My name is Steven Tammen and I am an undergraduate student at the University of Georgia. I am triple majoring in Computer Science, Classical Culture, and Ancient Greek, although I will have also taken six semesters of Hebrew by the time I graduate. (There is no degree program or minor for Hebrew at UGA).
More specific information about me can be found in my CV.
At this point, I am starting to read through the New Testament in Greek, and getting close to being able to read the Old Testament in Hebrew. I have also studied topics in ancient history, Biblically relevant cultures (Greece, Rome, and various cultures of the ancient near east), church history, systematic theology, hermeneutics, and translation methodology in preparation for teaching. One never really completes preparation for teaching (it is a life-long thing), but I feel that I am now qualified enough to start producing materials on my own.
I am happy to discuss my qualifications for teaching in greater detail upon request (email: [email protected]). In the near future, I will have a link here explaining why I have chosen to have a secular day job in computer science, what my path up until now has looked like, and so forth.
This site exists to glorify God by providing materials to aid in spiritual growth and progress.
Statement of Faith
This website is dedicated to truth as God has seen fit to reveal it to us in the Bible. I am happy to answer specific questions about my beliefs, but hope that these materials speak for themselves.
Choice of URL
“Chrya” is not a reference to anything in particular. I did not want to tie myself down to some specific verse or concept, since this ministry strives to teach the whole Bible. I also did not want to use a name dealing with symbology, historical acronyms (e.g., AMDG), or other such things, because doing so without careful qualification would run the risk of certain individuals getting the wrong idea about this ministry. While this careful qualification would not be difficult for me to write (e.g., if I used AMDG.com, I could easily explain that the site supported the sentiment of doing everything unto the Lord, but not the Jesuits), it would have to be repeated any time someone shared the site to avoid misunderstandings. Connotative baggage is unavoidable for these sorts of things.
In short, I chose the name Chrya to use it as a shorthand way of referring to this ministry without calling to mind any other associations whatsoever; as a “blank slate” name, it can be thrown about loosely without worrying that somebody will disregard the site out of hand because of the name’s connections to something.
In terms of specifics:
- Chrya is a 5 letter domain, which makes it fast to say/write/type and easy to remember. Available 5 letter domains are becoming exceedingly rare.
- Chrya.com is mnemonic by virtue of alliteration
- Chrya is a .com domain for several reasons:
- It is the type of domain that non-tech-savvy people are most familiar with, and the type of domain that is most instantly recognizable to us all.
- .com domains are less likely to be screened for religious content than .org domains. (Some restrictive governments and organizations attempt to block religious content).
- Using a .com domain ensures stability (unlike TLD’s associated with particular geographic regions like .io), and hedges against ICANN politics.
Publishing In-Progress Pages
I believe in publishing in-progress pages for two reasons: 1) waiting until pages are “finished” before publishing means that they aren’t useful to anyone else until the very end of the research and writing process, and 2) I am far from a perfect writer (and my knowledge in many areas is less than complete), so giving other people opportunities to critique my writing from the very beginning of the process will help improve the content more than waiting until some arbitrary point of “good enough for others to see.” To use an anology, open source code projects don’t wait until their code is “good enough” to push to GitHub, they start open source from the get go, and are better for it. Obviously prose is not code, but the same general logic applies:
- Multiple people working on the same thing will yield better results than a single individual
- This is true at all stages of the creative process, not just for edits of an already-finished work
- Therefore, enabling multiple people to contribute at all stages of the process will yield optimal quality
As the progression above shows, I believe that open source projects will generally be of higher quality than non-open source projects. Software has been part of the open source movement for a while now, and hardware is beginning to get there, but, to my knowledge, there has not been much of a push to opensource websites themselves. I find this somewhat puzzling, since open source projects offer so many advantages and so few disadvantages. I have designed this website to be entirely open source, and the content is licensed under an open source license (see below). Contribution guidelines may be found in the “Contribution Guidelines” section of the Readme in the site’s Github repository.
I view this site as a perpetual “work in progress” rather than a collection of static documents in an immutable framework. This constant refinement over time is, in my opinion, essential to long-term quality. Changes to individual pages can be tracked by viewing the commit history of their markdown source in the site’s GitHub repository. I may clean out the commit history every once in a while if it gets too cluttered, but, for any given page, you’ll generally be able to get a pretty good idea of what’s happened in the last few commits.
The contents of this site are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Unlike the materials from my non-religious site, the materials from this site may not be used commercially. This is because this is a ministry of grace – I have chosen to make these materials available free of charge for the edification of the Church of Jesus Christ, and wish for them to always be used in such a way that nobody has to pay for them.
I have not restricted derivative works because it is my hope that other teachers might find these materials helpful in accelerating their own production. I would simply ask that in all areas where meaning is substantially altered, it is made clear, so that nobody gets a false impression of what this site teaches.
You may find information on best practices for the attribution of Creative Commons works here.