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"Yo peeps": ChatGPT is the latest translation of the Bible

Chat GPT-translated Bible making waves among Gen Z Christians
Chat GPT-translated Bible making waves among Gen Z Christians 04:45

MIAMI — The man behind "The New Testament for Gen Z: Unofficial ChatGPT Translation for Gen Z" Bible uses the pen name "Broseph Smith." He and CBS News Miami's Tania Francois have been emailing questions and answers back and forth over the past few days. 

Smith says he's 20 years old and lives in Washington state. He declined a TV and Zoom interview.

Tania Francois: What inspired you to do this?

Broseph Smith: I can't remember the exact text, but I was reading a piece of scripture that was difficult for me to understand. Not long before, a friend introduced me to ChatGPT, and it dawned on me to ask ChatGPT to rephrase the scripture into modern language so I could understand the verse better. It worked remarkably well so I tried updating an entire chapter. The updated text was so much easier for me to understand that I decided that I would like to "translate" the entire New Testament for my personal study. I compiled it into a book format so others could benefit too. I never thought it would be popular but it turns out that I wasn't alone struggling to comprehend the old-time language of the KJV [King James' Version].

Francois: Why just the New Testament?

Smith: I began with the New Testament because it was the scripture I was studying at the time.

Francois: Is there an Old Testament coming?

Smith: Yes! I've just finished with the Old Testament for Gen Z. I hope for it to be published by the time you run your story. I'll let you know as soon as it is live.

Francois: How many books have you sold?

Smith: A little over 6,000 people have purchased a copy of the New Testament for Gen Z since I published it last August.

Francois: Are you making a profit from this?

Smith: Yes. After printing costs I do make a few dollars on each book.

Francois: If some of the proceeds is going to charity… which?

Smith: Yes. I donate a portion of the profit to a charity for humanitarian aid.

Francois: How did you make it? Seems self-explanatory… you put the KJV into ChatGPT, is that really it?

Smith: Yes. Although time-consuming, the process was indeed simple. I input KJV text into ChatGPT and asked it to rewrite the text verse-by-verse to make it easier for someone of my age to understand. The more difficult part was learning how to publish the book itself.

Francois: Will/are you doing other religious books? The Torah? Or the Koran?

Smith: With the exception of the Old Testament which should be published very soon, I do not plan on doing further religious books. I took on these projects primarily to help myself understand the Bible better. The Koran or Torah are not tenets of my religion, but I would certainly encourage people of those faiths to use ChatGPT as a tool if they are struggling to understand their respective scripture.

Francois: What do you say to critics who think this takes away from the sanctity of the Bible?

Smith: I understand why people may be skeptical. My intention was not to replace traditional versions of the Bible or to undermine their sacredness, rather add an interpretation that allows people of my age to better connect with God and our faith. However I'll be the first to say that this should not be used as your primary Bible. It is best to think of this version as a study guide, to help those who may be lost with the English of the 1600s.

Francois: What do you say to people who are applauding this effort?

Smith: By and large, the feedback among those who have actually purchased and read the book has been quite positive. The most common feedback is either praise by those who struggled to understand traditional versions of the Bible, or by parents who are thankful their teen is now studying the Bible.

Francois: Would you combine old and new to make one?

Smith: I hadn't really thought of that yet. I suppose now that I have the Old Testament ready too it seems logical to combine into a single volume.

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