All posts for the topic: Super-Abridged Bible

Super-Abridged Bible: Jeremiah

Est Reading Time: 12 min Prophecies against Judah/Jerusalem (Chapters 1-18) [YHWH to Jeremiah]: “I selected you as my prophet even before your conception.” [Jeremiah]: ” I’m only a boy.” [YHWH]: “Don’t fear, just speak my message. You will herald both destruction and restoration. You must warn Judah about its upcoming disasters, especially the invasion from the north [ie. the Babylonian exile].” [YHWH to Judah]: “During the Exodus you were devoted to me; what’s wrong with me that your fathers abandoned me [to idols]? Has any other nation swapped its gods for a useless thing? I planted you with noble vines; you’ve become an alien vine! […]

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Super-Abridged Bible: Ecclesiastes

Est Reading Time: 4 min I’ve made this summary a bit more detailed since it contains a lot of ideas not expressed in other books of the Bible, the following should express every major idea in the text. [The words of Kohelet: the text says this is King Solomon.] All is vanity! Generations come and go but the world remains the same. Everything that happens has already happened before and will happen again; nothing’s new under the sun. People who consider something as new they have forgotten history. I was king of Jerusalem and grew richer and wiser than any Israelite king before me. In […]

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Super-Abridged Bible: Esther

Est Reading Time: 3 min Ahashverosh (king of Persia) gives a 180 day banquet to his nobles, with Vashti (his wife)giving a parallel women’s banquet. Ahashverosh orders Vashti to come so he can show her off, she refuses. His advisors say that because of her wives around Persia will feel justified in disobeying their husbands with impunity. He banishes her and declares a search for a new wife. Mordechai the Jew lives with Esther (his foster-daughter). Esther is taken to the palace because of her beauty, keeping her Jewishness secret as Mordechai instructs. After the 12 month perfume-bathing period, she’s taken to see Ahashverosh. He […]

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Super-Abridged Bible: Lamentations

Est Reading Time: 2 min Traditionally attributed to the prophet Jeremiah, this book laments the destruction of Jerusalem and the First Temple as well as the Babylonian exile (see 2Kings). Jerusalem, once great among nations, is like a widow. She weeps but no-one comforts, all her friends having abandoned her. Judah has gone into exile, enemies overtaking her. Roads are empty of pilgrims. Her glory is gone, she is despised. She has sinned and now the enemy jeers. The Temple is invaded by the very foreigners YHWH has barred from it, its vessels sold for food. YHWH is in the right, for Judah disobeyed him […]

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Super-Abridged Bible: Ruth

Est Reading Time: 2 min In the days of the judges [see Judges], there’s a famine. Elimelech and Naomi and their two sons move to Moab. Elimelech dies. The sons marry Moabite women (Orpah and Ruth) and die. Naomi hears the famine in Israel is over now and wants to move back. Orpah and Ruth want to come. Naomi insists they remain in their native land and wishes them well, telling them not to destroy their opportunity to marry again by coming with her — especially since YHWH has turned against her. This convinces Orpah but Ruth says she will not leave Naomi, that Naomi’s […]

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Super-Abridged Bible: Song of Songs

Est Reading Time: 3 min The text does not indicate who is speaking so my labels are based on one particular translation and are bound to be wrong at times, especially in attributing to the man and woman what’s really meant to be spoken by third parties. The main thing to know about this book is that mainstream Judaism and Christianity have spent millenia desperately denying its secular and sexual nature so for both it’s often seen as an allegory. In Judaism the woman is Israel and the man is God, in Christianity the woman is the Church and the man is Jesus. Since it’s […]

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Super-Abridged Bible: Isaiah

Est Reading Time: 13 min [Introductory note: The book of Isaiah is an appalling mess. I’ve done my best to avoid repetition and to insert labels as to who’s speaking to whom. I have also changed between 1st, 2nd and 3rd person for ease of skimming so it’s often different in the original. But this is just my interpretation, sometimes informed by translations, sometimes for other reasons. Often it’s not clear so much of it will be wrong. Still, the aim is to give the gist and boy will you get it!] Prophecies about Judah, Jerusalem (Chapters 1-13) [YHWH speaks to Judah through Isaiah, who […]

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Super-Abridged Bible: The 12 Minor Prophets (Part 2)

Est Reading Time: 8 min Nahum (Chapters 1-3) Nahum’s pronouncement against the [Assyrian capital] Nineveh: “YHWH is slow to anger but eventually becomes vengeful. He’s very powerful, being able to dry the sea and make mountains quake. Who can resist him? Why would you plot against him seing that you can never oppose him twice? Those among you who resisted YHWH have actually left you. Now YHWH, will afflict you no more [unclear, contradicted by what follows] and sweep away your name and your temples and gods.” “A herald will announce to Judah that never again will scoundrels invade their land. Brace yourselves, nations! YHWH […]

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Super-Abridged Bible: The 12 Minor Prophets (Part 1)

Est Reading Time: 10 min I’m going out of order a little but it was easier to expand my project to actual prophets with shorter books. In the Jewish Bible, these 12 prophets are called the “minor” prophets, because they form short books, and all 12 are treated as one full-length book. Here it is then. NOTE: with the prophets it becomes problematic to summarise what they are talking about — do I talk about the literal imagery or what it means (where there is a convergence of opinion)? Because this project is mainly about what’s in the actual Bible, when in doubt I’m going […]

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Super-Abridged Bible: 2 Kings

Est Reading Time: 9 min This will be the last book I do for at least a few weeks so back to regular posts after this… Chapters 1-13: The life of Elisha the prophet King Ahaziah falls off the roof and sends messengers to ask the god Baal-zebub if he’ll recover. YHWH tells Elijah that Ahaziah will die for spurning YHWH. Ahaziah sends an army against Elijah. Elijah asks YHWH to smite them with a fire from heaven. This happens to another army, the third one begs to be spared. Ahaziah dies. YHWH plans to take Elijah up to heaven but Elisha does’t wish to […]

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