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.
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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?