Berea Project

They received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. -- Acts 17:11

Berea Project is a site dedicated to going back to the Bible and examining it as the primary source for what we believe. The site contains resources and articles designed to help anyone who desires to study the Word of God. We are also creating tools to help ministers teach God's Word to others.

This site is under construction. We have been working on our layout and are about finished. We will start adding content soon. For now please enjoy the devotions that we have so far. Feel free to email me at jbatchelor@bereaproject.org if you would like to contribute your own articles, sermons or other materials. I have forms on several sections of the site asking for feedback and ideas specific to those areas of the site as well. 

Update - 7/16/14

Praise Report and Prayer Request

I wanted to start off with a praise report and a prayer request. Given that this is a site for the study of the word of God I figure that is appropriate. Thank God my wife is finally healthy. She had been battling an illness for several months and only truly recovered this June. It was a long and frustrating period but she is healthy now and I wanted to give thanks to God for that.

As for the prayer request we are still praying for wisdom and direction. For almost a year we have been praying about changing jobs and the possibility of moving out of our current residence. In February we felt God tell us to "Be still, and know that I am God"(Psalm 64:10) so we have stopped actively searching. Since then we have felt that God was preparing us for something new. I have been offered several better jobs since then but none have felt like God's will. The feeling of impending change has continued to get stronger and we have been packing. We want to be ready when God reveals His plan to us. What we need right now is prayer for wisdom and guidance to see God's will and the courage to follow it wherever it goes. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

Busy Summer

As you may have noticed I have not posted an update in a few months. This is due to the illness, packing and the summer reading/tech programs I am in charge of at the library. Currently I have 9 programs/classes a week that I am responsible for. Those programs willed this month so I will be working on Berea Project more consistently soon. I apologize for the delay.

New Projects

My next task is to create the foundational content that will make Berea Project more usable. I have several projects in mind and I think I can get the first two off the ground in the next few months.

Project 1

I am creating a database for every character and location in the Bible. Each will have a brief bio, genealogy, location information, map, and notes on any discrepancies. While the bios and other info will be very basic this will still be a huge undertaking. Links to this information will be added to all articles, sermons, and other materials posted on the site. I also want the bios to list all the materials in which they are referenced. I have not found an efficient way to do this yet.

Project 2

Adding the Bible to the site seems logical and yet it is a technical a challenge. Most people just point to sites like BibleGateway.com rather than adding a Bible to their own site. That may be smarter and certainly is easier than what I am considering since they have already done the work and have a great site. They also have licenses to publish many versions of the Bible that I do not have. So why add a Bible to Berea Project? Here are my reasons.

  1. Since it is on my site I will not have to worry about someone else changing their page and breaking all the links in our articles.
  2. I intend to create Bible Reading programs. Having the Bible on my own site will make the passages easier to reference.
  3. If people are on the page to read the Bible they are more likely to read the articles on the site.
  4. If it is on my page I can add references and linked articles to the chapters.
  5. I am going to record a free audio version of the Bible. As I finish each book I can add it to the chapters as well.

Project 3

So I pre-announced project 3 and 4. Sorry. Project 3 will be the creation of three Bible reading programs. I have used many Bible reading programs over the years but they all seem to focus on reading the exact same amount every day. Often the daily reading ends awkwardly in the middle of a story. This is especially true of the ones that stop in the middle of a Psalm. The Bible reading programs are not a priority but are in development. Here are my thoughts.

  1. The first will be straight read through from Genesis to Revelation but with a focus on complete stories. Each day will have a suggested total reading time so that the reader will know if the next story is longer than normal or shorter than normal.
  2. The second will be a chronological one with the books in order. Books that overlap, such as Kings and Chronicles, will be in sync with each other. I will also attempt to have Psalms located in their correct chronology when possible.
  3. A third will contain parts of the NT, OT, Psalms, and possibly Proverbs on each day. This one will be a little difficult since it means less time on any one day to finish a story. Most of the plans I see force all 4 categories to be read each day. My goal is to never chop a Psalm up and to keep stories as whole as possible. When a Psalm is longer I will try to place it with a shorter story. In the case of Psalm 119 I will have it on its own day. I am considering using the Psalms to balance the reading time spent on other passages. To do this I may not present the Psalms in numerical order.

Project 4

I am going to work on making a free audio version of the Bible. This was also pre-announced will not be finished before the site launches. Audiobooks take a long time to do well. I may even try and get some guest readers to assist me. I will release one book at a time. In the end I will also have a complete version of he Bible available for download.

One of the greatest inventions in my opinion is the audiobook. I own one hundred and ten of them and have read many more through our library system. I have listened to several audio versions of the Bible. The person reading Jeremiah to me currently has revealed an intensity in it that I had not seen in it before. Most of the books of the Bible were written to be read out loud. It only makes sense that we both read and listen to the Bible.

Please email me at jbatchelor@bereaproject.org if you would like to contribute your own articles, sermons or other materials. We are developing a community of quality writers and christian content creators. Content guidelines are coming but are not in a written form yet. Please stay tuned.