from Pantperthog to Knockando

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

2 hours chatting

At the last minute I signed up to a focus group being run by the Bible Society. I spent two hours talking about how people use the Bible and whether there's any chance of getting more people to read the Bible (short answer: no), and at the end of the evening I got given £50 for my troubles.

It was a varied bunch of people from a number of different church backgrounds. It was quite interesting to see how much broad agreement there was around the table, even if people differed slightly on the details. One thing that came up a couple of times was the criticism that the Bible may have changed over time and what we now know as the Bible isn't what was originally written.

I seriously doubt anyone who makes that point has ever read any critical studies of the formation processes that affected the Bible. If they did they'd quickly realise there's little textual evidence for significant variations. In fact, given the number of people involved over the years, the real miracle is that there haven't been huge amounts of changes.

But then some people would prefer to base their opinions on things they've learned from The Da Vinci Code. Which is a bit like claiming an in-depth knowledge of the second world war because one bank holiday you watched The Great Escape.

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