Sacred Texts In The Age Of Reboots
Warning; blasphemy. If you take the bible as literal word of God, you might want to skip this.
Ah, how to start this one…Well, let me start with a disclaimer. I actually like religion. The texts and (most of) the rituals are beautiful. I have some problems with some of the people who claim to be religious, but that’s another story. Do I believe in religion? No. But I believe it was created with good intentions.
Do you know what I think is the main problem with sacred texts, and in particular the Bible, since that’s the one text I’m the most familiar with? They have become much too dated. Almost to the point they are obsolete. The way old science fiction doesn’t look very futuristic, because people in the past got the future wrong. Humans have a very bad track record predicting what society will look like 50 years from now. So I shouldn’t be surprised a text from 2000 years ago (give or take) has trouble staying relevant to today’s society. It supposed to be the church job to keep the text relevant, isn’t it? They are not doing a very good job of it. (See: dwindling church attendance and young people abandoning their faith.)
I suppose much of the lack of updating is due to this notion the Bible is the Word of God. No, it’s not. Even if you truly believe at one time God literally dictated all of the Bible to different people, what we can buy in the bookstore today is the Word of God through the longest game of Chinese Whispers in history.
And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness. — Isiah 34:7
Do you really think that’s what God said? No. That’s what came out after being copied countless times, translated a couple of times and then copied some more. You do know what happens to copies of copies of copies, right? Right.
Oh, before someone points out that I’m using the King James version, and that other versions of the bible have no unicorns, but buffaloes or wild oxen…Dude, (did you not read the warning in my title?) the very fact we can argue versions of the Bible supports my point.
Sadly, around 1440, with the invention of the printing press, the game of whispers stopped. Can you imagine what we would have had if the bible had still been hand copied by people to this day? With errors and deliberate alterations? Imagine the text of the bible going through time, picking up slang and culture along the way. Continued like that for some generations into the future. Can you just see a priest standing at the hover cross praying to God, our daddio, grooviest cat in heaven, they name be tweeted and retweeted, for ever and ever, Amen?
It’s 2017 and all of the big hits are getting reboots. Is there a bigger hit in the western world than the Bible? There’s still people for whom the Bible is the only book they ever read or will ever read. It is time to create a reboot of the Bible. Keep the spirit, the intention of the story and rewrite the rest so it makes sense to our society today.
Personally I would love to see Stephen King rewrite the Bible. Or at least the old testament. He is good with the supernatural and the eternal fight of good against evil. His writing already touches on religion regularly and it never is without respect. The Pope can be his editor, if you’re worried about legitimacy.
I’m aware that’s not likely to happen.
Why am I thinking about this when I consider myself an atheist? I don’t know. But I think about it often. Enough so I have a half rewritten version of Genesis floating around in my mind. If I should I write it down, can I claim divine inspiration?
Probably not with a straight face.