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A couple of King James articles what I wrote

Here's one for IDEA magazine:

What is the most famous verse in the Bible?
Think of your instinctive response.
Was it John 3:16 by any chance?

If so, we may have understood the Bible and our faith too narrowly. Consider these contenders for the mantle of 'Most famous Scripture': "By the skin of my teeth." "No rest for the wicked." "Salt of the earth." "How the mighty are fallen." "The Spirit is willing, the flesh is weak." "In the twinkling of an eye." "Turn the other cheek."

The list runs into the hundreds. Sometimes the sayings are a misquote of the Bible: "Money is the root of all evil." Sometimes they are paraphrases such as "pride goeth before a fall" or "going the extra mile". Often we use a summary of Bible stories: "Giant killing", "The writing is on the wall", "The good Samaritan." In most cases the Scriptures "put words in our mouth" even though "we know not what we do!"

This year I have been blogging my way through 365 biblical phrases. If the general public ranked this list according to familiarity, I wonder where "God so loved the world" would come? I doubt it would make the top 100.

That's the first thing I've learnt this year: The Scriptures are also secular....

--  Read the whole thing (only short!)


And here's a post on why atheists love the King James Bible...

....The triumph of a Bible in the vernacular was at the heart of the English renaissance.  What it did was to put the word at the heart of worship instead of images... Images without words keep people enslaved to the interpretations of the establishment.  Power is kept when images are at the centre.  But words written in the language of the people devolves power.  This was the revolutionary thing.  But it was revolutionary because the words conveyed ideas – and those ideas were liberating....

...A love for the King James Bible should not stop at its lyrical beauty.  If it does it betrays the real revolutionary power which the English Bible unleashed in the 16th and 17th centuries.  The English renaissance was birthed out of the content of the Bible – the gospel of Jesus Christ.  And if we want another renaissance, that’s the place we’ll find it!

--  Read the whole thing.

0 thoughts on “A couple of King James articles what I wrote

  1. hdiehl

    "What it did was to put the word at the heart of worship instead of images… Images without words keep people enslaved to the interpretations of the establishment"

    Good point, well said. Just arrived at that conclusion myself recently, but not so elegantly said. Any pictures?

  2. John B

    Glen, isn't this the basis for iconoclasm? A freer interpretation of the written word liberates from enslavement to the church's images. But if it's freedom from the church's interpretation that we seek, why stop with only eliminating its images, and just go all the way and eliminate its narrative as well? (I think this is actually occurring in the shifting of theological studies away from the church and more towards the academy.)

    I enjoyed the materials that you posted recently on The Threefold Word - Seminar. I wonder if the Word might not rightly be thought of as fourfold, with the church's images providing the fourth leg. Throughout most of history the texts were preserved, but scarcely accessible. But the Word was proclaimed in the church's preaching and images.

    I appreciate your fine use of church images on CTT, so I know that you're not an iconoclast. But in casting the word in opposition to images, I think that you're articulating the view that leads to iconoclasm.

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