Sunday, September 03, 2006

3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated

Author: Donald E Knuth
ISBN: 0895792524
Genre: computers, religion, non-fiction

This beautiful book is a project of Donald Knuth's. He wanted to know whether a "random" sample of the Bible would turn out with a statistically sound sampling of God's laws and loving qualities, whether it would accurately reflect the Bible as a whole. So he wrote out a set of rules and started taking a sample of the Bible. He decided to use Chapter 3, verse 16, of every book. If a book didn't have a 3:16, he either counted farther into chapter 4, or left the book out. Most of the books that were too short were New Testament letters, which he already had enough of.

The best part about this book is the calligraphy. Knuth asked prominent calligraphists from all over the world to illustrate the verses. They are masterfully done and a beauty to look at.

Knuth did his own translations for this book. It was a big project but because he was only doing at the most 66 verses, it wasn't too bad.

Each verse has four pages devoted to it. The first page gives an overview of the book it was taken from. The second page is the illustration. The last two pages take the verse in depth and discuss it.

This book is excellent for a Bible study for a small group. There is very little preparation involved for either the teacher or the class and yet you still get a good dose of God in there. It is easy to put on "pause" for a few weeks if you have to do another study. It's also great just for reading on your own.

3:16 is out of print but because of the wonderful Amazon.com, still not too hard to find.

Recommended.

4 comments:

Chris said...

That sounds like a very interesting concept. I will have to check out this one, too.

bubandpie said...

I have this book! I went to a couple of public lectures by the author and they were fantastic, so I bought the book. I had completely forgotten about it for ages, and now I'm not even entirely sure where I put it...

Lady Arden said...

I loved this book too. I remember trying to check it out of the ACU library but it had been inter-library loaned. Then I came to visit you all, was talking about it, and turned out YOU had ACU's copy of this book! Too funny. Great book. I'm glad you added it to this list -and I'm glad you started this list!!!!

Chris said...

So, did ACU get their book back? :)