20 November 2013

The Poverty and Justice Bible: Another exercise in dishonesty

20 Nov 13 Note: Back in January of 2009, after President Obama took the oath of office (without a Bible), the Evangelical Alliance sent him a copy of "the poverty and justice bible." Now the American Bible Society is sending copies of the same edition  to all of the 535 members of Congress. So I thought I'd update my 2009 post one of the two most dishonest Bible editions (the other is "The Green Bible").

In previous posts I've mentioned the Green Bible, which highlights in green all the verses in the Bible that show God's loving concern for the environment. Of course, if they were being honest, there wouldn't be a single highlighted verse. Because the God of the Bible doesn't give a shit about the environment.

But they are not being honest, so they highlight verses like Numbers 21:6-7, where God sent snakes to bite and kill people for complaining about lack of food and water (God's 26th Killing).

I suppose this passage was highlighted because it had snakes in it (well, actually "fiery serpents"). So God must care about snakes (since he sent them to bite and kill people) or something.

A similar approach was taken by The Poverty and Justice Bible. It highlights in orange the verses that show God's attitude toward poverty and justice. In it they claim to have highlighted over 2000 verses. Among them is Joshua 7:25-26. I'll quote these verses using the translation that they use (the Contemporary English Version).
Joshua said, "Achan, you have caused us a lot of trouble. Now the Lord is paying you back with the same kind of trouble.
The people of Israel then stoned to death Achan and his family. They made a fire and burnt the bodies, together with what Achan had stolen, and all his possessions. They covered the remains with a big pile of rocks, which is still there. Then the Lord stopped being angry with Israel.
So this passage (God's 34th Killing) was highlighted in the PAJ Bible to show God's attitude towards justice -- which in this case is that anyone that steals stuff from God (after he had Israelites steal it from others after killing them all) should be stoned to death, along with his entire family.

In looking over the two (the Green and PAJ Bibles), I'm not sure which is more dishonest. If you get a chance, check them out at the library and let me know what you think. (Don't buy them, though. They're not worth it.)

The PAJ Bible, by the way, was sent to President Obama after his second oath of office by the Evangelical Alliance (the wording of his first oath was botched and had to be repeated). Since he didn't have a Bible for his second oath, they wanted to make sure he'd always have one around, one "that focuses on these issues that are so close to his, and God’s, heart.”

So now, thanks to the Evangelical Society, the American Bible Society, and the PAJ Bible, President Obama and Congress will know just what to do with someone that steals genocidal holy war booty from God: have everyone in the country stone him and his family to death and then burn them all for God. That way God won't be angry at us anymore.

(Maybe I should send the president and each member of Congress a copy of the Skeptic's Annotated Bible. But then, I know what they'd do with it -- the same thing they'll do with the Poverty and Justice Bible (throw it away).


Matthew Blanchette said...

Shit, that's ridiculous. That verse was cited as part of justice? Sounds more like a parody from The Chaser's War on Everything... but, then, I'm not one to believe the worst in people, so...

TWF said...

I wonder if they highlighted all of the verses which suggest that wealth and health are a gift from God for obedience, much like the various prosperity preachers?

I'm guessing not, because that would imply poverty was a punishment from God for not obeying Him. I'm sure THAT is not the intent of this Bible version. ;-)

Cristiano SamZZ said...

Steve, that's why you should publish you own version of the Bible, the only one true intelectually honest, the SAB. That way we could counter these ridiculous versions.

Steve Wells said...


I'm working on it. I hope to have an SAB book available in the next year or so.

Unknown said...

God's heart cries when he sees poverty and injustice. It is a Christian's responsible to bring an end to poverty and ensure that there is justice for the oppressed.

Jonny Vincent said...

Andrew, I'm not a fancy theologian (I'm not even into sex with children) but it seems to me there are no Christians.

According to Christ, "Likewise, whosoever he be of you that hath not forsaken all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:33)

So according to Christ, you're an impostor. Gasp! Will this make your interest in children wrong?

It looks that way, Andrew. It sure does look that way.

Zarathustra said...

There are only two could use for the Bible.... Door stop, or toilet paper!

Stephen said...

Thus Spake Zarathustra:
It doesn't make very good toilet paper, and using it as rolling paper might be toxic.
But surely you wouldn't use the Skeptic's Annotated Bible in such a way... it's much more valuable as a means of de-converting christians! ;-)
Steve Weeks