Organising The Bible in Obsidian

Haha, thank you! I am very glad this is of help to some one :slight_smile:

Good on you for fixing the script! I am quite sure this is due to me using key codes for my German keyboard that don’t correlate to the same symbols on other keyboard layouts. Glad you were able to change the script to make it work.

Great! Now the script is even more complete :smile:


So far, my workflow is mostly engaging with Scripture through other content. Whenever I listen to a sermon or pick up a reference to a scripture, I’ll write a note in Obsidian an link it.

I have been very inspired by @Lithou though to use Obsidian to engage directly with scripture. (So @Lithou, please feel free to share more! :smile:) To have understanding emerge from me spending time with the Spirit and Scripture.

So now I am thinking about implementing practices to engage with the text within Obsidian. Since I haven’t imported the Psalms yet I am thinking about copying a Psalm each day as a part of my daily-ish morning journaling. That seems like a good way to start the day spending time with Scripture and God’s presence. To value the time spent with the Text.

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Take this with a grain of salt as I’m not religious nor have I studied the bible. But it serves as an interesting case study for knowledge management because of its age and widespread use.

The way you do it with headers seems excessive to me and breaks you out of the flow of reading it? The way I’d do it is just keep it in the paragraph form and excise a note and link to it when you find a line you decide to connect to other lines or write commentary on. I did a quick couple of notes to how it’d look in my mind

either of these

Or instead of links you could turn the lines into just straight up embeds that could be clicked, but for that to work and keep the flow you’d have to alter the CSS of embeds to be naked embeds and minimalist.

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I love getting the input from those who aren’t religious or students of the Text. I find you have perspectives on things that the rest of us are blind to. Rabbi Fohrman calls this the lullaby affect. We hear a story so much growing up that we take things for granted until someone hears the story for the first time and points out “Hey, isn’t it that a little weird?”

So with your approach, you add the center note for any verse(s) you are annotating? Then you copy the text in plus add any embed from external sources like a third party commentary (the righthand pane) or quotes from another book, etc?

I love your point that paragraphs might be a better division within each file. When I memorized passages, I didn’t do verse numbers, just chapters and paragraphs (or paragraph sections for places where each sentence is it’s own paragraph.) For example, Romans 16 was 4 “Paragraphs”/sections. I think I’ll try this out for a bit and see how it goes.

If you use designations for each, it would make sense to embed the full paragraph/section even if you were referring to a specific verse within that section.

Also, if you wanted to do something unique, you could just copy/paste the portion you wanted into a block quote with a link at the end to the section in which it is located.

Wouldn’t this create a file for each embed that you did? While it would start out fine, I think it could grow cumbersome rather quickly. Depends on what use case you have though. I personally would avoid it because I create embeds for proper nouns and concepts so that will probably interfere.

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@Lithou yes it would create a file for each embed that you did. But I would only create embeds for lines that you plan to write more on or connect to others.

Also it doesn’t seem too excessive. Wikipedia tells me there are " 31,102 verses" in the Bible. Luhmann had 90,000 notes by the time he was done. So you could have a note for each verse in the bible and then a bunch of connecting notes for each verse.

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I really appreciate your input, @lizardmenfromspace. It was my hope that other people from the PKM community would find it an interesting case study.

On headers and readability: With a bit of rudimentary CSS tweaking1 , I was able to create a reading experience that is totally fine for me.

I do love though that in your approach you can quickly see the verses you already have other notes on. Until there is an indication for linked headings, it is hard to see on which verses you might have notes on. Having a consolidated “Commentary” section on each verse is also very helpful.

I definitely see the benefits of this approach, I am just hesitant to go through the effort of importing and formatting the Bible again :sweat_smile: How did you create the superscripted verse numbers? Did you format them manually/via regrex or were you able to copy and paste the format?

This system also introduces just a tiny bit more friction for a new reference. Currently, typing [[Eph-1#8]] does the job. In the other approach after creating a new [[Ephesians 1.8]] reference, I would have to go back to the paragraph to add that link, right?

Again, thanks for your input. I can really see the benefits of this approach and I am on the fence of changing my whole system. :smiley:


1: In case it is helpful to someone, here is the code. If someone would be willing to help me out in how to get rid of the space after each verse, I would really appreciate it!

.markdown-preview-view h6
{
  position: relative;
  left: -3%;
  top: 26px;
  line-height: 0px;
  margin-top: -20px;
  margin-right: 3px;
  font-family: var(--font-family-preview);
  font-weight: 500;
  font-size: 10px;
  font-weight: bold;
  color: var(--text-faint) !important;
}
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Hello everyone, I am glad that I found this discussion here, although what I am working on is the Quran.

I just imported the whole Quran into Obsidian, 114 chapters and 6236 verses. Currently each verse is an .md file, but I am looking for ways to organize it better.

Thank you so much for writing in details on how you use Obsidian to organize the Bible, I will try some of the ideas here!

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First off, thanks selfire for the applescript! Although I have 0 experience with scripts of any kind, the tutorial post and clear comments helped me to get the export done.

Now that I have the Bible in my vault, I have a couple of improvements in mind:

  1. as you mentioned, the ability to remove space between lines would be phenomenally helpful for readability.
  2. Would it also be possible to denote paragraphs?
  3. This is probably impossible, but having the verses joined together in a single line when they form a single sentence would be so good.

Thanks again!

Thank you.

Hey @tpmiap! So glad it worked for you even without any prior experience.

On (1): Yes, that would be really helpful. The CSS solution to that is way beyond me but I will try to reach out to some people more experienced than me and will share if there is a solution!

EDIT: margin-top: -20px; did the trick!

On (2): I guess a way to denote paragraphs would be with a heading. I could see how that would be possible with some advanced regex but it is a way beyond me. (and for me the experience so far is fine)

On (3): I guess a solution to both (2) and (3) would be @lizardmenfromspace’s approach. I guess you could tweak the script in a way that imports the Bible in a more similar fashion to his approach. For me, creating a new note for each reverenced verse and linked back to it is a bit too much work right now. If you’re happy to have a go at it, I’d help if you get stuck though! :slight_smile:

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Hi @Joschua, thanks for the response! Yes, the experience (and utility) is indeed much better than if I did not have the Bible in Obsidian at all. For now, I relate to your concerns with @lizardmenfromspace’s approach and will likewise stick to what I have. (Also because finding my way around applescript was quite the baptism by fire, despite all the great help and documentation you provided.)

edit: Just tried margin-top -20px; !! Wow - really makes me want to pick up CSS. Thanks :slight_smile:

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Dave Gifford is a Tiddlywiki developer who has been doing some great work based on Roam principles. He’s also a missionary in Mexico, and has been working on organizing the Gospels in Tiddlywiki. You can see his project at https://giffmex.org/html/evangelios/Pasajes%20en%20Mateo.html (in Spanish). There’s a Youtube interview with him at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvLHjwYJfA4 . He talks about the Gospel project near the end.

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It’s great. Would you like to show how you organize the Quran in detail? Maybe it’s great if creating new forum about organizing Quran in Obsidian (I’m not ready yet to start the forum, since my Quran organization is not stable yet :sweat_smile:).

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Hi @Joschua, I’ve just been looking through the forums and thought of something that would improve our abilities to link notes to verses. Unfortunately, I don’t have the technical ability to execute.

Right now, if I want to embed or refer to a chunk of verses, for example, John 3:16-20, I have to manually type the links for each of the verses. I suspect that Keyboard Maestro might be able to solve this inconvenience with a macro that takes input like “John 3:16-20” and pastes links for the verses into the clipboard.

What do you think of this idea? Further, do you know of anyone who could make this happen?

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Oh, that’s a good idea. I’m not super familiar with keyboard maestro, but that concept is doable with basic level of programming since you have a small, finite amount of books (would have to figure out syntax between 1 Cor 10:1-2 , I Cor 10:1-2, 1 Corinthians 10:1-2, etc) and be ok with edge/corner case references. If you didn’t have any chapter/book jumps like Gen 1:20 - 2:5 you should be able to do that quite quickly.

That’s a great idea indeed! I am also not so familiar with Keyboard Maestro; I use espanso.

This is something I have been thinking about for a bit and if there’s enough time I might look into whipping up a rough solution.

I played around with Keyboard Maestro for a bit but couldn’t find my way around the problem. I’ll give it another go when I have more free time. Thanks :slight_smile:

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I use KM a hundred times a day, and would be happy to help troubleshoot. Also very interested in this particular forum topic.

Shoot me something specific to figure out with KM and I’d quickly become obsessed with it as a puzzle that needs solving. Just let me know what you want to do.

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Thanks for sharing. I think this is the method I’d prefer for Bible study. Do you mind elaborating on this a little?

I’m new to Obsidian in the last few weeks, so some of the embedding and linking features get lost on me.

Hi! Thanks for responding. I’m trying to figure out how to use KM to simplify the process of linking to chunks or swathes or verses. Right now, each chapter of the Bible has its own md note, and each verse is a H6 heading. This means that referring to multiple verses requires typing links multiple times.

So for example, if I’m trying to link to Luke 11:27-30, I don’t want to have to write
“[[Luke 11#27]] [[Luke 11#28]] [[Luke 11#29]] [[Luke 11#30]]” manually. Ideally I’d like a KM macro that allows to type something like “Luke 11:27-30” and output the links.

I’d greatly appreciate if you could make that work!

@tpmiap Almost got it. Should be ready soon.

Edit: Version 1.1 - Corrected a redundant RegEx pattern.
Bible Pericope Reference for Obsidian.kmmacros.zip (13.7 KB)

Here it is. You’ll have to unzip it, then open it with KM.

  • If you’re like me and you’re paranoid about malware, I’d suggest always importing someone else’s macros through File>Import Macros Safely…

  • There are notes in the file, but basically you need to have:

    1. Full name of the book (Genesis, not Gen.) because it would take forever to parse out the variations of the abbreviations for every book
    2. An actual existing file with the chapter and verse source text available (i.e. I don’t have the book of James ready, so if I try the macro on James 1:1-3 it won’t work.
    3. A range of verses, not a single verse (if it’s a single verse reference, you won’t need the macro and it wouldn’t save you any time).

I’ve done some testing and it seems to work OK for me, but if you find issues let me know. They can probably be fixed by tweaking the RegEx filter.

Example:

1 Corinthians 12:5-8

will give you:

![[1 Corinthians 12#5]]
![[1 Corinthians 12#6]]
![[1 Corinthians 12#7]]
![[1 Corinthians 12#8]]

  • If you want them all in a single line instead of on new lines each, that can be done as well.

Note: This works for the methodology posted at the beginning of this thread by @Joschua, not the later ideas. Those might work as well with KM, I just haven’t tried yet.