Monday, 7 May 2018

Approaching the final laps

I can almost see the 'finish line' (relatively speaking). I have 157 chapters left as of today (May 7). 50 of those have 25 or fewer verses. The next 49 have 33 or fewer verses. The next 48 have  fewer than 50 verses and the remaining 9 have between 50 and 64 verses. The red line below shows the minimum and maximum % done for the chapters of each book. So Exodus has 3 chapters left (blue bar on second chart), and one of them is 90% done and one is 30% done (curious). Leviticus has only 1 chapter left.

Some of the longer chapters I have worked on in the background. My question as always is what is the point of least resistance?

You can see from the top graph (the green line is the median of work in process) that the major prophets and the final 5 books are slightly less known to my algorithms than the Torah or the former prophets (Joshua to 2 Kings). There must be a significant difference in language usage between these sections and the remainder, Isaiah through 2 Chronicles. These numbers are tempered somewhat in that I have done the 12 which probably contributed to my predictions for the 3 major prophets. And the overlap of Kings and Chronicles sometimes makes each easier.

I suspect that the easiest way forward is to do the ones that are nearest completion and have the fewest verses left to do. That way, if there is any overlap with the larger or more unknown chapters, the smaller ones will make their contribution first. (Also completed are the poetry books and the five scrolls.)

I have been doing slightly more than 1 chapter a day recently. If I don't take any significant weeks off, I should be finished in about 5 months. The usual status is updated on this page every few days.

In the beginning people asked me, and they still do, why I was doing this. Here is a 60 second summary.

  • I wanted to discover the formation of the mind of the son with respect to his mandate (from the Epistle to the Hebrews). 
  • I must therefore begin therefore with the Psalms from which the dialogue between father and son is taken in that epistle. 
  • I discovered in the psalms the recurring sounds of poetry and the music.
Who for:
  • For me, as musician and as one who seeks. 
  • For others, who want to do the same, especially other musicians. 
  • Does ‘the world’ need this example and music sung in this way? I would say it does. 
How: I needed,
  • A work surface. I built it with help over the last 15 years from my staff using our software framework (
  • A web service for input of an authoritative text. provides one for the Leningrad Codex. Our software can receive its data.
  • Hebrew and English parsing algorithms to derive from the raw data a new view of the words, and to avoid overlap where feasible. I wrote these algorithms and adjust them as needed.
  • Automated interpretation of the accents as music. I wrote this algorithm and produced all the musical scores in XML based on the inferred key as discovered by Suzanne Haïk-Vantoura. 
  • Ad hoc queries. Project control, scope, plan, measure, correct, report, predict. I use Oracle PL/SQL and Excel for this.
  • Correction. I got this in part from the University of Victoria where I did two fellowships as part of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society.
The scholarly community on the web has been supportive. I also had instruction at several conferences in St Andrews, Oxford, and Cambridge in the period 2003-2016. I have had support from the local community, especially to be noted are Gidi Nashon from Congregation Emanu-El and Jonathon Orr-Stav, a friend and Hebrew translator.

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