I’m a big believer in biblical inerrancy, the idea that all that stuff about a large bearded fellow making the universe in seven days, with the last day reserved for a nice nap (and if you know any senior citizens, that part does seem believable), is literal fact. I believe in biblical inerrancy in the same sense that the Bible is inerrant, which is to say, not at all. So I thought to myself, Hey, Self, why not rewrite the Bible to make it actually inerrant?
First off, let’s start at the beginning: does Genesis really need two completely different and mutually exclusive creation myths? Because, seriously, that does make it a little harder to believe the Bible is inerrant, in the same way it was way harder for those cops to believe in my innocence when I told them that A) I had never met that poor dead fellow and 2) he was a dirty bastard who deserved to be drowned in tapioca pudding. (He was the most delicious corpse who ever lived. If a little bumpy.) Get your story straight, God! C’mon, dude. (Yes, I do address the Almighty as “dude.” If His name is really unknowable, that might be it.
In my Bible, the creation story is a lot simpler: “Shit exploded. Shit bumped into other shit and got more complex. Fifteen billion years later, humans evolved from apes and developed bacon.” You’ve got to edit, people, and just keep the important parts. Sure, that kind of economy will keep the word-count down, but I’m hoping to throw in lots of pictures of trilobites and volcanoes and, for no particular reason at all, Mexican wrestlers.
And speaking of bacon: really, God of the Hebrews? No bacon? Are you freakin’ kidding me? In my Bible, the only foodstuffs that will be disallowed are broccoli, Brussels sprouts and tofu—because those things are not actually food. My Bible on food: “Only eat stuff that doesn’t suck, because that’s food! Bacon, just e.g.! Lobster! Shrimp!” I mean, c’mon, Yahweh: maybe back in the 1950s when you wrote your Bible and refrigeration wasn’t up to snuff, it made sense to outlaw shrimp. (I might have been off by a few thousand years on that 1950s thing—like you’re a history professor or something.) (My apologies to those of you who are history professors. For, really, so many things.) But dude, I’m pretty sure none of us are going to hell in 2012 for sucking down ama ebi. Not like 2011; that was a dark time.
Nor, for that matter, are we hell-bound for sucking down anything else. Because, speaking of eating shrimp, just seven chapters later in the Other Bible (as I believe we will now need to start calling it) we find the injunction against “man lying with man as with a woman.” Apparently, just like eating shrimp, it’s an abomination. (To be fair to the Other Bible, I have had some really fucked up shrimp.) So even in the Other Bible, homosexuality is only about as bad as a night out at Nobu, though considerably less expensive. (Depending on which clubs you go to.) I’m not sure where our modern-day Krazy Kristians got the idea that homosexuality is a SuperSin, when, really, according to the Other Bible, going to Bubba Gump’s is pretty much as abominable. (It really is.)
We don’t need to worry about it, though, because in my Bible, we’re totally going to streamline the whole moral code thing; here is my Bible’s moral code, in its entirety: “Don’t be a dick.” Well, I might put in something about how much to tip (hint: if you’re doing 15 percent, you’re kind of a cheapskate—look, it’s in the Bible!), and maybe a few pointers on using hair gel, but seriously, that’s pretty much it.
Also, and not for nothing, but my Bible will be clear on this point: if you have ever ironically or unironically expressed a fondness for Bieber, you can go straight to hell. Figuratively, of course. And literally. Don’t you look at me like that, young man. My Bible, my rules. And cut your hair. You look like Bieber.
So far I’ve just been discussing only the content issues we have to address. We very much need to talk about the stylistic issues in the Other Bible. Two hundred pages of “begats”: really, God? Shouldn’t the Author Of All Existence be a better, you know, author?
My Bible is going to cut all that filler. Once again, the new streamlined Bible: “A couple of million years ago, Lucy, a two-foot-tall Australopithecus, pretty much begat the crap out of all of us. She stood erect only about half the time and probably threw her own feces a lot, so, yeah, human race, you’ve gotten taller and have better posture, but you have mostly stopped throwing feces, which I’m going to say is a big one in the L column. Let’s call it a draw.” Also, it will point out that people who don’t believe in evolution tend to prove that we’re not all that evolved. We do have bacon, though.
I’ll try to keep (by which I mean “steal,” just like always) all the good poetry in the Other Bible, and the carnage, because as we know, gore sells. (Not Al Gore. Although An Inconvenient Truth did pretty well.) But we’re going to take out the dumb bits, like the sun standing still in the sky so Joshua could kill a few more infidels; not only is that scientifically unlikely (if you stopped the earth’s rotation, all that energy would have pretty much melted the crust, and Josh and his boys would have rolled for like a thousand miles—angular momentum’s a bitch), it’s just bad storytelling. We can toss in more description of the slaying and the carnage, after which, “’Wow,’” thought Joshua, drenched in the blood of infidels, ‘where has the time gone?’” In my Bible, we’re trying not to complicate things.
Do we need a new Bible? I don’t know about you, but writing for Huffington Post isn’t paying my bills, and I’m hoping to tap into all that sweet sweet Bible cash people are forking over. Oh! You mean, do we need it as a society? I have to in my more honest moments (I have three of them a day—book early!) admit: no. No, we don’t. But we don’t need Bieber either, and that little dick is all over the place. So buy my Bible, and think twice about Liking that YouTube video.