A few weeks ago, Lexham Press Editor Elliot Ritzema received a review copy of LOLcat Bible. Among his many other projects at Lexham, Elliot is in charge of Bible Study Magazine’s Shelf Life book reviews. He chooses the books, contracts out the reviews, and sometimes reads and reviews books himself. The LOLcat Bible gave us all a good laugh when we saw it, so just for fun, we asked Elliot to review it here.
From ancient times, people have wanted to create pictures of their cats. The only difference between then and now was that in ancient Egypt you needed to have some sculpting skills to create a representation of your favorite feline rather than a smartphone.
Even though the impulse remains the same, cat pictures have changed in recent years. One example of this that gained popularity around 2006 is the LOLcat—a combination of the abbreviation for “laugh out loud” (LOL) and “cat.” LOLcats are humorous pictures of cats that use captions with a kind of broken English called LOLspeak. They were made famous through sites like Lolcats.com and I Can Has Cheezburger.
In 2007, Martin Grondin took LOLcats a step farther and started the Lolcat Bible Translation project, an attempt to paraphrase the entire Bible in LOLspeak (also called “kitty pidgin English”). In 2010 he published a thin volume he called the LOLcat Bible, which contained paraphrases of some popular biblical passages into LOLspeak. It is not a complete Bible version; the translation process is still ongoing via the website.
If you’re not used to LOLspeak, the LOLcat Bible can seem like it really is written in a different language. And people are given different names, as well: God is called Ceiling Cat, Jesus is called Happy Cat, the Holy Spirit is called Hovercat, and the devil is called Basement Cat. Here are the first two verses of Psalm 23 in the LOLcat Bible:
Ceiling Cat is mai shepherd. He gif me evrithing Iz need. He letz me sleeps in teh sunni spot an has liek nice watterz ovar thar.
Throughout, the LOLcat Bible includes cat pictures (of course) that are captioned with various verses in LOLspeak. The back of the book also includes the “Ceiling Cat Prayer” (a translation of the Lord’s Prayer) and “Proof of Ceiling Cat” (a translation of various classical arguments for God’s existence, such as Pascal’s Wager).
Needless to say, the LOLcat Bible is intended for entertainment and isn’t going to replace any actual translation of the Bible. It isn’t intended to teach doctrine; if you believed the Trinity was really three totally separate beings, for example, it would amount to tritheism. But if you love cats and are also familiar with the language and humor of internet memes, you will find this book a fun light entertainment.
You’ll find reviews of more scholarly Bible-related books in every issue of Bible Study Magazine, and right here on our blog.