Saturday, May 06, 2006

From Parchment to Postscript

In 2004, my family and I attended a fascinating exhibit entitled From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Forbidden Book: A History of the Bible.

Unfortunately, the exhibit is no longer on display in that form, and it seems that information about the exhibit can now be found at Ink & Blood.

If you're really interested in seeing fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, an exhibit is currently mounted at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage entitled Cradle of Christianity: Treasures from the Holy Land. this exhibit sheds light on Christianity’s earliest days: from its emergence against the background of Jewish society in the land of Israel during the 1st century, to its development alongside Jewish communities over the following six centuries.

While the actual fragments of the scrolls that we saw were about the size of a quarter (why bother?), the most fascinating were the examples of Bibles on display from the 10th to the 20th century (The Lunar Bible). Perhaps if you have a keen interest in Christianity, historical book design, archeology, or biblical history, these exhibits would fascinating.

The stories of the men who were killed and persecuted for translating and printing the Bible was very moving, and had the most impact on me.

At this same time, I was completing the design of the Lucerna typeface, commissioned by Tyndale House Publishers for the Second Edition of the New Living Translation Bible.

What struck me the most as I stood looking at the Bibles, reading the stories of the translators, and considering their impact on history – is that nobody was trying to kill me (that I know of) or persecute me (other than the left-wing side of the political spectrum) for contributing to publishing a Bible.

It seemed to me to be a strange culmination of events: I had purchased my first Macintosh (The SE30) in 1990, and released my first typeface intended for Bibles in 1995 (Veritas). Seven years later, I began Lucerna, and the first Bibles typeset in it were released in 2004.

It's difficult to describe the sensation I had while standing in the middle of all this history.  The Lucerna Project was significant both personally and professionally, and I am aware that I have been given the opportunity to contribute to the history of the Bible.  But why me?  I'll always be grateful for the opportunity.

Perhaps the next chapter of the exhibit could be called From Parchment to Postscript...

Tags: , , , ,

No comments: