Let’s talk about publishing Bible verses on your website.

Do you have a WordPress website for your church or your own personal blog? If you have any references to Bible verses are you giving your readers previews of the actual passage or just referring to the book, chapter and verses?

One of the best ways to serve the reader is to provide contextual information as they read the text.  This can be hyperlinks to other pages on your site that provide more detailed information.  It could be links to outside resources on other sites.

When you talk about Scripture, it’s a good practice to not just reference the Bible verse, but also share the actual passage. Most readers won’t have deep grasp of references that are made to the Bible.  In fact, only 11% of Americans have read the entire Bible. And the majority of Americans never read the Bible.

This is why presenting the actual text from the Bible when you reference it is increasingly important and just plain nice from a reader-centric point of view.

There are two specific options available to consider if you are a webmaster on the WordPress platform.

 

BIBLEGATEWAY REF TAG PREVIEW TOOL

BibleGateway.com offers a “Ref Tag” tool so that after you install their script on a webpage, text-based references to the Bible are augmented with a hover pop-up window. By installing the script on a page, BibleGateway’s RefTag tool makes it possible to link all of the passages on a webpage.

Bible Gateway Ref Tag example of the hover box

When you hover over these hyperlinks, they will show the text from that passage in a pop-over window and give links for viewing them at Bible Gateway where there are many other translations available too.  Inside the pop-over window are links to view the passage on BibleGateway.com as well.

BIBLEGATEWAY JAVASCRIPT-BASED TOOL

As you can see it’s relatively simple to install, however you do need to know how to install Javascript into the code of site.  There are WordPress Plugins that can help make this easier.

Bible Gateway Ref Tag Installation Instructions

 

By the way, Google Tag Manager (GTM) is always a great best-practice tool to use for this specific scenario too.  Basically with GTM, you install it once on your site, and then you can log into Google Tag Manager online, copy paste code like this one needed for the Bible Verse Ref Tag tool, and it automatically will insert it into the right places on your site.

But how do you install Google Tag Manager onto your WordPress site?  Just use the Google Site Kit plugin for WordPress sites and it will take care of that for you (and a bunch of other cool things too at the same time).  And like most things from Google, all of this is offered at no cost.

CHOOSE YOUR BIBLE TRANSLATION AND LANGUAGE

Because you and your church may have preferred Bibles to use, this tool from Bible Gateway allows you to choose one of their many translations as well as select which language you want the hover tool tip box to use to present the full Bible verses being referenced.

Options to select Bible translation and which language to display

 

 

REFTAGGER BY FAITHLIFE {OPEN SOURCE}

Reftagger is another service which automatically converts any text you use to reference Bible verses and turns them into links automatically so your site’s visitors can see Scripture without leaving the page. The team at Faithlife developed this tool and dedicated it as an open source tool for the community. The reader simply hovers over the link. Reftagger modifies your site to run the tagging script each time a page loads, identifying Bible verse references and turning them into links to the verse on Biblia.com.

Hovering over a link displays a tooltip with the text of the reference, so users don’t need to leave the page to see the verse. You can also insert a small icon next to the reference to open the verse in Logos Bible Software.

INSTALLING THE BIBLE VERSE TEXT CONVERSION PLUGIN

Because RefTagger is a WordPress Plugin, it is a relatively simple process to install and use it.  There is no javascript code or anything else you need to do beyond downloading the plugin for your WP site.

  1. Log in to your WordPress admin panel.
  2. Go to PLUGINS and then click ADD NEW.
  3. In the search box on the right, search for “Reftagger” (look for the result authored by Logos Bible Software.
  4. Click the INSTALL NOW button.
  5. After the plugin has been successfully installed, click ACTIVATE Plugin.

CUSTOMIZING THE BIBLE VERSE PREVIEW TOOL

And if you don’t want to use it as-is out of the box, there’s easy settings for you to manage. You can customize the plugin by clicking on Reftagger under the SETTINGS menu.

Reftagger settings on WordPress

The plugin provides a simple options page where you can customize settings. Preferences include options to:

  • Specify a Bible version.
  • Insert a Logos link after each reference.
  • Insert a Logos icon after existing Logos links on your site.
  • Choose which icon to use if Logos links are enabled.
  • Enable or disable hover tooltips.
  • Work on existing Biblia.com and Ref.ly links.
  • Work on Bible references with improper casing (such as jn 3:16 or JOHN 3:16).
  • Tag chapter references (such as Gen. 1).
  • Prevent searching user comments for references.
  • Prevent searching specific HTML tags (such as bold, h1, ordered list).

EXAMPLE OF REFTAGGER BIBLE HOVER PREVIEW TOOL

You can see live examples of this Bible Verse preview plugin in action on SheReadsTruth.com, HeReadsTruth.com, GotQuestions.org

See how RefTagger works to preview Bible verses

 

OPTION TO USE HTML CODE VS PLUGIN

What’s nice about RefTagger is that there’s an option to build the code snippet you need if you wanted to use the code manually for your site.

HTML code generator for Bible Verse preview tool

REFTAGGER ON DRUPAL, JOOMLA, AND BLOGGER

Joomla Drupal Blogger and other platforms

Faithlife Reftagger has also taken Reftagger and ported the code so that it can work on Drupal, Joomla, Blogger, phBB, and more.

You can find more details about the WordPress Plugin here.

WE’RE LOOKING FOR EXAMPLES IN THE WILD. DOES YOUR SITE USE A BIBLE VERSE PREVIEW TOOL?