[Linux4christians] Re: NIV Bible for Linux
karl at charcoal.com
Thu Aug 10 17:52:22 EDT 2006
mowestusa at yahoo.com writes:
>> My perferred translation is the NIV, but I can't seem to find anyway
>> to get it on my Linux Box. I would be willing to pay for an
>> electronic copy, especially if it is searchable.
>> Anyone know of one that I can download or buy?
I have some significant intro commentary and then some suggestions
aimed specifically at this question as you get near the bottom of this.
edoc7 at verizon.net writes:
> You can download and use the NET translation free. It is a better
> quality translation from improved sources, and includes translator's
> notes so you know why they chose what they did and what were the
For reference to the original poster: See http://www.bible.org/ and
find the "NET Bible Home" link on the left side. "NET" is a quaint
double entendre, in that it's the first totally NETwork-accessible
version, by design, and it's also the New English Translation, in
progress for the last 10 years and now out in its First (complete)
Edition. You can read it from their website, or you can download the
complete thing, including the *fabulous* translators' notes, as an
HTML set; or, if you wish, in Windows "help" format. Or you can buy
it from them as bound paper, of course. They are attempting to deal
with copyright in a sensible way, and have a copyright policy which
tries to offer a "`yes' by default" answer to "May I use/quote/
Be aware that there is much debate, as can be seen in their own
forums where it is often debated, over the issue of accuracy of the
translation vis-à-vis the "most literal" -vs- "dynamic equivalence"
axis. They have tried to live up to their name; I do not think they
have stepped *too* far to the side of, for example, gender
unification, which I consider a huge failing in some versions. But
opinions vary widely.
(BTW, the number of "New" translations has gotten out of hand. NASB
NET NIV NIrV NLT NKJV... What will they call themselves, if they
continue to exist in, say, 100 years? I understand there's an
educational institution named "New University" in Britain, which was
so named...in the 1500s. /oops/ In a similar vein, far too many
try to define themselves into "Standard" status, rather than being
recognized as such by others: NASB ESV HCSB. Well, in large part NASB
has achieved that status, though the self-naming irritates me. Hmph.)
> The NIV is also a commercial translation so it is
> not available without charge as is the NET.
This is where I walk a very fine line.
I am a proponent of the Sword Project series of Bible study
applications; I use GnomeSword, and I'm a developer for it. (Mostly,
I'm a bug-hunter. It has a few.) A large number of Bible texts is
available in Sword module format, and some of them are very good,
especially the soon-to-be-released English Standard Version (ESV)
module¹. NET Bible also has a Sword module in beta, which will come
in 2 flavors, free with crippled notes, and premium ($$$) with
See http://www.crosswire.org/ for basics on Sword. However, there is
no Sword-sanctioned NASB (Lockman Foundation), NIV (International
Bible Society), NLT (Tyndale), NKJV (Thomas Nelson Inc), or Amplified
(Lockman again) due to respective copyrights and unwillingness on
their parts to work out a suitable distribution agreement. Well,
amend that: Lockman has made arrangements, and a NASB Sword module is
in progress. The problem is that it has been "in progress" for a
*long* time. *Years*. Whenever it gets released, it'll be for-fee.
Sword tools provide for searching, personal note-taking associated
with selected passages, automatic commentary tracking with Bible text,
parallel text reading, access to some significant historical works
such as Chesterton's _Orthodoxy_ and _Heretics_ and Josephus'
histories, and a bunch of other stuff. I'm very pleased with it,
having used WindowSword just a little bit and GnomeSword a great deal.
(For Linux, there is also BibleTime, but it's not my cup of tea.) I
no longer use a bound-paper Bible, and my 25-yr-old Ryrie NASB sits on
the shelf; now I use GnomeSword on my laptop for anything other than
casual reading, e.g. pew Bibles during service. This freaks out some
of the folks in my study group. :-)
With all that said, and finally to respond to the original question...
Bible Gateway (http://www.biblegateway.com) has a large number of
translations available to read, and in fact to download completely.
They even explicitly offer a "read the bible in a year" plan, which
arranges for you to suck down a few chapters at a time.
Among those they offer are NASB NIV NIrV NLT NKJV and Amp.
You can see where this is going, can't you? Sure you can.
Surf http://www.charcoal.com/~karl/sword/ and find the "scripts" link
near the bottom: You will find yourself facing a README plus some
downloadable scripts and utility files which automate the process of
picking up a complete Bible text from Bible Gateway and grinding it
into Sword format. I've been using GnomeSword with several of these
versions for a number of months now.
Here is where the fine line comes into play:
The texts are available from BG for the asking. My tools and the
related explanations for what to do with them are available on the
net. What you do with these is your business; but as the bottom of
the README tells you...
Please note that anything you produce by these scripts is probably
not suitable for wider distribution than on your own computer
You take full responsibility for anything you do with whatever you
produce via these scripts.
That is, my scripts help to put to better, more personally-accessible
use some already useful, available tools...for your *personal use*,
and not for you, me, or anyone else to redistribute to the world at
large. I distribute *tools*, not *texts*. I am OK with copyright
holders having content control and delivery method control. But what
you do, on your own machine, with the content that they deliver to you
is your own business.
¹ Google "Sword Project beta ESV" and you'll find it.
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