Monday, April 23, 2018

GQ Magazine 'Dump the Bible'

The Word of God, Sacred Page, Good Book, Good News, Scripture, etc, these are some of the ways people have described a collection of ancient texts detailing God's salvific work in the life of human beings. This collection of ancient texts is commonly called the "Bible" or "Holy Bible." It is a collection of books which has been valued throughout the centuries. In fact, it was the first book ever printed via mechanical means via the Gutenberg press. To date, it is the best selling book of all time, the most translated and the most printed.

The texts were written by numerous authors in Jewish and Catholic history. They tell the stories of the ancient Hebrews, Jesus and the early Catholic Church. In 397, the official list of books or canon was approved via the Council of Carthage under Pope Damasus I with 46 books comprising the Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament
and 27 in the New Testament. Its contents have been quoted and referenced in numerous works of art, including music.

The Bible is even used in secular universities as a reference and even as a focal point in the areas of theology, biblical studies, history and literature. Many professors respect the Bible, including those who are not religious at all.  The Bible is even used to swear in jurors, presidents and others.  Despite this, GQ magazine publish an article claiming that the Bible should not be read. In the article "21 Books you don't have to Read Before You Die," the Bible was listed at number 12. GQ calls the Bible and the other 20 books "overrated."

This news has Jews, Christians, Muslims and even Atheists and others upset. The article is extremely stupid in my opinion. As an avid reader, I do not think any book is "overrated." Each book has something to offer.  The Bible is one of those works and is a collection of books that is unique. As an atheist reading it and studying it at CUNY when I took the English course Bible as Literature taught by Dr. Sedore, I noticed something different with this book(s). The Bible does not come across as a typical book or novel. It is a "living" text, so to speak. When one reads it, one can get a sense of the writer and scenes portrayed. The texts speaks deeply to human behavior and the nuances of the human experience. Unlike a typical historical text, the Bible shows humanity deeply. We can see the psychologies of the characters involved, the temporal surrounding of the stories and the evolution of the human species in relation to God.  This is why so many relate to the Bible.  Moreover, the fact that the books of the Bible were not written simultaneously and were written centuries apart and by different authors adds to the mystique of the Bible. I became convinced that the Bible truly is inspired by someone beyond humanity; someone who knows humanity and transcends space and time.  I think Dr. Albert Einstein experienced the same when he said this in an interview:

“Unquestionably. No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life. How different, for instance, is the impression which we receive from an account of legendary heroes of antiquity like Theseus. Theseus and other heroes of his type lack the authentic vitality of Jesus.” 

Einstein is not the only one who has held the Bible in high regard. Both Dr. Carl Sagan and Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson have shown esteem for the Good Book. Dr. Sagan had it on his list of books to read. Dr. Tyson said the Bible is one of the books an intelligent person must read (see: I agree wholeheartedly! The Bible is an awesome collection of text. It has history, myth, poetry, allegory, passion, prose, and even "adult" content in the Song of Songs. It truly captures the human experience and how God has worked with and around it. The Bible has even recorded historical and astronomical events (see:

For GQ Magazine to claim the Bible is overrated and should not be read is ludicrous. I think many intelligent people will be adding GQ Magazine to their "overrated Don't read list" after their gaffe.  I have several translation of this awesome book and enjoy reading it every day.  Whether one believes in the contents of the Bible or not, any intelligent and educated person can appreciate it as sound literature that fosters critical thinking, discussion and changes in life.


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