jesus scrolling on his phone while laughing
The viral account is bringing Jesus Christ to the TikTok generation.

Much like those books which update Shakespeare into modern English, a viral TikTok account is updating the Bible for a whole new generation. 

The TikTok videos (some racking up millions of views) focus on a story or character from the Bible, as the narrator casually retells the biblical story in copious Gen-Z slang. With terms like “vibe check”, “pick-me girl”, and “glow up”, the videos are hoping to demystify Christianity’s holy text for young people.

While many have enjoyed the TikTok videos for its tongue-in-cheek humor and informative content, some say that the updated Gen-Z translation only serves to cheapen the Bible and make a mockery of their faith.

New Bible Translation Just Dropped

So... is Jesus based, or cheugy? TikTok account "Gen Z Bible Stories" seeks to answer that question for a generation often viewed as apathetic towards biblical teachings.

With more than one hundred thousand followers, one million likes, and over seven million views, Gen Z Bible Stories is the latest viral account to take TikTok by storm. The account takes classic biblical tales and retells them with casual Gen-Z slang. 

Think of it as a Sunday sermon... as retold by your 20-year-old little cousin.

The account’s most popular video tells the story of Mary’s virgin birth: “Mary was a pick-me girl for God and was simping for him in prayer when the angel Gabriel appeared to her and said, ‘you’ve passed God’s vibe check, and he wants you to be the mother of the main character, the son of the top G.’” 

“She said, ‘bet,’ and Gabriel left her on read, and she let the holy spirit cook.”

https://www.tiktok.com/@gen.z.bible.stories/video/7269836019476827434

Other well known Bible translations include the Apostle John entering his “prophet era,” and Jesus turning water into wine, which “absolutely slays.”

But one of the most-watched videos on the account is a Gen-Z retelling of the Sermon on the Mount. See if you can make sense of this youthful Bible translation:

https://www.tiktok.com/@gen.z.bible.stories/video/7273251096699751723

Need help breaking it down? We've done our best to translate some of this language. 

"W to those who aren't thirsty for this mid life, for they will have eternal life" translates to: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

"W to those who take L's from this life, for they will receive an everlasting W" translates to: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." 

"W to those who don't throw hands, for they will secure the eternal bag" translates to: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God."

Modern Spin, or a Mockery of Faith?

This language may be nigh incomprehensible for anyone over 30, but many younger TikTok commenters actually said that this new translation (of sorts) helped them better understand the Bible.

And on the other hand, many older commenters familiar with the biblical stories but not Gen-Z slang said that this helped them understand the slang of their children or grandchildren.

Although the account is clearly intended to evoke some giggles, the TikToker says that his intent is not to mock Christianity.

“The main question I get asked is from Christians, who wonder if it’s blasphemous. I wondered that too before I made the second video,” he explained. “I always try not to be disrespectful to the text or to stray from any accuracy.”

While many young Christians have stated that the account has actually deepened their faith by giving them a better understanding of Christianity, not all religious leaders are happy about it.

Dr. Brent Strawn, a professor of the Old Testament at Duke University wonders if the account is going “too far,” and ponders whether the Gen-Z language actually cheapens the original biblical text. 

"Some of the slang terms might be things that you would use for dating situations," he explains. "Is that really the same thing as the notion of the annunciation of the virgin birth to Mary?"

Still, many find the account to be pretty entertaining and informative. These fans point out that the Bible has been endlessly translated and retranslated over time… couldn’t this Gen-Z slang update be an extension of that lineage?

What do you make of the account? Is it performing harmless modern translation, or making a mockery of faith?

Did the Bible need a Gen-Z update?

58 comments

  1. Matthew Mastrogiovanni's Avatar Matthew Mastrogiovanni

    Sounds like Jesus Christ Superstar for a new generation.

    1. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

      Still have the double LP of that, with the lyric pages.

    2. Joy's Avatar Joy

      I know the whole thing by heart!!! I drove people nuts when I watch with them 🤣

  1. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

    Let me guess - religious conservatives hate it.

    Those who don't live in mortal fear of everything alive and free appreciate the fresh approach.

    Predictable.

    1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

      And they won’t like it in spite of the fact that the bible wasn’t ‘written’ in English originally and translations never completely get the meaning fully right. This can be seen in the tremendous number of discrepancies in the bible when a single story is told by multiple ‘authors’.

      1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

        You have to understand the the way someone interprets something. That's why I read 6 or so versions when I'm studying/deep diving. Many newer versions will use water downed words. That's what the Bible is talking about, one of the things anyway. Here's a good example:

        Go forth and replenish the earth.

        Go and have lots of babies.

        These are two translations of the same verse that stuck out to me. They clearly have tremendous differences in meaning and power. The bible wants the words to carry the same weight and power when it's put into new languages it's believers are commanded to bring the word to.

        1. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

          Yes - 'choose your favorite narrative' is definitely the best way to study history.

          1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

            Kenneth, your hatchet must be getting dull by now.

            I'm merely stating that the bible does not oppose translation or being printed in other languages rather it encourages it. It just wants to be translated as accurately as possible.

            Here let me hold my neck out for a better swing....

            1. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

              That's very thoughtful SOJ.

              Yes - 'choose your favorite translation ' is definitely the best way to study history.

              Not that amy of that matters to me - until someone tries to use that translation to run other people's lives.

              1. Keith Lawrence Dimond's Avatar Keith Lawrence Dimond

                Well, there ya go. Say it for 'that translation' or that interpretation or that religion or other dogma. ...including the 'secular' dogmatics.

                It is useful to read the old seers and those who spoke of them. I apply this to all of them, from before Sumeria and Egypt, through them to today.

                However, most things exist not in original, and admit of errors. So it pays to read and compare, and wonder 'what happened there?'

                Meantime, if my connection is only to old writings and the 'authorites' of this or any age or ages, then I question my true 'enlightenment.' It's amazing how much information is out there in the Astral (in there, within) if one listens, still with a discerning spirit.

                With the Bible, one of the stunning scriptures that, for me, really told the whole story, in a way, was Matthew 7:21-23:

                21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

                So 'knowing' is key, a connection and active participation. Many who 'speak for God' today are just using the name in vain, 'dropping names' along with misconcepts or self-serving 'rules.'

                Anything that gives a boost to getting your own connection is useful. Do I like or respect "Gen Z Jive"? No. Do I like that it's encouraged? No. I think it tends to divide... unless it awakens the unity consciousness, which... then makes the path ... useful.

    2. Beverly Dawn Hartley's Avatar Beverly Dawn Hartley

      Your "guessing" doesn't make it truth. Why lump all people together. I am a religious conservative and I think it's terrific. if it brings more people to faith and God I am all for it. Stop with the doom and gloom. You are actually the one showing hate. Stop the dividing.

      1. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

        Thank you for sharing your opinion.

      2. Alisha Michelle Edwards's Avatar Alisha Michelle Edwards

        Well said!

    3. Keith Allen Steele Eash's Avatar Keith Allen Steele Eash

      Let me guess. I won't even bother reading it coming from a Chinese COMMUNIST APP that persecutes all religions. Probably some darn COMMUNIST who wrote it. Finally, this place really posts the most stupid mindless articles. Just to keep the dumb sheeple entertained with their.mindless liberal bigotry towards anyone of religious faith. You're really pretty much lacking any intelligence.

      1. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

        I love the pictures the ULC uses to head their blogs. I think they are often perfect.

  1. He Who Breathes's Avatar He Who Breathes

    Just as real as the original one...

  1. Brien's Avatar Brien

    Same lies different packaging.

  1. Catherine's Avatar Catherine

    This is not about religion at all.

    Tik Tok raised the bar on mischief making. A step up from Facebook. Or down, depedent on how it's viewed.

    Religious anything on TikTok only draws a different consumptive audience.

    The short and long term effect of Tik Tok is massive marketing against those who use it. It wastes time. Distracts. Nosier than Gladys on 'Bewitched'. Collects data to increase consumers.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/ai-behind-tiktoks-addictive-algorithm-simple-alexander-stahl

    "Building a scalable and real-time recommendation system is vital for many businesses driven by time-sensitive customer feedback, such as short-videos ranking or online ads."

    https://upperedge.com/wp-content/uploads/Business-Insider_10_4_20.pdf

    "TikTok uses both Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud, according to reporting from the Information, with AWS as its main provider and a three-year, $800 million agreement signed with Google in 2019."

    I avoid TikTok like the plague it is. I feel sorry for those who get caught up with it.

    1. Brien's Avatar Brien

      Totally agree 👍

      1. Lester Stanley Petrie's Avatar Lester Stanley Petrie

        i'm absolutely with you. They've scraped the scum off the bottom and brought it to the surface!

    2. Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson's Avatar Kenneth Lafe Eric Sanderson

      Amen.

  1. Rev. Jean-Anasthase's Avatar Rev. Jean-Anasthase

    Pure genius. Such a pity this does not exist in French...

    Rev. Jean-Anasthase.

  1. Daniel Todd Kamm's Avatar Daniel Todd Kamm

    OK I can see where the vibe can go either way, currency or making fun. I can see why the young people in the vids were laughing, because the word as some call it, is way outside the king's english...

    But the king is long dead, and since then, there have been thousands of other translations and re-works : there are baby books, kindergarten books, goodness knows comic books and anime etc... so what's the problem if that's how someone is spreading that particular s[ritual view?

    It's not my view... I'm Jewish... and like any other group of people, there's a ,out of debate about everything.

    In terms of my studies of Christianity, I have found the historically researched more convincing , esp. Bart Ehrman's many writings and commentaries.

    Life moves on and times move on, each dragging the other and the rest of us with it.

    Each generation has to decide how it's going to handle these things.

    Funny...

    I just had a "flash" on the original "Planet of the Apes" movie, where the human nuclear bomb survivors prayed to the missile with "USA" on it's side, and taking off the masks they use to cover their deformities, they prayed to "USA" entreating, "I reveal my inner -most self unto my god...."

    Before blowing everything up again.

    Just like a MAGA rally... please....!

    1. James Riggle-Johnson's Avatar James Riggle-Johnson

      Daniel, thanks for the reference of Bart Ehrman's work. I'm finding him very interesting and I'm going to have to read more. Again, thanks. Rev. Jim

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    These videos have become a joke and are being mocked by Gen-Z. They have become a comedy.

  1. Cliff D Downing's Avatar Cliff D Downing

    The King James was a compilation by about 50 scholars. They each undertook the task of translating the documents that we have come to know as the canonized bible. Once this work was complete they then joined together and worked to insure that the compiled translation was as close as was possible to the original text. It was a sincere and honest effort to stay as true to the text they were working from as possible. I believe their work was inspired by God.. Now we have all these groups that want to reinterpret the bible and it seems like everyone of them has some sort of agenda. All this reminds me that in the bible we are commanded to not change even one word. Satan is on a generational mission to corrupt God's word and he's got all the time in the world to do it. If he can get each generation to only change one word then ultimately he will have succeeded in corrupting the word of God. Things like to the Tic Tok video's and all these "modern" translations don't put the same amount of time and effort into translating God's word that the scholars that worked on the King James did. I'm left feeling that Satan is accomplishing his task when I compare these translations to the original Kind James. You don't have to study for very long to see that most if not all of these attempts to reinterpret the King James actually end up changing the meaning of many of the scriptures. and with that... Satan wins.

  1. Michelle Charlene Larkins's Avatar Michelle Charlene Larkins

    I do not think it is mocking the Bible. If it bringing the younger people closer to their faith, and letting them understand the Word of God better through this set of videos and this translation. More power to them and God Bless them.

  1. Thomas Payette's Avatar Thomas Payette

    As a gen x I find humor in the slang. We have to use the tools God gave us to spread the gospel.

  1. Angelic Realms's Avatar Angelic Realms

    Reprobates. God said not to change anything.

    1. Robert James Ruhnke's Avatar Robert James Ruhnke

      It’s a couple millennia late now to throw a tantrum about changes made to the Bible. If no changes are supposed to be made, you’d be reading the Bible in Aramaic. There have been significant changes made to the Bible going back hundreds of years.

    2. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

      God said not to change anything? ‘He’ (What pronouns does god use?) didn’t say that in English, did he? Because if ‘’it’ said that it was said long before the English language even existed.

    3. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Thank you. You’ve made my day. I just love your sense of humor! 🤣

      It was a joke….right? 🤗

      🦁❤️

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    The adverts I see for Tik tok shows silly people doing silly things and animals.O don't see anything sensible on it .So no I don't think it's a good idea.How do we know fact from fiction and where do they get this information from.I believe what I was told 55 years ago and no one is going to tell me different.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Who cares but whiners? If this brings more people to God then its worth it

  1. Colleen McAllister's Avatar Colleen McAllister

    Mixed feelings. Some of the translations I have read border on comedic. If it gets the Word out then it seems like a good thing. Maybe people will see that Christianity can also be fun.

  1. NLilly's Avatar NLilly

    Children Learn What They Live!

    I have two lovely Gen. Z's in my Family and they understand the KJV and its teachings well! I don't quite understand that 'Tik Tok' Gen. Z's language; but I do instill in my Grands that I do know! We are on the 'Same Page'! We Don't Talk That Gen. Z Talk / Speech Either! Thank GOD For That! ♥

    >Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.< Amen!

    IMO: Slang Language is used for sounding / being hip / cool. But it will Never take the place of the 'Real Deal'! AMEN! Parents, Pull Up In Your Christian Parenting. You cannot be on your way to Heaven and leave your children behind / clueless! AMEN JESUS! XO

  1. Alexander Arends's Avatar Alexander Arends

    I recommend an old ediition of a childrens bible for the GenX generation. Much cooler.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      I recommend a better work of fiction: Harry Potter. Not as bloodthirsty, no stoning people to death, definitely no incest or genocide.

      🦁❤️

      1. Lester Stanley Petrie's Avatar Lester Stanley Petrie

        Yep. Harry Potter is more truthful.

  1. Carrie Ann Lewis's Avatar Carrie Ann Lewis

    I think it may be helpful for the new generation. I didn’t understand it, but people interpret things in different ways.

  1. Rev. Dr. Father JJ's Avatar Rev. Dr. Father JJ

    Nothing worse than when a Cult begins to break down; members realize they've been brainwashed all those years, sacrificing so that the leader(s) of the Cult could benefit, only to finally see the truth, which was all lies and deceit. Yes religion, I'm looking at you (and especially you, x tians)

  1. Angela Guyton-Cyril's Avatar Angela Guyton-Cyril

    I don’t know what language that might be that they are speaking, but I do know my Bible. I understand that kids what to make the Bible easier to understand, but that is just blasphemy.

  1. Angela Guyton-Cyril's Avatar Angela Guyton-Cyril

    Also that is not slang or Ebonics

  1. Steven Ferrell's Avatar Steven Ferrell

    I don’t get half of what those video clips were talking about, but then I’m 67 and don’t get half of what my grandkids say. I remind them, talk English like they teach it to you in school to Papa please.
    They chuckle, roll eyes a little, but then use plan English to tell me whatever it was they had been try to tell me. 🤣🤣 I have to take it on hope and faith that these tik tok things are being biblically accurate in the message and pray it is reaching young people for God.

    1. Robert Clay Sherrod's Avatar Robert Clay Sherrod

      The Bible's language (wording) has been changed so many times for so many reasons that it is almost impossible to keep up with the new changes. I must say when the new bible or the modern bible was printed it was hard for me to except the new wording even though it was easier to read and understand. So in this life and time every generation had a way of saying things differently, but with the faith of God we will get to the same place at the same time. Keep reading and keep trying to understand the way of others. Stay Blessed

  1. Lori-Ann Neeb's Avatar Lori-Ann Neeb

    The bible has been edited so many times through history already. This is just another one. I must admit thst I do not get most of the meanings myself so wouldn't personally enjoy it at all,

  1. Tabitha's Avatar Tabitha

    Who with sense really cares? It’s not the first or even the tenth time someone has done this. During the 90s and 2000's there were alternate "common language" versions everywhere and mainstream evangelical xtians loved and promoted they're favorites of them

  1. Catherine Rodrigues's Avatar Catherine Rodrigues

    Just think... how many thousands of people have read and understood the Bible, that would normally not give it a second look, because of how it has been written and the message brought across. I am not going to lie, “Mary was a pick-me girl for God and was simping for him in prayer when the angel Gabriel appeared to her and said, ‘you’ve passed God’s vibe check, and he wants you to be the mother of the main character, the son of the top G.’”

    “She said, ‘bet,’ and Gabriel left her on read, and she let the holy spirit cook.”

    Although I giggled, I got it, and I thought it was very cleverly put into a different Dialect of English that millions of people speak, understand and can relate to. Id rather see ten million of these Bibles being talked about and in the hands of our youth and streets and schools, than, drugs and weapons and crime.

    I say..."Let the Holy Spirit Cook"

  1. Michael Anderson's Avatar Michael Anderson

    The Bible does not instruct us to not change one word of the Bible. The King James Version was one of the least rigorous scholarly translations, and contains one of three commonly accepted canons. The struggle seems to me to be that we don’t know the truth, so we are not free. We are bound to the box that is defined by those who we listen to. Sometimes that box does not serve us or others well, and is not a reflection of the Christ we claim to follow. I don’t have a TikTok account, but I imagine if Jesus came back, he would.

  1. Nikki Gilliard's Avatar Nikki Gilliard

    I mean, I see where others would say this is making fun of the Bible or mocking, if you will. I have a 17 year old daughter and if it's not to their understanding or if it is not something that can peek their interest then they are not interest, not even a little. I think as long as it is just slang and not literally making fun of the Bible and it is drown more kids in this day and time closer to God and the word of God, then by all means I say let's see where this thing goes. Give it a chance. As long as it's the truth of the Bible and not thrown all out of wack. I mean it is 2023 I'm 38 yrs old. When I opened my Bible at first I had to read scriptures over and over and over to interpret the real meaning of it. A teenager probably will not give it a go after reading it once and they can not sound out the words or understand it, but the time they get to the next scripture they already gave up even trying to understand. I haven't went and checked out this page as of right now, but all that I have watched I think it's a good think, or it can be if we let it.

    1. Nikki Gilliard's Avatar Nikki Gilliard

      I apologize for the typos I am very busy but I really wanted to respond to this. I all of a sudden feel so strongly about it. My spirit has lit up inside so I do know one thing. I thing God him self thinks it is a great idea and possibly wants me to contribute somehow. I will meditate on it and we will see where thus goes. Have a a great day everyone. God bless

      1. Lester Stanley Petrie's Avatar Lester Stanley Petrie

        God thinks and wants? What fantasy land are you from, anyway?

  1. Peter Senderowitz's Avatar Peter Senderowitz

    There are good ethical precepts and a moral compas(es) in the Judeo- Christian Bible, forget the magical hokas pocus. If those precepts are communicated with a generational variant of American English, bravo.

  1. Alisha Michelle Edwards's Avatar Alisha Michelle Edwards

    I have heard many pastors interpret the word of God . Many contradict each other and have a different understanding than myself. If this places the word into youth it is a good thing. They will one day grow up and read the Bible in the version they choose, how could that be a bad thing Blessings to you all

  1. Larry Mager's Avatar Larry Mager

    While I don't understand a lot of the slang, I was part of the "Jesus Freak" Generation and also the KJV was radical for its day! If this is what it takes to renew peoples' faith....Rock On!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. Mischa Latrece Wright's Avatar Mischa Latrece Wright

    I do not condone this. I am not judgemental person neither I am judging but someone we writing the Bible to fit their thinking is not good!

  1. Douglas R. Reynolds's Avatar Douglas R. Reynolds

    I don't mind a modern spin on the translation, I prefer the ESV or The King James translation, but really? My daughter is a generation Zer and she doesn't talk like that.

  1. Sydney Elizabeth Tracie Boyd's Avatar Sydney Elizabeth Tracie Boyd

    On my phone I have an app that has 36 versions of the Bible not including the Torah or the Koran. There are also children's versions and young adult version of the Bible and biblical stories. The idea of simplifying and making the stories and messages available to the masses is not a new idea. As soon as the printing press was created and mass was said in local language and not Latin we were on our way to skew a story in the Bible to fit a specific message or lesson.

    The idea that there is a new push to modernize the language is uncomfortable. It is also scary when people skew the Bible to support hate. I have not seen what the changes are I only hope that those who do the official translations stay to the meaning of the message.

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