Comments about ‘Patriarchs among the poets: Harold Bloom's case for the Bible as high literature’

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Published: Friday, Sept. 23 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Millsap fan | 3:33 p.m. Sept. 2
Some folks minds are so closed that truth could stare them dead in the face and it would not matter because they see only what they want to see.

Kinda a 2 edge sword your swinging there. And since the DN already censored my reply with examples, there is no way to defend the argument against your assertions of greater knowledge thru ancient and not so ancient script.

Millsap fan
Taylorsville, UT

Prove to me God isn't real...I'll be waiting for some real evidence, maybe some as tangible as the testimonies those who wrote the Bible, and the Book of Mormon for that matter.

I have no problem with those who don't believe in God, but evidence shouldn't be called fiction when it can't truly be supported by any credible evidence.

Tyler Ray
Taylorsville, UT

Fantastic Article! I had a class called Foundation of Business Thought where we studied the classics as it applied to business and the teacher, who seemed so unreligious to me in the beginning did not ignore the beuatiful literature in the Holy Bible and the great lessons taught therein.

We also read from authors such as Plato, Henry David Thoreau, Max Weber, Christopher Columbus, Benjamin Franklin, W.E.B. DuBois, and Ayn Rand.

They opened my mind to some beautiful literature much of which was quite religious.

Tyler Ray
Taylorsville, UT

@ Pagan,

Actually the fact that the DSN news and LDS church would allow that to be printed in their newspaper shows that they are the opposite of biased, and that they allow free speech and a balance of opinions.

I'm also open to a variety of opinions you should try it sometime, so should Millsap Fan.

Salt Lake City, UT

'I have no problem with those who don't believe in God, but evidence shouldn't be called fiction when it can't truly be supported by any credible evidence.' - Millsap fan | 4:27 p.m. Sept. 23, 2011

But you haven't PRESENTED any evidence.

And now, you ask for evidence...in reply to...you lack of evidence.

And yet, there are muiltiple sources that confirm the existence of...

Harry Potter. :)

I'm not trying to bring into question your faith. It is yours and I hope it brings you great comfort.

However you, accuse me of bring 'closed minded', and then present ZERO information yourself. Asking the age old 'gotcha' question:

'Prove to me God isn't real...'

How would one PROVE, a negative?

As, of the two of us, I am not the one CLAIMING God is, real.

The bible IS a fantastic peice of literature. Death, murder, betrayl, it's all in there.

But I am not the one resorting to insults if they do not BELIEVE as I do...

on a public, forum.

Have a good weekend.


"Some folks minds are so closed that truth could stare them dead in the face and it would not matter because they see only what they want to see." Millsap fan | 3:33 p.m. Sept. 23, 2011

Now THAT, by definition, is how a bigot speaks and thinks.

the truth
Holladay, UT

RE: Pagan

You are the one making the claim the bible is fiction,

where is YOUR evidence?

Show your evidence those ancient manuscripts are not what they claim to be.


I know of no better way to honor Bloom than to buy and read him. He stands out in a world that has moved away from classic literature.

Salt Lake City, UT

I am a huge Harold Bloom fan! Thank you for bringing his insightful mind and influential ideas to the attention of your readers. If you like Harold Bloom's work, you might also be interested in two other Blooms - Allan Bloom's "The Closing of the American Mind"and Benjamin Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning Domains.

Cedar Hills, UT


You ask for witnesses, yet you really are not interested in witnesses. If an angel from God came to you and told you the Book of Mormon was the work and the word of God you still would not believe it. Some people are beyond the curiosity and humility to let God answer their deepest questions regarding their own existence.
BTW the Book of mormon has plenty of witnesses that hefted the plates and saw the angel bearing witness of them. Not to mention the millions of people who have asked for and recieved a spiritual witness of the veracity of the book.
Good luck on your search, that is, when you begin your search.

Somewhere in Time, UT

Dear Bloggers: I learned a long time ago never to try and convince someone of something that is against their personal interest to be convinced of. Those who attack faith because they are trying to justify themselves, their lifestyle and their personal choices will never face the truth or be convinced of it. They are to be pitied. Getting in a debate with those people is pointless. It's just better to ignore them.

Bakersfield, CA

I enjoyed reading about Bloom's personal perspectives, very Reform Jewish: many don't know if they can believe in a real Moses or King David sans archeoligical proof, they KNOW they don't believe in a literal Bible, but they appreciate the literary themes and continue to quote them weekly at temple. They will always be bound by tradition and heritage, but will not totally acquiesce to an inerrant text that their own prophet of the great Exodus initiated.

This closely resembles the first 35 years of my life in (7th generation) Mormon upbringing. Tight family, strong traditions, prophets galore, and scriptural literature abounding. My Jewish friends and I always marveled that our Bublical traditions and families were more valuable than whether we would ever know if the Bible was literal or allegorical...

Then the abominable happened, which separated me from my Jewish, Mormon, pagan, and agnostic gnostics. The ultimate betrayal: I had a life-altering, totally unexpected encounter with God that silenced all my doubts, changed my blissful ignorance to undeniable certitude. No matter how I described this awesome experience, I was the enemy- a God-believing, Bible-inerrant radical for Jesus, slave of Christ, the dreaded "born again".

Bakersfield, CA

Who can I blame for the "type-O's": Archeoligical and Bublical? Pretty darn funny reading, if you ask me. So much for trying to make it to an appt. on time... My DNA has been altered by an Alien, remember...

Which prompts me to comment that Bloom's sense of humor, candor and deep intellect are qualities that give inspiration and admiration for his work. Thank you for an enlightening article.

Full-on double rainbow
Bluffdale, UT

"If an angel from God came to you and told you the Book of Mormon was the work and the word of God you still would not believe it."

That kind of statment has always made me chuckle. Some people will say that Laman and Lemuel saw an angel and still didn't believe. That would be a good example if I didn't consider them to be fictional characters. I think seeing an angel would be a fantastic way to bolster faith (or really knowledge). I guess you can't really say anyone would beleive or not if an angel appeared to them. It's more of a "cross that bridge when/if we get there" thing.

Brigham City, UT

America would be better off reading and farming and dancing more-----in other words----living the life Joseph Smith lived.

Provo, UT

Having studied the Humanities and American Studies at BYU, Harold Bloom's name is one I read with reverence. What a mind! What contributions to great literature and thought! Once again I am glad I pursued that vein of study. Darn, I miss BYU....

Cedar Hills, UT

full on rainbow

The witness of the spirit is more powerful than the visitation of heavenly beings. The spirit is always ready to testify and change the hearts of those who are sincerely seeking divine knowledge. Knowledge that cannot be gotten in any other way. Thinking back on the times I've recieved answers to my prayers it makes me chuckle with joy unspeakable.

Full-on double rainbow
Bluffdale, UT


I'm glad that you have had prayers answered and experienced unspeakable joy. I just don't buy the idea that people wouldn't believe even if they saw an angel. You don't hear people saying "I spoke with an angel last week and..." What you do hear is people attributing all sorts of feelings to God/the spirit. I guess when angel sightings are more common we can give the topic the justice it deserves.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I stand amazed at the coo-ing over Harold Bloom, especially from the close minds of the uber-conservative right-wing.

3 notes....

1. Mr. Bloom is a Liberal-Jew.
2. Professor Bloom teaches the Humanities, a "Liberal Art".
3. of course he has kind and respectful words to say about Joseph Smith, Parley P. Pratt, and John Taylor....it's because early Mormons were all considered ultra-Liberals.

Which is why he carefully made mention that if he'd been alive in the 19th Century, and not Jewish, he'd probably would have been a Mormon.

The Mormons today are becoming the opposite from the early church.

Bakersfield, CA

Well you nailed that one, LDSLib. That's why every evangelical scholar that refutes Mormonism as being unbiblical, always itemizes the hundreds of changes in LDS theology, translations, revelations, temple endowment, church & scripture titles, Joseph's vision versions, BoM text, D&C dates, Word of Wisdom stipulations and exceptions, etcetera.

It's one thing to grow and modernize with the times and upgrade programs, but to do 180/paradigm shifts on salvation, plural marriage, priesthood and temple oaths? That's why we hated Dr. Walter Martin's "Maze of Mormomism" so much, or 5,001 Changes to the BoM (Tanners), or the SBapConvention documentary, "The Mormon Puzzle". You could laugh at Decker's "Godmakers" video, but not church documentation.

Makes your head spin just in the 35 years I was a member. And not a one of my old BYU profs or bishops could ever tell me why the BoM now reads the Lamanite people will become "pure and delightsome", when I memorized that verse as "white and delightsome" right up until it magically changed in the early '80's. (2Nephi 30:6)

My pioneer Grandparents would be fuming...

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