Opposing silhouettes, one symbolic of a bible specialist, and one symbolic of an editorial generalist.

Why You Need a Bible Proofreading Specialist

Peachtree’s three-phase process


If you thought you had a serious health condition, you wouldn’t turn to the SpeedyCare clinic on the corner, even if the people there are really nice. You’d make an appointment with your trusted doctor. In all likelihood, he or she would run a few tests and refer you to a specialist—a neurologist, a cardiologist, or another -ologist.

This is the world we live in. Everything is specialized. People become experts, not just in a field, but in one particular facet of a field. This is not a bad thing; there’s just so much to know. No one can adequately master all the knowledge and skills needed to do everything.

Publishing is highly specialized too. Just because an editor is in demand when it comes to whipping inspirational fiction manuscripts into shape doesn’t mean she is equipped or trained to tackle the complexities of a massive Bible project.

We speak from experience. Bible edito­rial work is the skill we’ve been mastering for nearly forty years. When you’ve got a Bible publishing project, you want it done with excellence. And we do too.

What are best practices for Bible proofreading? The road map for success follows the same path we’ve developed over the years and includes a three-phase process.


Peachtree’s Three Phase Process

Step One: Project Onboarding

You probably know what will happen to a long-distance trip if the navigator is even a fraction of a degree off course. If his miscalculation is caught early, it will take little effort to get back on track. But the more time that goes by without a correction, the farther the navigator ends up from his destination.

In a similar way, the sooner little errors are caught in a Bible layout the better, preventing huge, expensive problems later. Case in point: Genesis represents the first 4.9 percent of the Bible. When we catch systematic errors there, we can stop them before they have a chance to grow. Can you imagine what a seemingly small error in Genesis would look like once it reached Isaiah?

In this first stage, we pore over an initial test file and examine it for small issues that can turn into big problems. Specifically, we look to see if Bible verses are missing, if notes are on the correct page, if paragraphs and special settings are set correctly. Asking the typesetter to
reset even one paragraph or list could potentially reflow dozens of pages. That’s why we want to find and fix such things early—to save you time and help preserve your budget so you can use those funds to distribute your newly printed Bible.

Step Two: Scripture Integrity Check

Step two is where we begin a line-by-line review of the Bible pages. Four or five team members look at each page and check each line of Scripture. (That’s a lot of looking, since each Bible usually has more than 100,000 lines.) Our team checks and double-checks footnotes and cross-references. We run custom software we’ve developed to ensure every bit of the Bible is intact. We also look at ancillary content—study notes, special features, and the like.

We examine every line of every project to ensure every copyright requirement is met and every word is accounted for.

Chart of Project Lead Oversight Process

Step Three: Project Lead Review

In step three of our quality control process, all high-visibility items (e.g., running heads, chapter starts, page numbers, etc.) are double-checked. The project lead collates the work of the Scripture Integrity Team members. And then, all notes and comments are routed back to the publisher, editor, or typesetter and presented in the way that we have agreed upon at the start of the project.

This is the meticulous process we’ve followed over a thousand times. While there are many motivations in publishing, our drive is from the heart: we aim to make sure each new Bible project we deliver allows the Spirit of God to work powerfully (Hebrews 4:12)— without the distraction of human errors.

Experience matters because there is too much that can go wrong in Bible publishing. Contact us.