A Very Belated Response to Bible Software Review

For some reason my feed reader didn’t alert me of this, or I missed it somehow, but until SBL I missed Ruben’s response (the bottom) to my response to his response (the top) to my announcement of NET GEMS (follow that?). So, now I’m finally getting around to responding! Sorry. I wasn’t ignoring you. I would just quibble about one thing that you are assuming, that, in your words, "Big bucks will have to be invested." I’m just not convinced that this is the case. Is it an ingredient that is present in most successful projects? Yes. Is it, taking software as an example, the case in all examples? I don’t think so. Now, you’re right. Linus is probably not poor. This is because businesses have seen the value of the product and have supported it. But, I’ve seen other projects where this is not the case. None the size of the whole Linux project (not many are), but successful nonetheless. But, even assuming there were no successful open-source type projects that were not funded, I still wouldn’t concede the point. That would make it seem much more unlikely statistically, but not truly unrealistic. And most work is done in the world of biblical studies for very little pay anyway, so I think the principle is already in action. If most people in biblical studies really put making significant money at the level of importance that so many do, then there would be very few people in biblical studies. In other words, I’ve seen too many people, just in my little circle, who have done a lot of work for free or incredibly cheap to think that a completely non-funded project wouldn’t work.

But, of course there are factors. The larger the enterprise the more likely it is to fail. And the least interesting/important the project is, so also it is more likely to fail. I think what we are doing is both important and interesting, but it is also a very big task. So we do have a tough road ahead. But...once again...I’m confident. Now, if someone decides to throw lots of money at us to get the project done while maintaining the same freedoms, I’m not going to turn it down just to prove you wrong :). So, if anyone out there has a few million to spare, feel free to contact me!

Of course, this whole thing might just boil down to a matter of disagreement between the two of us, which is fine. If so, we’ll leave it at that. But, once again, thanks for your comments. I treasure all the comments of the blogosphere.