Note:The original article actually disappeared and I’ve managed to partially reconstruct it below. I’m still looking in to the cause.
As you may recall, quite some time ago I was moaning about my bible falling apart. I do have a plan to pull out all the stops and rebind it myself. Sure I could have it rebound but I want to learn about the process, about quality and just plain about doing it right. So I’ve started wondering what doing it right means.
I’ve also been dreaming about making my own Scholars Bible.
Can you imagine the joy of reading a well designed bible in multicolumn format:
|Wide Margin for Notes||Hebrew OT or Greek NA27||Byzantine or LXX||NASB or ESV||Cross References|
Of course it would be a behemoth wouldn’t it. To make matters worse I’ve started reading the Bible Design and Binding Bible Blog and now I have a whole host of additional requirements to add, several started with A Bible Reader’s Manifesto and then grew from some of my own desires.
- Quality construction please. I’m tired of bibles that fall apart after only a year. Yes that is partly my fault. But then I think I’m done buying bibles off the $10 rack.
- Sewn bindings which lay flat when the Bible is Open, and not just at Psalm 127, how about laying flat at Genesis 1 and Revelation 22 as well?
- High quality leather cover (real leather, not bonded and not plastic!)
- Three ribbons. For my purposes that means one for reading, one for Sunday morning’s sermon and one for Sunday night’s message. Nice wide ribbons, not thin strings.
- Paragraphs, not new lines every verse. That format tends to destroy the main rule for good exegesis: context.
- Single column this increases readability. Of course my five column design above kind of torches that, but how about making the English version approx 12 words across or so, which I remember reading is optimal for … well… reading.
- Forget red lettering. It gives the illusion that Jesus’ words are somehow more important than Paul’s. Now before you throw rocks try to remember that we’re talking about the Bible. The whole thing, including Leviticus is TheoPneusto “God Breathed”.
- I want wide margins: or as I’d originally started hoping make the left page text and the right page lined paper.
- Speaking of paper I want high opacity and a reasonable degree of thickness. I don’t want to be reading 1 Timothy 4 and be able to see 1 Timothy 5 from the other side. Nor do I want my personal notes to be visible on the next page.
- Go ahead and include maps and charts embedded in the text. When I read about Joshua circling Jericho, show me a map. When I read about the tabernacle take a clue from the new ESV study Bible and show me what it looked like. Even if I know these things from long use, visible clues like this often help. How about maps with “lots of squiggly lines” all through the book of Acts which show me where they are, where they were, and where they are going.
Of course all of the comments over here still count especially the thought about loose leaf. Unfortunately the downsides to loose leaf especially portability now fully apply to the monstrosity described here. I can’t imagine how large and how heavy this Bible would have to be ….