Can God take a tweet? Mormon blogger gives Bible a Twitter makeover
As Price pointed out, the gospel originally concluded with the women fleeing the empty tomb in terror, leaving the reader to wonder what's next. "He wants us to live out the story," writes Riess. "We are the women who discover the empty tomb — will we panic? Spread the word? What will we do next?"
Still, the goal of "The Twible" is, as Riess advertises, to make the Bible short and funny.
That doesn't fly with Wayne Grudem, research professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona. "The few brief segments of ['The Twible'] that I looked at, while somewhat amusing, seemed to me at times to be disrespectful to the original content, even to the point of being irreverent. I cannot treat the Bible that way. God says, through Isaiah (66:2), 'But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.' "
But Ralph Williams, a University of Michigan professor emeritus of English, who taught the Bible as literature for decades, has no problem with the idea of "The Twible."
"When people come to the text in new and different ways, they may be inspired to take a look for themselves [at the Bible]," Williams said. And for those few who have already read the original, "The Twible" can "invite us to see it in terms we might not have thought before."
As for Riess' tone, Williams said, "Any religion which can't afford to be laughed at isn't worth believing in."