This consists of an analysis of chapter 3, verse 16 of every book of the Bible, with each verse rendered by a separate calligrapher (which may surprise those who would have expected it to be set out entirely in TeX…). According to one of the Amazon reviews, Knuth chose 3:16 to ensure that at least one of the verses would be interesting and important (no prizes for guessing which one!). (Incidentally, the same review also mentions that Knuth is a Lutheran.)
I thought it would be interesting to see the full list of these 3:16s, and so these are set out below, after the fold. It turns out that John 3:16 is far from being the only “interesting and important” verse in the collection, and – while there are some slightly “huh?” entries (e.g. Kings/Chronicles) – the overall collection is an effective, if oblique, summary of the Bible’s message. Shame it ends on such a downer, though.
Knuth uses his own translation of the texts, but these are taken from the anglicized edition of the NRSV:
To the woman he said,
‘I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children,
yet your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.’
Go and assemble the elders of Israel, and say to them, “The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying: I have given heed to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt.
Then the priest shall turn these into smoke on the altar as a food-offering by fire for a pleasing odour. All fat is the Lord’s.
So Moses enrolled them according to the word of the Lord, as he was commanded.
And to the Reubenites and the Gadites I gave the territory from Gilead as far as the Wadi Arnon, with the middle of the wadi as a boundary, and up to the Jabbok, the wadi being the boundary of the Ammonites.
The waters flowing from above stood still, rising up in a single heap far off at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, while those flowing towards the sea of the Arabah, the Dead Sea, were wholly cut off. Then the people crossed over opposite Jericho.
Ehud made for himself a sword with two edges, a cubit in length; and he fastened it on his right thigh under his clothes.
She came to her mother-in-law, who said, ‘How did things go with you, my daughter?’ Then she told her all that the man had done for her.
1 Samuel 3:16
But Eli called Samuel and said, ‘Samuel, my son.’ He said, ‘Here I am.’
2 Samuel 3:16
But her husband went with her, weeping as he walked behind her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, ‘Go back home!’ So he went back.
1 Kings 3:16
Later, two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.
2 Kings 3:16
And he said, ‘Thus says the Lord, “I will make this wadi full of pools.”
1 Chronicles 3:16
The descendants of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son.
2 Chronicles 3:16
He made encircling chains and put them on the tops of the pillars; and he made one hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains.
After him Nehemiah son of Azbuk, ruler of half the district of Beth-zur, repaired from a point opposite the graves of David, as far as the artificial pool and the house of the warriors.
Or why was I not buried like a stillborn child,
like an infant that never sees the light?
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honour.
Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, wickedness was there, and in the place of righteousness, wickedness was there as well.
The Lord said:
Because the daughters of Zion are haughty
and walk with outstretched necks,
glancing wantonly with their eyes,
mincing along as they go,
tinkling with their feet;
And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the Lord, they shall no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; nor shall another one be made.
He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
and made me cower in ashes;
At the end of seven days, the word of the Lord came to me.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to present a defence to you in this matter.’
The Lord roars from Zion,
and utters his voice from Jerusalem,
and the heavens and the earth shake.
But the Lord is a refuge for his people,
a stronghold for the people of Israel.
You increased your merchants
more than the stars of the heavens.
The locust sheds its skin and flies away.
I hear, and I tremble within;
my lips quiver at the sound.
Rottenness enters into my bones,
and my steps tremble beneath me.
I wait quietly for the day of calamity
to come upon the people who attack us.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands grow weak.
Then those who revered the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord took note and listened, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who revered the Lord and thought on his name.
And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.
So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter)…
John answered all of them by saying, ‘I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.
Ruin and misery are in their paths.
1 Corinthians 3:16
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
2 Corinthians 3:16
But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.
Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring; it does not say, ‘And to offsprings’, as of many; but it says, ‘And to your offspring’, that is, to one person, who is Christ.
I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit.
Only let us hold fast to what we have attained.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.
2 Thessalonians 3:16
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with all of you.
1 Timothy 3:16
Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is great:
He was revealed in flesh,
vindicated in spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among Gentiles,
believed in throughout the world,
taken up in glory.
2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.
Now who were they who heard and yet were rebellious? Was it not all those who left Egypt under the leadership of Moses?
For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind.
1 Peter 3:16
Yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame.
2 Peter 3:16
Speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.
1 John 3:16
We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us – and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.
So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
Books with no 3:16: Ezra, Esther, Psalms, Song of Songs, Hosea, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Haggai, Zechariah, 1 Thessalonians, Titus, Philemon, 2 John, 3 John, Jude.