The Bible has been translated into emoji for millennials
'Scripture 4 millennials': You can now read the King James Bible with the help of emoji
For smiling face with halo emoji so loved the Earth emoji, that he gave his only begotten baby emoji, that whosoever believeth in him should not skull and crossbones emoji, but have everlasting life.
At long last, people between the ages of 16 and 35 can now read, understand, and 🙌 the "bestselling book of all time" thanks to an emoji translation of the Holy Bible.
And yet, while all 66 books of the King James version of the Bible are included in the digital download, you won't find words like "for," "be," or even "God" anywhere in the text.
Millennials, the generation most often classified as those born between 1980 and 2000, would rather see numbers, letters and pictographs than actual English phrases, it seems.
Of course, it may only seem that way to "the olds," the marketers, and a biblical translator who goes simply 😎 (cool smiling face with sunglasses emoji.)
Can emoji help churches attract more youth?
Bible Emoji is billed on iTunes as a "fun way to share the Gospel" and "explore all 66 books chronicling the stories of Abraham, Noah and Jesus like never before!"
The project also includes a microsite that translates Bible verses and a Twitter feed that's been active since August 2015.
📖 of Genesis: 01:006:020 (1/2)<br><br>Of 🐔🐔 after their kind, & of 🐮🐮 after their kind, of every creeping thing of the 🌎 after his kind,—@BibleEmoji
Its creator, while choosing to remain anonymous, told the Guardian that he or she translated the Bible into emoji because "I thought it'd be fun to try to make it."
"I think we should worry more about spreading [peace] and [love] and less about what church affiliation we're doing it under," said sunglasses emoji when asked about whether Bible Emoji was created to bolster church attendance or combat rising rates of secularism among young people.
Even on Twitter, the project's author has been pleasant to both lovers and haters of the book, declining to engage in arguments or promote any one specific denomination.
As news of the book spread on Monday, however, many appeared to take it as a tool designed to help the millennial generation discover (or rediscover) God.
"New emoji Bible attempts to make Christianity more approachable as millennials leave church," proclaims an International Business Times headline.
"This new, hip Bible (now with 15 per cent fewer words) might finally be the ticket to luring the heathen tweens to God," wrote Jezebel of the book. "The church itself has a rich history of hilarious reinvention tactics designed to make its message more palatable. This might not even be the worst one."
So the Emoji Bible is a real thing... I'm 😂 and 😭 at the same time <a href="https://t.co/AR0k5fVX1p">pic.twitter.com/AR0k5fVX1p</a>—@srkalski
Regardless of the author's intentions, some millennials are taking offence, not over the fact that an emoji Bible exists (somebody already tried to Kickstart one in 2014), but rather that their generation is being associated with acronyms, out-of-date net speak and smartphone pictograms.
At present, the mean age for a person in the millennial generation is 26, the same age at which most women were having their first babies in 1990, according to Statistics Canada.
Emoji, while popular in Japan since the mid 1990s, didn't explode onto the pop culture scene in North American until about 2014. Millennials may have fallen in love with emoji, but so have many other people spanning multiple generations in recent years.
Suffice to say, emoji use is no longer unique to kids. More importantly, the majority of millennials aren't kids anymore either.
If responses to Bible Emoji news coverage right now are any indication, no emoji — not even the smiling poop emoji — can do much to change the minds of today's young adults about religion.
Oh. I'm sure this will work. The reason millennials don't like religion is because it wasn't written in emoji. Right <a href="https://t.co/iNDzcqMmQ9">https://t.co/iNDzcqMmQ9</a>—@FluentsWorld
Strikes me as patronizing: 'Emoji Bible' Seeks to Appeal to Millennials <a href="https://t.co/qHFwXHaybJ">https://t.co/qHFwXHaybJ</a> via <a href="https://twitter.com/christianhlines">@christianhlines</a>—@SherylJohansen
Someone made a Bible with emoji which I also will not read <a href="https://t.co/cSRFO5NVD6">https://t.co/cSRFO5NVD6</a>—@VegasAnonymous
Emoji characters may not play much of a role in the personal belief systems of America's largest living generation after all, it would seem.
Fingers crossed emoji.