I've found a couple databases or xml (programming-friendly) Bibles online that I can work with for an application that I'm building.

One thing that I'd really like to find but haven't been able to is a red-letter edition of the KJV in some sort of programming friendly file, whether this is a database, a strictly-formatted text file (or likely, set of text files) or something like an XML or JSON fileset.

Does anyone know where I might find one?

I assume, but cannot be sure, that the red-lettering (Jesus' and sometimes God's words) still leaves the work in the public domain?

Edit: I had found johnhurt.com, a site that has a few bibles in access .mdb format, but they aren't red-letter. Still, much better than nothing, but thanks to the answer below, I have exactly what I want and more!

  • You might be interested in the SWORD Project. They create gnu Bible study tools. Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 1:50
  • 1
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about software
    – warren
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 21:32

1 Answer 1


The standard KJV module for The Word. available to download from the page given or as part of a standard install of the module, is red letter. The format is not the best for your purposes though. Red letter text is indicated by <FR> ... <Fr>, unfortunately there are a lot of other markup codes you would have to deal with.

Here is an example:

Jesus<WG2424> said<WG5346> unto him<WG846>, <FR>It is written<Fr><WG1125><FR> again<Fr>
<WG3825><FR>, <Fr><FR><FO>Thou shalt<Fo><Fr><WG1598><FR><FO> not<Jesus<WG2424> 
said<WG5346> unto him<WG846>, <FR>It is written<Fr><WG1125><FR> again<Fr><WG3825><FR>, 
<Fr><FR><FO>Thou shalt<Fo><Fr><WG1598><FR><FO> not<Fo><Fr><WG3756><FR><FO> tempt<Fo>
<Fr><WG1598><FR><FO> the Lord<Fo><Fr><WG2962><FR><FO> thy<Fo><Fr><WG4675><FR><FO> 
God<Fo><Fr><WG2316><FR><FO>.<Fo><Fr><RF>tempt: or, try, or, put to trial, or, 
proof<Rf>Fo><Fr><WG3756><FR><FO> tempt<Fo><Fr><WG1598><FR><FO> the Lord<Fo><Fr><WG2962>
<FR><FO> thy<Fo><Fr><WG4675><FR><FO> God<Fo><Fr><WG2316><FR><FO>.<Fo><Fr><RF>tempt: or, 
try, or, put to trial, or, proof<Rf>

Under Downloads -> Tools and technical docs you can find a .doc description of the format, special modules to help/test indexing and placement of verses, etc.

I tried a DDG search; the first four hits seem to be possibilities. Check out the third, http://www.geeksandgod.com/forums/web-development/miscellaneous/bible-xml-format where user iluke says he has the kjv in mysql. It's near impossible to know who's got red-letter markup and who doesn't, though.

  • Wow! Thanks! Do you have any insight into this file format? It sucks not having verse notations in there but I could work with it. Perhaps you would contact me at this same username @gmail.com? I'm curious what these WG tags are about and what FO is about if you have any knowledge of it. Again, a tremendous thank you for this link.
    – Regular Jo
    Commented Aug 17, 2014 at 3:33
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    Updated to add the module documentation. You might also want to see if zefania or unbound bible (linked to there) have red letter in XML format. Alternatively, there's the th.m (?) markup format that SIL uses - but they may require using proprietary tools.
    – Bit Chaser
    Commented Aug 17, 2014 at 10:09
  • I am without words. This excellent resource never came up in several google searches I tried, though my searches usually involved the word database or xml (because proprietary formats are often encrypted). Thank you so much for showing me this.
    – Regular Jo
    Commented Aug 17, 2014 at 20:57
  • I'm not sure what that last link is supposed to be. It appears to be a DDG search result page for the Polish character Ł. Besides the fact that "the third search result" is unlikely to be stable over time, I'm not sure why we're supposed to be looking at a search for Ł. I suspect you copied and pasted the wrong link. Why not link to the article directly, rather than to a search results page?
    – TRiG
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 0:01
  • @bracketsage. I believe that format is a form of SGML, once memorably described as "XML's weird older brother".
    – TRiG
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 0:03

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