Zondervan Publishes Partisan Bibles For The Politically Biased Believer
Zondervan Publishers has released two new Bibles this week. They call it "The Partisan Series." One Bible is edited with the Republican reader in mind. The other is edited for the Democrat reader.
Lead editors, Dennis Langley of Liberty University and Barbara Jennings of Duke Divinity School sat down and talked with us about the versions.
Langley: "Well, the whole thing came about because supporters... I mean, readers were struggling to read certain passages and still support their favorite leader, candidate, or cause. Let's face it, the Bible doesn't naturally support the Left or the Right. Because of the difficulty, many had actually stopped reading their Bibles."
Jennings: "Not only that, but when people stop reading the Bible, it becomes very difficult for them to proof-text in an online debate. So our edits not only make it easier for Liberals to be right and Conservatives to be wrong... Hahaha. Just kidding, kind of. But these versions provide quick reference points to the political issues of the day. So, a Progressive can look up 'LGBTQ' and find all of the instances where God commends homosexuality."
Langley: "And conversely, if a Republican searches the letters 'LGBTQ', they will find all of the instances where God incinerates homosexuals. The Bibles just make it easier for people to use God to support their political agenda. Leaders are already doing it. This is to bring the lay person into the game."
In regards to the process, Jennings says: "Sometimes it was just a matter of highlighting some words, phrases, or entire passages. Democrats love the 'welcome the stranger' verses. So we actually made those letters blue... not red of course... Hahahaha... so they would be easier to find. I believe Dennis left those verses in black type, but he did make red the verses that talk about stoning the stranger who worships strange gods."
Langley: "With the 10 Commandments, we didn't really change the color of the text, but added words for partisan clarity. For instance, the 'Red Bible' as we have nicknamed it says, 'Adultery is wrong, if it is committed by a Democrat.' The 'Blue Bible' says, 'Adultery is wrong if it is committed by a Republican.' So in keeping with God's original idea, adultery is still bad, but by adding the political qualifier, it makes it easier for an activist to quote the Bible without feeling like they have a double standard."
Jennings: "And quite honestly, we have omitted some of those difficult passages. The Blue Bible is more likely to be quoted by Feminists. So you won't find the passage where the chauvinistic Paul tells women to submit to their husbands. However, we did emphasize the part where the forward-thinking Paul says there is no difference between male or female in the church. While most versions try to be fair to the original language, we tried to be fair to the people who want to prop up their personal bias."
Langley: "Yes. I agree. And we are already finding that the idea resounds with our target consumers. I believe several Methodist churches have ordered a case of the Blues. A case has 24 Bibles. So that means that each church will have enough for its attendees, plus about a dozen extra in case visitors show up. Hahaha. No offense, Barbara."
Jennings: "Ha... none taken. Most of them are still reading 'The Message' anyway. Haha. And we are finding that the Reds are finding a home in Pentecostal churches. Charisma Magazine did a big spread on the introduction of the Republican Bible. They had a picture of Paula White holding one up. She called it 'anointed' I believe... and said, 'God has ordained that with the advent of the under-Messiah Donald Trump, a new and purer version of the Scriptures would arrive to help Republican believers speak truth that would not implicate him.' So we are selling tons of Bibles to that demographic. They did ask us to refer to King Cyrus as Cyrus/Trump, but we had to draw the line somewhere. As a Bible editor, I have to maintain my integrity."
Langley: "Yes... and they seem to want the 24-karat gold leaf pages option as well. I think everyone wins with this series. Now you don't have to be embarrassed or feel like a hypocrite when you are clearly misappropriating Scripture to support your political movement."
At this time each color has its own endorsements...
Democrat Bible - Shane Claiborne, Tony Campolo, Rev. Al Sharpton, Hillary Clinton
Republican Bible - Jerry Falwell, Jr., Robert Jeffress, Franklin Graham, James Dobson
Hillary Clinton - "The Democrat Bible is a great resource for those who want to hold onto a beautiful ancient poetic book, but not be bound by Christian truths. Some of the verses are gone. But as someone who famously deleted important things, I can tell you... it doesn't matter."
Donald Trump - "The Republican Bible. What can you say? It is huge. The BIble was always a good book. Right?1? A good book. Many people even called it 'The Good Book.' A lot of people don't know that about the Bible. But now... it is a great book. I've read it. Not a lot of pictures. But that's okay, right?"