Thursday, September 29, 2005

100 minute bible

The September 27, 2005 edition of The Christian Science Monitor Christianity in a nutshell: Britain's '100-Minute Bible'

It may be the word of God, but that hasn't spared it from regular man-made tinkering. From 15th-century printers to 20th-century modernists, every age has sought to adapt the Bible.

So now, for the era of restless consumers and fickle attention spans, a British publication distills the original into a form you could read at one sitting. Instead of 780,000 words and 1,200 chapters, there are just 20,000 words in fewer than 60 pages.

Not surprisingly, the "100-Minute Bible" is generating robust debate in Britain, where even Shakespeare is no longer immune to a culture of abbreviation.

Here's a sample:
'100-Minute Bible'
In the beginning God created heaven and earth over a period of six days. First he created light and darkness; then the vault of the heavens, separating the water above from the water below; then the dry land and all that grows in it. On the fourth day God created the sun, the moon and the stars; on the fifth the creatures of the sea and sky; and on the sixth those of the land, including humankind. On the seventh day God rested.

God made the first man, Adam, from the dust, and breathed life into him. He placed him in the beautiful and fertile garden of Eden, forbidding him to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil which grew there. Because he thought man should not be alone, he created the first woman from Adam's rib; Adam named her Eve. Eve was tempted by the serpent, the most cunning of creatures; she took fruit from the forbidden tree, ate some herself and gave some to her husband. As a punishment, God expelled them both from the garden; he condemned men to arduous toil, and women to pain in childbearing and to submission to their husbands.

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