Several years ago I embarked on a very tedious and time consuming experiment. Wishing I could read Paul’s letters in their original form instead of the clunky chapter and verse two-column format found in most Bibles, I took it upon myself to re-create them.
I copied and pasted all of Paul’s letters into a Word document and then proceeded to remove all the chapter and verse markings. I then cleaned up the format so it read as it was originally written. It took me forever. When I was finished, I then printed it off and took it to a local print shop to have it bound.
The finished product was fantastic. It read like a dream and really opened up the passages in a way I had not previously read them. I have it on my shelf to this day and pick it up from time to time.
I later started working on the Gospels and other books of the Bible, only to give up on the project out of sheer boredom.
In an effort to encourage a more comprehensive reading of the Scriptures, in complete book form in particular, they have removed all chapter and verse references, presented it in a one-column format and even gotten rid of all footnotes, section headings, and cross-references. Books like Luke and Acts, which were originally one book that translators later divided into two, have been made whole again. They’ve even arranged the books in an order “that provides more help in understanding, based on literary genre, historical circumstance and theological tradition.”
In short, it’s the Bible presented in a way that’s as close to how it was originally presented as humanly possible. The main downside for me is that it is only currently available in the TNIV translation. Which isn’t the worst thing imaginable, but it’s definitely not my preference.
It’s probably extremely geekish to be frothing at the mouth over a translation of the Bible. But since I had this idea about 5 years ago, I’m pretty psyched to see it come to fruition!
Here’s a sample, the book of James.