The Bible stretches back to the beginning of the world and forward to the end of time – what other document does this?
In between comes a series of variations on a theme – that theme is the rise and fall of empire and peoples within which is traced the eventual victory of love and hope over failure and despair
“God was an Englishman” so we joke but actually as English people we have no pre-history of our own, no creation myth, no Exodus or arrival at the promised land, no unique relationship with a “god” of these islands – we have adopted those from Jerusalem, Byzantium and Rome and made them our own.
Some interesting things about the Bible:
– there are two different stories of creation in Genesis (1:1-2:4 and 2:5-25)
– there are also two stories of Noah’s ark but they are interwoven – compare Gen. 7.2 (7 pairs of each animal) with 7:15 (one pair of each animal)
– In John’s Gospel there is no Eucharist at the Last Supper and no Baptism of Jesus – why is that?