[sword-devel] Red Letter text

Michael Paul Johnson sword-devel@crosswire.org
Fri, 21 Jan 2000 17:25:57 -0700

At 15:43 1/21/2000 -0800, Joel Mawhorter wrote:
>On Fri, 21 Jan 2000, you wrote:
> > There is a tag in the GBF spec for word of Christ in red.  Unfortunately,
> > this tag is only used in the WEB module right now.  To add these to other
> > modules would require going through line-by-line and adding them in the
> > appropriate locations.
> > 
> > --Chris
>Hi David and Chris,
>The problem with red letter text is that there are passages where it is not
>clear where Christ's words end and the words of the author of the gospels
>begin. Another problem is that the color makes it appear as though Christ's
>words are somehow more important than the rest of scripture; remember, ALL
>scripture is God breated, etc. I can't think of any good reason to color code
>the Bible. Does anyone on this list find red lettering useful? I wonder if the
>only reason that it is still done at all is tradition. I think before anyone
>was to sit down and convert some of the modules to red lettering, the following
>questions should be answered: 1. Is it a valid thing to do? (I.e. is it right
>to imply more information in the text than was in the original?) 2. Is it

I can give you a translator's perspective. The color coding is just tradition, and not in the original. However, I'd rather have the marking of Christ's words in the translator's control than done later, to avoid misunderstandings if someone goofed it up. It isn't necessary, but a lot of people like it, because it looks pretty and it makes finding certain passages easier on a printed page. It isn't harmful, unless someone gets the idea that the black letters can be ignored. The red letters don't add or take away information in a translation with properly done quote marks. Some translations have no quote marks at all, though. In a Bible study program, I think it should be optional for Jesus' direct quotes to be in red or highlighted in some way or not. The tags can be used or ignored. They could also be used to qualify a search. :-)


Michael Paul Johnson