Hipster Bibles are now a thing

A startup called Alabaster wants to give the Bible a rebrand to make the book appeal to millennials.


July 25, 2019

Would you read the Bible if there were pictures? And not just some janky cartoon of Daniel getting thrown into the lions’ den — we’re talking minimalist design engineered for hipsters.    

The startup Alabaster is betting that young people, often averse to religion, will delve into Scripture… if it’s presented in an aesthetically pleasing form.

Others are doing the same for the Bhagavad Gita, the Talmud, and classic works of literature. 

A way for millennials to keep the faith?

Updates to the presentation of the Bible and other religious texts aren’t new. 

“Every generation demands its own prayer book,” Rabbi Hara Person tells Crain’s New York.  

Plus, there are Bibles for other niche groups, including firefighters and golfers

But Alabaster sees its artsy, minimalist Bibles appealing to a large group — a younger generation that, in the same way it favors craft coffee and craft beer, wants something high-quality and “authentic.”  

The issue with copyright infringement 

Despite the age of the Bible — and the belief by many that it was divinely inspired — many translations of scripture are copyrighted. So Alabaster had to get permission from a publishing company. 

But plenty of classical works lose their copyrights over the years. In fact, after a 21-year freeze, the U.S. introduced new titles into the public domain — every work produced in the U.S. in 1923, including poems by Robert Frost and works by Willa Cather. 

Now, every passing year will feature the introduction of more literature and music. 

So get started on that cubist coffee table book portrayal of Frost’s “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.”

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