[B-Greek] The Value of Tools

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Sun Oct 4 05:29:31 EDT 2009

>Thayer ($18.21) is an excellent NT Greek resource
 at an excellent price.  BDAG ($115.35) is by far the
 most over-rated and over-priced resource discussed on this list.>

Your comparison actually points out that Thayer is very
considerably underpriced.

This is a result of our copyright laws. Because
Thayer is out of copyright, you are basically paying for the paper
and printing. For BDAG you are interacting with the true current
economy. This is creating a skewed market in many humanities
fields. A person can enter 80-90% into learning most areas for 'free'.
And then a person pays a real, full price for the remaining 20%,
which makes the remaining 20% feel 'overpriced' to the person
enjoying many reprints and downloads.

I don't know what to suggest about this new kind of pricing hurdle
that is being created at the 80%-90% level of any field. Where new
material is massive-numerous enough to approach the price of
reprints, things are fairly smooth like with some American textbooks,
but for specialized work the price gap can make the specialized
material even more specialized and rare. This skewing factor will
only grow and strengthen as the internet grows, where the
percentage of 'new' material in any field will shrink, causing the
perceived dollar value of remaining material to be even more
incongruous. The biggest danger that I see here is that in another
fifteen years market values will not support the research and
development of many new products in the humanities and these
will be in the hands of the governments, foundations, and 'endowed
establishments (running off of interest from previous generations)',
in an even greater role.
(Humanities have always been at the discretion of the 'lords/gentry'.)
On the other hand, the wider access to the bulk of the material
will allow an explosion of what might be termed hobby/amateur
repacking of that 90% of material in the public domain.  I'm sure
that James (Ernest) and James (Spinti) have been discussing these
things in-house (separate 'houses') for some time.

So things will get better at the beginning end
and economically tighter at the creative end.
Will the middle be low priced as an extension of the 'beginning', or
will it be high priced because of the economics of the 'end'. Or will
a gulf separate the middle towards the two ends, or will it grow
and smooth out and connect the two ends? The Thayer example
might suggest the 'gulf' model, leaving me to wonder who will fund
the unfettered 1st century dictionary that we need?
a. Greek-Eng (all available vocab for Koine 1st c BCE-2c CE)
b. Eng-Greek (covering all available vocab for K 1cBCE-2cCE)
c. Greek-Greek (covering all available vocab for K 1cBCE-2cCE) ?
[and with technology, maybe with triple audio, m-FOSFOROS,
k-FOSFOROS, 're'-FawSFOROS (but no FOSFARAS, Zondervan
will change]]
We are looking to the 'endowed'.


Randall Buth, PhD
randallbuth at gmail.com
Biblical Language Center
Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life

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