A recent radio interview asked several people to identify a quote from Shakespeare or from the Bible. There were more wrong than right answers.
Biblical illiteracy is not uncommon. It makes it more difficult for students tackling a literacy degree and recently I heard of one lady who was taken aback that the story of Jesus’ birth was actually in the Bible.
Five years ago I put out the ‘Bishop of Lancaster’s Scriptural Challenge’ for schoolchildren. Just under 2,000 children aged four to 11 registered for the project.
I was thrilled to see such excitement and enthusiasm for the Bible. My only slight disappointment was that far more girls than boys completed this tough assignment. My task now for the next Scriptural Challenge is to find a way of making it more relevant to boys. Remembering how my son was into football stickers has given me a start.
Recently we have had more people in the media quoting great chunks of Shakespeare, remembered from their school days.
There are people who can do the same for the Bible with words of scripture which can touch our lives and lift our spirits. It says in the Old Testament: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path”.
Such guidance is still true today for many people and, according to a recent publication, not least for Her Majesty The Queen who celebrated her 90th birthday recently.
My ‘life verse’ from the Bible is from the Book of Psalms and it says: “Proclaim every day the good news that God has saved us.”
I try to pray each day, ‘please give me the opportunity to share that good news’. I also appreciate the saying that “Bibles that are falling apart are read by people who aren’t”. Not, I hasten to add, a quote from the scriptures.
A father was approached by his small son who told him ‘I know what the Bible means’. His father smiled and replied: “What do you mean, you ‘know’ what the Bible means?”
The son replied: “I do know!” “OK,” said his father, “so, son, what does the Bible mean?”
“That’s easy Dad. It stands for Basic Information Before Leaving Earth!”