Bible Translation

Exploitative Bibles?

The latest in the seemingly never ending stream of niche Bibles is the Pink-Ribbon Bible for sufferers from breast cancer. Top bookshop blogger, Phil Groom has this to say about it:

I’ve blogged this topic before. No, not breast cancer: Bibles. Blue Bibles, pink Bibles, rainbow hued Bibles, Bibles for banana lovers, Bibles for cat lovers and mouse haters and Bibles printed on recycled paper for those who value the environment more than high quality print. No doubt there are even Bibles especially designed for balancing on your nose at fancy dress parties so that when the bouncers ask what you’ve come as you can say, “God knows.” Don’t worry, it’s late at night and my mind is running wild…

Seriously, do we need this? When does use of the Bible become abuse of the Bible as publishers set out to exploit every human weakness simply to sell another Bible? Or is this a genuine attempt by HarperCollins to meet a sector of the community where they are? Not a commercial decision, then, but one born out an honest desire to reach people with the words of eternal life? Except I look at the cover of that Bible and see those immortal words, Limited Edition: no, this isn’t about making the Bible available, it’s about making the most from a sales pitch targeted towards a particularly vulnerable group of people.

To my jaded eyes, this new version seems like a trivialisation of both the Bible and breast cancer; both of which deserve more serious attention.

I won’t make my usual pitch about the lack of any translation into thousands of languages around the world as Phil does this more eloquently than I in his full post. Don’t miss out on the comments by the way!

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