I've recently started translating the Bible on my livejournal account. The premise is simple. I convert it into a fairy tale style, and assume everything is true. I've been working off of the NIV, simply because I don't feel like going to the extra trouble of reading the antiquated style of the KJV. To date, I've only done four stories, but I plan to make this an ongoing series.
For your enjoyment, I present two stories of Joshua. Enjoy.
HOW GOD TAUGHT US WHERE HEAVEN IS
Once upon a time, there were some people who lived in a place called Amalek. They were called Amalekites. There was a time when they were very mad at the Israelites. When they found out that the Israelites were at a place called Rephidim, they sent their army out to attack the Israelites.
The Israelites were ruled by a man named Moses. Moses was the leader of the Israelites, but Joshua was in charge of the army, so Joshua chose some of the men from the army to go fight the Amalekites. Moses told him, "Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands."
In those days, God liked to do strange things with his super powers to make sure the Israelites knew that he liked them better than other people. When Moses went up on top of the hill to watch Joshua's army try to kill the Amalekites, God told him to lift up his staff over his head. Moses did this, and as soon as he did, the Israelites started winning the battle. When he lowered the staff, the Israelites started losing the battle. Since Moses realized that every time he lowered his arms, God would let the Amalekites kill more of the Israelites, he tried very hard to keep the staff lifted over his head. Since he hadn't been to Marine Boot Camp, he wasn't very good at this. His arms got so tired, in fact, that two men named Aaron and Hur had to put a big stone on the ground for him to sit on. When he sat down, the staff was still over Moses's head, but was low enough that Aaron and Hur could each hold a side of it, and Moses just had to keep his hands touching the staff, because if he cheated and took one of his hands off to rest his arms, God would let lots of the Israelites die, because he loved them better than other people. God was very happy at the end of the day, because with Aaron and Hur's help, Moses had held the staff above his head all day long without letting it down and allowing some of his army to get killed. (At least he didn't let it down after he figured out what a dilemma he had on his hands, or rather, in his hands. It was too bad about the few people that died before he knew any better.)
After Joshua finished killing the Amalekites, God did a really strange thing. He told Moses to write down what had happened, and make sure that Joshua saw the writing, because God was going to erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven. This is how we know where heaven is. Since the words were written down, and anybody on earth can read them, the memory of Amalek is still on Earth. Since God said that the memory of Amalek would be erased from under heaven, we know that heaven is below the earth. This is strange, because in another story, we'll learn how a man rode up into heaven in a chariot made of fire, but that's ok, because the earth is round. Since we know that heaven is below the earth, and the earth is round, and rotates on an axis while rotating around the sun while rotating around a galactic center that is flying away from the center of the universe, we know definitively that heaven is at a point exactly opposite the hill where Moses had to keep his hands over his head for a day. Since we don't know for sure exactly where that hill is, we just know that heaven rotates around the earth at a spot exactly opposite some spot in the middle east, so it would look like it was up for half the people in the world, and down for the other half. (There is currently a group of astro-physicists on commission to come up with the mathematical formula that will allow us to predict the exact location of heaven at any instant. ) So the man that rode into heaven in a chariot must have been following a trajectory that would combine with the rotation of the earth to get him to the point opposite the middle east by the time he reached heaven.
God also decided that he would be at war with the Amalekites from generation to generation. This didn't take long, since he is God, and that's why there are no more Amalekites in the world today.
THE CONTINUING SAGA OF JOSHUA
Once upon a time, a man named Joshua was the leader of the Israelites. God loved the Israelites better than everybody else, so he often sent them to kill the people he didn't love very much.
After Joshua had sent thirty thousand soldiers to kill all twelve thousand people living in a city called Ai, God was very happy. There was a city called Gibeon. The people there were very afraid of Joshua, because they thought he would kill all of them the way he had killed everyone in Ai. They made a pact with Joshua so that he wouldn't kill them. This made God happy. The kings of the cities around Ai and Gibeon were not as happy as God, so they got together and decided to make a very big army and try to kill Joshua and his army.
When the army was together, they marched toward Gibeon, because they were mad at Gibeon for not fighting against Joshua's army. When the king of Gibeon saw the army coming to kill him and all his people, he sent word to Joshua and said, "Please come kill the people that are coming to kill us." Joshua brought his whole army up to help.
Now the army that Joshua was fighting against was very big, and even with a very big army like the one Joshua had, it takes a very long time to kill so many people. Back in the days of Joshua, they didn't have halogen lights, so it was very hard to fight after the sun went down. Joshua was killing the other army as fast as he could, but it wasn't fast enough, and he wanted to finish killing them by the end of the day, so he yelled at the sun and moon and told them to stop moving. Since God loved the Israelites and wanted them to kill the other army, he used his super powers and suspended the laws of physics for an entire day. The planets stopped revolving around the sun, and the moon stopped revolving around the earth. Since the earth and sun are part of a galaxy and the galaxy is moving, it was also necessary to stop the whole galaxy from moving. Since the galaxy is party of a universe that is expanding at a constant rate, it was necessary to stop the universe from moving. Since the universe is made up of atoms that are made up of subatomic particles that are constantly in motion, it was also necessary to stop all the molecules from moving and all the subatomic particles from moving. Since the motion of the planets is the only thing that keeps the planets from being sucked into the sun and destroyed, it was necessary to stop gravity from working everywhere in the solar system except on earth. Since gravity is the main thing that holds the planets together, it was necessary to invent a new force to keep the planets from disintigrating without gravity. This new force was like gravity, only different, because it wasn't like gravity.
After Joshua had finished killing the army of the kings who were mad at him for killing everybody in the city of Ai, God made the universe work again.
After the army of the kings was killed, the five kings hid in a cave. Joshua sent his army to go get them, and put ropes around their necks, and hung them from trees until they died. When they were dead, he threw them back into the cave and put rocks in the mouth of the cave to cover it up. The Bible says the rocks are still there and the kings' bodies are still there, but they aren't.
Next time, our story from the Bible will be about Joshua killing more people who weren't Israelites.
FINAL NOTE: Please don't do anything stupid like call me anti-semitic or try to explain to me that my stories are missing this or that fact from the Bible. I didn't write these stories. I just re-tell them. Also, I'm doing this as an exercise designed to provoke thought, not as a definitive source for scientific or biblical fact. Thanks for reading!