Every chapter of the Bible in 140 characters or less.
I summarised the Bible on Twitter between Aug 2010 and Nov 2013 - one tweet per chapter, one chapter per day.
Now available in Paperback and on Kindle
A year ago today I put the finishing touches to the Bible Summary website and published my summary of Genesis 1 to zero followers.
As many of you saw, the number of followers rocketed under the gaze of the media coverage shortly after I began, and continued rising steadily for a few weeks. But the hype inevitably gave way to the reality of a three-and-a-half year commitment, and in the recent months the increase in followers has mirrored the fortunes of Israel - levelling off and even falling sometimes.
Not that it's ever been about the number of followers, though. I've reached this one year mark with my focus very much in the same place as when I started: first and foremost the project is a way to discipline and deepen my own Bible reading.
It's been an eventful year for me more generally - not always an easy time to stay disciplined. Your retweets, replies and encouragements have helped a lot with keeping me motivated, so thank you!
The storm of newspaper articles and TV interviews had hardly died down last year when we found out that my wife was pregnant. Our son, Samuel, was born in July! There have been some pretty hard things along the way too, and the story that I've been summarising has become deeply entwined with everything that has gone on.
I think that's part of the point of reading Scripture: it's supposed to get bound up with our lives.
I've read through the Bible start-to-finish several times before, so one of the big surprises for me has been how much of a difference the process of summarising has made. I've been forced to notice all kinds of details and themes that I would usually gloss over without really understanding.
One of the biggest pay-offs has been with unpopular books like Leviticus and 2 Kings. The commitment to come up with (hopefully) evenly weighted summaries has meant that I've had to spend time with commentaries - understanding the geography, customs and genealogies that don't naturally interest me very much. My understanding of those books has increased dramatically!
The other pay-off has been in seeing the big picture. I've noticed things in summarising that I'm amazed I hadn't spotted before. For example, I don't think I appreciated how strongly these early books emphasise covenant. I knew in theory that 'covenant' was an important Old Testament theme, but I hadn't really felt the weight of it.
And that's just scratching the surface. Who knows what the impact of the project will have been by the time I finish!
Looking forward, I'll be starting 2 Chronicles on Wednesday, then on towards the Wisdom Literature (some of my favourite books!) This time next year I'll be in Isaiah, and in two years time I'll be on the home stretch. It all seems very doable now!
So here we go... 12 months down, 27 to go...