Man tweeted the Bible, one chapter at a time

bible summary twitter
Chris Juby never missed a day when he tweeted every chapter of the Bible for over three years.
Credit: Chris Juby

Chris Juby, worship director at Kings Church in Durham, U.K. and a freelance web designer, embarked on a special mission in August 2010 when he decided to tweet the Bible, one chapter at a time, every day. Juby stayed true to his word and completed his mission on Nov. 8 with Revelations 22.

Juby hasn’t missed a single day since he started summarizing each chapter of the Bible on Twitter and decided that after 1,189 chapters, @BibleSummary will no longer post any tweets. Juby spoke with Metro about what he learned about himself and his faith in the past three-and-a-half years and what’s next on the docket.

How did you come up with the idea?

I regularly read the bible anyway and I was looking for a way to focus my daily reading and take in more of what I was reading rather than to let it swim in my head. I thought writing summaries would be a good way to do that. I was a regular Twitter user anyway so I decided I’d post the summaries onto Twitter. It was really just for a few friends and family and then it went all around the world and I gained a lot of followers.

When did the account go viral?

Maybe a couple of weeks after I started, I mentioned it to my local paper and they sent out a reporter and photographer, and then it was in the national papers, and then I got a call from CNN and ABC … All the social media guys and Mashable ran stories on it and within two weeks of starting, I had over 10,000 followers.

How does it feel now that you’re not tweeting on the account anymore?

It’s a strange feeling. It’s been a significant part of my life and my family over the course of these three-and-a-half years – we’ve had two sons in that time. I’ve been delighted to follow through and finish what I set out to do. It’s a strange feeling to wake up and not have anything to summarize.

How long did it take you to summarize each chapter?

It varied, depending on how complicated the chapter was. The average was probably about half an hour. I’d read the chapter and try to figure out the main things and find sentences to express it in 140 characters or less.

What was the most inspiring fan mail you received?

I think my favorite ones were people who sent me emails or messages saying my summaries really helped them understand the meanings of the Bible. I’ve also had some people saying that in countries where they don’t have Christian literature, they’ve used my summaries as a starting point for studying scripture. Those things are actually brilliant. Once it got popular, my motivation became to get people to read the Bible for themselves.

Have you learned a lot in the process?

It’s been incredible actually. Pretty much the first thing I noticed is how much more attention to detail you pay when you have to summarize things when you know it’s going to a big audience. It really forced me to read it properly. I think having the digital read through and going through all the different and difficult, boring bits and the inspiring, popular bits gave me a bigger sense of what the story or scripture is.

What was the most surprising discovery you made?

How many people were interested in the project who were not Christians. I thought it would be mainly people who went to church, but everyone who came into contact with the project was interested in finding out what was actually in the scripture. People know the influence the Bible has had on Christians and general culture but a lot of people don’t feel confident enough to read the Bible themselves and actually know what’s in there. A lot of people were curious about following along so they could get a sense of what’s actually in there.

What was the most difficult chapter for you to tweet?

There were chapters in the Book of Romans, a famously dense book in the Bible, which I found very difficult because they are quite famous chapters and lots of people have their own ways of interpreting them. In some parts even just following the arguments was quite a challenge, so probably those ones.

Do you have a new project in the works?

I think there are a few things to follow up on. I had a few publicists get in touch with me about turning the project into a book at some time, so I’m definitely exploring this option. I’ve had conversations with the folks at Bible Gateway about rerunning the project in partnership with them in some way. There are lots of possibilities. I’ve also had lots of wacky suggestions, like summarizing “The Lord of the Rings,” but that’s probably less likely.

Do you think you’re stronger in your faith now?

Yeah, that’s definitely the case. It’s been a really eventful time, personally, these last few years – not least of all the birth of my two sons – and having that kind of discipline of reading scripture everyday and getting the sense of the story of my life, getting caught up with the big story the scripture is telling me – it’s definitely got the Bible deeper into my own life.

Follow Andrea Park: @andreapark



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.