"The Puritan Pulpit Commentary" - In the Works.

davejonescue

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello all. I am starting a new project, Lord willing, that will take the 1,600 or so Puritan and Non-Conformists sermons; and create a Puritan sermon commentary. Right now I am calling it "The Puritan Pulpit Commentary." With 1,600 sermons, a lot of the Bible should be covered, hopefully. This is really the only way I can see to getting close to an actual Puritan Commentary, without simply taking whole commentaries written by Puritans and stacking them. I am very grateful, as Zotero takes a brunt of the work out of it organization wise. It will be offered in digital first; but we will see how it goes. I am projecting about 4-6 months to completion, as first I have to organize the sermons, then use the EEBO-Corrected Corpus for the body. But I also plan to create a theWord and E-Sword Commentary of it as well. I may mess around and see if I can create a Logos commentary out of it, but I am not familiar with doing so right now. Any suggestions are appreciated. I dont mind this being a growing work, and kind of having this as the base, which is kind of doable when you thank about it, because sermons are way easier to transcribe, even by the average person than entire books. So this may be something that us in the Puritan community may grow. Just give me a little time and let me form the base, and then I will start looking for Puritan sermons that may have been missed to fill in the gaps of scriptures not covered by this. God Bless.

pury commentary.jpg
 

Polanus1561

Puritan Board Junior
I trust you know how to make a 'Collection' in Logos (curate your own collection of puritan works).

And then you can search a chapter or verse in this collection.

The results are there.
 

davejonescue

Puritan Board Freshman
I trust you know how to make a 'Collection' in Logos (curate your own collection of puritan works).

And then you can search a chapter or verse in this collection.

The results are there.
I do. And we can do that in Puritan Search as well. The problem I am finding with that method over the entirety of Puritan works, is searching scripture within the entire corpus often results in not a specific commentary on a specific scripture, but a comment made by a Puritan where several scriptures are used for illustration. Right now, though I would love to do a Puritan Commentary like the ACCS, which really got me thinking about the "Complete Collection" in the first place; it would take a team and extreme funding to go through so many docs and separate scripture mention, from scripture explanation. A sermon commentary is way more feasible because most of the Puritans sermons are on a given text; and it is basically a job of organization and compilation. Which present technology makes it feasible for a single person. Plus it serves a bi-fold purpose; that is as a commentary and as a collection of sermons. The 5 vol. "Puritan Sermons," is about 250 sermons, this collection will be about half the size of Spurgeons Metropolitan with around 1,600. With the possibility of corporate participation, maybe in the future; or even, improving my typing skills having access to EEBO via RSA, expanding the collection/commentary by general research as time progresses is a possibility. It is a lot easier to type a 5-10 page sermon, then a 100-1,000 page book at a time.

Also, one of the problems with using Logos to pinpoint scripture specific sermons; is many of the scriptures the sermons are based on are not in the title, and, within the sermon, it is a mixed bag of Roman numerals and regular numbers. It is just easier to use Zotero to look for "sermon" in the title, then go into each sermon and organize by book, chapter, verse. Then go back and compile.
 
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CHSalzgeber

Puritan Board Freshman
I do. And we can do that in Puritan Search as well. The problem I am finding with that method over the entirety of Puritan works, is searching scripture within the entire corpus often results in not a specific commentary on a specific scripture, but a comment made by a Puritan where several scriptures are used for illustration. Right now, though I would love to do a Puritan Commentary like the ACCS, which really got me thinking about the "Complete Collection" in the first place; it would take a team and extreme funding to go through so many docs and separate scripture mention, from scripture explanation. A sermon commentary is way more feasible because most of the Puritans sermons are on a given text; and it is basically a job of organization and compilation. Which present technology makes it feasible for a single person. Plus it serves a bi-fold purpose; that is as a commentary and as a collection of sermons. The 5 vol. "Puritan Sermons," is about 250 sermons, this collection will be about half the size of Spurgeons Metropolitan with around 1,600. With the possibility of corporate participation, maybe in the future; or even, improving my typing skills having access to EEBO via RSA, expanding the collection/commentary by general research as time progresses is a possibility. It is a lot easier to type a 5-10 page sermon, then a 100-1,000 page book at a time.

Also, one of the problems with using Logos to pinpoint scripture specific sermons; is many of the scriptures the sermons are based on are not in the title, and, within the sermon, it is a mixed bag of Roman numerals and regular numbers. It is just easier to use Zotero to look for "sermon" in the title, then go into each sermon and organize by book, chapter, verse. Then go back and compile.
I wonder if shared notebooks in Logos might be another way to incorporate contributions from other folks. I found out about shared notebooks using FaithLife groups for a daily devotional. Folks could contribute their citations and notes to the group notebook, which can then be accessed via Logos. This could be an option for folks on PB to swarm and contribute to something like this on an ongoing basis.
 

davejonescue

Puritan Board Freshman
I wonder if shared notebooks in Logos might be another way to incorporate contributions from other folks. I found out about shared notebooks using FaithLife groups for a daily devotional. Folks could contribute their citations and notes to the group notebook, which can then be accessed via Logos. This could be an option for folks on PB to swarm and contribute to something like this on an ongoing basis.
The hard thing is not necessarily going to be finding people who are willing to type, but people willing to spend $30-$60 a year for EEBO access. One of the strict rules of EEBO is no sharing of files. So it is impossible for me to share a file to be transcribed. I can share a link to the file in EEBO, but people would have to have their own access; whether institutional or RSA, and download it themselves, then transcribe and upload. That is something to really think about in the future though. As of right now, the commentary is filling up nicely. While it will not come close to verse by verse, my hope is at least the most popular verses in each chapter will be covered. I am avoiding "sermon series" where a Puritan will do anything over 2 or 3 sermons on a single verse; as some can do upwards of 10, 20, or even more on a single text. Some have written entire commentaries on certain books comprised of sermons; and of right now I am trying to avoid that, that is, having a single author cover an entire book. This is a work in progress. I just need to slowly organize first, see where I am at, then try to pinpoint sermons I may have missed on EEBO an go from there. Again, the good thing about having a project where you are transcribing sermons, instead of books, is sermons take a lot less work.

If this is really something I am passionate about, and I find a considerable amount of sermons that need to be transcribed. I might take a year break or so and invest some time using "Plover" which is an open-source stenograph academy; that can teach a person to to get to about 200WPM in 6 months to a year. If that be the case, I may actually get to a point of being able to transcribe a sermon in a couple hours, as opposed to a couple of days. But again, I would have to be passionate about it, and have a good accumulation of sermons that would make the effort worth it.
 
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CHSalzgeber

Puritan Board Freshman
The hard thing is not necessarily going to be finding people who are willing to type, but people willing to spend $30-$60 a year for EEBO access. One of the strict rules of EEBO is no sharing of files. So it is impossible for me to share a file to be transcribed. I can share a link to the file in EEBO, but people would have to have their own access; whether institutional or RSA, and download it themselves, then transcribe and upload. That is something to really think about in the future though. As of right now, the commentary is filling up nicely. While it will not come close to verse by verse, my hope is at least the most popular verses in each chapter will be covered. I am avoiding "sermon series" where a Puritan will do anything over 2 or 3 sermons on a single verse; as some can do upwards of 10, 20, or even more on a single text. Some have written entire commentaries on certain books comprised of sermons; and of right now I am trying to avoid that, that is, having a single author cover an entire book. This is a work in progress. I just need to slowly organize first, see where I am at, then try to pinpoint sermons I may have missed on EEBO an go from there. Again, the good thing about having a project where you are transcribing sermons, instead of books, is sermons take a lot less work.

If this is really something I am passionate about, and I find a considerable amount of sermons that need to be transcribed. I might take a year break or so and invest some time using "Plover" which is an open-source stenograph academy; that can teach a person to to get to about 200WPM in 6 months to a year. If that be the case, I may actually get to a point of being able to transcribe a sermon in a couple hours, as opposed to a couple of days. But again, I would have to be passionate about it, and have a good accumulation of sermons that would make the effort worth it.
Hmm...

I, tentatively, may be able to help you in this area. With my trusty Topre, on a desk, I average about 176 WPM at my best moments. But that's either typing stream of consciousness, or typing out easily readable text. There may be task switch costs that could slow that down considerably. I can't say for sure, as I've never used EEBO. But I also have some experience stitching together software-based solutions, albeit I'm more Ops than Dev. We can chat more if you want, but I think we might be able to leverage Tesseract OCR or something similar ('AI') to help do some of the heavy lifting. I'm not opposed to throwing some money in if it means it can enable me or someone else to be helpful, either.

Exciting to see you take on this work, though. I'm confident it will be a fantastic contribution.
 
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davejonescue

Puritan Board Freshman
Hmm...

I, tentatively, may be able to help you in this area. With my trusty Topre, on a desk, I average about 176 WPM at my best moments. But that's either typing stream of consciousness, or typing out easily readable text. There may be task switch costs that could slow that down considerably. I can't say for sure, as I've never used EEBO. But I also have some experience stitching together software-based solutions, albeit I'm more Ops than Dev. We can chat more if you want, but I think we might be able to leverage Tesseract OCR or something similar ('AI') to help do some of the heavy lifting. I'm not opposed to throwing some money in if it means it can enable me or someone else to be helpful, either.

Exciting to see you take on this work, though. I'm confident it will be a fantastic contribution.
Thank you so much for your generosity. As far as OCR EEBO texts, it still sits pretty snug in the realm of almost impossible. Texas A&M has had a whole department dedicated to this effort for some time (https://emop.tamu.edu/,) to really no avail, and even the TCP (Text Creation Partnership) decided it was a better allocation of funds to hand transcribe rather than try to OCR. There is kind of a trifecta of issues dealing with EEBO texts. 1. The quality of the microfilms, 2. The fonts of the time period, 3. the intermingling of different fonts within the same text. I will get this together and see where it is at after it is finished; then try and search EEBO for Puritan sermons that may fill some gaps in the work as a whole.
 

CHSalzgeber

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you so much for your generosity. As far as OCR EEBO texts, it still sits pretty snug in the realm of almost impossible. Texas A&M has had a whole department dedicated to this effort for some time (https://emop.tamu.edu/,) to really no avail, and even the TCP (Text Creation Partnership) decided it was a better allocation of funds to hand transcribe rather than try to OCR. There is kind of a trifecta of issues dealing with EEBO texts. 1. The quality of the microfilms, 2. The fonts of the time period, 3. the intermingling of different fonts within the same text. I will get this together and see where it is at after it is finished; then try and search EEBO for Puritan sermons that may fill some gaps in the work as a whole.

That is quite interesting. I wonder if they could use an AI model and feed it sermons that have already been transcribed by hand, along with the original microfilm. This might be used to train the model, such that it may be able to transcribe other microfilms? Similar to training a model to solve CAPTCHA challenges, but for ye olde english instead of school buses and bicycles. Or perhaps they vary too much from one to another? I imagine such learned scholars have already considered such an option, but you never know...
 

davejonescue

Puritan Board Freshman
That is quite interesting. I wonder if they could use an AI model and feed it sermons that have already been transcribed by hand, along with the original microfilm. This might be used to train the model, such that it may be able to transcribe other microfilms? Similar to training a model to solve CAPTCHA challenges, but for ye olde english instead of school buses and bicycles. Or perhaps they vary too much from one to another? I imagine such learned scholars have already considered such an option, but you never know.
I wouldnt be surprised if they have, but I couldnt tell you for certain. I think the problem lies in that there are so many variances that doing it with so many texts becomes the issue.
 

Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Junior
The only issue I can see cropping up is that puritan sermons tend to have a lot of sermon upon very little text. For example, Fenner has a 400 page book on the seven epistles to the Churches in Revelation. And Owen has various volumes on just Hebrews. So if you were to try to cover the whole bible it would very quickly balloon in size into hundreds of volumes.
 

davejonescue

Puritan Board Freshman
The only issue I can see cropping up is that puritan sermons tend to have a lot of sermon upon very little text. For example, Fenner has a 400 page book on the seven epistles to the Churches in Revelation. And Owen has various volumes on just Hebrews. So if you were to try to cover the whole bible it would very quickly balloon in size into hundreds of volumes.
We will be avoiding those, lol. And, there are quite a few like that. Owens Hebrews, and Caryls Job are just a couple. But concerning Fenner (William) as you will see below, while he may have a 400 page book on Revelation, again, I am not going to use 20-30 or more sermons on a single text within the commentary; and there are quite a few of them; he does have a work entitled "29 Sermons on Several Texts of Scripture." I will be using that, and you can see it covers a wide array of scripture. This work will be voluminous, no doubt, but it is one of the only ways I can see to get a Puritan Commentary. And having all the sermons already in Zotero, and after the hard work of Project Puritas to correct so much of them, it is mainly just a shuffle job as of now putting them in order.

fenner sermons.jpg
 

davejonescue

Puritan Board Freshman
So far have:

273 OT
323 NT

Almost 600 down out of 1600 potential. I am very happy too because there is very little overlap. I can only think of 10, 15 at most thus far of verses with duplicates.

Psalms in the OT has the most with 75, and Matt. in the New with 40 (but with Luke-31, John-24, and Acts-31 respectively.)
 

davejonescue

Puritan Board Freshman
There are some stuff in NT sermons that are OT in content. E.g Charnock's masterful sermon on Christ as the Passover
Oh, I wish I had the time to thoroughly go over each sermon and inspect their content. But one of the awesome things about Puritan & Non-Conformists sermons, is almost all of them have a specific text that they are following; whether that is a general sermon, a wedding sermon, a commencement sermon, or a funeral sermon, etc. And these are labeled clearly at the top of the text. This is what I am using to categorize the sermons. Now not all have this, but 99% do (so far) and I am just rejecting those that dont. Also, as of now, I am not going anything over 2 or 3 sermons on a single text by the same author; and am not using entire expositions on a single text that can span anywhere from 10 sermons to 50 and even 100. Also I am not using sermon series from single authors through whole books. I would like variety, and want to see how it fills up first going person by person, sermon by sermon. So far, it is going really well.
 

davejonescue

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you for all of your work!
My pleasure. As of now I have 317 in the OT, and 420 in the NT categorized; and to my gleeful surprise (and thankfulness) there is yet to be significant overlap. With 700 down, I have about 900 to go. So I am excited to see how it turns out. It will also be organic too; meaning that it can always be updated to add more sermons from areas that may have gaps by Puritans as we find them.
 
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