[sword-devel] Virtual modules (parallelism) & fragmentary texts

Andrew T. thulester at gmail.com
Fri Sep 7 19:33:39 MST 2018

The wiki’s whiteboard shows discussion about support for virtual modules:

Specifically the idea of pushing parallelism back to the API has
potentially great benefit for modules built from incomplete MSS. For
example, I’ve compared the English translation of say the Dead Sea Scrolls
4Q2 Genesis found here:


With the LEB translation (v2.7 contained in the Sword project) or found


I’ve found similar enough translation style and word choice between the two
that a case could be made they are complimentary.  In terms of completeness
the DSS are fragmentary  compared to Masoretic text (MT).  Yet more than
20% of the scrolls found at Qumran are copies of books found in the Hebrew
bible (published largely in Discoveries in the Judean Desert (DJD)); show
us what scripture looked like in the century preceding Christ; disclose
ancient writing styles and spellings; and reveal the formation of biblical
canon (exhibiting source elements of, Masoretic text, LXX and Samaritan
Pentateuch. For example see:


Yet creating a sword module from such important yet still fragmentary
material leaves gaps most Sword applications don’t do well with. (I’m
speaking from experience.  I have such a module)

However the idea of virtual modules might solve this.  Consider the syntax:

<verse osisID="LEB:Gen.1.1">In the beginning, God created the heavens
and the earth —</verse>
<verse osisID="DSS:Gen.1.1">In the beginning, God created the heavens
and the earth.</verse>


<verse osisID="LEB:Gen.1.9">And God said, Let the waters under the
heavens be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it
was so.</verse>
<verse osisID="DSS:Gen.1.1">And God said, “Let the waters underneath
the heavens be gathered together in once place, and let dr[y land]
appear.” And it was so. [And the waters under the heavens gathered
together to their place] and the dr[y land] appeared.</verse> <verse
osisID="ACV:Gen.1.1">In the beginning God created the heavens and the


<verse osisID="Gen.1.1">
<seg type="x-parallel" subType="x-LEB">In the beginning, God created
the heavens and the earth -</seg>
<seg type="x-parallel" subType="x-DSS">In the beginning, God created
the heavens and the earth.</seg>

This solves the problem of modules with fragmentary missing bits, buts
introduces a new problem; namely collision between different
versification.  Consider, for example, a case where parallel versions
contain practically the same versification except the latter includes Psalm
151.  Does a whole new versification then need to be introduced?  Or how
about two versions with completely different versifications, or
non-standard versifications.  (My DSS module mostly agrees with the LXX
versification save for a handful of exceptions, I think Ps.151 being one).

So my question: has development on any of this been advanced?  If I create
a module with parallel syntax such as above, is there anyway (or anyone
interested) in testing?
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://www.crosswire.org/pipermail/sword-devel/attachments/20180907/5a6fe9d4/attachment.html>

More information about the sword-devel mailing list