Reading the Bible...?

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December 19, 2011

I'm a reader. I've always been a reader. From as far back as I can remember I read a lot of books and anything I can get my hands on. It's no surprise, then, that probably the most influential way I spend time with God is in reading the Bible. But there are many who struggle to read the Bible. I will be the first to admit that even I read my Bible in waves - sometimes a lot, sometimes not at all. 

I believe there are many reasons for that. Many Youth struggle to read their Bible with any type of consistency. But it's not the consistency that I think is the problem here. I think the problem with reading the Bible is that people aren't excited about it.

We see it as a chore, we see it as a "discipline," when we really should see it as a crazy powerful opportunity to read something of major life-altering value. It should be a privilege, not a curse. 

With this in mind, I've been asking people lately if they would enjoy reading the Bible more if we stripped away all the things that make it different than a novel: the thin pages, the tiny words, the verse numbers, the footnotes and references, etc. If we printed it like a novel, would we enjoy it more?

Most people say yes. I know that when I have five minutes to spare I don't go pick up my Bible. I check Facebook or read a novel. I've written a letter to Tyndale House Publishers about this, and would love to see them make something like that. Here's the letter I sent them. 

Have a great Christmas, enjoy diving deep into Scripture! 

Taking Heart,

Paul Loewen

www.paulloewen.com

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In 1996, Zondervan published Walter Wangerin's "The Book of God: The Bible as a Novel."

Philip Yancey says of the book, "What a modern paraphrase does for the words, sentences and paragraphs of the Bible, Wangerin does for its underlying narrative. He does not analyze, preach or communicate–he renders."

The title sets the stage for the book. God is the main character and the humans come alive as they interact with God.

It's worth checking out. Wangerin is an excellent storyteller, who is perhaps best known for his award-winning "Book of the Dun Cow."

Ross,

Thanks for your comment. I've read part of "the Book of God" and enjoyed it. What I'm hoping for is not, however, another novelization of the Bible but simply the Biblical text in a more enjoyable format. Does that make sense?

Zondervan also published "The Story" http://pro.ps/0jNo4 which is more of a narrative reordering of the Biblical text than it is a novelization of it. In the TNIV version of it which I have on my bookshelf, they tried a little harder to give it the appearance of a collection of stories rather than a sacred textbook. I'm not sure if this is the kind of thing you are looking for or not, but I think it was a worthwhile endeavour on their part.

That's not specifically what I'm looking for, but that looks fantastic. I've put it in my Amazon cart and, once I qualify for super saver shipping, will have it at my door. Thanks for the tip! Read my next blog entry to see what I mean/meant.

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