Proselytwizing Has Never Been This Entertaining

A few years ago, Jana Riess began tweeting every chapter of the Bible, one a day. Her efforts have now been compiled into an excellent book called The Twible:

So what does the Bible look like in <140 character spurts? Well, here's all of Genesis 2:

2nd creation story. G forms Adam from dust; very green, 100% recycled material. Eden good. Don’t eat that tree. Yep, that one.

And Leviticus 5:

You’re unclean if you touch a pig, swear aloud, or sin by accident. Apologize to OCD G, then slaughter a ewe. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

And Psalms 53:

Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” G says in his heart, “Dang! I sure did manufacture an awful lot of fools.”

And Revelation 7:

Only 144,000 are saved. Statistically, the chance you’ll be in this group is negligible, so don’t break out the white robe just yet.

Awesome :)

It’s a funny, clever, and (honestly) non-offensive way to read the Bible. In case it’s not clear, this isn’t written by an atheist. It makes for a perfect gift for your religious friends this Christmas and the paperback version of the book also includes sidebars full of interesting tidbits that aren’t available in the Kindle version.

I should probably disclose that Riess edited my book The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide, but I’d be praising this book regardless. It’s a novel approach to discussing a book that’s been dissected from every other angle.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Holytape

    Why use 140 characters? I can do the whole book in eight — Bullshit.

  • invivoMark

    If it’s non-offensive, then surely it can’t be accurate.

  • Tobias 27772

    Back in 2006, David Plotz did a series on Slate called Blogging the Bible. David was raised Jewish but was not a particularly keen observer of his faith (his description) so he went back and read the whole thing – blogging about it along the way. This is an excellent way to read the Bible without sloughing through all of that language. Mr. Plotz’s blog entries were clear, concise, and just the right amount of irreverant. I would recommend the entire series highly.

  • 3lemenope

    [Off-topic: Did the thread about the volleyball player with cancer and the nasty kids who berated her get memory-holed, or something? Anybody know why?]

  • 3lemenope

    Well that sucks. I was having a good conversation on that thread, and I came back an hour ago to find out if the other person had responded and couldn’t find any active link or anything.

  • Matt Eggler

    I was enjoying that one too. Hey, Hemant can you leave a post letting us know whats going on?

  • m6wg4bxw

    The ideas seems stupid to me. But then, so does Twitter.

  • Feminerd

    It just disappeared for me too. I don’t know that I’d call the conversation I was having good, exactly, but it was ongoing and at least moderately amusing.

  • Alex Symczak

    Wait… it’s not written by an atheist? How can she make fun of all the ridiculousness in the bible and be a Theist? You’re supposed to believe stuff like that, you know.

  • EmpiricalPierce

    Indeed. Simply reading Bible verses verbatim can be offensive to Christians.

  • invivoMark

    I, too, was having some interesting conversations, so I left that tab open all day while at work. It appears that at the moment the blog post disappeared, my comment had precisely 777 upvotes.

    I think it is clear that this is a case of divine intervention, and that God has decided to suspend that post to preserve His most holy number, representing the Trinity with three perfect digits.

    As I have now seen this miracle with my own eyes, I have now become a Christian. Sorry guys, no more witty, intelligent comments from me. Expect my comments to become progressively more trollish and incomprehensible than what you are used to seeing from me. I wish it didn’t have to be this way, but this is just what we Christians do: babble nonsensically on atheist blogs.

    Though, I do wish God had chosen a less disruptive way to show Himself to me. He could’ve just magicked me a sandwich. That would’ve done the trick.

  • Rich Wilson

    Strange… there are a number of other sources, all pointing back to here. Hm… I wonder…

  • Stev84

    Maybe the vote counter exceeded the Chandrasekhar limit, collapsed under its own weight and took the thread with it.

  • usclat

    Best laugh of the week! Hoytape, you’re a hoot! Love it …

  • usclat

    I’n not sure reading Bible verses verbatim “can” be offensive to Christians but the most certainly SHOULD be offensive to them.

  • Feminerd
  • Neko

    The series was published as a book, Good Book (Plotz covers just the Old Testament), and it’s a delightful read.

  • JT Rager

    Googled the story to see if I could find a non-dead link to Hemant’s post. It turns out the Daily Mail also has a dead link to the story. Something is strange here.

  • Rich Wilson

    Asked Hemant about it, and he said they were having technical issues with the post, but it was supposed to be back. At least he’s aware there’s an issue.

  • allein

    It is back now.

  • flyb

    Turned out to be a hoax. At least in part. There are some lurkable discussions going on in there though!

  • allein

    Interesting…I had seen the story on facebook the other day before it showed up here. I had been reading the comments during downtime at work yesterday and later reloaded the page and it was gone. I still want to go back and read some of the conversations…though huge comment threads like that tend to make my browser cranky so we’ll see how far I get…

  • chicago dyke, TOWAN

    way late to that party, but reading the story at the link, yeah. it’s funny how just posting the words of the buybull itself will make them mad.

    that said, i think the Penn Secularists would’ve had more effective marketing for their point with shorter bible verses. when you are on campus you walk past about one million posters and flyers every time you go to your next class.

    i did a lot of activism in college and the one lesson you learn really quickly if you’re trying to bring attention to your campus group: flyers and posters are but a grain of sand in the eye of your average student. they notice it for a moment, and wipe it out, forgetting it in minutes.

    big, and bold, and simple. they should’ve also used brighter colors. screaming yellows and oranges with simple phrases like “bash the babies” and “the rapist shall marry the one he rapes” sort of stuff. ymmv

  • Agni Ashwin

    Hint: She’s Mormon.

    Second hint: She converted to Mormonism.