June 19, 2008


Image courtesy of wikipedia.

El Cabrero has noticed a strange paradox about people's attitudes towards the Bible. On one side, quite a few people seem to be pretty biblically illiterate and, on the other, quite a few people seem to worship it as some kind of textual deity. The weird thing is, there's quite a bit of overlap between two groups.

I grew up in the Episcopal Church, where the Bible is taken seriously but not necessarily literally. Every service consisted of several readings from it, including a psalm, a reading from another part of the Hebrew Bible, and selections from the gospels and epistles. Many of the other words in the liturgy were derived from the Bible.

I couldn't help soaking up a lot of it just by being there, even though I wasn't raised to regard it as a science book or infallible oracle. I had plenty of pals who did, but they often had only the vaguest ideas of what it actually said.

If I had my druthers, there would be way more biblical literacy and way less literalism. It really is a great book or collection of books and, like many BIG STORIES, the themes therein influence our lives and culture whether we're aware of them or not. To miss all that is to miss out on or be misinformed about something that has shaped us all...kind of like Shakespeare only more so.

Reading or hearing it has been pretty much a constant in my life, even while my moment to moment religious (or non-religious) opinions bounced all over the map. I would encourage you, Gentle Reader, whatever your theology or lack thereof may be, to crack it open every so often and give it a non-sectarian look.

That's going to happen over the next stretch at Goat Rope, with a special focus on the little gem that tells the story of Jonah. Stay tuned.

NOTE: El Cabrero is on the road, so the current event/link feature is down.


1 comment:

Babs said...

Be careful with the water. I'm serious.