How The Bible Industry Makes Its Fortune

from the thou-shalt-target-niches dept

Not only is the Bible the best-selling book of all time, it happens to be a best-seller year after year, which in itself casts some doubt on the idea that strict copyright protection is needed to protect the publishing business. Of course, it's not so black and white; the Bible is arguably in a class all of its own, in terms of books, while modern books have authors that demand payment and other such considerations. But the fact that the words (or The Word) aren't protected means the industry must find a different model than the one enjoyed by most traditional book publishers. Because the basic content is a commodity, much of the money is in targeting specific niches, such as bibles for families, surfers and teenage girls (which attempt to co-opt some of the style of a glossy teen magazine). The publishers add value by packing in extra content that imbue the subject matter with Biblical inspiration. The Bible is also used as a platform for new products, like a biblically inspired cooking publication (does it have a recipe for Ezekiel 4:9 bread?). Of course, these specific versions and spin-offs do have copyright protection, which makes the intellectual property question a bit murkier. But the model does suggest that when the typical mode of business is unavailable, the industry will seek out a new approach. In this case, it's had the positive effect of leading to more variety and specialization.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 8:34pm

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but most translations of the Bible are copyrighted. The King James Version is obviously in the public domain, but it is not nearly as easy to read as modern translations such as the New International Version, New King James, Revised Standard Version, or a host of others - all of which are copyrighted.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 9:32pm

    Why is this question concerning a religious text in a "tech" site? Religion has nothing to do with technology, in fact it hinders it. And by the way the bible is the most rediculously false piece of literature ever written. Just ask Richard Dawkins or Carl Sagan or anyone with a brain...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 9:36pm

    hello, it's owned by God. Not man.

    Why does God need a copyright for something he gave to man?

     

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    Jeff, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 9:38pm

    In fact

    In fact, all translations of works from ancient tongues are copyright-able. I'm not sure how the law applies to translation of recent documents from foreign languages, but it's probably different.

    I think the way the Bible makes its "fortune" these days is more related to the multiple translations that to the specific packaging.

     

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    JJ, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 9:57pm

    Re:

    >> Sorry to burst your bubble, but most translations of the Bible are copyrighted.

    UM.... Joe says that in the post... "Of course, these specific versions and spin-offs do have copyright protection, which makes the intellectual property question a bit murkier."

    So, sorry to burst your bubble, but maybe you should read before you comment.

     

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    Wake Up, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 10:04pm

    Fools...

    I can understand how the worlds longest lasting Sci-fi story book can sell so well...

    But let us face facts... the bible is nothing more then a means to control the masses of the past... being clung to by the masses of the present...

    Whoever initially wrote it... was pure genius... a way to control the people into condoned morals

    Yea... what I am saying is of the devil... just as the church conducted the inquisition, witch hunts etc...

    When you die... there is nothing... NOT ONE THING!!! wish, hope, and... pray for what it is worth( which is absolutely nothing...) that there is an afterlife... if it makes your life a bit easier for you, I do not see anything wrong in it.

    So... now all you bible thumpers... preach to me!!! tell me how your God... allowed the halloucaust, how it allowed the inquisition, how it allowed these people to suffer just to be rewarded in the afterlife... PURE BS!!!! Why I imagine since the dawn of time, man has imagined a superior being, as they just can not comprehend the fact that life is just random... Picture the ancient caveman, worshipping the sun... and when it set... the sun god was upset with them... So... they killed one of their own to appease the sun god who would accept this saccrifice and rise again in the morning... What we lack in understanding and concept, we try to make up with theories, desires, and hopes of some supreme being controling us...

    Read your bible... and use your mind... do you not see anything wrong there??? I have read it, front to back, several times, several versions... and of different religions... and one thing holds true in all... they are full of holes... No you fool... they are not mysteries... they are contradictory statements, where morals had changed to a condoned practice, and thus condoned by the bible by a later addition...

    In the begining God created Adam... wait a dam minute... he needs a woman... ok... so he makes a woman... and they are happy, but evil... corrupts eve... she corrupts adam... and they are banned from eden... they go forth and populate the world... erm... incest is wrong right? nowhere does it state that God created any others... so this world is full of inbreds... WAKE THE F UP YOU MORONS!!! the church... any church... any religion... is a business... they survive off you like leaches... FFS... God who is all seeing and all knowing... by the bibles own words did not even know adam had eaten of the tree... he had to ask adam who told him of eve's deception... Come on open your dam blind eyes... read and question FFS!!! Or go to your death in ignorance living in fear of your God... Live life for what it is... LIFE... nothing more... nothing less... nothing after...

    Bah... I am done... you will believe what you will... but I challenge you to use your tiny little brain for just 1 dam second!!!

     

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    Galen Currah, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 10:06pm

    Bible Copyright or copied right

    Bible publication fortunes remain a Western phenomenon. Most Bibles sold round the world go at cost or are subsidized to make them affordable. A lot of Bible sales in the West go to pay the difference.

    It costs about a million dollars to translate the 66 books called the Bible. If you do not copyright your translation, then some body else will, and they may forbid you publishing it without paying a royalty.

    In some cases, translations have been withdrawn from the market to prevent freeedom of choice.

     

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    Tia, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 10:11pm

    Most stolen

    The Bible is also one of the most stolen books. Go figure.

     

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    bendodge, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 10:31pm

    Re: Fools

    There is a huge difference between the real Church and the Catholic Church, Wake Up. The Catholic church perfomed the inqisitions, and they were based on doctrine found only in other Roman Catholic traditions and writing. Please read you history before ranting.

    "he had to ask adam who told him of eve's deception"
    So why do you ask a toddler if they stole a cookie, even though you saw them do it? Please use your brain for one second before ranting.

    "incest is wrong right"
    The Bible didn't outlaw close relations marrying until Moses time. Before then, the genetic pool was clean enough that inbreeding didn't result in many disorders.
    Please think- oh never mind...

     

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    James, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 10:33pm

    Re: Fools...

    You believe in something, everyone does. If God is real then the fact that there is so much fighting over the Bible is evidence of the devils existance.
    The point many people that have probably argued with you about is not the issue. The issue is have you given the existance of God & the validity of the Bible a chance?
    You point out which hunts etc., but those show people not following the Bibile, more evidence for the devil.
    I don't know what people calling themselves "christians" have done to you in the past, but I sugest you honestly & openly challange God to show or make real his existance to yourself.
    Also, do not try to argue with Christians & especially "christians". Discussions with real Christians sure, but argueing is pointless for both.
    Have a good day & I will pray that the God I have come to believe in (sorta forced Himself on me after I presented a challange) will become known to you.

     

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    Rationalist, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 11:08pm

    James, the witchhunters were following the bible:

    Exodus 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

    The bible is full of stupid trash just like that, why would anyone think that it was written by a benevolent diety? The god of the bible is perverse! Christians think it's the word of god because they don't read it. If they actuall read their bibles, they would become atheists.

     

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    Bob Brown, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 12:05am

    Oy!

    The copyrighting is done so that there is repayment on the investment put into translating. New translations are typically started with the Gospel of John which helps finance the translation of the other Gospels and the rest of the New Testament. The Old Testament is the translated starting with Psalms and Proverbs which are often appended to the New Testament copies on sale. Finally the Old Testament is completed.

    Many old versions, translations, and paraphrases have fallen out of copyright so they are typically the ones you find on knick-knacks and in dollar store Bibles. THe KJV is the most popular of these even though it is still under the crown copyright in England.

    It would be useful to keep this discussion on topic rather than covering it with ignorant bigotry. Yes, Christians do read the Bible and still believe. Do you think that the translators are atheists? If you wish to get into textual criticism find a better place for it. If you wish to just be a intolerant fool then just go somewhere else.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 12:32am

    Wake Up: Thanks for your deep insights. If it wasn't for you, the world would be lost in ignorance. Oh wait, did you actually offer any proof?

    I like your "inbred" comment. Reminds me of the evolutionist who believes that a one in a trillion chance mutation happened twice at the same time (one male and one female) and they both mated to have children, which mated with each other....oops, looks like that theory requires us to be a bunch of inbreds too.

     

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  14.  
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    Administrator, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 1:07am

    The Greatest Lie Ever Told

    Pick one:

    1. There is no devil
    2. There is no supreme being (God)
    3. There is no spoon
    4. God is an alien

    Admin of:
    www.adminseek.net

     

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  15.  
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    Anony Mouse, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 1:08am

    Re: Rationalist

    "James, the witch hunters were following the bible:

    Exodus 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

    The bible is full of stupid trash just like that, why would anyone think that it was written by a benevolent diety? The god of the bible is perverse! Christians think it's the word of god because they don't read it. If they actuall read their bibles, they would become atheists."

    Okay first off I don't know who told that they believed God to be benevolent, but Buddy Jesus and his Hep-cat Dad aren't in the bible. God holds you accountable to a fault, he may be forgiving but he's not here to wipe your ass and cut the crust off your toast. Secondly The problem with witch hunts, inquisitions etc..etc, is the interpretation of the bible. No one person can you tell you what the Bible means in any way, shape, or form. The point is for YOU to read it (which by the way Rationalist, its obvious you have not) and take from it what you need throughout the course of your life. People forcing their perspective of Gods will on others has pretty much been the source of every notable widespread act of violence in history, Holocausts, wars, mass murders, etc.. etc.. . and Thirdly such an ignorant, asinine, blanketing statement as: "If they actually read their bibles, they would become atheists." just shows has unintelligent and narrow minded you really are. If you were as enlightened as you think you are, you'd realize NO ONE knows beyond the shadow of a doubt what the purpose of life is, or whats waiting for us at its conclusion, thats kind of the basis for ALL belief systems. Ultimately A wise man knows when to keep his mouth shut and let people assume hes a fool , while a fool opens his mouth and removes all doubt.

     

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  16.  
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    Benji Park, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 1:30am

    ..

    Vote for Pedro!
    .....what? Oh right my comment has about as much to do the the original post are most of the rest. Well at least I got my own little soap box to.

    Vote for Pedro!

     

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  17.  
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    Wake Up, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 2:12am

    Foolish Fools...

    Yes... the inquisition is a christian act... sanctioned by the church of the time... I am well aware of that... I was only citing one small example as I do not feel like typing an entire essay on the subject... I notice however noone tackled the halloucaust...

    As for evolution... it has more probability of occuring then some supreme being who only made himself known supposedly to man well after man had populated the earth... why is there no mention of the one god prior to that? was man unworthy? Surely there would be some record by the syrians... the oldest written language recorded... who also recorded just about everything of their daily lives... mentions nothing of one god... but many... or paganism... or in logical terms... they lacked the inteligence to realize that their fate is their own... nothing and noone guides them...

    One mentions that christians had done something to me... nah... I lash out at ALL religions... they are ALL nothing more then a means to attempt to control the masses.

    another mentions read the bible... Buddy I have probably read it more times then you have in my search for truth and enlightenment... as well as the koran, and studied bhuadism, Judaism, etc... Do not assume I am unstudied or unenlightened because of my views...

    One asked for proof??? erm... read... the... bible... there is my proof... it contradicts itself... WHERE IS YOUR PROOF??? Logical... and tangible proof... Mine speaks for itself... how you interpret the bible is truly on ones own as it is cryptic to say the least... yet you can not say that you read a passage, only to come across another later that contradicts the previous passage... If you do claim that it does not contradict itself, then I call you small minded, illogical, and an innocent lamb being led to the slaughter house...

    As for the fool who said there is a difference between the real church and the catholic church... I should hope so... there is differences between all churches... thus the different religions... my question to you is... what is the real church? meh... does not matter... it is false as well...

    Nowhere does darwanism say inbreeding is wrong... our morals say it is wrong... however primitive man would not have considered it wrong as he had very limited thought patterns... But along your lines of thinking... it was sanctioned as the blood lines were pure? but then at some point it was called a sin... yet more contradiction... While I am on the topic of primitive man... ummm... please explain... first... adam and eve are talking, know they are naked... etc... then the species reverts to near subhuman?

    One last question... before I disapear from this page forever... God brought before adam one of each animal, bug, etc... so that he would know them and allowed adam to name them... the bible mentions cattle... I guess that reverted as well??? Not to mention the whole dinosaur thing... bah... Why did I ever think I could get into an intelligent discussion with any religious fanatic when they keep their minds so closed to the real truth?

     

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  18.  
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    Pete The Pedant, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 2:16am

    Ranting in English

    Just a small point, but it would help a lot if some of the posters paused and allowed the red mist to clear before they write, so they could concentrate on communicating their ideas more effectively. Things like spelling, grammar and structure would be a good place to start.

     

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  19.  
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    Pedro is just!!!, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 2:20am

    Re: The Greatest Lie Ever Told

    I choose... there is no spoon???

    That has to be a great lie as it was the first eating utensils created other then chopsticks -.-

    Vote for Pedro!!! He has a spoon and travels!!!

     

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  20.  
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    PT, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 2:25am

    About this whole Adam and Eve thing. What makes perfect sense to me is that Adam and Eve are the descendants of the Israelites, NOT the original man and woman and the Bible seems to have been written, originally, for them (the Israelites or the Chosen People) and those that join their society. It was pretty clear that there were other people around when Adam and Eve got the boot from Eden, or at least when Cain was cursed by God. Genesis 4:14-4:24. Who was in the Land of Nod where Cain went to settle? Why was Cain afraid of people finding and slaying him because he was marked? Only his parents were around! (Also how was he marked? Was he turned into a black man? Look up Christian Identity and the Serpent's Seed to check out their theory) Where'd Cain's wife come from? He must have married an unnamed sister...It seems pretty glaringly obvious that Adam and Eve were not the first humans.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 2:25am

    Re: Ranting in English

    I would like to second this motion. Unfortunately, I do understand that there are many nationalities out there who do their best. I myself am German, English is but a fifth language.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 3:33am

    Re:

    He was drawing an analogy regarding the restrictive copyrights and business practices that most publishers are using these days. Actually a very interesting point, and well put.

     

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  23.  
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    DoxAvg, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 4:01am

    Reasons for copyrighting translations

    This is an interesting case for motivations, though. If you assume that everybody involved is on the up-and-up, and the companies funding the million-dollar efforts to do a translation have the Christian community's best interests at heart, should they copyright the work? They've invested millions of dollars (or donated-time equivalent) in performing a rigorous translation (an excercise which takes a rarified selection of talent and training), but want to as many people as possible to have access to that translation. But they also need to ensure that the bills are paid so they can continue doing good work. It's a constant tension.

    One such group, the New English Translation (or NET bible) has a discussion of their motivations and decisions at http://www.bible.org/netbible/pre.htm They wanted to make sure that anybody could freely use their translation, but not publish it for pure profit. So they (like the FSF) chose to copyright the work but include a very liberal license that basically lets you use it for any purpose, but to publish it, you need their approval.

    In this case, it's copyright doing what it should be. It's "promot[ing] the progress of science and useful arts" by letting the creators of the work decide how their works should be distributed.

     

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    pinakidion, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 4:08am

    The Point of the Article

    I'm glad that I wasn't the only one that understood the point of the article. What's with all the unrelated emo replies?

    Very interesting point, indeed.

    Of course, in the US, the Bible is a huge industry, every Christian publisher has their own translation with two or more English translations coming out every year. Then, you have the NET Bible which is published in a GPL-ish license. You are permitted to quote the entire NET in a derivative work, something not allowed by Zondervan and others.

     

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  25.  
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    MrPaladin, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 4:20am

    I'm wondering where the anger about the bible comes from, the fact that it outsells other books, or the fact that people are angry at christians...

    Either way, decide what you want to believe... even if a Christian thinks your wrong, we may speek out about it.... but your free to live it so long as your not hurting others...

    For alot of meaning to odd passages like the witch hunter reference above you'd have to go to the original translations, and also dont take it out of context... If you want a rational debate about it I don't believe this is the place to do so...

    What do you believe? and when you die will what you believe matter?

    I'm glad the bible outsells... its shows as an indicator what people do believe...

     

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  26.  
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    The infamous Joe, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 4:40am

    Wake Up before you go go..

    I know it's horribly off-topic, but I have to touch it.

    Mr. Wake Up, sir, you are just as close minded as the people you call out, I'd say. But, since you're so hell (hm..) bend on proof, back up that statement when you claim there is nothing after you die. I can't say, with any certainty, either way-- my own beliefs notwithstanding.

    As for your great and all powerful Logic: You have 4 simple choices here (not the ones posted above, sadly) and 3 diferent outcomes.

    1. God doesn't exits, you don't believe in God = Nothing happens

    2. God doesn't exist, You believe in God = Nothing happens.

    3. God does exist, You belive in God = Heaven

    4 God does exist, You don't believe in God = Hell

    To clarify, when I say you believe/don't believe, I assume that you follow the teachings of the bible if you believe in God, and if you don't, you don't-- which isn't to say that if you don't believe in God that you run around killing people, just that you don't pray, ask for forgiveness, etc.

    That all being said, it would be *logical* to 'find' God or Jesus or Buddha or whatnot, and do your best to follow teachings of the bible (or whichever holy book you like) and aeithists are the only people who are truely making an illogical choice. I mean, what do you miss out on being religious as opposed to being athiest? It's not as if most the teachings in the bible aren't laws anyway...

    It just seems like the price is too high for me to chance it. That's just me. Perhaps I can put it this way, Mr. Wake Up: If you're right, you'll never be able to throw it in my face. If I'm right, then.. well... you know. :)

    Merry Christmas!

     

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    I'm with Joe, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 5:21am

    Wake up before you go go.....

    I would rather believe in God and trust His word than to believe in nothing and leave this world to go to Hell after the realization after leaving this world and seeing ther IS A LOVING AND MERCIFUL GOD!

    JESUS LIVED AND DIED FOR YOU, BECAUSE HE LOVES YOU!

    !MERRY CHRISTmas!

     

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  28.  
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    Shut the Hell Up, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 5:40am

    Seriously, Shut the Hell Up

    Ha. I love how the minute someone mentions Christianity the length of posts become longer than with any other article on here. The point of the article was that even an industry dealing with an ancient text has found new business models to make it profitable. So why can't other industries with more flexible media do so?

    I also love how everyone feels it's their responsibility to denounce Christianity. You should be grateful for Christianity. While it has had it's major problems in the past, it's matured into a peaceful religion in only 2000 years. Islam is still dealing with not killing people who don't believe in it. If you didn't have Christianity running alongside Islam and holding it back, YOU WOULD HAVE NO RIGHT TO SAY WHAT YOU HAVE SAID HERE! In Islamic countries they can legally stone you to DEATH you for not being Islamic.

    No offense to civil Islamic people meant, you guys rock, I just speak of your uneducated brethren, which I like about as much as I like my fundamentalist Christian brother...

    Infamous Joe. email me, digitalsaint@gmail.com. I like you take on this, I'd like to use your logic for a project.

     

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  29.  
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    jedipunk, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 5:42am

    Re:

    cause he needs money

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 5:52am

    Re: Wake Up before you go go..

    Um...

    As for your great and all powerful Logic: You have 5 simple choices here (not the ones posted above, sadly) and 3 diferent outcomes.

    1. God doesn't exits, you don't believe in God = Nothing happens

    2. God doesn't exist, You believe in God = Nothing happens.

    3. God does exist, You belive in God = Heaven

    4 God does exist, You don't believe in God = Hell

    5 God does exist, You believe in the wrong God = Hell

     

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  31.  
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    Pagan Man, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 6:29am

    Re:

    "Religion has nothing to do with technology, in fact it hinders it"

    Finally, something intelligent is said.

    I applaud you for speaking the absolute truth!

    *applause*

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 6:46am

    As for your great and all powerful Logic: You have 5 simple choices here (not the ones posted above, sadly) and 3 diferent outcomes.

    1. God doesn't exits, you don't believe in God = Nothing happens

    2. God doesn't exist, You believe in God = Nothing happens.

    3. God does exist, You belive in God = Heaven

    4 God does exist, You don't believe in God = Hell

    5 God does exist, You believe in the wrong God = Hell

    6 God does exist, You believe in the wrong God, The God of Christianity understands you were mislead and forgives you anyway = Heaven

     

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  33.  
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    Skippyboy, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 6:57am

    Re: Fools...

    Methinks Wake Up is a little bitter because he got touched by a priest...

    Either that - or he prayed for that shiny new bike that never came...

    LOL

     

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    Andrew N., Dec 15th, 2006 @ 7:10am

    On Topic

    I'm actually sad with how many "repackagings" the Bible is currently sold in. They've taken an ancient writing full of truth and sold it to American consumerism.

    "But teenage girls won't read the Bible unless it looks and reads like a teen magazine!"

    Maybe they should try and understand the actual message before they attempt to disguise it to be more attractive. Then they might realize it's attractive all on its own.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 7:18am

    Haha Skippy while you jest you make a good point. Most people mad at religion got burned by it somehow, whether in reality or perception. My whole family grew up in churches that thrived off from beating people down and making you feel like crap for not being perfect. More than one broken marriage was the result of the foul souls at the helm in those churches. Many people are led to believe that the bad things in their life are because of sin.

    God doesn't need to punish us, He built natural laws into the universe and into people to take care of that. You smoke too much you get cancer, you drink too much you get liver disease, you lie to your friends they no longer trust you. There is no need for Him to step in and give you a cosmic smackdown.

    It took me 17 years of "Spiritual Abuse" to shake myself out of it. I had to come to realize that there are bad churches and there are bad people in power there, but that is not the majority of churches, it is in fact the small minority. Sure there are things you won't like in every church as in every group of people but there are good, positive, quality churches that aren't overly offensive.

     

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    brian.aspx, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 7:35am

    You guys might find this interesting. Pascal's Wager: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager

     

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  37.  
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    Witty Nickname, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 7:54am

    Irony?

    Isn't it ironic that most of the angry intollerant rantings on this post are from people who say Christians need to be more tolerant?

     

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    lilwip, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 8:00am

    Re: Wake Up before you go go..

    You have nothing to lose except respect for yourself. Religious debates are a complete waste of time leading to nothing but ranting about the opposite side of the debate are a bunch of complete morons. Inevitably someone will throw in the "you have nothing to lose by believing" argument. Atheist argue that God doesn't exist because of the violence that he allows to happen, the murders and molestation of the innocents. The Bible beaters claim that God allows things like this because of free will and faith. It is all really just a bunch of bullshit. Live your life. Don't worry about what others believe, and stop trying to force others into your belief system. It is a waste of your time typing it, and our time reading it. Treat people the way you want to be treated, and most of all be happy.

    Happy Holidays Techdirt Readers.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 8:19am

    Re: Wake up before you go go.....

    Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature...and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on this condition?

    - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 8:22am

    Ha! Hopefully there is a recipe for Levitcus 26:29 bread!

     

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  41.  
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    Dave, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 8:31am

    Are you kidding?

    When did the Bible just fall out of the sky with God's signature on it?

    Never mistake what you wish to be true for what is actually true...that just makes you look silly.

     

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  42.  
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    Matthew T, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 9:18am

    Ezekiel 4:9 bread

    In all the ranting, only the AC in comment 40 seems to have picked up on the fun little bread reference...

    This company sells Ezekiel 4:9 bread. I've had it before - it's not bad, basically just tastes like a normal super-multi-grain bread. On the package, though, they never mention whether they followed the cooking instructions in verse 12...

     

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  43.  
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    misanthropic humanist, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 9:20am

    those damned preachers

    I wish I could find the words to express what I feel what I feel after reading some of those posts. Unfortunately, you got me, I'm speechless.

    Copyrighting bibles seems like a great idea to me if it impedes the spread of destructive ideas. However there are utilitarian moral ideas in the Bible, the Torah and the Quran that deserve a modern reinterpretation. I think it is important to tolerate all peoples religions and their right to believe in what they like, so long as that doesn't involve inflicting that belief on others. Unfortunately Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all have bigots who believe they must force others to adopt their beliefs. And it isn't exclusively religious people either. I became a disaffected Humanist because all I hear from other Humanists is derogatory Christian bashing and calling them stupid for their beliefs.

     

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  44.  
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    Ju1c3, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 9:53am

    Con Artist

    just reinforces my belief that Jesus was the biggest Conartist of all time. look how much money the man made

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 10:01am

    the church always was, and always will be, a big business. nothing more, nothing less.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 10:31am

    > hello, it's owned by God. Not man.
    >
    > Why does God need a copyright for something he gave to man?

    If your god actually existed, he wouldn't need man to translate the bible.

     

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  47.  
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    Andrew N., Dec 15th, 2006 @ 11:13am

    Re: Con Artist

    Riiiiiiiiight... all that money he made from living homeless and being killed... yeah, sounds like a successful conartist to me.

    Now, if you want to make the case that the writers and early teachers of the New Testament (i.e. the disciples) were conartists in order to create a religion and get something from people, okay. I'd disagree with you, but it would at least be a little more credible.

     

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  48.  
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    No One, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Wake Up before you go go..

    You make a decent but sadly overlook the one of (my) main points of atheism. I don't need anyone to dictate my morality to me like the bible and so many other religous texts do. That and christianity is so good about extorting non-believers. I wanted to sponsor a foreign under-priviliged child (India or Pakistan) and every charity that I looked at was church-based and made the hand-outs to the children/community only when they were preaching/attempting to convert these poor folks. Help them, but leave them to keep their culture intact. Finally, the bible makes christians some of the most hateful people I have ever come across (not that many other religions are better). I can't believe that a religion that preaches tolerance is so intolerant of what they don't like (homosexuality, other religions, smae-sex marriage, pornography, abotrion, stem cell research, evolution, science, etc) while glossing over their shortfalls while begging for forgiveness (pedophillia, crusades, inquistions, etc). It still shocks me to hear some of the horrid things uttered by christians. Case in point--as an atheist I thought I'd put a funny bumper sticker on my car--it said "Have you forgotten about Jesus? Isn't it about time you did?". Going down the road and in parking lots I received many middle fingers, f-you's, offeres to vandalize my car and my person in unimaginable ways. Wow. That's whats wrong with chrisitanity--always got their noses in everyone else's business cause they think they know what's best for everyone. I say live your life your own way and leave everyone else alone. If chrisitans want to be christians, fine...just leave me alone about it and quit trying to impose YOUR (dictated to you) morality on me (who can figure things out for himself). That's all. Peace and happy holidays.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 12:35pm

    Re:

    Damn Christians....

     

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  50.  
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    John W, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 1:38pm

    Ugh

    I hate it when people talk about Christianity like it's some evil force in the world. Say something bad about christians and a good christian will pray for blessings on you. Say something bad to a muslim and they'll cut you, burn you, drag you through the square and hang you upside down with your entrails hanging out. You tell me where the source of evil is?

    Yes, centuries ago there were some evil people who did evil things in the NAME of Chrisitanity, but they were not Christians, nowhere in God's word is there justification for what they've done. With Jesus in your heart, you just don't do those kinds of things. Look, Jesus came to earth with all of the powers of God, but how did he go about changing the world? Not by the sword, but with love, patience, kindness, mercy, etc. You change people's heart and you change the world.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2006 @ 2:18pm

    "The copyrighting is done so that there is repayment on the investment put into translating."

    And why exactly does there need to exist a plethora of translations? The bible was written as one book, parts were added and extracted to fit the view of the church and assert it's control over society. If the bible was "the word of god" it would be sacred. No one would be allowed to alter, paraphrase, rewrite or insert their own interpretations. That's blasphemy.

    The bible is nothing more than a book of stories and guidlines for moral behavior. Since it predates copyright laws it cannot be bound by such.. it is the everlasting item of public domain. Placing a copyright on such historical text makes about as much sense as holding a patent for water or air.

     

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  52.  
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    Jeff, Dec 16th, 2006 @ 10:36am

    Hey, JJ bubbles, *you're* the idiot

    Re:

    Anon Coward bubble said:
    " Sorry to burst your bubble, but most translations of the Bible are copyrighted.

    JJ bubble said:
    UM.... Joe says that in the post... "Of course, these specific versions and spin-offs do have copyright protection, which makes the intellectual property question a bit murkier."

    So, sorry to burst your bubble, but maybe you should read before you comment."

    If you'd actually put the whole thing in context, what Joe said was:

    "The Bible is also used as a platform for new products, like a biblically inspired cooking publication (does it have a recipe for Ezekiel 4:9 bread?). Of course, these specific versions and spin-offs do have copyright protection ..."

    The context provides meaning for the word THESE. THESE referred to biblically-inspired cooking publications and other left-field biblically related products, not bibles themselves. But the first post by an anon. coward was referring to BIBLES when he mentioned that THEY are copyrighted, he's pointing out something very legitmate that Joe *DOES* seem to have missed, which doesn't shock me at all because Joe *DOES* seem to miss a lot.

    I think JJ you trying to BURST so many bubbles and blowing nothing but bubble crud yourself, it's very very clear that you have not much more than a bubble brain yourself.

     

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  53.  
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    Charles Griswold, Dec 17th, 2006 @ 8:18pm

    Politics and Religion

    Mentioning either one can totally derail any discussion. Which in this case was, I believe, about COPYRIGHT!

    Good grief, people, we couldn't even make it to the second post before the religion / anti-religion flames started to fly. Here's a clue: this article was about the copyright status of a specific text vs. the commercial viability of the Bible in contrast with the copyright status and commercial viability of other works, not about the validity of the Bible itself.

    So, y'all just shut up, OK?

     

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  54.  
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    PT, Dec 18th, 2006 @ 6:13am

    Re:

    7. God does exist. You don't believe in God. God forgives you anyway because he is a loving and merciful god = Heaven

     

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  55.  
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    dustydog, Dec 18th, 2006 @ 2:08pm

    Re:

    And when did "god" give humans this bible? Did it fall from the heavens, or did men write it to suit their own ideas?

     

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  56.  
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    Rose, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 4:38am

    To..a. Coward

    I'm sure now that the 'brain' thing just leaves you out!

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 2:48pm

    Re:

    The reason for the copyright is to protect the efforts of the translators, as well as those writing commentary for a particular edition. The copyright is obviously not to cover the original writings in Greek, hebrew, and Aramaic...

     

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  58.  
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    Adi Corrales, Jan 4th, 2007 @ 7:42pm

    If we use logic......

    so:

    1. God doesn't exits, you don't believe in God = Nothing happens

    2. God doesn't exist, You believe in God = Nothing happens.

    3. God does exist, You believe in God = Heaven

    4 God does exist, You don't believe in God = Hell

    5 God does exist, You believe in the wrong God = Hell

    6 God does exist, You believe in the wrong God, The God of Christianity understands you were mislead and forgives you anyway = Heaven

    7. God does exist. You don't believe in God. God forgives you anyway because he is a loving and merciful god = Heaven

    Then:

    8. god does exist, You believe in the wrong god. The wrong god makes you do bad thinks for the "good" god= Hell?

    9. god does exist, You believe in the wrong god . The wrong god makes you do bad thinks BUT AS YOU SAID: The God of Christianity understands you were mislead and forgives you anyway = Heaven?

    So, when I die and as I don't believe in god, I will go to heaven anyway? And I will be able to talk with my mexican ancestors who use to take of the heart of the people to offer to their own (wrong) goods? I will be able to talk with all the muslims who die in a jihad killing christians in the name of their (wrong) good Ala (including Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein)?

    Or he did send all that "mislead" people to hell just because don't belive in him? (hey man, waht a god! uh?)

    If we continue this way, we can found a lot of contradictions in the christians ideas, but the basic is: Only the ones that believe in their god, and do bad thinks go to hell right?... Everybody else who believe in other gods, have no problem, because "God forgives you anyway because he is a loving and merciful god"

    So, why the hell should I be worry about the existence or non existence of god, anyway?

     

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  59.  
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    Ricky, Feb 27th, 2007 @ 7:10am

    Re: Fools...

    GOD CREATED THE WORLD AND ALL IN IT WHY WOULD IT NEED TO BE REPEATED IF IT ALREADY HAD BEEN SAID.. DID U NOT READ THAT PART.. OR DID UR BLIND EYES MANAGE TO SKIP THAT BIT

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 7:20am

    Re: Fools...

    I feel so sorry for you. Satan has filled your heart with such hatred. With your attitude, yes, there will be nothing more for you after your death in this flesh body. I will pray for your soul my child!

     

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  61.  
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    Andre Nicolai, Apr 3rd, 2007 @ 8:49pm

    the bible as an industry

    The Case AGAINST The Bible

    1) Why worship a Jewish God at a Jewish altar?

    2) Why elevate this book above all others? What happened to the Iliad, the Odysseys and the Aeneid, the classics of old?

    3) 2/3 of the 6.5 billion people on planet Earth DO NOT share the "The Bible so pervades Western culture" feeling. Why be exclusionists?

    4) The roots of Western civilization are Greco-Roman NOT Judeo-Christian. Democracy was invented at the Areopagus in Athens, Greece and rule of law and civil engineering by the Roman Empire. Watch the current travails of the European Constitution.

    5) Instead of teaching one distorted point of view, why not teach UNIVERSAL morality and ethics? I am sure lots of other texts would qualify.

    6) The bible is not that original.
    The Ten Commandments? In the papyrus of Ani.
    Noah's tale? In the epic of Gilgamesh.
    Things that came to light only in last hundred years.
    Who knows how many "borrowings" (antecedents) from more ancient and preceding civilizations there are in the "divine revelation" of the Jewish Bible.

    The fact is all civilizations preceding, contemporary and following the 500-300 BC time frame the bible was fabricated had organized religions with high priests and devoted followers.

     

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  62.  
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    jane wahome, Nov 2nd, 2008 @ 6:39am

    WONDERING WHY THERE ARE STILL SOME PPLE WHO ARE SO FOOLISH

    Why God's property are you so foolish? For those of you who are busy arguing foolishly that the bible is copyrighted and bla bla bal, How do you explain your being? And by the way, correction, yes the bible now has many versions but the original one inspired still remains and hasnt been tampered with and shall never change. Believe it or not. The different true translations have been done by most of God's choosen pple so as to reach out to humanity in the most simplest way. That is to get the message home for the pple who do not understand deep english and hey!! look what good job this has done. Millions of pple are getting it thank God Almighty and as he puts it in his word, 'his word will leave forever', end quote, whether you like it or not whether you believe it or not. It is just a pity that you choose the dark path yet you have a choice. Woe unto you. God help you.

     

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