The Bible on Twitter post – a review of some sites #biblefresh #bigbible #codec #refract @pmphillips

Pete Phillips has been one of the driving forces behind the New Media Conference to be held on 16th October in central London, and will be speaking, chairing sessions, and generally ensuring that the event goes with the right kind of bang!

Who is Pete Phillips?
Director, Centre for Biblical Literacy and Communication, CODEC (St John’s College, Durham).

Pete has a background in Classics and Biblical Studies, and is also a Methodist Minister.  Having served in a Methodist Circuit in the Midlands, Pete was New Testament Tutor at Cliff College for thirteen years, also working on his PhD on the Prologue of John’s Gospel from Sheffield University which he gained in 2004. Read more about Pete here.

“I’ve started putting together a twitter list (@pmphillips/bible-links) on various accounts offering a look at the Bible.  It’s a bit rough and ready and I think I am going to prune it from the hundreds of ‘bible’ accounts to those which offer direct access to the Bible.  For example, @soccerbible isn’t soccer related bible verses!

I tried to link the first few because I was interested in their different take on doing the Bible for the tweeting masses.  Here’s a sample of five accounts which I’m interested in exploring at the moment in a bit more detail:

@biblesummary – run by Chris Juby (@chrisjuby) who happens to be media (+arts+worship) pastor at the church where me and my family attend.  Chris started this project three weeks ago – going through the bible dy by day and putting up a summary of a chapter each day – today he is up to Genesis 24.  It’s a good project and his followers leapt to 13,800 after the news feeds picked it up in the UK and in the States with Chris even being asked to do an interview on CNN and being on their Daily Intriguing Person list!  The interesting bit will be whether Chris can maintain his flat persona on this project or whether he will be pushed into disclosing himself too much.  I spoke to Chris on Sunday at church and was not surprised to hear of the issues he is having trying to bring huge chapters of narrative into 140 characters.  Of course the interesting thing to watch is also the way in which Chris does this – what is he consciously or subconsciously leaving out.  The two accounts of the creation in Gen 1 and 2 are not really dealt with the force many contemporary scholars would have wanted.  But perhaps that’s the joy of this summary – it’s personal, it’s trying to objective and flat, and it might get people back into the text itself.

@bible.is – this is the Twitter spin-off for a series of mobile phone applications out of the ‘Faith Comes from Hearing Trust’ – currently at 629 followers).   The basic concept of the trust is that faith comes from hearing the Bible and they have gone to some lengths to put this into practice.  It’s a bit like #biblefresh and the Methodist Church’s exploration of marathon bible readings – getting local communities to read the Bible out loud from start to finish.  Those churches which have done this tend to talk about the immense spiritual benefits of it.  Personally, I think it’s a great idea and I’d love to see it being a big thing next summer – with lots of public space readings over days and days with local dignitaries and church folk young and old taking part.  Anyway, the twitter account is a spin-off and tends to share both news items as well as a bible verses.  At present they are going through Jeremiah offering 140 character versions of various verses.  So there’s a mixture here of daily Bible verses, adverts, retweets and personal comments.  But overall actual Bible verses provide the most frequent content.”

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