Bible-fetch: get fast, easy access to the Bible from the command line

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Sun Jun 14 23:42:47 UTC 2020

Tim here.  If you don't mind the King James Version (though I prefer
NIV, HCSB/CSB, or Young's Literal Translation, am now curious to
try the CJB at your recommendation), my Debian repo has a "bible-kjv"
package.  As an added advantage, it works entirely locally so I don't
need to be online to use it.

It doesn't directly have a way to remove verse references, but a
little post-processing with sed(1) can take care of that:

 $ bible -f luke7:1-9 | sed 's/^[^[:space:]]*[[:space:]]//' 

That puts each verse on its own line, and the sed command strips off
the reference at the beginning of each line.  You can pipe those
results through fmt(1) to re-wrap to a fixed line-length (which might
be easier if you're reading via a Braille output device)

 $ bible ... | fmt -w 40

or specify a ridiculously high width if you want it as one large
paragraph (which might read more cleanly if you use text-to-speach)

 $ bible ... | fmt -w 99999

That said, thanks for sharing this additional option!


On June 14, 2020, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> Hi all. As a Christian, I always try to read the Bible. At least a
> little. As much as my wondering mind can remember to. I find verse
> numbers just distract me, in speech or braille. So, I tried a few
> different options, the “flat” World English Bible, or the “New
> English Translation reader’s edition”. Those were both out-of-date,
> because haha, who needs a Bible without verses? I mean, you can
> just look passed them, right? I mean, you can see, right? I mean,
> blind people are like, given sight by Jesus so they can read the
> Bible with their eyes, right? Yeah, I’m pretty cynical.
> I like the CJB (Complete Jewish Bible”. Not because I’m a Jew, but
> because I enjoy the freshness of having the original name in all
> their Jewishness, so that I don’t feel like I’m reading the same
> old book that our culture has absorbed and made commonplace and,
> well, ordinary. At least, that’s how it feels to me. But of course,
> there’s not a verse-number-less version of that translation, at
> least, not that I’ve found.
> What I /have/ found is Bible Fetch, a command-line fetcher for the
> quite inaccessible Bible Gateway site. Sure, you can read the Bible
> there, but try changing reading settings, like turning off verse
> numbers. At least on the Mac with Safari, I found it impossible. If
> you can get it working on another browser, I’ll gladly use that.
> For Bible Fetch, you just download the repository
> <>, install the needed Python
> 3 scripts, and just run:
> #+begin_code shell
> ./bible gen1 —version cjb
> #+end_code
> You can even pipe it to a file for easier reading. Note for
> Emacspeak users, paragraphs are not wrapped, so you may need to M-X
> fill-individual-paragraphs to make things better. Note that you
> cannot fetch whole books. I know, it sucks, but I doubt this was
> designed to be an actual Bible-reading tool, more just a reference
> tool. And yes, verse numbers are hidden by default; yay! If you
> need them though, you’ll find the argument for that in the
> repository’s readme file.
> In conclusion, while Bible reading sites are often hard to use, for
> me at least, and I’m not always on my phone, there are tools that
> work around this a bit. I don’t like verse numbers either, and none
> of the Bible apps I’ve used, and no usable Bible site so far,
> offers the ability to hide them. Bible Fetch gets around this well,
> and hides verse numbers by default. It can’t download whole books,
> but for viewing the Bible a chapter at a time, it works well.
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