Here is my attempt to bring the Bible into line with modern values. I am particularly trying to help neo-conservatives and neo-liberals who have an exceptionally hard time in reconciling what they know to be right with Jesus’s old fashioned ideas.
It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.Mark 10:25, Matthew 19:24 and Luke 18:25
This rather lefty sort of idea is clearly discredited. So lets have a more capitalist replacement:
It is easy for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, for if God has made you rich it must mean He likes you.
There, that must make you feel better.
We next need to make some amendments to keep up with the media age. How can we get sound bites and photo-opportunities if we follow advice like this?
When you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Most certainly, I tell you, they have received their reward.
But you, when you pray, enter into your inner chamber, and having shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.Mark 6:5-6
This is slightly more difficult as it needs to be done in a culturally sensitive manner that varies from country to country. I would suggest the following. For Europe
Pray in secret, for otherwise the media will call you a religious nutcase.
For the US, Asia and North Africa:
Pray publicly, for by that means you may gain the trust of the pious but naive masses. If you do not already follow the religion of the majority in your country, pretend to convert.
Jesus also seemed to encourage people to not participate in the economy:
Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?Luke 12:27-28
Fortunately modern world has already updated this example for us:
Consider the lilies. They made no economic contribution and have been swept aside by profitable crops. How much more will you be swept aside if you neither have wealth nor make it?
Finally, the beatitudes. There is a collection of dangerous ideas that need to be dispelled, if there ever was one. Feel free to skip the original, now obsolete, version:
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.Matthew 5:3-11
There is a lot of change needed there:
3 Blessed are mindless consumers, for they shall be one with the zeitgeist.
4 Blessed are those who move on, for society will be comfortable with them.
5 Blessed are the aggressive, for they shall control natural resources.
6 Blessed are those who accept things as they are, for their life shall be easy.
7 Blessed are the ruthless, for they shall need no-ones mercy.
8 Blessed are those who make necessary ethical compromises, for their boss shall reward them.
9 Blessed are those who start a war, for they shall profit from it.
10 Blessed are those who say the right things, for the powerful shall return the favour.
11 Blessed are those who do the persecuting, for they shall escape justice.
Quotes above are from the King James Version and the World English Bible, because they are unencumbered by copyright (and the KJV is a beautiful work of literature). There are better translations available, but the differences in the quoted texts are insignificant for my satirical purposes. I used Bibletime to read above texts and others.