[sword-devel] Versification/Encoding Issues

Peter von Kaehne refdoc at gmx.net
Wed Jan 7 15:21:59 MST 2009

Mike Hart wrote:
> I'm working on several bibles to get them into Sword Format
> (ultimately into public domain, or as close to  PD as possible), and
> I've got a few unresolved issues.
> Can someone point me to the how-to that covers these topics?

Please have a look at our wiki, which now is finally again up and
running. We have extensive documentation on module making there.

> Issue number 1 - Versification standards
> One Bible I'm working on is The Jewish School & Family Bible, Abraham
> Benisch, ~1852
> http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3ABenisch%2C%20A
> This bible has Jewish versification. For example Hosea Chapter 1 has
> only 9 verses. JSFB Hos 2:1,2 are similar in content to the KJV Hos
> 1:10-11 . What to do about that?  Change the versification? How do I
> make this sword compatible?

Work is currently being done to enable diverging versification schemes.
The idea is that a Bible will be encoded along its own scheme and not be
pressed into KJV format.

So my suggestion is that you encode the book in the way it was intended
and hope that the work in the library and frontends etc will be done by
the time you are ready to publish.

> Issue number 2 - Book Order
> For the text mentioned above, when I'm working on bibles with book
> order that doesn't match the KJV, Can I leave the order as they are
> in order to encode into VPL? into OSIS? That is, will sword front
> ends pick up a nonstandard order and reorder it for parallel display,
> or is it up to me?

See above

> Issue number 3 - Missing Verses
> If I get to a verse That simply isn't present in the translation I'm
> working on, do I need to leave an empty verse row in VPL? in OSIS?

See above

> Issue number 4 - Spelling mistakes in the text
> In a circa 1950 U.S. English Bible (*), I came accross spelling that
> is just wrong for English : "spirts blood" instead of "spurts blood"
> in the original text and in the OCR copy, is correcting such a
> spelling mistake encouraged or discouraged? In this case, the
> spelling "S P I R T"  is used 3 times: twice in Lev 6:27 and in Isa
> 63:3--in place of "sprinkle" in the KJV, so it appears intentionally
> spelled that way. However, I don't see any theological reason for it,
> just the translator's quirky spelling.  Is it OK to do minor spelling
> corrections like this when encoding?

The consensus is that any module should be a faithful representation of
the underlying printed text.

The word "spirt" appears unfamiliar but is listed in dictionaries and
presumably applicable in this situation.


As the word exists and means what must have been meant I would take this
as a useful learning experience that casual "correction" of texts is a
dangerous undertaking.

Yours in Him


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