Nashville, TN -- What was once only considered a mere quizzical play on words has resulted in a symmetrically improved Bible from the folks at Thomas Nelson.
Thomas Nelson has acquired the necessary rights to produce the Perpendicular Bible. The Perpendicular Bible currently only comes in the KJV/Amplified variety. As you can see from the picture above, the Amplified Bible has a single column in the center of each page. The KJV wording is sideways in a single row across the bottom. However, if you turn the Perpendicular Bible 90 degrees clockwise, the KJV appears in the far left column. An alternative version has KJV in the center column of each page with the Amplified along the bottom.
"We actually got the idea from jokes," said Bill Patterns, spokesman for Thomas Nelson.
As it turns out, at least two parallel/perpendicular comic categories exist. First, wordplay humor has been tried in the style of "Why did the USC student drown in the back of the pickup?" The parallel/perpendicular Bible "joke" can be applied to any two versions. For example,
Question: Why should a KJV-NIV Parallel Bible be called the Perpendicular Bible? Answer: Because any angle the NIV gives, the KJV gives the right angle. Ha!
After rigorous analyses, we at TBNN have concluded the above joke is an attempt at a pun involving each of the words "right" and "angle." Geometrically speaking, "right" can mean 90 degrees while "angle" represents two lines or rays intersecting to form perpendicularity. Of course, "right" within the joke is ultimately meant to indicate "correct" while "angle" denotes "viewpoint." I must admit that it does at least fall in the category "light chuckle."
Second, physical humor with parallel/perpendicular Bibles has been attempted as given in the picture below. A seemingly impossible claim (much like claiming to be both 100% male and 100% female), the two Bibles may be both parallel and perpendicular. If you look closely, you have a strong argument that the Bibles are simultaneously 100% perpendicular while remaining 100% parallel. (Please ignore the ever so slight lean to the left of the KJV/Amplified.)
"It's true," said Patterns. "Humor sparked the idea, but practicality was the determining factor."
"Finally! A dual Bible I can read," said Marcie Jordan a 20 year member of Creeknook Baptist Church. "I'm no longer embarrassed to read from column to column in Sunday School. With the old parallel Bibles, I would accidentally read from the KJV column straight to the Amplified column. I would forget to skip a column and go to the next page. This can't happen with the Perpendicular Bible."
Pattern's list of practical uses includes:
1. Reduced "double reading" where the reader accidentally reads the parallel column.
2. Reduced frustration as a result of decreased double reading, leading to better spiritual growth.
3. The perfect pew Bible. Those offended by a particular version can place their arm across the bottom of the Bible.
4. Bible lending is encouraged. No lengthy explanations are required before someone can borrow your Bible.
5. The perfect dual Bible gift for an elderly person. The elderly can easily use the Perpendicular Bible. Thomas Nelson has eliminated the "this is confusing" attitude towards parallel Bibles.