[sword-devel] Deuterocanonical books / Apocrypha

Greg Hellings greg.hellings at gmail.com
Fri Jan 31 10:27:47 MST 2014

On Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 11:04 AM, Matěj Cepl <mcepl at redhat.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> As a reaction on complains of some Czech Catholics that And Bible
> doesn’t support reading of deuterocanonical books (and Czech Bible
> modules don’t contain them at all even for translations which have them,
> i.e. CzeCEP) I have started to look into it and found
> http://code.google.com/p/and-bible/wiki/AlternateVersification
> I am not sure whether the author of And Bible doesn’t mix together two
> things ... after all the current And Bible does support av11n, doesn’t
> it?

Don't let av11n - support for which is purely a technical feat - conflate
with the theological position of the AndBible author expressed in that wiki
page. He's not saying his application supports or doesn't support non-KJV
versification. He's only saying he refuses to display text that he has
claimed is "uninspired". Specifically he is referring to the apocrypha.
It's entirely possible for him to support NRSV, Masoretic Text, etc
versifications and still hide certain books. For instance I would easily
write an application that uses the Sword library and could display the
current KJV without displaying any of the Old Testament if I held the
opinion that such text was irrelevant or uninspired (I do not).

I believe And Bible uses JSword, which had lagging av11n support for a long
time. I don't recall any longer if it has added support for that already or
not. You'd need to check either with the AndBible developer or try to load
a text that uses a non-KJV system and see if it is supported to find out if
AndBible support the av11n technology.

> What is the “official” (or as official as possible) position of the
> Sword project on deuterocanonical books / apocrypha? Do other front-ends
> support them? Do we have some Catholic Bibles which would contain them?
> How much this depends on the module themselves ... i.e., could it be
> possible just by using some other versification create fully Catholic
> Bible, i.e., with deuterocanonical texts meshed into the canonical text?

CrossWire and Sword have tried to stay as theologically neutral as we could
without compromising a core Christian theology. On our website you'll see
we even support two modules whose veracity and scholarship are widely
panned: http://crosswire.org/sword/modules/ModDisp.jsp?modType=Cults. By
adding support for av11n CrossWire has made a commitment to not exclude the
theological positions of the Catholic and Orthodox churches who do feel the
apocryphal books are inspired. I'm unaware of any desire for additional
deuterocanonical works or even more expansive canons presently, though this
is likely due only to a lack of material (although ones like the Ethiopian
canon have been brought up in discussions regarding av11n, I'm unaware of
any Sword versifications or modules that include such works at this time).
Chris Little only adds versifications to Sword when material is made
available that requires one, and does not do so preemptively under the
pretense of, "It might be useful some day."

My understanding is that CrossWire desires to take an inclusive approach to
groups whose theological positions might differ. That AndBible has chosen
to snub and insult the majority of Christians by calling these texts
"uninspired" is sad. However, inclusion of apocryphal material in an
appendix rather than in its location within the Catholic or Orthodox canon
is not unprecedented. The first two Bibles I ever held that included such
material included it as an appendix to the Old Testament before the text of
the New. These, however, were decidedly Protestant editions of the text and
this reflected the theological position of the editors. I hope that
AndBible will support the more inclusive canons in the future without
pejorative language such as is found on that page.

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