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The Bible meets Twitter in new book, 'The Twible'

Published: Monday, Aug. 31 2015 8:18 p.m. MDT

Author Jana Riess released her new book that takes every chapter and word of the Bible and writes it in the form of a tweet, or 140 characters or less. (Shutterstock) Author Jana Riess released her new book that takes every chapter and word of the Bible and writes it in the form of a tweet, or 140 characters or less. (Shutterstock)

Social media and religion just bridged another gap between them.

Author Jana Reiss recently released her self-published book, “The Twible: All the Chapters of the Bible in 140 Characters or Less…Now with 68% More Humor!,” which features a compilation of tweets originally written by Reiss over the past four years that retell every chapter of the Bible.

“Her tweets mix theology with pop-culture inside jokes on sources as varied asPride and Prejudice,’ ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and digital acronyms such as LYAS (love you as a sister). To save on precious character count, God is simply ‘G,’” reported the Religion News Service.

Because of this, Reiss, a Mormon, transformed the Ten Commandments passage into: “G’s Top Ten List: No gods, idols, or blasphemy. Keep the Sabbath holy & love Mom. Don’t kill, cheat, steal, lie or look @ Xmas catalogs,” according to RNS.

The Twible includes cartoons and synopses of different verses, according to RNS. Reiss told RNS that the Bible is about generosity and justice.

“I don’t see the Bible as some do, as a free market treatise on capitalism. It is very much about the idea that the government (not only the individual) is supposed to be righteous and caring for everyone,” Riess told RNS, which also publishes her blog "Flunking Sainthood."

Over at The Washington Times, writer Mark Kellner, who read the Twible’s manuscript before it was published, said Reiss’ mastery comes in her understanding of Twitter, “something that isn’t always easy,” Kellner wrote. She said, according to Kellner, that people who have read the original Bible text found the Twible as a “transformative experience.”

Not all response has been positive. Wayne Grudem, a professor at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona, said to the RNS the “few brief segments of (’The Twible’) I looked at, while somewhat amusing, seemed to me at times to be disrespectful to the original content, even to the point of being irreverent. I cannot treat the Bible that way.”

Peter Enns at Patheos offered a positive review of the book. He said by limiting the verses to 140 characters, it allows for complete understanding of the text.

“Summarizing each chapter in the Bible in a tweet, in what amounts to 20-25 words each, forces one to ‘own’ each chapter and get to the overarching point,” wrote Enns.

Experts say social media is an extension of religious practice, and is bringing new believers.

Pope Francis was also recently announced as the most talked about person on the Internet, mostly because of his social media efforts.

Email: hscribner@deseretnews.com Twitter: @hscribner

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company