"Digital Humanities" is a term for a broad field that incorporates traditional humanities studies and digital tools.
Computer Tools for New Testament Textual Criticism
Textual criticism is far from being done by computers. The traditional methods and canons still dominate the day to day work of text critics. However, it is also true that computer tools are enabling analysis that has been previously impossible and speeding up some of the more tedious tasks. As I find the time, I would like to include introductions and tutorials to these tools and publish them here.
I have experimented with a variety of software products, including the standard tools used to aid the creation of our standard critical editions and apparatuses such as the ECM, NA, and UBS editions.
Technological development is happening from within and outside of the traditional centers of New Testament textual criticism (namely, INTF in Germany and IGNTP in the UK). The tools that I am using in my own research include:
TranscriptEdit - A tool that I developed for transcribing manuscripts one verse at a time and encoding them natively in a pre-tokenized JSON file. It allows for the encoding of things such as corrections and marginalia. See the README file in the software repository for a more complete explanation.
The Collation Editor - A tool largely maintained by software developers associated with INTF and ITSEE. The Collation Editor is a graphical user interface wrapper around CollateX—a very powerful and useful command line tool for comparing texts.
Apparatus Explorer - An app that takes the XML collation output file from the Collation Editor and does the following:
Displays the collation information as an ECM-style digital apparatus
Allows the user to edit genealogical relationships between readings and save these to the XML file.
Creates local stemmata graphs
Allows the user to tag and filter types of readings (e.g. 'itacism', 'scribal error', etc)
Export the XML collation as a DOCX Microsoft Word apparatus print edition.
Finally, and most importantly, the open-cbgm (see below) uses the genealogical relationships that the user added in order to calculate things such as potential ancestors and nearest relations.
The open-cbgm - A full implementation of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method first invented and popularized by Gerd Mink and INTF. The open-cbgm is rebuilt from the ground up and improves upon the original in several ways. Reasons to like this implementation:
This is the only implementation in which someone can use their own collation data.
It is faster and considerably lighter weight than the INTF implementation. Ultimately the open-cbgm is a set of nicely designed scripts written in C++.
The creator, Joey McCollum, has been very helpful and able to answer any technical questions I have had about using the tool.
Integrating all of these tools requires some computer proficiency (such as comfort with the terminal) or a willingness and patience to learn. I hope to make these tools even more accessible to others working in textual studies who do not also moonlight as coders.
Along the way I used other tools that, while being well-designed, were not suitable for my exact use case. These and others I will blog about from time to time and include the link to those blog articles here.