[sword-devel] Freeing up modern bible text

fred smith sword-devel@crosswire.org
Sat, 3 Feb 2001 17:52:54 -0500

On Sat, Feb 03, 2001 at 09:16:05AM +1000, Paul Gear wrote:
> I think we need to distinguish between Zondervan, the _distributors_ of
> the NIV, and the International Bible Society and the men of God who
> translated it.  Sure, Zondervan's licensing arrangements are
> restrictive, and yes, everyone knows they are in it for profit, not
> service, but that doesn't taint the version itself.  I mean, calling it
> the biblical equivalent of McDonalds (McBible? ;-) is a but much, isn't
> it?
> However, i do agree with your conclusions.  We simply should cut our
> losses and try to get our hands on the best free content we can.


On the subject (from which the discussion has drifted rather far) of
finding a way to obtain permission to distribute commercial Bible texts
with and/or for Sword (and its derivatives):

Yesterday and today (Friday and Saturday Feb 2 and 3 2001) I attended
Congress 2001 in Boston (*see footnote below if you don't know what this
is*). One of the presentations I took in was a discussion of Bible 
translation (some history, some discussion of language/meaning problems
with examples from several texts) and how to determine that your new
version portrays as accurately as possible what God was trying to say.

The presenter was the president of Tyndale House, son of the originator
of The Living Bible. Tyndale now has a major revision of TLB which
they've named NLT, New Living Translation.

At the beginning he asked people to name all the English versions of the
Bible they could think of, so I threw out the World English Bible (which
can be found as a Sword module) and he said he was not familar with that one.

So, that gave me an excuse to go speak with him after his presentation, to
tell him about crosswire.org, suggest he might find it interesting to go
take a look, given that they have a lot of versions of the Bible there
(though most are somewhat old since most modern ones are encumbered).

As part of this I tried to describe Sword's purpose and the need for
publishers (Sword's need, the end user's need, not the publisher's need)
to work with Sword to find a way that Sword users can have access to their
modern Bible texts. I tried to acknowledge that: 1) They've spent a lot
of time and money creating it and have a right to be repaid, and they
like to be able to feed their kids too, and 2) they may feel a "parental"
attitude toward "their" translation and wish to protect it from usurpers
and those who may corrupt and redistribute it. But given those
considerations, I politely urged him to check out what Crosswire/Sword
is doing and to consider if there may be some way to make NLT (or their
other materials) avaiable in such a way that Sword users can access

I don't have any strong hope that this will result in any near-term 
availability (or maybe not even long-term) but I couldn't resist the
opportunity to try to put in a gentle word for the free software 


Congres 2001:
Congress is a large convention put on in Boston every year at a weekend
in early Feb or late Jan, by an organization named "Vision New England",
formerly known as "The Evangleical Association of New England". There is
lots of music/praise/worship, there are workshops and seminars by 
many Christian people/organizations with knowledge/info/etc. to share.
There is as always, a large exhibition hall with many vendors or other
distributors. I always meet people there who I never see anywhere else,
for example my friend Doug with whom I used to work 20 years ago but with
whom we somehow never seem to connect at Congress. Any of you who live
anywhere near New England, contact Vision New England and arrange to attend
next year (last weekend in Jan in 2002), you'll find it worth the effort!
---- Fred Smith -- fredex@fcshome.stoneham.ma.us ----------------------------
    "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of
     heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
------------------------------ Matthew 7:21 (niv) -----------------------------