New controversial Bible: It’s about ‘time’

Posted: August 23, 2008 in Denominational Fun, IJS, Testify
Tags: , , , , ,

No, seriously. The debate is all about time – as in arranging the books of the Bible in chronological order, according to this story from USA Today.

The Chronological Study Bible will be released this fall in the midst of a Bible-publishing boom in the United States. “(Our challenge) is to take the scholarship and make it enjoyable to a readership that enjoys history,” said Bob Sanford [creator of the new Bible version], who oversees the Bible division for the giant Christian publisher, Thomas Nelson. The latest edition rejiggers the order of books, psalms, and Gospels in an effort to provide a historical framework for a text most scholars consider chronologically challenged.

I adore history. In fact, I would be cast an extra on “Revenge of the Nerds” if a producer gathered a gaggle of History Channel devotees. It was one of the main reasons I went to seminary, so you could say this may fancy a reading tryst for HiScrivener. Well, it would, wouldn’t it?

Not so much.

Think about it. How odd would it be to crack open a Bible and see the “minor prophets” (i.e. Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Nehemiah) jumbled up like a post-Jenga game? Imagine the youth pastors who would have to create new memory tools for books of the Bible? Any “G-eneral E-lectric P-ower C-ompany” New Testament readers out there? [That’s Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians for those who didn’t have a 58-year old youth pastor].

The most recognizable changes in the Chronological Study Bible come in the placement of non-narrative sections — the books that aren’t necessarily anchored by specific people, places and events. The book of Psalms, which appears in the middle of the Old Testament in most editions, is split up in the the new edition by time period. All Psalms relating to David, for example, will instead appear as supplements to the relevant books of the Old Testament such as 1 Chronicles.

Are you kidding? That is like the Christian equivalent of watching the cult classic, “A Clockwork Orange“. But of course, you’re too holy for that, right? Well after this story, I think I’ll stick to my KJV66 and stay away from the brownies.

  1. hiscrivener says:


    Thanks for the post. The “controversy” (albeit a lame one at best) was noted because of the recent story. That’s all.

    [Does anyone read those links anymore? :))

    I did have one a while back and it promptly gave me tired head, so I proceeded to give it to a Muslim guy I know that was doing study during Ramadan. Good times.

    Oy Vey!


  2. Nance says:

    Where do you see a controversy? Chronological Bibles have been in print for a long time. You can get NIV in paperback used for less than $4 at Amazon. Sorry, I don’t see the issue here.

  3. hiscrivener says:

    Mr. Cool,

    Sorry for being cryptic there. I understand the faith focus of Burgess, but it was about the movie. Ask several people who grew up in the 80s and smoked hippie lettuce… movies to fancy were “The Wall”, “Twin Peaks” and yes, “A Clockwork Orange.”

    For someone buzzing worse than a tweaked hornet, curling up with a good book wouldn’t exactly be apropos. But what do I know, that’s just what I heard once.


  4. xnowimcoolx says:

    I don’t get the ‘clockwork orange reference’ … although mentioning the book probably would have been more suitable (rather than the movie) seeing as Anthony Burgess was a devout Catholic.

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