The Bible Emoji Translator Is Here To Prove How Hip And Relevant The Bible Is To Youths Who Hate Words
My fellow millennials, have you ever thought, “I would totally get into reading the Bible if it weren’t for all those words”? Do you wish the Bible was more down with the kidz (that’s “kidz” with a Z)? The Bible Emoji Translator is the answer to your prayers.
All you do is type in your favorite Bible verse — you do have a favorite Bible verse, right? — and the Bible Emoji Translator abbreviates it into textspeak and tiny emojis. Or, as the site puts it:
<– enter ur fave Bible verse on the left
awesomeness appears on the right –>
Not being a dirty heathen, I had a list of verses ready to go (which I definitely didn’t pull from Google 30 seconds before).
First up was a snippet from Revelations, the most metal book of the New Testament. This is where you get the prophecies about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the mark of the Beast, etc. Some pretty hardcore shit, basically. I put in “ancient serpent called the devil, who leads the world astray,” from Revelations 12:9. Here’s what the Bible Emoji Translator came up with:
OK, first of all, the serpent is adorable. Second of all, LOOK AT THAT MASK. That’s based on a classical Japanese theatre mask. I can’t get over it.
Then I took it back to the Old Testament with the end of Jeremiah 29:22, “whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire”:
This actually raises an important question: Has anyone in the history of emojis ever used the fire emoji to talk about literal fire? The Bible Emoji Translator may be a pioneer in this respect.
Also worth noting is that “flame”/”flames” only gets one fire emoji, whereas “fire” gets three. Is there some kind of fire ranking system I’m missing?
The translations don’t work with some bits of Scripture. I tried Chapter 7, Verse 1 from the Song of Solomon, the sexiest book in the Bible, and all I got was a few abbreviations:
See, that’s just disappointing.
I tried a few other Song of Solomon verses (mostly the ones about breasts, because I am an adult) and was further disappointed by the lack of boob emojis.
In fact, I was surprised at the number of words they didn’t have emojis for. Despite the fact that it would look really cool, “sword” doesn’t have an emoji, nor does “blood.” A lot of animals don’t get emojis, either, which is a shame because I wanted to see the plague of frogs upon Egypt depicted in cute little pictures.
To test the site’s commitment to Scriptural integrity, I also tried a piece of text that wasn’t from the Bible. Specifically, a line from Anthrax’s “I Am The Law”, a heavy metal ode to the comic book character Judge Dredd:
Not that I’m advising you to type in random words just to see what their emojis look like, or to use the Bible Emoji Translator for anything other than the emoji-ized study of the holy Scriptures.
But can we get serious for a minute? Emoji-ing the Bible isn’t surprising. In fact, it’s very much in keeping with a long-standing tradition of trying to make religion seem relatable and hip. I’ve seen a lot of attempts to sell Christianity to The Youth as a cool alternative to secularism: “Teen Bibles” with super extreme — sorry, X-TREME — covers and churches with full coffee bars in the lobby. DC Talk and Sonicflood, the acceptably Christian takes on alternative music, were pushed my way when I was a confused teenager. It doesn’t work. What does work is honesty, openness, and respect. No youth marketing needed. (Just kidding; you guys definitely need these emojis to capture that demo.)
I’m all for making religion more accessible and inclusive, but this is frickin’ baffling. If you already have favorite Bible verses, you probably don’t need much help getting into the Bible, so it kind of feels like they’re preaching to the converted. Maybe that’s what they want to do? Who knows.
Or as the founders of the site might say: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯