When we reach for a Bible today, there are so many versions to choose from—King James, New Revised Standard, New International Bible, The Message. There’s even something called The Illuminated Bible—a “300-page glossy magazine” that “contains the whole text of the New Testament in a popular translation.”
Not what you’re looking for? Then try the Manga Bible—a graphic novel depiction of scripture, or the Brick Testament which tells the stories using Lego bricks. Looking for something even more specific? How about the Jesus Loves Porn Stars Bible?
Following this trend of putting the Bible into new forms—along comes the gay Bible:
Film-maker Max Mitchell has announced plans to publish a pro gay translation of The Bible to be called ‘The Princess Diana Bible’.
Revision Studios in New Mexico, USA will fund the new translation of the Bible, in which God says it is better to be gay than straight.
Mitchell also hopes to adapt the book for a two-part mini-series, ‘The Gay Old Testament’ and ‘The Gay New Testament’.
“There are many different versions of the Bible, I don’t see why we can’t have one,” said Mitchell.
Aside from a little problem figuring out the “begats”—there are plenty of reasons why this is a bad idea. But first, let’s consider the upside—the frothing that comes from those opposed the very existence of gays and lesbians:
The whole idea of “The Holy Bible” is that “all scripture is inspired by God and profitable…” This book is inspired by a political agenda and one person’s desire to contort not only the text but the very context of it to suit his own perspective. That, you may say, is what commentators do—and perhaps even translators—but this guy is making himself an “author,” which makes it a book, not a Bible.
Not to point out the obvious here, but the Bible had a lot of “authors” and that’s what makes it a “Bible” since “ta biblia” literally means a collection of “books.” That collection of books was also inspired by many political agendas and the many authors’ desires to put their own spin on God and how God works in the world. Simply because it is revered by religions doesn’t make it any more “inspired” than Shakespeare, Martin Luther King Jr. speeches, or even this new Bible.
What makes it a bad idea, though, is that coming up with a “pro-gay” Bible disregards the fact that the Bible we already have is very pro-gay, despite what the anti-gay people say. There are six or so verses that arguably can be used to “condemn” gay and lesbian people but the bottom line for every verse used is that what is condemned is some form of abusive sex. There is absolutely no condemnation for loving, committed, gay and lesbian relationships within the pages of the Bible. Many have even argued that there are sympathetic portrayals of gay and lesbian relationships in the form of Jonathan and David and Ruth and Naomi. Then, of course, there’s Jesus’ booming silence on the entire subject.
The gay and lesbian community does not need a new Bible—it needs to make peace with the one we already have. There is an amazing amount of good news for gays and lesbians within its pages, despite the over-emphasized verses that supposedly condemn them.
I’ve said it a million times before and I’ll say it again—even if the Bible condemns all forms of gay and lesbian relationships—we must remember that the Bible also supports slavery, the subjugation of women, and separation of the races. We have rejected much of what the Bible speaks in favor of—all without destroying the underlying authority of the scripture and its power to testify about God’s nature.
Instead of arguing over the medium—whether it’s a slick magazine, a graphic novel, depicted in Lego bricks or paying homage to a princess, we need to get back to making sure the overarching message of the Bible is heard—God loves us all—no matter what.