Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Everything to Everyone

"Ever wished the Bible was as easy to pick up as your favorite magazine?" asks one Christian bookstore advertisement. No, I don't. If that were the case I might treat the Bible with the same indifference, or in some cases, disdain, that I treat most magazines with.

However, despite my feelings to the contrary, apparently some publisher thought it necessary to turn the Bible into a magazine. Many different magazines, in fact, known as BibleZines. Wow! It seems our creativity, especially in coming up with names for things, has reached its zenith, don't you think? There are magazines for every age group, and for the most part, each magazine has a male version and a female version. It's really unbelievable how many of these things there are, so let me show you, proceeding by age group. There's:

Magnify, the kids magazine for girls and boys!

Blossom, for pre-teen girls!

Explore, for pre-teen boys!

Refuel, for teen guys! (Anybody see the hook there?)

Revolve, for teen gals! (Looking, obviously, like a fashion magazine, because we know that all teenage girls obsess over their looks.)

Becoming, for today's woman!

Align, for modern men!

Redefine, for baby boomers!

Also, Divine Health, for hypochondriacs!

However, my personal favorite would have to be:

Real, for urban youth!

That's right. We all knew it was coming. It was inevitable, like westward expansion, or conservative backlash against the Bush administration. We all thought if we ignored it, it might not happen, but there it is: a hip-hop Bible!

John 21:17 BPV (Big Pimpin' Version)
Jesus: Yo, Simon Bar-Jonah, called Peter! You love me, son?
Peter: Dawg, You know I gotcho back!
Jesus: If you love me, feed my hos, dawg!

Something tells me what publishers are really shooting for is that folks will be in a Barnes and Noble somewhere and will come across one of the few that they might carry and pick it up thinking it's a real magazine. Then again, they might get wallet shy at the register wondering why a magazine costs $20.

Personally, I've always been a little uncomfortable with changing or redesigning the Bible for different people, you know, beyond normal translation differences and study Bibles. There are children's Bibles, teen Bibles, student Bibles, women's Bibles, men's Bibles, bad girls of the Bible Bibles, clown Bibles, senior executive quality control technician's assistant Bibles. I mean, really, it's out of hand.

We don't take The Scarlet Letter and illustrate it and dumb it down to make The Scarlet Letter Read and Learn Book for Kids do we? No, we don't. I know, I know, the Bible is God's message to man and the most important thing we can ever read. But maybe if we spent more time teaching our kids about life, we wouldn't have to buy Bibles jampacked with all sorts of life lessons and tips and tricks, would we?


On a side note, after much nagging and bugging on my part, and much kicking and screaming on his, my brother has finally started a blog. You can find it in my blogroll. It's called No Accounting For Taste, and his blogger profile is under the name Cooper McEnroy. It's a blog that will be filled, from what he tells me, with movie reviews, both old and new, and essays on film in general. It was borne out of his disappointment with the state of the movie industry, and movie-goers themselves. It is a frustration I share with him. He's a new blogger, so check him out and give him some support. He's already posted a welcome and a great review for the new movie Children of Men.


Diesel said...

Why, just the other day I was sitting on some sort of stone wall probably at a local park, with my tie slightly askew and my shoes off, holding a newspaper but not really reading it, you know, and thinking, "Why isn't there a New Testament for me? One that smells like John Travolta's closet and has little cards sticking out of it that make it hard to turn the page?"

Joel Bezaire said...

The title of that article on the Pre Teen magazine : "Why is God so Awesome?"

...because the REST of the New Testament, already enclosed therein, does not adequately answer that question.

This was the worst kitsch yet, Gregory. Hands down. I am going to be depressed all day.

Allen said...

I knew about some of these, but I had no idea there was such a wide range of them. Do we really think that the Bible is that unpalatable to every age group and cross-section of our society? So awful that we have to disguise it as a magazine: either to trick non-readers into reading it, or to deceive others around you into thinking you're not reading the Bible?
Anyhoo, did you notice that the teen guys get the O.T. and the teen girls get the N.T.? Or so it appears from the covers.

Joel Bezaire said...

That's so the teen guys can read Song of Songs.....

The Drive-by Blogger said...

Speaking of making up new names for things, is it just my heathen eyes playing tricks on me or does the cover of the BibleZine ALIGN have the word Sexcess on it?

Miss Kitty said...

Nice to know that Christian mags are playing their part in reinforcing tired old gender stereotypes! Yee-haw!

Loved this post. I've always felt uneasy about Christian-themed Bible-reinterpreting mags, but couldn't put my discomfort into words all that well.

Robin said...

Tee hee.

"Feed my hos, dawg.'