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 CNS Story:

SYNOD-BIBLESTYLE Oct-21-2008 (300 words) xxxi

Bible guide for journalists is also popular resource for others

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- While the 253 members of the world Synod of Bishops were discussing practical, pastoral ways to improve Catholics' use of the Bible, members of the Bible Society of England and Wales were trying to help journalists do the same.

The British Bible Society, an affiliate of the United Bible Societies, has published The Bible Style Guide, a 74-page book of quick Bible facts, definitions of biblical terms and explanations of how different Christians approach the Scriptures.

Claire Smith, the society's director of communications, said the free, downloadable version of the book -- available at www.biblesociety.org.uk/biblestyleguide.pdf -- is the most popular page on the society's Web site.

The book also is proving popular among high school student studying for state exams in religion, she told Catholic News Service.

The style guide includes brief explanations of different approaches to interpreting the Bible, the different literary genres present in the book, denominational differences and questions regarding translations and the accuracy of modern Bibles.

Smith said helping reporters speak or write accurately about the Bible is part of the society's Bible advocacy project.

While the British group works on printing and distributing Bibles and Bible study guides like other members of the United Bible Societies, its advocacy project is an attempt to let people know that the Bible is relevant to their lives, she said.

"To bring the Bible back into the mainstream," the society decided to focus resources and personnel on improving contacts and providing materials in the areas of education, the media, politics and the arts -- four areas identified as culture-changing agents, Smith said.

In addition to the style guide, which reflects the society's cross-denominational makeup, the group also publishes a blog -- www.bitemybible.com -- that tracks, often lightheartedly, the use of the Bible and Bible stories in the British media.


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