It has been over 100 years since the Bible last had a cover-to-cover formatting change, yet reading habits have drastically changed. Lists, maps, graphics, and descriptions are now an essential part of how we consume information. Now, readers can experience scripture in a fresh, more understandable way with The Readable Bible, published by Iron Stream Media.

In 2008, project creator Rod Laughlin was in an airport bookstore. He had a Bible in his briefcase, so he wondered why he was looking for something else.  Rod is a pastor, seminary graduate, and Bible teacher, and when he started looking around the store, he realized that all of the books - especially the non-fiction and how-to titles - presented information in formats that made them easy to understand. On the flight, Laughlin felt God pressing him to consider what scripture would look like if Moses, David, and Paul were writing on a computer instead of a scroll. 

Upon arriving home, Laughlin began pouring over scriptures and identified over 2 dozen categories of information that were presented in paragraph form, instead of the ways modern readers are accustomed to receiving information.

“When God gave me this lightbulb moment, I couldn’t believe that no one had actually undertaken a translation in modern formatting,” shares Laughlin. “I believe when readers pick up The Readable Bible, they will quickly have a new understanding and appreciation of scripture, especially the Old Testament.” 

Laughlin dedicated the last 25 years to creating The Readable Bible. Key features include (but are not limited to):

*Genealogies are shown as family trees

*Census and numerical data is presented in tables

*Law code is organized in outline format similar to modern law books

*Building designs are shown as tables and manuals

*Lists and callouts make concepts jump off the page

*Cascading text simplifies long passages and poetry

*Correspondence, proclamations, and agreements are presented on parchment images.

*Maps and tables keyed to the text help visualizations.

John Herring, CEO of Iron Stream Media, shares, “I personally have been challenged by The Readable Bible. To be able to see the instructions on how to build the Ark of the Covenant, to read legal lists as if they were shown in court, and to visualize family lineage as a census and family tree has been incredibly helpful to me. I have a new understanding and new curiosity about the Bible, and I believe I’m not alone..."

Today on Connections, Rod shares why he decided to create this new version of the Bible and who he hopes will read it.