It all started with my laziness. I used to be a pastor, and when writing sermons, I got tired of transcribing into my text the full text of the Bible verses I wanted to quote; indeed, I found it difficult just to copy them from a Bible program or the Internet and paste them into my editor with a simple click.

So I programmed a macro in TeX that allowed me to just type * John 3:16 in the editor, and the full text of the verse was printed to the resulting PDF: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. This would be according to the New International Version. Somewhere on the computer there had to be an entire NIV Bible and a macro that told the asterix to search the Bible for the appropriate reference (e.g., John 3:16) and after finding it, to type out the entire verse. In fact, you could say that the content of the verse was defined by its reference; in TeX terminology, the reference would be called the command sequence, and the content of the verse is the body of the definition.

But, I thought, if it works with the NIV, why not the King James Version? I implementeded the King James Bible, and the same command sequence * John 3:16 delivered this time: 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.

I was excited because once I got (and modified to be used with TeX) all the available translations (as a matter of fact, I wrote my sermons in Czech language), I could easily switch between them. When there were 10 Bible passages quoted in a sermon, I could decide whether they were in the Czech Study Translation or the B21, etc.; it was even no problem to have in one document one verse, for example, according to the Jerusalem Bible and another according to the Slovo Na Cestu.

Well, another consideration offered itself: If this can be done with ten verses in one sermon, why can't it be done with over 31,000 verses of the entire Bible? What is now my own sermon text could be the commentary footnotes of the study apparatus, and what are individual Bible passages could be the continuous text of the entire Bible. Why not? After all, the fact that I am unable to program a macro that would place notes on the same pages as their respective verses is no proof that it can't be done. I knew someone who was able to do it: RNDr. Petr Olšák

He was cooperative and actually programmed a macro following my instructions that can print a Study Bible automatically in as many translations as you want at the same time. On this (outdated-looking static) website you have the result. Under the DOWNLOADS tab, you can download the macro and create your own Study Bible.

Šimon Konečný, April 2024