Email List And BRB Canon
We have moved our email blog from a big tech platform to our own. Email based subscribers will see changes, which I explore below. We have also updated the BRB with a major new canon feature, which I also explore below.
Email Subscriber Notes
If you are following this blog via email, note we have dropped our old commercial email list provider in favor of our own list manager. Since our sending email address is now different, there can be various strange effects in email clients with today's blog.
Most important, today's blog went out to all current subscribers with our old email list provider. Some subscribers may not have seen these emails in a long time, potentially years, because of various qualities in the way email works. Welcome back, if this is you.
There is always a note at the bottom of emailed blogs, reminding how to unsubscribe. From this blog forward it is always simply a reply, with subject 'unsubscribe.' The subscribe page, linked below, has the contact form for general help if nothing seems to be working.
Visit the front page of Paleo.In, scroll down to the Social section and follow the link to the sign up page. The direct link to the sign up page is here.
2 weeks ago, we were suspended by our old email list provider over the use of politically naughty words. Of course their computer based blog reader wasn't very bright and could not understand why we sometimes need to talk about Nazis, or Alex Jones, or now even the Babylon Bee. Not that I endorse any of these.
In any case, like all big tech platforms, they are unfit for purpose, it was time to leave.
Our old list provider did a bunch of fancy formatting, which we are not going to use going forward. If your email client seems to have severe format bugs, please screen shot it and email it back so we can track it down. We don't have that many different email clients to test with. We have tested with the gmail app on mobile and with Thunderbird.
In switching over to our own list, all of the big tech trackers used in the previous list service are removed. We do not know how those were used, such is the secret nature of big tech. In our new setup, all links in all emails are exactly the same as links in the original blog on the website.
If your email client does not support html formatting, which I believe to be quite rare, then links are removed. If there are no links in this blog post, when delivered via email, then please let me know which email reader you are using. Some email clients may not be able to display even simple html, and I might be able to adjust.
Your email service and/or email client may still be causing similar language filtering problems, which is why Feed Readers are much better. The direct link for our blog's feed is paleo.in/feed
The file format, by fundamental design, is a 'pull' system for information delivery. By fundamental design it is also anonymous. So it cannot overflow an inbox, and it does not identify humans to the server.
Feeds need a Feed Reader in order to work. If you don't have one already, I would start with QuiteRSS for use on windows laptops. (For Linux users, QuiteRSS should be in your distro's repo.) On other platforms, like tablets, check your app store for Feed Readers.
If you don't already use a Feed Reader, your world will open up to you in a new and important way as you add various feeds to your news stream. Done carefully, you can completely avoid Legacy Media using news feeds.
For several years it was unclear if we should be permanently supporting our BRB app. It seems a little strange to be carrying around a Bible when our call is to make the Bible obsolete.
But, then we were shown a principle. Provide the tools needed by others so they can also leave the Bible. This means making the path that we have walked available to others so they can walk it too.
This principle impacts a bunch of our apps and sites. For the BRB it means to add a bunch of features that expose various problems with the Bible as we know it. These problems have been known to us for years, but were never expressed anywhere online.
One of those issues is the unstable nature of the Bible as a collection of various and disputed books passed to us by history. Sets of these books are generally called 'canons.' The term generally means a set of books considered as scripture by some faith community.
Within specific canons there are also historical disputes over book order. So just because some branch of Christianity uses a specific set of books, does not mean the order of those books is agreed upon. The book breaks are also not always agreed on either. For example, 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel can also be combined and simply known as Samuel. This is especially so when viewed across history.
Some religions based on the Bible use substantially larger canons. The most well known example to readers of this blog would be the Mormons. Mormons, say, use the Book of Mormon as an extended canon. Leaders within Mormonism carry around even more documentation forming an even larger extended canon.
Most Jews also use the Talmud and many also use the Kaballah. This is another example of an extended canon.
We were recently told in casual conversation with a mason that Free Masons also have their own extended scriptures beyond the Bible. It was clear in that conversation that his masonic scripture limited what the Bible might mean.
In all of these cases the existence of highly extended scripture usually impacts the rules for simple reading of the base text of the Bible. Extended canons create a much more difficult problem than most Christians are faced with. We are NOT trying to deal with these seriously extended canons.
Our purpose with the BRB's new canon feature is to present the books disputed within various traditional Bibles.
Awareness Of Differences
American Protestants are particularly unaware of the difference between their Bible and other Christian Bibles in use around the world. Because the USA is so large, and isolated from the other side of the Atlantic, Americans have trouble with other cultures generally. So other subcultures, like Christianity in distant places, is also lost on most Americans.
Our work on recovery of the inspired text, the inspired canon, is not as strange as you might think once you learn about other Christian canons. In some sense we could be thought of as following in the footsteps of Luther who was also messing with the canon in his day.
So what we are putting online today is an option in the BRB that allows it to be set to follow various known historical Christian (and Jewish) Bible canons. In the top right menu, first choice down, is the ability set the canon that the BRB app will use when displaying text.
Each such canon has a specific set of books in a specific order. Some canons have disputed book orders, and those book orders are also shown as variations on the base canon.
Each canon has a custom contents page that shows the books in canonical order. Each canon has some organizational structure, providing divisions in the canon. Those book divisions show up as headings in the contents page, and as headings in the drop down menu.
Note the BRB app itself only includes the text from the 66 books of the Protestant canon. For longer canons the BRB app marks those missing books as 'not included.'
We are still debating what canons to include, and what notes should be included in the app regarding each canon. So there will be more updates to this feature in the future, though a good set of important canons is online today.
The choice of canon impacts search. Only books in the current canon are indexed for search. Search results are displayed in the current canon's book order.
With today's update there is also a restored Lots option in the BRB. Lots are also only run against books in the current canon, in the current order. We don't recommend BRB Lots generally, but we once used lots in the Bible, so we have recovered this option so others can follow in our footsteps.