Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bible Kickstarter Project

For those of you Reboot readers that like having a good, quality Bible I found a new Kickstarter project that might be right up your alley.

Bibliotheca: Biblical literature designed and crafted for reading

Over the past few months I have been searching for a solidly-built Bible, what some refer to as the "unicorn" Bible. One that is the translation I prefer, with a quality text block (quality paper, and properly bound by sewing) that is also the right size, and has good print quality and font size. I'm sure there are many people that don't have this problem, but since I recently switched to the ESV from the NASB and neither of my favorite publishers (Holman and Foundation) make ESV Bibles I was basically left to shopping the selections at Lifeway and Mardel locally. I just couldn't find anything that fit my needs. I need a Bible that is small enough that it can't be considered a brick, a fair bit of margin space for me to add my own cross-references and notes, with text large enough to read while on the podium in the pulpit as I preach (I'm 6'5," so my eyes are farther away from the podium than most preachers you can think of). Throw all that in with the pesky little fact that I want the binding to last me at least the next 10 years. That cuts out all the "two-tone, tru-tone, bonded-whatever" bibles that make up 90+% of the Bible shelves in bookstores.

After spending some time reading (manymanymany) bible reviews on Amazon and I stumbled on one review that talked about how much they loved that particular copy and that they wouldn't have found it if it weren't for some "Bible design blog." So I looked it up. Lo, and behold! A blog devoted entirely to reviewing published copies of God's Word. turned out to be exactly what I needed to better understand the various qualities and differences of which I was otherwise completely ignorant (I contacted Mark at BDB and he promptly replied and said that he was already in on the project and will be posting about it next week, so keep an eye out for that). It's easy for us to settle for any reference Bible that passes muster, especially if it's one that we're just pulling out once or twice a week. But delving into the world of quality built Bibles brought me back to the point... God's word should be up front and center in our lives. We should at LEAST as much thought into the Bible we get as we would if it were a phone we wanted or computer we were considering. The particular copy of God's Word that you get should fit the way you read and study so that design gets out of the way and lets His words come first.

And that is the point of the Kickstarter project which I am plugging here. The Bible copies they are proposing are high quality copies made by hand that will stand the test of time better than your typical mass-produced, glue bound copy would. But more importantly, they are designed in a way that brings us back to the story of God's magnificent plan for the redemption of mankind and the creation. The only other attempts at this that I have seen, as far as a readability standpoint, have been the ESV Reader's Bible and the Daily Bible (F. LaGard Smith). As of my writing of this article, there are 120 backers where there had been only 69 an hour ago... and the project has only been live for one day! The project starter states that if the goal is not met that the funds will not be charged, but I will be extremely surprised if it makes it to Sunday without the goal being met. I thought I'd share the opportunity! Go check out the video and try not to nerd-out as Adam Greene talks about how he designed his own font specifically for this translation.


  1. Fascinating! I like the idea of reading the Bible without verses, although I tend to find chapters and their headings pretty helpful. What would be really interesting is if the reader supplies his own notation while reading the Bible in a way that makes most sense for him.

    I've long thought that it would be beneficial to re-do the verses in a modern Bible translation, since the verse system seems to have been rather shoddy and illogical in places in its original implementation.

  2. I completely agree about the verse divisions! I was just reading the book "Saving Eutychus" that made a comment about the guy that added the verse divisions on a horse ride from Paris to Lyons, and how many people think the horse could have done a better job (which I wouldn't disagree with, lol).

    If you haven't read the details on the project you should, its interesting. He is editing out the olde-englishisms of the ASV and, in places where the ASV's syntax is archaic, he is instead using the syntax of Young's Literal (which gives me even more confidence in it). Some people don't like that, and a few even flat out told Adam (the project founder) that doing that kind of editing on the Bible would end up running longer than he realizes. But even if that were the case, I would GLADLY wait an additional 6 months for that kind of revision. And as of 1:30pm July 3rd, they're at a total of $107,395 (getting close to 300% of the original minimum goal). Thats just in about 6 days! Hopefully all the big name Bible publishers will take note of this response and begin to expand their offerings. It would be nice to see more high-quality bound bibles on the market. The demand is certainly there.