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August 17th, 2010
03:54 PM ET

Tweeting the Bible, one chapter at a time

His is the kind of devout undertaking that would make the tech gods proud.

Chris Juby, a 30-year-old church worship director in the UK, has set out to tweet the entire Bible, one chapter a day. With 10 chapters down, having started August 8, he only has 1,179 to go.

The expected end date, if all goes as planned: November 8, 2013.

“It is rather crazy, obviously,” he said by phone from Durham City in northern England. “But my real hope is that it will inspire people to read the Bible themselves.”

He’s already read the Good Book, cover-to-cover, three times. This time around he must grasp the meaning succinctly, in 140-or-less-character chunks.

Take Monday’s tweet of Genesis 8: God blessed Noah and set the rainbow as a sign that he would never flood the earth again. Noah got drunk and cursed Ham’s son Canaan.

News of his Twitter account, @biblesummary, is spreading at an ungodly pace, thanks to an article that appeared last Friday in his local paper, The Northern Echo. In a four-day span, his followers jumped from 80 to 9,000 and counting.

The e-mail requests from those who want to translate it into other languages have poured in from places like Korea, Russia and Germany. He knew he’d been featured in the Brazilian press when e-mails flooded his mailbox from that South American country yesterday.

“I’m absolutely astonished,” Juby said of all the attention. “It’s quite a simple idea, but it really captures people’s imaginations.”

Asked if any chapters ahead seem particularly daunting, he fast-fowarded to Psalms.

“Psalm 119 is long – 176 verses,” he said. “Condensing 176 verses into 140 characters will be a challenge.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Christianity • Technology

soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. Brandy Meetington

    Wow, indeed great info. How can I get this RSS?

    Brandy Meetington
    bug detection device

    November 10, 2010 at 4:30 am |
  2. Betty

    I think it might be more likely that doing this would turn people OFF of Christianity. I was a born-again Christian until I actually read the Bible, LOL. I wrote about the passage that finally did it for me here: http://tohellwithbetty.blogspot.com So much of the Bible is so violent, and I was taught that ALL of the Bible is the inerrant word of God, so you can't pick and choose what parts of it you like. I just gave up on the whole thing.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
    • David Johnson

      I read your story. Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.

      I bet you are pro-choice, yes?

      If so, better vote for the Dems in November. Palin the Idiot and Angle the deranged, would take women's right to choose away.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:54 pm |
    • legumepod

      In my humble opinion I think the Bible should be read in church, among members and should be discussed openly. How can people claim to love the Bible if they never (in reality) have ever read it for themselves? 😦 The fact that you said you had belonged to a group and had never actually read the Bible is not uncommon. Yes, there are parts of the Bible that are violent because it was written in violent times....Jesus did not die a comfortable death...the poor man was tortured and then executed. This was NOT uncommon in those times. When reading the Bible it may be a good idea to remember the times in which it was written and keep in mind that there were never any "good ol days." Just a thought 🙂

      August 20, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  3. David Johnson

    @Esther

    You asked, "Why do you always site the Old Testament? You also pull scripture out of content..do you bother to read the whole story, around which these are said? I doubt it."

    Fundies always cry context.

    Let me ask you this:

    In what context would it be moral to:

    have a bear kill children who taunted a man for being bald?

    kill everyone in a tribe and every animal, and kidnap the virgin women for breeding stock?

    cut off a woman's hand for helping her husband in a fight and touching the wrong parts?

    slavery moral? Jesus never talked against it. Apostle Paul told slaves to work hard. LOL

    god to make a bet with the evil god (relative term) that a human would still love Him, even if the human's children were killed and he was tortured. Story of Job.

    stone to death a man for gathering sticks on Sunday?

    Please tell me when these things would be justified? I am a mere human and I would do none of them – ever.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  4. verify

    The Bible covers only the stories of a tiny segment of the world's population in history. I am always amazed by how Christians and Jews think that they are some "God's" chosen people. There were human societies all across the globe during biblical times and long before. Why does this little section of the Middle East get such play? I'm thinking it's just because of better PR...

    August 18, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @verify

      When Satan was tempting Jesus, he took Jesus to a high mountain. He showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the earth.

      What is this "globe" you speak of?

      August 18, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  5. HedgedIn

    So much animosity toward this man. The enemies of God can foam and rage and rant and sneer all they want, they still can't stop His message.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:23 am |
    • Chaim

      @HedgedIn

      Don't measure the animosity by what you see in a blog. There's only a handful of people posting in these blogs.

      And how could anyone be an enemy of a loving god? The thing is impossible. Perhaps you are mistaken somehow.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:46 am |
    • David Johnson

      How can I be an enemy of god? God does not exist. If you can prove there is a good and loving god, I will worship Him.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
    • Moreum

      Wow how time flies by it seems like only yesterday you all were liltte..wish God would let us go back in time and do things right and know what was ahead of us so we wouldnt make the same mistakes. Its funny how close you all were back then.I blame myself for everything You and Sarahs daughter dressed alot alike on your first days of school Time hasnt changed styles that much has it. I hope she had as much fun as you all did on your first day..I can remember all of you coming home telling of the kids in your class..but You Amanda had to come home and say mommy noone talked about the news ..

      September 9, 2012 at 1:56 am |
  6. Pete

    I'm going to tweet my entire genome one letter at a time. A..C..G..T..G..A..

    August 18, 2010 at 10:35 am |
    • verify

      Funny, Pete, and at least it would be real information.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  7. brad

    I used to think that, judges at the bench and Catholic priests in a confessional knew more about pathetic human nature than anyone. Add the CNN moderator to that list.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  8. Rell

    I wonder If this guy uses a Twitter app for his phone...If so I bet his thumbs are on fire!

    August 18, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  9. brad

    The Bible is a chronicle of humanity's emerging relationship with God. It begins with chaos, goes through human violence in the name of God, and ends with Jesus, Prince of Peace.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  10. Brenda

    There is no Fire and Brimstone. Romans 6:23 "the wages sin pays is death" If you took the time for in depth Bible study you would understand the reasons for the things God has done and will do. Every promise God has made has and will come about.
    If you have read the Bible that is commendable. But to understand it as I said study of it is important. Do not put down what you do not understand

    August 18, 2010 at 9:38 am |
    • Reality

      I read it. I understood it and concluded it was mostly myth i.e. resurrections, ascensions, miracles, virgin births, atonement, pretty/ugly-talking wingie thingies, Adam, Eve, Eden, Abraham, Moses, Jericho, prophets aka fortune tellers, and a return of the simple preacher man in Paul's lifetime. After more background reading, I found that Thomas Jefferson and Albert Schweitzer came to the same conclusions

      August 18, 2010 at 10:28 am |
    • brad

      @ Reality: Good. You read it. The top layer only. Most scripture and literary scholars will tell you that there are many layers to such reading. Not sure if you know what that means.
      BTW: Jefferson was talking out of his field, Schweitzer was 1900 years removed from witnesses and evidence that cancel his opinion.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:47 am |
    • Veggie70

      So Schweitzer was too far removed, chronoligically speaking, for his opinion to be valid, but yours is? Jeepers creepers, how old are you?

      August 18, 2010 at 11:50 am |
    • Reality

      Brad,

      What witnesses? What evidence? Might want to check Father Raymond Brown's 800+ page book, An Introduction to the New Testament especially the section on the authors of said "testament". By the way, the book was approved by the RCC receiving both an imprimatur and nil obstat.

      And then there is this:

      Also think about the logic (or lack thereof).

      “I believe the Bible is inspired.” “Why?” “Because it says so.” Would your
      anyone let that logic pass if it came from the followers of any other book
      or person? “I believe x is inspired because x says so.” Fill in the blanks:

      x=Pat Robertson
      x=the ayatolloah Sistani
      x=David Koresh
      x=the Koran”
      x=Brad

      And there is this bit for perusal:

      “I believe there is One God Jehovah because He is revealed in the infallible
      Bible. I believe the Bible is infallible because it is the Word of the One God Jehovah.”

      August 18, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Reality

      Your posts are always awesome. I'm glad I don't have to debate you. Cheers!

      August 18, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @brad

      You said, "Good. You read it. The top layer only. Most scripture and literary scholars will tell you that there are many layers to such reading. Not sure if you know what that means."

      So how many layers do I have to go through before I get the part that isn't a fable?

      August 18, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Brenda

      You said, "If you have read the Bible that is commendable. But to understand it as I said study of it is important. Do not put down what you do not understand"

      How long must I study the bible, before I will arrive at your understanding?

      There are over a thousand Christian denominations. Each denomination can show you scripture that "proves" the baby Jesus loves them best.

      Each of them, has been given understanding, by the Spirit of their god.

      Maybe you need to cram for finals...

      August 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  11. mj

    Hey David Johnson i already see 14 comments, replies, sarcastic remarks from you already just on this one page. Now isnt that a waste of time...oh ya, it may not be since you are trying to inspire society one line at a time...this is my last..lmao

    August 18, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  12. mj

    Hey David, why is it such a waste of time to tweet the Bible one chapter a day. People do other things for therapy and enjoyment like drinking, smoking, playing video games, etc etc. This man actually believes in something so cut him some slack. At least, or i hope he does not waste time commenting on stories like these just as we are doing..lol

    August 18, 2010 at 8:49 am |
    • David Johnson

      @mj

      You are right, but I have made myself a promise, that I won't start drinking until after lunch. LOL

      August 18, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
  13. tRuth

    I have faith and hope in God which helps me live a happier and more fulfilling life than what I see others live. Yes bad things happen, its part of life ( God can answer your prayers, but he doesn't always say yes). And if you notice a great deal of evil in this world comes at the hand of men. This tweeter is trying to get people interested in the Bible in a new relevant way. Big deal – he's not hurting anyone or imposing. Don't read it if you don't want to. And by the way people need to be less hateful on this blog and in life. Make life more pleasant for you and everyone who has to deal with you by being slightly less cynical.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:06 am |
    • David Johnson

      Did you see my idea of printing the King James on rolls of toilet paper? A chapter would take up one or two sheets... about the number needed for the task at hand. I am also trying to get people interested in the Bible in a new relevant way.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  14. Esther

    David Johnson:
    Why do you always site the Old Testament? You also pull scripture out of content..do you bother to read the whole story, around which these are said? I doubt it. Your mission seems to be to put God down.
    Why don't you quote the new testament? Salvation, Love and Forgiveness are in there.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:44 am |
    • nudge

      @David Johnson

      Yeah, David! You could go around goosing them with NT luuv instead of that old OT hate. They'll see you rollin' !
      lol

      August 18, 2010 at 8:02 am |
    • elgeevz

      Perhaps it's because the New Testament was firmly rooted in Old Testament beliefs.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:31 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Esther

      You asked, "Why do you always site the Old Testament? You also pull scripture out of content..do you bother to read the whole story, around which these are said? I doubt it."

      Let me ask you this:

      In what context would it be moral to have a bear kill children who taunted a man for being bald?

      In what context would it be moral to kill everyone in a tribe and every animal, and kidnap the virgin women for breeding stock?

      In what context would it be moral to cut off a woman's hand for helping her husband in a fight and touching the wrong parts?

      In what context was slavery moral? Jesus never talked against it. Apostle Paul told slaves to work hard. LOL

      In what context is it moral for god to make a bet with the evil god (relative term) that a human would still love Him, even if the human's children were killed and he was tortured. Story of Job.

      In what context would it be moral to force a virgin girl who was raped, to marry her rapist?

      In what context would it be moral to stone to death a man for gathering sticks on Sunday?

      Please tell me when these things would be justified? I am a mere human and I would do none of them – ever.

      August 18, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
    • One Whose Name Means Beloved of God

      Yeah Dave! Why don't you ever bring up the New Testament oppression of women? 1Tim 2:11-12

      August 19, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  15. nsuki

    U know, I'd heard the 'developed societly' is rabidly anti-Christian. The first few comments I've read here are proof positive. I guess I just experienced it firsthand.
    I love the blog, wanna start one too. Many Christians wd love to read thru the entire Bible, but pressures of daily life often nonsense of good intentions and New Year resolutions! 🙂 Committing to a chapter summary on the Internet is a swell idea – motivation to keep reading, and share the message at the same time.
    Thanks, CNN, for bringing this "Good News" to our notice.
    Now I'm off to read the tweet for myself.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:01 am |
    • Veggie70

      Wah wah, poor Christians, we're so put upon! Every president of the United States and member of the Supreme Court and nearly every member of Congress *ever* is/was Christian! When will the oppression stop?!?! Let my people go!

      Spare us. When they bring back the lions, we'll talk.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:44 am |
    • David Johnson

      @nsuki

      You said, "Many Christians wd love to read thru the entire Bible, but pressures of daily life often nonsense of good intentions and New Year resolutions! "

      You have given me a brilliant idea! What if we print a chapter of the 'ol King James on each sheet or two of a roll of toilet paper. We could sit and read a chapter a day. Then we could flush it.

      At the bottom of each sheet, would be the reminder: "Wash your hands! It's what Jesus would do."

      Cheers!

      August 18, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  16. legumepod

    People should leave the kid alone. He is doing something he loves and on a good note at least he is reading....something. I personally won't read it, I have my own "tweeked" version in King James 😉

    August 18, 2010 at 5:58 am |
  17. Scott

    I cant continue on this site, I do have much better things to do, but please get or rent the movie The case for Christ by Lee Strobel and at least think about it. because if you are wrong and God does exist, wow what a bummer for eternity that well be. If Im wrong then , well it really doesn't matter does it!! May God Bless all of you out there that dont believe and may He have mercy on your very souls.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:55 am |
    • Pamela Swope

      Well done good and faithful servant!

      August 18, 2010 at 8:04 am |
  18. (B)iraq Hussein Osama

    When Christ returns, he will end up among the Muslims! The christians are in for a real SHOCK!! Jesus will in fact also be in shock! after he sees what christians have done in his name. Made him into a God! Institutionalized and glorified adultery, fornication, alcoholism, debauchery, gambling, atheism, profiteering from weapons manufacturing.

    The closest to Jesus are the Muslims, who still have a divine law they implement and whose monotheism is closest to that of Jesus. Jesus would feel right at home among the Muslims.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:51 am |
  19. Scott

    Watch the movie The Case for Christ by Lee strobel, see he was a non-believer too. He actually took the time to do real deep research about this whole Bible thing and well what he found even amazed him!!!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:25 am |
    • David Johnson

      You should also google the following:

      Case Against Faith: Debunking Lee Strobel and promoting atheism

      Lee Strobel's Nonsensical Case for Christ

      August 18, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  20. Scott

    By the way Im not here to amaze anybody Im only here to stand on the truth, see anything else is just supressing the truth and if you really search deep inside you, you will find it buried under all the rubble!!!!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:19 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Scott

      In an earlier post, I asked you to give me your best argument for believing in god. I even asked you to pray to your god, that he might give you the wisdom to amaze me. But alas, prayer doesn't work. You ended by quoting scripture. *sigh*

      August 18, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
    • fortherecord

      @ David Johnson: I do not usuallyfollow these posts, but there is something about your conversation that is intriguing me. Your particular brand of bitterness can only come from a few sources. My guess is that you were once a Christian (possibly Jewish), but some disappointment turned you away?

      Anyway, I'll answer your question to Scott. I believe in God because He was the answer to the nagging questions that I had for years: "Why am I on earth?"; "What is my purpose in life?". When I finally stopped challenging God and let my guard down, I found that He filled the void that I was trying to fill with other vices. So, my choice to believe in Him does not come from fear of hell (however, to be fair it did in the beginning :). But, now I respect and love God mostly because of the great lengths that He went through to reach me and His persistence in showing me that He still loves me today.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @fortherecord

      You said, "I do not usuallyfollow these posts, but there is something about your conversation that is intriguing me. Your particular brand of bitterness can only come from a few sources. My guess is that you were once a Christian (possibly Jewish), but some disappointment turned you away?"

      I am not bitter. I am not at war with god. I just do not believe in a god. I do not want the Religious Right to tear down the wall that separates church and state. I want women to have a choice. Woman's body, woman's choice. I want gay people to live in peace and marry if they want. I want prayer kept out of school. I want evolution to be taught and not the creation myth. I want Muslims to be equal to Christians. I want Christians to respect other faiths.

      You said, "Anyway, I'll answer your question to Scott. I believe in God because He was the answer to the nagging questions that I had for years: "Why am I on earth?"; "What is my purpose in life?". When I finally stopped challenging God and let my guard down, I found that He filled the void that I was trying to fill with other vices. So, my choice to believe in Him does not come from fear of hell (however, to be fair it did in the beginning . But, now I respect and love God mostly because of the great lengths that He went through to reach me and His persistence in showing me that He still loves me today."

      So, you have discovered the one true god? How do you know? The Muslims feel they have found the one true god, The Hindus feel they have found the true gods, the Buddhists believe they are right. There are more than 1,000 different Christian denominations. Each of these denominations believe their god is the one true god. All of these religions and denominations "feel" their god is with them, blessing them, loving them. They cannot all be true -mutually exclusive. But, they can all be false, because they may not be collectively exhaustive. There may not be a god or we may not have discovered the one true god yet.

      You have what the other religions have – text and your faith. But, you have no proof.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
    • fortherecord

      @David Johnson: You still did not really answer my question, but that's okay.

      There is plenty of proof that God exists- from the design of the universe, to the intricacies of the human body–with "text" to support it. I can't prove to you that the wind exists, but we know that it does because of its effects in nature. Similarly, I cannot experience God with my senses, but I know that He exists because of how He has affected nature, history, and the lives of people who have been changed by Him.

      You are right about one thing, though. All we have is faith, the bible and the word of people who have been changed by Him. But if you think about, how is that different from anything else that you have come to believe in life?

      August 19, 2010 at 9:11 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.