Non-Anglophone Bible references

Until today, when responding to a challenge on my Facebook status (concerning my labours to convert my article into the required format for submission to a European journal) I had never realised the logic behind the European system of Bible referencing.

I was once, while teaching Old Testament in Congo (then Zaïre) quite comfortable with the European system of citing Bible references, after all as a student I’d used the manuscript superscript verse numbers ;) But now after nearly two more decades of mainly Anglophone referencing I was confused. To illustrate here’s an example table:

Anglophone manuscript: Anglophone computer: French & German:
Am 71 Am 7:1 Am 7,1
Am 71-3 Am 7:1-3 Am 7,1-3
Am 71-3,4-5 Am 7:1-3, 4-5 Am 7,1-3.4-5

To brains habituated to Anglophony the last column is counter-intuitive, but just think of how the different cultures write numbers:

Anglophone numbers: Francophone numbers: Words:
100 100 One hundred
1,000 1.000 One thousand
1.1 1,1 One decimal one/one and one tenth

PS, before the pedant police tells me I have used the wrong typographic symbol for the Anglophone decimal sign, and believe me some people can get really excited about such things ;) I should point out that I have done it the way 99·9999% of the population does to make my point more pointed, OK?

2 comments on “Non-Anglophone Bible references

  1. tim

    Thank you for the tactfully phrased reproof :)

    Now all I need is a way to do that in AutoHotkey http://www.autohotkey.com and then I could have corrected the table above. And I wonder if the tip works in Open Office to fix my recalcitrant article ;)