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XML Bible Web Service API
15 April, 2009
2:13 am
Mark Barnes
Forum Posts: 435
Member Since:
14 December, 2005
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This API service is currently in alpha, and is available for testing purposes only. It is not ready to be used in a production environment.

If you're a programmer, or use a special plugin, adding ESV Bible text to your website is easy - thanks to the ESV API. But what if you don't wish to use the ESV, or if your website readers do not speak English? I'm therefore developing an API that will allow easy access to as many different versions and langauges as possible. The whole Bible is available in 53 versions, the New Testament in a further 13, plus 4 editions of the Greek NT, 6 of the Hebrew Old Testament, and 2 of the LXX. Additionally, a handful of versions have smaller portions available. in The service is currently in alpha, and is available for testing.

Accessing the services

To access the service, you make a HTTP GET request, like this one:

Typical result

The service will return an XML file like this:

          <result>John 3:16</result>
               <text>For God so loved the world, that he gave his only
               begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not
               perish, but have everlasting life.</text>

The format is deliberately similar to that provided by the NET Bible web service, to allow existing code to be reused.


There are just two parameters available, both are self-explanatory, passage and version.

Passage is required, and can take many forms. The following are all valid:

Version is optional, and if omitted the KJV is provided by default. A full list of versions currently supported is available below.


  • During the testing period you are not restricted in how many lookups you can request. Once the testing period is over, it is likely that a limit of 5,000 requests per user per day will be put in place.
  • A maximum of 500 verses per request will be returned.
  • All of the texts currently available are in the public domain, so there are no restrictions on how the results can be stored or used.

Future development

The main areas for development will be:

  • Identifying and solving bugs.
  • Better language support (for example, all book names are currently returned in English).
  • Increasing versions available, hopefully to include modern translations.

Versions available:

The following versions are currently available (all of them provided by The Unbound Bible). The code to pass as the version parameter is shown in brackets.

  • Afrikaans 1953 (afrikaans)
  • Albanian (albanian)
  • Amharic NT (amharic)
  • Arabic: Smith & Van Dyke (smith-vandyke)
  • Aramaic NT: Peshitta (peshitta)
  • Armenian (Eastern): (Genesis, Exodus, Gospels) (easternarmenian)
  • Armenian (Western): NT (westernarmenian)
  • Basque (Navarro-Labourdin): NT (basque)
  • Breton Gospels (breton)
  • Chamorro (Psalms, Gospels, Acts) (chamorro)
  • Chinese: NCV (Simplified) (chinese-ncv-simplifi)
  • Chinese: NCV (Traditional) (chinese-ncv-traditio)
  • Chinese: Union (Simplified) (union-simplified)
  • Chinese: Union (Traditional) (union-traditional)
  • Coptic: Bohairic NT (bohairic)
  • Coptic: New Testament (coptic)
  • Coptic: Sahidic NT (sahidic)
  • Croatian (croatia)
  • Czech BKR (bkr)
  • Czech KMS (kms)
  • Czech NKB (nkb)
  • Danish (danish)
  • Dutch Staten Vertaling (statenvertaling)
  • English: Douay-Rheims (douayrheims)
  • English: King James Version (kjv)
  • Esperanto (esperanto)
  • Estonian (estonian)
  • Finnish: Bible (1776) (finnish1776)
  • Finnish: Pyhä Raamattu (1933/1938) (pyharaamattu1933)
  • Finnish: Pyhä Raamattu (1992) (pyharaamattu)
  • French: Darby (darby)
  • French: Louis Segond (1910) (ls1910)
  • French: Martin (1744) (martin)
  • French: Ostervald (1996 revision) (ostervald)
  • Georgian (Gospels, Acts, James) (georgian)
  • German: Elberfelder (1871) (elberfelder)
  • German: Elberfelder (1905) (elberfelder1905)
  • German: Luther (1545) (luther1545)
  • German: Luther (1912) (luther1912)
  • German: Schlachter (1951) (schlachter)
  • Gothic (Nehemiah, NT Portions) (gothic)
  • Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000) (byzantine)
  • Greek NT: Textus Receptus (1550/1894) (textusreceptus)
  • Greek NT: Tischendorf 8th Ed. (tischendorf)
  • Greek NT: Westcott/Hort, UBS4 variants (westcott)
  • Greek OT: LXX [A] Accented (lxx)
  • Greek OT: LXX [A] Unaccented (lxx-noaccents)
  • Greek: Modern (moderngreek)
  • Hebrew OT: Aleppo Codex (aleppo)
  • Hebrew OT: BHS (Consonants & Vowels) (bhs)
  • Hebrew OT: BHS (Consonants Only) (bhs-novowels)
  • Hebrew OT: Westminster Leningrad Codex (wlc)
  • Hebrew OT: WLC (Consonants & Vowels) (wlc2)
  • Hebrew OT: WLC (Consonants Only) (wlc-novowels)
  • Hebrew: Modern (modernhebrew)
  • Italian: Giovanni Diodati Bible (1649) (giovanni)
  • Italian: Riveduta Bible (1927) (riveduta)
  • Kabyle: NT (kabyle)
  • Korean (korean)
  • Latin: Nova Vulgata (newvulgate)
  • Latin: Vulgata Clementina (vulgate)
  • Latvian New Testament (latvian)
  • Lithuanian (lithuanian)
  • Manx Gaelic (manxgaelic)
  • Myanmar/Burmese: Judson (1835) (judson)
  • Norwegian: Det Norsk Bibelselskap (1930) (bibelselskap)
  • Portuguese: Almeida Atualizada (almeida)
  • Romanian: Cornilescu (cornilescu)
  • Russian: Makarij Translation (Pentateuch) (1825) (makarij)
  • Russian: Synodal Translation (1876) (synodal)
  • Russian: Victor Zhuromsky NT (zhuromsky)
  • Scots Gaelic (Gospel of Mark) (scotsgaelic)
  • Spanish: Reina Valera (1909) (rv1909)
  • Spanish: Reina Valera NT (1858) (rv1858)
  • Spanish: Sagradas Escrituras (1569) (sagradas)
  • Swedish (1917) (swedish)
  • Tagalog: Ang Dating Biblia (1905) (tagalog)
  • Tamajaq Portions (tamajaq)
  • Thai: from KJV (thai)
  • Turkish (turkish)
  • Turkish: NT (1987, 1994) (turkish)
  • Ukrainian: NT (P.Kulish, 1871) (ukranian)
  • Uma NT (uma)
  • Vietnamese (1934) (vietnamese)
  • Wolof NT (wolof)
  • Xhosa (xhosa)
9 October, 2009
1:47 pm
New Member
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
9 October, 2009
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Great service! I found a minor problem. When digging around in the YLT Exodus, I noticed the 'oddball quotes' were missing. This may extend to more content; I haven't checked. I have goofed around with these before and converted them to regular quotes just for visibility purposes. Anyway, I may be able to give you a start on identifying them.

Try dec96 hex60 oct140 html&#96 or alt096 on your keyboard for `

Hope this helps.

9 October, 2009
7:53 pm
Forum Posts: 57
Member Since:
23 August, 2009
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This is fantastic news and greatly appreciated. Just this week we were working on adding a function into the tinymce editor so that a user could insert verses into their articles. So far we had only added the kjv to our database, but having an api available with this many choices will be much better.

11 September, 2010
4:20 pm
New Member
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
11 September, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I have two questions:
1 the XML format, why not use OSIS?
2 the short name of book names? eg. John, Jo, Jn, Jhn, Joh, which to support or support all? Can you support Chinese short book name, eg: 约3:16 is equal to John 3:16, or OSIS John.3.16?

16 November, 2010
5:04 am
New Member
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
16 November, 2010
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This is GREAT! I look forward to using this service. Will there be a option to buy a license and have full access without 500 verse restriction?

31 December, 2010
12:43 am
New Member
Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
31 December, 2010
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Great work GOD Bless, I have a problem in Arabic Bible XML.
The problem is some chapters are not complete like the following links.

I appreciate any help

2 June, 2011
12:21 pm
New Member
Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
31 December, 2010
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the book of JD is not complete on arabic:

2 March, 2012
3:40 am
New Member
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
2 March, 2012
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Hi, do the versions work for this? I'm trying them out and getting no version changes.

Here's what it looks like:;type=xml

I don't get the kjv, just the default.

What am I doing wrong?

25 March, 2012
10:07 am
New Member
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
25 March, 2012
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there is a possibility to have a crossdomain.xml for, flash movie, for this domain

If "yes", you can use a flash movie like this.

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