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A recent news story announced the release of a new version of the Bible designed to meet the needs of churches desiring to be more attractive and market-oriented. According to the information, the Bible published by Western Bible Foundation cut out passages such as the Ten Commandments, sections of Isaiah, The Proverbs, and the Sermon on the Mount. In effect, the new version simply leaves out sections of the original text where “radical” actions regarding money, justice or affluence was advocated. The publisher reportedly stated, “Jesus was very inspiring for our inner health, but we don’t need to take his naïve remarks about money seriously. He didn’t study economics, obviously.” The releases added, “After all, no serious Christian takes such texts literally. What if all Christians stopped being anxious, for example, and started expecting everything from God? Or gave their possessions to the poor, for that matter. Our economy would be lost.” The Press releases implied that since no one used those verses anyway, no one would miss them.

Though the publisher reported the sale of hundreds of the new Bibles, other clues in the Press Release revealed that it was the work of “Time to Turn,” a network of Dutch students which has published other material as jokes before. Chairman of the group, Frank Mulder says they believe God is willing to deliver the world from materialism and injustice. Mulder said, “Many Christians accept the Western lifestyle, including the degradation of creation and the injustice of our trade, and they only take the easy parts of the gospel. But it isn’t until we publish this gospel with holes. That they get confused!