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Posted by ChuckMcKnight at Feb 15, 2010 5:54:28 AM
Re: cross-comparing parallel Bible tool idea
It's certainly an interesting idea, and you look like you have thought it out. I have entered it in the BPBible issue tracker as a reminder to myself with comments, though as it's marked Wish List it is really not going to happen anytime soon and may well never happen (


A few comments:
1. I'm not sure how well this layout would work if any of the lines of text had to be wrapped, since it relies on comparing lines above and below. A lot of people, including me, would only have verse comparison taking up a small part of the screen, and so this would happen frequently.

There are two possibilities I can think of to fix this. The most preferable would be to simply wrap all lines starting with the word that goes past the screen. I'm sure this would take a little extra programming to figure out, but since all the words are analyzed individually already, I would think it would be doable.

Alternatively, we could always just add a scroll-bar. It's not the most convenient solution, but it would work, and it should be pretty easy to implement.

2. I'm not sure how well any version comparison works if the texts are not from a reasonably similar textual tradition. I imagine for example that RSV and ESV would work quite well (as the AV and RV work in the traditional Interlinear Bible). ESV to KJV would probably work OK too. Once you have very few similar words to link it is unlikely to be very helpful (reading the full text of verses stacked as in Xiphos would be more helpful). I'm not sure how well the NET would compare with the ESV, for example, and as for comparing the Message with almost anything else it's not even worth thinking about.

That is true. This is primarily intended for formal equivalence translations. Some of the in-betweens such as NET would still be likely to work, while others like the NIV are quite a bit less likely. Dynamic equivalence translations such as the aforementioned Message almost certainly would not. That is simply a limitation with the tool that I would expect due the nature of how it works.

3. The file you link to appears to have disappeared. Is this intentional?

Hmm, it looks like it's still there for me. Try a hard-refresh?

4. Another possibly relevant suggestion is to to borrow the style of the 26 Version New Testament, which does it on a phrase by phrase basis and selects readings from a few versions that it thinks gives the most significant variations. This is not as complete as actually comparing all 26 versions, but it is probably easier to read and more useful as well. However, I'm not sure how well you could determine significant variations of wording in software, so I suspect such a thing would have to be done by hand (and it would probably have considerable copyright implications and require lots of publisher permission if you chose to include copyrighted versions in the comparison).

Interesting. I had not heard of the 26 Version New Testament. I will have to look that up some time.

I have started work on the algorithm now. I will post it once it is complete. (Hopefully my classes will allow me to finish it relatively quickly. tongue )