While none of us can say with 100% certainty what we would do if our lives were immediately at risk, I hope and pray that I would go to prison to defend the Bible. Whether you believe it as literal truth, whether you are a person of faith by whatever term or whether you see it merely as a foundational cornerstone of the Western Canon, it is worth defending. At least to me it is. If my post on Dietrich Bonfhoeffer wasn’t enough of a clue then maybe you didn’t have time to read that post. You can read it now by clicking here.
I hope, if I were ever challenged, that I would stand up for my belief–stand up for this book. No other would truly be worth it. Not my favorite novels. Not the nonfiction I collect on Churchills and Roosevelts, not my Royal Family books. Only this one. It’s words sustain me. It’s story entertain and enthrall me. It’s message buoys me with hope in all circumstances. I have more of it memorized than of any other book. There is poetry, music, history, romance and much more within its covers.
You can argue back that it has caused more pain than any other. Certainly it has caused pain. It can be divisive. It can be used to manipulate, to harm or to cast others in bad light. All of that is true.
It’s believers were made to be imperfect so they are hypocritical, judgmental, greedy and other bad things Yes, that’s true. Yes, they ARE supposed to leave judgement to their God. They should never hold themselves up as examples–only God is the example. But God made them imperfect–just like every other person who has walked the Earth. Don’t judge a book based on that “one” believer you knew when. Don’t judge a book based on the popular media’s misrepresentation of its believers. “There is Nothing New Under the Sun,” this book says. It’s true. Everything old is new again–and everything is in here.
So, yes, I hope I would be strong enough to go to prison for this book. Maybe I’d be like Peter–maybe a gun to my head would get me to say “I don’t know Him.” Maybe. I hope not.
The Bible has appeared on nearly every list of banned or challenged books ever published. Some people claim it is the single most challenged book. Others claim its believers are the only people to challenge books (not true by any means). Every race, creed, color, political view, sexuality and probably even every profession has challenged some book, some where at some time–or so it seems. Yes, liberals do challenge books–conservative ones. And yes, conservatives do challenge books–liberal ones. But this book, the Bible remains not only one of the most challenged books, one of the most banned books, but also one of the most influential and best-selling books in human history. Everything else was written after, so to speak. No matter the translation, no matter the version, the Bible is, in my opinion, the single most important book in human history. Flame me if you like. It’s my blog, my opinion.
Before condemning it–read it. You can read the Bible for free in any number of versions online. I normally read the New International Version, but I love the Psalms in the King James Version. I learned various verses as a child in the American Standard Version. Here’s a great place to read the Bible and decide for yourself. Bible Gateway.