The Bible as/and Literature -- Sightings (Richard Rosengarten)
The Bible represents different things for different people. It can be understood as literature, as history, as mythos, as theology. For one like me who is a Christian pastor and theologian, it is the primary source of revelation. For others it is the key to understanding literature. How can you appreciate Handel's The Messiah, without some understanding of the Bible. The King James Version was translated and published to make the Bible accessible. Over time it has become a cultural icon. The Historical Critical method takes the Bible a part, hoping to find its true meaning. Literary critics look at the whole and not just the parts. Robert Alter's recent translation of what Christians call the Old Testament and Jews Tanak, approaches the text from a literary point of view. I've not yet read from it, but it sounds intriguing. In any case, Richard Rosengarten offers us a brief essay for Sightings on the way all of this works. It is worth pondering.