So you know that whole spiel about how we shouldn’t take the Scripture we like and leave out the stuff we don’t like, as opposed to Thomas Jefferson who… well, did just that.
Well, I agree with the spiel. I also do not believe the spiel applies to this project I’ve worked on.
You see, what I have done is take different verses from different versions of the Bible and put them together as a sort of Bible Version Collage (for you art-minded people) or a Bible Version Mashup (for you music-minded people) or a Bible Version Salad (for you food-minded people) (and I was pretty nice to include that salad part– so if none of these analogies work for you, I’m sorry. Have a nice day.)
I have taken verses from a variety of translations and paraphrases and placed them together in a way that, for the most part, they flow together well and highlight different parts of Scripture in unique ways. In certain versions, one verse is brought to light in a beautiful way (such as The Message’s John 1:14- “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood”) while other verses are just… not so elegant (such as The Message’s “His love never quits” compared to most versions, “His love never fails” [while “quits” might be more “relevant” it’s certainly less elegant]).
The language changes sometimes, from archaic to modern, from poetic to matter-of-fact. But I’ve constructed the piece to flow together fairly smoothly and hope that it reads well as one piece.
Imagine with me, as you read this, that this Scripture text (Genesis 1) is being read before a church of many cultures, countries, languages, and eras- and the readers each represent a different place or time in history. Each verse is read by a different voice, but altogether, they come together, and we come together, as one body as we enter into the text.
1:In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2:The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3:Then God said, “Let there be light!” And light began to shine.
4:And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness.
5:God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning–the first day
6:God spoke: “Sky! In the middle of the waters; separate water from water!”
7:So God made the sky, dividing the vapor above from the water below.
8:And God called the sky the Heavens. And there was an evening and a morning, making the second day.
9:God said, “I command the water under the sky to come together in one place, so there will be dry ground.” And that’s what happened. And God called the dry ground “earth,” and he called the collection of the waters “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
10:And he said, “Let the earth burst forth with every sort of grass and seed-bearing plant, and fruit trees with seeds inside the fruit, so that these seeds will produce the kinds of plants and fruits they came from.”
11:The earth produced all kinds of vegetation. God looked at what he had done, and it was good.
12:Evening came and then morning: the third day.
13:Then God said, “Let there be lights in the open space of the heavens to divide day from night. Let them tell the days and years and times of the year.
14:Let them serve as lights in the huge space of the sky to give light on the earth.” And that’s exactly what happened.
15:And God made the two great luminaries: the great luminary to rule the day, and the small luminary and the stars to rule the night.
16:God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth,
17:to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw that all these things were good.
18:And evening passed and morning came, marking the fourth day.
19:God spoke: “Swarm, Ocean, with fish and all sea life! Birds, fly through the sky over Earth!”
20:And God created great sea monsters, and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly after their kind, and every winged fowl after its kind; and God saw that it was good.
21:And God gave them his blessing, saying, Be fertile and have increase, making all the waters of the seas full, and let the birds be increased in the earth.
22:Evening gave way to morning. That was day five.
23:Then God commanded, “Let the earth produce all kinds of animal life: domestic and wild, large and small”—and it was done.
24:God made every type of wild animal, every type of domestic animal, and every type of creature that crawls on the ground. God saw that they were good.
25:And God saith, `Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness, and let them rule over fish of the sea, and over fowl of the heavens, and over cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that is creeping on the earth.
26:So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them male and female,
27:God created humanity in God’s own image, in the divine image God created them, male and female God created them.
28:God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.”
29:Then God said, “Here! Throughout the whole earth I am giving you as food every seed-bearing plant and every tree with seed-bearing fruit.
30:And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31:Then God looked over all that he had made, and it was excellent in every way. This ended the sixth day.
If you want to know the versions I took these pieces from, look below. Stay tuned for more in the future.