Verbum Tip 4ai: Aside: non-canonical book datatypes, Sermon label, saved Search

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Dec 20 2020 8:57 PM

Docx files for personal book: Verbum 9 part 1How to use the Verbum Lectionary and Missal

Please be generous with your additional details, corrections, suggestions, and other feedback. This is being built in a .docx file for a PBB which will be shared periodically.

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Aside: Non-canonical datatype references

First a reminder: datatype is a reference to the text; milestone is an occurrence of the text.

Datatype example: the highlights are of references to the 234 paragraph/segment of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Milestone: the highlight(s) are to occurrences of the 234 paragraph/segment of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The basic format for a datatype is:

  • <Datatype operator value>

Datatypes we have encountered multiple times that are not resource datatypes:

  • <Person name>                Biblical person
  • <Place name>                   Biblical place
  • <Thing name>                   Biblical thing
  • <Event name>                   Biblical event

The resource datatypes of special interest to Catholic include:

Those without a datatype do not support the standard Catholic referencing. When one encounters missing datatypes, please report it in the forums.

Intertext Corpuses

In the section on the Intertext facet above, we were introduced to several corpuses. They are listed below with an example of a datatype falling within them. Afterwards an explanation of how to find the datatype will be given.

•  Apostolic Fathers: <ApostolicFathers = I Clement 1.1>

•  Dead Sea Scrolls Sectarian Material: <DSSSE = 1QS Col. i> or <QSM = 1QS 1>

•  Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: <Pseudepigrapha = Ahikar (Aramaic) 1–4>

•  Nag Hammadi Codices: <NagHammadiCodices = NHC V 5, 85> or <Pseudepigrapha = Testament of Reuben 1.1–2>

•  New Testament Apocrypha: <NTApocrypha = Legend of Aphroditianus 1:1–2>

•  Works of Josephus: <JosephusLoeb = Life> or <JosephusWhiston = Life 1>

•  Works of Philo: <WorksOfPhilo = Creation 1> or <WorksOfPhiloYonge = Creation 1>

These datatypes are easily read and interpreted as a reference, but they vary sufficiently in form that it is difficult to guess the value.  Therefore, one looks them up:

  1. Open a resource that is/contains the work.
  2. Go to a position within the text of the work i.e. not introductory materials, bibliographies, etc.
  3. Select some text, preferably within a single textual unit.
  4. Right click.
  5. Select reference on the tab side.
  6. Select copy reference: search on the action side.
  7. You now have the datatype in the clipboard to paste wherever you want.

The most common reason I want the datatype is to find what editions of the text I have available. This means that I wrap the datatype in {Milestone <>} brackets to get occurrences of the text. I have three downloaded and 1 in the cloud.

Note that once you have the layout of the datatype, it is usually simple to change the numbers, or even a title, to point to other segments of the text.

Verbum pre-defined collections:

  1. Catechism:
    1. Multiple versions of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: <CCC = CCC 1>
    2. Multiple versions of The Catechism of the Council of Trent: <RC = Rom. Cat. 1.1.1>
    3. Youcat English: no datatype
    4. General Directory for Catechesis: <RCCD = General Directory for Catechesis 14>
  2. Church Documents. There are over 250 resources, often both in English and Latin.
    1. Vatican II documents: <VaticanII = Sacrosanctum concilium 4–5>, <VaticanII = Christus Dominus 27>, etc.
    2. Vatican I documents: no datatype
    3. Code of Canon Law: <CIC = CIC 76>
    4. Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy: Principles and Guidelines: no datatype
    5. The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church:  no datatype
    6. Caritas in Veritate: <PapalEncyclicals = Caritas in Veritate 10>
    7. Homilies of His Holiness Benedict XVI (English): <YearMonthDay = May 7, 2005> not necessarily very useful. See Sermon Label below.
  3. Church Fathers. There are about 500 resources, many in series, for the Church Fathers. The Apostolic Fathers seen in a corpus above are also included here.
    1. Athanasius: On the Incarnation of the Word: <Athanasius = Athanasius, De incarnatione verbi 1>
    2. Barlaam and Ioasaph: <JohnDamascene = John Damascene, Barlaam and Ioasaph 1>
    3. The Confessions of St. Augustine: <Augustine = Augustine, Confessions 1.1> or <Confessions = Confessions, Book 1, Chapter 1>
    4. Gregory Palamas: The Triads:  no datatype

Again, finding patterns is easy if one starts with a known datatype.

Aside: Sermon Label

You may have been surprised to see the Homilies of His Holiness Benedict XVI (English) using only a datatype of a secular date – not the most helpful index. There is another more useful index.

From Verbum Help:


Labels a single sermon in a collection of sermons. A search for this label populates the "Sermons" guide section.

•     Creator ~ "..." — Creator is the normalized name of the person who developed and delivered the sermon.

•     Title ~ "..." — Title is name given to the sermon by its creator.

•     Subtitle ~ "..." — Subtitle is the ancillary title information given by its creator.

•     Series ~ "..." — The series in which the sermon was originally preached, if any.

•     References ~ <Bible ...> — Bible references for the sermon as a whole.

•     Date ~ <Date ...> — Is when the sermon was first delivered.

•     Liturgical Date ~ <LiturgicalDate ...> — Is typically the liturgical date when the sermon was first delivered.

For example:

•     {Label Sermon WHERE Author ~ "Charles H. Spurgeon" AND References ~ <Bible Romans 5-7>}

•     {Label Sermon WHERE Title ~ "Signs of the King" AND Creator ~ "Timothy J. Keller" AND References ~ <Bible Acts 2:37-47> AND Date ~ <Date Aug 13, 1989> AND Series ~ "The King and the Kingdom"}[1]


  • Homilies of His Holiness Benedict XVI (English): {Label Sermon WHERE Creator ~ <Biography Pope Benedict XVI> AND Date ~ <Date April 24, 2005> AND Themes ~ <PreachingTheme Church Leadership> AND Title ~ "Mass, Imposition of the Pallium and Conferral of the Fisherman’s Ring for the Beginning of the Petrine Ministry of the Bishop of Rome"}
  • Origen: Homilies on Joshua: {Label Sermon WHERE Creator ~ <Biography Origen> AND References ~ <Jos 1:1–9> AND Title ~ "Homily 2"}
  • Saint Augustine: Sermons on the Liturgical Seasons: {Label Sermon WHERE Creator ~ <Biography Augustine of Hippo> AND Series ~ "For the Feast of the Nativity" AND Themes ~ <PreachingTheme Jesus' Birth> AND Title ~ "Sermon 185"} Don’t ask why the Liturgical Date is missing.
  • Select Metrical Hymns and Homilies of Ephraem Syrus: {Label Sermon WHERE Creator ~ <Biography Ephrem the Syrian> AND Themes ~ <PreachingTheme God's Presence> AND Title ~ "Man Is Ignorant of Himself: He Therefore Cannot Discover the Mode of the Divine Existence"}

Note that the datatype of Biblical people is  <Person name> while for non-Biblical people it is <Biography name>.

Aside: Saved Searches

We are now able to make some interesting searches that are not possible in Bible Browser. For example, passages that include a Command, a Sacrifice, and a Promise: {Label Command} INTERSECTS {Label Sacrifice} INTERSECTS {Label Promise}

During a session on can use the history carets on the panel task bar to return to a previous search. To save a search across sessions:

  • Open Favorites either by “Show Favorites” typed in the Command Box or by Tools à Library à Favorites
  • Run the Search one wishes to save
  • Drag Search tab (1) onto Favorites (2).
  • At some later time, click on the Search in Favorites (2)
  • This will execute the Search in a new panel (3).


[1] Verbum Help (Bellingham, WA: Faithlife, 2018).

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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