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Blog / Linking to the Bible Gateway: Links and parameters and variables, oh my!

Linking to the Bible Gateway: Links and parameters and variables, oh my!

Did you know that you can link to the Bible Gateway from your website? Of course you did–but did you know that you can configure your link to specify the exact Bible version, language, and search terms to display? Today we’ll explore some of these advanced linking techniques.

Let’s start with a basic, no-frills link to the Bible Gateway like this:

<a href="">
link text</a>

Clicking that link will take you to the Bible Gateway homepage. But what if you want to link to something other than the main page? Perhaps you’d like to link to a specific verse, or a specific verse in (for example) the King James Version?

You can specify a specific Bible passage (and many other variables) in your link. To do so, you must first add bible? to the end of the URL, like this:

<a href="">
link text</a>

The bible? element tells the Bible Gateway that you’ll be passing additional information to it. But now that you’ve told the Bible Gateway to expect additional information, how do you actually send that information?

You specify additional information in the form of parameters, which are added to the end of the URL in this format: parameter_name=parameter_value. Your parameter might look like language=en, version=KJV, or passage=genesis+1:1. Parameters are added to the URL like this:

<a href="
bible?language=en">link text</a>

Spaces in a parameter (for instance, the space in “genesis 1”) must always be replaced by a + symbol (so “genesis 1” becomes “genesis+1”). You can add additional parameters to the same link by separating them with an & symbol, like this:

<a href="
link text</a>

Now you know how to put parameters in a link to the Bible Gateway. But what parameters can you use?

All told, there are almost a dozen different parameters you can specify. For now, we’ll run through the four most commonly-used ones.

Common parameters include:

  • language — use a specific Bible language
    Usage: language=XX, where XX is the ISO code of the language you want to use

  • version — use a specific Bible version
    Usage: version=YY, where YY is the version ID number of the Bible version you want to use

  • passage — look up a specific verse or passage
    Usage: passage=genesis+1:1-5, replacing genesis+1:1-5 with the passage you’d like to look up

  • search — do a search for a particular word or phrase
    Usage: search=love, replacing love with the word or phrase you want to look up

These are just a few of the basic parameters you can send to the Bible Gateway through a URL. Remember, you can combine more than one parameter into one link.

Using parameters like these may seem complicated, but once you get the hang of them, you’ll be surprised at how much you can do with a simple link to the Bible Gateway!

Filed under Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials