Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The Good Book

James Pate, a biblioblogger with some previous WCG experience behind him, has just reviewed the Book of Mormon. You'll find a link to James' blog in the sidebar. I'm struck with admiration, personally being of the same view as Mark Twain on this noble literary confection: chloroform in print. How did James stay awake to complete his task? In any case it's a fair and well written review, quite short, and definitely worth checking out.

I have an alternative suggestion for James however, and confess to be currently making my way through it. The Good Book by (sort of) A. C. Grayling. It's a compendium (kind of) of wise advice, observations and insight from some of the greatest writers in history, from ancient Rome to the modern day. Grayling has melded them together as "a secular Bible". Moreover, he's organised them into 17 biblical-style books; Genesis (nothing like the original), Wisdom, Parables, Proverbs, Acts... you get the idea.

The text is a bit uneven at times - I really didn't like Sages. But much - most - is helpful and enlightening. Dare one say inspirational? Nothing religious at all.

At the risk of being stoned, and based on what I've read so far (this isn't the kind of tome you want to speed-read through) I highly recommend it. Nothing here to offend any person of goodwill, Christian, Atheist or otherwise, and much to ponder. In due course I'll probably post a few quotes.

Better than the Bible? I wouldn't want to comment. Better than the Book of Mormon. Absolutely!


Pam said...

I have no dog in this fight, but I am always amazed at how "varied" the dogmatic statements are from one side or the other in this sort of discussion. Your author quotes Porphyry writing...

"Those who know the region well tell us that, in fact, there is no “sea” in the locality but only a tiny lake which springs from a river that flows through the hills of Galilee near Tiberias. Small boats can get across it within two hours. [And the lake is too small] to have seen whitecaps caused by storm. "

A lake that takes two hours to cross isn't "tiny." And then there's this (http://www.jerusalemperspective.com/1476/) :

"The Sea of Galilee is known for its violent storms, which can come up suddenly and be life-threatening for any on its waters. These tempests are caused by the situation of the lake in the Jordan Rift with steep hills on all sides. The cooler air masses from the surrounding mountains collide with the warm air in the lake’s basin. Winds sometimes funnel through the east-west-oriented valleys in the Galilean hill country and rush down the western hillsides of the lake. The most violent storms, however, are caused by the fierce winds which blow off the Golan Heights from the east. One such storm in March 1992 sent waves ten feet (3 meters) high crashing into downtown Tiberias and caused significant damage to the city."

So which is it? The lake can't even support "whitecaps," or it can support ten foot waves that can crash far inland?

Pam said...

I'm tempted to think that some folks (both atheists and biblical apologists...those apologizing for seeming discrepancies in the Bible :-) ) are really good at cherry-picking whatever facts they want to support whatever theory they have...especially if it will sell books or up the page views on one's blog.