[sword-devel] Alternate Versification question

Chris Little chrislit at crosswire.org
Mon Aug 13 10:48:38 MST 2012

Because we don't do dynamic loading of versification systems, whenever 
we add a versification system to Sword, it takes up space in memory just 
to hold the versification tables. Accordingly, we try to be as 
conservative as possible in adding new versification systems. And once 
we have released a Bible using a versification system, we can never 
change or remove that versification system from the library. So we have 
to be extremely careful that the versification systems we include in the 
library are correct.

We have two types of versification systems that we will add to Sword. 
The first type is for particularly important individual texts, generally 
specific manuscripts or editions. The Leningrad and Luther 
versifications are in this category. Leningrad is used for exactly one 
manuscript, though it appears in 2-3 modules, but it's of such 
significance that we added the versification system to Sword. Luther, 
similarly, is employed specifically by a set of translations by a single 

The other type attempts to formalize a versification system 
representative of numerous Bibles within a tradition. Examples of this 
include the KJV(A), NRSV(A), Synodal, Catholic, & Catholic2. KJV(A) & 
NRSV(A) happen to exactly match particular translations, but those 
versification systems are in wide use beyond those translations. Synodal 
and the two Catholics began with the versification systems of exemplar 
translations and were then expanded to incorporate additional verses 
from translations within the same tradition so that the system within 
Sword could achieve maximal coverage of the verses within Bibles we 
might encode.

Versification systems for particular manuscripts or editions are 
relatively easy to define and incorporate in Sword, provided the edition 
they represent is sufficiently significant to merit such treatment. The 
next versification system that we'll add to Sword will be of this type, 
and that's Rahlfs, representing Rahlfs' LXX. To construct it, I'll 
derive the versification system based on a couple of independent 
encodings of Rahlfs', compare them, and break any ties using the printed 
text of the DBG.

Creating a versification system for Sword based on a broader tradition 
requires identifying a distinct tradition, collecting many different 
translations within that tradition, comparing them, and deriving the 
maximal verse set that covers all of them. The first two parts require 
quite a lot of work.

Your LXXE versification system is not a candidate for inclusion in Sword 
because it neither represents a broad versification tradition nor a 
particular edition of sufficient significance. Without even looking at 
the file, I can know that it does not represent Brenton's LXX because 
the versification of Brenton's LXX is not supportable by Sword. Multiple 
verses of the same number within a chapter and verses that do not 
strictly increase cannot be represented by a SWText module, as currently 
implemented. Brenton includes both of these and so its native 
versification cannot be supported by Sword.

In short order, the Rahlfs versification system should be available in 
Sword SVN. That may suffice for your encoding needs in the near term. 
Subsequently, it may be possible to define a more general LXX 
versification system that excludes the Rahlfs'-specific books like the 
variants of Joshua & Judges, the Theodotian variant books, Odes, and 
PsSol and that adds verses absent from Rahlfs' in order to maximize 
verse coverage in similar editions. I'll certainly consult your 
versification system submission while working on that. Going forward, 
that might be a better candidate for the versification system employed 
by a Brenton module.

On 08/12/2012 11:37 PM, Andrew Thule wrote:
> Thanks Chris.
> Here's an English Septuagint versification system, based upon the text
> I got from Michael  and compared to a number of printed version.  The
> Chapter order doesn't quite follow the KJV or NSRV convention, but it
> does follow the Septuagints order.
> I appreciate it if you could add this so we can get an English
> Septuagint module out.  I worked on this weekend quickly because I've
> seen you reference you're working through another one, and I wanted to
> get it in on your timeline.
> One question - I stuck with the names listed in the abbrevs.h and I
> understand that the short forms as markers.  So for example the
> Septuagint calls the Prayer of Azariah the Song of the Three Children
> (in Greek) and Breton translate it as such - yet the marker will be
> PrAzar.  I have no issue with that, but how do I now influence the
> appearance of the book names (however the program deals with them).
> I see this can be done in locales, but is that the right place for it?
>   I'd like to keep the Greek influenced names - since the original
> language was Greek.  I.e.
> Esias for Isaiah
> Jermias for Jeremiah
> Osee for Hosea
> Aggaeus for Haggai
> Etc.

There is no way for module authors to influence how titles appear in 
front ends, as far as verse pickers, searching, etc. are concerned. You 
can always add a <title> element before the first chapter of the book. 
Then the front end should print the title above chapter 1.


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