Use Cases for A Semantic New Testament


The Semantically-Annotated New Testament (SemANT) Project seeks to annotate the New Testament with a formal semantic representation based on open Internet standards, producing a sharable resource that supports practical applications like meaning-based automated processing and integration with other resources. This ambitious vision seeks to go beyond words, and make the concepts and meanings of the Bible available to software tools and systems.

Few if any such applications exist today, because the data do not exist to support them. SemANT represents an opportunity to advance the utility and accessability of the Scriptures by enabling new capabilities that are genuinely historic in their scope. However, the work required to develop the data is so substantial that it is unlikely to ever be undertaken without a clear understanding of the value that will result. This document seeks to define the eventual value of SemANT in terms of what new capabilities will be enabled for end users, by presenting several use cases for the data. It's hoped that a clear statement of the results that people might enjoy will help justify the effort of the project.

SemANT is About Data, Not Software

Before defining use cases and describing some possible use cases for SemANT, it's important to be clear on what SemANT will and will not produce.

One can compare this to an electronic dictionary or concordance. Creating an electronic dictionary web site like first requires someone to develop the data behind it. In the case of, this must mean at least organizing a database of words.

After this data is available, it's possible to build software applications that use this data. The web site is one example: you can type words into a box, and retrieve their definitions. But the application is largely independent from the data that supports it: creating the data does not by itself create the application (though it enables it), and . There are many other possible applications that could be build on this data. Sometimes the mere availability of the data, in a structured and documented format, makes it possible for others to envision new applications that the developers of the data themselves never imagined: this is one of the central values of the Internet and distributed computing.

What's a "Use Case"

Use cases are a formal involve an actor, a task or goal, and a result

The Unified Modeling Language User Guide (UML) defines a use case as follows:

A use case specifies the behavior of a system or a part of the system and is a description of a set of sequences of actions, including variants, that a system performs to yield an observable result of value to an actor.


visual presentation is one use


connecting information