Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gregory Boyd reviews The Patriot's Bible

My brother Allyn brought this to my attention. It comes from the Christianity Today website. Dr. Gregory Boyd (of Letters from a Skeptic fame) does a two-part, in-depth review of The American Patriot's Bible: The Word of God and the Shaping of America (KJV, Thomas Nelson, 2009). The following quotation will provide a good overview of his conclusions:
[T]he selective retelling of American history found in the Patriot’s Bible is not what concerns me the most. What disturbs me more is the way the commentators attempt to give their idealized version of American history divine authority by weaving it into the biblical narrative.

The review can be accessed through these links: Part 1 and Part 2.

What is particularly interesting to me, from the standpoint of material-Scriptural questions, are some of his analyses, toward the end of the review, in which he examines the effect of interleaving a jingoist reading of American history with the biblical text itself:
I have no doubt that those who contributed to the Patriot’s Bible are sincere, godly people who genuinely believe they’re doing America and the Kingdom a service by publishing this work. And had they published their particular interpretation of American history in a separate volume, I would have had much less trouble with it. What grieves me deeply is that the Patriot’s Bible fuses this interpretation with the biblical narrative in an attempt to give it divine authority. As such, this version of the Bible virtually incarnates the nationalistic idolatry that has afflicted the Church for centuries and so thoroughly compromised the beauty of the trans-national, self-sacrificial Kingdom Jesus came to bring.

There is a lot of conversation to be had around these sorts of interleavings.

1 comment:

Duncan Vinson said...

I have always been dismayed when I have seen the array of special-market bibles and boutique translations on offer at the bookstore. The Bible publishers seem to be following the same logic of ever-increasing market segmentation found in other branches of the media.

I am surprised that none of the discussion on that post mentioned Elizabeth Cady Stanton's "The Woman's Bible" (1898).