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The Twitter Bible Keeps It Short and Sacred


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AOL News:

LONDON (Aug. 13) -- Chris Juby has set himself a task of truly biblical proportions: to summarize the 800,000-plus words in the Old and New Testaments in a series of snappy daily tweets.

Juby, a freelance Web designer and director of worship at King's Church in the northern English city of Durham, plans to condense one Bible chapter a day down to 140 characters or less -- the maximum allowed for a single Twitter post. As the good book contains a hefty 1,189 chapters, he doesn't expect to reach the final installment of Revelation until Nov. 8, 2013. (Juby admits, though, that he might miss that deadline, as he may have to take "the odd day or two off every now and then").

The Christian evangelist started his epic precis last Sunday by boiling down the 31 verses of Genesis Chapter One into the charmingly simple: "Gen1: God created the heavens, the earth and everything that lives. He made humankind in his image, and gave them charge over the earth."

Of course, not every block of the Bible can be so easily abridged. The furious begetting that takes place in Genesis Chapter Five has been shrunk to: "Adam's line was: Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech and Noah. Noah's sons were Shem, Ham and Japheth."

Word space is at a premium, as he's committed to using full English in the Tweets -- rather than abbreviations like "whale 8 Jonah." "It's a really tough process deciding what the key themes of each chapter are and what can be left out," Juby told AOL News. "There's so much richness in each chapter of the Bible."

The idea for the tweeted Bible came to Juby three months ago, when he felt that a shorter, punchier version of the book might remind him of some of the tome's key messages and themes.

"I've read a chapter of the Bible every day for years, and always work through from Genesis to Revelation," he explains. "But because it's so easy to read, I find it sometimes goes in one ear and out the other. So by writing the tweets, I have to engage with what I'm reading. And I already use Twitter to talk about my life, faith and music, so I thought I'd share my summaries."

He thinks the condensed chapters could even help non-Christians. "So much of our culture is founded on biblical stories and ideas," he says. "If people aren't aware of what's in the Bible, they lose the context that many of our great artists and authors -- from Shakespeare to Dickens -- were working in."
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A sign of the times? Who would Jesus Tweet?
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