I have been interested in the Lexham English Bible that was published by Logos in 2010. So I recently downloaded the ebook (epub) in order to have it on my tablet and be able to read it. As I looked at the epub file, I saw that while they had done some good things with it, there were a number of shortcomings. In a sentence, I thought I could do something better.
First, let me describe what is good about the epub file that can be downloaded from the Lexham English Bible website:
- The title page is nicely formatted.
- The entire New Testament is included.
- The ebook “spine” (which shows the table of contents) includes all the Bible books – a nice touch.
- The ebook is free! Who can complain?
That’s about it. Now, what about the problems?
- The epub file contains two complete copies of the Bible text, but without making use of the second copy. As a result, the epub does not validate with epubcheck, and the file is over 2 MB rather than around 1 MB as it would be with just one copy of the text.
- The table of contents page has no links. You scroll through this page on your way to Matthew, but you can’t click a link.
- The text formatting is very rudimentary:
- Superscripts are large and create extra line space.
- Poetry is set with double-line-space.
- The in-text headings are strangely small.
- The textual footnotes are formatted with a lot of extra, unnecessary space.
Since the Lexham English Bible is free to distribute, I decided to see what I could do, using the XML sources as a starting place (i.e., rather than creating a derivative epub, I built one from scratch using my own workflow. This enables me to update the ebook any time the sources are updated, such as when Logos later publishes the Old Testament). You can download the resulting epub file here. A couple of notes:
- The table of contents page is linked.
- The resulting Bible text is formatted beautifully: headings, poetry, and superscripts are set correctly and proportionally, and paragraphs look like paragraphs, with no extra line space or strange formatting.
- The textual footnotes look good, too.
- The file is 1.2 MB rather than 2.2 MB, and it validates against epubcheck.
- Each chapter heading includes a link back to a book table of contents, which is a list of links to each of the chapters of the book.
|Matthew 4 in the original ebook.||Matthew 4 in the new ebook.|
I’m very pleased with this result, and in the spirit of sharing (well, actually, for bragging rights, and because the license requires free distribution), I am offering this ebook for download here (1 MB epub).