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Last Updated: Friday, 7 October 2005, 10:38 GMT 11:38 UK
SMS Bible launched in Australia
 A verse from Genesis in the Bible is seen in SMS text (Short Messaging Service) on a mobile phone screen October 7, 2005 in Sydney Australia.
The entire Bible would be more than 30,000 messages
The Bible has been translated into text message-speak in Australia to allow its lessons to be disseminated more easily.

"In da Bginnin God cre8d da heavens & da earth," it begins.

The entire 31,173 verses can be downloaded for free and sent by mobile phone, said a spokesman for The Bible Society in Australia, Michael Chant.

"The old days when the Bible was only available within a sombre black cover with a cross on it are long gone," Mr Chant said.

The Bible Society in Australia scripture director George Rodriguez said only the spelling of the Bible had been changed for the project, not the language.

"It's a logical step. Our aim at the Bible Society is to get the Bible out there among the people and this is a very effective way of doing it," he told the French news agency AFP.

His son Michael spent six weeks translating the Bible into text messages.

There have been several attempts to make the Bible more accessible in recent years, including another Australian version which referred to the Virgin Mary as a "pretty special Sheila", and one launched in the UK two weeks ago which its author claims can be read in less than two hours.

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