A Review of "The Convenient Bible"

***Please be aware that the review you might be about to read if you don't get distracted by something else is fiction; the reviewer is fictional, the book being reviewed is fictional. In some instances, the purported author of one of these fictional books is fictional, and in other instances the purported author is a real person, but while the quotes attributed to that real person are probably true in a philosophical or moral sense, that should not be construed by readers as words that were literally spoken by the individuals being mocked in the Forthcoming series.***

Additional note, for clarification: the asterisks that frame the above notice are not some sort of white nationalist or alt-right code, like when the fashies would type a person's name inside of three sets of parentheses to signal to other fashies that the individual being named was Jewish; I'm just using them to get your attention and to separate the disclaimer from the main body of the satirical review that follows . . .

Posted by: Landry

The Convenient Bible
Edited by Paula White
139 pages

I’m not exactly religious per se but I am definitely spiritual but if I’d had a Bible like this growing up who knows I might be a Christian today! The Convenient Bible, edited by Paula White, the famous prosperity preacher and spiritual adviser to the president, I think is going to change a lot of people’s lives for the better!

Let’s face it, the Bible is confusing. It holds great wisdom: “Happy is the one who takes your babies and smashes them against the rocks!” (Psalm 137:9); “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). It also offers fantastic advice like what to do if you find out “that scoundrels among you are leading their fellow citizens astray by saying, ‘Let us go worship other gods’—gods you have not known before. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find that the report is true and such a detestable act has been committed among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the open square and burn it. Burn the entire town as a burnt offering to the Lord your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the Lord will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a large nation, just as he swore to your ancestors. The Lord your God will be merciful only if you listen to his voice and keep all his commands that I am giving you today, doing what pleases him” (Deuteronomy 13:13-18).

But it’s also sometimes really inconvenient: “But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” (Matthew 5:44). Um, bleh! “If your hand or your foot causes you to fall into sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than to have two hands and two feet and be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to fall into sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell" (Matthew 18: 8-9). You could cut off your hand—or you could edit the Bible and cut out those weird sentences. Much better now. Thanks Paula! If you thought Matthew was a total idiot, wait till you see what Luke has to say: “Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back” (Luke 6:30). Well, thanks to Paula White I don’t have to fear for my soul when I say “Hey Tommy Watkins, you fucking cheapskate, you borrowed $5 from me in sixth grade and with interest you owe me like $85 now asshole!”

Remember that part from the New Testament where Jesus says it would be easier for a rich dude to walk through the eye of a needle than enter through the gates of Heaven? Neither does Paula White!

The modern Christian doesn’t have time to make sense out of paradox and mystery, which is why Malarkey Books is offering this pared-down volume with all the boring or conflicty bits left out, leaving only the essential truths of the Bible, like “‘When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean’” (Leviticus 15:19-20) and “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ” (Ephesians 6:5).

In general troublesome lines (such as everything related to divorce) have been eliminated but in a few cases they’ve been retranslated. For instance that annoying part where Jesus says “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth” (Matthew 6:19) is now “DO store up treasures because if God loves you He gives you treasures, that’s how you know you’re a good Christian!” Likewise with “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. Truly I tell you, they already have their reward. But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And you Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:5-6). That’s now “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray in private so that no one may witness their righteousness and devotion and be made to feel awkward by it. But truly you must pray in public, in school, at the mall, at work. I say unto you, make a big deal about praying when you go out to eat and give dirty looks to those who are about to enjoy their dinner without first thanking God. And lo if you score a touchdown and fail to pray before spiking the ball your points will be taken away both in Heaven and on the scoreboard.” What’s the point of being a Christian if you can’t make a big deal about it in front of other people?

All in all The Convenient Bible is just a feel-good read, not a downer like the old Bible, which made you question yourself, your values, your character, your faith, your sanity, the sanity of the people who wrote it. Most readers will find White’s version far preferable to earlier, more depressing versions because this one is likely to reinforce your beliefs and prejudices and lifestyle choices. Unless you’re gay or a woman who still gets her periods, I mean, but for the most part it’ll totally reinforce and support your lifestyle choices especially if you’re rich and the old Bible made you feel guilty or worried about squeezing through the gates of heaven one day.

The Convenient Bible, it’s like Jefferson’s Bible except instead of cutting out the supernatural elements Paula White just deleted all the weird, stranger-welcoming Jesusy shit. She left in the fun stuff, the killing and the raping and the donkey genitals, but what you won’t find is flowers and metaphors. Now you can read the Gospels without feeling like a pussy!

My rating: A+!

Stay tuned because forthcoming from Forthcoming we’ve got reviews of Trump Mom and The Five People You Have to Fuck to Get Into Heaven.

Dumbass disclaimer: I shouldn’t have to say that the above review is fictional, that I’m using it as a vehicle to make fun of something, a political figure, society, Simon & Schuster, but the above review is fictional and I’m using it as a vehicle to make fun of something, a political figure, society, Simon & Schuster. While it should be taken seriously, it should not be taken as factual. It should maybe make you think, lead you to some deeper understanding of the world, or at least make you snort against your will in awkward laughter, but please understand that it’s fictional. The book that my fictional intern is describing is fucking fictional. Given the state of the publishing industry and the fading line between reality and parody, I can’t reasonably expect readers to make the distinction between what’s real and what’s tongue-in-cheek, and while it would make part of me happy to know that there’s someone gullible enough to believe the books I’m pretending are forthcoming are real, most of me would just be sad. I’m sad enough already.

©Alan Good 2017