3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated

3:16 Bible Texts illuminated, a book written by well-known computer scientist Donald E. Knuth. Studies in reasonable detail the sixteenth verse of the third chapter of the books in the Bible. Beautifully illustrated (‘illuminated’) by calligraphers such as Hermann Zapf (who illustrated the John 3:16 verse above), Professor Knuth provides an overview of theological research, as well as his own thoughts, about each verse.

Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About (also available through Amazon) is his account of his study and research in order to write and create the ‘3:16’ book. The account is actually a transcript of his lectures to, it seems, a mostly agnostic or atheist computer science student audience. The book reminds me quite strongly of Medawar’s “Advice to a Young Scientist”, though covering different subject matter. ‘Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About’ is interesting, both as a description of his journey in faith and also how an academic mathematician can approach the study of the Bible (no, Knuth is not a numerologist).

Some of the tools Knuth used to study the Bible in depth, such as Strong’s Greek and Hebrew concordances (available in CrossWire) and the Pulpit Commentary (available on eSword/MySword), are now quite cheap, or free, and easy to use in this digital age.

David Fong
David Fong
Lead doctor, Kensington site, coHealth

My interests include sustainable development in low-resource populations, teaching and the uses of monitoring and evaluation in clinical practice.