[sword-devel] Alternate Versification

Chris Little chrislit at crosswire.org
Sun May 3 14:46:36 MST 2009

In general, I'm planning for the addition of versification systems to 
progress slowly and conservatively. So I've recommended to Troy that we 
release 1.6.0 with the current set (KJV(A), NRSV(A) supersets, 
Leningrad, & MT).

The main reason for this is that a v11n definition must remain stable 
across releases or we will end up invalidating deployed content. Core 
versification systems have proven extremely difficult to identify and 
define. We could release an LXX v11n that matches Rahlfs' text, ignoring 
discontinuous chapters, sub-verses, chapters not beginning with verse 1, 
and all of the other ugliness. But that v11n definition wouldn't match 
the versification of translations of the LXX which we think of as using 
the LXX versification. The story is basically the same for the Vulgate, 
except that it's difficult to even identify which "Vulgate" represents 
the Vulgate v11n best since different editions have different v11ns.

In defining v11ns, I want a minimum of two independent sources who 
define the same v11n (or I want to be able to identify which of the two 
is erroneous and how). (The exception to this is the Leningrad v11n, 
which for obvious reasons is defined from a single authoritative 
document.) The NRSV & NRSVA were defined from 3 electronic sources and 
compared against the printed text. The KJVA was defined from 2 
electronic sources and compared against 2 printed sources and the NRSVA 
v11n definition.

Especially in a stable branch, we can't be defining and deploying 
untested data, so the addition of more v11ns is probably out of the 
question for 1.6.0. That's not to say that we couldn't release a 1.7.x 
or even a 1.6.1 with additional v11ns a couple weeks from now. Producing 
LXX-like, Vulgate-like, Original-like, and Russian Synodal v11n 
definitions are all priorities (in no particular order), just not for 
this release.

With respect to the Russian v11n present in MK, I don't think it will be 
a candidate for inclusion. I would assume that the chapter & verse 
counts for the OT & NT books that it includes are correct, but it omits 
all books outside of the 66-book Protestant canon and those books it 
includes are in the Protestant order, rather than that of the Russian 
Synodal Bible. When we release a complete Russian v11n, it will be 
trivial for the MK developer to re-import his data and have it be usable 
(with the additional benefit of the book order being what more advanced 
users expect). I have two fairly reliable sources for the Russian v11n 
system and can verify against the canon definition from MK, so we can 
probably expect this in the next unstable release.

Does that all sound reasonable?


David Haslam wrote:
> Bible translations for Central Asia generally follow the same versification
> scheme as the Russian Synodal Translation (RST), as is exemplified in the
> SWORD based Holy Bible program (MK) developed for the Institute of Bible
> Translation (IBT) for Russia/CIS. Moreover, most Slavic language
> translations (as used in Eastern Europe) follow the same versification
> scheme.
> I would like to make a strong plea that the first set of alternate
> versifications to be bundled should include this scheme.
> This would demonstrate our support for the work of IBT, and show that we are
> moving in the direction of co-operation and collaboration in the work of
> bringing the Gospel to the region of Central Asia and other countries that
> were once part of the former Soviet Union and its hegemony.
> MK already supports both RST and KJV versifications (seamlessly) but is not
> easily scalable to more than two schemes.
> For further information about MK, see
> http://www.ibt.org.ru/english/bible/info_bible_en.htm#bibleprogram
> http://www.ibt.org.ru/english/bible/info_bible_en.htm#bibleprogram 
> The MK source code is available on-line at the same site.  
> -- David

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