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Rev’d Dr Giles Fraser on why you should read the Bible

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St. Peter's Basilica from the River Tiber. The...Image via Wikipedia

Marx famously wrote that all criticism begins with the criticism of religion. I agree. I would only want to add that religion started it, that the criticism of religion was first of all a religious business. Criticism began as self-criticism; not as a philosophical exercise, but as a struggle over meaning. As the Rabbis and early Christian scholars pored over their manuscripts and argued with each other as to what was going on, the European mind was in the process of being created. Even those who now come to draw a conclusion against religion are themselves heirs to this long search for truth.

I especially like the last sentence. It would feel good to hold that clearly in my mind and gut!

Karen Armstrong mentioned in her short version of Bible: A Biography that High Criticism, especially by German Biblical scholars did more to undermine religion and provoke a sharp reaction from Christian Fundamentalists which led to a radical literalist treatment of the Bible as the absolute inerrant Word of God. This started happening at the end of the 19th century and quickened in the early 20th especially in the US of America.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/07/26 at 13:37

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