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clarkgoble

Best Desktop Scripture Program

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I've become so aggravated with the new scripture search on lds.org (now www.churchofjesuschrist.org) that I've been looking for alternative. There's always Logos but it doesn't support the standard works. Not only did the Church get rid of the old search capabilities but they got rid of the classic search page that until a few months ago still worked. Why, I'm not at all clear. The new site might be simpler for casual users but it's horrible for anyone doing more sophisticated searches. For talks you can still use google search and the site:churchofjesuschrist.org element. You can then limit by date, sort by date and so forth for talks. For scriptures though there's no way to limit to a particular book or so forth. It's extremely frustrating.

The best I've found is BYU's talk and scripture search https://scriptures.byu.edu/#::s

Anyone know of anything better? Ideally allowing more complex search? I know the old Infobase gospel library is around, but that only works on Windows, not Macs.

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Here is another site that I use.

https://www.lds-general-conference.org/

All the best,

Bob

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I agree the search engine on the church's website is horrible.  My favorite is when you search a quote and they give you an entire conference talk that you get to read, looking for the actual quote.  They used to highlight the quote in the talk but apparently that was too useful so it disappeared.  :P

You can kind of limit your search to a specific scripture book though.  You can't at the beginning of the search but after putting in the term or quote, the results page will give you the breakdown of the different scripture books and how many hits were found in each one.  Then you can click on the book you want and just see those results.  It shows up at the top of the page.  Still annoying though.

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I maintain a church related web site where in my writings I like to provide links to scriptures that I refer to. The old church scriptures would take the reader directly to the chapter and verse and highlight the verse.  With these new scriptures I can only get it to link to the chapter and nothing is highlighted. 
For example see what Ether 9: 22 gets you. 

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5 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

I've become so aggravated with the new scripture search on lds.org (now www.churchofjesuschrist.org) that I've been looking for alternative. There's always Logos but it doesn't support the standard works. Not only did the Church get rid of the old search capabilities but they got rid of the classic search page that until a few months ago still worked. Why, I'm not at all clear. The new site might be simpler for casual users but it's horrible for anyone doing more sophisticated searches. For talks you can still use google search and the site:churchofjesuschrist.org element. You can then limit by date, sort by date and so forth for talks. For scriptures though there's no way to limit to a particular book or so forth. It's extremely frustrating.

It's just a ploy to try to get you to read more, rather than a more limited search of the scriptures.

We have more so we're supposed to use more.  Not less.

Get with the program!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, JAHS said:

I maintain a church related web site where in my writings I like to provide links to scriptures that I refer to. The old church scriptures would take the reader directly to the chapter and verse and highlight the verse.  With these new scriptures I can only get it to link to the chapter and nothing is highlighted. 

The highlighting is a bar down the side. i.e. Ether 9:15-18

1 hour ago, champatsch said:

Yeah I'd rather not have to run a VM. Plus WordCrunch is...how to be polite. Not an ideal program IMO. It's definitely better than the current state of the scripture search.

Edited by clarkgoble
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44 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

The highlighting is a bar down the side. i.e. Ether 9:15-18

Sometimes I see that but other times not. I don't think this was ready for launch.

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7 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

I've become so aggravated with the new scripture search on lds.org (now www.churchofjesuschrist.org) that I've been looking for alternative. There's always Logos but it doesn't support the standard works. Not only did the Church get rid of the old search capabilities but they got rid of the classic search page that until a few months ago still worked. Why, I'm not at all clear. The new site might be simpler for casual users but it's horrible for anyone doing more sophisticated searches. For talks you can still use google search and the site:churchofjesuschrist.org element. You can then limit by date, sort by date and so forth for talks. For scriptures though there's no way to limit to a particular book or so forth. It's extremely frustrating.

The best I've found is BYU's talk and scripture search https://scriptures.byu.edu/#::s

Anyone know of anything better? Ideally allowing more complex search? I know the old Infobase gospel library is around, but that only works on Windows, not Macs.

When they changed things a few months ago I put in a complaint through the "contact us" feature, explaining that their search feature was broken.  They actually responded, and said that it would improve over the next few months as they rolled out the new system.  And in fairness, it has definitely improved since then.  I am hopeful it will get still better soon.

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9 minutes ago, JAHS said:

Sometimes I see that but other times not. I don't think this was ready for launch.

I figured out how to do this tonight as I was composing a post for this very forum -- but I never posted because the board software ate my post!

Anyway, here is how you do it:

If you want to link to D&C 76:40-70, do this

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/76.40-70?lang=eng

This just takes you to the top of DC 76, but you have to scroll down to the verses in question and you'll find the verses 40-70 with a blue line to the left, marking them.

If you want to link to it, AND force the browser to scroll down to near the verses in question, do this:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/76.40-70?lang=eng#p39

Notice the difference?  There's "#p39", and what that does is to cause the browser to scroll to verse 39 so that the verse is in the middle of the page.  Just change the link according to where you want to go.

Here's how to go to Matthew 3 in the NT:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/nt/matt/3?lang=eng

Now, drill down to Matt 3:15 and put the midpoint at verse 15:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/nt/matt/3.15?lang=eng#p15

There are other little wrinkles, like splitting the blue mark between non-sequential verses.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/nt/luke/3.9,12?lang=eng#p9

See the comma between 9 and 12.  This marks these two verses.

I haven't figured out any other features, yet.

If you want Book of Mormon, it's "bofm", by the way:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/bofm/jacob/2?lang=eng

 

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42 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

I figured out how to do this tonight as I was composing a post for this very forum -- but I never posted because the board software ate my post!

Anyway, here is how you do it:

If you want to link to D&C 76:40-70, do this

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/76.40-70?lang=eng

This just takes you to the top of DC 76, but you have to scroll down to the verses in question and you'll find the verses 40-70 with a blue line to the left, marking them.

If you want to link to it, AND force the browser to scroll down to near the verses in question, do this:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/76.40-70?lang=eng#p39

Notice the difference?  There's "#p39", and what that does is to cause the browser to scroll to verse 39 so that the verse is in the middle of the page.  Just change the link according to where you want to go.

Here's how to go to Matthew 3 in the NT:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/nt/matt/3?lang=eng

Now, drill down to Matt 3:15 and put the midpoint at verse 15:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/nt/matt/3.15?lang=eng#p15

There are other little wrinkles, like splitting the blue mark between non-sequential verses.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/nt/luke/3.9,12?lang=eng#p9

See the comma between 9 and 12.  This marks these two verses.

I haven't figured out any other features, yet.

If you want Book of Mormon, it's "bofm", by the way:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/bofm/jacob/2?lang=eng

 

Sometimes I see the link constructed in that correct way but not lately. I guess they haven't quite figured out how to translate a scripture reference correctly yet.
Maybe they need to borrow the seer stone for a while. 😉
Guess I will have to edit the links myself until they get it right.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Yeah I'd rather not have to run a VM. Plus WordCrunch is...how to be polite. Not an ideal program IMO. It's definitely better than the current state of the scripture search.

I use WordCruncher almost every day in my work. I'm an advanced user who creates many ebooks. I couldn't do as accurate work as I do without it. One ebook I use has 700 million words. Another has 100 million words. A very large number of precise and complex searches are possible using WordCruncher, including with the scriptures, which Monte Shelley has been maintaining carefully for years.

Edited by champatsch

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On 8/23/2019 at 9:08 AM, clarkgoble said:

I've become so aggravated with the new scripture search on lds.org (now www.churchofjesuschrist.org) that I've been looking for alternative. There's always Logos but it doesn't support the standard works. Not only did the Church get rid of the old search capabilities but they got rid of the classic search page that until a few months ago still worked. Why, I'm not at all clear. The new site might be simpler for casual users but it's horrible for anyone doing more sophisticated searches. For talks you can still use google search and the site:churchofjesuschrist.org element. You can then limit by date, sort by date and so forth for talks. For scriptures though there's no way to limit to a particular book or so forth. It's extremely frustrating.

The best I've found is BYU's talk and scripture search https://scriptures.byu.edu/#::s

Anyone know of anything better? Ideally allowing more complex search? I know the old Infobase gospel library is around, but that only works on Windows, not Macs.

There was already a thread on this, and I shared my frustration. I also made a suggestion from the website to change it back. IIRC they did make a change, but it is only slightly better. I have no idea why they would have given up the old functionality. I liked it too.

Logos certainly set the standard, but I have Accordance instead - but it too has no LDS works. I do remember a free software program that had a Book of Mormon and an JS Inspired Bible, but I cannot remember it now. I think it was an "open source" program, but it was on an old computer which I did not save it off of before the hard drive died.

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22 hours ago, RevTestament said:

There was already a thread on this, and I shared my frustration. I also made a suggestion from the website to change it back. IIRC they did make a change, but it is only slightly better. I have no idea why they would have given up the old functionality. I liked it too.

Logos certainly set the standard, but I have Accordance instead - but it too has no LDS works. I do remember a free software program that had a Book of Mormon and an JS Inspired Bible, but I cannot remember it now. I think it was an "open source" program, but it was on an old computer which I did not save it off of before the hard drive died.

Did you notice @champatsch's post just before yours?  He mentions one, called WordCruncher.  

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6 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Did you notice @champatsch's post just before yours?  He mentions one, called WordCruncher.  

Wordcruncher is a search capability program. It does not have any scripture modules in and of itself. 

The one I was thinking of is Sword(not eSword). It has a JST module available here: http://www.crosswire.org/sword/modules/ModDisp.jsp?modType=Cults . There are several other programs which may be able to run this module. I have really no idea as to the search capabilities of any of them.

I miss the LDS.org scripture search page, because there really is nothing else as good as it was, including Gospel Library.

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57 minutes ago, RevTestament said:
7 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Did you notice @champatsch's post just before yours?  He mentions one, called WordCruncher.  

Wordcruncher is a search capability program. It does not have any scripture modules in and of itself. 

Of course it does.

image.png.75851984ca8d75a23578562b33c74906.png

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WordCruncher also has this module for only $10. The attention to fonts, formatting, pagination, etc., is flawless. It's really well done.

image.thumb.png.5f07be68e393530ee4d72d5f04cfaa26.png

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1 hour ago, champatsch said:

Of course it does.

image.png.75851984ca8d75a23578562b33c74906.png

Word cruncher only works on your own personal PC, right?  I really need something online for my website that I can link to when needed. 

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Posted (edited)
On 8/24/2019 at 8:37 AM, champatsch said:

I use WordCruncher almost every day in my work. I'm an advanced user who creates many ebooks. I couldn't do as accurate work as I do without it. One ebook I use has 700 million words. Another has 100 million words. A very large number of precise and complex searches are possible using WordCruncher, including with the scriptures, which Monte Shelley has been maintaining carefully for years.

Sorry I should have been clearer - I don't like it's UI. 

It was an interesting product. It's unfortunate it never really was treated well as it got passed from company to company back in the naughts.  

I think a contemporary supported application is really needed. We thought about doing it since we have underlying technology that can do everything Wordcruncher did and more. However the economics never really worked out well so now we're focused on very different things. We almost expanded things somewhat and a large company was interested in buying us - but we'd have had to move to the San Francisco region which we weren't interested in depsite the money.

Getting back to Wordcrucher - it's basically an abandoned piece of software. While Microsoft puts more resources behind backwards compatibility than Apple, the day will come that it'll probably not work in the current version of Windows. I'd add that having to load a resource hungry virtual machine is also a bit of a pain. It's not a problem at home where I have 48G of RAM but my laptop at work is only 8G and thus much more resource constrained.

Edited by clarkgoble

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15 hours ago, champatsch said:

Of course it does.

image.png.75851984ca8d75a23578562b33c74906.png

Oh. Well I see I stand corrected. Fortunately, I don't use Apple computers. Thanks for that. Maybe, I'll have a new favorite.

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41 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

Oh. Well I see I stand corrected. Fortunately, I don't use Apple computers. Thanks for that. Maybe, I'll have a new favorite.

It's available on iPhone / iPad too.

BYU actively maintains it. I just received a report outlining three improvements they are making. It's not used widely I guess, but it isn't quite abandoned.  I know that academics not affiliated with BYU used it in the 1990s and probably in the 2000s.

It just never expanded to wide use, and I guess it won't in the future, but if there's something better for LDS scripture searching and study, I haven't seen it.

For general purposes, what else is comparable or better, where the searches are more precise than corpus searches such as can be made with Mark Davies' corpora?

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6 minutes ago, champatsch said:

It's available on iPhone / iPad too.

BYU actively maintains it. I just received a report outlining three improvements they are making. It's not used widely I guess, but it isn't quite abandoned.  I know that academics not affiliated with BYU used it in the 1990s and probably in the 2000s.

It just never expanded to wide use, and I guess it won't in the future, but if there's something better for LDS scripture searching and study, I haven't seen it.

For general purposes, what else is comparable or better, where the searches are more precise than corpus searches such as can be made with Mark Davies' corpora?

It looks pretty sweet. I've already downloaded most of the library including Josephus, and the Ante-Nicene Fathers, etc. I think this will help me substantially, and I never knew about it. Now I'm wondering if I should have spent any money on Accordance.... but I wanted a specific NT critical apparatus module they had...

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22 hours ago, champatsch said:

Of course it does.

image.png.75851984ca8d75a23578562b33c74906.png

Is there any way to get Skousen's The Earliest Text in WordCruncher format?

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, champatsch said:

It's available on iPhone / iPad too.

BYU actively maintains it. I just received a report outlining three improvements they are making. It's not used widely I guess, but it isn't quite abandoned.  I know that academics not affiliated with BYU used it in the 1990s and probably in the 2000s.

That's actually exciting since there are several philosophical repositories such as the collected works of C. S. Peirce available in that format. I didn't realize that BYU had the source code. I do wish if they had the source code that they could block out the UI code and do a port to Mac. 

6 hours ago, champatsch said:

It just never expanded to wide use, and I guess it won't in the future, but if there's something better for LDS scripture searching and study, I haven't seen it.

For general purposes, what else is comparable or better, where the searches are more precise than corpus searches such as can be made with Mark Davies' corpora?

It actually had a pretty big corporate footprint in the late 90's and that was how they marketed it for tech documents and the like. What really killed it was crappy but moderately functional open source alternatives and different sorts of document management server software. I think that had they continued to expand it, particularly in the corporate world and legal world, that it could have been successful. Part of the problem as I mentioned was the chain of corporate owners it had. I'd love to know how the source code ended up at BYU. I wonder if they have truly "legal" rights to it or if this was just someone who had the source code doing it out of love.

Actually reading their web site it does say they're doing a Mac port, but I'm not sure how far along that is. I'm actually a bit surprised they got an iOS version going. At minimum that should mean a minimal Mac port using this year's new Catalyst tools for porting iOS apps is easy. (Doing a *good* port is an other question as Apple's own Catalyst apps demonstrate sadly)

 

 

Edited by clarkgoble

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