The Perfect Bible

My hope: Bible Publisher reads this and says “Great Idea! Let’s print and publish it.” I was inspired to do this when submitting a form a while back to HCSB. They asked “what would your perfect Bible be” so here it is. Be warned that this Bible will likely break the physical boundaries of time or space but if someone can persevere and overcome these obstacles, I’ll say a hearty “thank you”. Before the charge is raised, I know that this Bible exists in electronic form. But I don’t like carrying my laptop to the pulpit since I’m afraid of a catastrophic incident. Like, it’ll slip off, crash into my glass of water in a sermon stopping moment and an elderly man will shoot up, shaking fist in the air and a shadow on his brow as he shouts “Thus the fiery wiles of the devil shall be quenched!”

Physical:

  • Calfskin leather. It’s really purdee as they say out here in the Uber-Rural. Plus it’s durable.
  • Good binding: I don’t want my pages to fall out after years of serious thumping. I’m just kidding, I don’t thump the Bible. I slap the pulpit thrice and glare at anyone who thinks different.
  • Thick paper. I want to be able to write on the Bible without things bleeding through. The paper has to be thick enough to handle that kind of traffic if need be without destroying the text or the paper.
  • Extra Wide Margins. I want some clear space on the outside margins of the page where I can put my own notes. I’m talking two and a half inches.
  • Light. I want this Bible to be fairly light without losing substance. In other words, if it weighed under five pounds it could still be used as a +3 missile weapon.
  • Five Ribbon bookmarks. I abhor those single ribbons that I have to double over to hold two spots or having to rip papers to save other spots. Look, I know where my Bible books are located and I have no problem quoting a passage that I’ve looked at a hundred times over before preaching but I don’t like to do that. Sometimes I would rather go to the section and read it; those days that it’s humid and the pages stick to my fingers plays havoc on preaching. Five bookmarks will make me happy.

Textual:

  • Red Letter. Jesus words in red letter are fine by me. Easier to read.
  • Added words in itals.I can identify them right away.
  • Contested verses between brackets with a note saying that most manuscripts don’t have them.
  • Paragraphs? I like Paragraphs but a parallel Bible seems to demand single verses being in a one to one location. Therefore a paragraph could be defined by a bold number or something else genius. I’ll leave this one to the marketers, publishers or the Better Bible Blogs. ( I do so love paragraphs though).
  • Four Versions in one.
    Those versions being NASB’95, HCSB, TNIV and the NKJV. No Amplified here; it presents interpretation as Actual Translation of the Text. NASB is high on personal study, HCSB is nice for reading, TNIV is great for relevance and NKJV is most likely sitting in the pews or at least close enough to KJV to make the older crowd able to follow along. Also, I might sacrifice the TNIV for a Spanish version. I’ll let the Publishers decide.

Referential:

  • NET Bible notes. I know that the NET Bible notes are tied directly to their translation but I would love to see corresponding numbers with all these versions to a small 6 pt text running along the bottom of the page that gives some solid textual information.
  • Book notes. Like: who wrote it and when. What was going on around that time. Who was ruling. A timeline chart showing whereabout the book lies in connection with other books. External and Internal evidence that supports or denies those claims. A couple of blank pages where the user can insert their own outline in the beginning of the book. An exit page that has some key verses
  • Center Column References. Same thing as in other Bibles but really going into using that space of center margin with some contextual, topical, informational, and comparative references.
  • Concordance. Definitions are fine but I’d also like to see it cover more ground in giving more words and focusing more on where to find them. If I had my wish it would be an all out actual concordance but that would make this Bible way too heavy for a missile weapon so I’ll settle with something more condensed in content and font size.

Perks:

  • Maps. Not those cheesy old maps in the back of the gift bibles nor those week political maps
    that just shows perceived boundaries. I want a map of Israel with acetate pages
    that can be overlayed on the map with either topography, OT names, NT Names,
    Paul’s travels, likely locations of certain places and a couple of clear sheets
    that let me do my own marking if need be.
  • Illustrations.
    I’ve always loved those old illustrations of the items in the tabernacle. They
    were great. Make them super technical, pen and ink and easy to reproduce (with
    a copyright of course) then you got yourself some good illustrations. I’d like
    it to have the tabernacle, the temples and the layout of Solomon’s temple.
  • 6 Mechanical erasable
    Pencil highlighters.
    Thin .5 lead. Six colors consist of Red, Blue, Green,
    Yellow, Brown and Purple. Section on outline page on chapters has a section
    (legend) with the colors already in place and an empty field where a person can
    write in what the colors signify in the book (ie: Red: Promise; Blue: God;
    Green: Division; Yellow: Key Verse; Brown: Pattern; Purple: locale)
  • Kneaded Eraser.
    To erase stuff without destroying paper.
  • CD-Rom with
    Libronix book, E-Sword module and Pocket PC program—with a two-version upgrade
    option.
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