First of all, before getting into it, I’d just like to say that this is for Catholics and Protestants alike, although for some aspects (i.e., articles that you’d like in the Bible) I’d be paying more attention to Catholic needs as I am Catholic . . . but all design features (i.e. font type, size, etc.) is welcome to everyone because I assume all Bible readers have some sort of preference for that stuff. Now, without further adieu, let me explain:
So, I’ve been looking for study Bibles to purchase (so far I have ordered the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible and am waiting to get it) and I’ve been reading reviews and noticing that many people have certain “nit-picky” preferences and I thought it would be interesting to start a kind of survey to see what average Bible studiers would like to see in some future study Bible (cough cough). Now, as a warning, I am going to ask you to get into pretty great detail and to answer some questions you might not have thought of before, and I ask you to try to answer every question to the best of your ability. I hope you guys will have as much fun with this as I believe I will! Here are the questions (which may need to continue into another post):
Dimensions and Margins - What dimensions would you like the best? What are the most comfortable? Also, many people like to write their own notes in the margins and I’ve read many complaints that margins these days aren’t big enough, how large would you like margins to be?
Translation/Interlinear Possibility - Which English translation would you like your Study Bible to be based off of? Also, I’ve read many people liked that the Old Testament Navarre Bible series put the corresponding Nova Vulgata text with the English text, would you like this? If so, which language(s) would you like to appear? This could change for Old and New Testaments (i.e., Hebrew for OT and Greek for NT)
Intros - Would you like the intros and background information for every book and section of the Bible (i.e., OT and NT, then Pentateuch, Prophets, Gospels, Pauline Letters, etc.), or all at the end or beginning? Also, in the text, would you like informational headings to break up the text (e.g., “The Genealogy of Jesus” before Mt 1:1-17, then “The Birth of Jesus” before Mt 1:18-25)?
Column Preferences - What number of columns would you like for the text and commentary: one, two, or three (yes, I’ve seen some people request three columns).
Font Preferences - What font size and type would you like for the text and commentary, and yes, text and commentary font sizes/types can be different (commentary size and font will be the same for cross-references). Would you like a red letter Bible, too? That would be Christ’s words in red but you could request Yahweh’s words in red as well, if you like.
Citation Preferences - When a verse is cited in cross-references or the commentary, what form would you like? (e.g., Mt vs. Mt. vs. Matt., also Mt 16:18 vs. Mt 16, 18).
Header/Footer Details - What would you like in the header and footer? Where would you like page numbers? Would you like page numbers to restart from one when you get to the NT?
Cross-References - Where on the page would you like them to go and would you like them at all?
Concordance/Dictionary - Would you like a concise Biblical concordance and/or dictionary in the back of the volume or create a separate volume for these that could be bundled in a special Bible Study Package Deal Thing?
Topical/Apologetics Essays - Would you like multiple essays on various topics and doctrines? The articles would be similar to the articles found in the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible. Would you like these essays interspersed throughout the text at appropriate places or in the back or in a separate volume entirely, then included in a package as with the concordance and dictionary. Are there any specific topics/doctrines you’d like there to be essays on (e.g., Catholic hermeneutics, the Real Presence, etc.)
Graphic Preferences - Are there any specific tables, charts or lists you’d like to be in the volume(s), i.e. chart of parables, list of popes, etc. Also, would you like maps and illustrations of biblical places/buildings? If so, would you like color or grayscale and would you like them at the end of the volume or interspersed throughout the volume in the places they apply.
Book Details - Would you like hardcover, paperback, or some kind of leather? Or possibly the ability to choose which you’d like (meaning there would be editions of each kind). Is there some kind of known binding/stitching/paper you would like this book to use?
Contributors - Are there any specific people you would like to see contribute some information?
Unique Ideas - Please suggest a unique idea that you think would make this Study Bible stand out from the rest.
Good Ones - Last, but not least, please give us the name of the Study Bible that you think is the best out there and that satisfies your wants and needs.
One Last Thing - Don’t be afraid to suggest elements that haven’t been addressed here!
Thank you for participating! I’ll give my preferences first to show you how it could look!