Not history. Not law. The Bible is poetry that inspires
Published 18/05/2015 | 02:30
In a recent domestic scene, I declared to my children that one needed the patience of Job to put up with them. I was appalled when my lamentation was greeted with, "Who's Job?"
The disgrace of it. How has one of the crucial characters in the most important book in the world slid into oblivion? The Bible is, as AN Wilson contends, our Grand Narrative. The book that comes before all others. It is not merely a collection of writings that emerged from history. The Bible has formed our history and culture.
It is this quality that compels Wilson to argue why the Bible must not be so disastrously neglected. He explains that this book is above all books, because it demands action. Therefore it cannot be read as one would read The Iliad; as if it were mere literature or mythology; nor, as political theory, like Das Kapital, because it is not the work of a single author, but many. Its significance lies not in the fact that it is read, but how it is read, and how that reading has changed the world.