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← UPDATED: Why I want all our children to read the King James Bible

MullyROI's Avatar Jump to comment 99 by MullyROI

Comment 92 by Steven Mading :

Comment 1 by MullyROI :

Is the Bible not too R-rated for children of such an age? Just revelations (ignoring the rest) has far more gore and sex then we would allow in childrens' books. I'm all for people reading the Bible to see how ridiculous it is but I hestitate to recommend such schemes as they are clearly attempts to enforce a christian identity, the question is whether or not it will backfire.

EDIT: I should clarify. I feel that the Bible should be available in the school libraries particularly for its historical significance but I feel uneasy about such schemes which are far from endorsing the Bible for historical reasons.

The problem is that when people say "The Bible is an important historical document", that's an ambiguous statement. It might mean:

(A) The stories contained therein had an enormous influence on the history that came afterward.

or

(B) The stories contained therein are themselves historical truth.

Those are not even remotely close to being the same claim at all. And once you give the fundies an inch, they'll take a mile. If you give the mild concession that the bible influenced history after being written, they take that to mean that you just called the bible a true history.

The bible is, of course not a historical document. The Jews were not Egyptian slaves, for example. When they pushed out their neighbors and took over more land, they were not doing so on a mandate from the creator of the universe, for another example.

The bible is literature, and influenced the history that came afterward. That's not the same thing at all.

Precisely. This is why I mentioned "historical significance" not historical accuracy. However on second thought I see no major reason why having a Bible in the classroom is necessary for understanding its historical significance. For example, Das Kapital, Mein Kampf, The Rights of Man, The Magna Carta, The Koran, The U.S. Constitution, The Wealth of Nations etc. etc. etc. are all very important works in the history of man, that is to say all have had major influences on history regardless of their accuracy. However, one does not have to have read all of these books to have an understanding of their historical relevance. Indeed if our cirricula were wholly focused on reading these books among others we would have no time to explain their impact. One can easily place the Bible in its historical place without having to read it. Or will we have our youngsters reading Mein Kampf to understand World War II and Nazism? Or will we have them read the Wealth of Nations to understand capitalist development in the 19th century? A choice quote here and there would suffice in either (and all) cases.

EDIT: Not to say we shouldn't have them in the library. Although when will we see the campaign to roll out Das Kapital on a national basis?

Sun, 20 May 2012 16:10:35 UTC | #942452