As you’ve probably realized by now, the chapter divisions in OMGWTFBIBLE do not match the divisions in any other bible. That’s because I made mine up! Up to this point, I’ve been preparing what seems like a decent chunk of text for each monthly episode and calling it a “chapter.” Episodes 1 through 8 of this podcast are also chapters 1 through 8 of OMGWTFBIBLE. Considering the chapter divisions in every other version are totally arbitrary and only about 1000 years old, I don’t see any problem with this. Some of the original chapter breaks are pretty jarring!
Since the OMGWTFBIBLE chapters are informed almost entirely by what I think will fit in an episode, they’re doing a serious disservice to the narrative. Different events are thrown together in one chapter just because of the time constraints of my broadcast. This is especially silly when the reading is finished quicker than I expected and my guest and I are left wondering what to do with all that extra time!
To make matters worse, early on I announced I’d bring the entire text each month and read until we ran out of time. That never happened. Mostly due to my fear that without some sort of pre-determined structure, the new chapters, based solely on time, would do even more damage to the narrative.
I think I’ve found a solution. Starting with Episode 9 (and I talk about this for a bit in the recording), I’ve broken the text up into new chapters, guided by narrative concerns alone. If something seems like an individual thought, it gets its own chapter. Any anecdote, no matter how long or short, will be a single chapter. Each month, I’ll bring a big stack of chapters–more than any guest could possible read. We’ll get through as many as we get through. With 5 minutes left in the reading segment of the show, we’ll begin to decide whether or not to begin a new chapter. That, and the speed we read at, will be the only things determining how much is read each month.
This means I will no longer plan what each guest will read. It also means I now have no idea how many episodes it will take to get through Genesis. In the old model, it would probably have taken 24 episodes. Now it will take a lot less.