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Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

Having trouble understanding the Bible? Campaign to redesign the Good Book could help

Compiled by Kelsey Dallas, Deseret News National Edition

Published: Sat, July 26 7:35 a.m. MDT

 Women bow and pray over the Bible.

Women bow and pray over the Bible.

(Justin Skinner, Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The Bible may be the most-read book in the world, but that doesn't mean it's easy on the eyes. Designer and illustrator Adam Lewis Greene hopes to fix that, advertising a Bible redesign that would present the Gospel in a new, aesthetically pleasing package.

Greene's Bibliotheca Kickstarter campaign advertises his vision for publishing "the biblical literature designed and crafted for reading, separated into four elegant volumes and free of all numbers." Greene has raised over $1 million, far exceeding his initial goal of $37,000.

The project description includes a video explaining Greene's design decisions. The Bibliotheca Bible features "time-tested typographic methods geared towards an exceptionally fluid reading experience: optimal type size, line length (words per line), leading (space between lines) and margins," he explained.

"Greene's background is in book design, and his understanding of the art behind a great book is infused into Bibliotheca," The Verge reported.

His personal experiences reading the Bible also influenced his choices. Greene told The Verge that he has a "long-held desire to help others discover the Bible."

BibleGateway published a question-and-answer session with Greene, who has gained popularity as his Kickstarter amasses donations. Asked about the response to his proposed project, Greene explained: "Though it's hard to know exactly why Bibliotheca has been so well-received, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that readers are ready to enjoy the Bible as the great literary anthology that it is, rather than as a textbook.

"The idea of the Bible as story is moving and spreading rapidly. I have been deeply affected by this movement, and Bibliotheca is my attempt to create an elegant vehicle for it," he added.

In its coverage of the campaign, Christianity Today noted that Greene's idea to create a more engaging version of the Bible is not new. Crossway released a English Standard Version Reader's Bible last month and Biblica published a single-column, number-free copy of the Bible in both 2007 and 2011.

See also: 20 people confess their true feelings about God on Whisper

However, the amount of attention Bibliotheca is getting is unique. "The wild success of Greene's Kickstarter project is a game-changer," said Bible Design Blog writer Mark Bertrand to Christianity Today.

One reason for the incredible response to the Bibliotheca campaign is that donations are currently the only way to guarantee owning a copy of the final product. As Greene explained on his Kickstarter page, "This is not a fundraiser for an edition that you will be able to order after the campaign." Instead, it's, in effect, "a limited pre-order."

The Bibliotheca campaign will remain open until mid-day Sunday, July 27.

You may also be interested in these stories:

5 religious theme parks you have to see to believe

8 unique Bible museums across the U.S.

Email: kdallas@deseretnews.com Twitter: @kelsey_dallas

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1. morpunkt
Glendora, CA,
July 26, 2014

The Book of Revelation continues to be a mystery to me, despite a myriad of various publications that claim to have all the answers. Way too much symbolism for my wee brain to absorb.

2. greatbam22
andrews afb, MD,
July 26, 2014

The books look nice and I hope that they help other to understand the bible more.

3. Hutterite
American Fork, UT,
July 27, 2014

Have you read the old testament? This ain't the 'good' book.

4. Mountanman
Hayden, ID,
July 28, 2014

The Bible is a translation of a translation of a translation of a translation (who knows how many) of original documents that no longer exist! I believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. Yet another translation (redesign) is not going to make it more correct and I fear we will lose even more in the "translation".