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.
Now available in Paperback and on Kindle
This is part of a short series of interviews with people who have summarised the Bible on Twitter. I'll ask each person the same set of questions.
Nathaniel Jones was part of a three-man team summarising the Bible at @140bible.
Firstly, who are you and what's your day job?
The 140Bible Project was hatched at Abilene Christian University by 3 of us in the Technology Support department. Chris Rhodes, Kent West and myself, Nathaniel Jones, decided to commit to starting and completing the project. Two of us, Chris and I, moved away from Abilene during the 3 year project. Chris is now pursuing a medical degree in Fort Worth. I am working in Baylor University Law school's IT department.
Why did you decide to summarise the Bible on Twitter?
We were discussing the various Twitter ideas people were trying in 2010 such as condensing the Declaration of Independence into a single tweet. Chris and I decided we should do the Bible one chapter at a time. We quickly recruited Kent to join us.
How would you describe your style?
We each have a bit of a different "voice" that would probably be obvious if one looked closely. I tended to shy away from abbreviating names I'd rather say "Joseph" rather than "Joe." Kent was always the best at finding ways to shorten everything to make as much as possible of the chapter fit. We wrote individually and usually did very minimal editing of each other's tweets.
Did you prepare the summaries in advance?
It varied again by person. Chris and I were more likely to write one a day while Kent preferred to do several chapters at a time. We used gremln.com to queue and send the tweets on schedule.
Did you ever miss a day?
We did miss days either due to miscommunication or software failure. To get back on-track we would release multiple tweets in one day. I've not actually checked, but I think we finished within a day or 2 of our scheduled end date. I'll also say that having you and others doing similar projects served to motivate me. I wanted us to be the first to finish.
Which was the hardest book, and why?
I'd say Psalms and Proverbs were the most difficult. Poetry is extremely difficult to summarize for obvious reasons. We usually just tried to get a few main points and then called it good.
Which was your favourite, and why?
I'm not sure I had a favorite. I think I enjoyed the Old Testament history books the best. There is so much in them but since they are telling a story, it's much easier to condense the main points.
What kind of responses have people have to your project?
Most people have been encouraging. I think most people had no idea what to make of it. My main hope was that we would make God's story a little more accessible and encourage people to look deeper into God's word.
How has summarising the Bible affected your faith?
This 3 year process certainly helped me better understand the Bible and showed God's plan more plainly
How much have you read the Bible since you finished?
To tell the truth, I've actually not read as much as I did during the project. It's always been a struggle to make time for it. Doing the project forced me to read even if I didn't feel I had time. I felt a heavy burden to keep the project on schedule and knew that if I let up I'd have a hard time getting going again.
What's your next project?
At this point I'm still enjoying not putting out a daily tweet. Doing something like this everyday can be very difficult. I was fortunate to have a team working with me. My hat's off to the person who does it solo. [Thanks!]
How can we get hold of your complete summary?
We are still in planning stages on how to make it available. We have considered making a Bible study/class curriculum or perhaps something for Bible bowl study. I'd be interested to hear what ideas your readers might have.