The Broble: A Short History
During the mid-Clinton years, roughly coinciding with the advent of reality television, educators began to notice a disturbing trend in America’s youth. The children of the Baby Boomers – “Generation Y” or “Millenials”, depending on which weekly news magazine you subscribe to – were turning their collective back on the ambition and intellectualism of their generational forebears in favor of a media-saturated worldview that was light on science and Shakespeare but heavy on song lyrics and movie lines. Turn-of-the-century teens were living in a brave new world of ones and zeros, chat rooms and urls, screen names and status updates. It was a world of immediacy and iPods with little room for things like math, science, and books.
As a result of their rejection of traditional curricula, those charged with educating and indoctrinating these future leaders of the free world were faced with a unique challenge: what do you say to someone who only speaks in Adam Sandler quotes? Or, more to our point, what good is a Bible to a college freshman who can’t read?
Zondervan Publishers thought they had the answer with 2005’s Today’s New International Version (TNIV). Unfortunately, the supposedly “modern” TNIV still contained words like “oblation” and “Jehoshaphat” and, as a result, was largely ignored by America’s youth. After failing to reach the Harry Potter fans and Hollister patrons with everything from church camps to trust falls, Evangelical leaders were prepared to write the entire generation off as a complete loss.
But then, in an encounter so fortuitous it can only be attributed to providence, Tom Pritchett, Zondervan’s Director of New Projects, bumped into an old friend at a release party for Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. That friend was Zach Mortenson, head writer for FOX’s Family Guy and master of all things pop culture.
After catching up on the usual business of family, friends, and which high school cheerleader grew up to be fat, the two turned their attention to the lamentable state of the American intellect. While Mortenson was quick to admit that he had benefited greatly from The Millenials’ abandonment of the academy, he could not help but bemoan the many works of art and literature that would be missed by the legions of Family Guy fans who had eschewed reading for basic cable and writing for predictive text.
Voicing his agreement, Pritchett made the observation that with his knowledge of scripture and Mortenson’s familiarity with pop culture, they could, between the two of them, write the first Bible translation that would interest people under the age of thirty. Mortenson immediately took to the idea.
“Yes!” he said. “If America’s youth can understand nothing but Will Ferrell quotes and Coldplay lyrics, than why not translate the Bible into Will Ferrell quotes and Coldplay lyrics?” Riding a wave of inspiration and grain alcohol, the pair proceeded, in the next fifteen minutes, to rewrite half the book of Joshua and portions of Ezekiel before Mortenson was called away to do a Stewie impression for Al Roker.
The Holy Broble
That conversation was the genesis (pardon the pun) of The Holy Broble. Though the two never saw each other again, and Mortenson eventually became an atheist, the dream of the first “culturally literate” Bible never left Pritchett. Over the next half decade he nurtured the dream and watched it grow. Collaborators were brought on board, pilot episodes were written, rabbis were consulted, and entire seasons of Flavor of Love were TIVO’d. Now, six years after that first conversation at the Hollywood Hilton mini-bar, The Holy Broble is ready to be shared with the world.
Of course, with a Bible as “socially advanced” as The Holy Broble, traditional print publication would not do. Instead, it will be released on this website in chapter-length installments over the next twelve months. In this way, readers can enjoy it without having to pay for it while also being afforded the opportunity to tell the authors how much they hate it. There truly has never been a book quite like it. It’s not a blog, it’s not a Bible, it’s…The Broble (like the Bible, but with Bro).
Look for The Holy Broble on your Kindle or other e-book device in the Spring of 2012.