I have to start this blog by giving due credit to those who inspired this project for me. First, credit would have to go to my lovely wife and our dog, who managed to combine forces a few months ago and spill some liquid drink all over our coffee table, thus turning my beloved Nestle-Aland 27 Greek New Testament into a sticky, warped phantom of its former self.
Second, I have to give huge kudos to Tony Reinke since it was from his blog that I first learned of the “Blank Bible” concept and since he actually provides a step-by-step DIY instruction guide which I largely followed on this project. For those who don’t know, a “Blank Bible” is simply a Bible with a blank page in between the Bible pages for note-taking/journaling. Jonathan Edwards had a famous one (it’s now at Yale, I believe), and Zondervan actually is now selling a similar product available in NIV/TNIV.
Now to my actual quest…
Hearing about the concept of a “Blank Bible” struck quite a chord with me. I struggled much with the thought of making one from an English text. For starters, what translation does one pick for this massive understanding? For serious Bible study, there’s NASB, but the awkward sentence structures honestly makes me want to just read the actual Greek. There’s NIV, but that’s going to be defunct by 2011 (ditto on the TNIV). I think the HCSB is actually a pretty good and readable translation, but it also is due for a text update in 2010. Plus, it’s seems to be having trouble shedding the Hard Core Southern Baptist (HCSB) identity. And there’s the ESV, which has some awkward spots, but its identity with the Reformed Resurgence provides another sticky spot. (But the pocket size edition my wife has is pretty cool for carrying around.) Anything less literal than these versions would defeat the point of a note-taking, Bible-studying Blank Bible. So I got stuck there.
Besides, I’ve done too much work in Seminary to get myself into the Greek to not stay in it for the rest of my life. And with the destruction of my old NA27, the path was now open for such a possibility.
Why not just use your computer to read Greek?
I like having an actual copy of the Greek text to underline, highlight, hold in my hands (I don’t drink coffee so I don’t have the built-in IQ boost that one gets holding coffee while reading their laptop.), and of course, having space to write notes. I also have an issue while using my Accordance software of either a) depending too much on the Instant Details box when I get stuck on a word or b) getting distracted by an email or a sudden thought to check out my RSS subscriptions since I’m on the computer already. Sometimes this artificial intelligence we have can be death to actual thinking.
So with that, I ordered a new NA27 from Amazon, for the purpose of cutting it apart, inserting blank pages into it, and rebinding.