Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

The Bible Gets Hip

by Cally Carswell 

Tags: Spirituality, the Bible, The Book, Bible Illuminated, Marketplace, Hacking Christianity,

Bible_The BookThe fact that the Bible is the best selling book of all time hasn’t stopped publishers from cooking up creative, new ways to market the good book. In its latest rendering, the Bible gets all dressed up, with glossy, fashion-forward photos you'd expect to find in Vogue, not the Gospel of Mark.

The Book, from Bible Illuminated, is peppered with famous faces and targeted at the hearts and image-conscious minds of the “iPod-toting, compulsive texting, Facebook crowd,” Stacey Vanek-Smith reports for Marketplace. Marketing guru Marissa Gluck tells Vanek-Smith, “This is the Bible wrapped up as Us Weekly."

“It is sexy,” Reverend Jeremy Smith writes of The Book on his blog, Hacking Christianity. “Not in a 'rock me sexy Jesus' way, but in a sleek sophisticated way.” Smith outlines how powerful imagery paired with Bible verses lends The Book a political edge, at least in parts. For instance, the line “the whole earth was amazed and followed the beast” is set against an image of a man at the gas pump. And the book of Revelation is illustrated by photos of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Smith also points out some less progressive aspects of the book, like the highlighted pull quote, “wives must submit to their husbands,” from Ephesians, irritated him “greatly.”