Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Illuminated Bible" Is Not Scripture: Its The Bible The Way Religious Scoffers Like It

Ps. 1:2… You have exalted above all things Your name and Your word.

Pro 30:6 Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you and you be found a liar.

Last night I stopped by Barnes & Noble. As I scoured the store I came across "Illuminated Bible". I saw "New Testament" on the cover, under a photo of an eye (man? woman?) with heavy, smudgy, black eyeliner. I picked it up and stood there in disgust. This is a Bible??? The cover alone is worldly and unholy. The OT picture in the back is just as trashy with a man and a woman, mouths open, ready to kiss. Go here for the side by side pictures.

Flipping through the pages in disbelief, I actually took notes. Set up as a magazine, but selling itself as a Bible, this thing has photos of various images, some from the news (a man on fire; Jackie Kennedy) and quotes (like from the great theologian, Andy Warhol).

In Hebrews, it has a picture of Jackie Kennedy watching Johnson being sworn into office on the airplane after her husband's assasination with the comment "when there is a change in priestood..." This is supposed to "relate" the world to the change in priestood of Jesus.

For James 1:1 this magazine says we're to "consider yourselves FORTUNATE" when you have trials. (Good News Translation)

Fortunate??? Fortunes? Chance? Their gods MUST be crazy. There's no such thing in Scripture as "fortunate". Talk about obliterating Scripture! This is supposed to be an accurate rendering of Scripture. But the Greek says we're to count it with all "JOY", that is, with cheerfulness found ini Christ Jesus, when we encounter many trials. Joy does not mean fortunate. Scripture says GOD brings about all things in our lives for our good and His glory (Rom. 8:28). HE predestined these things to conform us to the image of Christ Jesus (Romans 8:30).

Here's what the site says about its product and motives:

Illuminated World: Illuminated Bible:

"One of the world’s most revered scriptures mediated through world leading photography. Not a new Bible edition, nor just another photo book, Bible Illuminated is a fusion of words and images at their most potent. It will bring “the greatest story ever told” out from the dusty bookshelves and onto the coffee tables and into the class rooms, to be browsed, gaped at, pondered over and hopefully enriched and inspired by."

"All in all the photography of Bible Illuminated has shed new light on biblical themes, using strong imagery to make them available and relevant to people today, regardless of their faith or lifestyle. Bible Illuminated – The Old Testament has first been published in Swedish with a great success during the beginning of 2007 and Bible Illuminated – The New Testament will be available to the Swedish market in Christmas 2007. Bible illuminated will also be published worldwide in English and other languages. The project is financed and managed by a Swedish consortium, chaired by Jan Carlzon, former CEO of Scandinavian Airlines and author of global management bestseller; The Moments of Truth (1987)."

Video is here.


"This modern illuminated bible is an oversized (8 ¼ x 11 ½), full-color, 264-page glossy magazine. It has striking, provocative, contemporary photographs. It uses the Good News Translation (GNT) and it is aimed to be less intimidating than traditional bibles. The US book is available now."

How it all began :

"The concept originated with a general philosophical dinner table discussion between Michel Gyring and Mats Rabe in Stockholm, Sweden. The conversation, which led to several other discussions with key individuals, asked the question “Why people don’t read historical texts” and they began pondering if the traditional format or design turned people off. They realized there was a huge opportunity to re-design or illuminate these types of old texts. This was the beginning of Illuminated World (formerly Förlaget Illuminated Sweden, AB.)"

Their Agenda:

"Illuminated World seeks to introduce today’s audience to a revolutionary contemporary Bible, one that encourages dialogue and is culturally relevant, accessible and easily digestible for any reader regardless of religious, economic, racial or social background.

"We have no religious agenda nor do we support a specific faith. Bible Illuminated is intended to be a unique vehicle for reacquainting today’s reader with one of the most important historical, and cultural texts ever written."

The American contributor to this garbage:

"Larry Norton is a key partner in the effort to realize Illuminated World's vision in the United States. Larry brings over twenty-five years of book publishing experience to the team, most recently as President of the Sales and Distribution Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. His role with Illuminated world is to coordinate all publishing, sales, distribution and marketing activities in the U.S. Larry also acts as a spokesperson on behalf of the company. Larry's interest in the importance of the bible to today's culture and history dates back to his college years where he enrolled at Dartmouth College as a comparative religion major, eventually graduating cum laude with a degree in philosophy."

They treat Scripture as a mere historical text, not the God-breathed, infallible Bible that it is. And all this work they put into it and still come out as pagan as when they sat around the dinner table in a mere philosophical discussion show what a waste this whole thing truly is. Then again, I've seen "Christians" who fancy themselves theologians/debaters/scholars do the same thing. They all have a very low view of Scripture and quite a high view of man.

2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

2Co 2:17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.


Prodigal Knot said...


I feel exactly the same about the way this is presented. The cover photos look like something from a Victoria Secret ad and are completely inappropriate for any Christian book, and much more the Holy Scriptures!

The GNT is not a favored translation for me, especially since the author (?) Robert G. Bratcher said "No one seriously claims that all the words of the Bible are the very words of God. If someone does so it is only because that person is not willing thoroughly to explore its implications ... Even words spoken by Jesus in Aramaic in the thirties of the first century and preserved in writing in Greek 35 to 50 years later do not necessarily wield compelling or authentic authority over us today."

He was adverse to ever using the words "blood of Christ" in his translation which alone is enough to repudiate it.

It figures that is why they call this "not as offensive" as other translations. But, that's because they as well as many so-called believers today don't know that the gospel IS an offensive those who refuse it!

Phil Perkins said...

Prodigal and Denise,
"No one seriously claims that all the words of the Bible are the very words of God." do.

The translations are getting wilder and wilder. The ESV can't even be trusted in the gender department. The NASB in one of my favorites, but it translates the fear of God quite often as "revere".

I read the Bible in the originals so I know whereof I type. In the current environment, it's incumbent on the churches to equip a number in each congregation if at all possible with the languages. And Denise will like this: We don't have to go to a special school for that anymore. You can learn the languages on the net now. So a pastor who wants to equip young fellas in his congregation with the languages, can do so with almost no lesson prep. Just give quizzes and meet enough to help with pronunciations and the like.

Interesting to me is the juztaposition of the sinful activities in cover art and words of Scripture. This is one of the great new heresies of our age. I know it's not a spoken heresy. And I know it's not really new--Jude 4.
But this is one thing I'm noticing more and more--orthodox doctrine paired with filthy living. Thus we have preachers preaching good stuff (or not so good stuff) and cussing in the pulpit.

The way this heresy works is that the message of the gospel is watered down no matter what the words of the preacher are. The preacher's words are often understood in light of how the preacher lives. If he preaches holiness and lives with beer in one hand and a doobie in the other, "holiness" takes on a different meaning to the ears of the preacher's hearers.

Prodigal, I googled Andrews. Wonder if he'd remember me.

In Christ,
Phil Perkins.

Denise said...

It sure seems like it just comes down to denial of the authority of Scripture, doesn't it? No matter if you are talking about this thing "Illuminated 'bible'" or "preaching the gospel", Scripture is either too much (too much 'negative') or not enough (you need a college degree to REALLY know what the Bible says, along with 15 commentaries and your favorite author or professor to get the realy meat).