If you haven't found BART, you're missing out


It was only last week that I found out who the real Bart was, and the last name wasn't Simpson.


The Bart I'm talking about is an acronym and it stands for Bible Analysis & Research Tool. Yes—go back and click on that link! That's the whole point of this post: to introduce you to this amazing resource. Basically, every book of the NT (except for Acts and 2Cor) is analyzed from a discourse analysis perspective, particularly as it relates to the information structure of the text. The resource is provided to you for free from SIL International, and here's what they have to say about it:

Most of the files on this page are pdf extracts from SIL International's Bible Analysis and Research Tool (BART). They display the Greek text of books of the New Testament, proposition by proposition, together with an interlinear gloss in English. In addition, significant discourse features have been marked in distinct ways to make it easier for translators with limited knowledge of Greek to recognise their presence in the source text.

And if you want to be able to interpret all the pretty markings, indents, and colors, you will need this key. Now, if I'm correct, I think the man behind this endeavor is Stephen Levinsohn: one who is dedicated to equipping translators with linguistic resources to more accurately reflect the Biblical languages in other languages.

Another invaluable resource on Levinsohn's homepage is his introduction to "Discourse for Translation" files, found here. I'll let you look for yourself to find all the gems on that page, but know that his "narrative" and "non-narrative" introductory manuals were composed rather recently, and that Levinsohn himself favors his treatment on constituent order in these files more so than in his Discourse Features of the Greek New Testament (personal communication).

With that said, I hope you can be helped as you try to appreciate the discourse features of the biblical languages—now that you finally know who the real BART is!