Tuesday, 31 July 2012

This is not a kids book! Rating: XXX

At the conference that I just attended, I made a comment (well more like an STATEMENT) during a discussion of the rape of Dinah and its consequences (Genesis 34). I asked what happens if an 11 year old girl read the story in whatever translation. She would certainly not tell on her abused, particularly if it were someone she knew - because what happened to the abuser in the Dinah story? He and his whole family & extended kin were murdered.

The respondent said, "The Bible is not a children's book!!!!!!!!!!" (emphasis hers)

I agree with her. However, I and many, many children receive their bibles when we were & are very young. I was given my first leather bound, red letter Bible when I was about 7 & 1/2. And we were & are encouraged to read it from beginning to end - certainly by say grade 7 (12) or grade 8 (13). Why? Because it is the "Word of God".

Which is why I am so concerned about what children actually understand when they read the "bible" not just Children's Stories from the Bible - which are often not much better.

The Bible should not only be X-rated (caution - read only with adult present), but it should come with a warning - supports patriarchy, hierarchy, slavery, blind obedience. The only problem that I see is that once you say something is X-rated, everyone will want to read it!! Although that may be a good thing; you can't miss the problems then!!

My younger son was the classic case of this. He decided that he should probably read the bible when he was about 16 - foundation of western culture, and all that. He began at the beginning and read every word in the Revised Standard Edition. He came to me at one point and asked, in a totally stunned voice: do you mean to tell me that people actually believe this stuff?

To Read:

A. J. Jacobs, The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible

For a first look at the book, which is a really great read, go to his website:

http://www.ajjacobs.com/books/yolb.asp

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