With its sometimes archaic language, and tales of long ago, the present-day person can find it hard to see just how Biblical teachings apply to his/her life.
To alleviate this problem, the best Biblical scholars are now working with some hip young writing talent to bring you…
[ THE BIBLE: POST-MODERN EDITION ]
THE STORY OF CREATION (Genesis 1:1-31)
In the beginning, the signal had yet to be broadcast. A darkness covered the scene.
Then God said, “Lights!”
God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from darkness and created three work shifts: Day, night and graveyard.
Then God said, “Camera!”
So God started “G3 Studios”, and hired all manner of creative-types. Writers and computer animators alike.
Through creative script writing and cutting-edge computer animation, his “peeps” formed water under the sky to be gathered into a single basin, so that dry land might be added digitally around that basin. God saw how good it was.
They then added vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth.
Soon, God suggested, “Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds.”
“I know I’m only the producer/director,” God said, “but you might want to take my suggestion under advisement.”
Usually, the creative-types working under God merely tolerated his suggestions – after all, THEY were the artists – but, they thought this time, that ain’t half-bad!
And so it was done.
But something seemed to be missing. So a staff meeting was held, and much brainstorming ensued. Out of that conference came MAN.
Being a bit of a narcissist, God wanted man created in his image.
Two sexes were created. Man and woman.
“For the purposes of dramatic tension,” as one writer put it.
And, thusly, God said, “Action!”
God looked at everything that had been created, and he found it award-winning.
Or, to quote God directly, “Hey… It’s all good!”
THE STORY OF ADAM & EVE (Genesis 2-4)
Adam and Eve decided to eat out one evening, and so found themselves at “Bar-B-Que Gardens”.
Eve was famished, so she ordered a big plate of ribs.
“What side dish did you want with that?” the waitress hissed.
Eve was considering the cottage cheese, but the waitress snaked her way around the table and whispered in Eve’s ear, “Try the applesauce. It’s really good. It’s home-made!”
“Why the hell not?” Eve thought, and ordered it.
Adam wasn’t particularly hungry that night, but Eve nagged and cajoled him until he, too, ordered a side of applesauce.
Now, God had warned these two kids not to eat anything with apples in it, for they were very allergic to that particular fruit.
But they went ahead and ordered it anyway.
When the meal arrived, Adam said, “Maybe we shouldn’t eat the applesauce. After all, God said we’d be ‘doomed to die’ if we ate anything with apples in it.”
“God’s an old worry-wart,” Eve replied, “I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? We break out in a rash?”
And so they heartily consumed their meal.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were in a public place wearing nothing but their underwear. They felt naked and ashamed.
When they heard the sound of the Lord God coming through the rib joint front door, they ran and hid in the restroom.
But God, being all knowing, soon found them.
“Why did you eat the forbidden side dish?” God asked.
Adam immediately blamed the woman.
The Lord God then asked Eve, “What in My name were you thinking, woman?”
Eve answered, “That waitress tricked me into it. I swear to… ahhh… you, I wanted the cottage cheese!”
God, being in a particularly foul mood that night, decided the man and woman needed to be taught a lesson.
Both were banned from the “Bar-B-Que Gardens” restaurant and, further more, were made to live out their lives in a trailer park.
Adam collected unemployment checks, while Eve got pregnant twice.
Her two sons, Cain and Abel, got along for the most part – until, one day, Cain got it into his head that God liked Abel better.
Unfortunately, Cain was an alcoholic and, in a fit of rage, killed his brother.
God was not pleased. Nobody was.
Cain spent the rest of his days in a maximum-security prison where, for the most part, he was his cellmate’s “bitch.”
NOAH AND THE ARK (Genesis 6)
God was none too pleased about how things were turning out. It was all going to hell in a hand basket, thanks to the wicked ways of men and women.
So, God fired the writer who had first suggested the “man concept” during that big staff meeting and, then, called in the remaining ones to do a major rewrite.
“I want a whole new show,” he said, “based around the character of ‘Noah.’”
Meanwhile, Noah had pretty much been minding his own business up to that point. He, and most of his family, was geneticists. Science was their life.
So, God said unto Noah, “Of all the living creatures you shall collect two DNA samples. Of all kinds of birds, of all kinds of beasts, and all of the creeping things. Of all the creatures clean and unclean.”
“Even cockroaches?” Noah asked.
“No,” God replied. “They will survive on their own. They always do.”
“Thus,” God continued, after he had been so rudely interrupted, “you will keep their issue alive over all the earth.”
“Oh,” God added, almost as an afterthought, “did I mention there’s going to be a big flood in seven days?”
Noah, and his family, quickly collected the genetic material. They purchased a large yacht and outfitted it with the latest in scientific cloning equipment.
Noah went on late-night radio, heard by a worldwide audience, and shared his dire predictions.
But people had become wicked, not to mention jaded, and so wrote Noah off as yet another “entertaining kook.”
Boy, were they surprised less than a week later!
For forty days and forty nights heavy rain poured down on the earth. It was covered live by The Weather Channel *and* CNN.
The Carnival Cruise line made a killing, as all their cruises were quickly booked. In fact, all the cruise ships made out on this one.
As many senior citizens had made reservations long before the “flood panic”, many of the survivors were over 65 years of age.
At the end of forty days, on the first day of the month, the water began to dry up on the earth. In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of that month, the earth was dry.
All the survivors disembarked from the cruise ships. All those who had had “flood insurance” immediately filed claims.
This put all the insurance companies out of business.
And this was good.
THE TOWER OF BABEL (Genesis 11)
In the beginning was the oral tradition. Then the written word appeared. For many centuries, monks made out like bandits, copying text from book to book one letter at a time.
In 1452, Gutenberg conceived of the idea for movable type. In his workshop, he brought together the technologies of paper, oil-based ink and the wine-press to print books.
Somewhere in there, blueprints came about. People were soon building vast cities with many skyscrapers.
In 1937, Chester Carlson invented a copying process based on electrostatic energy. Xerography became commercially available in 1950 by the Xerox Corporation.
Shortly before and after that breakthrough, both radio and television came into use. Not to mention the telephone.
For a while, things seemed to be going along quite nicely.
Then, in the 1980s, “Cable Television” came into its own, followed shortly thereafter by the personal computer. By the end of the 20th century, Internet access became affordable and very popular.
Soon, the world was “media saturated”. Many small, niche markets appeared. True communication began to be fractured and unruly.
The signal-to-noise ratio dropped dramatically.
And the Lord said, “Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (Exodus 20)
The Lord God spoke, saying, “I hate to tell you what to do, so let’s just call these my ’10 Suggestions’. That said, I highly suggest you follow these to the letter, or some bad stuff is going to go down.”
1. No other gods allowed. No exceptions. You play you pay.
2. Don’t be messing with the “graven images”, people. Whether that be in a more traditional medium, such as sculpture, or on television. Which reminds me, I still have to have a talk with that Jerry Falwell feller.
3. Don’t use my name is vain. So, yes, “god damn” is out. While I’m on the subject, I’m not too fond of the phrase, “Jesus H. Christ!” either. But that’s probably something I should address later, in the New Testament.
4. Go to church on Sunday. I’m not fooling around here.
5. Don’t sass your parents. They are your elders and, therefore, much wiser than you.
6. Murder is bad. Don’t do it.
7. If you’re married, don’t sleep around. God doesn’t like “playas” or “sluts.” And if you’re going to have sex, for my sake, use protection. No love without the glove, people!
8. Stealing is also bad. Don’t do that either.
9. Never ever lie. Never. This is wrong and, quite frankly, I don’t like it.
10. Don’t covet other people’s stuff. For those who don’t know, “covet” is defined as “long for with envy.” I don’t care if it’s a sports car, a phat bank account, or the other person’s husband or wife. But especially the spouse. See Suggestion #7 for more details on that last one.
ELIJAH AND THE PROPHETS (1 Kings 18: 21-46)
Elijah really grooved on God.
So he came before the people and said, “Choose or lose, folks. It’s either God’s way or the highway.”
All the disinterested bystanders pretended to ignore Elijah, and instead continued to read their newspapers or use their laptops.
He then said, “I am the one true prophet! Who wants to wager? I’ll call on the Lord, and you can call on Seth or Ashtar or whomever is popular this week. The God who answers with fire wins the ‘God Sweepstakes’.”
All the people answered, “What the heck???” but decided to play along, if for no other reason than the fact they thought it would all prove highly amusing.
Out of the crowd, a couple of New Agers stepped forward to take the challenge.
Altars were built. A small grill, for “sacrificial cooking”, was placed in the center of each.
Each side prepared a meatloaf out of the finest USDA-approved beef money could buy.
The New Agers then called out to their Gods, but nobody answered the phone.
And they hopped around the altar they had prepared. There was much gnashing of teeth. The grill did not light.
After a while, some of the crowd got bored and went home. The New Agers looked crestfallen but put on a brave face.
Elijah then said to all remaining, “Fill four large glasses with water and pour it over the charcoal.”
They did it. The New Agers, however, didn’t help.
Having obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), not to mention being a bit anal-retentive, Elijah said, “Do it again.”
They did. Again, the New Agers stood by as the crowd lent a hand to Elijah.
“Do it a third time,” he demanded. Did we mention Elijah’s OCD?
Anyway, at that point, water flowed around the altar and filled the bottom of the grill.
When the time for offering sacrifice came, Elijah mumbled some religious mumbo-jumbo and the Lord’s fire came down – consuming the altar, the grill and sacrificial meatloaf.
Seeing this, the people exclaimed, “Holy crap!”
Then Elijah said to them, “Seize the New Age false prophets. Let none of them escape!”
The New Agers were seized, and Elijah had them brought into a nearby alley and there he slit their throats. The end.
Thus ends the first few excerpts from the “post-modern edition” of the Bible. Coming soon, excerpts from The New Testament.