Thursday, May 28, 2015

"The most interesting man in the (Bible) world"

The Bible Exchange interviews Mark Bertrand. "If you have rediscovered reading Bibles and prefer a single-column edition with as few reading distractions as possible, chances are you have imbibed the literary philosophy of Mark Bertrand either wittingly or unwittingly." Bertrand's site is the Bible Design Blog. He converted me to the idea of "reader-friendly" bibles. From Bertrand's answers in the interview:
...I think we don’t know the Bible as well as we think. All that comfort and familiarity is misplaced, and sometimes even a little condescending. The real quest isn’t about dressing the Bible up; it’s about seeing the Bible for what it is, with new eyes.

.... I’m not reviewing Bibles for the sake of reviewing them. I have an agenda: to make them better. Specifically, to make them more readable. And I have particular ideas on what does and does not do that. You may agree or disagree, but either way, it keeps things interesting. ....

Bible apps have pretty much rendered all print editions but those designed for reading obsolete for me personally. I don’t need all the extra apparatus on the page, because I have all that on my phone or laptop. What I ask of the printed Bible is that it offer me a satisfyingly immersive deep reading experience. ....
That’s why, to me, the quest is not just about the binding, it’s about the design. And what matters about the design is that it honors the notion that the Bible is a text to experience—that as a reader you submit to it, you immerse yourself in it. You don’t stand above it looking down through a lattice of numbers and divisions and references, taking and leaving it based on your interest at the moment.

Now I realize it’s possible to have this experience regardless of the barriers put up by the design. I just wonder what would happen if we designed with this kind of deep reading in mind. .... [more]
The interview is at BibleExchange.com, which Bertrand describes as "an eBay for Bibles."


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