XML Bible API

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 have therefore developed an API that will allow easy access to as many different versions and languages as possible. The whole Bible is available in 54 versions, the New Testament in a further 12, 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. The database behind this API stores nearly 2½ million verses, and serves about 200,000 requests per day. The service is provided free of charge, and has been available since April 2009 with minimal downtime (although I can’t offer any guarantees of future availability).

If you want a translation that is not currently available, please ask. Please note that version that are currently in copyright (e.g. NIV, NKJV, etc.) cannot be added unless you are able to secure copyright permission. Permission has been granted for the NASB and Amplified Bibles.

Other Bible APIs available online include:

Accessing the services

To access the service, you make a HTTP GET request, like this one: http://api.preachingcentral.com/bible.php?passage=Jn3:16&version=kjv

Typical result

The service will return an XML file like this:

<bible>
     <title>Jn3:16</title>
     <range>
          <request>Jn3:16</request>
          <result>John 3:16</result>
          <item>
               <bookname>John</bookname>
               <chapter>3</chapter>
               <verse>16</verse>
               <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>
          </item>
     </range>
     <time>0.117</time>
</bible>

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

Parameters

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.

Restrictions

  • 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 (most of them provided by The Unbound Bible). The code to pass as the version parameter is shown in brackets.

  • 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: American King James Version (akjv)
  • English: American Standard Version (asv)
  • English: Amplified Version (amplified)
  • English: Douay-Rheims (douayrheims)
  • English: King James Version (kjv)
  • English: New American Standard (nasb)
  • English: World English Bible (web)
  • English: Young’s Literal Translation (ylt)
  • Esperanto (esperanto)
  • Estonian (estonian)
  • Finnish: Bible (1776) (finnish1776)
  • Finnish: Pyhä Raamattu (1933/1938) (pyharaamattu1933)
  • 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)
  • Ukrainian: NT (P.Kulish, 1871) (ukranian)
  • Uma NT (uma)
  • Vietnamese (1934) (vietnamese)
  • Wolof NT (wolof)
  • Xhosa (xhosa)