IT’S SURPRISING TO ME how much doggone good editorial help I’m getting from some of my readers.
They’re editing me.
They’re editing my Bible paraphrase, the Casual English Bible.
And they’re making me look good and the Bible read better.
I asked for a dozen volunteers to proofread Genesis and another dozen to proof the Gospel of Luke (I still have room for 2 more with Luke).
Sorry, but I didn’t expect much from them.
After all, they’re volunteers. All they get for their trouble is a free, signed copy of my July release: A Visual Walk Through Genesis. And I give them the copy up front, so getting the book is no motivation. They already got it.
I expected them to find obvious stuff. Mistakes in writing. Mistakes made when I had to cut and paste every individual verse, footnote, and discussion question from a Word document onto the website forms that a coder created for me.
Lots of opportunity to showcase my humanity.
I took advantage of that opportunity. There were lots of mistakes. Still are, since the proofers are still mining the words.
Just for fun, here are a few revisions they suggested.
Help Gabriel, Mary, and Joseph
One reader didn’t like my version of Luke 1:27, “There, Gabriel appeared to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, descended from David. The virgin was Mary.”
She suggested, “There, Gabriel appeared to a virgin engaged to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph.”
I settled, at least for now, on this: “There, Gabriel appeared to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph, descended from King David.”
I think that’s better.
Don’t forget Jesus
Another reader noticed that I had a long quote from Jesus, but I didn’t ID him as the person doing the talking.
So now the verse starts off with him: “Jesus asked, ‘How can I describe the people in this generation? What are they like?’” (Luke 7:31).
Don’t add new stuff
Another reader suggested deleting a phrase. He said it wasn’t supported in the original text. He was right.
I had Genesis 1:21 reading, “God created the sea creatures. Big, monster-size ones. Little cute ones. All kinds. Everything that lives and moves in the water. He did the same for every bird that flies. God liked what he saw.”
He said I should delete “Little cute ones” because it’s not in the Hebrew version of Genesis.
So now the verse reads: “God created the sea creatures. Big, monster-sized ones, too. All kinds. Everything that lives and moves in the water. He did the same for every bird that flies. God liked what he saw.”
This whole project started out as a personal devotion exercise. But I think we’ve managed to expand the study to the proofreaders if no one else.
It’s really quite fun studying the Bible this way…thinking about how to put it into language for Bible newcomers. And it’s even more fun to make a party of it by having a group of Bible study students adding their advice, corrections, and questions.
We’ll work on Acts next, as soon as I finish the paraphrase. At the moment, these proofers have me spending much of the day making corrections.
Winners of giveaway books
I give away free books every week to randomly selected subscribers to my free blog or my quarterly newsletter.
Winners this week, who should email for their free book if they see their name here:
- Kathy Tierney
- Mark Gerstner