A group of creatives reorganized the entire King James Bible in alphabetical order for a new translation they hope will help readers uncover “new and interesting interpretations of the written word.”
A new project called “Bible The” rewrites both the Old and New Testaments alphabetically as part of a larger project reorganizing “seminal books that have had a material impact on humanity” from A to Z.
“Using a custom made piece of software, we take the entire text of a book, and reorganize it alphabetically,” says Sideline Collective, the international team of designers, writers, and programmers behind the project.
“That’s right. Each book completely reorganized from A-Z. This distills each text down to its lowest common denominator. It highlights the importance people tend to place on the order of said words – and their meaning – and allows for new and interesting interpretations of the written word, in much the same way as an abstract painting might.”
“The result is a reductionist interpretation of the text that reveals some fascinating observations,” it says, adding that data shows the Bible “skews towards a positive bias.”
For example, “good” is used 720 times, “bad” only 18. “Love” is used 308 times and “hate” 87 times. “Happy” is used 28 times, while “sad” is only used 11 times, and “life” is used 451 times, contrasting the 371 instances of “death.” Additionally, there are 94 “angels” to 55 “devils,” 96 “saints” to 48 “sinners,” and 302 “blessed” to a just three “damned.”
Meanwhile, there are 269 “enemies” to 49 “friends.”
Sideline Collective founding member Joseph Ernst told CNet that the group decided to rewrite The Bible’s algorithm “so that the book can be seen and analyzed without the author's bias.”
"By extension, we are interested in how to break those algorithms, to neuter them, so that they have less control over our lives," Ernst said. “The seminal books from yesterday can be considered precursors to today's algorithms. They shape humanity's thinking, much like social media does now. So it seemed like an interesting place to investigate."
"Bible The" is available as a limited-edition, 1,364-page leather-bound volume for 2,000 pounds (about $2,627), while a 1,359-page digital download sells for 10 pounds ($13).
“If we look at books as datasets, we can see the statistical information within the writing, and discover insights that might otherwise be impossible to find,” Sideline Collective says.
Modern technology has allowed the Bible — the bestselling book in the world — to reach millions in new and innovative ways. As of October 2020, the Bible has been translated in its entirety into more than 700 different languages.
This month, a 119-passage ALS Chronological Bible Translation was completed. An introduction accompanies each story to give context, and there’s a section providing more information about the passage.
Also this month, Tyndale House Publishers partnered with an app development company that worked on the popular stock-trading app Robinhood to create a new line of Bibles compatible with its own “game-changing” mobile app.