Notes for Publishers

by Graham Thomason

8 August 2022

General

This document is for information for potential publishers of the FarAboveAll translation, which is available here: . It is linked to in translation area in the laptop area of the whole website: .

This document specifies what we would like to see in print, and it alerts the publisher to various issues and pitfalls with rendering the text. It also provides some technical information on translation conventions and on presentation, and some biographical information.

The Old and New Testament translations, having been reviewed in various ways, are now believed to be substantially stable. Any changes will be tracked in the Corrigenda on the main translation page. The changes are processed in an update from time to time. At the last update before the first printing, we will set version numbers to 1.0.

What would we like to see published?

We offer a translation of the Old and New Testaments, each with a separate Introduction. The translation is presented alongside the Hebrew / Aramaic / Greek source text in a 4-column edition, which we would like to see published in a luxury multi-volume format, with a good font size (at least 11 point) and with a good line spacing. We would also like to see an inexpensive English only edition. Here are links to the documents:

The English only edition in 2-column format may not render properly on screen, because the screen counts as one enormous page. But it should print well.

Some of our own fonts are required (see below).

Indexing the books. This will probably have to be done manually. The following document shows a formatting option in html.

Cover Suggestions. See “Extras and Ideas for a Printed Edition” on the main translation page . An example is here: .

There are various formats of our translation. We have written Python 2.7 conversion programs to generate all the different formats from the master files. These can be re-run as changes to the translation are needed.

All the documents are available on our main translation page: .

The entire FarAboveAll website is available in zipped form: .
If changes are required (e.g. to formatting), it is recommended to work on a copy of an original file from the expanded zip file, not from a browser “save as” file, as the web server or the browser may apply its own pre-processing to the file.

What is Special about this Translation?

It is multi-column, showing the exact original text which has been translated, with a Notes column to justify the translation, as well as providing some exposition, with for the New Testament limited textual information based on all manuscripts collated by F. H. A. Scrivener in the 1850s.

The New Testament is from the historically all but universal text, as compiled by Robinson and Pierpont, in sharp contrast to modern eclectic tests. Interleaved in the Greek and English are also any variations in two widely used similar texts: the Received Text and the Antoniades text of Greek Orthodox Church Patriarchal Text of 1904. So in 1 Timothy 3:16 we read “God was manifested in the flesh” – an important Deity-of-Christ testimony. And Mark 16:9-20 is present (without subversive footnote) with its witness to Christ's resurrection. And Luke 2:14 reads “Goodwill towards men”.

The translation aims at accuracy whilst retaining readability, and it is independent of other translations and translator's handbooks, so is free from compromises and concomitant mediocrity. Examples of perhaps a surprising translation are, e.g. in Ephesians:

Eph 1:4 πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου before the overthrow of the world
Eph 1:11 ἐν ᾧ καὶ ἐκληρώθημεν in whom we also have been appointed as an inheritance
Eph 1:18 ἐν τοῖς ἁγίοις in holy places
Eph 2:1, 2:5 νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν καὶ ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις dead to transgressions and sins
Eph 2:19 συμπολῖται τῶν ἁγίων joint citizens of the holy places
Eph 3:9 τίς ἡ {RP P1904: οἰκονομία} [TR: κοινωνία] τοῦ μυστηρίου, as to what the {RP P1904: dispensation} [TR: fellowship] of the mystery is

The Old Testament is also equipped with a Notes column, justifying the translation, often with a very literal translation or a grammatical analysis. The notes also cross-reference parallel verses – mainly involving the books of Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Isaiah and Jeremiah. The text itself interleaves qeré and ketiv readings, and where the Sopherim have made a change, it is reversed.

Some samples:

Gen 1:2 ‫וְהָאָ֗רֶץ הָיְתָ֥ה תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ But the earth became desolate and deserted
Isa 48:15 ‫לֹא־תֹ֥הוּ בְרָאָ֖הּ He did not create it desolate;

Job 28:2-4, 28:10 (English only)

2Iron is obtained from ore,

And mineral is cast into copper.

3The miner discounts darkness,

And in every direction he searches for minerals,

In thick darkness and the shadow of death.

4He sinks a shaft with a migrant workforce,

Who do not use their feet.

They are lowered down;

They move about unnaturally.

...

10He cuts out galleries in the rocks,

And his eye sees every kind of precious gemstone.

Ezek 1:19-22

19As the beings moved, the wheels moved alongside them, and as the beings were lifted above the ground, the wheels were lifted too. 20They went wherever the spirit would be going – to where the spirit was to go. And the wheels were lifted up in concert with them, for the spirit of the being was in the wheels. 21When they moved, these moved, and when they stopped, these stopped, and when they were lifted above the ground, the wheels were lifted up in concert with them, for the spirit of the being was in the wheels. 22And the appearance of what was above the heads of the beings was an expanse, like the sparkle of an awesome sheet of ice, spread out over their heads high up.

Quotations and some allusions of the Old Testament in the New are bolded and noted in both testaments. The whole translation italicizes supplied words, in the New Testament even down to the word "the". This perhaps gives the English reader a flavour of the original languages.

A considerable amount of checking- and convention-enforcing software has been written (over 30,000 lines of Python). Although far from exhaustive, it checks for example in the OT that all the names of God are typographically consistent, and in the NT that οὐράνιος is translated “heavenly” and ἐπουράνιος is translated “upper-heavenly”.

The entire text of the original languages and the translation is in the public domain. It is available online, but we have noted that many friends and enquirers are asking for it to be available in print.

Fonts

New Testament Translation and Notes, and New Testament Introduction

We would like to see the Greek of the New Testament rendered in GGTEphesian.ttf. It is our own font, which will give the publication and its own look and feel. The font is of the wide vertical kind rather than narrow or slanting kind, a convention adopted by Hodges and Farstad (Majority Text) and Robinson and Pierpont themselves. Although it is an amateur font, we consider it as attractive as comparable commercial fonts. GGTEphesian.ttf is also used in the NT Introduction. I don't think other GGT- fonts are used in the translations or introductions, but it would do no harm to install them all. They are available on the fonts page . The GGT- fonts map character codes in the range 32-255 into letters and nonspacing diacritics. This is the old way of doing things (ISO/IEC 8859), with our own mapping, not the Unicode way.

If for any reason it is ever (very unexpectedly) not possible to use the old ISO/IEC 8859 fonts, our 4-column translation is available in Unicode as well, and we have a conversion program for regeneration whenever there is a change, but the Introductions will require some manual intervention.

Some special cases:

It is thought that Times New Roman is adequate for all these cases, given the automatic re-assignment to Cambria Math.

Old Testament Translation and Notes, and Old Testament Introduction

The publisher will also require a good Unicode font for the Hebrew of the 4-column translation. We recommend SBL Hebrew, which is what the source site uses, and permission will be needed from The Society of Biblical Literature to use it commercially. The default Windows fonts may not render certain features such as supralinear dots.

Some special cases which need to render properly:

A minor quirk which is tolerable, and which might be textual or browser related:

Browsers

Our 4-column edition does not explicitly specify left-to-right and right-to-left alphabet direction, but browsers and editors we have used have no problem in determining the text direction from the character coding points.

We have always printed using a browser, and we do not recommend opening the html or copying text into in a word processor, because in Word it gives problems with (1) introducing intrusive non-breaking spaces (2) altering the switch position from Western to Hebrew mode, so that a space which was associated with English may become associated with the Hebrew, effectively moving it, so that a Hebrew word is joined to an English word, and a double space is made at the other end, and (3) incorrectly processing the css style sheet, in particular paragraph indentation for poetry.

We have obtained the best printouts from Firefox (though not without occasional issues). Firefox prints the table and cell borders nice and thin and grey (not black), unlike Chrome. Table rows do not break across pages, and unused space at the bottom of a page (because the next table row does not fit) is left completely blank, which is attractive, also unlike Chrome which projects the table border to the bottom of the page.

Poetry format is with an indentation, and long lines indent further on a continuation line. This is controlled by the css style sheet, and should be checked with an example, e.g. Ps 1:1.

In the English-only version, the references should be in a smaller text size than the main translation. This is controlled by the css style sheet. There was a time when that rendered correctly on screen but not in print. The problem has been circumvented by specifying the font size in a different way.

There is an issue with certain character combinations causing a vertical rise in the Hebrew mid-word, when printed but not on screen. It was first noticed at Deut 2:31 in Firefox 95.0 on 9 December 2021 at 2 Ki 3:10, 2 Ki 3:13, and again in Firefox 99.0.1 in April 2022, and is still present (tested at Deut 2:31) in Firefox 102.0.1 (64-bit) on 25 July 2022. Another verse where this happens is Num 14:2. But occurrences are rare, and if need be, this can be suffered. But if the publisher has good relations with Firefox, maybe they can get it fixed?

Adding page numbers has become a problem in Firefox. At one time (pre-Firefox version 96?), there was a “modal” option determine what goes into headers and footers, and how it is presented. Then the option was discontinued by default, but it could be reinstated by going to about:config, searching for “tab_mo”, and setting “print_tab_modal.enabled” to “false”. But recently (spring 2022) even that has been discontinued. The only way to print page numbers is to have additional unwanted header and footer information printed as well. It is apparent from online blogs that many users are very dissatisfied with this. One obvious way round is to pre- (or post-) print just the page numbers with another pass of paper feed through. Another possibility might be to print to pdf (and check for other pitfalls), and to edit in the page numbers there. But we have not checked that as we do not have a pdf editor.

Firefox 103.0.1 provides a solution, but the page numbers are very close to the bottom edge of the paper. Settings are made in about:config, with preference options under print_h for headers and prinf_f for footers. Page number of total is &PT. For more details, search the web with “connect.mozilla.org printing page numbers only”.

PDF files

For html, we have used Firefox and Print Destination: Microsoft Print to PDF. Word (version 2206) has an option “Save as PDF”, but it mis-rendered a line in the Introduction to the New Testament. Microsoft Print to PDF did not have the problem, so this method is preferred.

PDF Error

The CSS Style Sheet and General Layout

The style sheet for the 4-column edition and the English only edition is FAAStyleSheetTransl.css. The link can be seen in the html source. It is not too complicated and should be readily understood if need be by those skilled in the art. Perhaps the most unusual aspect is the way different Hebrew words for “God” are rendered, one being by adding spacing between letters. See also the Introduction to the OT on this.

Verse Numbering

Old Testament

This issue should not involve the publisher, except that they may have concerns about the numbering, and the following should give assurance that the issue has been handled correctly.

The Hebrew is supplied in Hebrew (MT - Masoretic text) book ordering and numbering, and that is the structure of our master file. We have written conversion programs. Re-ordering the books is relatively easy. Conversion to AV numbering is a non-trivial task, because some verses merge and some split. When a verse splits, it is sub-numbered a, b, c as needed. This is necessary to maintain column equivalence with the Hebrew. No further merging is done in the English only. Issues:

New Testament

The Robinson-Pierpont source material is supplied in a different book order, which we re-arrange to AV book order. AV's Rom 16:25/26/27 are at Rom 14:24/25/26 in RP. This is not an issue for the 4-column edition, because we present both – as main text in Rom 14 and as variant text in Rom 16. In the English only, the text is in Rom 14, and we have a footnote to both Rom 14 and Rom 16.

Translator's Credentials

Does the FarAboveAll translation require self-commendation? Can it rely on the maxim “A good wine needs no bush”? Well, the FarAboveAll translation is full of notes, the like of which will not be found elsewhere, which justify the translation and demonstrate scholarship. It shouldn't be necessary to impress potential customers with the translator's formal qualifications, because many self-taught students have achieved scholarly proficiency, which can exceed that of those with impressive academic titles. But perhaps it is expedient to show some credibility.

The present translator has actively engaged with authoritative organizations. One cannot make postings like these without the ability to spot suspicious language features in a printed text and the ability to read a Hebrew and Greek manuscript to see if a reading should be disputed. For his contribution to the reading of the Westminster Leningrad Codex, search on page for “Thomason” here: .
For his postings on the INTF / University of Münster site, see the following.

N.B. The above postings do not imply endorsement of the INTF textual position.

Although the present translator is more self-taught than professionally taught, he nevertheless can claim an impressive list of formal qualifications from his university education and his working life, as well as an academic commendation in his Biblical language studies from the University of Tilburg in The Netherlands. The biblical language studies have since occupied him with a significant portion of his life. Graham Thomason studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, entitling him to the degree of BSc. (Hons.) and later MSc. In the course of his career, he became a member of the Institute of Physics (MInstP) and a chartered Physicist (CPhys). However, his career was primarily in software, mainly software research, but in industry, and he was awarded a (collaborative) PhD from the University of Surrey in 2004 for his dissertation entitled “The Design and Construction of a State Machine System that Handles Nondeterminism”. The software is called Statecruncher. Notwithstanding the pressures of work, alongside a lifelong passion for languages, the passion became a vocation for the Biblical languages, occupying the vast bulk of his weekend, holiday and later his retirement time, amounting to tens of thousands of hours of study. Yet there is some commonality between the profession and the vocation: Statecruncher is a language, albeit a computer language, with syntax and semantics, and it was a very rewarding experience to develop and document it.
The PhD and Letter of Commendation are linked to here: .
The following academic and professional qualifications could be used:
Graham G. Thomason BSc.(Hons., Cantab.), MSc (Cantab.), PhD., MInstP., CPhys.
Or perhaps the following would be sufficient in identifying the translator?
Dr. Graham G. Thomason.

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