OCR Confession

They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”
But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”

  • Nehemiah 6:9

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

  • Mark 2:1-12

The Scriptures both talk about helping hands. Nehemiah needed his hands strengthened and friends helped the paralyzed man.

First, OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition.

Second, in confession of my stupidity, when I first started the three additional weekly posts – the philosophy discussion, the Bible Study, and the quizzes – I meticulously copied by reading and typing what I read.  As the work got harder and harder and my hours got longer, I yearned for an OCR software that would relieve me of some of that burden.

Then I suddenly realized that there were probably software applications that were truly free, and I downloaded one of them after reading a few reviews.

The software is set to recognize English texts.  That means that if the scanned image is a little off, it will try to recognize the blurry word as an English word.  It might get it wrong and sometimes it gets entire lines wrong, but editing something that is mostly correct is a lot easier than reading and typing.

But the odd thing is that while the OCR software tries to find the English word, it is horrible with two things: 1) words that are traditionally part of a Christian’s lexicon and 2) words beginning with a capital “J”.  Jesus, Joshua, and Joseph have a variety of suggestions instead of the three proper names.  Most of the time the “J” is replaced by a closing bracket.  Thus, if spell check suggests “Jesus” it becomes “]Jesus”.  You then must delete the closing bracket anyway.  This is not as hard as typing and proofreading.

But the these errors do give me a certain amount of paranoia.  Is the software company messing with me?  Is Satan carefully having the software misinterpret the key words of the message to frustrate me?

Just as God uses the most common of things to let us know that He is still in charge and He is with us, Satan can use the simplest of things to get our emotions derailed because it “really looks like a conspiracy.”

But I am posting this to 1) confess my stupidity in not going to OCR earlier (my printer also scans), 2) letting everyone know that the tremendous volume of quoted materials comes from the printed word rather than electronic, but I use OCR to save tons of time, and 3) If you are copying quotes by hand, OCR is a timesaver.

God lets us use tools.  Why not use them?  But be careful, OCR can get it wrong.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

2 Comments

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  1. Not just OCR, but also Office Word’s grammar-check is theologically weak. It often tries to change a passive voice to an active voice. Since God does all the work in our salvation, when salvation is described from our side, it must be described in the passive voice. But Word’s grammar suggestions, pushing for the active voice, often try to impose false theology on my sentences. J.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do not get the passive voice suggestions too much. I may have, long ago, edited the review criteria to remove the passive voice suggestions. The problem is that most of these suggestions are one or two within hundreds and it is hard to find them to turn them on or off.

      Liked by 1 person

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