On Viewing "The Da Vinci Code"

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 24 May 2006 0 Comments
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I have just been fired as a Jr. Hi Sunday School
teacher at the First Presbyterian Church in Oak Ridge,
TN, because I would not represent the Bible as perfect
and infallible to the children. I have lots of proof
to the contrary: I have many versions of the Bible on
my hard drive and can search any of them for any word
or phrase in a fraction of a second. It is possible
that I have found ugly and evil content of which you
are unaware. I would be pleased to send you a list of
what I have found. Apparently "The Sins of the
Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to
Reveal the God of Love" is exactly what I need. I
intend to procure a copy soon.


There is much in the Bible that is, in your words,
"ugly and evil." When I wrote the "Sins of the
Scripture" I examined only the most glaring texts that
have shaped public behavior. The idea that any
educated person would today try to defend the idea
that the Bible is either perfect or infallible is
difficult for me to imagine.

When I confront people quoting biblical texts
literally and thus in defense of some theological
agenda or prejudiced attitude, I tell them they are
asking the wrong question of the Bible. The
appropriate question is not, "Is this literally true?"
for the world of biblical scholarship settled that
question years ago with a resounding "no". The proper
question is rather, "What does this story mean? Then
I might inquire about "What need in the life of the
person making the literal claim does the presumed
literal authority of scripture meet?" Religion has
always been more about the search for security than it
is the search for truth




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