For most Bible-reading folks, the notion of changing the Good Book is tantamount to blasphemy, and the notion that one could make it better could be outright blasphemy. One designer, though, thinks he can do both, and he’d just love it if you’d kick in some cash to help him out.
The project is called Bibliotheca, and its founder, Adam Greene, has a pretty simple goal. Green e wants to play up the literary aspect of the bible by changing the layout of the text to read more like a normal book.
That means none of the standards you’ve come to expect from the Bible. Greene’s Bible will have no chapter divisions, no verse numbers, and no annotations. Greene hopes the resulting text will make the Bible easier to read and more enjoyable as “great literary art.”
“Growing up with the Bible, there were so many interpretive lenses held up to it for me,” Greene told 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.”
Greene is a Santa Cruz-based book designer, and a good deal of his redesign focuses on the physical aspects of the Bible. Greene’s Bibliotheca has divided the Bible into four volumes, and each volume of Greene’s Bible has a European-style rounded spine and flat-opening sewn binding. That binding means that Greene’s Bible will open in a way that will allow the pages to sit flat.
Greene’s Bible will also sport some typographical variations from what’s found in regular editions. Reportedly, the pages are laid out according to the Ark of the Covenant, and all of the text is left-aligned. Greene says that will give the Bible’s text “the same optical rhythm on every line of text,” something that one supposedly does not get with justified text.
As to the actual content of Greene’s Bible, he’s going with the American Standard Version (ASV) of the Bible. That means a lot of archaic language will be replaced with its modern equivalent. Thus, “does” for “doth,” “sits” for “sitteth,” and so forth.
And just how is this going over? Smashingly. Greene’s Kickstarter for the project asked for $37,000 initially. The project ended recently having raised nearly $1.5 million from nearly 15,000 backers. Hitting that astronomical mark means Greene will now be able to add the Deuterocanonical Books – also known as the Apocrypha – to an optional fifth volume.