Re-work of the Bible clarifies intent

By October 2, 2007

International (MNN) — Researchers such as George
Gallup, George Barna and the Bible Literacy Project have shown a disturbing
deficiency in biblical knowledge among the American public.

According to Barna Research, in 2006 48-percent of
the un-churched American public agreed that the Bible is infallible (phrased "totally
accurate in all of its teachings").  Twelve percent of born again Christians disagree
that "the Bible is totally accurate
in all of its teachings." Nearly seven out of ten born again Christians
(67%) have read the Bible in the past week, compared to 35% of those who adhere
to a non-Christian faith.

That's why the timing is so important on the August release
of The Books of The Bible. It's a groundbreaking presentation of the
Scriptures designed to accurately reflect the biblical authors' intentions. The
result: a more readable Bible.

International Bible Society-Send The Light's Glenn
Paauw says, "Letters end up looking more
like real letters, and stories like real stories. It's about all the numbers, the chapter
references, the section heading, the notes at the bottom of the page. When you
take out all that stuff, you just have suddenly a feeling that you're getting
closer to what the author originally had there."  

The Books of The Bible took out the "additives" to help streamline the writings in
context. It differs from the format of
most current Bibles in significant ways: chapter and verse numbers are removed
from the text; individual books are presented with the literary divisions that
their authors have indicated; footnotes, section headings and other
supplementary materials have been removed from the text; the books of the Bible
have been placed in an order that provides more help in understanding, based on
literary genre, historical circumstance and theological tradition; single books
that later translations or tradition divided into two or more books are made
whole again (example: Luke-Acts); and single-column setting that clearly and
naturally presents the literary forms of the Bible's books.

It's a lot to change. One of the main-intended audiences for
this new edition is those who have never read the Bible before. IBS-STL included introductions because
research shows that the Bible is no longer the familiar book it once was.

Their
research shows that the newly traditional format actually encourages the
reading of short segments, rather than complete sections or whole books. Paauw is quick to stress that nothing but the organizational
tools have been removed. He goes on to
suggest that
the organization of the chapter and verse system can be a crutch in Bible
familiarity.

Take
for instance, the reading of the story of the woman at the well in the book of
John. "How would you refer to that
if you couldn't refer to John chapter 4? You would say, 'It's toward the beginning of the Gospel,' and if you can
describe it in terms of the events that have happened in John's Gospel and
where this falls, you're actually finding that you're referencing the story
with regard to its immediate context."

The
goal is that The Books of the Bible will be the start of a lifelong
journey of embracing the Scriptures and incorporating God's message of
redemption into readers' lives. Click here for details.

 

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