Can it be your favorite book based on what other people tell you it says?

The Bible, according to a new poll, is Americans’ favorite book. Mm-hmm…

How many, do you reckon, have actually read it? I mean, apart from John 3:16, a couple Psalms or Proverbs, and the obligatory doomsday prophecies of Revelation.

On a related note, did you know that many Evangelicals think it’s heretical to read and appreciate the Bible as literature? In so doing, you see, you trivialize the Absolute and Inviolate Word of God.

My parents are among those who believe the Bible is literally true. Funny thing is, the two of them have completely different ideas about what God is saying in it.

By the time I was seven or eight, Sunday mornings had begun to devolve into screaming theological arguments that migrated from our kitchen through our living room and out to the front lawn.

From time to time, my mother would rip pages from the New Testament and throw them around the yard while yelling things like, “Go on ahead to that dead church, where they wouldn’t know the Holy Ghost if He sailed in with a sign on and bit them on the ass.”

Have I mentioned that Sister and I were taken to church twice each Sunday? First to his, then hers. (Our school was religious, too, and there was yet another catechism to be mastered there.)

A hilarous Bible-as-truth-or-literature argument flares up in the first several pages of Peter DeVries’ excellent 1961 novel The Blood of the Lamb. You can read a large chunk of the scene in the excerpt at Amazon.


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