Useful SWORD Project Links

  • Crosswire Bible Society – The organization behind The SWORD Project
  • Crosswire wiki – The best source of information related to The SWORD Project
  • format converters – There are some perl scripts for converting other formats to OSIS here.
  • – A python script to convert usfm to osis is available here. This is The SWORD Project's current recommended converter for usfm. I find it to be rather slow, taking more than 2 minutes to process bibles on my old computer.

AutoKey script for The SWORD Project

This is a script for the linux AutoKey utility that will allow you to insert Bible text or dictionary entries from modules you have installed for The SWORD Project into your documents.It should work fine with OpenOffice, LibreOffice, plain text editors, instant messengers, and other programs. It uses the python bindings to The SWORD Project if available, and diatheke if they're not available.

Here is the script. It's not the best solution. It is the only way to do this sort of thing that I'm aware of right now. If you have any problems with it or suggestions for it please contact me. It's public domain. Use as you wish.  (last updated:  April 15, 2010).

Back in 2010 I had considered turning this into a proper program that didn't rely on diatheke and didn't depend on autokey. Lack of feedback told me that this was not desired though.

Conversion Scripts


A long time ago, when I was just learning how to write python scripts, I wrote a very poor quality gbf2osis converter to convert the GBF texts from to OSIS. I no longer update it as the main format for the bibles there is now usfm. It is public domain.


I wrote my own USFM to OSIS converter in python. There are several reasons for this:

  • The converter mentioned above runs way too slow on my computer. (It takes more than 2 minutes to process the World English Bible). I thought I could make one that ran faster.
  • The converter source is difficult for me to read, so I'm unable to work on improving it. Obviously it would be better to submit improvements to that script, but my limitations prevent that. Running it through autopep8 would help. However, I think the biggest difficulty I have with reading the code is the amount of regular expressions it uses. (about 200! Which reminds me of a Jamie Zawinski quote.... “Some people, when confronted with a problem, think ‘I know, I'll use regular expressions.’ Now they have two problems.”)
  • I wanted a converter that targeted python3. ( targeted only python2 when I began working on my converter.)
  • I wanted a converter that would be easy to update when changes are made to the USFM standard.
  • I thought it would be a fun project. (it was!)
HERE is my usmf to osis converter script. I've tested it with both Python 2.7.6 and Python 3.4.0 and it works fine in both of those versions of python. (It works with pypy also, but is noticably slower. It doesn't work with jython. I haven't tested it with IronPython as I don't have that implementation of the python language.) It is public domain. You may do whatever you wish with the code.

It's quite fast. Only takes about 10 seconds (approximately 90% faster than in my testing) to process the World English Bible on my computer. The output validates against the OSIS 2.1.1 schema. No markup errors are reported by osis2mod when generating a World English Bible module for use with The SWORD Project software using the output from this script.

My Modules

Public Domain Bibles

NOTE: If you have any problems with these modules, please contact me about them. DO NOT CONTACT The SWORD Project about them.

  • KJVN – King James Version without strongs #'s and with paragraph formatting added. (last updated March 4, 2015)

I used to have several other public domain bible modules here. I took the links down as what I had here was outdated and shouldn't be used. Use the official ones instead, for now. After I'm done reviewing my usfm to osis converter I will make new WEB and WMB modules and upload them. They will be available later this year (2015).

My KJVN is based on the OSIS source for the official KJV module available for The SWORD Project. I wrote a new script to make the desired modifications. The script and the changes it makes are public domain. Use however you wish. The osis source was located here the last time I checked.

Some people might question why I've added paragraph markup to my kjvn. Mainly because I wanted paragraph markup. Reading it in paragraphs makes it easier for me to understand. It has been done in the past too. A quick search on google books revealed several printed KJV bibles with paragraph formatting. One example would be "The Paragraph Bible" printed in 1838.

Other People's Modules

Here are some modules for The SWORD Project that were created by other people.

  • KJV lite – You can find an older kjv module without strongs #’s here.
  • KLV – You can get a klv (klingon language version) module at this website.

Modules That Cannot Be Made

I'm not going to be contacting any other companies that hold the rights to commercial bible translations to try and get permission to make those bible translations available for use with The SWORD Project software. The effort that has to be put into trying to get permission to make them available is not worth it to me when there is never any progress made. In addition, there are some VERY VALID concerns that these companies have with regards to making their translations available for The SWORD Project. And I'm not in a position to provide any reassurances whatsoever with regards to their concerns. Also, even if I DID get permission, it's unlikely that very many people would even know that the translations were available. It's not like my little personal web page is very well known. So I will let others work towards getting permission to make commercial bible translations available for use with The SWORD Project software.


I tried to obtain permission to make the NIV available for use with The SWORD Project software. Unfortunately IBS-STL (now Biblica) has no interest in allowing it to be used with The SWORD Project or even on a linux based operating system. Their response to my request stated this: “Our policy at this time does not allow us to release the NIV database to individuals or for use in Linux based, open source or shareware software products; therefore IBS-STL will not be granting your request for use of the NIV.”

The ESV and WEB are both comparable to (and some would say better than) the NIV and are available for The SWORD Project. I would recommend using one of those instead.


I tried to obtain permission to make the NASB available for use with The SWORD Project. Unfortunately, I can't get permission because they've already given the developers of The SWORD Project permission to make the module. Your guess is as good as mine as to when or if that will happen. It's been in progress since at least 2004 with no signs of being finished anytime soon. I keep hoping that one day whoever is responsible for making it available for The SWORD Project will take it seriously enough to actually finish it so that those of us who want to use this bible translation will finally be able to do so. However, I tend to believe that it will never be finished. Perhaps they will prove me wrong though. That would be nice.


I tried to obtain permission to make the NKJV available for use with The SWORD Project software. Unfortunately, Thomas Nelson turned down my request. Perhaps someone at Crosswire Bible Society will look into making it available one of these days. They'll probably have much better luck than I did with regards to getting permission to make it available. Until then, there are four alternatives that are already available for The SWORD Project: The American King James Version (AKJV), the Updated King James Version (UKJV), the Bond Slave Version (BSV), and Green's Modern King James Version (MKJV). I would recommend using one of those for now.


The creator of this translation has allowed me to make a module for use with The SWORD Project software and given me permission to use it. However, I cannot distribute it to anyone because the creator of this translation has developed a very strong animosity towards The SWORD Project and has decided that he doesn't want people to be able to use The SWORD Project software to read his translation.