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This FAQ is not linked from the CrossWire front page. Instead a static copy is taken from time to time from this page to ensure that the publicly presented FAQ is not easily vandalized, presents in the same style as the main page and does not contain draft text.


Places for help

http://www.crosswire.org is our main page. Scroll down to see the list of software and links to their home pages. Many applications have their own support systems and FAQs.

We have a support mailing list, sword-support at crosswire.org. Other users can not see your question. Please read this FAQ and other documentation first.

End user FAQ

Here are some commonly asked questions about the CrossWire Bible Society and The SWORD Project and answers to them.

Questions about CrossWire

What is CrossWire?

CrossWire is a non-commercial organization which produces Bible related Free Software. We have several software products. We also have numerous text modules (Bible translations, commentaries, lexicons, ...) which can be used with our software. All products are made by individual volunteers who may or may not know each other's work. Therefore it is important that you first know which product you have questions about. Then you can select the category and question below. If your question is not answered here and you have to ask us directly, please attach as much information about your problem as possible, especially about the product you are using. Considering the volume of mail we receive daily and the few workers we have to answer support emails, vague email and email that asks questions clearly answered on this page are likely to go unanswered.

See also About Us.

When was CrossWire founded?

The founder began working on SWORD software since about 1982, first posted the source code on the internet around 1989, and probably registered the crosswire.org domain about 1992.

What is SWORD?

SWORD is an Application Programming Interface (API) for CrossWire modules. When referring to SWORD it is customary to use all uppercase. It is sometimes referred to as the SWORD engine. It should not be confused with one of our front-end applications called The Sword Project for Windows.

Is SWORD the same as e-Sword?

Short answer: No!

Long answer: CrossWire has no connection with that provider of proprietary Bible Study software for the Windows platform. CrossWire software is open-source and multi-platform.

Questions about text modules

Do you or will you have NIV/NASB/NLT/Message/NKJV/NRSV/etc.?

Most publishers of the most popular modern English translations have not been interested in publishing their material in our format, even for a licensing (unlock) fee. With respect to most of these popular modern translations, we have requested permission to distribute and have been turned down.

Some exceptions include:

The NASB is in progress and will be sold commercially by The Lockman Foundation.
The ESV is a word-for-word "essentially literal" translation which continues the KJV legacy but is based on modern textual criticism. It is freely downloadable from our repositories.
The NET uses a more dynamic equivalence principle and is downloadable from bible.org in either a free (with registration) version containing limited notes or a premium ($20) version with the full NET translation note set.

Do you have the original King James/Authorized Version?

The original Authorized Version, also known as the King James Version, was published in 1611. This text is nearly unreadable to most modern readers. For an example of it, see KJV 1611. What we have is the 1769 version, that is the basis of today's printed versions, and that most people wrongly call the original.

May I use Sword Modules on my website?

While our software can be freely redistributed, many modules have been licensed to Crosswire for distribution. To use those modules, you will need to obtain permission for yourself.

How do I convert Sword modules to text?

We would like to discourage this. Please work with us in making our software better.

But, if you really need the text, each module has a conf file which will tell you about the origin of the text. Please obtain the source the same way we did. You may not convert the modules that have been licensed to CrossWire for distribution. The KJV module is the only one for which we maintain the source, which you can obtain here.

How do I convert modules from other Bible software (e.g. e-Sword, BibleWorks, or OLB) into Sword modules?

The SWORD Project does not support the conversion of texts from other Bible software vendors. By that, we mean that we encourage neither you nor others to convert material from other software because it may violate licensing or copyright restrictions. Nor can we provide any assistance to those who choose to convert such material.

I have purchased and lost a key to a locked module. Can you tell me what it is?

The SWORD Project does not sell or handle locked module keys. You should contact the module vendor for help in this matter.

My Personal module shows some strange text, why?

For a while, there was a bug in the configuration file (mods.d\personal.conf) of the Personal module. You can download and re-install the latest version but you will lose any personal notes you have made. Alternatively, you can just replace the configuration file with the new one or open it in any text editor to remove the line reading "SourceType=ThML".

I've found an error/bug. How do I report it?

Please email sword-bugs@crosswire.org with any bug reports. Please try to provide as much information as possible when filing a bug report: Tell us which version of SWORD you are using, your operating system, and where you found the error. (Before reporting module errors, please verify that you are using the most recent version of the module using the install manager in your front-end.)

Alternatively, use the issue reporting servers listed in Help:Contents.

What's the difference between a glossary and a dictionary?

SWORD supports dictionary and glossary as module types.

  • A dictionary is written in one language.
  • A glossary is between two languages.

Questions about what we do for free or for money

Would you send me free Bibles or other material?

No, we cannot send you free Bibles or other literature. Even though you may have read on other sites that we are able to help you get free material, that is not true. There is no money involved in our work and we handle only electronic material. All our products are freely downloadable on our web site (or their own web sites) and that is all we do.

Can I donate to your ministry?

While we appreciate offers of donations, the SWORD Project does not solicit or accept such offers. We have been blessed already by the donation of those resources which we do use. If you feel the need to donate to ministries outside your local church, you might consider Compassion International, Habitat for Humanity, or Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Would you donate to my ministry?

As our project does not solicit or accept donations and does not itself produce any profit, we do not have monetary or other resources to offer to other ministries either (besides downloadable resources).

Can I sell advertising on your website?

No, we do not allow advertising on our website (or on this wiki), as you might have noticed.

Will you allow me to link to your website on my website in exchange for linking mine on yours?

You may link to our website, including to our BibleTool. However, we do not do link exchanges.

Where's my CD?


Questions about the platforms our software runs upon

Our software is designed from ground up to be multiplatform. You will be able to use the same modules on practically all commonly used computers and operating systems. You can run it on many mobile gadgets, you can run it as web applications.

Do you have a Sword program for my phone or PDA?

  • For Android, iPhone, Windows Pocket PC, Maemo, Windows Mobile, Zaurus and iPaq running QPE or Opie please look here.
  • For phones with Java ME capability, users are encouraged to consider the Bible program Go Bible, which is now a CrossWire project, but it is not a SWORD/JSword front-end application per se.

Do you have a "portable" version of your software that I can run from a USB disk/stick (or some other place)?

BPBible Portable, the portable version of BPBible, is an official PortableApp, which integrates properly with the PortableApps suite.

The SWORD Project for Windows is entirely installed under one folder, including the modules. You can copy it anywhere as it is and run the program from there. You can even move the folder from one computer to another or to a networked drive.

If you routinely use Windows, Linux and/or Mac, you may want to consider Portable BibleDesktop.

There is a portable version of xulsword. See also [1].

I love your Bible Tool. May I install it on my church's website?

Yes. But while our software can be used in any way you wish, many of our modules may not.

Questions about the use of our software

If you don't find an answer to your question here and want to ask directly, PLEASE TELL US WHAT SOFTWARE YOU ARE USING. There are many products related to CrossWire. The most common is The Sword Project for Windows. It's extremely difficult to answer a question such as "I'm trying to open a Bible but it doesn't work" if we don't even know which application you are using. It also helps if you attach as much exact information about your problem as possible, for example, "After I have opened the program I select action A from the menu and click button B, but it does nothing". NOT something like "I can't do C".

Many problems are due to outdated software or text modules. Please check first which version you are running. Notice also your operating system and version.

How do I uninstall?

The SWORD Project for Windows has an uninstaller which should be in the same place as the program. You can also just delete the folder and possible menu entries.

When I read the Syriac Peshitta, Hebrew Bible, or (another module), all I see are boxes.

You need to install a Unicode font with the full range of characters used in the module you are trying to read.

I've found a bug. How do I report it?

Please email sword-bugs@crosswire.org with any bug reports. Please try to provide as much information as possible when filing a bug report: Tell us which version of Sword you are using, your operating system, what you were trying to do, what you expected to happen, what happened, how to reproduce the bug, etc.

Why doesn't your program do such and such? I'd like to see this feature added. If it had this feature it would be more competitive with other programs.

Yes, it would be nice, but this is a volunteer based project, and we do this in our free time. Help if you can and give feedback. We know that complaining is always a temptation, but instead, please pray for us. That is the best way to help the project.

How do I do something in Eloquent? BibleTime? Xiphos? BibleDesktop? The SWORD Project for Windows?

There are links to each of the projects on Main Page of this Wiki. Please read their attached documentation and the other supporting material for the project you are using. You may need to go to their website to find this. Many problems will be solved by reading the documentation and following the instructions. After that use the support forum/list/pages of that project. After that you can ask your question on our support list.

Somebody sells your software on the Internet. Is this ok?

It's not forbidden to sell Free Software. However, according to the licence, the source code must be included. Some people also sell free software without revealing that it is also available for free, and we do not condone such action.