The American Patriot’s Bible: The Word of God and the Shaping of America

(My initial post is here. For more from the blogosphere see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

Let me first state, that the bible itself is a beautiful work, detailed, grand, majestic, and sturdy – yet that only makes it more difficult to read. I wonder how well the Orthodox Study Bible would have done had Thomas Nelson devoted half the attention to that publication as it had to this one. The text is NKJV.

While many are declaring that this bible is a ‘study’ bible, in no way does it measure up to that title (I recommend the NLT Study Bible, if you need one.) Instead, it is propaganda for the religious right — and even conservatives should cry foul over this one. To be honest, I can see this work becoming a bible for many of the homeschooling right. It is a textbook for those that so often confuse American history with salvific history, who confuse the United States with either Israel or the Church.

It includes a  U.S. map, the order of statehood and the ‘Seven Principles of the Judeo-Christian Ethic, which, by the way, was only recently invented by the likes of Scofield and Darby. Here are a few:

  1. Dignity of Life? Really, meaning like the Trail of Tears, the turning away of Jews escaping the Holocaust before WWII, the smallpox blankets, and slavery?
  2. Right to a God-centered education? Not sure where that is enshrined at, but I know who that is pointed to.
  3. The Abrahamic Covenant is superseded by the New Covenant. They wholly misuse it, citing the text ‘that if a nation obeys God’…yet, that nation was Israel then, the Church today, not a geo-political entity like the United States.

It includes a Call to Actions as well, which is a political diatribe meant to play on fears. Citing 2nd Chronicles 7.14 (if My people who are called by my name…), they apply it to the United States. Again, the confusion between the United States and a biblical understanding of what a ‘nation’ and a ‘people’ are is deep.

This is a holy book, or is supposed to be, and not a magazine — so why is it that pictures of all manners of men (but rarely women) pictured. Whether or not you like our current President, his stated personal understanding of Christ should dismiss him from being in a Bible. The same goes for Lincoln and others who used religion as propaganda in a time of war or national crisis. Do you really think that quotes by John F. Kennedy should be included in God’s word?

At the beginning of each book, in each section (Torah, Writings, Poetry, etc…) they have images of American history. For the Torah, they have WWII soldiers, pictures of brothers during the Late War of North Aggression, and the preamble of the Constitution. I can only image that this is representative of Exodus, with Israel’s flight to political liberty. The Minor Prophets include pictures of pioneers while the Gospels have the planting of a flag and lighthouse – because, you know, Christ died to make this country free.

In a section titled “Christianity and the American Frontier” they fail to mention that a lot of times, “the American Frontier” was inhabited by natives who were forcibly removed from their land as “America” marched towards manifest destiny.

In another, “The American Revolution,” they make an erroneous conclusion in speaking of the American Revolution and the Founding Fathers – “they saw them (the charges in the Declaration) as a part of the predetermined plan to take away their religious liberties and reestablish the Church of England to rule over their hearts and souls, thus enslaving the colonies.” Really? What evidence of that is there, especially in the Declaration itself? Wasn’t the battle cry, “No taxation without representation?” And wasn’t the majority of American leaders members of said Church?

In the same section, they note that it was the Churches (many of them Episcopalian) which fueled the ‘fires of liberty’. This book credits the ministers with urging a transformation of theory of Romans 13 – almost as if they are speaking to people today. They note ‘ministers turned the colonial resistance into a righteous cause.’

The APB is not a study bible, or a bible that I recommend buying, reading, or giving. It fuels the confusion that plagues us today – that somehow, we are above all, the only  ‘nation’ which God has blessed. The product description reads:

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.

Friends, the bible is not about a single geo-political entity – it is about the God shaping salvation for humanity. Honestly, it makes me weep for my country.

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26 Replies to “The American Patriot’s Bible: The Word of God and the Shaping of America”

  1. I just have to say … I really appreciate you putting the time and effort into reading this. I really hope that you got it through the Book Review Bloggers program, since I’d hate to think that you actually paid money for it.
    I have to admit, when I first read the description of this, I was sickened. You’ve pretty much confirmed my worst fears.
    Isn’t the “US as Promised Land” a Mormon teaching?

  2. Hmmm … part of me wants to flip through one and see it, but if I get your copy, then I’m stuck with it. I guess it’s too much to hope that we can pass your copy through a dozen or so Christian bloggers and have all of us pan it?
    I mean, give it a perfectly  fair reading and review?

  3. Polycarp
     
    I enjoy your posts.  This is particularly good. I have not seen this particular “study” BIble but have seen this kind of crap pushed hard by a lot in teh “Christian” right.  Nice job.  Peace, Steve+

  4. Simply amazing, good work on this. I am so far removed from this type of Christianity that I wouldn’y hsve even known that it was in publication had I not read your intitial article about it.  The publication of this is as shameless as if the azis had published a Bible with commentary out of Mein Kampf.  Peace, Steve+

  5. I am relieved to read that not all Americans are embracing this hideous publication. I think this “bible” only serves to confirm most other countries' impression of the general attitude of the American people which is very unfortunate.

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