Why Bother with the Bible?
Why should any of us bother with the Bible anymore? Here in the States, at least, few people know much about the book anymore, despite the claim by many that this is a “Christian nation.” Fewer still have actually read the book. What value does the Bible have anymore? Is it worth any more than the sacred writings of other religions?
On this day, November 1, 2010, I asked Google, “Why bother with the Bible?” The engine faithfully gave me 2.25 million answers in 2.2 seconds, which still is a source of wonder for me, but the top answers I found were also interesting.
A Unitarian enjoys Google’s top favor. He says that “the influence of the Bible is pervasive” in our culture. Fair enough, but again, the influence of the Quran is pervasive among millions of Muslims. If we look at cultural influence alone, both books deserve equal study. Yes, the Bible has had more influence on American society than the Quran or other writings, but it arguably has less influence than a generation ago. The Universalist also claims that “you don’t have to believe in the God of the Bible to understand its stories.” The Bible is best seen as inspiration and liberation. It has undoubtedly inspired millions, but in the UK, a poll showed that To Kill a Mockingbird was the most inspirational book of all time, ahead of the Bible. Should we pay more attention to Scout than Moses?
Why bother with the Bible? Google’s second favorite choice, an atheist, suggests that it isn’t worth the bother. Besides, most atheists seem to know more about Christianity than Christians do.
Google’s third choice, a Christian, says, “it’s the only place we can learn about Jesus Christ, who is the object of our worship and the sole means of salvation.” Okay, but what if you don’t think much of Jesus Christ? Hopefully the author answers that question in his MP3, but I didn’t listen to the two hours to find out, and it wasn’t in the summary.
In these and other places I didn’t get an answer that really satisfied me. Why should we bother with the Bible?
What do you think?