Damian Thompson

Bible Bashing

Evangelical Christians have an annoying habit of trying to persuade you to read Holy Scripture (and especially the Old Testament) by pretending that it is as exciting as a thriller. ‘It’s got everything – battles, murders, betrayals, beautiful women,’ they chirp. ‘Just give it a try!’ And so, bored to tears in some American motel, you pull out the Gideon Bible. (Incidentally, I wonder what the ratio of stolen fluffy towels to stolen Bibles is. Astronomical, I should think, even in the Midwest.) Where to start? Well, it’s all good stuff, say your born-again Christian friends, so you pick the first Old Testament chapter you come to. Like this one, from the First Book of Kings, which is where my Bible has just fallen open:

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