Theological Markup Language (ThML)

This document describes Theological Markup Language, a new markup language that is being used to mark up texts for the Christian Classics Ethereal Library and other projects. This XML application can be thought of as HTML with additions for electronic books and rich digital libraries, with special support for theological needs such as scripture references and Strongs numberings. When books have been prepared in ThML, many new features become possible in the CCEL: subject and scripture reference indexes for books and for the whole library, intelligent searching, automatic conversion to other formats, "lining up" documents in various ways such as parallel columns, and more.

Most of the work of preparing electronic texts for conversion to ThML can be done in a word processor. These simple guidelines are a good starting point. ThML documents can also be prepared with an XML editor or text editor. The tools used with ThML documents run under Unix or Windows. Tools currently exist for converting from Word/RTF to ThML and from ThML to HTML webs.

The following information is available on ThML and related topics:


Tutorial: step-by-step instructions for converting a Microsoft Word 2000 document to ThML. Prerequisites: you must have Word 2000 and perl installed. (Steps are being linked as they are created; it is currently incomplete.)

Sample ThML documents. Several documents are available in ThML -- these have an xml extension. They have been converted to HTML webs, and in many cases an RTF source version is available as well. If so, the ThML version is derived from the RTF version by programs listed below. The HTML version is linked below; other versions are accessible from the title page.

You should download the xml files to your disk and view them with a text editor -- some browsers have trouble loading XML.

Note also that ThML which is automatically generated from an RTF document is a bit grungy; clean, elegant ThML can only be created by hand editing. See for example Watts' Psalms and Hymns, below.

Other Projects using ThML

For the SGML/XML types:

There is an XML DTD for ThML. The current version of the DTD (1.0) is available ( This DTD includes (is a superset of, for the most part) the Voyager (XML) DTD of HTML 4.0.

Software for validating ThML documents, converting ThML to HTML, etc. is available for DOS ( or unix (thmlx.tgz). This software has remaining bugs, but it works reasonably well. In the unix case, you will need to install the SP package -- see How to get SP. You will also need to install rtf2xml if you are starting from Word files.

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