Posted by: jugglinbob | January 10, 2011

Happy New Year!

I’ve not been too hot on putting posts here, but one of my new new year resolutions is to try harder with this post, and to open it up to new avenues, rather than just bible bashing… (for those interested other resoltions include losing weight, gaining an academic qualification in something (anything!), and for the nerds amongst you – 1280×1080…

Ahem…

Today (if I get this typed quick enough) is also a major anniversary.  So big in fact that BBC radio 4 had a whole days worth of programs celebrating it.  It is the 400th anniversary of the publishing of the King James Bible.  (EDIT: It’s this year, not this date) I’m just up from dropping my daughter to boarding school and (as always) listened to radio 4 on the drive, and it’s long readings from the KJV tonight.

I was actually quite touched.  I know that the bible, especially the KJV, is a key text used, copied, and indeed parodied in English literature but having professional actors reading these texts really made it obvious.  So many English literature titles appear in Daniel or the Songs of Solomon.  So many pieces of Shakespeare are re workings, or rewordings of biblical texts.  The bible truly does play a major part in our literary lives.  I realise that I often appear here to be anti bible, but that’s not the case.  I’m not anti-bible in the same way that I’m not anti-viking, anti-pagan, or anti-Roman Parthenon.  All of these have had demonstrable impact on our British society, and as the bible is our most recent religion it has the most impact on our British society.  It’s an interesting text.  It contains fantastic pieces of narrative, and great quotes.

Now that Mohammed is the number one male first name in the UK one can only assume that in 400 years we will be looking back at pieces of the Qua ran in the same way.

However!

 

This use of the bible in popular fiction over the last 500 years does not in any way prove it’s correctness or it’s accuracy.  There are great stories, and especially in the new testament, popular works against those under those under oppression.  It is a self propagating meme – look at the first 4 (ish) commandments are just about keeping the faith (check here for details).

I accept the bible’s influnece on our society, and our literature.

I just don’t accept that it’s true, or indeed just.

Or that the modern interpretations even make sense….

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