There have been many versions of the Bible, with more appearing on the horizon, each attempting to adapt the central texts to an ever-changing society. Supposedly, these new versions have ease of understanding as their ultimate goal. Unfortunately, they all ignore the central issue, which is not, as they seem to think, that we are all too stupid to comprehend what we are reading, but that we are not being presented with the entire story. The scholars all begin with the original texts and, therefore, end up with much the same interpretation. I believe what people really want is the inside story, the behind-the-scenes view of the most momentous moments in Christendom (pre- or post-, don't even start with me).
It is with this view in mind that I have decided to pen, not necessarily my own version of the Bible, but a companion text, a commentary, shall we say, with the intention of giving little nuggets of insight that may serve to clear up some of the questions I'm sure we've all had.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. We have no record of how the heaven and earth felt about this, as we have been unable to reach them for comment. It is assumed, however, that they were somewhat peeved about being created without first being served the appropriate papers.
At first glance, the opening sentence of this piece appears simple enough. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." It is not, however, as transparent as it may seem. For example, there is the question of how God came to this momentous decision. I have done extensive research and am now prepared to reveal my findings to the world.
In the beginning God was hanging around in a great wad of nothingness. After a few crapzillion immeasurable years (as time had not yet been invented), God became bored and decided to take His omnipotent powers out for a spin and create some stuff. But He couldn't decide when to do it.
"Should I create stuff at the end of time?" He wondered. "Or somewhere in the middle?"
At last, unable to make up His mind, God hired a group of consultants from a Conservative think-tank called the Genesis Foundation. After a few weeks of study and research, they recommended that God start His creation at the beginning.
Recognizing this as a logical solution, God nodded in agreement. "I think I'll go create Me some dirt," He said. Dirt led to grass, which led to bushes, which led to trees. It was truly a beautiful sight...for about a week. Then everything shriveled and died.
"Well, that sucked," God said. "There has to be some way to...oh, right."
Thus was created water.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creatures after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing...
Thus were created politicians and lawyers. The politicians immediately passed a Creation Tax and spent the revenue trying to buy the votes of the lawyers, who were too busy serving papers on the politicians to show up at their precincts to cast ballots.
Although pleased with this initial foray, God decided it might be nice to make some actual humans. With this in mind, God picked up the phone and put in a call to Sears and Roebuck. After spending the first Ice Age on hold, God was finally put through to a customer service professional. Now, I know what you're thinking: "How can God be putting in a call to customer service when He has yet to create any humans?" Read that line again. If you still have questions afterward, get back to me, because I have a pair of pants that might interest you.
After finally deciding on the make and model, and haggling over the price a bit, God placed an order for two top-of-the-line Human Kits (some assembly required) and then waited impatiently for the shipment to arrive. Despite not yet existing, (or perhaps because of) the postal system managed to mis-route the shipment to a completely different area of the universe. Happily, due to the fast and capable work of a postal employee named Jimmy (who was working his way through law school at the time), the shipment was tracked down and finally arrived on God's doorstep, none the worse for wear. Unless you count the strong smell of sulphur and some serious singe marks around the edges of the box.
With much excitement, God ripped open the package and eagerly began assembling the contents, completely ignoring the instruction booklet. Not only does this indicate that God is male, but it also explains baldness, body odor, the Middle Ages, and the invention of karaoke. Yes, my friends, the secret to life is not in meditation or a vegan diet...it is the loss of that damn instruction booklet! But that's okay. Had I been God, I wouldn't have read it, either. I still don't read instructions manuals, in fact, if only because they are now being printed exclusively in ancient Swahili. Although this is probably because the manufacturers understand that no self-respecting, English-speaking man is going to read them.
Before long the humans were fully assembled and, as long as one didn't look too closely, the duct tape and twisted hanger wire didn't show at all. God stepped back to admire His handiwork and saw that it was fine. Mighty fine. A shame the kits hadn't come with accessories, though. Hopefully, the humans wouldn't notice anything untoward, because with the postal system being what it was, it could be awhile before another shipment arrived.
"Oh, well," God said. "It'll be fine as long as they don't take the advice of a serpent and eat fruit off a specific tree that I specifically mentioned to them. And I don't think even..." God broke off as He realized He didn't even know the humans' names. He reached down and picked up the boxes, on the front of which were written the names of the creatures. "And I don't think even Ken and Barbie would be that stupid."
God sighed in contentment and scanned the heavens. The moon was out, a mere sliver in the sky. With one mighty stride, God stepped across the vast expanse and perched on the lower edge of the moon. A quick snap of the fingers and a fishing pole appeared in His hands. He cast a line and the bobber landed with a splash somewhere in the Atlantic. This was certainly the life, God thought. From now on, things would be perfect and peaceful.
But somewhere, in that other realm, a sinister cloud of menace was swirling. Evil forces were gathering to disrupt the precise balance of the universe.
...to be continued