We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Have you tried Issac Asimov's Guide to the Bible ? The link above shows both volumes in one, as it was originally published in one volume for the Old Testament, and one for the New Testament. Old Issac may not have been an observant Jew, but he sure could write!
Opie, BD takes good pictures. It's his lists that I have an issue with. He writes down things that have to be done.
Hires out half the list ,and tells Mrs BD to do the rest. All the while taking credit for accomplishing something.
Imagine ... the Christian Bible as a 384-page paperback! I guess it's logical, considering the dumbing-down of our educational standards. First, the King James version is eliminated by many Protestant churches as "too hard for modern folks to understand." So we get awkwardly written modern translations, which lose the music of the original King James version. Next, they "condense" it [God save us all] in a version like a Bowdlerized Shakespeare play. All with the best will in the world [they say] to help us "better understand" Christ and Christianity.
How about a little struggle to understand instead? C.S. Lewis would agree with that, I think. When you struggle to understand, and succeed, then you don't forget.
I remember the day I saw the mentioned Idiot's Guide for the first time in a book store. It gave me the giggles for 5 minutes straight. I seriously doubt they intended the connotation the title gives out.
Our minds have evolved, or devolved however you see it, so that if reading is difficult, we won't read it. All the news magazines learned this a few years ago when they put news 'bites' on several pages and made all articles run consecutively - as opposed to 'cont. on page 38A'. People want their information fast because there is so much of it. Look at Twitter - darn thing is fostering an uprising in Iran.
Anyway, the Bible could use some condensing. The repetition in it is distressing. But, yes, I am aware that for those who do read it, they are not looking to speed read for information. If comprehension is the goal, the excess should be excised. Also consider the spread of Christianity to foreigners. The Bible is daunting for those who do not speak English as their first language; and translated to whatever language, who knows what comes out if it's not condensed.
I'm not sure I agree with myself. When they 'condensed' "Beowulf" to 18 pages - after I'd taught the original translation for fifteen years, I thought it was utter blasphemy. Still do.
If you want to get kind of trashed, Google Bible translations and see how differently various passages turn out. It is blasphemy.
I HAVE TO SAY, THAT IT'S IN ALL THE 'DIGGING AND MINING' OF THE SCRIPTURES IN 'RAW FORM' THAT I'VE LEARNED/GLEANED SO MANY, MANY JEWELS FROM OVER THE YEARS..TRULY. I'D NEVER TRADE ONE MINUTE OF STUDIES IN THE 'REALLY STRAIGHT' VERSIONS OF THE BIBLE. I MEAN THAT I DONT REALLY ENJOY ANY OF THE OLDER PARAPHRASE BIBLES EITHER, AS THEY CUT OUT TOO MUCH. I'M A NAME ETYMOLOGIST AND I'VE ALSO STUDIED MANY NATION'S HISTORIES OTHER THAN OUR OWN, SEVERAL LANGUAGES AND MUCH, MUCH VARIED AREAS OF SCIENCE, SOME IN GENETICS, ASTRONOMY, A VERY SMALL LEVEL OF PHYSICS, LOL! BUT NOTHING HAS EVER 'UNDONE' ANYTHING I'VE SEEN IN MY HEBREW/GREEK STUDIES AND THE 'GOOD OLE KING JAMES' VERSION. I DO OF COURSE HAVE MANY OTHER VERSIONS WHICH I'VE STUDIED OVER THE YEARS, TO SOME EXTENT, AND HAVE A FEW FAVORITES. I GUESS MY TOP FAVES OF OTHER'S ARE, THE AMPLIFIED VERSION AND NEW KING JAMES HOLY SPIRIT FILLED LIFE STUDY BIBLE. THE LATTER OF WHICH, MY PASTOR'S WIFE SAID TO ME YEARS AGO, THAT IF I (SARAH) HAD DONE A VERSION, IT WOULD HAVE ALL MY NOTES IN IT...AND IT IS A GOOD ONE. I HOPE TO REPLACE MY OLD ONE SOON, WHICH IS ABOUT 8 YEARS OLD NOW. AS FOR CHILDREN, I THINK IT'S FINE TO STUDY EASIER TO READ BIBLES, BUT FOR ONE WHO'S TRYING TO 'KNOW GOD',,,? NAAHHHH!