A Different Kind of Bible

Hey, God fans.  Here’s an interesting experiment:  it’s called The Story, from the Bible publishers at Zondervan.  It’s the Bible–Today’s New International Version–edited down to its basic narrative so, in theory, you can see Christ emerging naturally from the rest.

Now, I can already hear some of you harrumphing.  Stop doing that.  Then, after I hear you harrumphing, I hear you say, Well, why can’t people just read the Bible as it is?  But I do read the Bible as it is, and still found this interesting.  I liked them clearing away a lot of the Levitican brush and so on and letting me get right to the historical core of the thing.  I also liked the translation, which I’d never read before and which I found strong and reasonable without being inelegant.

Necessarily, they took out some parts I wished they’d left in–and suspiciously, they were often sexy or difficult passages, like the part about Lot and his daughters or the putting away of the foreign wives after the return from exile.  This smacked of silly bowdlerizing and lessened the overall effect.  Also, the short passages written by the editors to link Bible sections had the tone of self-satisfied preaching, something I particularly dislike.  But for long portions, the editing was strong and seamless.  And the story, you know, is kind of good!

I have powerfully fond memories of Pearl S. Buck’s Story Bible, which I loved when I read it myself, and loved again when I read it to my story-loving daughter.  The Story has the benefit of using the original text, but lacks Buck’s excellent craftsmanship.  Still, I thought it a cool idea, not badly done.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • http://twitter.com/IloiloKano Steven Branum

    I found it a bit odd when you described some aspects where the editors did a particularly bad job, but then described it as “a cool idea, not badly done”. I’m not quite understanding that. Perhaps it was a bit badly done.

  • Bea M. Garcia

    Do you think this new “Bible” will get people to read the WORD of the living G-D? Dude, we can’t even Christians to read it. Call me pessimistic but my last few conversations with “believers” have busted me up something good. We (the God-fans) are in trouble. Deep trouble. Immorality, pornography, shacking-up, divorce, rebellion, down-right rejection of the BOOK and this is just in the “church.” Yikes! No doctrine for 40 years & the chickens have come home to roost. If I hear one more person use the “God knows my heart” line (code for I will defy a Holy G-D and His Holy Word and will get away with it because I am special or G-d is stupid or too busy to notice my rebellion or whatever) I will spit. Not a good thing! How is this for your next book? A story about a generation of fat, lazy, ignorant fools who can’t cope with real life once their sugar-Daddy in the sky refuses dish out the goods. You see, this Holy G-D is not just about love, He also judges. He is particularly miffed at those who claim His Holy name nut instead continually mock and ridicule Him. Yep, those who are supposed to know & fear Him no longer look to His time-tested Word on how to live. Instead they solely rely on their feelings, the latest Bieber Tweet or some clever thing they heard on Oprah/Dr. Oz/Dr. Phil. It would be a comedy if it weren’t so stinking real. Broman, we don’t need a different kind of Bible; we need a different kind of believer. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven. . . Rom 1:18. Gee, I wonder why?