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For those of you who have ever been frustrated by differences in electronic markup standards for biblical texts—the result of many moles digging in separate directions—there is finally a more elegant and integrated design underway.

The Open Scriptural Information Standard 1.0 is the joint effort of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Bible Society and is designed as a flexible and wide-ranging template for all those working with electronic text markup in biblical studies and publishing.

The system is designed with a modular approach so the user can learn gradually and build upon their previous knowledge in later releases of the standard.

For example, a user might learn how to use the <verse></verse> element in the first release to mark verses in a text. It could well be that a later release will allow the user to specify how that verse maps onto a completely different verse system.

An equally interesting feature is the plan to provide a translation mechanism for the encoding system. This means that a German-speaking scholar could see, for example, <buch> instead of <book>, while encoding a biblical text.

Those interested in contributing to the development of this elegant eagle's view technical template should visit the Bible Technology web site ( ) and register comments on the first release, OSIS 1.0.


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