Software Updates

File 1060

About Concordance Builder

Concordance Builder assists you with the process of building a concordance from a Paratext project text. Concordance Builder is primarily designed for developing short "back of the Bible" concordances (not exhaustive concordances) which can then be readily typeset for print using Publishing Assistant.

Concordance Builder can index any Old Testament, New Testament or Deuterocanonical book which is defined in a Paratext project. You can make a New Testament concordance, a full-Bible concordance or a concordance to a partial Bible such as a Gospel, or just the books that you have translated so far. You can also make concordances in stages.

Availability and Prerequisites

The CB program was developed by the Linguistic Computing (LC) section of the British & Foreign Bible Society (BFBS) in co-operation with the United Bible Societies. It is currently available to anyone who is a registered Paratextuser. The current installation package requires that Paratext 7 be already installed on the user's system.

Concordance Builder Headings and References 

Concordance Length

The length of a completed concordance (in paged) is deifficult to predict because it is dependant on a number of factors:

  • the printed page deimsions
  • the font and font size used for typesetting
  • the number of columns used for typesetting
  • the number of verses referenced for words in the concordance

Most short back of the Bible concordances vary between 70 and 200 pages long, using a 2 column layout. Most short back of the Bible concordances have between 10,000 and 40,000 references, typically 15,000-20,000 references. In a typical back of the Bible concordance you can fit about 100-150 references per page, depending on the font size. The concordance to the Good New Bible produced by the British & Foreign Bible Society contains roughly 15,000 references on 120 pages using 2 columns.

Concordance Building Methods

You can work with a concordance in one of three ways:

  • Import an existing concordance to edit
  • Create a new concordance from scratch
  • Gloss a new concordance from a model


The usual way to make a concordance using CB is to use “glossing”. The process uses technology called the Glossing Tool which is integrated within Paratext. Glossing is a system of identifying a semantically related word from one Bible in another Bible using a statistical formula.

Concordance Builder takes an existing concordance (which it calls a “model”) and glosses from the language of that concordance to your language (which it calls the “project”). Using this method you can create a basic concordance output in minutes, which you then edit and correct as needed.

Currently, Concordance Builder uses the popular back of the Bible concordance to the British (UK) version of the English-language Good News Bible as its default model for new concordances. The result is a short concordance of about 15,000 verses. Additional models will be made available based on published concordances in other languages.

Names Index Builder

If a separate list of names is preferred, this can easily be made using another companion program called Names Index Builder.

Unlike the main part of a concordance, names lists do not include a line of text with each reference. A Names Index works slightly differently from a concordance. The reader usually searches a concordance for a particular verse, using the key word(s) under which the verse is listed to find it. A reader searching for a named person or perhaps place is more likely to want to know the passages where most of the references to that person are found in scripture. NIB provides this information automatically in a table of references and occurrence counts for each name. This means that a very comprehensive list can be provided which uses only a few pages.