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The House and The Word

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  • The House and The Word

    I was at a Border's today with a friend trying and he asked if I knew any good books. I found a copy of HoL and handed it to him. After flipping through it, he asked me why always appeared in Blue. I said I wasn't really sure, but I had some theories.
    We wandered around a little more and I had a How-could-I-be-so-stupid moment of insight. We walked past the religious section of the store, and I noticed "The New American Catholic Bible, red letter edition". I've read HoL twice now, and I was raised a Roman Catholic, but I never made the connection between the books until today. (For those not with the Catholic Bible, or should I say the "New American" Catholic Bible, red letter edition, the words of Jesus are all in Red and the other text is in black.)
    Unfortunately, I'm not what you would really call a practicing catholic, and my brain is in a caffiene-less state of neutral tonight. I'm hoping that someone else might be able to see the point of color usage in the two books, or tell me that I'm really stretching things here.


  • #2
    The and The Word

    You aren't stretching at all, you have opened a new route through the which is what this bbs is all about. My spiritual nature leans east so I am utterly lost in the world of Catholic and/or Christian dogma.
    I have sent emails to three seperate ministers to inquire about the red and blue letter versions so while I wait for that I will share this...
    I found a table with a break down of the color symbolism in the bible...I hope this helps.
    (even the example is eerie because they use "John")

    "In apocalyptic literature, color plays an important role in conveying symbolic meanings. Take for example, the woman that John sees in the wilderness. She sits on a scarlet beast and wears purple and scarlet (Revelation 17:3-4). Here purple and scarlet suggest that the woman has become affluent, probably through evil means.

    Below is a list of all the colors mentioned in the Bible with both their references and their meanings.

    Color Meaning
    Amber Symbolizes the Glory of God
    Black One of the more commonly used colors in the Bible; describes the color of the middle of the night (Proverbs 7:9); diseased skin (Job 30:30); healthy hair (Song of Solomon 5:11; Matthew 5:36); corpes' faces (Lamentations 4:8); the sky (Jeremiah 4:28); the darkening of the sun and the moon (Joel 2:10); horses (Zechariah 6:2; Revelation 6:5); and marble (Esther 1:6).

    The color black symbolizes sin, death, and famine.

    Blue Used to describe the color of a wound, but may refer to the wound itself (Proverbs 20:30). It also describes the sky, Heaven, and the Holy Spirit.

    Brown A dark, blackish color referred only to sheep (Genesis 30:32-33, 35, 40).

    Crimson Crimson linen was used in the temple (II Chronicles 2:7, 14, 3:14); the color must have been indelible or permanet (Jeremiah 4:30), as crimson is used figuratively as sin. (Isaiah 1:18).
    Often refers to blood atonement and sacrifice.

    Gray Used only to describe the hair of the elderly (Genesis 42:38)

    Green Normally describes vegetation; used of pastures (Psalm 23:2); herbage (II Kings 19:26); trees in general (Deuteronomy 12:2; Luke 23:31; Revelation 8:7); the marriage bed (in a figurative sense, Song of Solomon 1:16); a hypocrite compared to a papyrus plant (Job 8:16); and grass (Mark 6:39). A word meaning "greenish" describes plague spots (Leviticus 13:49, 14:37) as well as the color of gold.
    Most often associated with the meaning of growth.

    Purple The most precious of ancient dyes made from a shellfish found in the Mediterranean Sea. A total of 250,000 mollusks was required to make one ounce of the dye, which partly accounts for its great price. It was highly valued within the nation of Israel.
    Used in several features of the tabernacle (Exodus 26:1, 27:16) and the temple (II Chronicles 2:14); the color of royal robes (Judges 8:26); the garments of the wealthy (Proverbs 31:22; Luke 16:19); the vesture of a harlot (Revelation 17:4); and the robe placed on Jesus (Mark 15:17, 20).
    This color symbolizes kingship and royalty.

    Red Describes natural objects such as Jacob's stew (Genesis 25:30); the sacrificial heifer (Numbers 19:2); wine (Proverbs 23:31); newborn Esau (Genesis 25:25); Judah's eyes (Genesis 49:12); the eyes of the drunkard (Proverbs 23:29); and the dragon (Revelation 12:3).
    The color of blood, it often symbolizes life; it also suggests bloodshed in the carnage of war.
    Scarlet Scarlet cord was tied around the wrist of Zerah (Genesis 38:28-30); used a great deal in the tabernacle (Exodus 25:4); the color of cord hung from Rahab's window (Joshua 2:18); a mark of prosperity (II Samuel 1:24; Proverbs 31:21); the color of the robe placed on Jesus (Matthew 27:28); though scarlet and purple were not always distinguished (Mark 15:17); color of the beast ridden by the harlot Babylon (Revelation 17:3) along with some of her garments (Revelation 17:4) and those of her followers (Revelation 18:16).
    Often refers to blood atonement and sacrifice.

    White The color of animals (Genesis 30:35); manna (Exodus 16:31); both hair and pustules located in plague sores (Leviticus 13:3-39); garments (Ecclesiastes 9:8, Daniel 7:9); the robes of the righteous (Revelation 19:8); horses (Zechariah 1:8; Revelation 6:2, 19:11); forgiven sins (Psalm 5:7, Isaiah 1:8); a refined remnant (Daniel 11:35, 12:10); the beloved one (Song of Solomon 5:10); the white of an egg (Job 6:6); the shining garments of angels (Revelation 15:6) and of the transfigured Christ (Matthew 17:2); hair (Matthew 5:36); gravestones (Matthew 23:27); and the great throne of judgment (Revelation 20:11).
    Portrays purity, righteousness, joy, light, and a white horse symbolizes victory.

    Yellow Indicates the greenish cast of gold (Psalm 68:13) and the light-colored hair in a leprous spot (Leviticus 13:30,32)"

    [ July 11, 2001: Message edited by: Jessie ]


    • #3
      The and The Word

      Another religious group that colors the letters in the bible is a prod group called The Jesus Seminar or somthing like that anyways they color it by what things they think Jesus actualy said and what he might have said/done i don't remember all the colors they used but i don't knoe its late.


      • #4
        The and The Word

        The whole Bible thing is interesting, I hadn't thought of that connection myself. I always figured the blue was for 'blue screen' where something 'internal' to the self could be projected upon it or the fact that most hyperlink text is in blue (click on it, it takes you to another location, another place. etc). Just my two cents.


        • #5
          The and The Word

          Sorry if this is a stupid question, but is the word "" actually blue in anyone's edition? (It's greyed-out in mine, but the index lists it as being blue.)



          Still reading it...


          • #6
            The and The Word

            Yes, in my book the word is actually blue. I have the hardcover US edition. I've read somewhere that in future editions the word minotaur will possibly be in red as well.



            • #7
              The and The Word

              I have the hardcover and softcover US editions and in both is in blue. I know the UK edition is supposedly only in grey. There may be a full color version sometime in the future.


              • #8
                The and The Word

                I have been pestering ministers and dyed in the wool Christians to try to understand the colors as they appear in the bible.
                None of the Blue Letter Bible websites offer any explanations for their choice of color.
                I have received an email from a friend who addresses this and the question regarding the word being gray in the UK version of the book;

                "A bible with scripture typed in red are the word that Jesus said, blue
                letters HMMMM not quite sure about that.... don't know if I've ever seen one
                of those. Unless it's a product of a certain denomination, Mormon, Jehovah
                witness etc.......some religions have strayed from the meaning of the bible
                and created a religion around what they choose to believe. I like the
                question about the gray letters, because like much of life people would like
                to live in the gray matter of indifference and not commit to what is right."

                [ July 14, 2001: Message edited by: Jessie ]


                • #9
                  The and The Word

                  The Catholic red thing is interesting, I'm still working with that (and everything else [img]images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img].) I like the comment about the hyperlink... the bluescreen idea had crossed my mind, more in the sense of the blue pencil artists use (in that it's something that for the layman's purposes isn't actually there but for working purposes is there... ie ARCHITECT). It's there but it goes unseen... anyway, when I started out writing this I thought blue and red were opposites on the color wheel (which they are not) then I thought maybe they were opposite on the spectrum (which they are not) but I thought those things because blue and red, while not opposite, are commonly thought of as opposite (in the same fashion the bull and human parts are often misunderstood regarding the minotaur.) In example, the blue lettering COLD and the red letting HOT on water faucets... there ya go. So if the blue and red are to be thought of as opposites (which in art terms they aren't but I consider it a possibility that a correlation could be drawn seeing as much of the is based upon assumption as opposed to that which is) a correlation that could be drawn is that the is some sort of "Anti-Jesus" or "Anti-redeemer," but that doesn't flow for me. It could be commentary on quite the opposite. Since the led to knowledge (although with the loss of a certain naivete) it could be seen as something of a redeemer, an answer to the question... whereas the bible, epitomized by Jesus, is seen by some to limit people, their life experiences, their outlooks (i.e. racism, sexism, homophobia, etc). It could be parallel to the "happy medium" concept... where somewhere along the middle of the road is the ideal place to be... not being adverse to something but not requiring it... being halfway between red and blue = reds marrying blues = purple. I really wanna check out Harold and the Purple Crayon again... it just keeps popping into my head when I think about this... it seems like he was lost in a maze of some sort.... Then again, the red Jesus thing may just be a coincidence. Those things do exist you know? Either way, it's fun to ponder isn't it?
                  More than anything, I think the book's a commentary on how one little infraction can start a downward spiral (no pun intended) and by further examining that infraction or problem, help/answeres can be found, but that knowledge does not always come without its losses. I think of it as a statemtnt of "You can have what you want, but know what you're in for," or in a much more trite way "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it." It also has the "Don't sweat the small stuff," idea too... if the story of the is considered as a vicious cycle, it began with Navy's obsession with dimensions... dimensions that grew the more it bothered him.
                  I know this went in circles, hey, I work like that. If nothing else, blue and red are two of the primary colors... does yellow fit into this equation somewhere? I don't remember any mentions of yellow, the color of cowardice, the color of urine... the color which IS the opposite of purple (aka violet) on the color wheel... also, while not POLAR opposites, blue and red are VERY far apart on the spectrum, the only one further away from red than blue is purple... HMMMM let me know if you have any ideas, let alone if you found the redeeming ideas in this pile of words.

                  [ July 14, 2001: Message edited by: Lost_In_Crete ]


                  • #10
                    The and The Word

                    blue is the color of the blood before it hits the air. the color of the blood in the viens.

                    it is red in the arteries because it has been oxygenated.

                    so perhaps is always blue because it is a hint at the symbolism of something "hidden" or in the "vein" of the home

                    is anyone with the tree of life?
                    i dont have a color diagram handy...


                    • #11
                      The and The Word

                      so it could have something to do with a combination of that which is within us with that which is outside us... makes sense to me

                      And following the internal/external idea, then the minotaur is more out in the open, whereas the is the underlying and more significant problem... that would explain minotaur being crossed out, and also why it is "supposed" to be red, red travels faster than any other color, your eyes see it first... maybe it was "thought" to be the problem, but as time went on it proved not to be... I also find it interesting regarding the blue pencil used by artists when photocopying... maybe the was never really there at all...

                      [ July 15, 2001: Message edited by: Lost_In_Crete ]


                      • #12
                        The and The Word

                        tree of life.. as in the sephiroth?
                        and.. i thought the blue blood thing was mostly a myth.. as unoxygenated blood is dark red, almost brown, not blue.
                        i'm gonna go back to sleep now ;_;

                        (there is no minotaur, but there is a minotaru... bwahahaha)


                        • #13
                          The and The Word

                          i guess i don't look deep enough 'cause i just assumed the navy blue connection.


                          • #14
                            The and The Word

                            Excuse me, but I think this Bible-connection is going a bit too far. Maybe Mark is just playing a joke on us, trying to get us even more confused. The bluescreen explanation sounds also plausible to me, because the is in fact een bluescreen for anyone's hopes and fears. What I'm missing in the religious connections that are made, are real explanations. They sound very intellectual and interesting, but is that all???


                            • #15
                              The and The Word

                              In terms of formatting, Mark mentioned the Talmud a couple of times.[1] I don't recall or know if there's different colors in that.

                              The blue screen theory is apparently the only one Mark's ever actually talked about, the rest of the time he just says "it's in the book." There isn't even a direct quote about it in the article where it's mentioned.[2]

                              [1] See Random : Bold Type and KCRW Bookworm interviews.
                              [2] Missing. I can't find it right now. [img]images/smiles/icon_mad.gif[/img] [3]
                              [3] Found it. Flak Magazine HOL review - from the same guy who brought you the interview of Mark saying "nyah."

                              [ July 16, 2001: Message edited by: MicheleVR5 ]