A breath of fresh air

Posted: 25th June 2007 by ElShaddai Edwards in Bibles & Books

These days it seems like we rarely encounter things that truly take our breath away, at least in a positive manner. And perhaps Bible publishing isn’t the most amazing thing to make you sit up and pay attention, but Michael Hanegan of Radical Renovation blogged yesterday about a new TNIV edition from IBS.

Called “The Books of The Bible” (TBOTB), this edition rearranges the books of the Bible by “literary genre, historical circumstance and theological tradition”. The Old Testament has been “rebranded” as the “First Testament” (see Hebrews 8-9) and the books arranged in general accordance with the three divisions of the Hebrew Bible: Covenant History, Prophets and Writings. The New Testament appears to group most of the books into Pauline, Petrine and Johannine categories, though they’ve not explicitly included Revelation with John’s writings.

But most importantly, TBOTB has stripped out all of the traditional information overlays from the text, so all chapter and verse markings are gone (except for a small note at the bottom of each page indicating the range of traditional chapter:verse numbers), as well as study notes, chapter/section headings, etc. Translator footnotes are moved to the end of each book. The text is presented in a single column, black letter. What we end up with is the text and only the text.

One of my frustrations with reference and study bibles is that the various notes and annotations can actually distract the reader and take focus away from the text – there is a time and place for study, but many times we just need to sit down and read and meditate on the Word of God. One of the things that I cherish about my REB from Cambridge is that the pages read and read and read like literature because the page layout and typesetting are so clean – it’s the most “readable” Bible I have in terms of not being distracted by information overlays like chapter/verse markings, study notes, references, etc. The old NEB was actually even better with the verse numbers moved to the side column. This new TNIV edition looks even better yet as a reading Bible and *may* give the forthcoming TNIV Reference Bible a run for my pocketbook… especially since I have other reference and study Bibles. This could be a great 1-2 combo with my NASB Reference Bible… the latter for study and notetaking, this new TNIV for reading and devotions. That’s something to think about…

  1. […] Books of the Bible release of the TNIV has floated some additional visitors to this blog, based on a post I had made back in June about that edition’s intriguing case for removing all of the critical apparatus […]