Why are you writing this?

It’s fun. I like having a place outside of my church to think things through, interact with people far away, and test new ideas through conversation.

Why do you disrespect the Bible?

I don’t. I’m deeply in love with the Bible, and believe it is one of the greatest gifts God has given us for understanding and becoming a part of what God is doing in the world. But I don’t think God wants us to treat the Bible like something to be preserved in amber, or kept at a distance by academic language and professional classes of people with special rights to interpretation. It’s meant to be used, to chew on and wrestle with and pray over and guide us.

For me, that means figuring out how the Bible intersects with my life, and with the kinds of stuff (music, TV, movies, internet) that I encounter in my everyday life. If there’s a specific comment about the Bible you found offensive or untrue, contact me and tell me why. I’ll explain what I was thinking or apologize if I was wrong. I’m a person, so I tend to mess up the usual amount, and will try to admit it and make amends when I do.

I don’t know anything about the Bible. What do I need to know to understand GIF Bible?

The Bible is a library, of different books written at different times and by different people, all inspired by God to tell the story of what God is doing with creation, and particularly with humanity. That story God is telling hasn’t stopped, but continues on in every one of us, and the Bible is a great way to figure out how you want to live your personal story.

Since it is a library, some parts of the Bible are poems, some are histories, some are arguments, letters, dreams, laws, songs, and stories. If you’ve never read any of it before and are curious, I’d recommend getting a hold of a good study Bible (like Life Application or Wesley) with footnotes that can help you figure out which type of thing you’re reading and what you might need to know to understand it. I’d also recommend getting access to a translation that makes an effort to put things in modern language, like The Message or Common English Bible and a translation that hews super close to the original Hebrew and Greek, like the New Revised Standard Version. Between one or two of these and talking with friends or strangers or Pastors, you’ll be able to figure things out! It’s a deeply rich story, so trust your instincts and don’t be surprised if it says something to you that it doesn’t necessarily say to everyone else – that’s how it tends to work.

I don’t know anything about GIFs. What do I need to know to understand GIF Bible?

GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. GIFs are short moving images that capture one repetitive moment. Over time, they have become popular on the internet as a way to communicate feelings and reactions succinctly.

This is by no means the first time GIFs have been used to tell a story (Buzzfeed, Tumblr, etc.), and not even the first time they’ve been used to understand and comment on the Bible. It’s just my way of learning the Bible better, occasionally giggling to myself, and sharing it with whatever portion of the world it might similarly amuse.

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