Simple Bible Reader – User Guide

Back to Simple Bible Reader Page

This user guide is updated on 1-Apr-2024 and up-to-date for version 5.5.0.

Table of Contents

  1. Installation and Prerequisites
  2. Convert Bible Formats
  3. Supported formats
  4. Preferences
  5. Localizations
  6. Themes
  7. Plugins
  8. Credits

Installation and Prerequisites

There is no installation required for Simple Bible Reader. The software is highly portable and highly compressed.

Operating System Requirements

Simples Bible Reader runs on Windows Vista and above, but Windows 10 and above are recommended. It supports both x86 and x64 architectures.

  • Windows Vista SP2
  • Windows 7 SP1
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 11

Windows XP is not supported. You can still download legacy versions of that Simple Bible Reader that supports it from downloads section.

.Net Requirement

Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6 is required to run Simple Bible Reader. It is installed as part of the operating system from Windows 10 Version 1507 and above. Hence, no manual installation may be required. However, if you run a Windows 10 version that is prior to 1507, you can download Microsoft .Net Framework 4.6 from the below link.


Microsoft Edge WebView2 is preinstalled on Windows 11 and installed automatically on all Windows 10 by windows updates. Hence, no manual installation may be required. If it is not installed, WebView2 runtime can either be manually downloaded and installed from the below link (or) the software will continue to use legacy WebBrowser control. Hence, this is not a mandatory requirement.

Convert Bible Formats (Import / Export)

Open Bible

Open the Bible using the Open Menu or just drag and drop the Bible into the reader. If drag and drop fails, please use File -> Open Bible. This is because, drag and drop always tries to open the Bibles first, then others if the extension or format is ambiguous.

Export Bible

You can export the loaded Bible into any of the supported Bible format. Make sure you select the format you want.

Supported formats

  • Bibles – Zefania XML Bibles4, The Unbound Bible (Unmapped-BCV, Mapped-BCVS, Unmapped-BCVS), Open Scripture Information Standard (OSIS), General Bible Format (GBF), XML Scripture Encoding Model (XSEM), The Word Bible Modules (ONT, ONTX, OT, OTX, NT and NTX)2, e-Sword Bible Modules (BBL, BBLX, BBLI)4, Unified Scripture Format XML (USFX), The SWORD Project1,4 , Verse Per Line (VPL), Go Bible, Theological Markup Language (ThML), Open Song Bibles (XMM, Bibles, Bible Companion (BIB), MySword for Android, Bible Analyzer (BIB), EasySlides (MDB), MP3 Bibles, LOGOS Import (DOCX), Online Bibles, PalmBible+, HeavenWorld Bibles for Windows 8, VerseVIEW, MyBible4, SwordSearcher.
  • Commentaries – XML Format, SWORD Commentary Modules (ZIP), The Word (cmt.twm), e-Sword 8.x (CMT), e-Sword 9.x and above (CMTX), MySword for Android, Bible Analyzer (CMT), OnlineBible Commentaries, MyBible, SwordSearcher.
  • Dictionaries – Zefania Dictionary Format (XML), SWORD Dictionary Modules (ZIP), The Word (dct.twm), e-Sword 8.x (DCT), e-Sword 9.x and above (DCTX), MySword for Android, Bible Analyzer (DCT), MyBible, SwordSearcher.
  • Books/topics – XML Format (XML), The Word (gbk.twm), e-Sword 8.x (TOP), e-Sword 9.x and above (TOPX/REFX)3, SWORD Book Modules (ZIP), MySword for Android, Bible Analyzer (BK), STEP Modules, SwordSearcher

1 The SWORD Project from CrossWire Bible Society has many software applications that can open on various platforms. They mostly use the same bible format. You can export and use them in any of the SWORD Applications which runs on various platforms.
2 The Word format also supports Android’s Open Bible.
3 Export is only of TOPX (Topics) type which can be converted to REFX (Reference Library) by Ctrl+right click on e-Sword Topic interface itself.
4 Supports Bible modules with Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical books.


Preferences can be opened from Settings -> Preferences menu.


Bible tab in preferences provides several options for parsing and converting.

By default, Parse Text for better display is enabled with background cleaning and automatic parser setting checked.

Parser Options

Background Cleaning is the parsing or cleaning process that happens after the bible is loaded but cleans silently in the background. This allows the user to start viewing and reading scirptures without having to wait until all cleaning is done.

Auto setting will automatically select the parsing options if the software detects a particular bible format requires it.

Convert Rtf to Html converts the content from Rtf to Html tags. This is helpful for not only conversion to other software that supports html but also for Simple Bible Reader to render correctly on certain situations.

Convert Html to Rtf converts the content from Html tags to Rtf. This is helpful for conversion to software that supports rtf content.

Strip Html Tags removes all Html tags from the content. If the content contains Rtf and not parsed propertly, Rtf can be converted to Html before stripping them from the content.

Don’t parse but render raw text option doesn’t parse the content but displays as such on a html renderer. i.e, if the content contains html tags, the output will be rendered accordingly.

SWORD Bible Library

Cross Connect Library is a pure .Net implementation written by Thomas Dilts.


  • Fast
  • No dll dependencies


  • No Apographa support.
  • Only KJV versification support. This means, if the book contains any extra verses, they will be removed.

The SWORD Engine is the official software framework from CrossWire Bible Society.


  • Official Software
  • Supports all SWORD modules
  • Supports Apographa


  • Slow
  • dll dependencies

Export Versification – Sword Project supports multiple versifications which defines book order, number of chapters, verses etc. The following versifications are supported.

  • kjv – King James Version
  • calvin – French Bible d’Olivétan and followers, 1560+ Bible de Genève, 1707
  • catholic – Catholic Bibles with 10 chapters in Esther
  • catholic2 – Catholic Bibles with 16 chapters in Esther
  • darbyfr – French Bibles by J.N. Darby
  • german – Identical to Luther, but without the deuterocanonical books and with Vulgate/KJV book order.
  • kjva – KJV + Apocrypha
  • leningrad – Leningrad Codex, the book order is different
  • luther – Luther
  • lxx – Greek LXX & translations of the LXX
  • mt – Masoretic Text for Hebrew Bibles
  • nrsv – New Revised Standard Version
  • nrsva – NRSV + Apocrypha
  • orthodox – LXX, but different book order with fewer books
  • segond – French Bibles L. Segond 1880, 1910, 1978, 2002 (NBS), 2007 (SG21)
  • synodal – Russian Synodal Bible and related Bibles
  • synodalprot – The ParaText Synodal Protestant used by IBT for Bibles having protocanonical books only
  • vulg – Vulgate

Other Options

Commentary icon on verses displays a small icon to indicate that is a corresponding commentary for this verse, if the commentary is loaded.

Add red text for Christ’s words inserts formatting to display Christ’s words in red. The software automatically tries to detect double/single quotes and format words of Jesus in red.

Display unrendered raw text displays the underlying content in textboxes without any rendering. This is extremely helpful in understanding the source content format.


Book tab in preferences provides several options for parsing and converting.

By default, Parse Text for better display is enabled with background cleaning and automatic parser setting checked.

Parser Options

All options in this Book tab is functionally identical to the options described in the Bible tab.


Commenatary tab in preferences provides several options for parsing and converting.

By default, Parse Text for better display is enabled with automatic parser setting checked. There is no background cleaning for commenatries.

Parser Options

All options in this Commentary tab is functionally identical to the options described in the Bible tab.


Dictionary tab in preferences provides several options for parsing and converting.

By default, Parse Text for better display is enabled with automatic parser setting checked. There is no background cleaning for dictionaries.

Parser Options

All options in this Dictionary tab is functionally identical to the options described in the Bible tab.


MP3 tab in preferences provides options to set text to speech settings including volume speed and voice.

Try transliterating for non-English languages allows to transliterate and then use text to speech. This is useful if text to speed isn’t installed or available for the particular languge.


Some experimental options allows for more features that may not be required for regular use.

Edit Bible verse allows to edit verses. Once enabled, a context menu ‘Edit Verse’ will appear that allows to edit the verse.

Save and Load preferences from file makes Simple Bible Reader preferences more persistant for each user. If ticked, preferences are stored in the following location.


Preferences are automatically loaded when Simple Bible Reader starts. If unticked, preferences file at the above location will be removed.

Use RichTextBox for Html/Rtf conversions uses WebBrowser and RichTextBox controls to convert from/to html and rtf formats for content. This is more reliable and accurate than the built in parser but very slow.

Custom Html Renderer allows user to force a particular renderer at startup. To enable this option, Save and Load preferences from file must also be enabled and an application restart is required.


The software supports four localizations

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Tamil
  • Portuguese

If you want to assist in translating the software, please do contact me.


By default, there are two themes available.

  • Default is a light theme
  • Dark is a dark theme.

The software automatically tries to detect if dark theme in windows is set and changes to dark theme.


Conversion of Bibles  (or Commentary or Dictionary or Books) using Simple Bible Reader does not yield the expected results. This is because, formatting may be stripped in favour of the texts to be preserved and exported. However, you may require formatting as well along with the texts. This is where plugins help greatly.

Plugins allow to additionally parse the text before importing or exporting. This can range from simple word replacement to complex format change using regular expressions. The plugin must be enabled and the required plugin selected before the Bible is open.

Each plugin is a simple text file with extension .rxp (RegeX Plugin) that has multiple lines, in which if a line specifies the pattern to match then the next line specifies the replacement content, in regular expression. Any line which starts with # is treated as a comment. First load the plugin and then load the content for the plugin to work.


# Simple Bible Reader Plugin
# Converts LORD to YHWH

To demonstrate how plugin works, let’s take a free download from e-Sword, e.g., King James BRG Bible and explore how to convert KJV-BRG.bblx (e-Sword format) to KJV-BRG.bbl.mybible (MySword for Android).

Step 1: Disable Parsing

The fist step is to disable parsing. This will stop tasks that will strip out formatting at loading of Bibles.

Step 2: Write a Plugin

Each plugin (.rxp file) is a simple text file containing comments, search string and replacement text.  If a line starts with #, it is treated as comment. Empty lines are ignored. If a valid line is detected, it is always assumed to be the search string and next line is expected to be the replacement text.

Below is an example of KJV-BRG.rxp plugin that can convert specifically KJV BRG e-Sword Bible to MySword for Android along with the Blue/Red/Yellow colour formating.

# KJV-BRG BBLX ( to MySword for Android Plugin
# ---------------------------------------------------------
# Disable Parsing in Preferences -> Bible
# Enable this plugin in Preferences -> Plugin
# Open the BBLX Bible.
# Export the Bible as MySword for Android.

# Convert Blue Color
<font color='blue'>$1</font>

# Convert Red Color
<font color='red'>$1</font>

In the above example, <red>(.*?)</red> is searched for where anything within the bracket is replaced in the next text starting with $1 for first text within brackets and $2 for second and so on. For testing, the website (or any other regex texting tool) can be used.

Step 3: Enable Plugins

Go to Preferences, Enable Plugins and click Load to select the required plugin.

If the Bible is already loaded, Load Current Verse button will attempt to load the currently selected Bible verse. You can also copy/paste any verse content for testing. Test Run will just execute the plugin for the content present in Sample Input Verse and displays the result in Output. If Escape XML is ticked, XML and Html tags will be encoded. E.g, <H1> becomes &lt;H1&gt;. When the plugin window is closed, a question will be prompted to run the plugin on the currently loaded Bible.

Please note that the plugin menu is same for Bibles, Books, Commentaries and Dictionaries.

If the intent of the plugin is for conversion, then the plugin must be enabled before the Bible (or Book or Commentary and Dictionary) is loaded. When loaded, the plugin will automatically triggered to convert the content as required.

Step 4: Load the Bible and Export

Now, use File/Open to load the required Bible and you will see a plugin progress. It is important to note that this plugin is specifically written for export. Hence, it doesn’t matter if the Bible isn’t displayed properly in Simple Bible Reader.

Once the Bible is loaded, you can now export it to MySword for Android.

Step 5: Exported MySword for Android Bible

Copy the exported (.bbl.mybible) MySword for Android to /sdcard/mysword or appropriate mysword folder. If we open MySword for Android, we can see the formatting is retained.

As we can clearly see, the words of the Father are in blue, the words of Jesus are in red and the name of Holy Spirit is in yellow.


Below are the list of people who had volunteered their time and effort in improving the quality and adding features to Simple Bible Reader.

Spanish TranslationsJulio Behr
Tamil TranslationsEsther
Portuguese TranslationsRev. Fr. Paulo Giovanni Pereira