One of the more interesting projects that I’ve had the privilege of being involved in (albeit in the tiniest of ways) at work is the website we put together for Zondervan, a Christian communications and publishing company. They just published a newly repackaged Bible, The Bible in 90 Days, and wanted an online resource for it.
Inspired by Ted Cooper, who six years ago spent 90 days reading the Bible from cover to cover and became a Christian in the process, the Bible in 90 Days project encourages others to do the same by dividing the Bible into 90 12-page sections. The website claims that most people should be able to complete each reading in roughly 45 minutes, but if you’re a slow reader like I am, it’ll probably take a little over an hour.
The website provides all of the usual marketing materials that you would expect from such a project, but the cool part of it is the community-based support elements woven into it. There are discussion forums for anyone who is doing the reading or thinking about doing so, as well as inspirational quotes and videos from people who have gone through the process already. The folks at Zondervan clearly recognize that barreling through the Bible in such a short amount of time is a formidable challenge.
But Wait, There’s More!
The site’s features get even cooler when you register (free) with a user name and password. There is a personal progress tracker that allows you to check off each day’s reading as you complete it, along with the full text of each reading so you can do it online if your eyes can withstand the punishment of that much sustained screen time. Registered users can also keep a journal of their progress, writing about their reflections on the passages and reading those of others.
Under the Hood
If you’re inclined toward the techy side of things, you might be interested to know that the site was built using Drupal, a powerful open-source content management system that was created mostly by a community of volunteers. The company I work for is fortunate enough to have a Drupal mastermind who has made significant contributions to the program itself and developed a number of plugins for it. He put much (all?) of the guts of the site together, while others provided design assistance. So, what was my tiny role? Mostly to admire it from afar, but I also lent a hand to iron out a couple kinks with the CSS layout.
karl, you are just the coolest.
Karl, “90 days” sounds daunting, but I think I’ll give it the old U. M. try.
Thanks for sharing it
Congrats on this project. You really are one of the smartest people I know. On a personal note, as a girl very tied to my Bible, I have not EVER read the entire thing cover to cover. (I am quite sure I have read every verse, but not in sequence, from Genesis to Revelation). Still, I just picked up one of those one year Bibles, which is much less daunting than the 90 day endeavor, but I’m excited about it anyway.
Congrats again on all the great work you are doing.
Peace and love from your criminal friend,
Ahhh, you mean JonBob! He’s hard to recognize from the little thumbnail pics:
Yeah, “Drupal mastermind” is a fair description. Glad to see that he’s getting the chance to use Drupal at work.
Hey all, like I said in the entry, I hardly did a thing on this project. But thanks anyway for the compliments. :)
Robert, you’re right! I didn’t expose the wizard behind the curtain because my personal policy is not to mention names of friends that I refer to in my blog entries, unless they say they don’t care. JonBob (aka Jonathan) told me this morning that he doesn’t mind, so we’re all set. By the way, congratulations on your new book! What a huge accomplishment that is.
Reading the Bible all the way through in 90 days is a huge challenge, but to me it seems more manageable than trying to do it in a year. Much easier to buckle down and stick with something for three months than for 12. Besides, I tried one of those Bible-in-a-year programs before, and I got tired of having a snippet from the OT, a snippet from the NT, and a piece of a Psalm every day. Too hard to keep it all straight.
I am actually enjoying this particular Bible’s manner of pairing the OT, NT, and Psalms with one another for each day of reading. The editors seem to have thought about the continuity issue you addressed. For example, today’s OT depiction of the flood was paired with a NT verse that referenced the flood, with the psalm refering to God calming the flood waters of David’s life (a bit of a stretch, but at least they’re trying!)