Theological Markup Language (ThML)

This document describes Theological Markup Language, 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 and special support for theological needs such as scripture references and Strongs numberings. When books have been prepared in ThML, many new features of will become possible in the CCEL: subject and scripture reference indexes for books and for the whole library, more intelligent searching, automatic conversion to other formats, and more.

ThML documents can be prepared in Microsoft Word -- some tools are provided for that purpose -- or edited directly with an XML editor or text editor. The tools used with ThML documents run under Unix or Windows. Tool 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:

Sample ThML documents. Several documents are available in ThML -- these have an xml extension. These 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. Note: these versions have been updated for ThML0993, the XML version of ThML.

You should download the xml files to your disk -- some browsers have trouble trying to load XML.

If you are interested in discussing markup for theological texts and scripture -- what information is needed for theological study or for your application -- or ThML in particular, you can join the ThML mailing list. To join, send a message to The body of the message should contain the line "subscribe thmllist" without the quotes. To unsubscribe, do the same with a message containing "unsubscribe thmllist".

Other Projects using ThML

For you SGML/XML types:

The current version of the DTD is available (ThML099.dtd). Since this DTD includes the HTML 4 strict DTD, it is an SGML DTD, not XML. Update: the @draft XML DTD (version 0.993) is available. With this DTD, ThML documents are XML documents and there is no separate SGML version.

You can get everything you need to validate ThML, convert rtf to ThML and HTML, etc. under DOS in one zipfile,, or for unix, @ThML.tgz. 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.

Update: software for processing ThML 0.993 documents is also available for DOS ( or unix (@thmlx.tgz). This software has remaining bugs, but it works pretty well.

Help Wanted

This document (last modified February 23, 1999) from