An updated, "cool" version of The Bible - retitled The Book - has been launched in the US with the most expensive literary promotion in history.
    Gospel singers, children and evangelists poured out of a giant copy of The Book to herald the start of the $A10m advertising campaign, which includes a series of star-studded TV commercials.
    Anti-religion activists in the US have branded the relaunch a blatant confidence trick, designed to make money. They say it is a sign of weakness that religions have resorted to such measures.
    But the mastermind behind The Book, TV evangelist and former presidential candidate, Pat Robertson, denied he was promoting The Book for profit. "Our goal is not to sell Bibles. It is to make Bible-reading cool and American," he said.
    Doug Knox, of publishers Tynedale House, explained what he saw as the appeal of the updated version. "The Book looks friendlier than your typical leather Bible," he told the launch party. "It's got a cool title, contemporary package design and clear-reading, single-column type."

11:29am 12/5/99 / BBC


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