Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Too Much Good News

I have recently come to the conclusion that Western society is in danger of over-marketing the Holy Bible. Zondervan alone offers in excess of 700 different Bibles, many of them catering to sub-sets of Protestant consumers unaware of their need for a customized scriptural experience. I wanted to cast a wider net, but for the sake of brevity I kept to it nine of my favorites... for ladies..... who are old enough to vote.....

The Women’s Devotional Bible – Are you seeking a gender-specific copy of the Bible but unwilling to click “next page” to find one? Have you tried reading your husband’s Bible but found the masculine subtext off-putting? This edition is for you. Just because you are missing a Y chromosome doesn’t mean that you have to miss God’s plan for your life!

The New Women’s Devotional Bible – Don’t want to be seen leafing through the epistles in a traditional women’s devotional Bible? Are you an early adopter? The New Women’s Devotional Bible tells the world (and that nosey old bity in your prayer circle) that you are a cutting edge Christian lady. First 500 copies come with a free Palm Pilot cozy!

Aspire: The New Women of Color Study Bible – Are you tired of reading traditional women’s Bibles that don’t specifically take your ethnicity into account? This edition promises to “reveal the African influence of scripture” while offering the spiritual insights you would miss reading a culturally-neutral edition.   

The Mom’s Devotional Bible –Let’s face it. God used to speak to you through your old women’s Bible, but that was before your C-section. It’s not your fault; you are just using the wrong version. You need a devotional Bible that speaks to your anxieties as a parent. A women’s Bible was fine before you had to contemplate genetic anomalies and charter school lotteries, but you need a divine revelation that acknowledges your newly acquired tax deduction.

The New Mom’s Prayer Bible – Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that you contemplated purchasing the Mom’s Devotional Bible for a loved one who had recently given birth to their first child but felt that it was not quite personal enough. Enter the “New Mom’s Prayer Bible” which contains prayers and scripture references that immediately become irrelevant upon the birth of your second child or upon your first child’s 2nd birthday (whichever comes first).

The Busy Mom’s Bible – Be forewarned, if you are a Christian mother who finds herself overwhelmed by leisure time you might want to skip this edition. While those “regular” or “new” moms are lounging around perusing the “Spare Time New Testament” you have work to do and precious little time to do it in. 

The Homeschool Mom’s Bible – Not satisfied with a “mom’s” devotional Bible but wouldn’t categorize yourself as “new” or “busy” and cannot seem to locate an edition of God’s word that speaks to you as a home educator? Not to fear, Zondervan is on the case. Who knew that the Bible could be useful even for female parents who chose to forgo the traditional educational model and take control of their offspring’s edification? 

The Grandmother’s Devotional Bible – Just because your children have procreated doesn’t mean you have to settle for a Bible marketed to “women” or “mothers.” This edition brings the good book to life in a way that pre-menopausal or childless women couldn’t imagine. 

The Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women – Tired of fantasy-based women’s Bibles? Uncomfortable reading Leviticus fan-fiction? Why not try the “real-life” devotional Bible? Unlike those other female-friendly editions, this one exclusively focuses on plausible ethical dilemmas so you don’t find yourself contemplating how Jesus would react to extraterrestrial colonization or speculate on Moses’s role in the upcoming clone wars.  

Call me a skeptic if you will, but in my experience one’s willingness to spend time reading The Bible is rarely predicated on the demographic specificity with which the scripture is presented. I have yet to hear someone comment that they don’t study the New Testament because they feel that no one has released the correct edition for them. The truth is that most of us suffer from a surplus of Bibles and a shortage of moments we are willing to devote to their study.

That being said, you cannot argue with marketing, so I have compiled what I believe will be the next wave in overly-specific study Bibles:

  • The Recently-Divorced Single Mother of Italian Ancestry’s Devotional Bible.
  • The Left-Handed Diabetic Paralegal Study Bible
  • The Daily Devotional Bible for Myopic Venture Capitalists
  • The NIV for Anemic Presbyterian Mechanics
  • Today’s King James Version for Marginally-Disillusioned Catholics  
  • The Retired Arc-Welder's Prayer Bible (with Russian concordance) 

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