Chris Juby

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.

The @biblesummary account peaked at over 30,000 followers, and was featured in the news all over the world.

Find out about the project here, or feel free to get in contact.

Stats

One million visits!

Sometime in the past month, the Bible Summary website received its one millionth visit. That seems extraordinary to me!

The website has been fairly dormant over recent months as I've focussed on other projects (and moving house) but I've got plans brewing for further developments.

Bible Summary is obviously no longer a live pilgrimage, but hundreds of people still use the website every day as a reference. I think a redesign is in order to make the site better suited to the new purpose.

I have a number of things that I know I need to improve - not least dedicated versions of the website for the 29% of visitors using mobile phones and 14% of visitors using tablets. But I'm also open to suggestions.

If you have ideas about what I should include in the redesign, or opinions about how the site works at the moment, please feel to comment on this post or to contact me.

I've also managed to get hold of the biblesummary.net domain name and I'm contemplating a move. I'd be interested in your thoughts about that as well.

Thanks for visiting!

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Final Stats

The @biblesummary Twitter account passed 30,000 followers today. I'm quite surprised about that because I posted the final summary to 29,085 followers and I've been very clear that there will be no more tweets.

To mark the occasion, here are a few final stats for the project...

The whole summary came in at 164,176 characters (including spaces and punctuation) and 29,078 words. Thatís seven words less than the number of followers over the course of the project.

I averaged 138.1 characters per tweet out of a maximum 140. I'm pretty pleased with that figure, particularly considering that I posted a couple of extremely short summaries. (e.g. "Ps117: Praise the LORD! For great is his love towards us.")

I had a total of 18,957 retweets over the course of the project (and counting!)

The most retweeted chapter was the first (Genesis 1, 130 retweets) and the second most retweeted was the last (Revelation 22, 92 retweets).

The least retweeted chapter was a tie between Job 18 and Ezekiel 39 (3 retweets each).

People found the Bible Summary website via 71,031 different search terms.

There were 636,555 visitors to the Bible Summary website over the course of the project. That includes people from almost every country in the world.

It amazes me that every digit of these dizzying numbers represents someone engaging with the project. Thank you once again for your interest!

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Two Thirds

I'm two thirds of the way through the project! (Yes, 66.6%.) Here are a few notes, stats and reflections...

Although I'm two-thirds of the way through the chapters (792 of 1,189), I've only completed just over one-third of the books (23 of 66). Which goes to show how much longer on average the earlier books are than the later books. (I think that makes the task of reading through Scripture feel harder than it otherwise would.)

Here's a little infographic showing my progress and the relative lengths of the books.

Over the past few weeks, traffic to the Bible Summary website has gone crazy. Two months ago, 400 visitors was a pretty busy day, but that number has steadily soared so that last week there were several days when I had over 1,400 visitors. I have very little idea why this has happened, but thanks for visiting!

I can already sense how significant it's going to feel when I get to November 8. That will mark a year to go. It's very strange to begin contemplating a life where each day doesn't begin with posting to @biblesummary.

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Two years

It's two years to the day since I started Bible Summary. And what a chapter to celebrate! Isaiah 53 is surely one of the greatest in Scripture.

Some parts of the Old Testament seem to point only very obliquely towards the New, but not in this second section of Isaiah. Every chapter is rich with anticipation of Christ.

To ice the birthday cake, I also just passed 100,000 characters for the project.

Thanks again for all your encouragement. November 2013 is beginning to seem not so far away. What am I going to do when I finish?

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Top 10 Psalms

That wraps up the Psalms!

These have been popular summaries, so I thought I would compile the Top 10 according to number of retweets. Without further ado..

  1. Psalm 23
    The LORD is my shepherd. He leads me in paths of righteousness. I will fear no evil. I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
  2. Psalm 121
    I lift up my eyes to the hills; my help comes from the LORD. He who keeps you will not slumber. The LORD will keep you from all evil.
  3. Psalm 138
    I give you thanks, O LORD! All the kings of the earth will praise you. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life.
  4. Psalm 62
    My soul waits for God alone. He alone is my rock and my salvation. Trust in him at all times, O people. Power and love belong to God.
  5. Psalm 46
    God is our refuge. We will not fear, though the earth give way. The nations rage, kingdoms fall. "Be still and know that I am God."
  6. Psalm 117
    Praise the LORD! For great is his love towards us.
  7. Psalm 37
    Do not be envious of evildoers, for they will fade like the grass. The righteous will inherit the earth. The LORD is their stronghold.
  8. Psalm 1
    Blessed is the man who does not walk with the wicked, whose delight is in the law of the LORD. He is like a tree planted by the water.
  9. Psalm 40
    I waited patiently for the LORD. He drew me up from the pit. I delight to do your will, O God. My heart fails me, but you are my help.
  10. Psalm 84
    How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD! A day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. For the LORD is a sun and shield.

Psalm 23 at number 1 is no surprise, but Psalm 121 was actually only one retweet behind.

Most of the Top 10 contain famous and quotable verses. The main surprise is Psalm 138 at Number 3.

On to Proverbs tomorrow...

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The middle chapter

One of the most frequently quoted bits of Bible trivia is that Psalm 118 is the central chapter of the Bible. The claim is usually accompanied by various elaborations of its significance - the shortest and longest chapters are on either side, the theme is central to the message of Scripture, etc.

But it turns out it's not true!

The Bible is 1,189 chapters long, so the middle chapter is the 595th.

I'll be posting my 595th summary this coming Saturday. I counted forward and realised to my initial bewilderment that Saturday will be Psalm 117, not Psalm 118. I thought I must have unwittingly posted a chapter twice or missed a day or something. But then I did some Googling...

Apparently the Psalm 118 thing is one of those Christian folk legends that gets passed around without any fact-checking. (I've done it myself!) Psalm 117 is indeed the middle chapter.

How have I not found this out before?

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Popular Psalms

That wraps up the first book of Psalms! (I wonder why they're not numbered 1 Psalms, 2 Psalms etc.)

These have been some of my favourite summaries so far. I love posting straightforward praise of God each morning. And judging by the number of retweets, I'm not alone in that.

Psalm 23 has had 52 retweets, which puts it in the top 10 summaries overall. Psalms 1, 16, 25, 27, 31, 34, 37 and 40 have all had over 30 retweets.

I've still got three-and-a-half months to go before I get to Proverbs. So, I must say I'm relieved that it's Psalms (rather than, say, 2 Chronicles) that has 150 chapters!

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20,000 followers

When I was first planning Bible Summary, a friend said to me, "Perhaps you'll have ten- or twenty-thousand followers by the end." I can clearly remember how inconceivable either of those figures sounded.

As it turned out, I gained my first 10,000 followers in the space of five somewhat crazy days between Genesis 6 and Genesis 11.

The next 10,000 have taken a lot longer. I reached 19,500 followers a few months ago and then the numbers fell for several weeks. I'll admit to being disappointed at the thought of not reaching the milestone.

But who can tell the ways of Twitter?! The numbers started rising again, and with over two years still to go, my summary of Nehemiah 2 went out to 20,010 followers!

By way of geeky celebration, I've added the number of followers I had for each summary to the chapter pages.

Thanks for following!

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Popular chapters

I'm one third of the way through the project today!

It's only a couple of weeks since I posted my thoughts on completing my first year, so I don't feel the need to do much navel-gazing.

But I've recently added the number of retweets for each summary to my database, so here's the most popular chapter from each of the books I've completed:

A couple of observations...

If I posted the top 20 chapters overall it would be pretty much all Genesis, which undoubtedly reflects the amount of coverage the project had at that time as much as it does the popularity of Genesis.

I guess the book of Ruth is lowest because it's so short. But that does still seem a bit surprising.

People like:

  • Stories that they already know (see Exodus, 1 Samuel)
  • Chapters with naughty words or macabre themes (see Leviticus, Judges)
  • Chapters addressed to 'you' (see Deuteronomy, Joshua)
  • Psalms to the LORD (see 2 Samuel)

You can now see the number of retweets for any summary by going to the page for that chapter. The retweet count is underneath the summary.

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