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The Relatively Good Book by B. J. Hutto + Will Williams
The Relatively Good Book
B. J. Hutto & Will Williams on the Liberal Protestant Bible Translation
Editors’ Note: In order not to exclude atheists,
agnostics, animists, and people of other non-Christian (yet equally valuable)
beliefs from the open dialogue about the human situation and the universal
value of all forms of life, the editors of the Liberal Protestant Version
have discerned that the most productive way forward is to soften the potentially
offensive word “God” by consistently placing it in quotation
marks at its every occurrence. In future editions of the LPV, the editorial
board may consider eliminating the problematic word altogether.
Additionally, on the title page, instead of printing “The Holy Bible,” which
threatens to eclipse other equally enlightening sources of spiritual revelation,
the board has, following a sensitive and thoughtful dialogue, decided to print, “The
Sweet and Simple Story of Jesus and His Love.” We earnestly hope this
creates a space for your personal self-empowerment.
This translation is dedicated to the nineteenth-century Scottish Old Testament
scholar and theologian, W. Robertson Smith, who, when told that he had been
accused of denying the divinity of Christ, responded by saying, “How
can they accuse me of that? I’ve never denied the divinity of any man,
let alone Jesus.”
John 1:1a: In the beginning was a Word of affirmation.
Romans 3:23: For all have tried their hardest and fallen short of their best
Exodus 20:3: You shall have no other gods before me—I
am no more or less worthy a god than any of them.
John 20:22: And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive
Mark 3:23: So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: “How
can Satan drive out Satan? It’s not like he’s real, or anything.”
Psalm 37:40: God helps those who help themselves.
Luke 9:26: For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words is to be congratulated
for not arrogantly shoving their religion down other people’s throats.
Luke 16:13: Serve two masters—why limit yourself?
Revelation 3:16: So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,
you are reasonable, and we can have dialogue.
John 20:25a: So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!
In our hearts, that is!”
Matthew 5:2–11: And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed
are the open-minded, for they have thrown off the shackles of truth. Blessed
are the spiritually sensitive, for they are in touch with themselves. Blessed
are the relevant, for they shall worship in their own way. Blessed are the
private, for they have refused to subject their inner motivation to the barbarism
of public discourse. Blessed are the Beatles, for they know that all you need
is love. Blessed are the nuanced, for none can accuse them of offense. Blessed
are the empowering, for they know that God has no hands but theirs. Blessed
are the nice, for they’re just so sweet! Blessed are the non-Christians,
for they have discovered a god of their own.”
John 18:38: “What is truth?” Pilate asked. “What do you think
it is?” Jesus replied.
John 6:60–61: On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This
is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” Aware that his disciples were
grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? I’m
sorry.” So he apologized and took it all back.
Matthew 5:18: I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not
the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear
from the Law, unless it conflicts with what you already believe.
John 14:6: I am a way to many truths about your life.
Matthew 28:19: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, affirming
them in the name of the Creator and of the Redeemer and of the Sustainer.
John 10:10: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have
come that they might have an ethically respectable lifestyle—and be
full of it.