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What the Press is saying about THE LIGHT SPEED BIBLE

Media coverage of The Light Speed Bible has included almost a third of the top 100 daily newspapers in the United States, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Atlanta Journal-Constitution (twice). Other notable media hits include Charisma & Christian Life, Christianity Today, Voice of America Radio and a NewsProNet TV story that resulted in coverage in several of the top 50 TV markets, including Denver, Chicago and Philadelphia.

Here’s a sampling from three of the articles:


Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Cox News Service:
Gospel truth is, reading Bible just got speedier
Phil Kloer - Staff -
Sunday, October 9, 2005

In the beginning was the word. And the word multiplied until there were 738,137 of them in the King James Bible, more even than "War and Peace."

But it came to pass that in a culture where people drum their fingers on the counter waiting impatiently for their Pop-Tarts to pop, hardly anyone has time to read the whole Bible all the way through, although many people say they have.

Now, however, even the most time-challenged and shortest-attention-spanned can read the Bible, and faster than ever, thanks to "Light Speed Bible," a speed-reading approach that promises you can read the Bible in 24 hours, and "The 100-Minute Bible," a severely abridged version that you can read in less time than some Atlanta commutes.

Begone, begats! Soon you'll be zippin' through Zechariah and revvin' through Revelation.

"A Gallup Poll asked the question 'Have you read the entire Bible?' and 25 percent said they had," says William Proctor, editor of "Light Speed Bible." "But I always thought that was a little high. So when I get in a group, I'll start asking about specific books, and even in a group of Bible salesmen, if you ask how many have read the book of Obadiah, you get about two hands raised out of 70."
Proctor figured more people --- even Bible salesmen --- would read the whole Bible if they thought they could do it in 24 hours (it takes a normal reader about 70 hours). He applied some basic techniques of speed-reading to the introduction. Then, he took the Holman Christian Standard Bible, a modern translation, and underlined special verses to pay attention to.

He also inserted subheads into the text.

One of his favorites, he says, is in Genesis: "The Serpent Strikes." Among the many jobs on Proctor's resume, he's a former rewrite man at the New York Daily News.

Proctor's Bible is unabridged. But just as he was promoting it, the Rev. Michael Hinton, a retired Anglican priest, brought forth "The 100-Minute Bible" in England. (It won't make it to America till next spring, says the publisher, which seems like a long time to wait for a timesaving Bible.)
Hinton has simply cut the Bible way down to more of a summary, with about half the space given to the four Gospels. Len Budd, publisher of the 100-Minute Press, says his tiny company was unprepared for all the attention the book's announcement received.

It's only a matter of time till it all gets boiled down to a bumper sticker: If U Can Rd Ths, Prs the Lrd!

There is, however, no report of a Quickie Quran in the works.


Hartford Courant:
Bible At Light Speed

For Those On The Go, A Super-Fast Way To Read The Holy Book

The Hartford Courant

November 10 2005

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And then, stuff happened.

The jokes started as soon as word got around that a new version of the Christians' Holy Bible was written to be read in its entirety in 24 hours.

What, God created the world in two days and then rested?

Did it start: In th bgning, Gd crted?

"A lot of people think this is irreverent, or not appropriate," said William Proctor, editor of the newly released "The HCSB Light Speed Bible." "John Wesley said the Bible should be read slowly. But people can speed it up and use this as an adjunct to in-depth study."

Proctor's project, written in modern-day English, joins other niche-market sacred texts, including "The 100-Minute Bible," "The Bible in 90 Days" and a new version not wedded to helping its readers complete the text within any time frame, "The Outdoor Bible," which is a waterproof, tear-resistant New American Standard version - perfect, according to the press kit, for the "skier, snow-boarder, hunter, mountain climber, military serviceperson, or outdoor enthusiast."

The various forms of the sacred text are answering a need, said Proctor.

"I've heard all the time that the unchurched are casting about for values," said Proctor. "No, they're casting about for spiritual authority. That's a better thing than values. They tend to look into themselves, and they know it's not there. I think that the Bible is just the natural thing to gravitate toward."

Although he hasn't seen the light-speed Bible, Efrain Agosto, Hartford Seminary New Testament professor and director of the Programa de Ministerios Hispanos, said any program that encourages people to open their Bibles is a good thing - with a caveat.

"I always worry about people looking for individualized ways to read the Bible without reading it in community, so they can understand it better as a group rather than try to figure things out on their own," said Agosto. "Anything that gets people into reading scripture is helpful. However, having said that, you can't go it alone."

Pastor Joseph DiLeo of Crystal Lake Community United Methodist Church leads Bible study for about 12 people at his Ellington church. Members of the flock often tell him their reasons for not studying more.

"Most people crack the Bible open, but I think some of the language is difficult to understand. That's the importance of Bible study," DiLeo said.

"People are overwhelmed by the demands and responsibilities of life," said Pastor Ronald J. Hardy of Faith Baptist Church in Southington. "That's a battle. Reading is a battle. I'm not trying to make it out like in our church everybody has their Bible there every Sunday. You can see the thread-worn ones."

Proctor's version is meant for the would-be Biblical scholar on the go, someone who, he said, has probably vowed umpteen times to read the most-owned (and least-read) book in America, according to the people at Gallup.

Also from Gallup: The median number of Bibles owned by an American household is four. But fewer than half of Americans can name the first book of the Bible. (It's Genesis.) They might own older versions (King James) with dense language they don't understand, or they may find the stories to be overwhelming.

Proctor is a former U.S. Marine Corps trial court lawyer, military judge and current president and CEO of Inkslingers Inc., a literary service based in Florida. "The Light Speed Bible" was born of his frustration of teaching 30 years of Bible school.

"I noticed in the studies that when I start off the way any good Bible teacher will, and I say, `We are going to do Luke next week, and I'd like for you to read the whole book of Luke.' And we all come back together, and of course nobody's done it. Or very few have done it," he said.

That people didn't read their own sacred text began to nag at him. Proctor remembered getting through law school using speed-reading methods, and he began to think of how those techniques could be applied to the Bible.

The method is relatively simple and will sound familiar to anyone who has taken a speed-reading course. Using the Light Speed Bible - which is printed in double-columns like a conventional Bible - the reader is asked to go through the 66 books one by one at four different speeds. (If the Bible looks like a regular Bible, the words have more spaces between them, and the headings - agonized over and written by Proctor - are meant to be used prodigiously.)

The first speed (light) involves spending about four seconds a page - two seconds per column. The most a reader will retain after that pass-through, says Proctor, is about 10 percent of the text.

The second speed (landmark) is roughly twice that fast, with special attention paid to the headings and underlined phrases. That pace will allow a diligent reader to complete the 50-chapter book of Genesis in 10 minutes or less.

The third speed (learning) allows readers to spend a comparatively leisurely 30 or so seconds per column - which would mean reading the entire Bible - Old and New Testaments - in 24 hours or less. (The optional fourth speed - meditative - encourages more in-depth study, at a pace more familiar for most.)

For the light-speed readers, Proctor recommends the careful not skip the abundant genealogies - the "begats."

"If you skip Jesus' first genealogy in Matthew 1, you miss some key things - like there are five women there, four Old Testament women," he said. Proctor also cautions against the biggest challenge of speed-reading, the reader's tendency to regress.

"In my lectures, I tell them, `Remember Lot's wife,'" said Proctor. (Lot's wife, who goes unnamed, was turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back to watch Sodom and Gomorrah burn. Lot had been warned by angels that he and his family should flee the area, which would be destroyed, and not look back as they escaped.)

Proctor, who attends an Episcopal church in Florida, was raised as an evangelical but also attended Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist churches, among others. What he calls his "checkered" religious history has made him sensitive about issues of faith and dogma among different denominations.

"In going through the underlining and choosing the subheadings and that sort of thing, I was trying to focus on primarily factual material," Proctor said. "I think a lot of people are lacking in facts. I tried to do that all the way through, fact and not doctrine."

Copyright 2005, Hartford Courant


Kansas City Star/Knight Ridder News Service:
Methods emphasize quicker readings for better understanding of the Bible

Knight Ridder Newspapers
Posted on Wed, Nov. 02, 2005

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - William Proctor painstakingly has taken students through Bible studies, slowly, carefully, only to find that by the end of the study most have forgotten a lot of what they learned in the beginning.

Besides that, they didn't have a good grasp of the book as a whole.

Proctor has decided that slow is not the best way to go through the Bible from cover to cover; speed-reading is better. He says he has developed a method that enables anyone with at least a seventh-grade reading ability to read the entire Bible in 24 hours or less, with good comprehension.

His plan is included in the "HCSB Light Speed Bible," released this month by Broadman & Holman. Released in September were the "Bible in 90 Days," published by Zondervan, and "The 100-Minute Bible," a condensed Bible, published by the 100-Minute Press in Canterbury, England.

These new books are an attempt to encourage people to read the whole Bible from cover to cover, and they are based on the notion that the best way to do that is in a short period of time. According to studies, those who actually finish reading the Bible would accomplish something few people do in a lifetime.

Noting that the Bible is the most-owned yet least-read book in America, theology professor Mark DeVine said he hopes the new books will increase biblical literacy among lay Christians and prospective seminary students.

"Surveys say 20-25 percent (of Americans) have read through the entire Bible," said Proctor, a Harvard College and law school graduate and a best-selling author and religious scholar. "But I think that figure is high."

He said surveys haven't asked how many have read the Bible through from Genesis to Revelation. When he has asked that question, the response is less than 10 percent.

That's disturbing, he said, but equally so is the dismal state of Bible knowledge.

"Yet at the same time, there are 65 percent, according to Gallup, who say the Bible answers most or all of life's questions, and 75 percent say they want to deepen their understanding of the Scriptures."

Proctor's plan calls for reading large chunks of the Bible three times at different speeds, which he calls "speed zones." Main headings, subheadings and underlinings help to pull the eye through the texts.

"A number of studies show that the faster you go, the more you comprehend up to a certain point," he said. "This is counterintuitive because most people feel you have to read everything very slowly."

The speed zones:
The first zone is "Light Speed." The focus is on the main headings and most of the subheadings. The purpose is to get a feel for the text, general impressions, Proctor said. This should take four seconds per page or 15 pages per minute.

The second zone is "Landmark Speed." The focus is on all headings and subheadings and most underlining. The reader starts to pick up more details, reading half as fast as in the Light Speed, taking eight seconds per page or seven to eight pages per minute.

The third zone is "Learning Speed." The object is to read every word. "By this time you will have a degree of familiarity with the text," Proctor said, "so this will be at a much higher speed than average, reading at about 500-1,000 words per minute. This would be one to two pages per minute.

Using this method, the entire book of Genesis would be read in well under an hour, Proctor said.

"If you did it at the average reading speed of 200-250 words per minute, it would take around three hours," he said. "This is why you can get through the entire Bible in 16 to 25 hours, with the middle range about 20 hours."

Proctor said his method is not to take the place of in-depth Bible study.

"The idea here is to increase the readers' factual understanding of the whole Bible and to provide something to build further in-depth study." ….

Purchase the Light Speed Bible at Amazon.com

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