Graphic artist Adam Lewis Greene wants a new approach to reading Scripture.
“Why is it that people love stories so much, and yet they view reading the biblical literature as a chore?” Greene says in a Kickstarter video.
On April 23, Green presented his Bibliotheca Bible to roughly 30 students, faculty and staff in Upper Gwinn Commons during the Annual Friends of the Library lecture. The Bible, split into four volumes and designed for simple reading, has no chapter numbers, verse numbers, section headers, cross references or notes.
“We generally accept the form of a thing as it is first given to us…until something else comes along and challenges our notions,” he says.
Greene was inspired to write Bibliotheca after reading the books of Samuel. After that, he says his view of the Bible was born again.
“It was the self-revelation,” Greene says. “Biblical literature is indeed literature.”
Greene says that most people consider Bible reading a chore because of a clash between form and content.
A book’s form consists of individual letters, paper, binding techniques and book materials. If any of these distracts from the narrative, Greene says, then the form has failed the content.
Bibliotheca’s design came from a 1930 copy of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden.
Greene was impressed with the margins, the type quality and the wood-pressed pictures.
He originally estimated he would need to raise $37,000 to produce five Bibliotheca sets. Within 72 hours, the project was fully funded, and by the fourth day it had garnered $300,000.
About six days before the project’s launch, he saw an article about it on The Verge.
By the final days of the project, it had gained more than $1 million.
Greene says he was flabbergasted and completely stunned. Currently, there are more than 100 sets on order.
“I want to give people the opportunity to…experience [the Bible] anew,” he says in the video.