Projects:Go Bible

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Go Bible is a free Bible viewer application for Java mobile phones, originally developed by Jolon Faichney. Following the rapid growth of smart phones, apps like Go Bible for feature phones are now well past their peak popularity. Go Bible is no longer being actively developed.

Collaboration between CrossWire and Go Bible

In July 2008, I was asked to lead a new CrossWire project to facilitate closer collaboration between CrossWire and Go Bible volunteers, in effect to enable the Go Bible application to act as something like a front-end for CrossWire Bible modules on the Java ME platform. The author of the Go Bible application and the developer kit Go Bible Creator has given this proposal his blessing. The source code for both was already made available as open source.

Go Bible differs from SWORD front-ends in that each Biblical text is packed within the same JAR file as the Bible viewer. The main reason for this is that Java ME applications that require even read access to separate data files nag the user repeatedly for permissions.

My contacts at Wycliffe Bible Translators have indicated that this would be of considerable interest to them, as they are keen to make use of the mobile phone technology to publish their translations. Some of them have expressed the opinion that the User Interface of Go Bible is "just right" for reading the Bible on a mobile phone.

I would like to hear from any CrossWire volunteers who would be interesting in participating. Not all participants would need to be Java programmers. There is much to be done towards automating the software tools to convert CrossWire Bible modules to one of the formats suitable for use with Go Bible Creator. So if you are interested, please leave a message in my Talk page.

Go Bible on the CrossWire website

Please visit here. Please help to improve these pages especially now there is a link from the CrossWire main page.

Latest Release

Go Bible Creator version 2.4.5 was released as a maintenance fix on 2013-11-12.

For download details, please see Go Bible Creator.

Now that smart phones have overtaken feature phones, Go Bible software is no longer being actively developed.

Source code

Until 1st March 2014, the most up to date source code version for Go Bible and Go Bible Creator was

There is one branch called SymScroll developed by Daniel Sim to support touch screen only phones. Although development by CrossWire has ceased, Daniel still has GitHub as his source code repository for the SymScroll branch. See gobible-creator.

NB. The source code for GoBibleCore isn't part of Daniel's branch.


The source code for GoBibleCore is now available in GitHub.

  • 2017-11-17 It was updated with the latest code in our SVN server.


Software development

In some African countries, even Android phones are too expensive for many, so there's still a useful role for Go Bible.

As of November 2017, there's some new development activity started to add a Section Headings feature to Go Bible. The new activity is being done on GitHub rather than in CrossWire SVN.

In March 2011, we released a maintenance update as Go Bible Creator 2.4.1 to fix some issues in the internal manifest.

In April 2010, we released Go Bible 2.4.0 (together with Go Bible Creator). The new release includes some improvements and bug fixes to GoBibleCore. This was the first change involving GoBibleCore since version 2.2.6. All the changes from 2.3.0 through 2.3.6 affected GoBibleCreator only.

SIL adapted Go Bible Creator to be capable of specifying XHTML_TE as a source text format, in order to provide further support for their FieldWorks Translation Editor.

Go Bible Forum

The Go Bible Forum database permanently crashed some time ago and is unlikely to be repaired.

There's a snapshot archive of the forum on the Wayback Machine here. However, there's no way to login even if you were registered, so the full set of categories will remain hidden.

Tasks list

Please refer to Projects:Go Bible/Tasks.

Development Tools

Preprocessing tools

For Go Bible Creator, there is a USFM Preprocessor program available for Windows. This is not hosted on the CrossWire SVN server. See below for further details.

  • Go Bible Creator USFM Preprocessor – This is a tool to parse through and identify, correct and publish USFM file formats into a file format that can easily be put into the Go Bible mobile phone program. The latest version also includes a tool to export into BQ/DigiStudy format. The latest version also includes an option to fix any versification issues detected in the USFM files. Linux users may find it useful to learn that this .NET application works in Mono, though you may need to use Open Office to grab the contents of the clipboard.

For "milestoned" form of OSIS XML files, there is an XSLT script available to convert these to the "containered" form, which is the form required by Go Bible Creator. Details to be added later. This was written by Lars Huttar.

  • This third party project osis-converters includes a Perl script that converts OSIS files to make Go Bible applications.

TextPipe filters

For general text file processing, I make frequent use of the proprietary Windows program called TextPipe Standard purchased from DataMystic.
In this section I will describe some of the more general bespoke filters that I have used.

  • TDT to CSV – a filter to convert a Tab Delimited Text file to Comma Separated Variable format
  • CSV to VPL – a filter to convert a Comma Separated Variable file to Verse Per Line format
  • VPL to ThML – a filter to convert from Verse Per Line format to Theological Markup Language
  • VPL to USFM – a filter to convert a single VPL file to a set of USFM files (with only basic markup)
  • My VPL to CrossWire VPL – a filter to convert from my VPL format to CrossWire VPL format (replace booknames)
  • CrossWire VPL to my VPL – a filter to convert from CrossWire VPL format to my VPL format (replace booknames)
  • VPL to IMP – a filter to convert from CrossWire Verse Per Line format to SWORD Import format
  • diatheke to ThML – a filter to convert from the SWORD utility diatheke output format to simple ThML format
  • ThML to Books – a filter to extract all the Bible book names from a ThML file

From time to time, I upload all my filters and related files to My

Whenever a particular need arises, I often resort to making a quick TextPipe filter to process text files from other formats.

AutoIt Scripts

I have created some AutoIt scripts that are useful for various file format conversions in Windows. These automate some tasks I've often encountered during preprocessing translators' source text files. They can be downloaded from a shared folder in my account. These are now available:

  • MSWord to RTF – Convert multiple MS Word documents to Rich Text Format by means of MS Word
  • RTF to RTF – Convert RTF files (from any application) to simpler RTF files by means of Wordpad
  • RTF to Unicode – Convert multiple RTF files to Unicode text format by means of WordPad


  • How to convert a SWORD module to Go Bible. See [1].
  • How to convert a Go Bible J2ME application into an Android package. See [2]
  • How to change the User Interface (UI) for an existing Go Bible application. See Changing the UI.

Integration of Go Bible in other software

A number of other Bible translation related software applications have integrated Go Bible as an output format option. These include:


  1. The Go Bible applications made in this way may not include all the rich features available in applications made using Go Bible Creator.
  2. There are no procedures in place to ensure that the output option matches the latest version of Go Bible software.

Bibledit: Export data to Go Bible

Teus Benschop has integrated some functionality of Go Bible Creator into Bibledit.

The Bibledit wiki has very sparse information about export to Go Bible. To navigate to this subsection, choose Reference | Menu | File | Export # Go Bible. It reads as follows,

This will create a Go Bible. It runs on a cell phone. You need to have a working Java runtime environment. This can be installed through your distribution's software installation mechanism.

I am told that Bibledit provides no place to enter the Info: line needed to display the Go Bible Menu | About. This is an important requirement for Bible translation copyright owners, and is thus a significant omission.

SIL Pathway

SIL Pathway is written in C#. It can be integrated into using it with either UBS Paratext or SIL Field Works. One of the output formats is for Go Bible. The program calls upon a local copy of Go Bible Creator. Before sending USFM input text to that, some internal pre-processing is done to cope with:

  1. Verse ranges
  2. Split verses

We are in touch with the project leader, Greg Trihus.

Further information

Team blog

For further information, please visit the Go Bible Team blog. The side panel contains links to all the Go Bible related places.

To join the team blog as a contributor, please email David Haslam.