A short time ago, I wrote a post about wanting a new Bible. Because I sometimes get tired of reading the Bible we have, with its gore, lack of respect for women, and acceptance of slavery, I mulled over the idea of establishing a new Bible.
I know that the Bible, in and of itself, shows how humanity has progressed, and how our idea of God has advanced out of a punishing power into love. But surely, by the 21st century, we could find literature depicting even greater strides.
Then the other night, we watched the 2015 movie, “The Brand New Testament.”
Director Jaco Van Dormael, also writer with Thomas Gunzig, tells the story of God, living in Brussels, Belgium, with his family. God is typified as a mean, irrational human being, directing a horrible history for humanity.
His son, Jesus Christ, aka JC, already escaped the household and the story follows how the younger daughter, Ea, escapes to rewrite Scripture and change history.
She gathers six disciples or messengers. We get a glimpse of their life and future as Ea intervenes with her special powers to promote compassion and a trust in good in humanity.
The film seemed a bit ridiculous to me. One disciple left her husband to partner with an ape, as if to show that some animals are better behaved then humans.
After making that mental calculation, I laughed at myself. I was trying to see the deeper meaning behind the story. Exactly what humans have been doing with the Bible for millennia.
There are thousands of Bible commentaries, books that explore the meaning, history, and context of Scripture. They are valuable as noted by Mel Lawrenz in his post titled, “How to Use Bible Commentaries.”
Anyway, my desire for a new Bible has been tempered. I will continue to appreciate translations and revisions and commentaries that recover original meanings.