESV Study Bible

I thought running across this post was rather incidental given what I wrote in my last post. Personal Bible reading is only a small part of an elementary child's Christian growth, in my opinion, but it is important enough to insist on an accurate translation, be that ESV, KJV, NKJV, or another like it.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Bible Translations- Readability

I remember back in the time I was documenting why I was leaving King James Onlyism I ran across the readability scores issue. Readability tests attempt to calculate from the syllables and words and sentences exactly what grade level is necessary to comprehend the test.
One KJVO advocate made the point, using the Flesch-Kincaid method, that many KJVO passages are ranked as easy to read or easier than modern versions. Of course, this depends on which passages you choose; also, you can have one and two syllable words that are difficult to understand, but will cause the test to rank the writing at a lower grade.
I did my own tests, using an online readability analysis site, and used the SMOG score. SMOG is reported to be 98.5% accurate when the results are compared with students from the actual grades in question.
My first passage was Galatians 3:6-29. Here is a sample (vv.15-18) in the KJV:

"Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise."

The SMOG grade level for the KJV on vv.6-29 is 10.44, or 10th grade. Consider the same sample in the NKJV:

"Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,”who is Christ. And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise."

That is much more readable, and the SMOG score is 9.99- lower than the KJV, which is lower than the NRSV(10.94), or NIV(11.37). Still, it's pretty much 10th grade.

Everyone knows Psalm 23- "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want..." On this iconic passage the NRSV is the easiest to read scoring 8.48, or 8th grade. The rest in order are NIV (8.86), NKJV (8.92), and the most difficult of four, the KJV at 9.32, or 9th grade.

Lastly, I chose Hosea chapter 2. When I read through the Bible, Hosea was an extremely difficult book to get through- although I could understand the words, for some reason it felt like I was really bogging down. I bought a New Century Version to help me through that book. So what are our results here?
Well, nothing earth shattering. With the exception of the NKJV at 8.86, or upper 8th grade, they all hit ninth grade reading levels: NIV- 9.35, NRSV-9.48, KJV-9.87.

The final averages:
NKJV: 9.26
NRSV: 9.63
NIV: 9.86
KJV: 9.88

All of these versions are hovering around 9th grade, which sounds right. The NKJV seemed to have a penchant for staying down in 8th grade, though. What about the high scores in the first passage? If you read that passage, the content and logical argument preclude easy comprehension. I even tested the kid-friendly NIrV on this passage, which scored 7.49- almost 8th grade! All of the versions bumped up a few grades on this difficult section- so the Hosea and Psalm passages to me are more representative of the versions in general. You only simplify the wording so much before you start saying something different altogether. Galatians 3 is an example of intrinsic difficulty.

You may wonder why I chose the versions I did. I chose them because they are mainstream versions that are designed to be literal, more or less. I did test the NIrV, the CEV, and the NLT on all these passages in the search for a Bible that might be more suited to children. Only the NIrV averaged out to an elementary grade level- 6.53.

The question is, with serious Bible translations that emphasize accuracy coming in at 9th grade, do you really want to hand your child an NIrV and tell them it's the Bible? What are you going to do when they get to 5th or 6th grade- try and replace their NIrV with a NKJV? Maybe let them believe their NIrV is just as accurate as an NASB or KJV? Neither option is ideal.

If you knock a few grades off for good education and assume that your child will more or less comprehend a serious translation by 6th or 7th grade, what do you do before then? (Remember, I am not discussing reading, but COMPREHENSION.)

My solution: put a serious translation in their hand from the time they can read well but realize that they are going to be getting most of their spiritual instruction from you and their other teachers, both in word and example. This is the point that is missed in kid-friendly versions. Really now, is your 4th grader going to crack open his or her Bible everyday unless they are made to? If they did, would they comprehend it? Is your 4th grader even conscious of his eternal standing before Christ? I think until junior high or so a child's spiritual instruction/Christian walk is melded with that of his parents out of immaturity and necessesity. This is where the "train up your child in the way he should go" comes in. Not in the implementation of rules and expectations but in the walking together with your child with the Lord until they can sustain a walk of their own.

By the time they have a serious walk of their own they will be in a position to comprehend a serious translation for themselves. If you can't comprehend Scripture you can't walk on your own.

As an adult I can study from the KJV and get a lot of it. Mostly, it is because the KJV is the version I was brought up on and most familiar with- by changing my study version I put myself at a disadvantage. However, the KJV is not quite as readable, not only in ways detected by SMOG or Flesch Kincaid grade scales, but also in matters of English style and usage. While I may prefer to do serious study out of a KJV, I do much of my casual reading online with the NRSV. My casual reading Bible used to be the ESV. I am considering doing more casual reading from the NKJV -and the benefit is that the new wording often opens up Scriptures in a way I never noticed before. Then I'll head back to my KJV and see it was there all along, and study it further.