Throughout my Christian life I’ve heard that the Bible is a big, intimidating book that is hard to read and even harder to understand. When I first put my faith in Christ I remember picking up my Bible and starting to read in Genesis, getting bogged down in parts of Exodus, struggling to get through Leviticus, and then completely giving up in the beginning of Numbers. I just couldn’t handle all the names of people and places I didn’t care about and descriptions of buildings that no longer stood.
I decided to start over in the New Testament and read through Matthew, but then started getting confused why some of the material was repeated in Mark and Luke before getting bored and giving up again. I thought I was pretty literate, but language used in the Bible never flowed like the words of the novels I devoured. Occasionally, I would pick it up and try again, and eventually I made it all the way through, but it was always a grind.
The idea for this project started roughly 20 years ago in a living room bible study discussing Jesus’ birth and the events leading up to it. I knew about the four gospels and how they differed from each other, but I wondered why we had to flip pages to read the whole story. Over the coming weeks and months I kept turning this idea over in my head and I realized that this was true about many events in Jesus’ life. There were also many times that I wanted to find a specific event or teaching and didn’t know which book to look in.
So, I started messing around with harmonizing some of the texts and coming up with a unified account. Eventually, a friend pushed me to try putting together the entirety of the four gospels. I knew that each gospel presented Jesus to different people groups, but those were people nearly 2,000 years ago and I thought it might be more useful for modern Christians to be able to read a single account. Before long, I had a book that I had pieced together and printed at my local Kinko’s back before the merger with FedEx.
I let it sit for quite some time as a project that might have been until my children were born. Then I pulled it back out and started tweaking again, hoping to give them something they could read in between a children’s Bible and a full-version. It didn’t take me long to realize that I had a lot of work to do to fix all the problems I had with my initial drafts.
As I waded back into writing, I had the crazy idea of tackling the rest of the Bible as well. Why not make the whole thing more accessible to the modern reader? Sure, why not try to climb that big scary mountain? It became something of a challenge and I found that the deeper I dove in, the closer I was walking with Jesus.
At one point, a friend asked what I was going to do with this project and challenged me to think about publishing it. That seemed like crazy talk, but as I made it further into Scripture, I started playing with the idea and thinking it might actually happen. This is the fulfillment of years of dreaming and labour!
The RCP Bible represents the completed project and includes all five volumes. It is a reorganization and paraphrase of all 66 books of the Bible. It is available on Amazon as both a paperback and an ebook. Click here.
The RCP New Testament is a combination of the Life of Jesus and the Spread of the Church. It is available on Amazon as both a paperback and an ebook. Click here.
The first volume of the RCP Bible is a paraphrase and reorganization of the first five books of the Old Testament. It is available on Amazon as both a paperback and an ebook. Click here.
The Promised Land is a harmonization and paraphrase of the historical books of the Old Testament. It is available on Amazon as both a paperback and an ebook. Click here.
The Poets and Prophets is a reorganization and paraphrase of the prophetic and wisdom literature of the Old Testament. It is available on Amazon as both a paperback and an ebook. Click here.
The fourth volume of the RCP Bible is the first to be available, and it is a harmonization of the four gospels in chronological order. Both paperback and ebook are available on Amazon. Click here
This fifth volume of the RCP Bible is now available! It is a reorganization and paraphrase of the rest of the New Testament. It is available on Amazon as both an ebook and paperback. Click here