Sunday, March 26

Red Letter Bibles
The ESV Bible Blog has a post about the origins of red letter Bibles -- that is, Bibles in which the words of Christ, and in the earlier editions, the words of the Old Testament which were later quoted by Christ, are printed with red ink.

The top five reasons I DON'T like red letter Bibles:

5. The whole red state, blue state thing.

4. It requires an additional layer of editorial work -- determining where the words of Jesus and the words of the gospel writer begin and end. This is especially difficult in the Gospel of John. Red lettering, I suspect, often gives the reader a false read.

3. It doesn't add any real value to the reading experience.

2. Even though I am not at all color blind, I have difficulty reading red print -- especially in blocks. My eyes have trouble focusing on the red words.

1. Green is my favorite color (in case you hadn't already guessed). And I know that Jesus would have prefered to have his words in green but Bible publishers are overly concerned that such would look like an endorsment of radical environmentalism. That's a lame reason!

I understand that several publishers are considering a Bible specifically for the emerging church folks. All the words, except those of Christ will be either printed in blue (like jazz) or purple (at the suggestion of Brian McLaren who likes purple best). The words of Christ will be in pomo black.


Sean said...

funny post, Brad.

my NT prof instilled disdain of red letter editions in me. we're Evangelicals. ALL of the words are inspired. are the red words MORE inspired?

Rick said...

Sean nailed it. Why exalt certain words of scripture over others? I think the only reason is emotional sentimentality, but it winds up underscoring the unintended message that those words are "truer"

Ted Gossard said...

Yes. I'd like to see red letter Bibles become obsolete. (seems the opposite is in danger of happening)