DON’T BEAT ME UP for doing this…for messing with the Bible.
I do it as a fun devotional, in my spare time.
I try to take the Bible’s meaning and wrap it in words that folks outside the Christian faith could easily follow. Those are the people I write my books for: Bible newcomers and folks who aren’t Christian but who are curious about the Bible and Christianity.
Here’s Genesis, chapter 1. It’s a work in progress. If you have any suggestions, I’d appreciate your advice.
GENESIS // Chapter 1, Where life got its start
Day 1, Lights
1. Life began when God created the universe—everything on earth and in the sky.
2. Earth was shapeless and empty. Darkness cloaked the deep water. God’s Spirit cruised through the darkness, above the water.
3. God said, “Lights.” Lights came on.
4. God liked the light. He gave it a place, separate from darkness.
5. God called the light’s place “Day.” He put darkness in its place, too. He called it “Night.” Nighttime passed. Morning came. The first day was over.
Day 2, Living space
6. God said, “Open up some room. Put it in a dry place, sandwiched between water on the ground and water above.”
7. Done. God made a huge room. Then he parted the water. He put some on the ground, below the room. He put the rest above the room.
8. God called the huge room “Sky.” Nighttime passed. Morning came. The second day was over.
Day 3, Gardens
9. God said, “Water under the sky, flow into one place to make room for dry ground.” Done.
10. God called the dry ground “Land.” He called the wet place “Ocean.” God liked what he saw.
11. God said, “Land, grow a garden. Grow plants that make their own seeds. Grow trees that produce fruit, which make their own seeds, too.” Done.
12. The land grew a garden. All the plants made their own seeds. Trees produced fruit that made its own seeds. So each kind of tree had its own unique seeds. God liked what he saw.
13. Nighttime passed. Morning came. The third day was over.
Day 4, Sky lights
14. God said, “Sky lights. Hang them high. They will mark time, separating day from night. They’ll mark not only the days, but the seasons and the years, too.”
15. “These sky lights will light the room below.” Done.
16. God made two bright sky lights. The biggest and brightest lit the day [sun]. The smaller one lit the night [moon]. God made the stars, too.
17. God put these lights in the sky to brighten the earth
18. and to separate light from darkness, and day from night. God liked what he saw.
19. Nighttime passed. Morning came. The fourth day was over.
Day 5, Fish and birds
20. God said, “Life, fill the waters below and the sky above. Fish and other water-loving creatures, start swimming. Birds, fly above the ground in the big room I made.”
21. God created the sea creatures. Big, monster-size ones. Little cute ones. All kinds. Everything that lives and moves in the water. He did the same for every bird that flies. God liked what he saw.
22. God showed his approval with a blessing: “Make lots of baby swimmers and fliers. Fish and all swimmers at sea, fill the water with your babies. Birds, fill the sky.”
23. Nighttime passed. Morning came. The fifth day was over.
Day 6, Animals and humans
24. God said, “Land, produce animals. All kinds. Everything that moves on ground. Tame livestock. Wild, untamable animals. “
25. God made the animals. All kinds. Mild. Wild. Everything that lives and moves along the ground. God liked what he saw.
26. God said, “Let’s make humans. They’ll resemble us. They’ll be in charge of the planet:
fish in the water, birds in the sky, animals on the ground. Sky high to ocean deep, they’ll make the call about what happens on the earth.
27. God created a man who resembled him. A woman, too. Man and woman. They both resembled God.
28. God showed his approval with a blessing: “Have lots of children. Fill this world with your children and your children’s children. Take charge of the planet. Govern the fish, the birds, and every life form around you. They are your responsibility.
29. God said, “Take a good look at all the plants that produce seeds and all the trees that fill with fruit. They are your food.
30. They are food for the animals, too. For the creatures large and small, high and low—from birds that soar to creepy, crawly critters scurrying through the dirt. If it’s a green plant, it’s animal food.” And that’s the way it was.
31. God saw what he made and liked what he saw. He liked it very much. Nighttime passed. Morning came. The sixth day was over.
Steve’s Bible Translation, copyright 2013, Stephen M. Miller
For a comparison, try Genesis 1 in the popular New Living Translation. It’s the Bible version I use most often in the books I write.