Catching up on a topic dear to my heart: here’s a fine essay in Comment by J. Mark Bertrand on printed and digital Bibles. A key passage:
Pastors and scholars rely heavily on software like BibleWorks and Accordance, and laypeople in church are more likely to open Bible apps on their phones than to carry printed editions. The days are coming and may already be upon us when parishioners look askance at sermons not preached from an iPad. (“But aren’t you missional?”)
And yet, the printed Bible is not under threat. If anything the advent of e-books has ushered in a renaissance of sorts for the physical form of the Good Book. The fulfillment of the hypertext dream by digital Bibles has cleared the way for printed Bibles to pursue other ends. The most exciting reinvention of the printed Scriptures is the so-called reader’s Bible, a print edition designed from the ground up not as a reference work but as a book for deep, immersive reading.
Please read it all. And then turn to Bertrand’s Bible Design Blog, where he has recently reflected further on the same issues, and written a few detailed posts — one and two and three — on the new Crossway Reader’s Bible, in six beautifully printed and bound volumes. I got my copies the other day, and they really do constitute a remarkable feat of workmanship and design. You can read, and view, more about the project here.
I would love to say more about all this — and other matters dear to the heart of this ol’ blog — but I am still devoting most of my time to work on two books, one on Christian intellectual life in World War II and one called How to Think: A Guide for the Perplexed. Those will be keeping my mind occupied for the next few months. When I am able to post here, the posts will likely do little more than point to interesting things elsewhere.