• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Can a designer "fix" the Bible?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Article Via TheVerge

The Bible's a mess, but a designer is fixing it
'Bibliotheca' is one man's quest to make the Good Book better​
VIMEO video from the Designer.
Kickstarter Campaign Page
9,091 Backers
$877,740 pledged of $37,000 goal
This project will be funded on Sun, Jul 27 2014 12:36 PM PDT.​
The literature of the Bible was experienced by its ancient audiences as pure literary art—written or oral—with none of the encyclopedic conventions we are accustomed to today (chapter divisions, verse numbers, notes, cross references, etc.). Furthermore, the texts were appreciated as individual works of literature, which gradually accumulated into what we recognize as the biblical anthology (Biblia, meaning Books). It wasn't until the middle ages that navigational conventions were added and the many texts were combined into a single volume (The Bible, meaning The Book, singular).

Today, our contemporary bibles are ubiquitously dense, numerical and encyclopedic in format; very different from how we experience other classic & foundational literature, and completely foreign to how the original authors conceived of their work.

By separating the text into several volumes, and by applying classic & elegant typography, Bibliotheca is meant to provide a fresh alternative to the reader who wants to enjoy the biblical library anew, as great literary art.
"Growing up with the Bible, there were so many interpretive lenses held up to it for me," Greene tells The Verge. "As I grew older and learned more about its history, I began to see that it had been made to ‘say’ so many things to so many different ends over the past 2,000 years ... I couldn’t quite pin down what the Bible was, or why figuring out what it was mattered to me."

It wasn't until Greene was introduced to writings like N.T. Wright's Scripture and the Authority of God and Robert Alter's The Art of Biblical Narrative that he began to see the Bible as a library of liturgical texts "compiled of masterfully crafted literary art, infused by its authors with needle-sharp significance, rich symbolism, and enthralling beauty."



Here are few highlights about the design:

•Time-tested typographic methods geared toward an exceptionally fluid reading experience: optimal type size, line length (words per line), leading (space between lines), and margins
•Original typeface, designed and "set apart" exclusively for Bibliotheca—traditional, clean and legible
•Original, classically proportioned, sans serif typeface for titles
•Separated into novel-size volumes (the shortest at around 450 pages, and the longest at around 650 pages)
•Page proportion and text block based on the dimensions of the Ark of the Covenant as specified in Exodus (the actual size of the page is 5.25 x 8.75 inches)
And here are a few highlights of the production:

•Quality, flat-opening sewn binding (including the paperback edition!)
•Offset printed; perfectly clean, hard lines (not dot-based like digital printing)
•Opaque, tactile, off-white, acid-free book paper (not "Bible paper")
•Ribbon bookmark
•European-style rounded spine
•Foil stamp on spine

As a Christian and a designer, I'm in. I'll be backing this tonight to receive a copy. This will make a great supplement (read: not REPLACEMENT) to my various bibles. I'm excited! What say you, GAF? Can this succeed? Would you be interested in it?
 
My mom would be really be into this. I think I found my christmas gift for her.

I hope it reaches a million, the apocrypha is fun.
 
I hear the film adaptation is splitting The New Testament into two movies to maximise revenue. Going to include some apocrypha to pad out the runtime.
 

DonasaurusRex

Online Ho Champ
another translation ...eh why not

besides the old testament was in volumes and even longer books like psalms were also broken up into volumes. This should be interesting.
 
Is he editing the content itself, or just its readability with fonts and whatnot?

It seems to be a bit of both.
theVerge
In addition to carefully reconsidering the overall construction and layout, Greene has also crafted a pair of custom typefaces for Bibliotheca, a simple sans serif for titles, and a more adventurous typeface for the general text. His main motivation in creating what he aptly refers to as his "original book typeface" was to mimic the reverence that's given to text in Hebrew traditions, whereby a "set apart" script is used exclusively for sacred writings. Inspired by this tradition, Greene taught himself to write traditional letterforms by hand, before streamlining the letters into a coherent, idealized typeface. The result of this work is not radically different from the norm — Greene explains "a good typeface does nothing so unruly or unique as to draw undue attention to itself" — and draws inspiration from some of the last century's most influential type designers.
The text itself, and the splitting of the Old and New Testament into four distinct volumes, will likely be a problem for some. Greene has chosen the American Standard Version (ASV) of the Bible, and will modify it slightly to replace archaic terms with their modern alternatives ("doth" will become "does"; "sitteth," "sits"; and so on) and will be minimally adjusting the word order from the Young's Literal Translation (YLT). This will undoubtedly sit well with American audiences, but somewhat limits the appeal in international markets like the UK, where more neutral translations such as the New International Version (NIV) and New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) are more appealing.

Many will find small issues with any translation or reworking of such a historically important text
The division of the volumes is also contentious. Although the segmentation of the Old Testament into three categories (namely "The Five Books of Moses & the Former Prophets," "The Latter Prophets," and "The Writings," which comprises everything from Psalms through to Chronicles) makes sense, grouping the entire New Testament into a single volume seems to go against the principles behind dividing the Bible in the first place. The four Gospels and Acts would make an extremely readable short novel, for example, and do not sit very well with the letters and Revelation that they precede. But while many will find small issues with any translation or reworking of such a historically important text, it’s undoubtable that Greene has put a lot of thought into making Bibliotheca appealing to as wide an audience as possible
let there be Helvetica

Errr... no.
 
Already done:
Conservapedia:The Conservative Bible Project

Despite poor descriptions by Schlafly of the means to be employed to re-translate the Bible, in its execution so far the project does not involve any substantial translation of the original Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek texts, or later translations of these such as the Greek Septuagint or the Latin Vulgate. Rather, Schlafly has been altering the text of the KJV on a word-for-word and idea-for-idea basis to eradicate words and concepts that he feels threaten his personal concept of Christian Conservatism. This is probably because, while claiming to have expertise in ancient Greek,[1] Schlafly seems to have a shaky grasp of it and isn't even sure what language Jesus was speaking.[2] One obvious consequence of his methodology is that Schlafly misapprehends the significance of words and phrases with idiomatic meaning in the Ancient Greek, particularly such as appear in the Pauline letters, and fails to include such meaning in his alterations of the KJV text.
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Conservapedia:The_Conservative_Bible_Project
 

Laieon

Member
Pretty cool. I've always been of the mindset that even if you don't believe in what's in the bible, it still has some pretty great stories and could be treated as you would "The Caterbury Tales" or "Aesop's Fables".
 
Pretty cool. I've always been of the mindset that even if you don't believe in what's in the bible, it still has some pretty great stories and could be treated as you would "The Caterbury Tales" or "Aesop's Fables".

Has some pretty dumb stories too though. Definitely didn't like the genealogy chapters. Booooring.
 
Pretty cool. I've always been of the mindset that even if you don't believe in what's in the bible, it still has some pretty great stories and could be treated as you would "The Caterbury Tales" or "Aesop's Fables".

At the very least, it has some great parables and moral lessons. The Prodigal Son, in particular is a great story.
 
Is he editing the content itself, or just its readability with fonts and whatnot?

He's screwing around with translations; he's not taking stuff out.

The ASV is a very interesting choice of translation. I wonder if the real reason is that the ASV is old enough to be in the public domain?

The Verge said:
The text itself, and the splitting of the Old and New Testament into four distinct volumes, will likely be a problem for some. Greene has chosen the American Standard Version (ASV) of the Bible, and will modify it slightly to replace archaic terms with their modern alternatives ("doth" will become "does"; "sitteth," "sits"; and so on) and will be minimally adjusting the word order from the Young's Literal Translation (YLT). This will undoubtedly sit well with American audiences, but somewhat limits the appeal in international markets like the UK, where more neutral translations such as the New International Version (NIV) and New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) are more appealing.

What the hell does this quote mean? In what sense is the ASV less "neutral" than the NIV and NRSV? It's just older. And why would U.S. readers like it more?
 

Dai101

Banned
Pretty cool. I've always been of the mindset that even if you don't believe in what's in the bible, it still has some pretty great stories and could be treated as you would "The Caterbury Tales" or "Aesop's Fables".

Still has too much filler. Not accounting most characters are bland and also rip-offs.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
This looks like a really stunning project for people who are interested in it. It's thought through very well. The size of the book is based on the measurements of the Ark of the Covenant. He thought about how to separate the volumes, he made his own font, it's clearly quite readable, he's provided very extensive rationale as to why he chose the style choices he did in terms of the translation and language choices. He's thought a lot about the binding and stitching and materials. He's providing a walnut slipcase for the volumes. He's providing biblically inspired art with it. He's also looked into different production routes.

One of the most interesting things about it is that it's still not clear to me after watching the video and reading the updates and interviews with the guy on different bible-related websites whether he's Christian, Jewish, or neither. Which suggests that regardless, he's been able to conduct the project with respect.
 
This looks like a really stunning project for people who are interested in it. It's thought through very well. The size of the book is based on the measurements of the Ark of the Covenant. He thought about how to separate the volumes, he made his own font, it's clearly quite readable, he's provided very extensive rationale as to why he chose the style choices he did in terms of the translation and language choices. He's thought a lot about the binding and stitching and materials. He's providing a walnut slipcase for the volumes. He's providing biblically inspired art with it. He's also looked into different production routes.

One of the most interesting things about it is that it's still not clear to me after watching the video and reading the updates and interviews with the guy on different bible-related websites whether he's Christian, Jewish, or neither. Which suggests that regardless, he's been able to conduct the project with respect.

Well said. This isn't just some dude rearranging the book and choosing a different font on Word/InDesign. This actually seems to have some rational thought placed behind it. I'm really curious, and I'll be reading up on it some more this evening. Again, it definitely SEEMS like my cup of tea from what I know so far.
 
This is pretty funny at face value, but I see where the dude is coming from and it's a cool thing. I'll pick up a set for my mum on Christmas.

Edit: I hope this gets translated into other languages. The set would also be a cool gift for my Hispanic family members.
 

Salamando

Member
Insides look nice, but the intentional lack of verse numbers is off putting. And this KS might be too successful. Happens too frequently where the manufacturer they had lined up can't handle the full order. And any new manufacturer's they negotiate with can see how money he got through KS.
 

injurai

Banned
Insides look nice, but the intentional lack of verse numbers is off putting. And this KS might be too successful. Happens too frequently where the manufacturer they had lined up can't handle the full order. And any new manufacturer's they negotiate with can see how money he got through KS.

The entire point is to turn the experience of it into that of a novel or literary work. In the way that the original manuscripts would have been experienced.

If you want to look up verses pick up any other modern bible. Hell, keep one buy you while you're reading through Bibliotheca.
 
Would've loved to buy something like this for my mother, except it'd have to be in spanish :(

Very well thought out though, obviously a lot of work put into it. Surprised this is the first(?) time a professional designer has thought to do this. It's obviously very lucrative, but you know, hindsight and all! Best of luck to the guy.
 

Kansoku

Member
Always wondered why nobody has done something like this, pretty happy to see someone finally doing it. Would love a version in Portuguese.
 

Volimar

Member
I hope they fix some of the bigger mistranslations. WOuld love to see the response when people read about Moses parting the sea of reeds.


I'd be more likely to back a book about what the bible doesn't tell us. All the things that religious folks say is in the bible but isn't, or the things that get twisted.

For example, saying "God dammit" isn't taking the Lord's name in vain. Saying "God told me to invade Iraq" is taking the Lord's name in vain.
 

Northeastmonk

Gold Member
You say it's a mess, then you pledge to fix it and sell it in multiple volumes.



That's a sale alright. I just wonder why they took so long.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom