The Bible: Rated “E” for Everyone?!

The Bible: Rated “E” for Everyone?! June 7, 2018

I came across the shirt below, and felt I had to blog about it:

I’m not sure whether the shirt is based on a lack of awareness of the Bible’s contents, familiarity only with children’s Bible versions of stories, wishful thinking, or some combination of the two. But “explicit content” seems more apt than “E for Everyone,” wouldn’t you agree?

I first blogged about what movie-type rating would be given to the Bible, or to works within the Bible, back in the very earliest days of my blog, when it was called “Exploring Our Matrix” and hosted on my own university web space, well before it moved to Blogger, never mind to Patheos. Just over 11 years ago to the day, if anyone is interested. Here is an excerpt from that post:

When discussing the books of Joshua, Judges and 1-2 Samuel in class, I have on occasion asked my students who they would get to direct the stories. My own suggestion is to have Mel Gibson direct Joshua, which has a Braveheart epic sort of feel to it, while Judges is definitely more up Quentin Tarantino’s alley. Both books would clearly deserve an ‘R’ rating. My assignment for that part of the semester is to have students reflect on the difference between reading these stories as adults and their exposure to them as children. Many details they don’t remember from their childhood are mentioned, without fail including that they were not told as children that Goliath was decapitated by David.

Should Bibles have parental advisory labels affixed to the cover? Would we really want out children to put what they learn from these parts of the Bible into practice?

Perhaps my directing recommendations need to be updated, after a significant passage of time? If so, who would you recommend as replacements for my examples?

I never got around to tackling other examples of biblical literature. Song of Songs would be porn, if the things that are described through metaphors were to be shown on screen in literal fashion.

Presumably the most mature audience rating of any individual book in the Bible would apply to the whole. And so there is violence, sexually explicit material, probably foul language, and more, in specific places. And so perhaps the question that it would be interesting to ask is which books within the Bible, if any, you would be comfortable placing an “E for Everyone” rating on, even if the entire compilation needs to be for more mature audiences. I look forward to reading your thoughts on this in the comments!


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