Bob MacDonald was born in Montreal, Canada in 1945. He was educated at Bishop’s College School in Lennoxville and at McGill University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics in 1967. Bob spent his working life in data processing, working first for IBM, then at the BC Systems Corporation, and then self-employed as a teacher of systems across North America. In 1984, he helped re-establish Anthony Macauley Associates, a software firm which over the last 30 years has been recognized in Canada and around the world as a provider of Financial Management and Performance Measurement software.
Bob has been a liturgical singer and cantor for over 50 years. It is both as musician and as software expert that he has approached the Hebrew Psalter. In Seeing the Psalter, he used database techniques to reveal the inner workings of the recurring words in the Hebrew poetry. These patterns allow us to see into the construction of the poetry in a new way and to hear the ancient sounds of the poets in performance.
Bob began detailed work in 2006 immediately following the conference on the Epistle to the Hebrews at St Andrews, Scotland. After 4 years translating several books of the ancient writings (Psalms, Job, Lamentations, the Song, Qohelet, Ruth), using research materials from universities in Victoria and Ottawa, he spent an intense study period in 2010 first at the University of Oxford Psalms conference, thereafter at Cambridge as a reader in the University Library. His work was brought to its completion through a Community Sabbatical Fellowship at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria in 2011.
Bob is now reconstructing the ancient music of the Hebrew Bible as contained within the compact musical score in the Hebrew manuscripts of the te`amim, a set of hand signals. Combined with the voices in the poetry which he has learned in detail over the last 7 years, he hopes to be able to hear the poets and to ponder the theology in their songs in a whole new way through their music.