Chapter 37: The Printing Procedure

The standard text of the New Testament now had to be put into a certain format called the pre-typesetting format. This used special markings to indicate each class of item: title, section head, paragraph, verse number, etc., so when the person in the SIL office put it into her computer, the computer would know what to do with each item.

In addition to the standard text, there were “extra features.” Before it was actually typeset, we picked out pictures to be placed in the text where they would help clarify things people might not understand without a picture. For instance, in the Itawes region, people thought of an angel being a little baby like a cherub, so we put a picture of what we thought an angel really looks like in the first place where it speaks about an angel, Matt. 1:20. Also, we chose maps we wanted to be put in pertinent places, and we chose colored pictures we wanted to have put in specific areas of the text. At the beginning of each book, we had a short introduction to and outline of the book. At the back of the whole book, we also had a glossary. All of these had to be checked.

After all these decisions were made and the text was in proper format, the whole thing was turned in to SIL Publications Department in Manila. The first step was to run it through the computer that checked it for three things:

1) It made sure that all books, chapters and verses were accounted for.

2) It checked all quotations to be sure that, where there was an open quote, there was also a closing quote. It did this for quotes within quotes as well, down to the third or fourth level.

3) It made a list of every word in the New Testament, told how many times it was used, and listed the first five places where it occurred. This was very helpful since it sometimes happened that, over the years of working on the translation, we had spelled a given word in different ways. If we saw that a given word occurred only one to three times in the whole New Testament, there was a fair chance it was a variant spelling of another word, and we could change those few to conform to the more common spelling.

In the front of the Itawes Bible, Ya Ergo y Afu Dios on page III, we put the Nihil Obstat: with the signature of Msgr. Henry D. Singayan and Rev. Fr. Joseph R. Aggabao, two Itawes priests who were from the town of Enrile and professors at the San Jacinto Seminary in Tuguegarao. They were the priests who were appointed by the Archbishop to check our entire translation. Below that on the same page, we put the Imprimatur with the signature of Archbishop Diosdado A. Talamayan, D.D., S.TD., PH.D., Archbishop of Tuguegarao. This was the means the Catholic Church had to show that this book was approved for the reading of its members.

By means of a computer program, the typesetter laid out the text page by page for printing, made sure all introductions and outlines to the books were in, and put the pictures, footnotes, titles, maps, page numbers and the glossary in the proper places.

After the book had been typeset, we had to go over it to make sure it had been done correctly, or that we didn’t make some error ourselves in the process of all this. We called this proofreading, and Chuck and I went over this together to be sure it was correct. After the proofreading, the finished Bible had to go to the Philippine Bible Society where the photographic negatives of the book were made.

Then it went to the printer who had been suggested by the Philippine Bible Society. The paper it was printed on was special Bible paper, and the government charged 100 percent duty on it, but PBS was allowed to bring that paper into the country duty free. Having them print it afforded a considerable savings.

Well, I think that takes the process of Bible translation to the end, although actually, there was another step after the Bibles had been printed. Every single book had to be opened and checked to make sure every page was there. You might think this was ridiculous, but it was not. Sometimes there were books that were not put together correctly physically. We had printed about 3,000 copies and we ended up checking six of them out of each carton of 24.

Before taking the books to Cagayan, we took one or two cartons to the Philippine Bible Society in Manila, and also to one other Bible bookstore in the Cubao area for sale there. When we took the books up to Cagayan, we distributed them to various places. What was left, we took to the CARM (Christian Aviation and Radio Mission) hangar in Tuguegarao for storage in their warehouse. We took some of them to the Philippine Bible Book Store in Tuguegarao for sale to the public, and we took cartons of New Testaments to each Itawes town. In Piat, we took a carton to the convent for the priest who was having Bible studies. He sold some to these people and put the rest for sale in the convent store. In Tuao, we took a carton to the pastor of the Church of Christ to sell to his congregation, and another we took to the convent at the Catholic Church where they sold them right from the convent to their members. In other towns, we gave the local preachers copies they asked for with the idea that when they wanted more, they could go to the CARM hangar to get more.

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