The New Abridged Supercondensed Bible (For The Very, Very Busy)

Who would ever have thought the world would stand still for the Readers Digest Bible? But is this condensation the last time God will ever say, “Let me be brief”? Deleted and gone in the RDB is one-third of the “not so important” Word of God. How do you edit? What do you cut? One contemporary writer thinks that people who are adept at shortening the Bible should take a crack at income tax forms.

I suppose those who whittle the Word down to size really are qualified to say what has to go if the Bible is to be as widely read as Harlequin novels. How much should we criticize these avant-garde editors? Everybody has to make a living, I guess. But how can even the best editors really be sure they have deleted only those temporal parts of God’s eternal Word? I can even accept their abrupt testimony that “the Word of God is alive and powerful, but a little lengthy.” Surely they are friends of all those who want to get holy in a hurry. And their message seems to be that God talks too much. After all, “Almost all Scripture is given by inspiration of God except that which is marked through in blue pencil.” We can only hope the RDB isn’t the beginning of a trend.

Once you throw out the “begats” and edit Leviticus, the only thing left is to shorten the more strategic passages for the society who may yet want to cut down their Bible reading—after they finish their TV dinners. If the trend in producing shorter Bibles continues, the process may one day finish the NASB-FTVVB in an amazing 32 pages of Cliff notes about the size of a Navigator memory packet.

And what of our favorite verses? Well—

Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd; with stick and staff we graze, laze, drink, and dwell.” ...

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