Thursday, June 3, 2010

Beaten again

I just can't believe this -- everyone is stealing my ideas! Actually, I'm happy, because I'm finding so many other people already thinking in similar ways to me. Knowing that great minds think alike, I figure that... well, I'll leave it to you to figure!

Yesterday, I included a link to John Dyer's writeup about chapters and verses.  A couple of his links pointed to The Books of the Bible project by the International Bible Society (IBS) which I just read about today. Apparently IBS assembled a group in 2003 to explore a new visual presentation of the Bible. They used Today's New International Version (TNIV) as their text.

According to the FAQ list, they relegated chapter and verse numbers to a range down at the bottom of the printed page. Even more amazingly, they dared to change the order of the books, changed the traditional Old Testament to First Testament, and got rid of most (or all?) section headings.

These were all things that I had planned for the Open English Translation of the Bible (OET):
  • greatly downplay chapter and verse numbers,
  • downplay section headings (by not allowing them to actually interrupt the text),
  • change the Old Testament, New Testament terminology, and
  • change the order (and by combining, even the number) of books.
(I also plan a number of other distinctives for the OET, but I'll resist the urge to list them all here so as not to clutter this blog.)

So yes, it was very encouraging for me to see that an organisation like IBS has already experimented with these issues. Maybe some of my ideas aren't so far off the wall after all!

I'm sure that tradition has kept the sales of something this different pretty small, but I'll certainly have to order a copy. There's sample PDFs for download here. I think I might just print one or two and see how they look.

P.S. Here's a link to another excellent little write-up that John also referred to.

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