New Bible Format

New Bible Format

The IBS is producing a new Bible, available in August, 2007, which will reorganize the books of the Bible, removing verse and chapter numbers. This is intended to provide a new and more original feel in reading the Bible.

I suspect that such a format will annoy some people, but I’ll say bluntly they should chill. We live with the constant tension between the Bible as a unity (a book) and the Bible as diversity (a collection). While verses facilitate conversations about the Bible and references to specific passages in other documents, they tend to first treat the Bible as a unity, and then chop it up into potentially unrelated pieces. They certainly distract from simply hearing the message.

At the same time the book order, which is in many cases arbitrary, keeps modern readers from getting their bearings in the historical context. While there are bound to be disputes over where various elements fit, the structure of this new Bible is a good start to starting to balance Bible study in the other direction–more toward hearing the message in its literary, cultural, and historical context.

I strongly commend the IBS on this effort, and look forward to having a physical copy in my hands as soon as it is released. In the meantime, check out their web site for this project, complete with sample books of the Bible, and a blog. Currently the staff there is blogging about why they would carry out such a project.

For those who use my participatory study method, this Bible will be particularly valuable in the overview reading portion of your study. It removes distractions and some of the elements of Bible reading that tend to make one feel that one has read more than one has. The TNIV is also simple enough in language to make it easy to read large amounts of text.

HT: radical renovation via TNIV Truth.

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