Kickstarter, a popular funding platform, has been good to Bible-related projects this year.
In July, designer and illustrator Adam Lewis Greene raised nearly $1.5 million during his Bibliotheca campaign. Greene redesigned the Good Book to ease reader engagement, removing chapter and verse numbers and formatting the text like a traditional piece of literature.
A few weeks later, The Forever Bible replicated Bibliotheca's success, far surpassing its $30,000 fundraising goal, Deseret News National reported. The project promised a Bible that would be "as indestructible as it is integral to Christian practice around the world."
However, the site's latest Bible campaign is finding few fans in Kickstarter's previously friendly waters. "The Bible translated into Emoticons," proposed by Kamran Kastle, had received only $23 of its $25,000 goal by the halfway point of its campaign.
The campaign tagline is, "One of the oldest books translated into one of the newest languages."
Kastle, founder of A Hollywood Ending marketing studio, explains on the project's Kickstarter page that he plans to use emoticons designed especially for the book to tell the stories of both Old Testament and New Testament.
"There isn't an emoji for the Red Sea parting … so I invented it. There isn't even a Jesus emoji, so I created that one, too," he told Vice. "I am not only translating the Bible into emoticons, I'm also designing the emoticons myself."
Kastle promises all donors (even those who give only $1) the rights to the emoticons he invents, a digital copy of the final product and inclusion on the Bible's "Backers Page."
"The Bible translated into Emoticons" is a more novel venture than both Bibliotheca and The Forever Bible, but that alone doesn't explain its unpopularity. After all, author Jana Riess gained such a following for her text-speak translations of the Bible on her Twitter account that the undertaking, aptly named "The Twible," became a book.
The campaign's main flaw, noted Vice, could be that "some might find the project irreverent or even demeaning to religion."
It could also be too confusing. Emoji is a tricky language to translate, as evidenced by The New York Times' "Are You Fluent in Emoji?" quiz. But Kastle wrote on the Kickstarter page that each verse in emoticon will be accompanied by the standard biblical text.
The emoji Bible campaign will continue until Friday, Nov. 28.
Email: email@example.com Twitter: @kelsey_dallas