Modeling Bible Text

Challenges

It's important to distinguish the general notion of a book of the Bible from a particular expression of it in a translation. For example, Matthew's Gospel has abstract properties: the author is Matthew (an instance of the Author class), its name is "Matthew", its abbreviated name is "Matt", it has 28 chapters, and so forth. All these properties are independent of any one written work representing it.

Actual published works (like the English Standard Version) of Matthew's Gospel, whether in print or electronic form, have other properties.

This distinction is modeled in the SemanticBible ontology by different classes. The Book class represents Bible books in the general sense, while the Text class represents specific written works.