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Europe - UK/Ireland - Christianity - General

New page-turner Bible is launched
("BBC News," September 21, 2005)

London, England - A new version of the Bible which its author says can be read in less than two hours has been launched.

The 100-Minute Bible, written as a page-turner for those who do not have the time to read the full version, was unveiled at Canterbury Cathedral.

Its author, ex-headteacher the Rev Michael Hinton said: "We have majored on Jesus, because he is the central figure in the Bible."

Bishop of Jarrow, the Rt Rev John Pritchard was a consultant on the book.

"I don't think most people know the Bible very well," he said.

"This is an attempt to say, 'Look, there's a great story here - let's get into it and let's not get put off by the things that are going to be the sub-plot. Let's give you the big plot'."

More than 11,000 copies of the 100-Minute Bible, which is roughly the size of a notebook, have been printed, for distribution to churches and schools.

It took Mr Hinton more than two years to cut down the 66 books of the Bible into a version that could be read in 1hr 40min.

He said readers would find all the familiar Bible stories.

"We majored on the ones that have entered the common consciousness, like Noah's Ark, Jonah and so on."

The publishers of the book say that, just like the original, the 100-minute version should be a bestseller.

Len Budd, proprietor of the 100-Minute Press, said: "This is a book for adults and has been written in a style to encourage readers to keep turning the pages, but without resorting to any literary gimmicks."