Finding the Format

Over the course of several months I’ve been reading through two books of the Bible, Exodus and Mathew specifically, as part of a reintroduction to studying these historical tomes of wisdom. More than two decades have passed since I last invested so much time into studying the word and there’s a great deal that I’m rediscovering along the way. While it’s not uncommon for me to consume an entire Star Trek novel in the span of a weekend, the Bible is different. Reading is done more deliberately, with regular pauses to think through the message of a particular passage. One of the things that I’ve chosen to do while reading is to write quick blog posts containing quotes and my thoughts as a means to think a little more intentionally about the content of the message. The format is essentially like a Quotation-style post but, rather than link to a website, the reference is to a specific point in a book. The writing has been invaluable, as it’s very easy to go back and expand on ideas. The one thing that I’d like to improve, though, is the format.

Presentation is incredibly important and, while it may not always be evident, I do invest a great deal of time into thinking about how words are displayed to a reader. Bible journalling is a personal enterprise but, even with zero readers beyond the author, how the text is laid out can encourage revisits to past notes. This could be particularly interesting for people who aim to review the Bible every year as it would allow for an evolution of notes to be collected around thought-provoking passages and verses. So with this in mind, I’ve been making notes and linking them to specific points in the Bible. There’s just one (immediate) problem: quoting different parts of the book does not lead to those different books, chapters, and verses.

Quotation posts on 10C point to a single web page as a means of indicating the source material for a post. The body of the post can contain additional links to other pages and resources. This is tricky to do with a book, though, as even the some of the more common digital representations of the Bible are presented in a manner that resembles a physical bound work rather than what it is: a self-referencing collection of stories. In order to take better digital notes I need a better presentation layer for the Bible, allowing for quotes to contain links to specific words.

While the current post types within 10C certainly get the job of displaying a completed post consisting of quotes and thoughts, they’re not quite what I’m looking for. Something more sophisticated is needed. The basic layout of the journal pages have been worked out, so what I need to do now is build a consistent format around the design and make journal writing simple enough that it doesn’t distract from the ultimate goal of the effort: to better understand the meaning behind the words our ancestors preserved and their relevance in our own life.

Sometimes I wonder if it would be better to just stick with pen and paper ….