December 26th, 2004


Channel 4 boldly, and in the teeth of protests, gave over their prime-time Christmas slot to a show about how the Bible was written and edited by a succession of power elites and how anybody who thinks it's the unmediated word of God is stupid and/or dangerous.

I was taught this stuff at theological college thirty years ago, but it seems to be no more common knowledge now than it was then. The churches give the information to their clergy (fore-warned is fore-armed) but they don't encourage them to pass it on to the folks in the pews.

I find this mildly scandalous. It's nearly a hundred and fifty years since scholars first began to take the Bible apart. Their conclusions ought to be as much a part of the common culture as Darwin or Dickens.

And so should their methods. If we're awed by one text we'll be awed by others- and politicians, leader writers, newscasters, gurus and advertisers will continue to be able to manipulate and bamboozle us.