Vindication is Great. No Verses Is EPIC News!

The Books of the BibleIt is not often that one senses vindication of a belief that seems for most folks like swimming up stream. But, it does happen. For years I have been sharing with folks that their reading experience of the Bible would be far improved if they would read the text without any additives such as the chapters and verses and all the other stuff that publishers like to throw into the text.

Before it was easy to produce a personal copy with a computer and a Bible program of such an adventure, I handed out small portions of Scripture where I had removed all the chapters and verses. I was thrilled when The Message came along and rejoiced that a publisher would take the chance of moving Bible reading in the right direction. Kudos to Eugene Peterson.

Recently, I finished a second Doctor of Ministry degree in which a portion of it dealt with the fragmentation of reading Scripture which was aided and abetted by those “pesky littler verses.” I called it the disease of versitis. Reading Scripture through the lens of verses has kept the reading public from being aware of the overall Story that is presented in Scripture. Today, (07.07.07), I ran across a project that has been in the making for several years, it’s called The Books of the Bible. It will be released on August 1, 2007 by International Bible Society and is a Bible without chapters and verses. Here’s what they say about their product.

The Books of the Bible

  • chapter and verse numbers have been removed from the text;
  • the books are presented according to the internal divisions that we believe their authors have indicated;
  • a single-column setting is used to present the text more clearly and naturally, and to avoid disrupting the intended line breaks in poetic sections;
  • footnotes, section headings and other supplementary materials have been removed from the pages of the sacred text;
  • individual books that later tradition divided into two or more books are made whole again; and
  • the books have been placed in an order that we hope will help readers understand them better. (From the Preface. vi).

Bravo for IBS. Yep! I feel vindicated! This will go a long way in helping the faithful readers of Scripture to comprehend the Story of God and live within its drama. Here’s their web site where you can get a sneak preview and download a sample or two. Who knows, you might even purchase a copy and have the reading experience of your life.

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