Open Scripture Information Standard

Open Scripture Information Standard ( OSIS ) is an XML application (or schema ), which defines tags for marking up Bibles, theological commentaries, and other related literature.

The OSIS was developed by the Bible Technologies Group, a joint committee sponsored by the American Bible Society and the Society of Biblical Literature . Other participants in the standards are the United Bible Societies , SIL International , and various national Bible societies, along with individual expert volunteers. The officers include Steven DeRose (chair), Kees DeBlois (vice chair), and Patrick Durusau (editor). As of mid-2006, the current version is 2.1.1.

The scheme is very similar to That of the Text Encoding Initiative , though on the one hand much simpler (by omission of Many unneeded constructs), and on the other hand Adding much more detailed metadata , and a formal canonical reference system to Identify books, chapters, verses, and particular locations within verses.

The metadata includes a “work declaration” for the work itself, and for each work it references. A standard core , and assigns a local short name for the work (similar to XML namespace declarations).

OSIS gives particular attention to the encoding of overlapping markup , because Bibles exhibit such markup frequently, for example verses crossing paragraph boundaries and vice versa. The OSIS schema introduced a method for encoding overlap in XML, known as Trojan milestones , or “Clix”. [1] [2]

See also

  • Theological Markup Language
  • Go Bible app for Java mobile phones
  • The SWORD Project – a Bible software platform that supports the standard OSIS
  • Zefania XML Bible Markup Language


  1. Jump up^ Steven DeRose, Markup Overlap: A Review and a Horse ,Proceedings of the Extreme Markup (2004)
  2. Jump up^ Syd Bauman, TEI HORSEing Around , Archived2016-08-11 at theWayback Machine. Proceedings of the Extreme Markup (2005), (