Saturday, April 24, 2010

Biblical Literacy 101

I have been fiddling around with my B&N nook the last couple of days since I installed the most recent software update, which included a bare bones web browser. Now I know it’s nothing fancy, and it certainly pales in comparison to the iPhone or iPad; however, for those of us who cannot afford the extra monthly fees to carry the internet on our phone or some other high falutin media consumption device, it is a nice add-on feature. The best part for me –and especially for Jennifer—is that I will no longer have to go into the bedroom to surf the web, but I can do so in the comfort of our den with the rest of the family. Hopefully, this will vanquish my frequent disappearances to the bedroom to get my fix for the insatiable news habit I cannot seem to kick.

At any rate, one of the sites that the nook automatically links to is the Merriam-Webster web site. Lo and behold, I was pleasantly surprised to find a splendid article on ten words and phrases from the Bible that continue to have a meaningful impact on modern American culture. Most of them were very familiar to me like “forbidden fruit,” “kiss of death,” and “doubting Thomas.” I did learn, however, that “shibboleth” has a biblical origin in a battle from the Book of Judges. Fascinating stuff!

I think biblical literacy is an absolute must. It is essential for anyone who really wants to understand not only the Judeo-Christian heritage, but Western civilization in general. The Bible has exerted, still exerts, and will always exert an incredible influence on the Western conscience and consciousness. Without the Bible, the West has no heart, no soul, no mission, no meaning, or in other words: The West is SOL in a stinking postmodern quagmire. At least a passing familiarity with the key stories of the Bible is indispensable for any individual aspiring to be learned or lettered. To disregard or ignore the Bible is to spit at the wisdom of the ancients and the democracy of the dead, and that I cannot abide. Let us all strive for a greater understanding of Sacred Scripture for the edification and sanctification of our souls and for those of our children and also for the renewal of our civilization and cultural patrimony. Can I get an Amen?

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