04 October 2018

A slow revision of the SAB

It's a bit hard for me to believe now, but I created the Skeptic's Annotated Bible website back in 1999, nearly 20 years ago!

I've kept the same basic html structure at the site for all these years. It seemed to work okay for the most part, but it was difficult to change and update. And it doesn't work as well as I'd like with all the different platforms that are in use now.

So I've begun to slowly revise the site, starting with Genesis and working my way through the Bible. When I'm done with that, I hope to do the same to the Book of Mormon and the Quran.

If you've visited the SAB lately you may have noticed some of the changes. I've revised the first seven books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, and Judges); revised the Contradictions and What the Bible Says About pages; and added material from Every Jot and Tittle, Strange Flesh, and Drunk with Blood.

When I began the site, my basic plan was just to highlight the texts that showed the Bible's cruelty, absurdity, contradictions, etc. I stuck with that approach through the years, adding various categories as time went by. Although there was some commentary, I mostly just highlighted verses, letting the Bible speak for itself.

That seemed to work okay, though some pages became cluttered, making it difficult for me to add comments or for the reader to follow the story of the text. So I've decided to change my approach a little.

I still highlight the words in the text that I think skeptics would be interested in, using the same icons and color-coding that I previously used at the site. But now I'm trying to make it easier to see the overall storyline of the Bible, by adding section headings for the text and summary notes in the right margin. The highlighted text on the right will be reduced a bit to make the more important verses stand out. And the really important ones (like "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.") will be in bold highlight. I've also added outlines for each of the chapters (e.g. Outline for Judges), which can be found on the navigation panel for each book.

In going through the first seven books of the Bible, I've found and added a lot of things that I missed the first few times around. I'm sure there are many typos and other mistakes to correct; when you see them, I'd appreciate it if you'd email me any corrections. And let me know if you have suggestions about other highlights or comments that you think should be made. I'm making the html easier to edit, so additions and corrections should now be much easier to make.

I hope this slow revision process will make the SAB more useful and easier to use. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

It is going to be a long, slow process, though. At best, I can only do a few chapters a day, so it'll be a year or so before I complete the revision of the Bible. And another year or two to do the same to the Book of Mormon and the Quran.

But I figure it's worth it. Every twenty years or so a website ought to be revised.