Every chapter of the Bible in 140 characters or less.
Between August 2010 and November 2013, I summarised the Bible on Twitter - one tweet per chapter, one chapter per day.
The @biblesummary account has 30,141 followers.
Bible Summary has been featured in the news all over the world.
Now available for Kindle
It's almost three months since I finished Bible Summary. That's hard to believe!
Life with a young family and work opportunities have quickly swallowed up the morning slot that I used to spend reading and summarising. I can't think how I ever managed to fit it in now!
I still connect with Scripture most days (especially as my son always asks for some pages from the Jesus Storybook Bible before bed at the moment) but I do need to find a more regular pattern for my personal reading. It feels very strange to say that.
The project itself is still surprisingly full of life. There aren't many days that go by without someone getting in touch with comments, questions or ideas. The website gets ever more visitors. And the finished Twitter account still gets new followers and retweets every day.
My partnership with Bible Gateway is going well. They're up to Genesis 36 at @biblegateway. I enjoy seeing the updates every day, and it was great to contribute a first guest post to their blog a couple of weeks ago.
There's a good amount of interest in the Kindle version of Bible Summary. So much so that I'm looking into the possibility of releasing it through other channels, potentially even as an actual paper-and-ink book. (Do let me know if you'd be keen on a print version - the more people ask for it, the more I'm likely to make it happen.)
Beyond that, I've been doing some writing for RBC Ministries about my experiences with the project, which I'll say more about in due course.
And I've also begun work on a new Bible Summary-related project for Authentic Media. Again, I'll say more later, but I'm excited to be coming back to the question of how to encourage engagement with Scripture.
More than ever I am incredibly grateful for all your interest in the project.
This is the final part of a short series of interviews with people who have summarised the Bible on Twitter. Here I'm answering my own questions. I also interviewed:
Chris Juby finished his Bible Summary project in November 2013.
Firstly, what's your day job?
I'm director of worship at King's Church Durham, and a freelance web developer.
Why did you decide to summarise the Bible on Twitter?
I was looking for a way to pay more attention in daily Bible reading. I thought writing chapter summaries would help. Then I thought it would be fun to post the summaries to Twitter.
How would you describe your style?
As neutral as possible. I tried not to go beyond what was actually in the text. I wanted people to be able to hear the tone of the chapter in the summary. In fact I often ended up using direct quotes from the chapters. (That said, it's interesting to see what I've emphasised and what I've missed when I go back to the original chapters.)
Did you prepare the summaries in advance?
At first I read ahead quite a bit. With the earlier books it was tricky to know which characters and events needed an introduction. But as I got into my groove, and as my family life got busier after having a baby and then another, I tended to simply read and summarise one day at a time.
Did you ever miss a day?
No! I wasn't expecting to be so consistent when I started, but as I gained more followers I became determined not to miss a day. I ended up tweeting on holidays, Christmas Days, wedding anniversaries, and even on the days each of my sons were born. I owe a great deal to the patience and support of my wife!
Did you ever feel like giving up?
I don't think I ever seriously considered giving up, but I definitely had some miserable times. I think 2 Kings was the low. Repetitive and relentlessly depressing. And it seems I wasn't the only one who felt that way. That stretch was the only time that the project consistently lost Twitter followers.
Which was the hardest book, and why?
2 Kings, no question. People often find Leviticus the hardest, but I actually quite like it. 2 Kings is just endless records of terrible kings, and the finish line is no comfort because 1 and 2 Chronicles are more of the same.
Which was your favourite book, and why?
Wow, so many options! I really enjoyed all the Wisdom books. I've always had a soft spot for those anyway. I thought I would enjoy summarising the Gospels more than I did. I think Romans had the biggest impact on me. Trying to do justice to such rich chapters in so few characters forced me to get to grips with Paul's ideas in a much deeper way. I'm very pleased with my Romans summaries.
How has summarising the Bible affected your faith?
Summarising the Bible kept me in a rhythm of engagement with God through some pretty crazy years for me personally. I saw some huge new themes in Scripture as I read, and I was forced to properly wrestle with all my least favourite sections. I would be much worse off if I hadn't done it.
How much have you read the Bible since you finished?
It's been much harder than I thought! I decided not to just start back at the beginning, and I've actually struggled to find a new rhythm. I read the Bible in some form most days, but it was all too easy to drop the habit of starting every day with a whole chapter.
What's your next project?
I have several Bible Summary offshoots on the go. I'm partnering with Bible Gateway to retweet the whole project, and I'm working on two different book projects. Beyond Bible Summary, I'm recording an EP of worship songs that I've written, which I'm very excited about.
How can we get hold of your complete summary?
My first guest post is up on the Bible Gateway blog: