Corey Stephan, Ph.D.

Catholicism, Free & Open Source Software, GNU/Linux, Theology

CLI Bibles: Greek, Latin, & English

Corey Stephan

Since the goal of making Scripture available in an array of formats is widespread, it is unsurprising that Christian free and open source software developers have blessed us with various command line interface (CLI) Bibles for GNU/Linux and other Unix-like operating systems.

The three that I use regularly are grb, vul, and kjv, which show the Septuagint and Greek New Testament (Society of Biblical Literature), the Vulgate, and the King James Version (plus the Deuterocanon/Apocrypha), respectively. All three programs have been released with the open Unlicense, and the biblical texts that they contain are from the public domain.

An older version of kjv (without the Deuterocanon) was the original project. The GNU/Linux Youtube personality Luke Smith expanded kjv with the addition of the Deuterocanon. He also copied its format to make grb and vul. Thus, Smith has ensured that the Catholic canon is available in Greek, Latin, and English for us terminal application aficionados.

I have contributed (modestly) to Smith’s work by porting the Arch User Repository (AUR) package of the original kjv (kjv-git) for vul and grb as vul-git and grb-git.


1. Source


git clone
cd kjv
sudo make install

git clone
cd vul
sudo make install

git clone
cd grb
sudo make install

2. Arch User Repository (Arch & Arch-based distributions, e.g. Manjaro)


For example:
pamac install kjv-apocrypha


From the directory in which each program has been installed (or home, if installed in /usr/bin), type a standard ‘help’ command:

kjv -h
vul -h
grb -h

Basic navigation follows the norm for CLI applications:

Back (to main): q
Close (application): CTRL + c

Finally, as an example, to open the Prologue of John’s Gospel in Latin quickly, one could type:

vul john 1

In principio erat Verbum, et Verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat Verbum...

Deus vos benedicat,
Corey Stephan


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