Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Getting BIT

If anyone is still reading this after such a long hiatus, I am still alive and kicking. It was a pretty brutal end of school this year with not much time for anything but work and home responsibilities. Add to this a vacation, much needed, but tightly scheduled with me leaving barely 2 days after graduation, and a lot of garden responsibilities that had to be tended to before I left and there has just been no time for writing. At this point, I am at a conference in Groton, MA, taking a brief respite from conference activities to try to finish this long-promised post on importing online Bibles into e-Sword.

In my last post, I talked about the ethics of importing online Bibles and gave my conclusion that at this point, there is neither a legal nor ethical reason why this shouldn't be done. (This could change if the sites hosting these resources add a click-through acceptable use policy that prohibits this, but at the time of this writing that is not the case.) Assuming that you agree with me you can use the information in this post to do this. If you don't agree with me, or if you aren't fully convinced that this is an acceptable activity please don’t do this. I would hate to cause anyone to stumble. "Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind." Romans 14:5.

The tool that can be used to import Bible modules is called, appropriately enough, the Bible Import Tool, or BIT for short. You can get a recent version at This site also has a few additional e-Sword Bibles, topic files, and some other resources that might be of use to some of you. Downloading is not quite as obvious a process as using the program. You must click on the Bible Import Tool menu option on the left of the page, then on the word "Downloads" to the right of the BIT version number. I don't find it very intuitive nor very easy to describe.

Using the BIT is very straightforward. When you run the downloaded file (there is no installer, you run the executable you download), you are presented with the main program screen. There are four numbered sections on the screen.

Section 1 asks you where you want to download from. There are currently two available choices, Crosswalk and The Bible Gateway. Choose one of these sites, and you are presented with a dropdown list of Bible versions available from that site. Select the Bible you wish to download and give it a filename. You can probably just accept the default name offered.

Section 2 asks you where you wish to download the Bible file to. If e-Sword is installed, the default is the e-Sword directory. You can also enter an alternate location, but you will have to move it to the e-Sword directory anyway before you can use it.

Section 3 is the only section with any real choices to be made. You have several formatting options from which to select. In my experience, you may have to play around with these in multiple attempts to get a final product formatted the way you want it. You have numerous choices such as retaining red lettering, importing only the Old or New Testaments or both, removing or retaining breaks and headings, retaining cross-references if there are any, etc.

Section 4 contains the button that starts the process. Where I am right now, with a fast T1 connection, the download happens at about 2 seconds per chapter, so plan on this process taking a bit of time, especially over a slow dial-up connection. It will be roughly 1/2 hour at T1 speeds.

When all is said and done, you will end up with a new translation installed in e-Sword and available to you the next time you load the program.

There are other tools available for e-Sword as well. One which might be useful at this point is a new one called TheWORDPad. It allows you to edit Bible and other types of e-Sword modules. I found a few mistakes in one version I downloaded and this tool will allow you to correct the text to agree with your paper copy of the version. Unfortunately at this time, the only place I know of that it is available is on the e-Sword newsgroup on Yahoo (, which is a members-only group. If that changes, I'll make a note of it here. (By the way, the latest version of the BIT is also available on this site. It is a newer version than the one currently on dnspad.)


Blogger PastorNoel said...

The Bible Import Tool doesn't seem to be on the page your article links to. Any suggestions?

6:39 PM  

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