[sword-devel] sword-devel Digest, Vol 63, Issue 9

Steve DeRose sderose at speakeasy.net
Wed Jun 10 08:05:16 MST 2009

The prior poster is correct that <divineName> is only for the tetragrammaton
(indeed, in an early draft I think it was named <tetra>). I don't think I
actually check that in my OSIS validator, but it could be checked easily
enough. "nonhuman" was provided as a cover for any named non-humans,
thinking mainly of spiritual beings of all kinds (though I suppose if there
are any named animals around, they would be "nonhuman" too). "person" could
of course also apply to any personal spiritual beings (I can't think of any
non-personal ones, unless you were tagging a commentary that mentioned
pantheism for contrast or something; but I don't think that's what we had in
mind. Perhaps it would be better to have called "person" simply "human",
thus making an obvious dichotomy. 

DM, could you say more about your thought that

> IMHO, theologically, a single value classification is not quite 
>appropriate for God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit.

Jesus is of course difficult to categorize; about the only solutions I can
think of there are to assign 2 categories, or to define a special category
of which He is the only member. But "God is a spirit" (Jn.4.24), and
obviously the Holy *Spirit* is too. I can't think of many who would claim
the Father and the Spirit are also human. So although they are infinitely
unique and important spirits, they do fit the category "spirit" and the
category "nonhuman", right? Every being fits in an infinite number of
categories; the question is which specific categories are useful for a
particular purpose. I can think of applications where specifically
identifying every mention of any member of the Trinity would be useful.
If there's need for a more precise set of types, they can certainly be added
either as "x-" customizations, or in a future release of OSIS, or as a "best
practice" documented elsewhere. If people are interested in developing a
more detailed set, I'd welcome such discussion. A variety of "upper
ontologies" such as CyC and SUMO provide much more detailed breakdowns of
kinds of names and beings that might be helpful.

Steve DeRose
BTG chair


Message: 6
Date: Tue, 09 Jun 2009 12:37:11 -0400
From: DM Smith <dmsmith at crosswire.org>
Subject: Re: [sword-devel] A Theological Question
To: SWORD Developers' Collaboration Forum <sword-devel at crosswire.org>
Message-ID: <4A2E8FB7.2030304 at crosswire.org>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8; format=flowed

Ted Janiszewski wrote:
> Here's a question not entirely clear in the current OSIS manual that 
> has been bothering me:
> Given the use of <name type="person">, <name type="nonhuman">, and 
> <divineName> elements, how should one mark up Matthew 28:16?
>     Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in
>     the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit . . .
As Peter pointed out <divineName> is used for the Hebrew words YHWH, 
which is translated into Lord, God and Yah. Not all Lord or God are such 
a translation. The SWORD engine will try to render the content as small 

The name element is used to identify names. There are a couple of 
predefined values, but none seem to be appropriate for God, Jesus, the 
Holy Spirit (the other divine names) or for the demonic.

IMHO, theologically, a single value classification is not quite 
appropriate for God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit.

Where the choice of a predefined type is not deemed appropriate, one can 
do one of two things:
1) Use no type.
<name>Father</name> and of the <name>Son</name> and of the <name>Holy 

2) Roll your own type:
<name type="x-God">Father</name> and of the <name 
type="x-Jesus">Son</name> and of the <name type="x-Spirit">Holy 

Hope this helps some.

In Him,

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