The New American Patriot’s Bible – Good or Bad?

Have you heard about the American Patriot’s Bible slated for release this spring from Thomas Nelson?

Here’s a description from the site:

“THE ONE BIBLE THAT SHOWS HOW ‘A LIGHT FROM ABOVE’ SHAPED OUR NATION. Never has a version of the Bible targeted the spiritual needs of those who love our country more than The American Patriot’s Bible. This extremely unique Bible shows how the history of the United States connects the people and events of the Bible to our lives in a modern world. The story of the United States is wonderfully woven into the teachings of the Bible and includes a beautiful full-color family record section, memorable images from our nation’s history and hundreds of enlightening articles which complement the New King James Version Bible text.”

 

They also posted a video on YouTube promoting it:

 

I have mixed feelings about this.

I rejoice over the people that will read the Bible for the first time because someone took the time to associate the stories found therein with their heroes. I rejoice over those that give their lives to Jesus because of this Bible. I rejoice over those that this Bible will help, but I’m a little worried a Bible like this may do more harm than good.

Let me see if I can explain with a few pictures.

A patriotic citizen of the United States may embrace images like this:

 

 

But what does the rest of the world see in an image like that?

 

 

Maybe something like this:

 

 

 

Striking images, huh? And maybe a little offensive? Yes, I’d say so.

But that’s the Jesus many people think patriotic Americans believe in (and that may be true for some). But here’s the thing – that Jesus isn’t real!

I’m not saying I’m ashamed of my country – to the contrary; I’m proud of my country. I’m not saying that I’m not a patriot – to the contrary; I am. I’m not saying I’m not proud of my family members who have (and are) faithfully serving in the military – to the contrary; I’m very proud of my family members who’ve served and are serving (especially my nephew, Josh, who just returned from a tour in Iraq with the Marine Corps).

What I AM saying, is Christians need to be very careful mixing Jesus with their politics.

It could be, by doing so, we’re doing a lot more harm than good for the cause of Christ.

What say you? And what do you think about this new Bible?

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23 thoughts on “The New American Patriot’s Bible – Good or Bad?

  1. rtblaisdell says:

    Sounds interesting. I absolutely agree that we need to exercise great care when mixing God into politics. Personally, I am very offended by people who seem to think God is a Republican or a Democrat. I don’t think God has any political allegiance whatsoever. God has faithful children on both sides of the political camp. For people to think that God is American or anti-American is equally offensive to me. We need to be very careful when talking about God and politics. About this new Bible: don’t really what to think. Sounds interesting. That says it all, I would say.
    Thank you Wes, for all you do. God bless you, your family, and the work y’all are doing.

    • Clint says:

      I agree, It seems we try to shape God by our politics, instead of letting God shape our politics. We like to fit God in a structure that we believe, or perhaps hope, can contain him. But God is bigger.
      I really appreciate what you said about democrats and republicans. There are some very faithful people to God on both sides. I was talking to a crazy man one day and he asked whom i was going to Vote for? I told him i was praying over it and he blew up at me for not going in the ballot room and marking republican on everything i saw. I think he even marked the posters outside! Anyways God moves and acts in ways that we cannot imagine. God choose Saul knowing he would be a screw-up and bad for the nation of Israel. While also choosing David, who kinda think of it was a screw-up too, but very good for Israel.

  2. Jim Woodell says:

    I think you have framed the challenge well.

  3. rogueminister says:

    I think you know how I feel about it already, but for others I will just paste my feelings from my facebook page. I almost threw up when I saw this… it is the most disgusting and offensive thing I have seen in quite a while… in fact its down right blasphemous…

    I am with you on most of this post, except for the last full paragraph, since I am certainly no patriot.

    Great thoughts brother.

    By the way, in the last picture Jesus looks like Billy Ray Cyrus… That may be the most scary one of all…

  4. Shawn says:

    I think that this Bible is going to a lot more harm then good. One reviewer said that this Bible shows “how a light from above has shaped our nation.” That, my friends, is extremely dangerous language.

  5. toethumbs says:

    Oh boy. My vote: Bad. It’s almost like the less history gets taught in school the more this Bible will make American patriotism part of a “hybrid religion”, putting the “flag above the cross” and calling it Christianity, as a friend of mine used to say. And it only solidifies those perceptions and stereotypes about Christians…

  6. K. Rex Butts says:

    “Never has a version of the Bible targeted the spiritual needs of those who love our country more…”

    Right there is the problem. People who love our country. Imagine Paul saying “I Love Rome!” Where’s the love for Jesus and the Kingdom he both proclaimed and gave his life for? And when the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of America collide, what will the people choose. And with a Bible like this, would they even be capable of seeing the difference between the difference between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of America? The cover of this Bible seems to answer that question loud and clear.

    God help your people see the error of nationalism and repent of that error…in the name of your Son, Jesus, who alone is Lord and Messiah. Amen!

  7. Jim Caviness says:

    This Bible tells the true story of the History of the United States and what the Bible once stood for.
    Obviously, in the Ultra Liberal and God Hater world that we live in today, many will try to “Spin” this Bible into something that it’s not. A large number of people have turned so far away from God that
    they will do anything now to try to discredit the best publication that has been printed in years.

    • K. Rex Butts says:

      I am sorry Jim but I have read the Bible from cover to cover several times and never once did I see where the United States was mentioned in the Bible. Please enlighten me.

      A God lover,

      K. Rex Butts

      P.S., Personally, I thought the best publication of the Bible was when it was the Bible and nothing but the Bible…you know, the Bible without all of the spins placed on it so that our capitolistic society could enslave the Bible as a profit generating comodity too.

  8. WesWoodell says:

    Hi Jim –

    You said “many will try to ‘spin’ this Bible into something that it’s not”

    I think many would respond by saying that ‘this’ Bible has spun ‘THE’ Bible into something that it’s not, and the people I hear saying that aren’t all ultra-liberal or God-haters.

    I guess I think the Bible by itself is the best publication that’s been printed in years, and I likely won’t change my view on that anytime soon.

  9. Cary says:

    I think next up should be the Iranian’s Patriot Bible. Death to America!

  10. Daniel says:

    This scares me. With as thankful I am to have been born and raised in America I do not and cannot think of America as a “Christian” nation nor as a nation founded on biblical principles.

    Capitalism – not biblical
    Rebellion against governments – not biblical
    War – not biblical
    Slavery (as we knew it in America) – not biblical
    Freedom of speech – not biblical
    Right to bear arms – not biblical

    Read through Deuteronomy and see what kind of nation God wanted to establish. After that, read Old Testament Ethics for the People of God by Christopher Wright. He does an excellent job of working through the Old Testament to show what kind of state God was trying to establish through Israel. It was a state where land could not be permanently bought or sold – it stayed in the family. Human rights were always protected above all else. Extreme measures were taken to ensure the well-being of the poor, orphans, widows, divorced women, and slaves.

    If you want to know what one nation under God looks like, look at Israel, not America.

  11. Clint says:

    Bible’s with agendas other than God’s is never a good thing.

  12. Cary says:

    Daniel,

    While I agree with the sentiments and the point you are making with your post, it is impossible to say that war is not Biblical. I am not for war. No Christian should be in favor of war, especially offensive war. But we cannot say that God has not engaged in war. Indeed, any kind of reading of the Bible sees God being the author of much war, bloodshed, death, and destruction.

    So, given that, we have to couch our beliefs on that subject on a different plane – as much war as has taken place in the Bible because of God, Christ brought a message that says that temporal enemies should no longer be our battle. But war is not foreign to God or the Bible, as much as I would like to turn blinders to that fact as a Christian.

    Anyway, this was off topic so I’ll stop.

    • Daniel says:

      I’m not saying God never sanctioned war, but the very FEW times that he did it was not for Israel’s sake. God only ever used the HUMAN institution of war as a way to carry out his judgment against certain nations. Granted, he did also allow for Israel to defend herself against invading armies, but even then we see that God sometimes used those foreign empires to bring judgment on Israel.

      To say as American Christians that war is biblical and that we are justified in going to war is a misuse of scripture and a misunderstanding of God and his nature.

      • WesWoodell says:

        When he told Israel to take the promised land, it was to punish idolaters, but it was also to bless Israel … wouldn’t you say?

        It could be (and this is just a thought) that the formation of the United States came about, not so much to bless the United States, but to use the United States to punish other nations.

        I’m not going to get all John Hagee or Pat Robertson here and tell you that’s for sure what He’s done, but given biblical history it stands to reason … doesn’t it?

        I’m sure the Bablyonians would have been happy to produce a “Babylonian Patriot’s Bible.” Yes, they had major military success, and yes, they did run the world for a time, but God’s allowing their rise to power wasn’t to glorify themselves – read the OT and you see what God used them for.

        Could the United States be in the same boat?

  13. K. Rex Butts says:

    I just took the time to watch that small video and all I can say is that it both saddens me and angers me. My God, Our God is bigger than that.

    The truth be told, it has become more and more upsetting everytime I open up a Christian catalogue and see how the Bible has been reformatted into “special editions” and for what? To make some money? Only in a land that has become intoxicated with greed and the need to make money in almost any cost.

    Grace and peace,

    K. Rex Butts

  14. Terry says:

    I like living in the USA. I appreciate the many good things about this country. I pray for its leaders and don’t mind paying my taxes. I even contact my elected officials in the government from time to time with advice on pro-life issues and other subjects. (I try to encourage them to protect innocent children whenever possible.)

    I also like the variety of Bibles available, especially good study Bibles like the Life Application Study Bible and the ESV Study Bible.

    And I love American history. (I minored in social studies in college.)

    However, this Bible does not appeal to me. It should since I love the Bible and am fairly conservative, but it seems to cross a line and distort both the Bible and American history. (It reminds me of a book on African American history that I bought once. It turned out to be merely Republican propaganda making the case that all the oppression of black people in American history came from the Democratic party. While part of it was true, it was so distorted that it did not resemble reality. I could be wrong, but I had the same impression when I saw this Bible on your blog.)

  15. Don White Jr. says:

    It saddens me that so many people who call themselves “Christians” are judging this bible by saying it is proclaiming America, in the context of its government, as being Christian. This is further from the truth. It is simply celebrating Christians in America who are patriotic. Is there a problem with Christians being patriotic? Of course not. Secondly, the idea that Thomas Nelson and a man of integrity like Dr. Richard Lee, the general editor, would ever “blaspheme” God’s Word is preposterous. These articles, stories and illustrations are a “compendium” to the bible. None of the Books of the Bible, chapters, verses or words were changed in any way. I encourage everyone to not “judge this book by its cover” and get a copy for yourself before assuming that The American Patriot’s Bible is trying to make Jesus out to be an American patriot. That is not what it is about at all.

  16. WesWoodell says:

    Hi Don –

    The problem is, people WILL judge this book by its cover – particularly people who need to get to know the real Jesus. While this Bible will no doubt do some good, I’m afraid it will to more harm than good. That was the point of my initial post.

    Never did I say Thomas Nelson or Dr. Lee were blasphemers (although a commentor or two may have).

  17. Oray says:

    Wow, people who believe this book is credible are clearly not capable of solid judgement. God and politics are two separate things. This book is offensive and makes us as Americans a weaker country.

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