[sword-devel] How about the OT's versification?

Chris Little chrislit at crosswire.org
Mon Apr 4 22:04:19 MST 2005

C. N. R. wrote:
> Dear SWORD users,
> In spite of Chris Little opinions, the SWORD program was conceived *to 
> make possible the comparative reading* of several Bibles versions and 
> the standard is the King James Version.

I don't know where you got that idea, but it is entirely wrong. It's 
really difficult to argue that the purpose behind Sword was comparative 
reading when you consider that parallel Bibles have only been supported 
since roughly the time when the 1.5.6 frontends came out. Furthermore, 
the KJV versification is ABSOLUTELY NOT the standard--international or 

Catholic and Orthodox traditions vary GREATLY from the KJV 
versification. ALL original language texts (Hebrew, Greek, Latin, & 
anything else you might consider original language) differ SIGNIFICANTLY 
from the KJV versification. NO modern commercial Bibles use the KJV 
versification, to my knowledge (NKJV might be an exception for obvious 
reasons, but I doubt that even). Even genetic descentants of the KJV 
like the NASB and NRSV use different versification standards. So 
"standardizing" on the KJV versification is utterly arbitrary and even 
if one WERE to set a specific versification as "standard" (which I think 
would be a profoundly bad idea) the KJV versification is demonstrably 
inferior to virtually any other versification in use.

 > How could the comparative /
> parallel reading be possible -- or the use of commentaries --, if we do 
> not adjust the versification of foreign Bibles to make it compatible 
> with that of the KJV ?  What I"ve done with the Romanian Orthodox Bible, 
> more exactly with the Book of Pslams, was already done with other 
> versions of the Bible, like the LXX (which is at this time present on 
> the SWORD site)...  How would handle Mr. Chris Little the Romanian Psalm
> no. 9, which in KJV is in fact two Psalms (no. 9 and 10) ?  He would 
> paste together the Psalm 10 with the "last valid verse" of the Psalm 9 
> ?  In fact this new rule, "we don't accept alterations of 
> versification", makes *IMPOSSIBLE the comparative reading*, which is the 
> main feature of The SWORD Project program !!!

I've addressed this previously. Apparently I need to repeat myself. We 
use the best source texts we can get. We will happily accept 
improvements to existing modules. We will not accept altered versions of 
texts, however--especially when the unaltered versions are readily 

You took publicly available copies of the Biblia Gdanska and modified 
the versification to be more like that of the KJV. Ask yourself: If the 
KJV is the international standard, WHY is this Bible posted in some 
other versification? The answer is clear: because its own versification 
is the versification with which its users are familiar. "Comparative 
reading" is a nice feature, but is secondary to a Bible actually being 
useful to its user community.

This kind of activity is why I do not like to accept any content 
converted by users. I would prefer that we simply be given links to 
source material so that someone from CrossWire can work on the modules 
themselves. I believe it is less likely that they will editorialize as 
they do markup & conversion.


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