Hamblin & Peterson: The Bible is literature, but also much more than that

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 6:13 p.m.

    Dennis; What makes you think that it is all fiction and myth?

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Aug. 1, 2013 1:57 p.m.

    I teach the King James Bible as literature (the most beautiful translation, I think). I tell my students that I approach the Bible both as a believer and as a scholar of language and literature.

    Even more than Shakespeare, the KJV is the most influential book in the English language. In a public school, however, it is inappropriate to proselytize (I think it's also inappropriate to pretend that one doesn't have certain beliefs and biases--that's why I disclose to my students), so, though I think it is essential to teach the book, I also think it is essential to encourage a free discussion of ideas.

    Having said that, I must also say that there is a general animus against the Bible in public/secular forums (especially in California--the problem might be different in Utah), and believers are often marginalized and made to feel inferior because of their beliefs. A good teacher will allow free expression while inhibiting proselytizing. It's tough, but it can be done, and the text is worth the effort.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    July 30, 2013 4:56 p.m.

    .....actually I'm right. You're spinning.

  • Jazzsmack Holladay, UT
    July 30, 2013 1:48 p.m.


    Your wrong.

    Many believed in coming of Christ.

    Many believe in God of the old testament and his doctrines and teachings, whom many believed was Christ.

    The Book of Mormon people believe in coming of Christ and werr call "Christians" or believers in Christ.

    IF you believe the new testament then the doctrines of Chist, what constitutes "Christianity", THEN THE DOCTRINES OF Christ were a restoration of the priesthood, doctrines, and gospel of Church of the God of Abraham and Isaac and Moses, and Melchizedek before the law of Moses was instituted and the higher law taken away from the children of Israel.

    Christianity was not new but a restoration and continuation of a church that existed since the beginning of time.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 30, 2013 7:46 a.m.

    Ecclesiastes: A Book of Philosophy, Humans differ from any other species on the earth. Our superior brain gives us a tremendous reasoning capacity that probes the depths of human existence. This intellect is closely intertwined with our spirituality, our immaterial part that seeks answers from something beyond ourselves.

    The question presented by Ecclesiastes is the greatest question that man can and should ask. Ecclesiastes accurately portrays the life of man without God. Like many popular philosophies, Ecclesiastes assumes the absence of personal God. Unlike most other godless philosophers, however, the author honestly sees the implications of accepting this meaninglessness. He sees the truth and shudders. Even though the book ends with the question of meaning seemingly unresolved, the author vividly sees his need for God. He distinctly sees God by seeing the “stark outline of the darkness that the face of Jesus fills.

    Nothing in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), ladies and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20). Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20), “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    July 30, 2013 6:01 a.m.

    @Jazzsmack....Lets help with a little history. Christianity didn't exist prior to Jesus. The Old Testament was not revelations from God, it was stories manufactured as "teaching" lessons by the religious factions of Israel. Myth, fable, allegories, etc. etc. etc. I would ask the question, what makes you think it is revelation and not myths?

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    July 29, 2013 7:08 p.m.

    When I was a freshman at the University of Utah (a State school), I took a year long course in "The History of Ideas", which provided an overview of the intellectual heritage of Western Civilization, from the Greeks and Jews through the Middle Ages and ther Renaissance, to modern times. It included Greek philosophers like Socrates and Plato, who discussed various religious concepts, and Greek plays that illustrated Greek religious myths, as well as portions of the Old and New Testaments and commentary on them by Philo Judaeus and Saint Augustine. The point of the course was to introduce us to the heritage we share of ideas, so we could understand the references to this heritage in subsequent works. The course was not taught to convince students to believe in the reality of Zeus or Plato's ideal forms, or Jehovah or Jesus, but to teach us the LANGUAGE of educated people who inherited the intellectual achievements of the society that is descended from this Greco-Roman-Jewish-Christian history, and maintain a common language of intellectual discourse. To lose touch with this history is to become illiterate and incomprehending.

  • Jazzsmack Holladay, UT
    July 29, 2013 2:05 p.m.

    @Red Corvette

    So where is your evidence that all ancient manuscripts are works of fiction.

    OR is that just because they were collected together and called "The Bible" that you don't believe them.

    How do you determine which ancient manuscripts are fact and which are not?

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    July 29, 2013 1:50 p.m.

    Here is what is funny about this: Christians who want the Bible taught in schools are the ones removing its divinity and claiming that it is just "literature."

    Atheists and others who oppose having the Bible in schools have long argued that it is more than just literature but is indeed a religious text.

    If you want the Bible to maintain its status as divine, you must stop promoting it as just literature - and must work to maintain the separation of church and school.