Aussie Bible to be launched
The Virgin Mary is a "pretty special sheila" who wraps her nipper in a bunny rug and tucks him up in a cattle feed trough, according to a new Australian version of the Bible reports the Daily Telegraph.
The Three Wise Men are "eggheads from out east" who follow a star to find the baby Jesus and announce their arrival with: "G'day, Your Majesty!" The Good Samaritan is a "grubby old street sweeper" who patches up the victim of a highway robbery with his first aid kit, then drops him off at the nearest pub.
The stories are undoubtedly familiar, but their telling has taken an improbable verbal bruising with the translation of parts of the New Testament into the Australian vernacular, known as Strine.
The result is The Aussie Bible (Well, bits of it anyway!) which will be published in August and is aimed at readers who believe the Bible is too high brow or simply boring. The book has headings such as "Jesus is born", "The Wise Guys" and "The Story of the Good Bloke".
It has been backed by the Bible Society of New South Wales, with forewords by Peter Jensen, Sydney's Anglican archbishop, and John Anderson, the deputy prime minister.
The project was devised by Kel Richards, a journalist and broadcaster. He admitted his motivation was unclear: "I don't know if it was a brainwave, a seizure, or a bad oyster."