Incarnating the Word, or Scheming for More Money?

A couple weeks ago, Chris wrote a post about a couple of unique Bible versions published. Following up on what he had to say, a couple of catalogues came to me in the mail last week, and I can’t believe some of the Bibles now being sold. Here are two of my (least) favorites.

41ls4xbf2bxl__ss500_First, we have “The Espresso Bible.” Who knew that espresso drinkers required their own Bible? Not me. Even moreover, espresso drinkers apparently can only handle “small sips” of the Bible, and not the whole thing. Here’s the description from Amazon:

This little book provides a condensed and accessible version of the “Bible” for those who want it quick, simple and concentrated. Experienced author, broadcaster and “Bible” commentator David Winter presents readers with the ‘essential’ passages of the “Bible”, linking them with bits of introductory and explanatory text. This enables readers to go through the “Bible” in shortened form, while giving an understanding of the Bible’s story and the way it all fits together. This is an excellent book for anyone wanting to read the “Bible” without wading through every word. Unlike the recent “100 Minute Bible”, it uses actual “Bible” text (from the CEV translation) rather than summaries of passages.

So, The Espresso Bible apparently takes out the “non-essential” parts of Scripture. I wonder if the editors considered Revelation 22:19 an “essential verse.” (“… and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”)

519zr84m66l__ss500_1Second, we have “The Duct Tape Bible.” The description on Amazon begins, “Experience the latest rage.”

Where to begin….

First, I have a number of friends who have wrapped their Bible covers in duct tape, for the good reason of keeping their Bible’s in tact. But, I’d hardly consider this practice a “rage.” In fact, I’m pretty certain that about 100% of my friends who have done this did so to make their Bible last longer, and the thought of trend setting was probably not even on their radar.

Second, who on the planet will actually pay to have their Bible come prewrapped in duct tape??? Isn’t half the fun of this “rage” doing it yourself?

Third, (and this applies just as much to the “Espresso Bible,” what is the point of packaging the Bible with these kinds of marketing labels? I can see some value in putting target-specific covers on Bibles to make them more attractive and subsequently read by the owners. (i.e. The “Peacemakers’ Bible” designed for police officers.) But what is the target audience of the Duct Tape Bible? If the Amazon description is any indication, it’s targeted for those who are familiar with the “rage” of wrapping Bible’s in Duct Tape. And these people are individuals who are almost certainly Christians who already own a Bible. The Duct Tape Bible is nothing more than a marketing scheme.

Lord have mercy.