THE TITLE IS THE STORY. I’m deep into my paraphrase of the Bible. The New Testament is written.
This morning I did the math for my agent. He wanted to know how far I had gotten into the marathon mission of paraphrasing, mapping, and footnoting the entire Casual English Bible, from Genesis and the beginning of time to Revelation and the rest of forever.
Those numbers surprised me. I didn’t realize I had come this far. I’m halfway through the Old Testament, based on the word count.
1.3 million words
I’ve written 1.3 million words in this paraphrase of the Bible. And I’ve created close to 600 Bible maps on a hopeful mission toward almost 2 million words and 1,000 maps.
I don’t know how many books I’ve written before and throughout this project. I don’t keep track because I don’t care about notches on my mouse. I finish one book and then move on to the next, usually without a pause. I don’t take time to smell the books. It’s just not the way I work.
So, I have a lot of words hanging around out there somewhere.
I’m healthy as all get out, far as I know. But I do think about what I’ll be leaving behind.
And here’s what I think. When I leave this world, I suspect I’ll be remembered best for something most of my readers don’t know I do.
I take pictures of my family.
Only 1.3 million words
So, I’m keeping 1.3 million words and my uncounted books in perspective.
After all, who remembers who translated the New International Version of the Bible back in the early 1970s or even The Message a decade later?
Will anyone remember that I paraphrased the Casual English Bible, or that I wrote The Complete Guide to the Bible or co-authored The Bible: A History?
My kids were born in the 1980s, and as young adults they didn’t know who actor John Wayne was, though he died only about 10 years before they were born.
Within a fraction of a generation, memory of even the most famous people of all can dissipate and disappear.
“My life has faded to nothing
Like smoke in the air” (Psalms 68:2, Casual English Bible).
Someone will remember Grandpa.
And maybe, just maybe, if someone who has never read the Bible before is able to find encouragement in the work I’m doing now, maybe for a time—perhaps the tiniest fraction of a generation—someone else will remember me, too.
Yet I don’t count on it. And I don’t do any of this work for the sake of being remembered.
I write for the same reason I take pictures of my grandkids.
I love the people. I love the work.
That’s no credit to me. I didn’t create that love I feel.
Someone else did.
Then they somehow stuffed it into this elegant bag of bones and blood and butter, which makes everything a little better.
That’s what I believe, in part because that’s what I experience.
So, as my first granddaughter used to command a couple years ago, “Say, ‘Cheesy cheese.'”
Take the picture. Write the word.
It’s that simple, after all.
The rest is not our business.
Casual English Bible
Steve’s Bible-background YouTube Channel
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Thanks for sharing Steve. Now can you put it in your own words…