[sword-devel] Mark 16

Chris Little chrislit at crosswire.org
Wed May 2 20:09:40 MST 2012

On 5/2/2012 5:38 PM, Peter von Kaehne wrote:
> Every day I learn a new thing...
> Today it was the alternative short ending of Mark 16.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_16
> Quite apart from the sometimes drawn into doubt verses 9-20, there exist
> also a set of alternative verses 9 and 10.
> And now I have found a Bible translation with verses 9-20 and then the
> alternative 9 and 10 added after that. I am not at all sure how to
> encode these. If I simply leave them 9 and 10 they will be added to the
> prior lot of 9 and 10. Renaming into 21/22?
> Peter

The NRSVA, which is supposed to define OSIS's default reference system, 
is among those translations that include both endings. They don't number 
the verse(s) of the shorter ending at all, but a footnote suggests that 
the shorter ending isn't really intended as a part of verse 16:8. (And 
then the longer ending is enumerated with verse numbers 9-20.)

To my knowledge, those Greek sources that include both endings include 
the shorter before the longer, so definitely do not put them in the 
reverse order by adding them as 21-22. (Your Wikipedia link notes the 
mss with this practice as L, Psi, etc. I can see two options, depending 
on the intended presentation of your text:

1) The alternatives approach: Encode the two versions as variants, if 
they are intended as variant readings. You can do something like:

<verse osisID="Mark.16.9">
<seg type="x-variant" subType="x-1">shorter ending verse 9</seg>
<seg type="x-variant" subType="x-2">longer ending verse 9</seg>

and so on, with verses 11-20 being something like:

<verse osisID="Mark.16.11">
<seg type="x-variant" subType="x-2">longer ending verse 9</seg>

with no variant 1 text. If the shorter ending is really numbered with 
verses 9-10 and it appears that the reader is only supposed to read one 
ending OR the other, this might be the correct approach.

2) The linear approach: Encode the shorter ending at the end of verse 
16:8, preferably with some sort of note indicating its questioned status 
or identity as the 'shorter ending'. Then encode the longer ending as 
verses 9-20, preferably with a similar note indicating it's the 'longer 

This is a considerably cleaner encoding and will generally result in 
better presentation to the user, without requiring them to switch 
variants for exactly and only this chapter of the text.


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