New “stripped down” Bible translation…

Heard about this here

And then looked into it more myself and found the site for it here: http://thebooksofthebible.info

And THEN, I found a PDF of the Preface that is to be included in the front of these new Bibles here: http://thebooksofthebible.info/pdf/TBoTB_Preface.pdf (the Preface begins on page 4)

Here’s a few VERY intriguing tidbits on this new “project”:

…for some time now the Bible has been printed in a format that hides its literary forms under a mask of numbers that break the text into bits and sections that the authors did not intend. And so The Books of The Bible seeks instead to present each of the books of the Bible in their distinctive literary forms and structures. It draws on the fundamental insight that visual presentation can be a crucial aid to right reading, good understanding and a better engagement with the Bible.

Specifically, this edition of the Bible differs from the most common current format in several significant ways:

• chapter and verse numbers have been removed from the text;
• the books are presented according to the internal divisions that we believe their authors have indicated;
• a single-column setting is used to present the text more clearly and naturally, and to avoid disrupting the intended line breaks in poetic sections;
• footnotes, section headings and other supplementary materials have been removed from the pages of the sacred text;
• individual books that later tradition divided into two or more books are made whole again; and
• the books have been placed in an order that we hope will help readers understand them better.

Check out the PDF linked above for further explanation of the points above.  It’s worth a look, and it’s only a few pages, I promise!

After you read it, leave some thoughts or comments… Personally, I think this is a GREAT idea, and is signaling a much needed shift away from viewing the Bible as a textbook and back to a more Narrative/Story-based viewing of scripture.  But I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts?

What do you think?  Are there any problems/dangers with this?  Any benefits?

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4 thoughts on “New “stripped down” Bible translation…

  1. hey man. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    One of the points that I’ve heard someone make about this new bible translation is this: if you had a book club, or if you were discussing a book with someone, how would you explain to them how to find a particular section?

    You’d say, “alright, go to page 246 and it’s like halfway down, in the part where they’re talking about how nice the weather was that day at the beach…”

    I think the point is this: most of us don’t know the story, the whole Bible, well enough to be able to do that. We NEED those little numbers to tell us where to go. But doesn’t that seem like a PROBLEM, since any other book that we might read, we would be able to remember parts of it, or at least be able to find what we’re looking for based on the themes, etc… Shouldn’t we know the Bible better than anything else we’ve read?

    I definitely think that the fact that the Bible is a Narrative, THE Narrative, of God’s interaction with humans over time is lost on us because we’ve made it so much like a textbook with sections and numbers and foot notes, etc… which are all things that were added in so much later on…

    So, this is an attempt to make it as much NOT like a textbook as possible, to attempt to reclaim more of what it used to be like when it was first written down…

    Does that make sense?

  2. Wow, I really like that. I dont mind the elimination of the little numbers at all. it kind of reminds me of watching the Matthew tapes/DVDs. They are speaking the exact words that are in Matthew with no annoying verse 1, verse 2 type comments. I may buy a copy.

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