Thursday, October 31, 2013

David Berlinksi on the Old Testament

I would suggest to any student entering college now, 2011, to do what I'm sure he hasn't done: go read the Old Testament. That should be your first challenge today. I always ask my students "Well, have you (ever) read the, have you  read the Bible? Yea, Yea, I read the Bible, sure. But when I interrogate the student it turns up reading the Bible means they have a Bible on their book shelf. And I said, "have you opened it?""Yea, we've opened it,"  but opening it doesn't mean reading it.
The Old Testament is the greatest repository of human knowledge and wisdom in the history of civilization, any culture, any time, any place. And that really should be the first point of discussion because every attitude current today in the discussion from Richard Dawkins, to me, to Christopher Hitchens, to lonely pastors in the Bible Belt on Sunday morning ranting from a particular text is discussed in the Bible, and there's a characters in the Bible who expresses that point of view, there's sympathy expressed for that point of view, and there's reservations expressed by that sympathy. It's an enormously complex, rich dramatic piece of work. That's the first. 
David Berlinksi on Uncommon Knowledge

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