Wednesday, July 1, 2009

RSV update (& deuterocanonical text)

I now have most of the text parsed and ready for RSV and RSV-CE and have adapted VerseWise to be able to handle the RSV's deuterocanonical numbering. I will making deuterocanonical text an optional setting in the RSV release. (It will, of course, be standard in the RSV-CE release.)

This is my first exposure to how the RSV numbers deuterocanonical text. My basic understanding of it is that when Jerome translated/assembled the Vulgate he appended the deuterocanonical text onto the end of canonical books. Canonical Esther has 10 chapters, so the deuterocanonical text began at Esther 11. The problem with this is that the content of Esther 11 is actually supposed to be at the beginning of the book!

RSV maintains Jerome's numbering, but returns the text to where it belongs chronologically in the text. This is what the chapter list looks like in VerseWise:

And it's more fun than that -- the first verse of Esther is 11:2!

Needless to say, there were some logic changes that had to be made to VerseWise to be able to handle books that did not begin with chapter 1 and chapters that did not begin with verse 1.

I've seen other Bibles with deuterocanonical text handle the numbering in different ways. Some label chapter 11 as "chapter A", another labels chapters 11 & 12 as "chapter 1" but with verses "1a, 1b, 1c, ..." until you reach the standard chapter 1:1.

I think I have a slight preferences for the "chapter A" scheme. At least I imagine users would find it less confusing. (Though, not completely so -- you'd still have two "chapter3s" broken up by a "chapter C".) But it is what it is, and I'm just happy to have the full text available!

1 comment:

ben said...

Cool! I can't wait to download the RSV-CE Bible. There aren't enough Catholic Bibles for the iPhone, so I really appreciate you putting this together.