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BibleWorks 9 - BW-RVT X-ref

Monday, July 4th, 2011

[See more here.]

The Cross-references (X-refs) tab was new to BibleWorks in BibleWorks 8. In BibleWorks 9, as far as I can tell, the basic functionality of it is still the same. You can change X-ref databases, edit the actual listing of the x-refs by adding or deleting verses or even make your own x-ref databases, among other things. Since that stuff is so similar, I won’t really add more to how X-refs work.

The main thing that has changed is the number of X-ref databases that you can use. Here’s the full list:

  1. BW Master - Frequently cited cross-references from most of the databases below
  2. BW-RVT - Based on running the Related Verses Tool (gathering verses with the same lemmas) over the BGM Bible version
  3. BioBible - From David Stephan’s Biographical Bible
  4. CAB - From the CAB version (Castilian)
  5. CSP - From the CSP version (Czech)
  6. ESV - From the ESV
  7. NAB - From the NAB version
  8. NABO - From the older version of NAB
  9. NAU - from the NAS (Updated) version
  10. NIRV - From the NIrV
  11. NIV - From the NIV 2011
  12. NIVO - From the NIV (1984). Only available to upgraders of previous versions of BibleWorks which contained the NIV (1984).
  13. Nave’s - From Nave’s Topical Bible
  14. TChainRef - From the New Chain-Reference Bible (1934) by Frank Thompson
  15. TNIV - From the TNIV. Only available to upgraders of previous versions of BibleWorks which contained the TNIV.
  16. TSK - From the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
  17. Torrey’s - From Torrey’s New Topical Text Book by R. A. Torrey
  18. WCS - Proof texts for the WCS version (Westminster Confessional Standards)
  19. ZUR - From the ZUR version (German)

Other than updates to new Bible versions that have been added, the one that should look the most unfamiliar is the one called BW-RVT. The BW-RVT X-ref database is kind of an experimental database. What it does is gather all verses in the entire BGM (so that covers OT, NT and Apocrypha) that are similar to the verse you are currently looking at by the criterion of sharing Greek lemmas and it groups those verses by how many words the other verses share with the browse window verse. The reason it is called RVT is that it essentially is automatizing the process that is found in the Related Verses Tool which was added in BibleWorks 8.

So refresh your memory a bit. If you were looking at Mark 8:6 and ran the Related Verses Tool on that verse for the BGM, this is what it would look like:

As you can see in the RVT, when searching the BGM, BW by default only searches for significant lemma (that’s why certain words are unchecked). The results are then listed in the middle portion and you can view the text in the right hand side of the window. In BW8, no really quick way to see the text of all the verses that were similar. The best you could do is either click through this list one by one or export it to the search window and read through them there. But the other slow part about the RVT is that if you want to use the RVT for each verse in a pericope, you’d have to run it on Mark 8:6, search, look at the results, run it on Mark 8:7, search, look at the results, etc. It could become a bit laborious.

So now that BW9 has automatically populated the BW-RVT X-refs database with the results of the kind of RVT search described above, what you have in front of you is not just the results (the verses) to that RVT search, but you have the full text of those verses too! And because this is a X-ref database it is very easy to see the RVT results of an entire pericope because it follows along as you advance verses in the Browse Window! Here’s an example of what it looks like in comparison to the RVT window (which I’ve placed on the screen so you can see where the verses came from):

You’ll note I highlighted a verse that came up in the results list. This verse is from the book of Tobit, a part of the Apocrypha, which is not translated in the ESV, which is why the result is given [Verse does not exist in display version]. This shows you that the BW-RVT is searching through the Apocrypha too, but reminds you that you should probably change the BW-RVT to display a version which contains the Apocrypha, something that can easily be resolved.

Because of the nature of how the RVT works, you will probably find that the results are hit and miss. On the one hand, you might discover some new parallels that you have never considered before, but, on the other hand, just because the verse you’re reading shares three lemmas with a different verse doesn’t mean that it really has much of anything in common in other ways. But I think that’s the cool thing about the BW-RVT. You might not discover anything new, but because the RVT’s criteria is so different than all the rest of the X-ref databases, it just might lead to a felicitous discovery.