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Posted by ChuckMcKnight at Feb 12, 2010 9:15:50 PM
cross-comparing parallel Bible tool idea
Whenever I do an in-depth study of any portion of the Bible, I like to compare multiple different versions. The best way to do this is through a parallel bible tool. The problem is, none of them that I've found seem to do it very well.

Xiphos comes pretty close, in that it has the verses stacked right on top of each other, so you can pretty much look between the verses and see the differences, but it could be so much better.

On the other hand, BibleDesktop has a pretty neat comparison feature that actually marks the differences, but it can only do two versions in one comparison, and it's not the most easily readable solution.

So, I brainstormed for a while, and I believe I have found a way of displaying the verses that makes it really easy for cross-comparisons.

You can view my sample mock-up here .

It would work by analyzing the different versions word-by-word, finding which words match, and lining all the words up truly parallel to each other. Then it changes the color of words that differ to make them stand out better. The words used by the majority of the selected versions would simply remain black.

It should be able to do other little things like pointing out capitalization or punctuation differences as well.

Preferably, the versions should be selectable and arrangeable by the user, as opposed to most other parallel tools that simply grab all the installed modules and order them alphabetically. Also, the colors should be user-selectable.

This is my concept. The problem is, while I am a computer guy, I'm not really much of a programmer. I can do some very basic stuff, but a project like this would be quite a bit beyond me.

So, if there's any interest, I would have to ask for some developers here to work on it.

This could be done either as a stand-alone program (preferred) or as an add-on to one of the other Sword-based programs.

BTW, the fact that the mock-up is html does not mean I think it should be a browser-based program. That was just the easiest way for me to demonstrate it.

Anywho, that's the idea. I think it would be an awesome tool if anyone would be interested in developing it. Feel free to ask any questions you might have.

Thanks for any help you might be able to offer!