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Condensedbible.co.nzZEALAND PUBLISHING HOUSE
Private Bag 12029, Tauranga, New Zealand.
2004 ZEALAND PUBLISHING HOUSE
Portions of this Condensed Bible can be reproduced for non-profit
purposes provided acknowledgment of the source is clearly stated.
First published 2004 by Zealand Publishing House, New Zealand.
Printed in Australia.
Further copies of this Bible can be obtained by writing to:
Zealand Publishing House
Private Bag 12029,
Tauranga. New Zealand.
Or by phone, fax, email, or internet (credit card required).
Free Phone: 0800 140-141 (New Zealand only)
International: Phone/Fax 0064-7-576-5575
ISBN 0-908850-07-7 Soft cover edition.
ISBN 0-908850-08-5 Hard cover edition.
Cover: Modified painting of Jesus Christ ‘Welcome’ by Del Parson. Also
photographs from G. Eric Matson Photo Collection used with kind permission.
Illustrations of prophetic visions are by Nathan Mora.
No particular denominational or doctrinal viewpoint is intended in this
Condensed Bible. The sole aim is to convey biblical truth clearly and succinctly
while retaining the intent and style of the original inspired authors.
In the case of ambiguous or unclear passages, the overall biblical picture
and wording of similar passages have been used as a guide along with
common sense and prayer for divine guidance.
This Condensed Bible has not been published for profit. All surpluses are to
be utilised in promoting further sales, translating the work into other
languages, and maintaining a low selling price.
This book is dedicated with grateful thanks to the translators of the
Bible versions listed below which have been used as a resource.
Main resource Bibles
Revised Standard Version
New International Version (NIV)
The New American Bible (Catholic)
King James Version.
New American Standard Version
New Revised Standard Version
Jerusalem Bible (Catholic)
Supplementary resource Bibles
Good News Bible
Knox Version (Catholic)
Contemporary English Version
New King James Version
New World Translation
By Thomas Scott, 1795 (abridged).
“I believe there are many things unscriptural among us all (referring to the different
Christian denominations), things either redundant or erroneous, for human nature is
“There must therefore be differences of opinion.”
“The enemy will stir up our corrupt passions to magnify these differences into matters
of importance, and urge us to contend about them. By his influence we are readily
persuaded to think we are zealous for the Lord God and doing him service, whereas we
are merely gratifying our pride.”
“If the different sects of Christians would but consider themselves as regiments in the
same army, and stand up as it were, for the honour of their particular regiment, and
only endeavour to outdo others in promoting the spread of true Christianity, thus
fighting the common enemy, the divisions might be overruled for good.”
“But alas, too many say, ‘We saw a man driving out demons in your name and we
tried to stop him, for he is not one of us” (Matt-Mark-Luke 18:28).
“Perhaps not one fourth of mankind profess Christianity, and alas perhaps not one in
a hundred of those named Christians are really such.”
“Therefore let us enlarge our views, our desires, and our prayers beyond the limits of
a creed, according to the extensive meaning of the first words of the Lord’s Prayer.”
To the reader
This Condensed Bible is just over half the length of a traditional Bible, yet every effort
has been made to retain all the essential details, features, stories, parables,
prophecies, power, and spiritual upliftment of the full length Bible, and to do so in the
most interesting and edifying manner possible.
Long genealogies unless essential to the narrative have been omitted, along with
repeated passages and repetitious figures of speech. Descriptive passages have also
been shortened when this could be done without sacrificing detail.
In the book of Psalms only the best examples of each type of psalm have been
retained. The three gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke have been combined into one
The Condensed Bible has been compiled with the following readers in mind:
• The busy person with limited time for reading.
• The first-time Bible reader who wishes to understand the Bible quickly.
• The first-time reader who is daunted by the sheer length of the traditional Bible.
• The regular Bible reader who would like to experience reading the entire Bible cover to cover in a more readable, chronologically arranged, Genesis-like format,
with additional features such as the Lord’s words in bold, informative footnotes,
and an approx running date on each page.
• The regular Bible reader who finds much of the traditional Old Testament obscure.
• The regular Bible reader who would like to read the life of Jesus in one vivid detailed account by the combining of the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.
In trying to make this Condensed Bible as interesting and useful as possible the
following innovations have been adopted:
Books in chronological order
In the traditional Bible the Old Testament ‘prophet books’ are located separately from
the Israelite ‘history books.’ This makes it difficult to relate a prophet’s words to what is
happening historically and politically at the time.
To overcome this problem the ‘prophet books’ in this Condensed Bible have been
arranged in chronological order and the Israelite history (mostly from the books of 1 and
2 Kings and Chronicles) has been inserted into the relevant places. This allows a
prophet’s message or prophecy to be more readily understood and for the eventual
fulfilment of a prophecy to be clearly recognised.
Also in the traditional Bible, from the death of King Solomon, the histories of the
divided Israelite kingdom – Northern Israel to the north and Judah to the south are
combined in one narrative. This results in a continual see-sawing back and forth
between the two kingdoms which can be highly confusing because of the differing kings
and prophets. Therefore in this Condensed Bible the history of the short-lived kingdom
of Northern Israel has been kept separate from that of the southern kingdom of Judah.
In order to do this satisfactorily the accounts of the two great miracle-working prophets,
Elijah and Elisha traditionally found in 1 and 2 Kings have been made into two separate
books. Following biblical tradition these two additional books have been named after
the prophets whose experiences they relate.
This chronological reordering of the Old Testament has been modelled after the book
of Genesis which is strictly chronological and has always been one of the clearest,
most readable and interesting books of the Old Testament.
Sub-headings, lists of contents and comprehensive concordance
Because of the condensing and restructuring of this Condensed Bible, traditional
Bible chapter numbers and verses have necessarily been changed. To compensate for
this and to speed up the locating of passages by the reader, there are numerous sub-
headings throughout the text. In fact the Condensed Bible can be skim read using
these sub-headings alone. However they are not intended to be read in normal reading
of the text. These sub-headings are also listed (sometimes in shortened form) in the
contents section at the beginning of each book of the Bible.
There is also a comprehensive Concordance at the back of the Bible.
Commandments and Proverbs grouped by subject heading
For greater clarity, the approximately ninety commandments of God in the book of
Exodus have been grouped under subject headings such as Marriage, Sexual
Immorality, The Occult, etc.
The book of Proverbs has been treated in the same manner.
Words of God in bold
Whenever God or an angel speaks first hand, either directly or through a prophet, the
words are written in bold. And whenever a prophet or prophetess speaks their own
words, but under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the words are written in bold italics.
Running date on each page
An approximate running date is printed at the foot of each page.
Footnotes for added insight
Short footnotes are found at the bottom of most pages explaining customs and giving
additional insight or information from other parts of the Bible.
Power, dignity and readability
Great care has been taken in this Condensed Bible to retain the full spiritual power of
the best traditional Bibles, and to produce an accurate text that has power, dignity,
clarity, elegance, interest and readability. This has been done by using the world’s
finest english translations as a resource, including the dignified and poetical King
The name of God
The name/title of God, Yahweh, or as it is commonly anglicised Jehovah, is found
numerous times in the original Hebrew texts of the Old Testament. However Jewish
Rabbis of later generations, fearing to speak the name of God too frequently, began
substituting the word ‘Lord’ for Jehovah when reading the scriptures aloud in the
This custom was noted by the early translators of the Old Testament (Greek
Septuagint and later Latin Vulgate) and as a result when they made their translations
they substituted the word ‘Lord’ in place of the original ‘Jehovah’ in almost every
instance. Most modern translators in order to retain familiarity with past versions have
continued this same tradition.
Unfortunately this creates a certain remoteness of God, and a lack of colour and
personality quite out of keeping with the original texts, and occasionally a distortion of
true meaning. There is no doubt that the Lord used his name freely in the numerous
revelations and messages he gave to his prophets of old. The proper name is still
found in Jewish bibles.
Therefore in this Condensed Bible the Lord’s name/title has been reinstated in many
instances, especially when it enhances or clarifies the meaning of a passage, and more
particularly when God himself uses his name when speaking through a prophet.
The importance of daily Bible reading and prayer
Bible reading Christians throughout history have always testified to the dramatically
enhanced understanding of the Bible that comes about when a fixed time is set aside
every day for reading the Bible, and more especially when that reading is commenced
with a humble prayer to God for enlightenment from his Holy Spirit. This daily habit of a
fixed time for reading and a preliminary prayer cannot be recommended too highly.
Your comments are welcome
The publisher welcomes written comments, corrections and suggestions from readers
that may further clarify and enhance future editions of this Condensed Bible.
Please address correspondence to: Condensed Bible, Zealand Publishing House,
Private Bag 12029, Tauranga, New Zealand, or forward by email to
Milky Way, our galaxy .14
Donkeys, men riding .102
Noah's Ark, petrified hull of .18
Tower of Babel, claimed ruins of in Iraq .20
Tents, type used by Abraham .21
Tent dwellers, ‘wandering Syrians’ .115
Well, dug by Isaac .30
Bethel, where Jacob had his dream .32
Egypt, where Joseph was sold .39
Ramah, hill-top town of Samuel .161
Walls protecting fortress of Jerusalem .185 Pig, designated as unclean by Lord .81
Mule, offspring of a donkey and horse .192
Katydid, a clean insect .82
Typical Israelite house of the period .84 Grain, a tithe (one tenth) was required .88
Exterior of David's tomb in Jerusalem .202 Solomon's Temple, groundplan of .206
Viper, a highly poisonous snake .101
Millennial Temple, plan of . 373
Kerith, the brook by which Elijah lived .226
Antiiochus IV, forceful Greek ruler . 389
Titus, Roman general and emperor . 392
Ptolemy I, one of Alexander's generals 395
Interior of wealthy Middle East home .255 Artist's view of Zechariah’s visions . 405 Asherah pole, a type of totem pole .261
Persian city, typical . 413
Winged bull, symbol of Assyria .287
Male clothing typical of ancient Israel . 434 Caesar Augustus, Roman emperor . 484
Site of ancient huge city of Nineveh .313 Anathoth, birth place of Jeremiah .324
Grim reaper, imagery from Jeremiah .328
Wadi, a wet weather stream bed .329
Nebuchadnezzar, inscribed brick .333
Old ink-written scroll found in Israel .338 Ashtoreth, the Queen of Heaven .350
Child, an example of humility .510
Archway in Greek city of Thessalonica .602 Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love .610
Satan likened to snakes and scorpions.513 Appian Way, road leading into Rome .630
Lame, poor and blind people.517
A denarius, Roman silver coin.524
A lepton, the widow's coin .525
Aaron the first high priest of Israel .668 Wailing Wall (from Herod’s Temple) .526 Rome, traditional symbol of worldliness 697
Calvary where Jesus died .535Tomb with a rolling stone .536Tomb in which Jesus resurrected .537Road to village of Emmaus .537 Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives .538Jordan river where Jesus was baptised 542 Travels of Israel since leaving Horeb .100 Route Israelites took to attack Moab .237 Location of city of Nineveh in Assyria .248 Fish breakfast, shore of Lake Galilee .565
Assyria, Israel and Egypt .292
Nations prophesied against by Jeremiah 336 Borders of gathered Israel in latter days 376 St Stephen Gate in Jerusalem, .575
Alexander the Great's divided empire .394 Roof top of Simon the Tanner in Joppa.577 The multi-breasted goddess Diana .588Military barracks in Jerusalem .590
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