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New Bible Modernizes the Word With Angelina: Heavenly Idea?

Though the story might always start, "in the beginning," the Bible has taken a whole host of formats from iPod ready to graphic novel, but this latest incarnation called Bible Illuminated: The Book takes the Bible and smashes in a bit of People and a little bit of Vogue and reimagines it as an avant-garde coffee-table book of photo essays to tell the story of Jesus for an Angelina Age (yep, she's in there.)

What's behind the new slick format? One professor of religious studies explains it like this: "In general, Bible publishers have always been creative, but now they are scrambling to meet a culture where people are moving away from print reading. In a visually literate, advertising-skeptical age — how do you grab people's attention? Mixing the biblical text with Angelina Jolie doesn't surprise me."

Sales of Bibles rise during times of war and economic crisis, (uh, check and check) so the new version may be an instant best-seller and might lure new readers in. The dean emeritus at the Nida Institute For Biblical Scholarship says, "We are living in the age of increased secularization and distance from traditional religion. It's about new points of entry in a modern world that is not ready to open its doors and windows to the traditional word."

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