Thursday, July 16, 2009

::Sigh:: What's wrong with the RSV?

I was in the Christian bookstore biz for quite a number of years. I saw all manner of kookiness cross the pages of some publishers' catalogs. I saw the advent of the "Bible Magazine" from Thomas Nelson (now in its 5th edition... ::shudder:: )

But now... there's a whole new generation of bizarro-Bibles meant to reach a particular audience. Are you a hip urban teen? Try THIS.

Most recently? Are you an environmentalist and keep careful track of your carbon footprint? Now there's a Bible just for YOU! The Green Bible (H/T Justin)

How far should publishers go to promote the Word of God (leaving aside for the moment the question of whether or not their goal is to spread the Gospel or make some profit) before they turn the Word of God into a laughingstock or a sad, sick joke? If I were an urban hipster, I would get a laugh out of that Bible, and not much more. Hmm - like the laugh folks gave Episcopal church when it published its hip-hop prayer book, with it's catchy 23rd Psalm "The Lord is all that, I need for nothing." (Oh, my eyes! My eyes!)

I admit the Bible can be difficult to read. And any translation suffers from the fact that it's... well... a TRANSLATION. But rather than trying to be hip and relevant to whatever audience you're trying to reach, doesn't it make more sense simply to preach the gospel? If you do that, honestly and earnestly, there shouldn't be any need for tricks or gimmicks.

1 comment:

the Joneses said...

"You shall not pollute the land in which you live; you shall not defile the land in which you live, in which I also dwell; for I the Lord dwell among the Israelites."
Numbers 35:33-34

This is a verse quoted on the Green Bible site. Um, wasn't God probably talking about spiritual pollution? Doesn't it warp the text when you make it refer to modern physical pollution? Don't all these relevant translations give us a headache?

-- SJ