Why This TikToker Translates the Bible into Gen Z Slang
By Movieguide® Contributor
One TikTok account is sharing the Bible with younger generations by translating Bible stories and passages into Gen Z slang.
The TikTok account, gen.z.bible.stories, has garnered millions of views through its creative renditions of popular Bible verses.
One of their most popular videos translates the beatitudes—Matthew 5:1-9—into something only Gen Z will understand.
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God” translates to “W to those who turn opps into bros, for they will be called CEOs of peace.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” becomes “W to those who catch hands for being valid, for they will not be left on read by God.”
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” turns into “W to you when the opps be cappin’ hard and do you so dirty bc you’re my fam. Trust you have crushed it and have the eternal W, for so they did the true bros before you.”
While these translations seem almost impossible to understand for those unfamiliar with Gen Z terminology, the videos have proved effective at getting the message of the Bible across to younger people.
“IS THERE A GEN Z BIBLE BOOK?!?!?!?!?!? I NEED IT,” commented one person.
“Honestly, this is easier to understand than any other translation,” said another.
“I’m not even religious and I’m following,” added a third. “I’m suddenly into the Bible.”
Despite the praise that this account has received from fans, some are worried that it is being too cavalier with its interpretation of God’s word.
However, the anonymous person who runs the account doesn’t shy away from this criticism, as they asked the same question when their first video drew in a significant audience.
“I always try not to be disrespectful to the text or to stray from any accuracy,” the account runner told the New York Post.
“If you consider that slang is a legitimate form of communication, then this is just another translation effort,” they added.
This sentiment is shared by Robin Peake from Wycliffe, a Bible translating organization involved in over 75% of ongoing translation efforts.
“It’s great to see people engaging with God’s word,” Peake said. “We would always say, any new translation that can reach a new audience has to be applauded and has to be a good thing. I think that the number of people who are engaging with these videos is very exciting to see, we really want young people to be engaged with God’s word.”
“For as long as I can remember, we’ve been trying to communicate God’s word in relevant ways. We have children’s Bibles that are communicating in the language of four-year-olds and five-year-olds. We have dramatizations in church that are telling familiar stories in new ways,” he continued.
“So I think we want to differentiate between [what is] faithful and accurate translation of the Bible and [what is] communicating God’s word in relevant ways.”
Movieguide® previously reported on another person attempting to reach Gen Z through new technology:
Nils Gulbranson hopes his “Christian ChatGPT,” Biblemate.io, will help believers and non-believers to find answers to life’s most difficult questions.
Biblemate.io aims to “Engage in a transformative Bible study experience like never before.”
“Our innovative web application empowers you to dive into the Scriptures with newfound depth and understanding,” it continues. “Explore profound insights, gain clarity on complex passages, and strengthen your connection with God’s Word.”
“The big difference from ChatGPT is that it’s a model grounded in a biblical and theological view of the world,” Gulbranson stated.
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