BW Display of text
The New King James version shows Psalm 1:1 in its poetical form:
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
In BW it displays as follows:
Psalm 1:1 NKJ Psalm 1:1 ¶ Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
Is there a way of displaying it in its poetical form?
I agree completely. I have been asking for this for several versions. It doesn't seem to be a priority for the BW team, though I personally believe that paragraph breaks, line breaks, and poetic formatting are an important part of a translation. What did the translators think was poetry? Where did they think an idea ended?
Maybe if lots of people ask, we'll get it.
We did get paragraph markers in BW7, but they're not version-specific.
Some versions in BW indicate line breaks by including a slash (/) where the line break would be. (The German HRD does this, if you want to see how it looks.) This does not display as separate lines in BW, but you can see where the line breaks would be in the printed editions.
If the publishers of English versions wished for their line breaks to display, they could add slashes (or BW could replace other line formatting with slashes) so that BW users could see the editors' decisions about poetry lines.
Since the computer screen has limited space, more of a biblical text (or more versions) can be seen in BW without line breaks than with them. I personally prefer the absence of line breaks for this reason.
I also prefer not having line breaks because orginally there were not only no line breaks in the Bible, but there were no verse divisions, or even word divisions. Quite often (especially when reading the Hebrew Old Testament) the editors' line breaks and the Masoretic Hebrew accents do not agree on where the new lines of poetry begin. (Sometimes, if you leave out the accents and line breaks, you can see where LXX got its translation, when it differs from the Massoretic understanding of a text.) If line breaks are obviously included, it makes it more difficult for us actually to read the original text, because we try to see it through the editors' eyes rather than through its original form. I have found through experience that I often had trouble understanding the real meaning of a psalmist or prophet because the BHS line breaks did not fit the text as it exists but went along with their conjectures for the text in the footnotes. Since BW does not yet have the BHS footnotes, including line hard breaks at this time would be misleading at times. The goal of BW is to get us to read the Bible in the original languages. What various editors see in the text can be helpful in checking whether what we see there is correct, but it is not a high priority, at least not for me.
I want 'em too.
(You can get red-letter? Ewww!)
Line breaks, word breaks, capital letters, punctuation
You can certainly argue that the line breaks aren't original (well, unless they agree with the MT in the OT), but neither are punctuation, sentence breaks, or in many cases, capitals and word breaks, but we use them in English translations. They're part of the translation. Bible works uses verse numbering extensively, and we all know that's not original. I'd much rather have the translators' line breaks than verse-oriented line breaks in my work.
Somehow, the free Bible Gateway has them on its site so I know that the information is available electronically. I guess it's a question of whether the line breaks and poetry formatting are useful to a large enough portion of the BW users. I think they are and other tools have them. It might actually be a really good selling point for BW 8 (assuming such a thing is in the works). One of the things BW is most useful for is preparing Bible studies. Readable English text would be really nice for that.
The BW team members are smart and responsive so I'm sure if lots of people say that we'd like to have it, they'll consider it!
Version specific paragraph markers
I just noticed to my dismay that the "Show Paragraph Markers" option in Bibleworks 7/8 only displays paragraph breaks as they occur in the RSV.
Paragraph divisions are part of a translation. They reflect exegetical decisions made by the translators. As the segmentation apparatus to the UBS GNT demonstrates, comparing paragraph divisions in different translations can often point to important exegetical issues.
For these reasons I hope Bibleworks makes including version specific paragraph markers a *priority* in future releases (or in an update to Bibleworks 8).
David M. Miller
Briercrest College & Seminary
Why BW formats translations the way it does.
Version specific paragraph markers
Thanks for the link to Rick Gross's post, Jim.
Rick said "Perhaps someday we'll have enough manpower to edit the texts to insert such tags, but it's not likely in the foreseeable future, in that we have to concentrate our limited resources on continually improving our exegetical capabilities, those being our chief focus."
I can appreciate the labour-intensive nature of the process. My point, though, is that adding paragraph markings would improve the exegetical capabilities of Bibleworks. They are not mere ornamentation.