diatheke(1) a command line Bible reader


diatheke -b module_name [-o option_filters] [-m maximum_verses] [-f output_format] [-e output_encoding] [-t script] [-v variant_number] [-l locale] -k query_key

diatheke -b module_name -s regex|multiword|phrase [-r search_range] [-l locale] -k search_string

diatheke -b system -k modulelist|modulelistnames|localelist

diatheke -b info -k module_name


diatheke prints Bible verses or other text from the modules which the Sword library uses.


Module name. May be "system" or "info" (see QUERY KEYS) or one of the names obtained by using "diatheke -b system -k modulelist".
Search type. One of regex (regular expression, see regex(7)), multiword (like "word [AND word]..."), phrase (exact text).
Search range. A valid Bible key range value (see -k). For example: Matt-John, Rom, gen-psalms, 1Thess 1:5-2:6.
Module option filters. A combination of "fmhcvalsrbx". See MODULE OPTIONS.
Maximum number of verses returned. Any integer value.
Output format. One of GBF, ThML, RTF, HTML, OSIS, CGI, plain (default). This currently works only if there is a Sword library filter from the original format to the specified output format. HTML and CGI are for generating text for a webpage.
Output character encoding. One of Latin1, UTF16, HTML, RTF, UTF8 (default). This currently works only for module contents, not for system key contents or key texts.
Script. (This seems to be broken in version 4.2.1, it should allow e.g. Greek->Latin1 character transliteration with "-t Latin".)
Variant. The text may contain variant readings. One of -1 (all), 0, 1.
Locale. Sword may have different locales installed. Default is en. Localization affects input and output keys.
Query key. It must be the last argument because all following arguments are added to the key. See QUERY KEYS for different kinds of keys.


By default the optional features of modules are not shown in the returned text. These options make them visible if the module supports them.
Strong's numbers. These numbers refer to the Strong's dictionaries of the New and Old Testaments. Some Bible texts attach these numbers to words.
Morphology of the Greek/Hebrew words. Morphology is shown as a code which refers to an entry in some dictionary-type module.
Section headings.
Hebrew cantillation.
Hebrew vowels.
Greek accents.
Lemmas (the base forms of the words).
Scripture cross-references.
Arabic shaping.
Bi-directional reordering.
Red Words of Christ.


Bible texts and Commentaries
use verse keys. Examples: john 1:1, j1:1 jh1 (the first chapter of John), jh (the whole book of Gospel of John), joh 1:1-3 ( a verse range), joh 1:0 (one verse backwards from 1:1, which is the last verse of the previous book or possibly an introduction to John), joh 1:100 (which is 100 verses forward from the first verse of John 1:1), 1234 (which is the 1234th verse from the beginning of the Bible).
Lexicons and Dictionaries
use word keys. Any word can be used and similar or next entry alphabetically is returned. Some dictionaries like Strong's use numbered entries.
is not a module but when used with -b allows one of these keys: modulelist (list of the available modules with short descriptions), modulelistnames (list of the names of the available modules), localelist (list of the available Sword locales).
is not a module but when used with -b allows a module name as a key and gives some information about that module.


diatheke -b KJV -k joh1:1
Shows John 1:1 in King James Version.
diatheke -b RWP -k Matthew 2:2
Shows Matthew 2:2 in Robertson's Word Pictures commentary.
diatheke -b WebstersDict -k bible
Show entry "bible" in Websters Dictionary.
diatheke -b system -k modulelist
Shows the list of available modules.
diatheke -b KJV -o fmslx -f OSIS -e Latin1 -k john 1:1-3
Shows John 1:1-3 from KJV in OSIS XML format in iso8859-1 encoding with footnotes, morphology, cross-references, lemmas and words of Christ in red. (The module may not support all options and those have no effect. KJV includes only ASCII characters so encoding has no effect.)
diatheke -b GerLut -l de -m 10 -k Offenbarung
Shows the first 10 verses of Revelation in German GerLut version, both input and output keys are localized.
diatheke -b KJV -s phrase -r Mt -k love
Shows those verse keys which include phrase "love" in Gospel of Matthew in KJV module.


Currently diatheke exits always with status 0. If only Bible verse key and module name are shown it means that the module did not have any content in that range. If only module name is shown the key may have been bad. If nothing is shown the book name may have been bad. If Segmentation fault is shown diatheke has been bad.


Sword library: © 1994-2006 Crosswire Bible Society, released under GPL licence. Diatheke: written by Chris Little, © 1999-2006 Crosswire Bible Society, released under GPL licence. This manpage was written by Eeli Kaikkonen and may be used freely.