A Vatican Bible Arthur Dent Update

Mr Prosser: But, Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months.
Arthur: Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn’t exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them had you? I mean like actually telling anybody or anything.
Mr Prosser: But the plans were on display…
Arthur: On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.
Mr Prosser: That’s the display department.
Arthur: With a torch.
Mr Prosser: The lights had probably gone out.
Arthur: So had the stairs.
Mr Prosser: But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?
Arthur: Yes yes I did. It was on display at the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying beware of the leopard.

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Something odd happened on Tuesday.

I accidentally hit one of my bookmarks to the Vatican Bible that was not working a few days ago and to my surprise the page came up.

Given the disappearance of scripture from the site this caught me completely by surprise.

My first thought was that it was an old cache page so I tried it on my other computer and sure enough the same Psalm page came up.

This threw me off so I wondered if the Vatican decided pulling the bible was a bad idea after all so I headed back to the main vatican page, followed the reference link to scripture but I still got this page:

That was even stranger At this point I went back to the page on the 2nd computer and decided to try to get to the front page of the bible from the Psalm page that worked and this came up:

then I tested the links on the page, they all worked.

Now feeling really confused I went back to the wayback machine and checked to see if their capture had caught scripture as back up but the latest capture still showed this:

Finally I had a thought, instead of accessing the bible through the reference link as normal try a search for the term “Bible” in the search box on the main page.  So that’s what I did, and here is the page that came up

Here’s the weird thing, if you click on the first result, you get the bible front page as if it was never gone.  If you click the 2nd result you get the “local episcopal” page from the reference link.

So the question on the floor is this:  What on earth is going on?  If you are still referring people to the local sites and not providing a link to the Bible, why put sacred scripture back up if you’re going to make it tough to find?

Two logical answers come to mind

A charitable suggestion would be that people realized that even though they wanted people to go to local sites for scripture, every single document on the Vatican site since it went up that had existing links to the former online scripture became dead once it was pulled.  Fixing all those links would be an expensive, time consuming and frankly herculean task. So given the choice between fixing those links or putting scripture back up without a direct link to it they choose the latter.  If I had been their tech advisor that’s certainly the advice I’d have given to fix the problem.

much less charitable explanation would be that the Vatican didn’t like the blowback from pulling the Bible but didn’t want to link to it, so they put it back up without a direct link to allow a spokesman to say “Of COURSE sacred scripture is available at our site, we just prefer you to use our local sites translation.” or in other words: “Beware of the Leopard!”

Of course it’s also possible that these explanations aren’t mutually exclusive.

Either way I’m happy as it means I don’t have to make changes to the links of my ebook or my regular book, however if you bought  copy thinking was now a collector’s item, you’re out of luck.

And for the sake of the readers I’ll put the link back to the vatican Bible both here and on the blog sans wayback machine so if you want to get to the Bible on the Vatican you can without worrying about fast felines.

Cue Arthur Dent:

The Vatican Took down the Bible from their web site!

President Merkin Muffley: Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

I was in the process of writing a blog post about parenthood on the occasion of my oldest son’s birthday and I wanted to finish by quoting St. Paul in scripture so I hit my bookmarks to the psalms as the quickest way to access the bible on the vatican and got this message

My first thought was they finally fixed The Psalm section which was a pain in the neck so I went to my base link on the blog, clicked on the Bible which goes to the index page and got the same thing.

I figured the vatican site might be down but when I clicked on it, it came up normally so I looked for the link to the bible and didn’t see it where it had been before. Looking at the main page I found a reference link which had a page with a link to the Catechism of the Catholic Church , Canon law and some new links I hadn’t seen before including COMPENDIUM OF THE SOCIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH written by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. But at the top of the list was The Bible. So I clicked on the link figured I’d have to update my bookmarks and saw this….

Here is the text if you can’t read the screen shot:

“The Holy Bible is available in almost every language on earth: the Episcopal Conferences take care of the continuous updating of the translations. In order to have access to the latest Bible version, kindly consult the website of your Episcopal Conference. ”

Seriously you’re the vatican and you TOOK THE &(#$(@(% BIBLE OFF YOUR WEB SITE! You actually think it’s more important to carry a 13-year-old document by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace available for visitors than the Bible?

What on earth is going on in Rome?

Closing thought. There is only one thing more frightening to me han the thought that the Bible was removed from the Vatican’s web site without Pope Francis knowledge and approval. The idea that it was.

UPDATE: I decided to see how easy it is to find the bible on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops Website. Fortunately there is a front page link that looks like this:

The first two choices take you the readings from Today’s mass in either English or Spanish, the third choice Books of the bible brings you to both a list and a link to each chapter of each book of the bible (and in terms of Psalms is far superior to the old vatican version which had no link to individual Psalms just to the book that started you on #1 which was a real pain in the neck).

Let’s hope all the other conferences worldwide are just as diligent.

I still think pulling the Bible from the Vatican web site is a horrible idea both in terms of practice and in terms of optics.

Update 2: I guess the 1st printing of my book is now a collector’s item as it contains these words in the introduction that will have to be revised:

As might be expected I will be quoting scripture extensively throughout. All scripture used comes directly from the Vatican Web Site (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/_INDEX.HTM) unless otherwise noted, so that if you have access to the internet, you can confirm the quotes you see.

If you are reading an electronic version of the book you will find some hyperlinks embedded to both scripture and some other items.

I guess I’ll have to fix those paragraphs and redirect the links in the electronic version when I get a chance.  I guess you’d better buy the book now while you can.

Update 3:  Can’t help but thinking of Dr. Strangelove

Gentlemen you can’t read the Bible here, this is the Vatican!

Update 4: Added the text of the screen shot

Update 5: Subscriber Richard Shuford reminds me that the internet and more specifically the Wayback Machine is forever and while the July 5th capture showed the bible gone the June 6 2017 capture still has the main page but I’m linking the Jan 31st 2017 version which has all the pages there available and readable.

Perhaps I should provide a permanent link but the real story is this.

For at least 11 days the Bible has been gone from the vatican web site. This is a newsworthy story and yet I’ve seen no reporting on this other than mine. That means not a single member of the press in the world has attempted to access the bible online there in that time.

I’d like to say that’s a surprise, but that would be a lie.

Update 7: Scripture is back at the Vatican site but Beware of the Leopard!

The #Unexpectedly Chronicles Cause and Effect Seattle Edition

You might have missed these two stories in all the Trump Tweet stuff but you might want to remind yourself what we’re fighting against before you jump off the wagon.

Cause:

Seattle’s minimum-wage law is boosting wages for a range of low-paid workers, but the law is causing those workers as a group to lose hours, and it’s also costing jobs, according to the latest study on the measure passed by the City Council in 2014.

The report, by members of the University of Washington team studying the law’s impacts for the city of Seattle, is being published Monday as a working paper by a nonprofit think tank, the National Bureau of Economic Research.

That law raises Seattle’s minimum wage gradually until it reaches $15 for all by 2021.

Well in the face of that bad news Seattle decided that there could be only one effect

When a University of Washington study came out this week showing Seattle’s minimum wage has cost 5,000 jobs and is hurting low income workers, city leaders attacked the messenger –- a team of respected economists at Washington’s premiere public university.

The researchers, led by Jacob Vigdor, were hired by the city in 2014 to study the effects of Seattle’s $15 wage experiment. The contract called for five years of research. City officials stopped funding the UW team when they didn’t like the results.

“The moment we saw it was based on flawed methodology and was going to be unreliable, the Vigdor study no longer speaks for City Hall,” said Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant. 

So they’ve decided to fund a new study, meet the boss professor Michael Reich:

Reich is currently co-chair of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. Before earning his PhD in economics from Harvard, Reich was a founding member of the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE), a group seeking a “human-centered radical alternative to capitalism,” according to its website.

Reich has authored several studies on the effects of raising the minimum wage. They all concluded that increasing the minimum wage only helps low-skilled workers.

And I’m sure that Professor Reich will dutifully produces numbers that the leftists in Seattle will find acceptable but will not actually change the reality on the ground…

…unexpectedly.