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Last Updated: Monday, 26 September 2005, 08:12 GMT 09:12 UK
Is the 100-Minute Bible a good idea?
What do you think of the new version of the Bible?

A new version of the Bible which can be read in less than two hours has been published.

The 100-Minute Bible is for those who do not have the time to read the original version.

It was written by the Rev Michael Hinton who says that he concentrated on stories that people know best such as Noah's Ark.

Will this encourage people to read the Bible? Will you read it? Can you sum up the Bible in 10 words?

This debate is now closed. Please read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

This topic was suggested by Tony, UK:
Will the 100-Minute Bible work for you? Can it accurately reflect the longer version?

As one who is a Biblical God Fearing Christian, I can say that this Goldfishes Bible is madness! Christianity has been bent, changed and warped over the years to fit in with the secular world, to make it acceptable before man. Wrong idea, the Anglican church has something to answer for here. It, along with other established churches, encourages as much unscriptural behaviour as possible in the vain attempt to be cool and attract 'today's congregation'. That's not what the Bible teaches. The Bible is not for shortening!
Paul Cambell, Sheffield England

I have matured into an agnostic but can still recall parables and lessons I learnt as a child from Sunday School and the bible which have been relevant and useful in my life. If this book makes such teachings available to a wider audience it can be a good thing. However, to maintain a balance I would like to see "100 minute" versions of other major works too, religious and otherwise. An informed population can only be a good thing.
Ian, London, UK

I do not like this "American Speak". These Ministers are talking like businessmen when saying they are "Majoring" on the big plot etc. Unless you read the Bible in its entirety, you will not get the point of the big plot. This will end up like many other things in life. It will become the "normal" version and future generations will not know what the full version was, or that it even existed. Another "dumbing down" project that is bad for the human race.
David, Ingram, Hong Kong

This is an excellent idea which is long overdue
P Scott, King's Lynn, UK
This is an excellent idea which is long overdue. I am sure that this is the correct approach for the Church to follow in these modern times, providing that this is only used as an overview of the complete Bible.
P Scott, King's Lynn, UK

Certainly, it is good work. It helps people who don't have time to read the Bible. One more chance to hear God speak to us. Praise God.
Bhaskar, Tokyo, Japan

I think that is really sad that someone of any religion or belief thinks they can sum up their beliefs in a "crash course" of their holy book.
Hassan Amidhozour, Tehran, Iran

I think this is a good idea. As a child I was given simplified stories from the Bible. Of course they won't be comprehensive, but they give a good picture of the Bible message. In 10 words: Believe in God. Treat others fairly. Learn about the faith.
Tom, Cardiff

What can be outdated or irrelevant about a faith that teaches love and respect for all people and the environment? Especially if it promises eternal life of peace and joy? And all for just believing - not having to do anything? How about that you cynics?
Trevor, Otford, Kent

Can we please have some criticism in similar terms of the Koran and Islam? As an irrelevance to the modern world, a brainwashing cult etc. I am sick of hearing my faith subjected to this sort of abuse while this other religion is sacrosanct. It's discrimination, that's what it is.
R Norris, Leyton

Yes, this is a good idea. Many people who attend Sunday services have not read the Bible.
Professor Arun Khanna, Indianapolis, USA

Further proof that Christianity has been distorted over and over
Further proof that Christianity has been distorted over and over. God's words have been changed countless times by Christians, and now shortening it? Pure blasphemy.

Another sad and contrived attempt to garner interest in an increasingly outdated and redundant religion. What's next? Downloading sermons from iTunes?
Kiev, London

I shall be looking out for this one. I can't think of a better time than right now to read some good news. Thank God.
Max, Gloucester, England

This is a great idea, as long as it is the Bible that has been represented, and not the dogma attached to the Bible through one interpretation, such as that adopted by the evangelical wing of the Church of England.
Matthew Williamson, Brighton, UK

"Jesus Christ died for sinners that we might live." Anything that gets people reading about Jesus has got to be a good thing provided that it's the truth. It clearly could never be a substitute for the complete Bible though.
Nick Jones, Sevenoaks, Kent

It saddens me that some commentators have yet again decided that the best way to contribute is to attack a book considered holy by millions around the world. If you don't believe in Christ and the Bible, what does it matter to you? Do you really feel that insecure? As for the "100 minute Bible", great idea if it focuses on the teaching in the Bible and not just retelling the events.
Ewan, Aberdeen, UK

I thought the Church was above pandering to the masses with dwindling attention spans
Jon Perrin, Lincoln, UK
What a terrible idea, I thought the Church was above pandering to the masses with dwindling attention spans, but this really shows that the Church is nothing more than a reflection of the popular culture of the day.
Jon Perrin, Lincoln, UK

What a brilliant idea. Can people with busy lives like me soon look forward to drive-in churches to cut the otherwise unnecessarily lengthy time services usually take? Oh, and I'll have the red wine and a wafer, too, please.
Geoffrey Martin, Kingston, Surrey

I am very sceptical of this idea. I would imagine that the Rev Hinton has selected parts which he feels are appropriate to what he would like to see us learning as opposed to the bits he may feel are inappropriate. In all honesty, I see the Bible to be a bit like Chinese whispers.
Amy, Reading

Fairy stories made simple for the masses. However shortly and sweetly the stories are presented, it will not alter the fact that they are just stories. There is no saviour, this is the only life we'll get, and we should be putting all our energies into solving today's problems, not dwelling on the ignorant beliefs of various characters from thousands of years ago.
William, London, UK

This is a fantastic idea. I only hope that it hasn't been politicised to become political correct, or that any of the authority has been removed. Paraphrases are good but should never take the place of the English translation or the original Greek, Aramaic and Hebraic versions of the Bible.
James, Luton

A fast food Bible for a fast food world
Alan, Witham, Essex
The Bible has been changed and rewritten many, many times over the centuries to fit in with changing cultures, a fast food Bible for a fast food world, I hope it doesn't get chucked in the bin like a burger wrapper.
Alan, Witham, Essex

"Do as we say and do not think for yourself." There you go, Bible summed up in ten words. As for the 100-minute version? I would say that is 99 minutes and 50 seconds longer than it needs to be.
Rick Hough, Knutsford, Cheshire

It's good in that you only have to waste a couple of hours reading it rather than a couple of weeks.
Ralf, Wolverhampton, UK

I have already released the 10-second version and I publish it here for free: "Be good to one another and you will go to Heaven".
Bob, Brighton, UK

I think it's a good idea, and will encourage familiarity with the Bible
A Legge, Leeds, UK
I think it's a good idea, and will encourage familiarity with the Bible, which will in turn encourage some to find out more. The Bible in 10 words? - All made by God, people sinned, so God sent Jesus.
A Legge, Leeds, UK

There are publications of just the new testament and psalms, some small books with just the gospels (story of Christ's life and teaching) This bible 'lite' should be seen in the same light as them, as a way to help those unfamiliar to discover the main Bible truths in the hope they will want to know more and seek church fellowship. I am sure this is not intended as a replacement for the full Bible, just a way to get the main Christian message of forgiveness of sins through Christ's sacrificial death across to others.
David, Staines, UK

Red Dwarf put it best in the episode that began with the characters finding the missing page from the Bible - "this book is entirely a work of fiction".
Lee, Hebburn, England

Surely anyone who calls themselves a Christian should make the effort to read in full the book on which their religion is based?



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