Wikipedia talk:Citing sources/Bible

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Very complicated, hard to follow[edit]

It is extremely hard to follow what exactly is being proposed here. There seems to be no summary of the proposal. I took 5 minutes and decided it would be simpler to make a suggestion of my own rather than try to understand the one here.

I think we should do something analogous to what we now do with ISBN. The link should go to a page of linked choices that first lists any relevant Wikipedia article for the book, chapter, or verse, then lists the various versions of the Bible with links to where these are accessible on line. This would also allow (for example) links to Hebrew, Latin, and Greek texts, and possibly even texts in other languages.

For verses, if, using a free resource, we have a way to get actual text or texts into that page as well (under one or more translations), great. For chapters, it might be useful to do this for the first verse (and follow with an ellipsis). - Jmabel | Talk 18:07, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

oh dear, this is really in bad need of unification. Ultimately, we want a single standardized way to link to reference a bible verse. The link should then take the user to a navigation page where he is presented with further option (wikisource, various off-site sources, various versions and translations), much like we are doing it with the {{coor}} family of templates. dab (𒁳) 08:16, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

New Wikisource Template[edit]

I've just created a new template at Template:Sourcebible which aims to do exactly what the current Template:Sourcetext does but to not have to explicitly list each parameters including the fact it's the Bible and the version each time. It makes more much more simple citations going to wiki source.

I still don't understand why we don't just do something special in Wikisource to reference multiple translations and versions of the Bible there. —mako 16:01, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Appreciate your work. Template is no-frills, easy to use. That it "only" allows to cite the Authorized Version is definitely not a drawback!
Thank you very much. --Dampinograaf (talk) 02:43, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Call for participation in discussion[edit]

Please review the discussion here


and comment on whether the page should be moved back to article space. Thanks. -Ac44ck (talk) 22:10, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Template:Biblesource for citing available Wikisource translations[edit]

Template and documentation: click here!

Wanted to let you all know in case you find it useful; I've created a Template:Biblesource to make it easier to cite translations from Wikisource. Usage is basically {{Biblesource | book | chapter/verse | translation | title=whatever-you-want-the-link-to-say}}. Example:

{{Biblesource | Genesis | 1:1 | Tyndale | title=Tyndale's translation of Genesis 1:1}}

gives the following:

Genesis 1:1 [1]

I'm a little mortified to discover that I created this template without seeing that it had been done before, as the above "Sourcebible" discussion reveals - apparently that one has since been deleted (...gulp!) so I'd like to illustrate the differences and ask for some feedback.

  • The motive here is to make it easier to cite things. I was looking at a whole article full of disparate citations (almost none of them with links; the user would have to manually look each one up) and I wanted a way to cite something under the Wiki umbrella so that there's no copyright issues. Realizing that I'd have to manually link each one gave me the jibblies, and I decided it would be easier to create a template to do it for me :). Now I wish I'd happened upon this talk pagebeforehand...anyway :)
  • Biblesource can be used for any translation available on Wikisource. This is not KJV-only, and is not intended to push any POV.
  • Biblesource is not based on Template:Sourcetext - although if I'd known about it it probably would have made my work a lot easier :O. Anyway, this isn't a fork; I made all the code myself (but I'd be happy for someone to improve it)

Please give feedback. This template is open to modification by people that actually know what they're doing, unlike me :) so please hack away. Would appreciate criticisms/suggestions. Thank you! Joren (talk) 16:18, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Merging, and Migrating template usage to Biblesource[edit]

The above template looks like a good solution to many of the ongoing problems with the other bible templates. Are there any significant problems with it?

If not, we could start the process of slowly migrating away from these (# of transclusions):

and towards this new template (when the translations needed are available at WikiSource: See wikisource:Bible for a more up-to-date list there, and see the Biblesource template's documentation for a more up-to-date list here)

Thoughts and comments? -- Quiddity (talk) 22:05, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

When they're all available, it would be fine by me, given that it would make the matter easier. John Carter (talk) 22:42, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes, this has been a sore spot for years. We finally need to get rid of this Babel of Bible citation templates and come up with a unified method. IMO, all templates resulting in external links should be deprecated. Template:Biblesource links to Wikisource, but it needs an option to link the original text, el:Η Αγία Γραφή, he:ביבליה. But Wikisource needs to be structured better so that individual verses may be linked to. Ideally, there should be a solution (as with GeoHack) that retrieves verses from the various wikisource texts. --dab (𒁳) 10:52, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

The problem is the random and unstandardized way all these biblical texts are scattered across wikisource. I understand that linking to some off-site bible reference was the pragmatic thing to do.

For example, Genesis 1 is at s:he:בראשית א כתיב, the LXX text at :s:el:Γένεσις#Κεφάλαιον α'. There is no way of solving this other than a full table listing a link for each book of the bible. Alternatively, a standardized redirect structure could be introduced in en.wikisouce. Perhaps it would make sense to ask the people at en.wikisource if they would consider this. Thus, for example, s:Genesis 1 HE and s:Genesis 1 GRC could be redirects to the Hebrew and Greek texts, respectively, which could be accessed algorithmically from our template. The problem with this, of course, is that by nature of involving links across projects it will be difficult to maintain. Say the he.wikisource people decide to move things around a bit, and our template will be broken. --dab (𒁳) 13:38, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

alright, I just realized that en.wikisource already has a version of the Hebrew Bible in synoptic English-Hebrew with a systematic link structure, see wikisource:Tanakh/Torah/Bereishit/Chapter 1. The problem is that it uses the Hebrew names of the books, and the rather obscure JPS translation. --dab (𒁳) 13:43, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm glad that some interest has been shown in this project; thanks for your thoughts. I hope we can find a solution soon, and would welcome suggestions for improving the template.
I guess the main problem with the template being used as a unified method (aside from its inability to cite anything more specific than a chapter with an anchor to one verse) is that most of the modern translations being used are not open and therefore are not likely to be in Wikisource any time soon, so this template will not be able to succeed some of the templates currently in use. Not a whole lot that can be done about that unless we chose to simply not use those translations. I guess we have to weigh the convenience and openness of an in-house solution vs. the versatility of an external solution, and at this point, I believe a mixed solution would be best: a unified method that uses Wikisource when available and the least spammy proprietary source when not.
I would likely need help coming up with a table of book titles in Hebrew/Greek, but we could certainly go that route as far as citing original-language Wikisource.
-- Joren (talk) 19:29, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't see that as a problem at all. Unless we discuss a modern translation, I see no need to cite a modern translation. Indeed, picking one modern translation over another will always be an ideological choice. The default should always be to cite the KJV if an English translation is wanted. I know the KJV has its defects, but these concern very obscure passages which will be rendered in different ways in different translations in any case, so that it is pointless to implying one translation is the "correct" one by linking to it without further comment.
If simply a Bible verse is being identified (as opposed to discussing the text of one specific translation explicitly, i.e. the topic being the translation itself), I see no problem with silently changing all these links to the KJV on wikisource. If anything it will make articles less biased.
what I am saying is that the "versatility" in this case is actually a bad thing. When a non-free translation is being discussed, it should be cited explicitly, on Wikipedia, not by linking to the text off-site.
when pointing to, say, John 11:35, it really doesn't matter what translation you are using, because there is no room for interpretation. And when citing stuff like Isaiah 34:14, you are probably in the middle of a discussion about what it is supposed to be saying anyway, and linking to a single translation (screech owl? monster? night creatures? satyrs? goats? hairy ones? what?) isn't going to be helpful.
As for Greek/Hebrew, we shouldn't try to cook up a solution Wikipedia-side. This should be coordinated with the wikisource people. --dab (𒁳) 20:26, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
The problem is, picking any translation, modern or not, can be an ideological choice: ever heard of the King James Only movement? It would be bad for us to inadvertently open ourselves up to accusations of KJV-only or KJV-preferred POV by limiting the use of modern translations. Now, I have no problem with KJV as default if for no other reason than that it is the most popular of the available Wikisource translations that is complete. I am concerned, however, about taking away the ability of editors to use other translations. I believe this is the sort of thing best left to editor discretion rather than a site-wide policy.
For what it's worth, if it concerns a verse where interpretation is controversial, I'd rather give users the ability and encouragement to cite multiple translations to illustrate the differences, in line with WP:NPOV: Editors must write articles from a neutral point of view, representing all significant views fairly, proportionately, and without bias.
-- Joren (talk) 21:55, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Mitigating the embedded-external-link problem[edit]

One major problem with all the other templates, is that they create external links directly within the body of the article, which is a generally deprecated style.

We could partially solve this problem by tweaking the templates, so that the link in them appears as a more properly styled footnote:

Current Bibleverse code: [{{{1|}}}%20{{{2}}}&verse={{{3}}}&src={{{4|!}}} {{#if:{{{1|}}}|{{{1}}} }}{{{2}}} {{{3}}}]
Example: {{Bibleverse||John|3:16|KJV}} yields: John 3:16
Altered Bibleverse code (additions in bold): {{#if:{{{1|}}}|{{{1}}} }}{{{2}}} {{{3}}}<ref>[{{{1|}}}%20{{{2}}}&verse={{{3}}}&src={{{4|!}}} {{#if:{{{1|}}}|{{{1}}} }}{{{2}}} {{{3}}}]</ref>
Example: {{Bibleverse||John|3:16|KJV}} would yield: John 3:16[2]
  1. ^ Tyndale's translation of Genesis 1:1, William Tyndale's translation (1526)
  2. ^ John 3:16

Unfortunately, it seems from discussion at Template_talk:Bibleverse#Tweak_for_print that the current bibleverse template is already sometimes used between ref tags, so this will have to just be a future suggestion, for when that is cleared up. HTH. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:16, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

  1. Yeah, I was worried about WP:EL too. My understanding is, external links in articles are pretty much forbidden. Thinking of how to address this, I got hung up on thinking that if we made them ref tags, then we'd just be encouraging users to cite the Bible as a means of supporting claims on Wikipedia. Your solution is much better, and I think it resolves our problems rather neatly; print the Bible verse in the article, and have a ref link to the external source. This would not violate WP:EL, would clearly imply that the purpose of the ref is to show what the verse says (and not to support a claim) and would still give the user the ability to click through (without being surprised at suddenly winding up outside the article).
  2. Throwing out some more ideas... another thing we could do if we wanted to retain the appearance of a blue link would be to create an anchor within the ref tag. e.g. [[#John3:16|John 3:16]]<ref><span id=John3:16>[ {{#if:| }}John 3:16]</span></ref>
  3. A third thing - would there be any advantage to separating the Bible passage ref tags in their own group to distinguish them from refs[1] intended[2] to actually support claims?[3] e.g. [[#John3:17|John 3:17]]<ref group=bible><span id=John3:17>[ {{#if:| }}John 3:17]</span></ref> gives John 3:17[bible 1]
-- Joren (talk) 21:55, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Bible Passages
  1. ^ some ref
  2. ^ other ref
  3. ^ some other refs
  1. Not forbidden, just deprecated (or cautioned against, or non-preferred). But always preferable to not having any citation. See Help:Citations quick reference and Wikipedia:Embedded citations, for example.
  2. Not sure, not my topic area.
  3. That seems like a really good idea.
-- Quiddity (talk) 23:03, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
For the #2, the effect of having an anchor tag would mean that the user could click the blue link and it would scroll down to the ref tag note. The "John 3:17" link above has this implemented, and I believe it could be done automatically in whatever template we end up using. This doesn't do anything the little [1] superscript doesn't already do, it's just if we wanted to continue linking the passage name to something. e.g. John 3:18[bible 1] instead of John 3:19[bible 2]
As far as #3, if we want to demo the concept, I could play with {{Biblesource}} since it doesn't have very much using it at the moment. The only drawback to separating the references is that someone has to remember to create another section to hold them.
==Bible passages==
<references group=bible/>
If the user does not create this group, then the passage/refs will just get stored with the rest of the references like normal, so nothing to lose by trying it :)
-- Joren (talk) 23:28, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Bible Passages 2
For #2, an interesting idea, but I would tentatively caution against; it doesn't turn the ref-line blue when clicked, as the other footnotes do; and it might confuse readers who are expecting (wanting) to go to an article about the book of John.
Updated the #2 demo so the ref-line highlighting works. However, will not integrate into template per your second concern. I don't really favor the blue-linking myself, but thought there might be some wishing to preserve the existing aesthetic.
-- Joren (talk) 15:04, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
For #3, sounds marvelous all around. I heartily endorse. -- Quiddity (talk) 03:13, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
I'll get to work on it in my test bed, then merge into the main template.
-- Joren (talk) 15:04, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Whee! That was fun. As you pointed out, some people indeed use these templates inside a ref. I thought that would be ok, but turns out WP:REFNEST only works in {{#tag:ref|<ref>blah</ref>}}, not <ref>{{#tag:ref|blah}}</ref>. And the tag:ref magic word can't be used twice in the same ref. ...anyway. In order to use Biblesource inside a ref, it is now required to add the "ref=yes" parameter. Will also look at allowing user to customize ref group name soon; not everyone may be happy with "bible [1]".
YesY Done. Group names can now be customized with group= parameter.
-- Joren (talk) 16:22, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Changes are live, it appears this template is most in use at Word of Faith, so please see that article for an example.
-- Joren (talk) 16:05, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Oh yeah, so it turns out I was wrong about grouped refs not requiring a separate refs section. They do require a <references group=bible/>, or else reader will see an error that refs in another group are not visible. So there was something to lose, but I fixed the articles that rely on this template.
-- Joren (talk) 16:14, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Formatting problem with the Biblesource template[edit]

Joren invited me to join this discussion, to describe an issue I had in the article Abundant life. As can be seen in Abundant life (version with the problem), the use of the Biblesource template caused a problem with the formatting in the paragraph for "Word of Faith". It looks like the template is breaking out of the bulleted indenting created by the "*", and starting at the beginning of the line. This did not happen until the {{reflist|group=bible}} was added to the article. Obankston (talk) 07:27, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Ahh, so that's what it was! Thanks for pointing it out! I shall commence bug-hunting shortly.
-- Joren (talk) 07:32, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Wow, that was an easy fix (and a silly mistake I made which caused the bug in the first place). There was an extra line break in the Template which has now been removed, and looking at the link you gave me shows the problem should now be resolved. Thanks again,
-- Joren (talk) 07:39, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Looks better now. Obankston (talk) 22:46, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

The best way to use these templates?[edit]

Hi guys, could one of you please give me a general idea of what the best method for using bible citations may be these days? You seem to know about these. First question: are pages such as Isaiah breaking citation rules of WP:CITE by having external links or are they ok? Is it ok to just say Isaiah 1:1 within that page or any page, or should it have a ref and /ref around it?

Ideally I would like to use Wikisource because in the future that may dominate Wikipedia, but I do not see an immediate way of having something like Galatians 5:22-23 that appears within the page but uses the "{{" template notation. is there such a notation? If there is a simple template that just links to Wikisource that would be great. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 08:38, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

The general rule of thumb I use is, (Whatever works! :) Unless you originated the page, it is usually best to follow whatever citation style the original author or primary editors have used. The problem with that wikisource Galatians link above is that people using dialup connections like me have to wait for the whole book to load, and then it doesn't jump down the page to the referenced verses unless the link is directly clicked and replaces this page. If I shift-click to open in a separate window, it doesn't automatically jump down to the verses, and I have to grab the icon at the left of the address bar and drag-drop it into the body to get it to jump. Wikisource whole books are no good for that use, or for comparing multiple sections of the Bible or different versions.
As for citation style, WP:EL discourages external links within the body of an article, but external Bible references are permitted as a convenience to the reader where appropriate.
Sample of several citation styles:
    • The famous Isaiah 7:14 "virgin" passage is cited by Matthew as "virgin" (Matthew 1:23), but some[who?] people dispute the translation of "virgin"[compare] for the Hebrew word הָעַלְמָ֗ה almah.[1]

  1. ^ Hebrew and English of Isaiah 7:14 or Multilingual Isa.7:14 compare

Note that the first sample link is external, but looks like an internal link to the wikipedia Isaiah 7:14 article, so that kind of citation method is discouraged, in favor of the second method of the sample that uses the inline parenthetical citation for Matthew 1:23. The third method imitates the superscript footnote style, using Template:Bibleref2c which has an additional parameter to display alternate text (compare) for the link. Finally, at the end of the sample, an ordinary numerical reference link to the reflist below, in which are two more kinds of external links, the first using Template:Bibleref, and the second with an HTML external link. The "who?" tag was included in the sample to remind us that Bible references alone are not enough if there is any statement beyond what is plainly evident to anyone looking at the verse, or any interpretations, which need a third party source identifying who and what is disputed or interpretated.
P.S. Multi-passage cheat: {{Bibleref2|Isa.7:14;Mat.1:23||KJV;AMP|Two verses - Two versions}} produces: Two verses - Two versions
HTH (Hope This Helps! :) —Telpardec (talk) 23:46, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Templates to show quote of passages?[edit]

Are there any templates that show quoted text from verses/chapters/books of the Bible? This would show "For God so loved . . ." and the book/chapter/verse reference (in this case "John 3:16"). Thank you for your help. Allen (Morriswa) (talk) 21:29, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

I'm not aware of any templates that will show the verse as part of the main text of an article by entering the reference. However, there are tools that will show it in a popup. As far as I know they are not used in Wikipedia, but this page at another wiki currently lists alternative tools for this function. Click on the links there to see demonstrations: London 21:53, 23 November 2012 (UTC)