You’d think if someone was filled with Bible references, then he must be mentally unbalanced.
And yet Shakespeare’s writings are replete with some 1300 biblical quotes and references.
Even the world’s leading atheist, Richard Dawkins, professor at Oxford, and author of the best-selling book, The God Delusion, essentially says you’re culturally illiterate if you are not familiar with the Bible. In page after page of blasting the Christian faith (and Islam); after saying terrible things about the Scriptures, suddenly, he says positive things about the Bible---as literature.
states, “The King James Bible of 1611---the Authorized Version---includes passages of outstanding literary merit in its own right, for example the Song of Songs, and the sublime Ecclesiastes (which I am told is pretty good in the original Hebrew too). But the main reason the English Bible needs to be part of our education is that is a major source book for literary culture.”
Dawkins goes on to cite scores and scores of phrases from the Bible that are common in our parlance, such as “Be fruitful and multiply,” “East of Eden,” “Adam’s Rib,” etc.
This does not mean he in any way respects the Bible as holy writ or anything close. He concludes this section: “We can give up belief in God while not losing touch with a treasured heritage.” That strikes me as a fruitless venture. But I quote it because he refers to the Bible in general, and the 400-year-old King James in particular as a “treasured heritage.”
For those who have never taken the time to read it, the Bible contains a great deal of wisdom---teaching such concepts as: As a man thinks in his heart so is he; you reap what you sow; do unto others as you would have them do unto you; love your neighbor as yourself, and so on.
Several years ago, David Van Biema wrote a cover story for TIME magazine (April 2, 2007), wherein he said: “Should the Holy Book be on the public menu? Yes. It’s the bedrock of Western culture. And it’s constitutional---as long as we teach but don’t preach it.”
He even implies life would be boring without it: “Without the Bible and a few imposing secular sources, we face a numbing horizontality in our culture---blogs, political announcements, ads. The world is flat, sure. But Scripture is among our few means to make it deep.”
Sadly, when you see a character on the big screen, if he or she is quoting the Bible, it’s almost a sure sign that he’s crazy or evil or both. The other characters need to hold on to their wallets and get ready to defend themselves. Thankfully, the reality is far different.