Jana Riess: Tweeting the Bible

CNN Belief Blog is running a short post by Boston University religion professor Steven Prothero on writer Jana Riess‘s attempt to “tweet” her way through the Bible.

Here is a taste:

Riess…has been going at it (@janariess) one chapter a day since October 4, 2009, which means she has finished the first ten biblical books—can you name them?—and is now slogging her way through 1 Kings—a few thousand years ahead of Juby (in biblical time).

In a phone call last week, she said she got the idea for her project after following my RN140 Twitter course (@sprothero), where I attempted to tweet each of the major religions in 140 characters or less. “That eliminated my big complaint about Twitter,” she told me. “I don’t care what people had for breakfast.”

Not long after that she was in a hotel room reading the Bible when she realized she had never really read it cover to cover–even when she was in seminary. Promising to tweet it would be a way to announce publicly that she intended to read it through, and then to be held accountable by what she imagined would be only a handful of followers.

Tweeting the Bible might also make the book “more understandable and user friendly instead of long and difficult and full of complexity,,.”

By the way, did I mention that Riess is the editor of a forthcoming book on religion and the American founding called Was America Founded as a Christian Nation: A Historical Introduction?