What My Job Is Like

I make books for a living, but the sheer number of books I need to do my job is an industry in itself.

Today I have consulted the Hebrew Old Testament, the Septuagint (the ancient translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek), and the Greek New Testament. At one point I simultaneously had seven English Bible translations open on my desk — the NIV, RSV, NRSV, NJB, KJV, NKJV, and the ESV (and I had to look up, unsuccessfully, the “PBV” online) — at the same time as having three translations of the Septuagint up on my computer screen. I have cracked both my Hebrew and Greek lexicons (as I type my Hebrew Bible and lexicon lie open in front of me), as well as my Hebrew grammar (not to mention multiple consultations of the giant oversized version of my American Heritage Dictionary — always open — taking up one full side of my desk). I have also had regular recourse to The Chicago Manual of Style, The SBL Handbook of Style, and our very own little “InterVarsity Press Style Guide” (millennium edition, to be revised later this month). And to top it all off this afternoon, I had to pull down off of a very high shelf the dusty two-volume edition of The Oxford English Dictionary (the one with the print shrunk down so small that it comes with a magnifying glass — but still massive) to look up the Armenian etymology of the Old English word for “heathen.”


6 comments so far

  1. Josh on

    So, let me know when you get that hot promotion. I want your job – sounds like heaven.

  2. RCochran on

    Sounds like hell to me.

    But, I’m sure glad my good friend Jeff gets to do it!

  3. lucashannon on

    I hope you have fun when you get home…cause that job doesn’t sound like too much fun. :)

  4. Katie on

    Ryan C pretty much summed it up for me :)

  5. jeffreimer on

    To tell the truth, believe it or not, it’s somewhere between Josh’s estimation and Ryan’s.

  6. Greg on

    Sounds like the field of editing theological publications is a prime candidate for semi-intelligent semantic search and retrieval algorithms. Ten years from now:

    Jeff: “Theolibot! Quick! Tell me everything you can about ‘hypostatic union’!”

    Theolibot: “Consulting Wikipedia…”

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