Chris Juby

Every chapter of the Bible in 140 characters or less.

I summarised the Bible on Twitter between Aug 2010 and Nov 2013 - one tweet per chapter, one chapter per day.

The @biblesummary account peaked at over 30,000 followers, and was featured in the news all over the world.

Find out about the project here, or feel free to get in contact.

Leviticus gets personal

Over the last few chapters Leviticus has moved from laws about sacrifices and priests to instructions for the Israelites about their diet, about childbirth, about diseases, their houses and now even the most intimate parts of their bodies.

We've already had stories of rape, murder, war and national disaster in previous summaries, but Leviticus 15 has generated more reaction than any chapter since the very beginning of the project.

I expected that these chapters over the next few days would probably be controversial, so I've already been reflecting on it a little.

I'm sure there are many reasons why people would or wouldn't want to see the word 'discharge' on their Twitter feed first thing in the morning, but one theme that I want to say a little more about is the implication in some of the responses that the Bible shouldn't have anything to say about things like that.

I think the line of thinking goes something like this: it's reasonable for the Bible to have things to say about God, religious life and perhaps even national life, but genital hygiene and sexuality are not appropriate subjects for religion.

In our culture we think of things like the religion, law, hygiene, social justice, diet and politics as very separate spheres of life (and some people seem to actively believe that they should be separate). But that's not the picture in the culture of the Old Testament at all.

The Israelites had a very integrated view of life. Every sphere from the most hidden to the most public was part of a continuity under the covenant God had made with them. It was therefore completely natural for the Scriptures to speak into every part of life.

There's a lot more to be said if we're getting into comparing cultures, and I'm not meaning to go too far into that, but I do think that it's worth us asking whether it's a good thing that our lives are so separate (fragmented?) before we decide that the Bible shouldn't talk about certain subjects.

Tags: themes

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