The Blank Bible Chronicles
I recently told you I was going to make my very own “blank” Bible. I got started Monday. It was both a failure and a success. I’ll be elaborating on both in the course of the next couple of posts. Enjoy the ride!
I discovered what I am now calling The Tony Reinke Method for constructing a blank Bible while reading a link to Tony’s blog provided by Justin Taylor. Fascinated, I realized a blank Bible was exactly what I had been wanting for such a long time! I read and reread the steps Tony outlined, and after a major goof that resulted in a ruined Bible, I successfully built one on the second try.
Steve, with his utter lack of handyman-ship, thought about making one as well, but apparently got stopped cold in his tracks. I told him I would pictorally document the process so he’d be able to follow along. That’s why this “chronicle” will turn itself into at least one or two more posts — the pics take up space! I want to thank my gorgeous and pregnant wife, Tricia, for taking most of these photos. So with no further ado, we look at the first step in making a blank Bible. I follow the Tony Reinke method in each step. I suggest you read through his instructions several times before attempting this project!
Obviously, first you gotta actually have a Bible. For the first, failed attempt, I used the ESV Wide-Margin Reference Bible.
On the second, successful attempt, I used the same Bible Tony recommended, an ESV Classic Center-Reference Bible. Why? Because the second time around I determined to follow his procedure to the letter. You’ll see why later. So let’s move on to deconstruction.
Removing the Cover
I (and Tony as well) used a hardcover Bible for this project. That means you have to remove the front and back cover, which is basically one long, bent piece of cardboard. To remove it, all you have to do is open it up and with a utility knife, cut along the crease between the cover and the first page. Do this on both sides front and back. Remember, always cut AWAY from your body!
You may have to do some additional cutting with the utility knife in order to get the front and back cover cleanly separated from the book itself. Don’t try to get fancy — just cut along the length of the crease until the cover cleanly separates from the front and back. At this point the spine of the book is the only thing attached to the cover. You can just grasp the book firmly and pull it away from the cover.
As you look at the “brick” of paper that is left, you may notice that where the spine attached to the cover, there is a strip of glue that should have binding thread attached at both the top and bottom that forms a kind of tab at each end. You can actually (and you should) pull this off. You may first want to take your utility knife and work one tab loose from the binding to make it easier to pull it off. Make sure you are trying to separate only the glue and tab from the binding. Do NOT cut into any of the pages! Then, simply grasp one of the thread tabs firmly and pull.
This is what you got left:
Notice the strip of glue in one hand and the brick of paper with a somewhat clean binding left where I pulled off the glue strip. Don’t be deceived; the pages are still bound together. There is more glue than just that strip. The pages won’t suddenly fly off into space and mix up beyond recovery. You won’t actually remove all the glue until you’ve had the brick cut. More on that in the next post.
If you want, you can take off the top and bottom papers (the black pages in the previous photos). I took off the top the first time; the second time I left them on. I heavily suggest you leave the bottom black page on, as it is attached to a map and cannot be removed without potentially (almost for sure) tearing up the map. Remove it at your peril! In the end, this is what you are left with:
And this is what your work table should look like at this point, with all the pieces you’ve separated:
Yes, I know, I drew a line on the Bible for cutting purposes. Ignore it for right now, that is actually the first goof. I’ll explain in the next post.
But last, and most terribly, if you are like me you are ultimately left with this:
That’s me confessing the great deal of guilt I had at cutting up a perfectly good Bible! Yes, that is the sign for “guilty.” Make the hand shape and then beat your heart with that shape a few times and you’ll immediately get the idea! 😉
If you’ve made it this far (*poke Mr. Dye*), you’ve done well. You are now ready to have the Bible and the blank pages you will use cut. Come back next time for the next step in The Blank Bible Chronicles!