Two cast members of the popular A&E reality show Duck Dynasty will be releasing a Duck Commander-themed Bible for the fall. “The Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible” will be published in the New King James Version and will include a section called “Set Your Sights features” from cast members, Phil and Al, as well as life-changing testimonials. The book is said to focus on the five main values of the Robertson family, which are Faith, family, fellowship, forgiveness and freedom.
Publisher Thomas Nelson announced the Bible will hit Amazon and book stores Oct. 28. The release comes one year after the A&E TV series suspended patriarch Phil Robertson in response to the controversy which erupted after he commented that homosexuals would "not inherit the kingdom of God", in a GQ interview.
Paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Robertson said, "Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers, they won’t inherit the kingdom of God."
This publication is considered a niche Bible, but this family does have a following. Some are excited about the upcoming book. The Robertson family has already published the "Duck Dynasty Devotional", which has received positive customer reviews on Amazon. Some online responses are questioning the franchise's motives and have even called this publication blasphemy.
Opponents to the book say right-wing Christians would be outraged if a liberal did his or her own Bible. S.D. Kelly of Christ and Pop Culture asserts the show’s heavy marketing is wearing thin, especially when the Duck Dynasty family blurs the lines between business, faith and entertainment. Patriarch Phil Robertson said, “This is just one more way that we can present, as ministers, the message of Jesus to the world around us.”
Robert Sanford, Vice President and Associate Publisher for Thomas Nelson’s Bible Group, said in a statement, “We are honored and excited to be working with Phil and Al Robertson on this new Bible. The Robertson family’s passion for the Word is infectious and the impact of their ministry is amazing. We see this Bible as being something people can grow with in their own personal walk with God.”
Phil Robertson has never made a secret that he attributes the success of his family and business to being born-again. Alan Robertson, the oldest son and only one without a beard, will be co-authoring the Duck Commander Bible with his father. Up until a few years ago he was a full-time pastor. He left to join the family business. His focus is not the business of making duck calls however, he has taken on the business of managing the clan’s celebrity status and licensing deals.
Working hard, living off the land, intact marriages, and regular prayer are values that aren’t represented in typical TV shows and what really struck a chord with Christians. Due to the controversy surrounding Robertson's comments last year however, the Duck Dynasty show is down 28% in overall viewership and 40% in adults since April 2013.
As Christians we follow Christ, not people because they are famous on TV. Public heroes eventually fail their followers, usually very publicly. The devoted fans of this show seem to view the Robertson family as folk heroes. They follow and defend their heroes’ exploits both on and off the show with a passion usually reserved for rockstars or politicians. Hero worship is a human quality and a human failing. For Christians though, only God is perfect and he is the only One who is worthy of worship.