Bibliotheca is here, the ambitious new Bible design project rolls off the presses…at last

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Adam Lewis Greene had a vision and it’s finally a reality.

He wanted to create a new Bible design that did away with the traditional two-column, numbered, versed, and annotated format that’s become so familiar to modern readers. His idea was to present the Bible in a multi-volume, single column format that did away with all the extra editorial features and presented the Bible as more of a literary novel. The newly designed, four volume product is being dubbed Bibliotheca.

The project’s website describes it best: “Bibliotheca is the entire biblical library separated into volumes and designed purely for reading. The text is reverently treated in classic typographic style, free of all added conventions such as chapter numbers, verse numbers, section headers, cross references and notes.”

 

oldtext

Traditional presentation of Bible text

newtext

Bibliotheca’s newly imagined page design

 

Greene, a California-based graphic designer looked to Kickstarter for the funding to launch his project in 2014. When it quickly raised $1.4 million it became one of Kickstarter’s top 10 campaigns of that year.

The project has been in development for over two years. The challenge of re-presenting the text of something people were used to seeing a certain way for generations proved daunting.

The original timeline was pushed back as Greene decided to use additional funding for a professional revision of the American Standard Version (ASV) that included the contributions of copy editors, Bible Scholars, and proofreaders. They updated archaic words like “thee” and “thou” and sought to utilize scholarly approved translations that have improved since the ASV’s original publication in 1901.

bibliotheca_volumes_560

The actual design and typography was a challenge as well. Decisions were made such as presenting passages of Isaiah with poetry line breaks vs. the traditional prose style format.

The process brought Greene unexpected benefits. “What I did not expect was that, through this process, my admiration and reverence for the text would deepen as it has—maybe tenfold,” he said. “This literature is so complex and interwoven. The deeper I dig, the more I discover.”

Finally, after additional physical printing production delays, 150,000 volumes shipped out in October of this year for delivery in December.

How do you feel about a project like this? Is it making the Word more accessible and relateable? Or do you think the Bible isn’t something we should be “re-designing”? Let us know!

 

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